Thursday, December 8, 2011

Finished Nativity sets & kids' Christmas

One of the Nativity sets the boys finished.
Here is the finished product of the four boys' Nativity project.  They had to wait a week to finish with the baby Jesus, but they had fun making them and playing with them afterwards.

Ichwa playing with Joseph & Mary

Lopeto saying, "Look at mine!"

Idi having fun.

Ekusi playing it cool
The girls were also able to finish their Nativity project after a two day wait for the glue to dry.  We had some rain, so that kept the glue from drying faster.  I had some problems with the girls' Nativity sets, so that is when I switched to the wood ones for the boys.  Anyway, here is the finished product for the girls.

Baby Jesus

simple Nativity from things in Turkana

When the kids came to collect these, I had a little Christmas party for them.  I made american style pancakes with syrup for them.  They enjoyed eating them as it was their first time to have syrup.  Then I passed out some goodies that I bought for them and that a visitor left for them.  I also had them tell me the Christmas story to make sure they understood what these Nativity sets represented.  I think they had a good time and I know I did.  

Christmas with the kids!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Garlands of Hosannas!

God's my island hideaway, keeps danger far from the shore, throws garlands of hosannas around my neck.  Psalms 32:7

We held the fifth graduation for our Turkana Bible Training Institute students on December 3.  It was a day full of ceremony, fun and praise!  These students studied for two years and finished eighteen intensive classes on the Bible, church leadership and Spiritual formation.  We had a festive day as you can see in the picture above.  It was taken after the ceremony.  Do you see the grass?  That is the result of recent rains.  We even got rain during the main speaker's talk.  It was fitting that he was talking to the students about rain.  It is very good, but it can cause some short term hardships - like having to stop the speaker because he can't be heard over the sound of the rain.  :) He said studying can be the same.  He encouraged them to use what they had learned so the good results could be seen by those who helped them and sacrificed so they could attend.

1 of 5 choirs that sang and danced during the ceremony

Singing praises during the rain intermission

The Students, their friends and family were very proud of their accomplishments.  They gave them gifts and showered them with garlands of praise.  It is our hope and prayer that these students will take the things they have learned and use them to heap garlands of Hosannas upon our great God!

I have enjoyed getting to know these students over the past two years as I have taught some of their classes.  It was fun getting to hand out their certificates and encouraging to see the support they had from friends.  Please keep them in your prayers as they go out to spread the Good News.  Pray that they will be able to endure the hardships of life here and be good witnesses of that wonderful news!

Handing out the laminated certificate to Joyce - our top student!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tree trimming with the boys!

Boys proud of their work!
Since I made cookies with the girls last week, I figured I needed to do something with the boys.  I invited them to come to my house the day after the girls and help me put up my tree and decorate it.  On the left are Ekusi Lobwel and Idi Ekidor.  On the right are Lopeto Lobwel and Ichwa Ekidor.  These boys have seem my Christmas tree in the past, so they had an idea of what it was supposed to look like.  They had never helped to put it up and decorate it though.  So, this was a new experience for them.
spreading the branches

putting on the garland
 We didn't put any lights on the tree.  I thought it would be easier to just do the garland and ornaments.  I have multi-colored icicle lights above my windows that I turned on while they were decorating.  We also listened to some christmas music.  They thought I was pretty funny singing along and dancing to the music.  :)  Ichwa did dance with me though and they all laughed at that too!

After we finished with the tree, I decided to try again with a simple nativity set for them to make.  The card stock/ clothes pin one didn't work very well, so I tried something different.  This time I bought a broom handle (stick).  I had a friend cut it into 4 inch and 3 inch lengths.  I spent an hour or so in town trying to find some yarn.  No one knew what the english word "yarn" meant.  I finally saw someone with a sweater on (in the desert) and pointed to it and said it is string that is used to make those.  Then they figured out what I wanted and told me where to find it.  Brown yarn was needed for hair.  I had some colorful push pins that I used as well.  This is what we ended up with.

