Thursday, December 31, 2009



Praise the Lord with me because the very dry land of Turkana is finally getting rain! It is wonderful but it also can cause problems. Pray it comes in gentle, long rains instead of short pounding ones. That way the ground can soak up the rain and not flood everything.

I am in Eldoret (Kenya highlands) where I came for Christmas. I was to travel home tomorrow, but because of the rain, I am having to delay that return. The very bad road has a lot of vehicles stuck in the mud. I have also heard that two bridges/ riverbed crossings are washed out. So, passing through them will be difficult if not impossible for right now. Even so, I am so thankful for the rain! I can live with having my plans changed. You learn early in this missionary life (maybe in yours too) that you must be very flexible as God often changes your plans. There is less stress if you just learn to go with his plans and not worry about yours when they conflict!

This is my last post for the year. I hope everyone has a wonderful 2010! Blessings to you all!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The rest of the story...

Hello again!

"We got cows!" Does anyone remember what movie that was in? Well it was real life for me on Saturday. On my eight hour journey in, over, through, and sometimes around all the holes that make up the way to Eldoret, I managed to see quite a few animals on the road.

Towards the end of the journey, one of those cows and I had a close
encounter of the not so nice kind. PTL the cow wasn't hurt, I wasn't
hurt, nor was my truck hurt - well not much. It was raining and this
particular stretch of road was pretty good so I was going faster. The
cow was standing in the middle of the road. My teammates went around it with a little slipping. Another car went around it but scared it. So, it proceeded to jump one way and then the other and I couldn't get my truck to stop. The breaks were on, but we kept slipping. So, I slowed enough to just bump into the rear-end of the cow with my grill. It stuttered and then ran away - thankfully as I wasn't sure what would happen if I had to go over it! I kept thinking double mindedly - Stop! and Don't Stop! Thankfully the Cow knew I meant for it to keep moving. I am hoping that cow learned not to stand in the middle of the road anymore!

So, the rest of the story is that the Lord is good - blessed be the
name of the Lord!! I could have had cow in my face and lap, but
instead, the cow ran away. I had a bent fog light and a broken cover
for it. It has been bent back into shape and all is well. So, "we
have cows," but we also have God!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Last week


Last week was an eventful week. I was getting ready to travel down country for the holidays. So, all the busy work to get everything ready for that trip happened most days. I had to arrange for some proofreading of materials for literacy primers that we need to get reprinted. Then I had to get them back and make sure they were packed for the trip.

I held my employee Christmas party on Thursday. We had greens, ugali, and goat meat along with some chapatis. Chapatis are flat bread like tortillas only fried and thicker. The meal was really good and there was plenty for everyone. At the end of the meal, I gave out Christmas bonuses and their leave pay and regular pay. So, everyone went away with full bellies and full pockets. I also gave them enough food so they could have a very nice few days of feasts for Christmas. So, I think they were all pretty happy.

Thursday was also the day that I found out that my Mom was in the hospital. She was having problems with shortness of breath, a slow heart beat and dizziness. My brother and I might say "Mom is always dizzy," but really the other symptoms were pretty new. So, she ended up in the hospital until Saturday afternoon. They discovered that her new blood pressure medicine had reacted negatively with another medicine and had made her heart beat way too slowly. So, PTL, she is better and out of the hospital!

Friday I undecorated my house. I was leaving on Saturday for about three weeks and didn't want to leave it all out to get dusty while I was gone. So, that was a bit depressing. I had just decorated the Friday before :). Even so, it was good to have them out even for a short time. I spent the rest of the day packing and getting ready to leave for the holidays.

I will tell you about the trip down in my next post. Lets just say it was interesting. I hope all is well with all of you! blessings to you all as you celebrate the true reason for the season!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

frightening weather


Well, okay maybe not frightening but it goes with the song. It was 100 again today. Even so, I had the house decorated for Christmas and 13 kids in the house watching Christmas videos. It was a lot of fun. They probably didn't understand the English - at least the 5 littlest ones - but they enjoyed the opportunity to see the "cinema"as they call it.

They got to see "The Little Drummer Boy," "A Charlie Brown Christmas," "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and Veggie Tales "A Star of Christmas." It was fun to watch with them and see their reactions. They laughed the most at the camel that looked like a crocodile. That was in the Drummer Boy in case you forgot. Since they have both animals they thought it was pretty funny.

I treated them to lunch as well as videos. So, we enjoyed cabbage stew with onions, potatoes and carrots. They also had some ugali - that is corn meal boiled until it stiffens up. It is kind of like a very thick paste and is pretty tasteless. It is their main staple here and no meal is complete without it. So, they had that and I just had the stew since I haven't really developed a taste for the ugali.

I hope you are having special parties and enjoying the season. Celebrate his coming in the manger and in our hearts as our Savior!

Monday, November 30, 2009



Yesterday was the beginning of Advent. It was nice to be in a church in Nairobi that observes the Advent. We sang some nice Christmas / Advent songs with the heavy doctrinal words about the incarnation still in them. It was really cool to start thinking of Jesus' first coming and to think about his next coming. I hope you all have time in this busy season to focus on His Coming!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

It works!


My computer works now! It did not have a virus. There was a problem with the operating system. I probably had a corrupted download of a system update. The internet isn't as good here as in other parts of the world. So, I guess those fruity people can still make their claim about no viruses :).

I had Thanksgiving this week in Nairobi with friends and CMF family. It was a wonderful day and a delicious feast! Bryan and Diane Myers were in town for the week. They came from Colorado Springs. So, I came down to visit with them. They brought cranberry sauce - yum. It has been scarce in Nairobi since it is the time of year to eat it. Such is life here, so I was glad to see it at the feast.

While here, Bryan convinced me to sign up for facebook. So, I am now a facebooker. Just be aware that when I am in Turkana (which is most of the time), I probably won't be able to be very active since the internet isn't so great up there. It has been fun here in Nairobi though, so I guess it might be worth it.

I hope all is well with all of you! Have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What they don't tell you....

When I think of the things I didn't know when I signed up for this missionary life, I think it was a good thing. I might not have had the faith to do it! God knows what he is doing and so I am here. He gives me the strength to face each day and the mercy to stay, when many times I want to just leave it all and head home to a place that really isn't home anymore - but seems better than the home I have here at the time. I am thankful for that daily mercy!
Yesterday I hired a new guard. His name is Moses Kakalei. A few weeks ago he came to me at church and asked for work. I told him I was sorry, but I didn't have any work right now. He is an IDP. That is a new set of letters for me since 2008. It means an internally displaced person. He used to live down country (anywhere south of Lodwar). He used to have a small plot of land and a home. He grew tea leaves and sold them to be mixed with other tea leaves to make one of the best teas (I think) in the world (Kenya tea - of course). He used to work as a guard for the tea company. He had a decent life. Then, the election of 2007 happened and his world fell apart in early 2008. He was chased from his home and became a refugee in his own country. He was "sent" to Lodwar because he is a Turkana. "The Turkana people should live in Turkana district not down country in other tribes' lands" - so the people said. Luckily, he didn't lose his physical life, but he lost his life - his way of life and his livelihood. So, when I needed a new guard, I thought of the men in our local church who needed work. I asked others for advice. I asked him to come talk to me and then I offered him the job.
Whoever thinks that a missionary is an employer who must hire and fire employees? I certainly didn't when I first thought of being a missionary. I have always been an employee. I know how to do that. Here, I am an employer and I have learned some about how to do that. I fired a guard on Monday. Adam worked for me for almost five years. He has a wife and two small children - one of whom is named after me. I am not sure I can say he was a friend (in the way we think of friendship), but I cared for him and his family. I helped him buy land. I helped him with money so he could build a house of sticks, mud and palm leaves on his land. I fed him sometimes when he was at work and celebrated holidays with him and other employees. I got to know him a little bit in the almost five years he worked for me. I liked him. I trusted him. Then, he stole from me when I was at church. It breaks my heart, but I had to fire him. It doesn't make sense. He stole a little more than his month's salary. He could have taken more, but he didn't. For one month's pay, he lost his continuing livelihood. He admitted it, but never said why. I guess I have to be happy with that and the fact that God knows.
So, now I had work for my fellow worshiper. I am glad for that. I am sad that I had to fire someone I trusted and liked. I didn't sign up to fire people (or to hire them either). Sometimes, we end up doing things we don't expect. God is good. He gives us the mercy and the strength to do the things we need to do on the days we need to do them. So, I fired Adam. I hired Moses. I have four guards and three of them are now named Moses. Hmm, I wonder what that is all about! :). I am only calling one Moses. The other two are being called by their Turkana names. Either one works for them, so the one who is Moses to me has worked for me since I moved to Lodwar. I think it would be really hard for me to call him by his Turkana name, because I have always called him Moses. So, the others are Longok (Low-Ngok), Kakalei (Kah-Kah-Lay) and Simon. Please pray for these men. Pray also for Adam and his family in this new situation of life in which they find themselves.
I might not have signed up for it, but it is done. Now I just have to try to be a good employer. I hope I don't have to fire anyone again, but I have had to in the past and I might have to in the future. Thank the Lord for his mercy and strength!
Blessed be the name of the Lord!!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

