Update July 31, 2019

Hello Friends,

I’m finally over the jet lag and have had a few coffee breaks to catch up with mom. It is good to be stateside to visit many of you and to do some fundraising to help replace some lost monthly support (some of our supporters had a financial hit –please pray for them). We also need to help offset the cost of our plane fare here which was $6,000 total (praise God for the $2000 already raised).

In our last update, Steve gave you the story of how, after 13 years in Uganda, we ended up in Kijabe, Kenya. Now I hope to tell a bit about our day to day lives in Kijabe. In Uganda I had a slower paced life as a home school mom and supporter of Steve’s CM/Workshop ministry. My central way of supporting was by boosting women and youth in our community. Here in Kenya, however, I work a lot more hours at both my official title as well as my ministry.

Currently, I am the Home Economics Sewing Teacher, Academic Support Assistant for students with special needs, Tech Club Coach, Library and Cafeteria Monitor, Mentor, Home School Teacher, Mom, and Wife. This means from 7:20AM until as late as 11pm I am teaching, coaching, tutoring, discipling, and loving people. To live and work at a boarding school means you are on from the time you wake till that sweet hour of silence when the house falls asleep.

Missionary Kids (MKs) are a special group of kids that deal with the pressures of life in the mission field. Issues such as:

  • Attachment disorders due to their many transient friends and so many moves.
  • Trauma from being in or witnessing accidents and violence.
  • Fear of disappointing their parents, their mission organization, the people group where they live, their sending churches, and even God.

These kids are highly empathetic and loving to others, but too many, all the while, struggle with feelings of anxiety and abandonment. They are a highly functional, flexible, and gritty group of kids, yet desperate for love, care, and permission to be messy confused teenagers.

This is where God has placed me and why he has given me such a mother’s heart. An Atesot friend of mine, Aipo Janet, often times refers to me as “Totoke Idwe” which translates “Mother of Children”. She gave it to me because she said, “Melinda, in all our years of friendship I have never seen you without children, both yours and so many others.” It is what God made me for and it is no different here in Kijabe Kenya.

My home is filled with wonderful kids praying, studying, singing, dancing, watching cartoons, napping, eating, asking for advice, telling stories, seeking solace, rest, and refuge. This is what we offer at the Hoyt house unconditional, no-strings-attached love, and a safe space.

Both Steve and I are working full time, and both are working on developing relationships here in Kijabe with kids and local staff. Pray for continued health, strength, and connection with God’s people here. Help us bring His love, grace, and mercy to all we meet and to accept the same from others.

Love Melinda

Update April 13, 2019

Hello Friends,
We’ve been at RVA in Kijabe, Kenya for 9 months now, and all is well with our ministries, and the girls schooling. Hannah’s doing great in grade school as she continues to collect friends. Janet is homeschooling while loving the positive social life that flourishes here. Both Sophia and Madeline did very well in field hockey while maintaining high honors.
This past month I’ve had some supporters ask for clarification concerning our move to Kenya. And if they’ve asked, it’s probably safe to assume others are wondering the same. So I’ll better explain. But first:
Please note that we are still self-funded and still need prayer and economic support from you. And our support continues to pass through our EMI account
In 2017, during one of my trips to RVA to visit Sophia, I met the maintenance supervisor. During our conversation, I discovered he mostly works with the national staff, of whom build, remodel, and maintain the infrastructure for RVA’s 100-acre campus. Under his supervision, he had 18 fulltime staff and 25 to 60 casual staff. But I then learned that the importance of ministry for these employees was secondary to their physical work. As you know, biblically and functionally, I believe this is backward. So I’ll say it again:
The best investment any organization can make is in its employees. When this occurs the byproduct will improve leaving the client satisfied.
He then mentioned that in a few months he was leaving RVA. The LED flashed on! The opportunity to take what I’ve learned through the EMI Uganda CM program and apply it to an existing program in Kenya, all the while keeping my family together through the high school years, was exciting.
The more we inquired and prayed, the further the door opened. Within months I was offered the job. EMI then agreed to loan me to RVA for 4 years.
I’m now expanding the ministry to Kenya through RVA, while, thank God, keeping my family together through high school.
The ministry is going well. Cross-training is allowing people to improve their professional skills. But the best news? Eager souls are hearing the Gospel according to Jesus. Just as in Uganda, employees, myself included, are growing as Christian husbands, parents, and leaders.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
Soon Melinda will be sending some updates concerning our day to day life here in Kenya, and her exciting ministry.

Update July 18, 2018

We Finally Arrive in Kenya

After a frustrating 4 hours at the border on Thursday, we were finally permitted to cross with all 6 of our people, our dog, and our truck. But our Lorry of possessions was another matter. That didn’t arrive until Monday morning. And we thank the Lord.

Concerning our ride, a 1990 Toyota Land Cruiser GX, two issues came up the week before our trip that would have left us stranded. Coincidence? I think not. Our truck drove like a charm. And we thank the Lord.

Though we didn’t get stopped by the police between Entebbe and the Kenyan border, we were stopped at least 10 times between the border and Kijabe. I suppose our Ugandan tags attracted some attention. But each stop was quite “efficient”. No bribes were requested. And we thank the Lord.