I am still working on the baby Jesus.  The kids will all come back this Thursday for a little Christmas party.  My friend, John Kibet, helped me to cut the broom handle on a table saw.  This insured that they would sit straight.  My thumb is still sore four days later from pushing the pins in!  That wood is hard!  The boys didn't have the strength to get them in, so I had to do all eight.

John is going to help me come up with an idea for the Jesus too.  We hope to have something they can easily make and that will keep fairly well.  I will try to get a picture of one full set once it is made and post it for you to see.  I got the idea from another blog and adapted it to work with what I could find here.  If you want to do something similar and don't live in a remote place like me, I think you can find everything you need to do them the way they suggest on this blog.  So, check it out if you want to.  Scroll down past the two flags until you see the little nativity set.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing the boys and what they accomplished.  I think we all had fun and it gave them something to do during their month long break.  I hope you are finding time to enjoy the season and are not feeling too rushed!

cookie making with Kids

the finished product
I know many of you get to make Christmas cookies with your children.  This year I had some visitors in October and they found out that one of "my" kids likes to cook.  These are kids that are sponsored by my friends in America so they can go to school.  I decided then that if I could, I would have the girls over to make cookies one day during their school break.  So, I hunted up a sugar cookie recipe and went looking for food coloring.  I actually did find some, but it wasn't in liquid form.  Here is what I used.
  I wasn't sure if this would work, but the powder actually made the colors and it didn't thin the icing.  I was very happy with the results.

The girls had never made cookies before.  I had four girls ranging in age from 10 to 19.  They didn't get the idea of using different colors on a cookie, but they had fun just the same.

Once we mixed up the dough, it had to cool in the refrigerator for a time.  So, that is when I brought out some crafty items for making the simple Nativity I blogged about on 11/27.  We had to let the glue dry on the faces, so they had to come back the next day to get the completed project.  When we first put them together the card stock paper didn't do as well as I would have liked.  Mary and Joseph were slanted.  I had to work with them and re-staple a few times to get them to sit straight.  But overall, I think it worked.   The first picture you see is them slanted.  The second is the completed project.

 Here are a couple more pictures of the cookie making process.  The girls all had a great time and so did I!
icing the cookies takes concentration

taste testing the product.  They had to have some flour on them to show they really made these cookies.

The finished product.  They took them home with them.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A stump, a shoot

"A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a branch will bear fruit.  The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him...."  Isaiah 11:1-2

We have gotten a lot of rain recently here in Turkana.  This is a wonderful thing!  My yard is greening up.  The rain means grass for the animals and they will then produce offspring and milk.  The people will have meat and milk.  It is a great blessing.  It is hope for life here.

For over three years, we have not gotten good rains.  Many of the trees in my yard died.  I had to cut them down because I was afraid that they would fall down.  This is not the time for rain.  It should be entering the hottest and driest time of the year here.  Instead, I have cold feet because we have had rain almost every day for a couple of weeks and not much sun.  Good rain that comes slow and soaks into the ground.  This tree stump was left to its own devices for almost a year.  With the recent rains, a shoot has appeared out of what seemed lifeless.

Advent has begun.  It is a time of waiting...yearning.  Waiting for what?  For Christ to come.  To come to us... in us as we seek him.  A time when we anticipate his coming again and realize what it means that he came in the first place.  It brings hope for life to all of us if we take the time to consider it.

Out of that stump of that fallen tree will come life.  The stump is watered by God and encouraged to grow through the centuries.  One tender branch will come from it by His grace.  That twig will become the ruling rod, the scepter that defeats sin for you and for me.  That twig makes it possible for us to once again be in right relationship with God.  That shoot is Jesus.  He brings us hope for life!

May you find time in this busy season to wait and yearn for the Lord.  May you anticipate His coming and coming again with great joy!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Simple Homemade Nativity

Tonight I decided to make a simple Nativity set that some of my Turkana kids can put together next week. I have a few boys coming to help me put up my tree and decorate.  The next day a few girls will come over and make some cookies.  I thought it would be fun if each of the kids could make their own Nativity to take home.  The problem is that I don't have any craft materials here and I can't find them in town.  