4th annual graduation

Yep, that is right. We held the fourth annual Turkana Bible Training Institute graduation last Saturday. The day was full of bright colors! Lime green, lemon yellow and orange orange :). There were also some Christmas greens, reds, purples and silver. The only thing lacking was the traditional graduation day rain!!! For all of the first three graduations, we had rain. This time, when we need it the most, there was no rain - just sun and dust. We had a bit of a dust storm during part of the ceremony. It is a bit hard to concentrate on what is being said when you are trying to keep dust and dirt out of your mouth and eyes. Even so, all went well.
There were about 5 chiors present to sing for the graduates and those who came to see them. My English class was one of them. We sang two songs in English and one in Turkana. I also sang with my teammate, Melba, with the Lodwar ladies' (and some men) chior. When the ceremony was over, there was a small feast for all the people who came. Everyone had a good time roaming around glad handing the graduates and a few even had some small gifts for them. The graduates were quickly garlanded in Christmas garlands. This is a tradition in Kenya. Their school year runs from January to the end of November. So, Christmas garlands are given to the graduates to signify their accomplishment. It makes things colorful after the ceremony!
Please pray for these men and women who graduated. Pray that they would use the things they learned to be better leaders for their churches. Pray they will find ways to incorporate what they have learned into their own teaching. Pray they stay committed to leading Christ's church here in Turkana. They are young, but ready and able to serve the Lord and his church!
More news in the next post! blessings!!!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Computer woes

Well, it seems that my computer has some kind of virus or worm or something. It is not currently cooperating with me. So, I am writing this on an old laptop and hoping that my newer one will be fixed sometime in the near future. The problem with living literaly in the middle of nowhere is that there usually isn't a comperter technician anywhere close by. So, I am planning on heading to Nairobi early next week or maybe towards the end of this week if I can get things done here early. Then I will take my computer someplace and see if they can fix it.
Please pray that I don't loose too much information! I did back my computer up in mid-September. I know I should do it more often, but that just fills up the back-up faster and I am a long way from the nearest best buy or computer city to get a new one. So, I do it every couple of months. So, there you have it. Keep your prayers coming for rain too.
I will try to update you tomorrow on the graduation and other events in the last few days. The computer problems were just one more straw on the proverbial camel's back. Thankfully, God is good and he is helping me have some humor in this. The computer that I was told wouldn't get a virus has something (those apple salespeople should be proud I bought their line), but at least I have another option for something to use until I can try to get it fixed. An old PC. Gasp! Don't tell the fruity people!
Have a good day!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


      I thought I would let you know about the last English class that I taught last week.  It went well.  I did not end up using the computer/ movie ESL program.  I will try it out in January.  I did order the mp3 players that will have the NIV New Testament on it in English.  So, my students will be able to listen to good English.  Now I just need to get them some NIV New Testaments so that they can follow along as they listen.  I am looking forward to seeing how and if these will help them.
      The students enjoyed learning about food items.  They told me what they wanted to learn how to say to the shop people in town.  So, this really was orchestrated a bit by them this time.  They wanted to learn how to ask where the produce came from.  Was it grown by the shop person or bought from somewhere in the south and shipped to Turkana.  I thought that was a pretty good question and not one I would think to ask.  I just assume it all comes from down south somewhere.  They enjoyed the visit to town, but said that since they were not really buying anything that the clerks didn't want to talk with them very much.  So, it still has its challenges.
      Our Bible training institute has its annual graduation this week.  We will have eleven students graduate.  I will be printing up the diplomas tomorrow.  I also have the honor of handing them the diplomas after their names are called at the ceremony on Saturday.  Woohoo!  Really, it probably means that I get to get sunburned, as I will probably have to stand in the sun to do it.  I will wear a hat and sunscreen I guess.  It just makes me so much hotter!  Oh, well, I do want to save my skin the pain of a burn, so I guess I will live with the extra heat.  
      Some of my English students have stayed in town for the graduation.  So, I am speaking with them and encouraging them to practice their english while they are in town.  A couple of them are staying with an English speaker in town and he is having his 6th grade son talk with them everyday in English.  He says if they are going to stay at his house, they need to put in the practice time every day.  I like this guy! :)
       What about all of you?  What are you up to lately?  Send me an e-mail and fill me in.  Also, can anyone tell me what happened to the Broncos?  Their early record looked good, but the scores of the last two games don't look so good.  I only see the scores, so what happened?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


      Your prayers are working :). I have had an internet connection for the last 4 days. That is really great news. I have been trying to catch up with my e-mails and now I am going to post a few updates for you.
      Women's course - the teaching that I had to do last week went very well. There were about 30 people present. About five men snuck into the gathering, so it wasn't all women. Anyway, the women seemed to enjoy the teaching on how much they are loved by our great God. I also encouraged them to overcome their fear of doing things in the church based on the knowledge of that love. They seemed encouraged and asked me to return sometime to teach again. So, I guess that means it went well.  I was really nervous about this teaching, but God is good and he helped me figure out what to teach.  I was reminded how dependent we all are on God's guidance for our everyday lives - even if we don't acknowledge it. 
      English class - My class is going well.  We met at the beginning of this month for the seventh time.  The students still need more time to practice their English skills and to hear good English spoken.  I teach again next week.  We will be learning some food words this month.  I will also be reviewing what they have learned this year.  This will be the last class of the year as there is no class in December.  I will be trying to use a movie based ESL program for the first time this month.  There is a movie that tells the story of Jesus in simple English and has some exercises to help the students understand the words.  This may be a bit too advanced for my students, but I am going to see how they do.  I have to adapt many parts of it as it is designed to be used with several computers.  I am going to see if it will work.  I'll let you know how it goes.
      I am also looking into getting some small solar powered mp3 players that they could use at home.  It would have the Bible in English.  It is too expensive to get the machine to give a new text each month of the current lesson.  Even so, I think these little players will help them to speak English better if they use them to practice speaking.  It might also help them with memorizing English verses.  They have problems because they cannot remember how to pronounce all the words.  They are an aural culture, so have really good memories if they know the words or at least the sounds.  These players are a bit expensive, but I think they will be really helpful to my students.  I am hoping to have them sometime early next year.  So, if I get them I will keep you updated on how well they are working.
      TBTI - We will be having our Turkana Bible Training Institute's 4th annual graduation on November 14th.  I am helping a bit with the logistics of making sure this goes smoothly.  We will have about twelve students graduating this year.  Pray for these students.  Pray that they would be good leaders in their churches and be able to use wisely the things they have learned.  Pray also for the leaders who will be choosing the next group of students to come for training.  Pray that they find solid young men and women who desire to serve God and his church!
      RAIN - Keep praying for rain!  We had a few sprinkles today.  I had to use the wipers on my windshield as I went to town.  Only twice, but that qualifies as a sprinkle.  We really need some good rain for this parched land!
      I guess that is all for now.  Have a great rest of the week!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Sorry it has been so long since I posted! My internet
connection has been more off than on this month. So, I am typing this
in hoping I can stay connected long enough for it to post. Please
pray for me this evening. I will be teaching at a women's course. I
know more about Turkana men because that is usually who I teach. So,
pray that I will say what needs to be said to these women about God's
love for them and how they can grow as Christians.
RAIN! We have had two small rain showers since Oct 9th.
Please continue to pray for good rain!
MZee - please keep praying for this boy. He is off the
medicine, but the fungal infection is still there. It is much smaller
than when he first started but it is not completely gone. So, pray
that his body will complete the healing. If it gets worse, we will
have to find a doctor to treat him in Nairobi and that can get pretty
expensive. He was on some very strong anti-fungal medicine and the
doctor in Eldoret doesn't know what else to try. So, pray that the
great physician can heal his body here in Turkana!
I hope all is well with all of you! Thanks for being faithful
in checking to see if I have posted anything. Sorry it has been so
long. Keep my internet server in your prayers. It is a real bummer
to be without internet for a week or two at a time!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Novel quote

