Jimmy Rock

JIMMY ROCK Describes ‘Beautiful & Heartbreaking’ Mission Trip to Kenya that Saw Thousands Changed

Over 1,500 people came to Christ at revival festival

Christian music DJ, JIMMY ROCK, had the opportunity of a lifetime presented to him. He was going to DJ and serve on a mission trip to Kenya, Africa with Crave the Movement.

JIMMY provided Rapzilla with notes and pictures of the trip. We’re compiling them to create a journal of the trip.

June 13th, 2022

I leave for Kenya on Wednesday. I’m not nervous, but I can’t believe I’m actually going. It doesn’t seem real to me. I suppose the reality will set in when I fly JFK to Nairobi. Also, I’m getting shots for Hepatitis and Yellow Fever and got a prescription for Malaria.

June 14th, 2022

Let me tell you about Crave The Movement and why we’re going to Africa. They are based out of Central City, Kentucky. Together we have traveled across the US, Mexico, Egypt, Germany, and Colombia. Now we are taking our first steps into Africa!

This Saturday (June 18) we will be hosting a revival at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega, Kenya. The revival is a festival-style event. Multiple Kenyan artists performing with JIMMY ROCK as the closing headliner and a word from brother & sister Josh and Victoria Rich (founding members of Crave The Movement). To date, there have been 5,000 VIP passes handed out. We are expecting well over 10,000 people to attend the event – more importantly, we are expecting God to show up in a miraculous way.

On the surface level, this looks like a festival, it looks like a promo for my new music. But the real meaning behind this trip is missionary work. I will be spending seven days in Kenya and while I am there with our team we will be visiting hospitals, prisons, orphanages, churches…anywhere that we are welcome. It is our desire to share the gospel of Jesus, to provide clean food, drinking water, Bibles, clothes…anything that we can contribute to the locals during our time in Kenya.

I have been a part of Crave The Movement since 2014. We’ve seen THOUSANDS come to Jesus through our ministry. It’s one of my favorite things that I get to do. Being a DJ, artist and producer is fun…it opens doors for me to connect with people all over the world. But the real purpose behind what I do is to connect people to Jesus. To give them hope, love, and peace. Yes, I want people to throw up their hands and dance, but all of that is meaningless unless we are able to all dance together in the presence of Jesus one day in Heaven. That’s the ultimate goal.

June 15th, 2022

Getting the shots was an adventure before the adventure.

I’m stressed out because I was supposed to get my shots and prescription last Thursday, but my family doctor called and canceled my appointment. This forced me to hop on the phone and find a doctor who would see me last minute. Most weren’t accepting new patients so I ended up visiting my local county health center on Tuesday (20 hours before my flight left).

I leave tomorrow!

June 16, 2022 

This is a day that I’ll never forget. It was my first time flying over the Atlantic. I didn’t realize how massive the ocean truly was. You can sleep, wake up, watch a movie, play a video game, eat lunch, eat dinner, sleep again, wake up, and still have six more hours left on your flight. Traveling from Cleveland, Ohio to New York, to Nairobi to Kisumu to Kakamega took nearly 30 hours to arrive at my final destination in Kenya, Africa.

I remember walking out of the airport with my mind cluttered with thoughts:

What can I expect while I’m here?
Am I truly here for the right reasons?
What difference can I make?
How much will I stand out?
What are the people and their culture like over here?

 

Jimmy Rock

Upon our arrival, we had a lot of work to do. I was instantly transported to a local church which was one of our many partners and hosts for us while we were in Kenya. Honorary Bishop Titus Khamala and his church welcomed us with open arms. We were asked to pray, minister, and lay hands on locals. We anointed people with oil, prayed, and worshipped for nearly three hours. The service ended after what I would describe as an electrifying altar call because, in Kenya, the mosquitos (Malaria) are your worst enemy. Most businesses and outside activities shut down around sunset to avoid any bug bites after dark.

June 17th, 2022

Today is the day we took to the streets. I was walking around for what felt like 20 miles handing out flyers to promote our event at Bukhungu Stadium on Saturday. Our team split up into groups, each one of us going with a few Kenyan locals to help guide the way and to also serve as a translator for us.

Most Kenyans did speak English, but the cultural barrier and the accents sometimes made it difficult to communicate. Along with handing out flyers, we were often asked by the locals to pray for them. I was invited into many homes and shops, just simply to pray a blessing over their property, business, or life.

Most homes were poor. Most were just simply four walls and a bed. There was no air conditioning, no bathroom, and no kitchen. Often there would be a table outside with some bowls and plates. If there was a kitchen, it was usually only a fireplace with a pot to cook/boil food.

We had children always coming up to us asking for food. I did pack a lot of snacks for my trip, mostly energy bars to keep me fueled throughout the day – but I found myself giving away all that I had on me most days. It was difficult to witness, difficult to process what was going on at the time. I wanted to feed everyone. But how could I do it?

June 18th, 2022

Jimmy Rock

 

The day had finally come. It was Revival in Kakamega, Kenya at Bukhungu Stadium. The local production company was setting up sound, stage, and lighting for the event. Kenyan artists who we invited were steadily arriving at the stadium. The energy, the worry, the doubts, the joy, the hope and all that goes into putting on an event were at an all-time high.

There was a lot of buzz around town about this “white Christian American EDM DJ” performing in Kenya. No one had ever seen or heard of this before. I will admit, it does sound strange and is usually responded to with an explanation of all of that. But here it was different. Kakamega is not a tourist town. Most locals have never seen a “white person” in real life before, let alone one performing on stage, jumping, dancing, playing loud Bass and House music.

At times I felt like a clown in a circus. All eyes were on me, all cell phones recording and taking photos the entire time, both on and off stage.

