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.