       I like to read science fiction and fantasy.  I recently read something in a book by Terry Pratchet.  His character, Granny Weatherwax, has some comments on religion and faith that she makes to a priest of religion that had an inquisitorial nature in the past.  I thought they were pretty interesting words, so I will share them with you.  Let me know what you think :).
       "You say that you people don't burn folk and sacrifice people anymore, but that's what true faith would mean, Y'see?  Sacrificin' your own life, one day at a time, to the flame, declaring the truth of it, working for it, breathin' the soul of it.  That's religion.  Anything else is just ... is just bein' nice and a way of keepin' in touch with the neighbors. (...)  Don't chase faith, 'cos you'll never catch it.  But, perhaps you can live faithfully."  Carpe Jugulum Pg. 349 
       I hope you had a great Sunday and were able to worship the Lord with a glad and sincere heart!  Keep praying for rain for Turkana!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Culture Clash

       I returned this week to Lodwar. I had several good meetings in Nairobi, but I am glad they are over and I am home. When I returned I found out that someone in the neighborhood behind mine had died. How did I find this out? It seems that when someone dies in town, the grieving family must not sleep for several nights. I don't exactly know why this is, but it is what happens. They must play loud, fairly obnoxious music all night long. It gets much louder after about 10 pm and goes on the rest of the night. So, I knew someone had died. 
       I do not know who it was, but the family is grieving according to their customs here in Lodwar. The music is loud and played over a loud speaker so all can hear. I am told this is so that if people are coming for the funeral, they will know where to come to.  It is true that many people here travel at night because it is cooler.  This is especially true if the moon is bright so they can see a bit better.  Even so, I have to say it is a bit annoying.  I find myself trying to go to sleep to the heavy beat of drums.  If I were in the States, I might call the police and complain about them disturbing the peace.  Here, it is just part of the way things are.  This seems to be a recent development.  I think they probably did it before, they just didn't have many loud speakers around to make the sound travel so far.  So, I fall asleep hearing the beat and praying that the family will find peace in the one true God who can raise their dead to real life.  I must confess, I also pray for better earplugs :).
       Please continue to pray for rain!  It has been very hot and dusty lately.  My old knee injury has been twinging the last few days.  I hope and pray that means there will be a change in the weather that includes rain.  You never really know with this knee.  It could mean a bigger dust storm is coming.  At any rate, keep praying for the rain to come and water this thirsty land!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


      I am sorry that it has been a while since I have written.  My internet provider has not been reliable.  I hope you were able to check out the link about the drought in Kenya.
      This past week I taught the Church history class for our Bible training institute.  A visitor was going to teach it, but she had to cancel a few days before the class.  So, I ended up teaching it.  It was fun but a challenge to get up to date again on all those people and what they taught.  If it was a challenge for me, think of what it might be like for people who have never studied any history - let alone church history.  The students did well in spite of the challenge and we had a good week.
      CHOLERA UPDATE - There is still cholera in Turkana, but they have treated the water in the area where it is the worst.  The number of cases is going down because they are no longer selling fish in the area.  So, that is hopefully good news!  Keep praying for those that are still fighting this deadly illness and thanks for your prayers!
      MZEE UPDATE - He and his dad went back to see the doctor.  He is much improved, but the doctor said that it should be cleared up by now.  So, he is doing another week of treatment and will check to see if it looks like the area will be closed up and healed.  If it is not, then he may have to go to Nairobi to see a doctor there as this doctor isn't sure what other medicine to try.  So, keep this young boy in your prayers!
      RAIN - KEEP PRAYING!  We really need rain in Kenya.  Please remember to lift this up to the throne of grace!
      Thanks for your patience in waiting for me to get something sent.  I am currently in Nairobi so my internet access is much better while I am here.  I have several days of team meetings and then I will return to Turkana on Tuesday.  I hope all is well with you all!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Turkana in the news

If you are reading this blog, probably you have pretty reliable internet service. Right now, my own internet service is hit and miss, so I've asked my dad to post this blog for me. Friends have notified me that there is an article and video on the NYT (New York Times) website, that details the current drought situation here in Kenya, particularly in the Turkana area where I live and work. Here is the link:

Thank you for keeping Kenya and me in your prayers.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Cholera & water concerns

      Please pray for the people of Turkana.  Right now, there are two areas that have cholera.  One is a place connected to lake Turkana.  Because of the drought, this area of water is no longer connected to the lake because the water has receded.  It is called Ferguson's Gulf.  There is about a meter and a half of water in this area and it is believed that there is cholera in this water.  The people are catching fish and eating them and then getting sick.  The other area is similar.  On Friday, there were about 50 people in the government hospital in Lodwar.  5 people had died.  The hospital is running out of IV fluids and I am told that there is no money for more.  They will probably figure out a way to get some here or an aid organization will help get them here before they run out. 
      One of the big problems is the fact that there has really been no response from the capitol except to send a research team to make a report.  No aid is being sent to try to figure out what to do about the contaminated water sources.  So, please pray for wisdom here in Turkana and in the capitol so that this does not become a full fledged crisis.  So far there have been no cases from here in Lodwar, but the people here do buy fish that is caught in Lake Turkana.  So, it is possible for the contaminated fish to make its way here.  So, pray that a solution is found quickly. 
      Another area of concern is water.  The drought is pretty bad here.  Water holes and hand dug wells even in river beds are drying up.  People are walking for several hours to find water holes that have not dried up.  Some of the water holes that they find are 6 or 7 people deep.  They are hand dug so they can collapse fairly easily if they are not shored up well.  People are desperate for water for themselves and their animals.  So, pray that rain will come soon!
      All is not doom and gloom here, but these are serious needs and I wanted to get folks praying.  Thanks for reading this and please share this prayer concern with others!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mzee update #2

      Great news for Mzee.  He and his father traveled back down to visit the doctor on Monday.  The treatment is working.  So, he got some more medicine and will be back in good health very soon.  Thank you all for your prayers for this boy.  It would have been so hard if he had cancer.  This is a wonderful reason to praise the Lord!
      I hope all is well in your part of the world.  My English class is going well.  We will learn about the bedroom and the bathroom tomorrow.  I spent four hours tonight grading homework.  Most of the students were able to complete the homework correctly, so that is good!
      Have a great rest of the week!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Macs and booklets

      This week I have been working on making a small 8 page booklet for my English class on things in a house.  That doesn't sound too difficult, but I found that it was harder than I thought.  
      When I was on furlough this last time, I was encouraged to purchase a mac instead of a PC.  I haven't had any problems with this switch until I found out that you can't get publisher for macs.  You can get other microsoft office products and they work great on macs.  You just can't get publisher.  So, when I first got it, I had to figure out how to save my certificates, tests and other publisher files so I could still access them.  They are all now saved as jpeg files.  I am not all that great with a computer, so someone had to help me do that.  Those files can not be changed or updated so the tests and certificates have to stay the same from now on or I have to figure out some other way to do them.
      Now we come to the booklet.  I tried to do it in word for macs.  I just couldn't get the pictures to go where I wanted them or get the page to look right.  So, I went to a local copy place and asked them to help me.  They said they could do it and do it in word so I could have a copy.  Alas,that was not the case.  They resorted to doing it in publisher on their PC.  So, now I have the booklet.  It looks nice, but I don't have a way to store it for the future on my computer because it is in publisher instead of word.
      Okay, I really am not a computer expert :).  I am sure there has to be a program out there for macs that does the same thing as publisher does for PCs.  I just don't know what it is.  So, if anyone reading this blog has an idea, I would be ever so grateful to hear it!!!!!
       Did I mention that it took me three days to write the rhyming little booklet and to get some pictures drawn for it.  They said they would have it done for me with copies by 3 this afternoon.  When I went to get them, they weren't finished.  I stayed there and worked with them until 6:15 this evening.  We have the pages done.  I will have to pick up the copies on Monday.  Things do take much longer here!  It is just 4 pages front and back.
      Okay, enough about that.  I am glad it is done!  The news about Kenya has reached at least one paper in the U.S.  If you want to read it go to   This drought could be a serious problem.  So, please keep Kenya in your thoughts and prayers!!
      Thanks for reading!  Let me know you are as I often think I am writing to the air.  Feedback is nice every now and then.  Have a great weekend! 