So, I had to put my creative hat on and use what I have.  What do I have?  I have colored plastic clothes pins, matches and some match boxes if I take all the matches out, some small cotton balls, some old tin bottle caps (brownish gold in color if I scratch off the coke logo), some white card stock, a stapler, glue  and some old rags/ material.  

The match box can obviously become either a baby or a manger.  I kinda made it be the baby and the manger all in one.  I drew on the goldish/brown bottle cap a face with the eyes closed for sleeping.  I covered the match box with some material and opened it up.  I stuffed part of it with wadded up paper and glued some cotton balls to the bottle cap and the edge of the bottom of the match box.

For Mary and Joseph I drew a semi-circle with a tab in the middle at the top on the card stock.  If you make this, make sure to make the semi-circle a little bigger than your clothes pin.  You need Mary and Joseph to sit on this card stock and not the clothes pin.  I made a pattern to use for this and the clothes.  Then I cut out the card stock and material to match the pattern.  I laid the cloth over the card stock and wrapped it around until the two edges met in the back to make a cone.  Then I stapled the cloth/card stock together.  You don't have to fix the cloth to the card stock as the staple will hold them together at the bottom.  The tab at the center top of the card stock and cloth will be pushed inside the cone and your clothes pin will grab the tab and hang down in the center of the cone.

As you can see in this picture, I glued a match stick to a bottle cap.  I am going to use this as the head.  I think I will put a cotton ball between two bottle caps and glue them together.  That way, I can still have a brownish/gold colored face for Mary and Joseph instead of white.  I can also then draw a face on them.  I am not finished yet as I am waiting for the glue to dry.  The white paper coming out of the top of the cone (in the 1st picture above) will be replaced by the matchstick and bottle cap faces.  The match stick will go in the top of the clothes pin along with the card stock/ cloth tab and be grabbed by the clothes pin.

So, there is my simple Nativity set.  If you have any ideas to make it better before Tuesday - let me know!  I will have stuff cut out for the little kids and probably have the match stick/ bottle cap faces done except for drawing the faces.  That way they can be taken home the same day they are made.  My glue is not quick drying so I need to do that ahead of time.

I think this will be fun for the kids and give them something to decorate their homes with too.  So, that is my simple project.  It doesn't take a lot of time and gives them something fun that they made.  I will get to see if I am correct next week.  I'll take some pictures and let you know.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cooking Thanksgiving - Turkana style

Happy Thanksgiving!  As you wake up this morning, I will be putting the finishing touches on my part of our Thanksgiving feast.  We are celebrating in the evening as it is just a normal workday here in Turkana.

Here is a small wordy glimpse into how I have to cook.  Turkey does not do well here in the heat.  Every time we have tried to cook it, someone or many someones have gotten sick.  It is also very expensive.  So, the main meat of choice is now chicken or ham.  Today we will have roasted Chicken.  My teammate, Melba Morden, will be fixing that.  My job is to fix the green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, my grandma's apple salad and to bring the cranberry sauce.

The canned cranberry sauce can be found in Nairobi in Feb-July.  You have to hunt for it and then save it up for the holidays.  It costs about $4 a can.  I was recently in Nairobi (2 days drive from Turkana) and found some canned condensed mushroom soup.  I almost jumped up and down in the aisle of the grocery store!  We hardly ever find this, so I bought 3 cans.  It was $1.60 a can, but worth the price even if it was the reduced salt variety (better for me anyway - right? :/ ).  Normally, I have to make it from a knorr packet.  That has to be cooked and doesn't taste quite the same.  Plus it adds about 30 minutes to the cooking time because the packet has to be mixed with water and cooked until it is the right consistency.  So, I was very happy to find the can!

I confess I brought back some things to help make the holiday meals a little easier when I was in the States last Christmas.  I brought back a can of french fried onions for the green bean casserole.  I tried to make them last year from scratch and got a soggy but tasty substitute.  It worked, but I am happy to have the can.  I had to keep it in my freezer so that the oil in the onions didn't go rancid in the heat.  I also brought a can of pumpkin for making a pumpkin pie.  I happily turned that over to Melba because I don't do very well with pie crusts from scratch.