When an artist is looking to become famous or a celebrity, be careful what you wish for. This felt more like being stared at from outside a fishbowl.

My set consisted of a mix of original music and edits that I created specifically for this event. I familiarized myself with some Swahili, Afrobeat, and Afro-House music weeks prior to my arrival so I could perform a set that was both familiar and new to them.

We had an array of Kenyan artists performing as well including David Wonder, Jabidii, Guardian Angel, DJ Prince, and Moji Short Baba. All talented recording artists who are followers of Jesus.

These were some amazing performances!

Josh and Tori, brother and sister and founders of Crave The Movement, led the stadium in sharing the gospel, prayer, and altar call. We saw approximately 1,500 people raise their hands and give their hearts to Jesus for the first time at the event. What a miracle! What a privilege it was to be thousands of miles away from home to reach people who have never heard about the gospel of Jesus. It was a tear-jerker moment for sure. All I could do is praise and thank God for all He’s done.

“Thank you for choosing me, Lord!”

June 19th, 2022

This day was truly the Sabbath. It was a day of rest after a very long few days and the festival the day before. It was a low-key day of church and recovery.

One of the main questions I’ve been asked about this trip is “How did you end up in Kenya?”

And really, it’s understandable. I don’t have any mega-hit songs. I don’t have platinum or gold records, or major label support. It’s just me and my team Crave The Movement.

Crave The Movement started off as a “party with a purpose.” Since its inception, we have traveled to Mexico, Colombia, San Diego, Louisville, Nashville, and many other cities. We have seen thousands come to Jesus through our ministry. What makes this ministry different? It’s not for the church. It’s for the junkies, the rejects, the outcasts, the adulterers, the party scene, and the forgotten.

A majority of those who attend a Crave event are those who have never stepped a foot inside of a church. It’s the first time they’ve heard the name of Jesus spoken outside of using His name in vain. It’s the first time they’ve heard Christians boldly say to them that they are loved, they are welcome and they have a purpose. I’ve been a part of this ministry for years and God is always using us in ways that I never knew would be possible.

Our team, which consisted of five Americans and two Mexicans, arrived in Kenya four days prior to my arrival and they stayed an additional three days after my departure. Due to my prior obligations and bookings, my time in Kenya was only six days (minus traveling time).

Now the next two days will be filled with mission work, visiting clinics, schools, and orphanages. I feel like God has something in store for us. Let’s see where he leads us!

June 20th, 2022

Jimmy Rock

 

One of the things I forgot to touch on was our host, Shiela Khamala, the founder of Fikia Society in Kenya. Fikia is a mobile clinic that visits schools around Kakamega to help children and adults with jiggers.

What is a jigger? Jiggers as the locals call them are parasitic insects that can burrow into your hands and feet. It is a very painful, flesh-eating insect that will destroy your hands and feet before traveling to your heart and killing you if not treated properly and swiftly. It’s nearly impossible to see with the naked eye and will grow over 1,000 times in size while continuously laying eggs.

We would have to wash and scrub people’s feet, sanitize them with alcohol and solution, then very carefully (and very painfully) cut into the wounds to extract the parasite out of their hands and feet. The patients had no numbing solution, nothing to help them endure the 20 – 30 minutes of us cutting and digging away at their flesh. It was difficult to watch and hard to hold back the tears.

After the children were treated, we would use petroleum jelly to help seal the wounds along with a pair of crocks to wear. Kids mostly get jiggers from having “skin-to-skin” contact with the soil where the jiggers live. The crocks helped them stay elevated from the soil but also allowed airflow so their wounds could heal. If there are jiggers in your hands and feet, you will most likely go through this process three or four times every couple of weeks until all of the eggs hatch and all of the parasites get removed.

Once the pain had subsided, the children returned back to normal and just wanted to play. We taught them classics like Duck Duck Goose and Red Rover. Much to our surprise they have never heard of or seen these games before, but they quickly picked up on the rules and were running and laughing with us. I am curious how good they’ll be at these games by the time we return to Kenya next summer.

June 21st, 2022 

 

Jimmy Rock

We did more visits today, and I can tell you this, no amount of Googling or YouTube videos can prepare you for what I saw on my week-long trip to Kakamega, Kenya. The people were very friendly, most of them curious about my hair and skin. We would see people look at us and would shout “MZUNGU” which is Swahili for “white person/people.”

Now as I sit on my first flight home, cell phone in hand (I finally have service for the first time in a week), I downloaded worship music on Spotify and I just wept for nearly an hour.

Everything I have seen, experienced, all of the lives that were changed. My life IS changed. I prayed and I asked God to never allow me to become the person I once was before I came to Kenya. I prayed to never forget the things I’ve seen and never forget the people and the friendships that I made. It was so much to take in. Even in these journals, it is still only a fraction of the stories that I have.

We saw literal demons get cast out, we saw people’s bodies get miraculously healed, and we saw people thank God for all that they have even though they literally have nothing. This trip opened my eyes in a way that nothing else before ever has.

There are so many things I want to share. I want to use the platform that God has given me to make a real difference in the world, and I want my music to speak life and hope to people.

I went to Kenya to make a change in the world, but I ended up coming home being the one who was changed.

Follow JIMMY ROCK on his YouTube for more content from the Africa trip.







Justin Sarachik

Written by Justin Sarachik

Justin is the Editor-in-Chief of Rapzilla.com. He has been a journalist for over a decade and has written or edited for Relevant, Christian Post, BREATHEcast, CCM, Broken Records Magazine, & more. He also likes to work with indie artists to develop their brands & marketing strategies. Catch him interviewing artists on Survival of the Artist Podcast.

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