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pray for rain!

      I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the power rationing in Kenya.  That is because there has been no rain here.  I also mentioned that it is effecting people too in that they are hungry because there hasn't been rain for their crops.  That is only getting worse.  If you want to read about it look at  
      Anyway, I just want to encourage you again to pray for rain for Kenya.  Turkana did not get the normal rains and people are hungry here too.  Some of the relief agencies are coming here to measure children and decide when - not if, but when - they will begin distributing relief food.
      Our God is the only one who can break this drought.  He is also the only one who can clean up the problems in this country.  So, pray for rain and pray for him to work in the hearts and minds of the leaders of Kenya!  Thanks for reading and praying! 

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A free tip :)

      When I first came to Kenya, I ended up with two sets of the same plastic kitchen utensils.  I don't know why, but the extras have come in handy.  I still have them all.  Sometimes you need two narrow spatulas or two slotted spoons.  So, I haven't bemoaned the fact that I had two.  There was only one item that I have had problems figuring out what to do with the second utensil.
      You can only really use one spaghetti "spork" utensil at a time.  It is kind of like a slotted spoon only it has teeth on the outer edges.  They help you get spaghetti out of a common serving bowl onto your plate.  I recently found a use for the spare spaghetti spork.  It makes a great back scratcher!
      So, there is your free tip for the day.  I hope it helps you not have itchy backs!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mzee update

Hello everyone!
       I thought I would share some good news with you. Mzee went down to Eldoret and visited the doctor there.   When my teammate talked to him on the phone and described the problem, he thought it was probably cancer just like our nurse.  When he examined Mzee, he decided that it is more likely a fungal infection along with a viral infection.  He did some lab tests and then he gave them the medicines to treat it for two weeks and asked them to return so he can make sure that is what it is.
      So, Mzee and his dad came back to Turkana.  They will return in a couple of weeks.  If he is getting better, then that is the end of the story.  If he isn't, then the doctor will do a biopsy to make sure it isn't cancer.  So, the news is really good!  Thanks for your prayers!  Please keep praying that the medicines will help knock out these infections and that he will be better when he has to return to the doctor.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


      I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful day of praising the Lord!  I have just returned to Turkana and was glad to be able to worship in my local church this morning.  I only understand about 1/2 to 3/4 of what is said during a service, but I know I am joined together with people who love and worship the Lord.  It is good to be able to say amen with brothers and sisters even when I don't understand all that is said.
       This morning there was a young boy - about 12 years old - that we prayed for at the end of the service.  I would like to invite my readers to also pray for him and for his family.  His name is Mzee (old man).  His father brought him to my teammates.  He has an open sore that looks like a spider web.  It starts on his back and comes around his left side to his chest and nipple.  Our nurse thinks it is cancer.  He and his father are traveling tonight on the night bus to Eldoret.  We are sending him to a doctor there who will evaluate him and send him on for a biopsy if he thinks that is what it is.  So, please pray for this young man.  Pray for healing and for our wisdom as we try to help him and his family.  
      We prayed for him this morning at the end of the church service.  There were two prayers in Turkana.  They were very traditional.  They called on the great physician to cast out all evil and any bad health from the boy.  They cast out sickness and invited the spirit to work in his body.  Then we ended with a prayer from a very devout Turkana woman.  She is one of the ladies displaced during the violence of last year's elections.  She prayed in Swahili.  I don't understand any of that language, but I know she was also praying for wisdom, healing and peace for the boy.
       Thanks for reading my ramblings!  Please lift up Mzee today and tomorrow to the throne of grace!  Give thanks that we are all part of the body of Christ and one day will worship together in many different languages.  We may not understand the words, but we will understand the heart and soul!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Thoughtful quote

      While on vacation I did a "bit of light reading" as a Harry Potter character might say. I read some of Bernard of Clairvaux' On Loving God.  He had some interesting things to say and I want to include a quote here.  So, here goes;
       "If a man finds it a burden, I will not say only to relieve his brother's needs, but to minister to his brother's pleasures, let him mortify those same affections in himself, lest he become a transgressor.  He may cherish himself as tenderly as he chooses, if only he remembers to show the same indulgence to his neighbor. ... That is a temperate and righteous love which practices self-denial in order to minister to a brother's necessity.  So, our selfish love grows truly social, when it includes our neighbor in its circle."
      I thought these words quite challenging.  What a way to curb my own selfishness.  If what I allow to myself I also must give to others.  It bears thinking about - that if I should love my neighbor as myself, then I should seek to minister to what gives my neighbor pleasure - not just his or her need.  This doesn't mean that I must necessarily love myself less.  It means that I must love others more so that my life is more in line with the second greatest commandment.
      What are your thoughts on the matter?

Thursday, July 30, 2009


      This evening I am in Eldoret. I arrived here yesterday.   I will run some errands, work on my next ESL class, fix some things at the house and pay some of the bills here.  So, I will be here a few days getting all this done.  I arrived just in time for power rationing.  
       There has been a drought in Kenya for a while now.  So, they are rationing power in Eldoret.  Most of the power comes from hydro- electric sources.  Since there hasn't been much rain, there is less power.  So, we are rationed.  When are we without power?  At night when you need light.  So, this evening, my computer is charged up and running on battery power.  It provides me with a bit of light and I can write.  My room is lit with candle power.  It is kind of like stepping back in time - except for the computer :).
      Why am I telling you this?  I want to remind you to pray for rain for all of Kenya and for Turkana in particular.  We don't get a lot of rain, but even the normal rains haven't come.  So, people and animals are getting thin and desperate.  This is happening all over Kenya even though some parts have gotten rain.  So, please keep Kenya in your thoughts and prayers.  Only our God - the true power source - can bring rain to this parched land! 
       Thanks for your continued interest in the work here! 

Monday, July 20, 2009


      I am on vacation this week.  I have come to the beautiful coast of Kenya for a few days of rest, relaxation and reflection.  I came on Friday and have been enjoying the view of the ocean.  It has been rainy and cold, so there hasn't been a lot of swimming, but there has been plenty of rest.  So, I cannot complain too much :).
      There is a retreat that started today for all Christian church/ church of Christ missionaries in Africa.  So, we have gathered together to chat about our work, share resources and ideas, pray together, and relax together.  I have gotten to see an old friend from my college days.  Tammy and her husband, Brad, are missionaries in Tanzania with Pioneer Bible Translators.  So, it will be nice to catch up with her and to meet some new folks.
      I have also had an opportunity to use the internet a bit more here.  That means I have been looking for some resources for helping with my next ESL class.  I want to begin bringing in more Bible verses to the lesson and am looking for some free resources to help with that.  So, if anyone has ideas, be sure to let me know!  I will teach the next class towards the end of August.  There are some words and concepts that will be completely new to the Turkana.  They have never seen elevators or apartment buildings.  They don't have kitchen sinks nor do they have plumbing.  The unit is on typical homes but there are no huts.  So, I will have to expand the lesson a bit and try to help them understand some of these things without being able to show them.  So, keep that in your prayers as I try to find things that will be similar and help them to imagine what they have never seen.  I can bring them to my house and show them some things.  So, we will probably do a field trip there one day.
      I will keep you updated on my progress!  Blessings to you all!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Please Pray!

