Monday, November 30, 2009



Yesterday was the beginning of Advent. It was nice to be in a church in Nairobi that observes the Advent. We sang some nice Christmas / Advent songs with the heavy doctrinal words about the incarnation still in them. It was really cool to start thinking of Jesus' first coming and to think about his next coming. I hope you all have time in this busy season to focus on His Coming!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

It works!


My computer works now! It did not have a virus. There was a problem with the operating system. I probably had a corrupted download of a system update. The internet isn't as good here as in other parts of the world. So, I guess those fruity people can still make their claim about no viruses :).

I had Thanksgiving this week in Nairobi with friends and CMF family. It was a wonderful day and a delicious feast! Bryan and Diane Myers were in town for the week. They came from Colorado Springs. So, I came down to visit with them. They brought cranberry sauce - yum. It has been scarce in Nairobi since it is the time of year to eat it. Such is life here, so I was glad to see it at the feast.

While here, Bryan convinced me to sign up for facebook. So, I am now a facebooker. Just be aware that when I am in Turkana (which is most of the time), I probably won't be able to be very active since the internet isn't so great up there. It has been fun here in Nairobi though, so I guess it might be worth it.

I hope all is well with all of you! Have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What they don't tell you....

When I think of the things I didn't know when I signed up for this missionary life, I think it was a good thing. I might not have had the faith to do it! God knows what he is doing and so I am here. He gives me the strength to face each day and the mercy to stay, when many times I want to just leave it all and head home to a place that really isn't home anymore - but seems better than the home I have here at the time. I am thankful for that daily mercy!
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

4th annual graduation

Yep, that is right. We held the fourth annual Turkana Bible Training Institute graduation last Saturday. The day was full of bright colors! Lime green, lemon yellow and orange orange :). There were also some Christmas greens, reds, purples and silver. The only thing lacking was the traditional graduation day rain!!! For all of the first three graduations, we had rain. This time, when we need it the most, there was no rain - just sun and dust. We had a bit of a dust storm during part of the ceremony. It is a bit hard to concentrate on what is being said when you are trying to keep dust and dirt out of your mouth and eyes. Even so, all went well.
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

Computer woes

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


      I thought I would let you know about the last English class that I taught last week.  It went well.  I did not end up using the computer/ movie ESL program.  I will try it out in January.  I did order the mp3 players that will have the NIV New Testament on it in English.  So, my students will be able to listen to good English.  Now I just need to get them some NIV New Testaments so that they can follow along as they listen.  I am looking forward to seeing how and if these will help them.
      The students enjoyed learning about food items.  They told me what they wanted to learn how to say to the shop people in town.  So, this really was orchestrated a bit by them this time.  They wanted to learn how to ask where the produce came from.  Was it grown by the shop person or bought from somewhere in the south and shipped to Turkana.  I thought that was a pretty good question and not one I would think to ask.  I just assume it all comes from down south somewhere.  They enjoyed the visit to town, but said that since they were not really buying anything that the clerks didn't want to talk with them very much.  So, it still has its challenges.
      Our Bible training institute has its annual graduation this week.  We will have eleven students graduate.  I will be printing up the diplomas tomorrow.  I also have the honor of handing them the diplomas after their names are called at the ceremony on Saturday.  Woohoo!  Really, it probably means that I get to get sunburned, as I will probably have to stand in the sun to do it.  I will wear a hat and sunscreen I guess.  It just makes me so much hotter!  Oh, well, I do want to save my skin the pain of a burn, so I guess I will live with the extra heat.  
      Some of my English students have stayed in town for the graduation.  So, I am speaking with them and encouraging them to practice their english while they are in town.  A couple of them are staying with an English speaker in town and he is having his 6th grade son talk with them everyday in English.  He says if they are going to stay at his house, they need to put in the practice time every day.  I like this guy! :)
       What about all of you?  What are you up to lately?  Send me an e-mail and fill me in.  Also, can anyone tell me what happened to the Broncos?  Their early record looked good, but the scores of the last two games don't look so good.  I only see the scores, so what happened?