The sweet potato casserole brings its own challenges.  We do sometimes find sweet potatoes here in the small shops in Lodwar.  I found some yesterday.  The thing is, they are white on the inside not orange.  One Thanksgiving two of my teammates decided that they wanted orange sweet potatoes so they used food coloring.  At one point we had bright pink mashed sweet potatoes and we were all rolling on the floor in stitches!  They did eventually get them to be orangish.  This year I found a recipe that uses both carrots and sweet potatoes.  So, I am hoping the orange carrots will help get the color right.  This recipe calls for 1 cup of sour cream.  You can't just run out to the store and get sour cream here.  So, I use a canned cream and mix it with 2 Tbs of vinegar to make it sour.
This cream is sometimes hard to find and runs about $2 a can.  The recipe also called for 1 tsp of the zest of a lemon.  Lemons are green here.  I can find them sometimes, but I didn't think green bits would be very appealing in my sweet potatoes.  So, I looked up a substitute.  It took 2 Tbls of juice to equal 1 tsp of zest.  Marshmallows can sometimes be found in Nairobi.  I buy them and keep them in my freezer until I need them.  Today I will need them for this casserole and for the apple salad.  Pecans are also needed to top this casserole.  They are available here for about $8 for 1/8 of a pound.  So, I bring these from the States.

My apple salad is an old Hoosier recipe from my grandma Matillo.  It calls for a cooked dressing.  Thankfully, I can get almost all the ingredients here.  The dressing is made with eggs, sugar, flour, vinegar, mustard and water.  I make the sauce early in the day or the day before so it can get cold in the fridge.  I have to buy imported granny smith apples when I am in Nairobi and save them.  They are washed in bleach water to make sure they are clean and rinsed in filtered water.  Then I chop them into bite sized pieces.  I have to cut up the big marshmallows we can get here into smaller pieces - using scissors.  I keep some boiled water handy to dip the scissors in so they cut easier and don't stick to the scissors.  Then I add in peanuts and pour the sauce over it all.  If I have some celery seed I add a pinch or two of that too the whole thing.  It is hard to find whole celery seed here, so I have to keep my eyes open each time I am in Nairobi (about 5 times a year) and buy it when I see it.

So, there you have a glimpse of what cooking is like here.  I am glad I don't have to cook the whole Thanksgiving meal!  We get together as a team and with any other foreigners who might want to celebrate with us.  My teammate, Chad Harris, is making two types of dressing from scratch today.  We will also have some mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, apple pie and pumpkin pie.  I think we will be quite full at the end of the meal!

I hope you have a blessed day full of thanks and good food!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Church planting forum

Turtle Bay beach resort is named for this turtle shaped coral reef
I recently attend a CMF church planting forum.  While there I learned about the various things other church planters are doing around the world with CMF.  I got some new ideas about how to work on our teaching at the Turkana Bible Training Institute that I think will really help our students.  I am looking forward to working on that in the near future.

This was also a time to meet new friends and to reconnect with old friends.  I do not get to see many of these very often since we don't normally furlough at the same time.  This was a good time to visit and discuss ideas with other missionaries.  The forum was held at the Kenyan coast, so it was also a good time to praise the Lord for the beauty of the beach!

There was also a program for the missionary kids(MKs).  My parents (Rich & Edie) and niece (Indera) were able to help with this program before they departed for the States.  MKs who live with their parents in remote areas do not often have the opportunity to go to sunday school or VBS.  So, this was a chance for them to do that and get to know so of their fellow MKs.

some of the MKs

the kids made a cross on the beach

Over all, it was a great meeting!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

On safari

Indera kissing the giraffe at the giraffe center :)

Since I had visitors, we went on a safari to the Nairobi game park and to the giraffe center.  We saw many animals and got some great pictures.  Here are a few shots from that safari.

this cub & his 2 siblings put on a show for us.