Please pray for Lodwar. Some things have happened recently that
have gotten people upset with another tribe of people who are living
in town. Things are a bit tense right now in the town. There is no
danger to me, but there needs to be a bit of peace prayed over this
place so that calm heads can sort things out for everyone.
      As for me, this is the beginning of my fifth week long English
class. Please pray for my students and me this week. I am
introducing grammar and sentence structure this week. They have been using it, I just haven't pointed it out to them yet. So, pray for my wisdom and that I don't confuse them, but that I help them as they try to sort out word order. Turkana has a very different word order.
      They are also learning about some emotions this week and we are holding an all class birthday party so they can see what a B-day party is like. They will each get a couple of small gifts (pencil, eraser, fabric bracelet, pencil sharpener, etc...) and I will be making a cake. There will be a couple of candles too. That will be fun to see 15 people trying to blow out two candles :).
      Have a good week and thanks for praying!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

This month

      Well, this month has seemed to fly by and I have not been so good about updating my blog.  So, I will try to do so in one big one.  Sorry about that!
      I started the month with a visit from seven people from Blue Springs Christian Church in Missouri.  That was a wonderful visit.  They helped me teach my fourth ESL week of class.  The students loved having extra people to practice with and I think the visitors had a fun time in class too.  They also held a two day VBS for the church here in Lodwar.  The kids loved the extra attention and they especially enjoyed blowing train whistles that the group brought for them.  These folks also painted the inside of our church building.  It looks wonderful - so fresh and bright!  What a blessing they were to the Turkana people!!!
     They were here for a week.  It was a wonderful time of encouragement and refreshment for me and the Turkana folks.  I was able to meet them again after they left Turkana before they headed back to the States.  They went on a safari and then I met them in Nairobi.  It was nice to hear all the fun they had on Safari and hear their thoughts on how the trip went!
     The two weeks since the group left have been spent getting my house back in order and catching up on regular, mundane type work.  So, not a lot of interesting things - just fixing messed up plumbing and a few such things like that.  
      I have been enjoying the ladies choir that sings at our church on Sundays.  They just started recently.  They are the ladies that get together for Bible Study on Fridays each week.  They just decided that they wanted to form a choir too.  So, they practice a few songs after Bible study and then sing wonderfully on Sundays.  I love hearing the Turkana songs that tell Bible stories and they have been singing several of them lately.  
      So, that is about it for now.  I will try to be more regular next month!  I hope all is well with you!
      Blessings to you in the Lord!  

Sunday, June 28, 2009

5 things I love about Kenya

I recently visited another blog and saw the person had been tagged and asked to list the five things she loved about the country she was called to minister to. So, I decided to do the same here. I hope you enjoy the list.
5 things I love about Kenya.
1) The abundance of flowers in the lush highlands
2) The arid beauty of the desert with its browns, old greens and purple black lava rock mountains
3) The faces of people chiseled by a hard life, but full of joy in the Lord
4) The slow pace of life centered around relationships
5) The way I have learned that "home" can be found in the most unexpected of places far from what is familiar and yet so close to the heart.

Sorry I seem to have taken a couple of weeks off. I will try to make up for the missed entries :}
blessings for now! Lynn

Thursday, May 28, 2009


      I had to get the annual inspection done on my truck this week.  For this inspection, I have to have the front bumper bull bar and metal runners removed.  The bumper is fine, but it is connected to a metal bull bar that protects my lights and radiator and such from damage if I hit an animal or a tree or something as I am driving in the bush.  The metal bull bars on all vehicles were outlawed in all cities in Kenya a few years ago.  So, for the inspection you can't have them on your vehicle.  I can have it in Turkana because it is considered rural and therefore you need it.  So far, you can drive them in the cities if you live in a rural area, but you can't have them on for inspection.  Go figure!
      Anyway, I had to have that removed.  My bull bar is also connected to the runner, so those had to come off as well.  I went for inspection after paying my advance tax for the privilege of having the inspection.  I passed but was told that I must put front reflectors on my bumper.  So, I took the truck back to the mechanic who then put the reflectors on and replaced the bull bar and runners.  Such a silly thing to have to do, but I do value having a little extra protection for my truck, so I keep the bull bar.
      As for the battery problems, they were fixed but I had to get it charged for 8 hours on Monday.  I purchased it Saturday and they charged it for half an hour.  It started my truck then, but on Sunday I had problems getting it to start again.  So, on Monday I had to have a loaner battery for the inspection while my new battery was being charged again.  Hopefully that will be the end of that problem!
       I have come to Nairobi for the rest of the week.  I plan on attending a high school graduation.  Three CMF kids are graduating this year.  I will also be grocery shopping for the next few months.  If I have time, I might go see a movie.  I will have to see what is showing :).  I will be heading back to Eldoret on Monday and then on to Turkana on Wednesday.  So, keep those prayers coming for safety in my travels.  Traffic here is terrible.  Many drivers bribed someone to get a license, so you can imagine the kind of driving we see.  Prayer is really good!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Travel day

       I spent today traveling to Eldoret.  That is normally a grueling day filled with bouncing around and trying to keep my truck all in one piece.  Today it was more of the same.  All was going well until I stopped for lunch.  After a lunch of sandwich and chips I got into the truck to do the rest of the trip.  Only problem was that it wouldn't start.  I checked all I know to check and it still wouldn't start.  I happened to be on a very steep hill.  So, I had to let the truck roll backwards down the hill and jump it to get it going.  After that, I was afraid to turn the truck off until I got to Eldoret where I could get it looked at.
      I arrived in Eldoret around 4:15.  I went right to the garage instead of unloading at the house first.  It still took until 6 to get it working.  The mechanic decided it was the battery.  It started fine that morning, so I was sure it would be my starter or the alternator.  He assures me that those are both fine.  I had to wait 30 minutes for them to charge the battery once we got it and it didn't start the truck.  Once it was charged, I was good to go the last 5 minutes of the trip.
      Needless to say, I am pretty tired and sore from the trip.  Please pray that all goes well on Monday.  I have to take the truck to get it cleaned up, checked out and then inspected by the local authorities.  Pray that I can get it all done on Monday.  I hope to head to Nairobi on Tuesday so I can be there for the high school graduation of some of our CMF kids.  I'll be doing a bit of grocery shopping and re-supplying and then I will head back to Turkana around the first.  So, thanks for your prayers and keep them coming!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Events of the week

I thought I would give a short list of the things that happened
this week.
1) A tree fell on my fence again! The same workers at the same
neighbor's house still can't get it right. Less damage this time, but
still a bit frustrating.

2) Third ESL class week- It went well. The students learned to
describe people. They also learned the song "Those bones, those
bones, those dry bones..."

3) RAIN!!!!! It rained monday night and again on Tuesday when I was
trying to teach the aforementioned song. I waited until the next day
as hearing is hard when rain is pounding on a tin roof. It rained a
little bit today too. That is so good for this dry land. Keep
praying for more rain as we really need a good soaking!!

All in all it was an interesting and good week. I am tired from
the teaching, but encouraged by the progress. Have a great week!

Monday, May 4, 2009

What wins?

       I recently watched a fight that I didn't know was coming.  One minute I was calmly preparing my dinner and listening to the radio when I heard a loud crash.  I looked out the window and saw the fight was over, before I was even aware it had begun.  What am I talking about?
       Well, I had a very large tree fall on my fence.  My fence is a pretty strong one, but the tree won the fight hands down.  My neighbors on the other side of the road decided that they wanted to make their entry gate wider.  There was a tree in the way, though, so they had someone come and work on chopping it down.  Most people would look at a really tall tree and think, "Hum, if I chop that down it is going to fall a long way."  Evidently, they didn't.  So, they chopped the tree from near the bottom of the trunk instead of climbing up and topping it first.  So, when it came down, it fell across the road and onto my fence.  Needless to say, the fence didn't fare so well.
        I spent a good part of three days having my fence worked on by one of my guards.  He took out the three posts that were damaged and cemented in new ones.  Then, once the cement dried, he pulled the fence back up to its regular height.  He also had to reconnect the two broken strands of barbed wire that run above the fence.  The tree won, but the fence is restored and ready for another fight.  Maybe next time, it will win : > ).
        Just another typical crazy day in Turkana.  Please keep praying for rain!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Death is not the final chapter!

I heard today that a very dear friend died this morning. I
hate goodbyes! I am so looking forward to heaven when we will no
longer have to say it. My friend is there now - having a great
reunion with her loved ones who have gone before. We serve a risen
savior! There is hope and it is not a vain hope. It is sure. So, I
say around my tears, death is not the end!!! It is the beginning.
And so, my friend, De Colores and have a great reunion!
Please pray for my friend's family. They know the truth, but
the pain is still there in the parting.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

One of those days!

