Clay is the youngest of five children born to Kenith and Betty Dunn in Salem OR. He grew up from age 1 to 19 in Waukesha WI and moved to Virginia Beach VA in 1985 where he met Cindy in 1987. They were married in 1990 in Norfolk VA.
While in high school in WI, Clay worked as a maintenance person at a senior apartment home, where he learned many basic skills of how to maintain a home on a large scale. After moving to VA, he worked in hardware store retail for 17 years. He began as a stock clerk and worked up the ranks to senior store manager. In 2002, he left the retail business to work for the shipping company that Cindy’s family began in 1983. This gave him the freedom to work with missionaries around the world by supplying their needs for merchandise from the US. It also, gave Clay the time to participate in short term mission trips with their church.
In 2003, Clay started a small home improvement business by the name of Well Dunn Home Improvements, LLC. This gave him an opportunity to put all of his prior years of training to work serving others with quality home repair. In 2009, the economy for home building and repairs declined and the Lord called Clay and Cindy to work for Him in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Cindy is also the youngest. She is the third child, and only girl, born to James and Ruby Brew in Portsmouth VA. At the age of five, Cindy moved with her parents and two brothers to Zaire, Africa when her parents were called to be missionaries with the Presbyterian Church, USA. Previously called the Belgian Congo, and now named Democratic Republic of Congo, Zaire is in the middle of the African Continent. Cindy grew up in Kananga until the age of 13, when her parents returned to the US for a year’s furlough. They returned without the boys, to live in Kinshasa, Zaire. Cindy attended The American School of Kinshasa (TASOK) and lived at the Methodist Presbyterian Hostel (MPH) during her four years of high school.
After Cindy graduated in 1983, her family moved back to VA. Cindy worked for a travel agency for a while. In 1985, she began working for her family’s shipping business, International Supply Services, Inc, located in Portsmouth VA. There she helped facilitate the shipping of purchased goods and missionary family belongings to various parts of the world. Their main focus of the business was sending supplies to the hundreds of missionaries located in Zaire, sometimes two forty foot containers per month. Cindy learned many office managerial skills and electronic bookkeeping. These skills came in handy while she worked for our church office for a couple of years before we came to Africa.
As both of us look back on our lives, education and work experience, we see that God has been shaping us to do what He has called us to do in DR Congo. Cindy is managing the staff of the MPH Guesthouse (formally known as MPH or Methodist Presbyterian Hostel), taking guest reservations for traveling missionaries and mission groups, purchasing the food for the guest meals, managing the office and overseeing the bookkeeping. Clay is working with the maintenance staff to keep the guesthouse in proper working order for the guests, as well as making improvement renovations to guest rooms, and other parts of the building, to improve comfort, security and usefulness.
We see our mission here at the MPH Guesthouse as one of service to others who are serving Our Father’s will. We see all denominations working with one mission…to further the Kingdom of God in Congo. We want our guests to feel like they are in an oasis amidst the chaos of Kinshasa. Our desire is to provide a place where, after attending to God’s plan for them for the day, our guests can come back to running water, a hot shower, electricity, lights, fans, air conditioning and enjoy a cold Coke as they are catching up with their loved ones via the Internet. We would like those whom we are serving to enjoy a good breakfast as they begin their day and to look forward to an even better supper at the end of the day.
We do not know how long God will continue to call us to this mission. We will have been here four years in March 2014. We can see that there is still plenty of work for us to do. We also see, and hear, that we are making a great difference by the care and service that we provide to the 1000+ missionaries that pass through each year. We enjoy working with our Congolese staff, both training them and learning from them, and helping them to see that they are working for God’s Kingdom by doing their daily chores.
God has called us here for a season. We do our best, with His help. But we continue to need support from people like you, both financial and in prayer. Please consider supporting us, so that we can continue the work to which God has called us. Please see our “Support Us” page for more information.