Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
"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
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
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
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
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
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.
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
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 :).
Saturday, September 26, 2009
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.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Thank you for keeping Kenya and me in your prayers.
Monday, August 31, 2009
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.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
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
Friday, July 31, 2009
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;
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.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
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.
Have a good week and thanks for praying!
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
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!
Sunday, June 28, 2009
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
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
I thought I would give a short list of the things that happened
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
Monday, April 27, 2009
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
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
Friday, April 10, 2009
"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
Friday, April 3, 2009
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
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
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
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
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
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
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
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
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
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
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
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!
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
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!!!
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!
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. :).