       Today was one of those days. I woke up and went to fix my
breakfast. I found that I had no water coming through the tap. There
was no water from the town. That is usually no problem. I just go
open the valve to my water tank and the water comes down the pipe into my house. Gravity does wonders when the tank is above the house :- ). I went to do just that, but it didn't work. The valve was messed up and stuck closed. So, I needed to get it worked on.
       The fundi (skilled workman - in this case a carpenter, but he also knows some plumbing) came to help me. He stopped up the pipe in the bottom of the tank with a plastic grocery bag. Then he took the pipes apart and prepared to replace the valve. A little water came
out of the pipe from the tank, but not as much as the full tank would lead you to believe. So, the plastic bag worked. The replacement valve, however, was bigger than the old one. So, I had to find a pipe cutter and get the pipe rethreaded. We got all that done and I had
water in my house by noon. I was so happy! I could now cook some
lunch and get some other house work done.
       In the afternoon, I decided to help one of my workers by taking six
five gallon water jugs to her house in my truck. I heard a noise in
the front wheel when I left, but thought it just needed a little
grease. On my way home (a 5 minute drive over a pot-holed road), I
went over the last of three speed bumps on the main road and heard a
very loud something break. It was the wheel. I turned the truck onto
a less busy road stopped it and got out to look at my front wheel.
The wheel was not straight from top to bottom. The bottom was
sticking out away from the truck. It was not messed up lugs or loose
lug nuts. This gets technical and I don't know all the right words.
So, suffice it to say, it was broken. I was afraid to drive it that
way, but didn't take my cell phone with me. It was only going to be a
short trip after all.
      So, I locked the truck and started walking. I was only a
little ways away from the truck when another CMF truck came towards me. I flagged them down. It was some guys who work for my teammate, Gene Morden. So, they called Gene and he came to see if he could help in about 10 minutes. He looked at it and agreed with me that I
shouldn't drive it. So, we went and got a mechanic from town. He
came to look at it. He and Gene worked on it for about an hour. They
jacked the truck up and wedged a piece of wood under the broken part.  That held it up a little more, but the tire was still crooked.
      The mechanic was going to drive it to town like that. He
couldn't make any right turns. So, it was interesting following him.
At one point, Gene decided to ride with him. Only thing is, he wanted
to stop traffic on the main road if he needed to and to direct the
mechanic on his driving. So, he stood on the runner, holding on to
the roof rack and leaning down to talk with the mechanic every once in a while. (This was one of those moments when I wish I had my camera!) Gene got a phone call while he was doing this daring stunt.  So, he talked on the phone while standing on the runner and holding on with his other hand to the roof rack. We eventually made it to the mechanic's shop. Gene decided to get inside the truck before we got to the bridge into town.
       So, I left my truck at the mechanics. I will have to get a new
part and that may take some time. So, I will be without a truck for a
while. The good news is that we were able to get it to the
mechanics. He was willing to come make a road-side "truck-call" and
it was after five in the afternoon. The part was probably cracked on
the incredibly bad roads I drive on here. I did look before it was
completely broken but couldn't see the crack. The speed bump just
hastened the breaking process. So, hopefully, my truck will be fixed
sometime in the next week or so.
       It was just one of those days. Things go wrong. Even so, things go
right too. The fundi did fix the water. The made up stopper of a
grocery bag kept me from loosing all that water on the ground. I
didn't make the problem on the truck worse by driving on it broken. I
even got to smile as I followed behind my slow truck watching Gene
riding outside and talking on the phone.
I hope your day was better! Thanks for praying!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Prayer requests!

       Please pray for me and my teammates, Gene and Melba Morden.  We will be meeting with the District council of the Community Christian Churches this Saturday.  They are trying to discover how they fit with us CMF missionaries and how much of what we do they can control.  Mostly they are wanting access to some of our funds so they can control how they are used.  Their desires are at odds with what we perceive as best for them and the churches.  We have a lack of trust in some of our leaders due to sins that they have not addressed.  So, we will be trying to help them see some of their attitudes and behaviors in light of Biblical truths.  This can be very difficult.  So, pray for our wisdom.  Pray for all of us to bear with one another properly, forgiving where needed and being broken (them or us) where needed, but united in love above all else.  This seems to me to be a situation that many parents face when their children begin to want control over their own lives.  It is a good sign, but sometimes the parents need to be really wise in what control and responsibility they hand over to their children.  I am not saying the Turkana churches are our children, but we do have some responsibility in guiding them as they determine their future.
Another prayer request is for rain for Turkana and all of Kenya.  We have not had any really good rain here since last August.  It is time for the rains to begin, but they have not arrived yet.  So, pray that the Lord would open the heavens and let the rain come so that the land and the people can do more than just barely survive.
Pray for me also, as I prepare for my next English language class.  It will begin next week.  I am in the process of making lesson plans and getting materials ready for my class.  Pray for my students as well.  Pray that they have retained what they learned last month and will be excited to learn even more next week.  Thanks so much for supporting me and the ministry in Turkana in this way.  Prayer really does make a difference!
One last prayer request is about the increase of tension in Kenya.  There have been recent developments that could lead to major upsets again.  Pray for the leaders of this country to have a true concern for their nation more than for their own enrichment and advancement.  Pray that they would be convicted of their sins and turn from corruption, greed and envy that threaten to cause great physical and spiritual harm to them and their nation.  Pray for God's people to stand up for righteousness and to speak out against the evil that others might want to commit.  Pray for God's intervention in the lives of those who are using the unrest from last year to fuel their own personal vendettas and hatreds so that they might be released from the spirit of bitterness and hatred.  Pray for God's peace here.
Thanks to many who have written in the past week.  Easter blessings and birthday blessings have really encouraged me.  The wonder of what our Lord did and how much He loves us has once again caused me to drop to my knees in thankfulness.  He is powerful and mighty.  He has redeemed us and set us free so that we might live life in abundance - even in the midst of problems and seemingly hopeless situations.  He is our hope and our salvation.  Christ is Risen!  HE IS RISEN INDEED!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Drawing near.

  "Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,
'sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have
prepared for me'...'Then I said, Behold, I have come to do your will,
O God.' ... 'by that will, we have been sanctified through the
offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." Heb 10:5,7,10

Wow, one body, lots of undeserved torture, shame, pain, blood,
and death. All that for us ...... for me. Praise Him for that Friday
so many years ago. All the world is drawn to that day. Every person
makes a choice based on what happened that weekend so long ago. It is Friday. Saturday is the day of confusion, grief, loss of hope and
focus, separation and fear. Praise God that Sunday came! Bright and
early, before the sun was even up, the Son was alive. A heart of
thankfulness beats in me - how about you?
  "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of
faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our
bodies washed with pure water." Heb 10:22
Lord, I believe with my head and I feel it in my heart. Help my unbelief when I don't draw near because I am afraid.  Afraid that what my evil conscience says - that I will be condemned -is true.  Help me draw near with that full assurance of faith, knowing that forgiveness is only found in you. Thank you, Lord, for making it possible and for drawing me near to you by that truly good friday so long ago!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Thoughts on leaders

Sometimes, it is easy to see the problems and not see the good things
that are happening. Last week, I got to hear a lot of complaints and
see jealousy and greed in action. It was disheartening. It was
discouraging and I still had to go ahead and teach my class. That was
fun and it was encouraging. Even so, the day long meeting to listen
and respond to complaints from the "best" of our leaders was really
hard to overcome.
Then, there was a breath of fresh air this week. One of our main
church leaders wanted to meet with us about church leadership. This
man came humbly asking if we could help him determine what was wrong
with the other leaders. He wasn't asking so he could gossip. He
wasn't asking so he could complain. He was asking so he could maybe
figure out a way to help his fellow leaders get out of the hole they
seemed to be digging. He was asking so we could join together in
prayer about how to help. He was asking in order to confirm his own
thoughts on the fact that he needed to confront some of them and
encourage others.
God is working here in this desert place! I sometimes get discouraged
and don't see it, but he is working. He is using followers of his who
are obedient to his call. Please pray for those who see the problem.
Pray they will have to boldness to confront the sin. Pray that they
will be heard. Pray that the spirits of jealousy and greed will not
hold sway in this land, but that God will raise up servant leaders
among his people here. Pray for me that I don't miss God's action
because I only see the discouraging things! Praise God for this man
who is following him and ask for more like him!
Thanks for your prayers. They really do make a difference!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Best laid plans...

