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!