Maasai giraffe

Pin tailed tortoise
Indy cried when we first saw Zebra!

beautiful crested cranes

Friday, November 4, 2011



I have had a house full of visitors these last couple of weeks.  First I had Joshua Barron visiting.  You can read about his visit in my last post.  Half way through his visit, I had some other visitors arrive.  My parents and Cathie Groome had planned to visit in September, but had to change to coming in October and early November.  My niece decided at the last minute that she could come with them.  So, I got a big surprise when they got off the plane and she was with them!

While here, they participated in many activities.  They played with school kids almost every day.  Cathie, Dad and Indera all went at various times to the local school.  Cathie taught several classes while Dad and Indera helped or took pictures.  Mom was able to teach three Bible studies on Rahab to the women's Bible study.  The ladies had a wonderful time learning and I think Mom had a great time teaching.  They also helped me teach my English class.  My students had fun meeting and introducing themselves to them.

Here are a few pictures from their two weeks in Turkana.
Dad & a termite mound

Indy being a good Turkana woman
carrying something on her head, back
& working in the garden :)

an afternoon with some teenaged girls

Idi with Edie

Thursday, October 27, 2011

visiting teacher


I have had a visitor the past week and a half.  Joshua Barron is a CMF teammate who lives outside Nairobi and partners with the CCC church (mostly churches planted by CMF missionaries, but they are expanding to others as well).  He and his wife, Ruth, primarily work on writing curriculum for Maasai church leaders, but are making the material available to us in Turkana as well.

Joshua came up to Turkana to teach the church history and the mission and evangelism classes at TBTI.  He was a real encouragement for the students.  He taught them about the African roots of Christianity.  They loved hearing the stories of Frumentius the light bringer, Aedesius, Longinus and Julian.

He taught them that the church grew only when it had four characteristics that were based on the foundation of Jesus Christ.  Those four characteristics were prayer, translation of the Bible into the local language, a vision for mission, and local leadership.  Here is a picture of Joshua showing how all four legs of the stool (church) have to be on the foundation(table) of Jesus.  It was very effective when he made one of the legs go over the edge of the table and fell off!  if you don't have one of those legs, the stool (church) does not do as well as it could.


 Joshua also taught the evangelism and mission class.  One of the days, he and the students took a ride with Gene Morden out to one of our garden plots.  They discussed how getting a garden ready for planting and tending it is a helpful way to look at evangelism and mission.  This was a wonderful way to plant the image of work and growth into the minds of the students in connection with evangelism and mission.


There were a few times in the afternoons Joshua did a few stretching exercises to help the students stay alert.  One day, they had a jumping contest.  Here are few pictures of the jumps that I was able to capture with his camera.  

who says white men can't jump?

this is a second jump

The students left these classes with a lot of knowledge and some practical ways to use it.  My thanks go out to Joshua and Gene for their help in making these classes profitable for the students!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ongoing Prayer request for areas being raided


I know some of you are wondering about the areas that were being raided.  There are still many problems.  Please continue to pray for those who are afraid to go home.  My teammate, Gene Morden, has written an update that I am copying here.  Once you read it, please take it to the Throne of Grace and ask for mercy and hope to be granted to your Turkana brothers and sisters who are afraid and without a home.

Grace, Mercy and Peace in the name of Christ.
Dear fellow prayer warriors we pray that a small amount of peace will return to the people who used to live along the Kerio River soon. A delegation went to see the DC, District Commissioner, (he is like the governor and head of security for the district) to ask for police help in fighting against the bandits. They told him all the people (about 6000) had been displaced and living in the mostly open desert areas under the few small trees in the area. Many of them have lost some or all of their animals to the raiders. The people are drinking dirty water as they are afraid to go to the clean water pumps at the Kerio River. The schools are closed and children are missing education. The raiders make regular visits to villages at night and are eating the food from the irrigated farms during the day. People are living in fear, often sleeping in trees. The DC told them since it is Turkana bandits attacking Turkana the people would need to handle it themselves. Since the DC ordered everyone to turn in their guns about 3 months ago, very few people have rifles. Those who have been designated home guards have guns and a few hid their rifles in the sand. They are now on patrols and have had running battles with the raiders twice.
We have sent bags of corn to the area twice to try and relieve some of the hardship.
On Saturday, Michael Lopunga confronted (he said argued with) the councilor for the Kerio River area about needing help. Michael told him about the fishermen killed on Lake Turkana as they came ashore last week. The raiders took all their fish and the supplies of food they had brought. The councilor finally called someone and said they would send a post of police to Kangirisae if CMF would allow them to use the house there as a temporary base of operation. The team agreed that was an excellent idea. The councilor then said he needed fuel and a truck to carry the police there as the DC had grounded all his vehicles from going to that area. We agreed for the second time to provide fuel to carry the help to the people. We are praying the police force will make a difference and people can return to their homes and begin rebuilding their lives.
Please pray for the raiders to be caught and peace to return.
Thanks and God bless you all,

