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!!!!!