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!