Thanks for your prayers!  This week I have a fellow CMF missionary staying with me and teaching at our Turkana Bible Training Institute.  He will be teaching two classes this week and into next week.  Pray that the classes go well.  These are the last classes for this class before graduation.  So, pray their minds are opened and they are encouraged in the ministry they are doing among their people.  Have a great week!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Transforming trash!

I bought 30 eggs Saturday.  When you buy eggs here, you have to take your own cardboard trays.  One serves as the bottom and the second one will fit on top once the eggs are put in the bottom tray.  Then to secure the eggs, twine will be twisted all around the two trays and then tied.  When I got home Saturday, I couldn't unknot the twine.  So, I cut it in several places and threw the twine away.  I usually try to save it so it can be re-used.  When I can't get it untied, I just pitch it.

This morning, I emptied my box of laundry detergent.  The box holds 3 kilos (6.6 pounds) of laundry powder - so it is a big box.  I put it by my trash can to be burned with the rest of the trash.  My house helper, Paulina, came later this morning and took the trash to be burned.  Her 3 year old daughter, Akiru, follows her around when she is at work.  So, when they came back in the house, Paulina had the box and the 4 pieces of twine in her hand.  Akiru watched her mom while I tried to figure out what she was doing with the trash.  :)

Paulina proceded to cut a hole in the lid and string the twine through the hole.  She knotted one end of the twine so that the box could be pulled by the twine.  She then told Akiru that she would have to wait until her big brother came to make the rest of it.  I had figured out by this time that she was making a "motaka" - a car.  Big brother, Idi (named after my mom), will find some old plastic lids and somehow attach them to the sides of the box to make the wheels.  Then he might cut what is now the box top - used to be the side - to make a seat.  So, my trash was transformed from trash to toy with just a little imagination!  I asked Paulina to make sure the kids bring the finished product back for me to take a picture.  If they remember, I will be sure to post it for you to see.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Is it important?


This week I am teaching my English class.  This morning I had planned to take my students to watch the movie.  Just as I was leaving my house for class, the power went off.  I called the power company and asked how long it would be.  They said it would be two hours.  So, much for my plan!  So, we went over the new vocabulary for this week.  I demonstrated the words when I could.  I had to teach 'waving,' 'warn,' 'summon,' 'embrace,' and 'drawn' among many others.  Some were easy to demonstrate.  Others were a bit difficult.  How would you explain 'nature,' as in human nature?  Anyway, I had to explain embrace - to embrace an idea or to embrace a person.  So, I called one of my leaders to the front and I said, "I haven't seen Lopongo in a very long time.  I am very happy to see him so I embrace him."  I hammed it up and he joined in saying, "its good to see you!"  Hugging in Turkana is not a common thing, but they do it.  They all understood when I changed it to embracing an idea because they had the picture of a hug in their minds.

Another word I had to explain was 'Important.'  This was harder and I resorted to using the Turkana word for it.  Then we were finally able to watch the movie.  This chapter was about the triumphal entry, Jesus confronting the religious leaders, the last supper and the prayer and betrayal in the garden of Gethsemane.  After watching the movie we talked about the time that all this happened.  I asked them, "Is it important that Jesus died at Passover time?"  This brought up the history of the Passover celebration and why the Hebrew people celebrate it.  What do you think?  Is it important the Jesus died at the time when they were celebrating that death had passed over all those who had the blood of a lamb over their doors?