Sometimes you do all you can, make the best plans and then wait to
see what happens. That is what happened this past week with my ESL
class. I had the lesson plan ready. I had the games and the practice
sessions all lined up. I had the copies made for the students and was
all ready for them to arrive and begin class. They came. They were
excited. They didn't want to pay. So, instead of having class the
first day, I and my teammates ended up listening to them tell why they
didn't want to pay the very small school fees.
To say it was a disappointment is an understatement. To say it
was boring was also an understatement! I got to sit and listen to
each person make the same statement over and over about how hard it is
for them to come up with the money. When it came down to it, they
were willing to pay a small fee for food but not the fee for the
transport into town. That fee is about $3 a month. For most of them,
this is not a problem. A very small few will have problems coming up
with the money. If they had asked on behalf of those few, we could
probably work something out. Since none of them wanted to pay, it was
a much bigger problem. So, what did we do?
We told them we knew it would be hard, but if they get everything
for free then they will not value the lesson of seeing how God
provides for them. It was hard. I do know that life is very hard for
them, especially in the past year as many of their animals have died
due to a lung disease. Even so, they really do need to learn that God
can and will provide for them. So, I sat and listened to them say
what they wanted. They slowly came around to the idea that if they
didn't want to pay, then they couldn't attend the class. Eventually,
they came to the consensus that they wanted the class to go forward
and so they would pay the fee. It took eight hours of listening and
responding to them, but eventually, they decided to stay for the class
and not go home.
So, the class was one day shorter than planned, but it still went
well after that rocky first day. They learned how to greet people and
say goodbye. They went into town the last day of class and greeted
several shop keepers. They came back excited that they were
encouraged and that they had been understood. So, the first week was
a success.
Please pray for them as they are home for the next three weeks and
will need to find people to practice with. Pray that they will stay
encouraged and be excited about this opportunity. Pray that when they
come next month, that we don't have problems with the money again.
Pray that they come remembering what they had learned and that maybe
they have learned some new things. Pray for me as I prepare next
month's class. Pray that they not give up when it gets hard. It will
get hard, but pray they keep working at it and learn the language.
Thanks to all of you for your prayers and support. It really did help
knowing you were praying for the class to go well. I knew that in
spite of the rocky start, you were praying and God was working. Pray
that these 15 students will truly see how God provides for their needs
for this class and for their daily lives.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's day!

Hello All!
It is good to remember today. I know some rivers are green and
people are wishing for the luck of the Irish. They might even be
looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Even so, it is
good to remember St. Patrick. He was a missionary to a people that
had previously enslaved him. He did some very amazing things if all
the legends are to be believed. The best part is that he followed God
to a people not his own in order to tell them of the good news of
Jesus. He probably didn't do most of what is recorded about him, but
I do think he had a strong faith that influenced a whole nation. He
wasn't perfect. He suffered hardship. He got rained on just like
everyone else, but he followed the Lord and that made a difference.
We can all be like Patrick. We are just normal people, but God
can do some pretty interesting things with people who are willing to
let him. Even you! So, think about what God may be asking you to do
for him today. Pray about it and then obey. He will be delighted and
you will be like Patrick.
Check out this prayer attributed to him.
Blessings! (and Happy Birthday to my cousin!)

Sunday, March 15, 2009


      I am so looking forward to heaven!  There are many reasons, but one of the greatest right now is that there will no longer be goodbyes.  This past week, we had to say goodbye to some longtime friends.  They had only been on our team for about five months, but they were not new to me as friends.  The Seidel family had to return home to the States because of family medical issues.  
      Please be in prayer for them as they return to the States and re-adjust to life there.  Pray also that they will be able to find jobs quickly.  They will need a sure knowledge of the Lord's presence as they walk this difficult road, so please bring them to the throne often.  Pray for wisdom for them as they determine the next steps in their own journeys.
      Please also be in prayer for the Turkana team.  With the Seidels gone, we will have to determine new ways to meet the needs of our medical clinics.  Pray for wisdom for us as we seek the way forward on this as well.
      Thanks for your prayers!


Hello!  Most of my meetings are done.  I am pretty much meeting -"ed" out!  I will still have to have one more meeting on Wednesday.  Pray for my patience :).  I will be traveling up to Eldoret tomorrow.  Please remember that the roads here are pretty bad and traffic is heavy on this road.  So, pray for safety in my travels tomorrow.  
      I will need to do a bit of work on my ESL class on Tuesday so I can get copies made on Wednesday.  That will have to happen after my team meeting.  We have to work on our team vision, mission and goals.  Hopefully, we can hash them out fairly quickly as we have already done some work on them this past week.
      Thursday, I plan on traveling to Turkana.  That road is terrible and long.  It used to take us about 4 or 5 hours to make the trip.  Now it takes about 8 or 9 hours.  So, it could be a long day.  Please pray that there be no troubles with my vehicle or the other one traveling with me.  Also pray for safety.
        Last but not least, pray for my upcoming ESL class.  This will be the first class so I am a bit anxious.  I know I shouldn't be, but there it is.  So, pray I get everything pulled together and that the students will learn a lot of good things during the week.  Pray also that they will find people to practice with once they return to their homes for the weeks in between classes.
       Thanks for traveling along with me in this blog!  Blessings to you all!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Last week I began my travels to Nairobi from Turkana. I spent
a couple of days in Eldoret to get some paperwork done that I had not
gotten done at home. Then I headed to Nairobi on Saturday. I started
a seminar Sunday afternoon and it will continue through Friday after
lunch. This seminar is on sharpening my interpersonal skills. So far
it has been a good seminar that covers a lot of material in a short
period of time. The material is in a booklet, so, I will have lots of
material to review in the future. I think this will help me in all my
relationships. I have especially appreciated thinking about using
this in a different culture - which for me is among the Turkana. Even
though the week is long, I think it will be a great resource and has
already help me in evaluating how I relate to other people.
Next week, starting on Tuesday, I will be meeting with my team
working on team building. We have a new family to integrate into the
team, so we are doing a three day workshop on how to build a good
team. I look forward to getting to know my new teammates and learning
new things about my old teammates. I think this will also be time
well spent for the ministry among the Turkana and for our own team
Next week our team will also be saying good-bye to some very dear
friends. They are returning to the States because of some family
issues. So, while we are building a new team, we are also saying good-
bye to others who have been a part of our team. So, please be in
prayer for us this next week that we can balance the two objectives
What will I do between the two seminars? I will be shopping
for two months of supplies of food and office materials. I will also
be working a bit on my first week of lessons for my English as a
Second language class (ESL). You could be in prayer for that as
well. My first class will be the last full week of March. I am
excited about the possibilities of this class and yet anxious that I
get everything together that I will need for it. Pray for me over the
weekend to be able to find the materials I might be able to use in the
first two classes (this one in March and another in April).
Thanks for reading and praying! Blessings to you all!!!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Power & Generators

This past week, the generators in town all broke at the same time.
The one that was working was shut off to have a service done on it.
It usually takes about half an hour and then they turn it back on and
we have power again. This time, when they finished the service they
couldn't get it started. So, we had no power for about 30 hours.
That may not seem bad to those of you caught in the recent power
outages in the Eastern U.S. I understand you had power out for a
number of days in freezing cold weather. However, don't forget that
this is the hottest time of year here. It is over 100 most days in my
house. That means that anything you have in a freezer is going to
thaw and start to go bad. It also means no fans to help with the
heat. Thankfully, I do have a working generator for times like
these. They don't happen real often, but when they do, it is good to
have a back up system.
Life is like that too, don't you think? Some people don't have
a back up system. They have nowhere to turn when trouble comes their
way. I am thankful for the Lord who is always there no matter what is
going on in my life. He is the true power and generates true life.
Have a great day as you think on these things!