Our home here in Kajabe is quite lovely. It’s at about 7200 feet above sea level, and we even have a view of a dormant volcano from our yard. It’s “winter” south of the equator. That combined with the elevation, rainy season, and the fact that our home is made of stone, makes it quite cold.

As for the monkeys in our yard, it seems we’ve decreased the quantities, but increased the species. From troops of vervet and some colobus in Entebbe, to lots of sykes, some vervets, some colobus, and some baboons in Kijabe.

So we are here. RVA is beautiful. The staff has been shockingly helpful. We are homesick, but we’ll adjust.

So far, as we tread among the waves of this vast cultural sea called Kenya, we’ve noticed a handful of superficial differences. Soon we will begin exploring deep below the surface. From cultural snorkeling to deep sea diving, please pray that we manage the riptides in a God-glorifying way.

You are a critical part of this ministry. And we thank the Lord!

1 Thessalonians 5:18






Better Utilizing Multimedia

I am creating this site to help facilitate the flow of information from our ministry with Engineering Ministries International in Uganda, Africa to our supporters and friends around the world. I plan to post all our email updates/newsletters and prayer requests on this site to better accommodate all our supporters. Updates will continue to also be personally emailed to all our current contacts just as before. This is just another added platform for communication. I will endeavor to add past posts for those that would like to scroll through for a more historical view of our time here in Uganda. This will be an ongoing project so please be patient. If you have any suggestions for improving this site or our other forms of communication we would appreciate hearing them. I am excited to better utilize multimedia and hope this approach is beneficial to all.

Update Dec 24, 2017

Merry Christmas from the Hoyts in Uganda

I love you and thank you for the gift of prayer and support. You have all helped develop this missionary team, and this Hoyt family.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about family. I recently saw two of our children off to boarding school. Now we are happily back together enjoying the usual family Christmas traditions. But though our days are joyous, several of our friends have experienced loss this past year, which reminds me that Christmas is not about momentary happiness and family traditions, rather it is much more than that:

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One, and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

Though a glorious start, this message from the manger isn’t the whole story. Jesus faced temptations, hardships, and sorrows just like me. While completely committed to God, he endured sacrificial separation from his Father. He felt fear and longing for heaven, even more than I long for those loved ones that are lost or far away. He gave of himself for my ultimate reunion with my Father in Heaven.

“To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” John 1:12-13.

When Jesus willingly became a babe, persecuted, separated from his Father, died, then rose again, he gave me the most amazing gift of adoption. A way home to rest in the arms of my Father. I can only imagine that joy as I recall Sophia saying, “Mom I can’t wait for you to hold me again.”

May God bless you with the eternal joy and hope of Christmas. I have great anticipation for the day we will celebrate together our glorious King and Savior. And finally sitting in my daddy’s lap being filled with His love.



Melinda & Family



Update Aug 8, 2017

Hello Friends,

As a reminder, our workshop has little to no room for more employees.  But we do want to reach more through job creation, so please continue praying that the funds to expand the EMI Uganda Workshop will come. 2017 Aug 8 Jonah and daughter

I believe a great way to reduce the orphan and widow population worldwide is through decent paying job creation within a Christian work environment that allows one to offer God their very best.  When done, while pointing to the Lord as ultimate provider, the Gospel is heard, AND the importance of an intact Christian family is discovered.

2017 Aug 8 shop photoOur product is people and the resulting byproduct is beautiful wood joinery and iron fabrication. The craftsmanship you’ll see coming out of the EMI Uganda workshop is a direct reflection of our desire to serve our partnering ministries in a Christ honoring way.

If you agree with our approach will you prayerfully consider joining the EMI Uganda Workshop team? Let’s talk.

Update July 27,2017

Hello Friends,

We need your prayers!

2017 July 27 Shop staff

9 years ago, when we started construction on the Music for Life Primary school (MFL), I decided to construct the doors and windows using a beautiful termite resistant hardwood called mugavu. But, at the time, I didn’t know dry mugavu was difficult to find, so I bought it wet and built a drying kiln. Issue one resolved.

Issue two: I wanted to give MFL excellent craftsmanship, but for such a luxury, when outsourced, the budget wouldn’t allow. So I bought a heavy duty 3-1 planer and hired an experienced craftsman named Kirabo Jonah. He was indeed a craftsman, but he was much more than that.

What stood out about Jonah was his heart to teach his trade to others. So between his craftsmanship and his desire to pass his talents on to others, the inspiration to start a permanent workshop was born.

Now, nearly a decade later we have a workshop located near the EMI office in Kajjansi Uganda and Jonah is helping lead the way. Issue two resolved.

Issue three: A year ago it was just two of us, and now we are 9 and we need your prayers.

In just 1 year we have out grown the workshop. We need more space and more machines. We are blessed to be in a place where we can turn business away, but the point of the workshop is not about fabrication and joinery, rather it’s about creating jobs, serving ministries, introducing people to and/or building people up in Christ. Covered space and machines are a critical means to an end. We want to reach more with the good News and serve more with our products.

Please pray with us that the funds come so that we can expand the workshop ministry thus reaching more people with the Good News found in Jesus. After years of pondering the prayer of Jabez, I now understand and will finish with that prayer:

 “Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory!”