Just something to think about this week!  I'm sure we will have some good discussions later this week about the last supper and the other events.

Please continue to pray about the raids.  One of my students didn't come to class because he is afraid to leave his animals and family.  He lives in the area where the raids are happening the most.  The other students told me he is in the process of moving his family to another area.  At this point the police have still not gone to try to apprehend the bandits.  So, many people are still displaced.  One of my students said, "the police and government do not think we are important."  So, he used the word correctly :) and made a very sad point.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Turkana raiding update 2

Hello all!

Here is another update from my teammate, Gene Morden.  Please keep the situation in your prayers!

Two of the bandits have been caught and taken to jail. Many of the people are away from the river at a place called Natome. Two days ago an elderly man from the mountains, near Lake Turkana, called a pastor over and said the raiders are coming from my village. I know them all. In fact that man over there is one of them. The pastor did not believe him and called his brother over who was still skeptical as they both know the accused man. They called some other men over to hear the story and then they all called the accused over. He refused at first and then as the group moved toward him he came over. When they began to ask him about the killings, he began to shake. He then confessed he was with the raid that killed the man and his two sons, but had stopped going after that. He identified all the bandits. He said they take the animals to some Pokot men to get more bullets and some cash. The accused is in jail. The police are not going to search for the others as they are a seven hour walk on the other side of the Kerio River.
No one from across the Kerio River has gone home yet. A few have trickled back into Nakor and Kangirisae, but the majority are refugees near Natome and scattered west of the north/south road to the west of Nakor and north. All animals have been moved another 30 kilometers north near Kerio town.
Please pray the government will send the police out to capture the bandits.  Most people are afraid to go home as long as they are still free.
Thanks, and God bless,

Again, these raids are happening about 3 hours drive outside Lodwar and then 7 hours walk.  There is a river (usually dry, but flowing right now because of rain down country), and then the area where the raids are taking place.  The river cannot be crossed by vehicles.  My guess is that if anything is to be done, it would have to be done by air and that is harder to get.  In the meantime, people are displaced and afraid of going home.

Some of my students for ESL and at TBTI come from these areas.  So, do please keep them in your prayers!  My next ESL class is next week and the next TBTI class is Oct 17th.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Update on prayer request


I asked you all to pray for the situation out in the Kangarisae area Friday.  So, here is a little update from my teammate, Gene Morden.  FYI the area of Kangarisae is where I lived when I first came to Turkana to learn the language and the culture.  Please keep those prayers coming!

I will update you on the current situation in the Kerio Area. I will also try and answer some question that have come up.

The bandits are walking over the mountain with guns and coming into different villages. Some say it is Turkana attacking Turkana and other are saying it is Pokot.
We have not found out the answer to that. So far 4 have been killed with a possible 5th. All have moved from the areas to areas 20 kilometers away. Most were taken out by vehicles others walked out or I should say ran out. So far it looks like the bandits are only after animals.

The last we heard the police had gone after them and there was a gun fight in the mountains. The 2 chiefs were following the police. How do we get the news? Well there are what they call hot spots for quite a ways out in the bush now days. Technology has changed things a lot and some phones are cheap and it only costs if you call.

As far as the farms in the areas we do not know what will happen. As of today we are told everyone has left all the villages. Where they are staying is too far to walk back and forth everyday. We will keep you posted. We just have to believe that God has a plan.

Please pray that peace would come to the area.
Pray for the families of the dead will be comforted
Pray that the bandits will be caught so families can move back to their homes
Pray fo wisdom in knowing how to handle different situations that may come up

We love you all,
thank you for standing beside us,
Thanks for your prayers and keep them coming!  Lynn

Friday, September 23, 2011

prayer request!

Dear Faithful Prayer Partners:
I have an urgent prayer request. My teammate, Gene Morden, got a call this evening asking for help.  As I am typing one of our areas we work in (Kangirisae & Kamekwi- about 3 hours out from Lodwar) is being attacked by bandits. Everyone is scared and wants out. This is the forth attack in 2 weeks. Police don’t even want to help. Please, Pray for peace and protection for these people!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

How has the "third world" impacted you?

Hello all!