Friday, February 13, 2009

difficulties & grace

Hello! Well, I had to go to the local police station last night. One
of our drivers had been arrested. He had been out in the bush and had
just come back to town. The police pulled him over to check all the
stickers. One was expired. It was for the vehicle insurance. He
called and had someone bring the new sticker. We had just gotten them
while he was out in the bush so he hadn't had time to get the new one
put in place.
The police were still not satisfied. They were holding him and the
vehicle. So, he called me and asked me to come see if I could help.
I don't know that I really helped, except that they did let him go
home. They kept the vehicle and were not willing to drop any charges
even though they knew the insurance was valid in spite of what the
sticker on the truck window said. The new sticker had been produce
within an hour of his being stopped, but to them, an offense was still
committed because he had an invalid sticker on the window. They were
looking for a little something for their pockets and were not going to
give in. So, I tried to remind them that I am a missionary and I
cannot give small gifts. I acknowledged that the sticker was invalid
but that the insurance was not. I asked for a little mercy for our
vehicle and driver. They were not willing to give it. They did
finally let the driver go home for the night. The vehicle stayed
until this morning. The driver returned and had to pay a bail of
about $30 and he will have to go to court sometime next week. So,
that is the story so far.
I am so glad we serve a God who gives grace and mercy in abundance
when we acknowledge our offenses/ sins and ask for his grace. This
incident serves to remind me again to give thanks. It also reminds me
that I am not very good at talking to the police because I get angry
at their attempts to get bribes. They see anger as disrespect -
especially from a woman - and that doesn't help the problem. So, I
continue to ask God to help me with that and am thankful that he
forgives and that He works within us to change us if we let him. Just
some thoughts from this remote part of Kenya. Blessings!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Hosea class

Well, I thought I should tell you about the Old Testament Prophets
class I taught last week. The class went very well. I had to study
each night to be ready for the next day's teaching though. That is
because I had short notice on the fact that I would be teaching it.
The class of students is a new one for me. This class started last
year. They are not as advanced as previous classes. So, I often had
to tell the story from the O.T. history before I could explain what
was meant in Hosea. That was a little frustrating, but at the same
time it was good to know where they were in understanding. The class
is also smaller than previous classes. That really helped, because I
could take the time to explain more when they got confused looks on
their faces. So, all in all, it ended up being a pretty good class.
I will be teaching these students again in February. I will be
teaching the O.T. Writings. That is Job-Song of Songs. So, I will
know better how to prepare to teach them and I will have time to do it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Alleluia!! We got rain this morning. It rained for about an
hour. A nice steady rain, not a downpour. This will be so helpful
for the trees and grass here that were getting brown. Rain in January
is unusual, so please pray that the longer rains in March-June will
still come. Last year they had rain in January and then no rain
during the regular time. So, the people were hungry for a longer
period of time. Even so, in a place that normally gets less than
three inches of rain a year, we are very happy to see any rain
whenever it wants to fall.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

This past week

Hello again! Wow, two posts in one day! Just a little from this past
week. I was able to meet with a great group of church leaders. I
listened to their problems and how they thought to solve some of
them. They gave reports about what the Lord is doing in their
churches. He is working and they gave him praise. Many of these
leaders are facing problems, but they believe God is working.
I was able to talk with them about the new English classes that I hope
to start in the next month or so. They will help me choose the
students for the class. Pray that they will have wisdom in their
choosing. I should find out from some of them towards the end of the
month who the students will be from their areas. Hopefully, the other
areas who were not represented at the meeting will also be choosing
people for the class.
I had more students come this past week asking for help with school
supplies. Some I could help, but not all. I enjoyed seeing the
smiling faces of the children I could help. It was hard to tell
others that I do not have the resources to help them as well, but I
know that I cannot help everyone.
I found out on Thursday afternoon that I was needed to teach the first
TBTI class this year. It starts this Tuesday. It was short notice,
but I have taught the class before, so hopefully that will help. I
will be teaching about the prophets of the Old Testament. I will
focus on the book of Hosea. So, keep me in your prayers as I refresh
my memory. Pray for wisdom as I try to come up with questions that
will help my Turkana friends think about how God is speaking into
their lives and the lives of those they shepherd in their churches. I
like this class. Pray I can share my enthusiasm about God's prophets
and his Word with my Turkana brothers and sisters.
A new life has come into the world. My guard, Adam, told me Thursday
morning that his wife had given birth early that morning. My language
skills are rusty and he didn't seem very happy about it. I thought he
said his wife died and my heart just sunk. (The two words in Turkana
sound very similar and it was early in the morning) When I discovered
my mistake, I was instantly excited and happy for him. He even smiled
then. I don't know the little girl's name yet. They wait a week or
so before they announce it. So, just keep the new little one in your
Have a good week!


This week I have been listening to news here in Kenya about all
that people hope for from the new president of the U.S. You see, our
new head man has relations in Kenya. Even those who aren't related
have big expectations of help and hope from Mr. Obama. It is the
practice in Kenya that whoever the big man is at the time will help
his poorer relations. So, many have expectations that I fear will be
dashed at some time in the very near future. With the inauguration
coming up this week, there is even a group of Kenyan's going to see
their hope for the future take his place in history.
The same is true, I am sure, in other parts of the world. So
many people, even in America, are expecting him to be the one who
saves us from all the world's problems. I am sure that he will be
able to help some. He will after all be the president and have some
powers to help those in need if he chooses to do so. Even so, there
is no way he can solve all our problems.
Thankfully, we have a savior who can help with all the world's
problems. He is our hope no matter what happens in our lives or in
the world. We place a lot of expectations on those we put in
authority over us in our country. Shouldn't we place the same kind of
expectations - even more- on the one we know has, is and will save us
from our selves? Just a thought floating in my brain. Maybe we have
misplaced our hope and expectations. That is why we get so
disappointed when people fail to live up to them. That is why we look
for someone to be great and solve the world's problems - tomorrow if
you please. Mr. Obama will not be able to do it. We can hope, but he
can't solve them all. Jesus is our one true hope. He is the one
holding forgiveness in his hands offering it to this messed up world.
He is the only one who can bring hope and victory out of our messy
Where did all this come from? I just feel a little sorry for all
the expectations placed on Mr. Obama. Yes, he has a lot of potential
and he will have a powerful position in the world, but he is not the
one we should be looking to for our hope. I do pray for him, that he
will be able to be a wise and helpful leader. But, even in Kenya, the
big man isn't the president of the U.S. or even of Kenya. The big man
is Jesus. Only he can really help with the problems of the world. He
is even our relative - by adoption. So, we can place all our hope and
expectations in his capable hands. Just a thought. Take it as you

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New School Year!

I remember the excitement of getting ready for a new year of school.
It happened every mid-August. Here it happens in January.
The kids started a new year of school here this week. All the
primary schools were to start on Monday. Most of the public schools
haven't opened yet because the teacher's haven't come back from
Christmas break. This happens most years even though they say they
will open the school right after New Year. The private schools do
much better. I have seven children that I or others in the States
sponsor to go to a local private school. I went Monday to pay their
school fees. It was quite a long line. There were parents there who
wanted their children to get into the school but had waited until now
to try to get them in. Others were there to put their children in
boarding school for the first time. I was just there to pay for the
first of three terms that are in a school year. My students all live
close by and are too young to have to board just yet. When they get
into seventh grade, boarding is mandatory. My oldest is just starting
fourth grade this year.
What does starting a new year of school mean here? It means new
uniforms. It means new, blank exercise books for each subject. It
means new textbooks. It means new book bags and new shoes. It means
getting to see your friends after a month and a half long break. That
is what it means if your parents have the money to get you all those
things. For many, they don't get to go to school because they can't
afford it. For others, it means they get to go to school but not have
shoes or textbooks or even a new uniform. They might get one exercise
book and maybe the stub of a pencil, but they do get to go learn.
For me, it means I get to go find those things listed above for
those I can help. It also means I count my blessings for being able
to go to school. I may not have always liked it, but I do appreciate
that blessing so very much now!
Please pray for the schools here. The teachers are saying they
will go on strike on the 19th. It will be a strike all over the
country. Maybe many of them will not even show up before then to
teach. Pray for the students and for those unable to attend because
of lack of resources. Pray that in spite of the strike, that learning
will take place. Pray that those who can't go to school will find
other ways to learn and so move forward in life. Thanks for reading!
Give thanks that you can!!!


Yesterday was Epiphany. What does that mean?
I was thinking about that as I finished up my Advent devotional.
It ran through Epiphany but didn't really explain what it was. I grew
up in a church that doesn't follow the liturgy of the church year
much, so I don't have traditions to help me. So, a friend here told
me it is to remember the coming of the wise men to visit Jesus. Then
again, for some it is to celebrate the visitation of God to this earth
through Jesus. The dictionary says it commemorates the revealing of
Christ to the Gentiles (thus the wise men realizing the child was King
and coming such a long way to visit). So, have you realized the
wonder of God in the flesh lately? Do you know what it means for
Jesus to be the Christ, the Messiah of the Jews, our Savior?
If you have thoughts or knowledge about Epiphany, I would love to
read them. Blessings to you who read this as you ponder the meaning
of God revealed to us in the flesh as the Christ!

A Glimpse of Oddity

When I was in Eldoret, I was surprised to see this on a busy road.
There was a white SUV driving slowly down the road. It was missing
its hood, which is not a common sight here. The most amazing thing
was that a man was sitting in the engine area tinkering with the
engine while it traveled down the road. Even for here, that was a
first for me! I was really wishing that I had my camera and that I
wasn't driving so I could get a better look. :).