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. :).