I was reading another blog ( // ) about the release of a new album by Shawn Groves, called Third World Symphony.  This asked for comments about the question in the title of this post.  So, I also ask you all to comment on this.  I don't get a lot of comments so it would be nice to see a few anyway :).  My comment is below (with a little bit added here), but I hope you will also comment here and there if you like!  If you comment there, you have a chance to win that album.  It isn't why I commented.  The question just got me thinking.  So, here goes:

I see poverty around me every day in the African town where I live.  I see joy around me as well in the faces of children who know that life is hard and yet that they are loved.  I've seen laughter and joy in the eyes of a child as he plays with that little "car" made from trash and kicks the soccer ball made from balled up plastic bags.   I've seen great happiness in the eyes of adults as they learn to read their own language for the first time.  Their smiles light up their whole faces!

For fifteen years I have lived in N.W. Kenya among the poorest of the poor and yet they are so generous with their praise to God.  Life is so hard for them and some people are so very hungry, but they praise God for the little they have.  I have learned to be thankful for all that I used to take for granted.  I have learned that physical poverty is not poverty of the soul.  I have learned that we are all people and we all need Jesus.  When we do not have him, we are worse off than any of the poorest of the poor who do have him.  I have learned that all our things do not make a difference in the end.  What we do with our lives and how we love are what make a difference.  Whether we have a "filipino kitchen," an american kitchen or an open fire for our pot, if we aren't serving up God's love and grace with the food we cook, then no matter how much food there is, people will go away hungry.

I don't know how long I will be here, but I know that this place - this "third world" place that God called me to - has changed my life forever.  It has captured my heart and changed me in so many ways that I cannot count or even try to come up with words for.  I pray for the blooming of this place; blooming of God's grace and mercies poured out on the people so that their lives are not so hard.  I pray for the literal blooming of this dry and dusty land, but more for the Spiritual blooming of Christ in the hearts of his people here.  I am thankful that He sees fit to use me to help even a little bit.  I'm also so very thankful that he understands Turkana because I only catch about 3/4 (if that much) of what is said.  Even so, I know he is praised as I see my friends singing and dancing in church and praising the God of all the earth!  This "third world" place has become my home.  These "third world" people have captured a part of my heart and they are no longer "third world" people they are just friends.  They are brother's and sister's with me on the journey to finding our true home - where there will be no poverty physically or spiritually because our true home is in Christ Jesus!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Healings and Feelings - an ESL class


This week my ESL class watched a chapter of the movie "The Hope."  The chapter was about Jesus' ministry.  We talked about many things that Jesus did and the things he taught.  At the end of the week I gave them the assignment to be done in groups of two or three.  One was to play Jesus and one was to play a sick person that Jesus heals.  They were to have each person speak (English of course) and also show the emotions that the people might have felt.

It was a fun assignment for the students.  I had seven students that could make it to class.  We had a big rain (8 hours straight!) on Saturday and a couple of students couldn't make it across a river to get to the vehicle that was bringing them to class.  So, there were three groups.  I got a couple of pictures at the beginning of each "drama."  I was too involved laughing or clapping as part of the crowd of onlookers to get the whole thing.  :).  So, enjoy the pictures!

The paralytic being healed.  He ran around the class room yelling, 'I can move!' after he was healed.

This is a blind man being healed.  He shouted out "I can see!  I can see!"

Jarius' daughter in disguise being raised from the dead.  S/He hugged Jesus and said thank you!

The students had fun doing these little dramas and I had fun watching.  The blind man had a friend lead him to Jesus - just in case you wondered where the 7th student was.  After the drama's we had some very good discussions about who Jesus is and what he did while here on earth.  We also discussed what we might want to ask him or tell him if he were right here in our classroom.  There were requests for blessings and power to help people and questions about how hard life is.  Several said they would ask that Jesus would heal a friend of theirs.  Then we talked about how Jesus is right here in our classroom :).  And we decided that we could ask these questions and make these request right then.

How about you?  What would you ask Jesus or request from him if he were right next to you?  He is, so why don't you go right ahead and ask him!  Have a good week!