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Posted_By: Judy
Date: May 10, 2008


Three Months Later


I know itís been awhile since my last update, but Iíve been waiting on the Lord to help me put things into perspective.  I know God called me to Kenya.  I have no doubt about that.  However, I thought I was to be there for several years and was so surprised when He told me leave after only a year and a half.  Of course, our God knows much more than we do and our job is only to trust Him in all things.


There were some things I had to omit in the last update because I couldnít reveal them at the time.  Now I can share more written information because it has been published or reported on the news recently.    


Television news has reported that North Africa is covered with cells of terrorist groups which are moving south on the African continent.  Most of you will remember that our embassy in Nairobi was bombed in 1998 by terrorists.  Therefore, several weeks before I arrived in Kenya in July 2006, my brother had already made plans for my departure in case it became necessary.  If a plan hadnít already been in place, there would not have been enough time to execute it safely.  I knew nothing about what he had done until the Thursday afternoon before I left on Saturday.


On Monday of the week I left, my brother was given the information about the threat on my life and immediately activated the plan.  He didnít tell me about the threat at first because he wanted me to act as if nothing was wrong.  Within a few hours after the threat was revealed, men were watching me and my house to ensure my safety, and my brother began sending a barrage of emails telling me I needed to leave Kenya immediately.  I felt safe where I was and God hadnít told me to leave, so thatís what I emailed back to him.  Then on Thursday morning he sent an email in which he detailed what a terrorist group would do to someone they captured and made even stronger statements about the necessity for me to get out of there.


I began to pray more earnestly.  As I prayed I heard (not audibly), two voices:  one said, Stay, the other said, Go.  I immediately recognized spiritual warfare was taking place.  A good friend had sent me these Bible verses:  One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: ďDo not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.  For I am with you and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.Ē  (Acts 18:9-10)  These verses helped get me through some uncertain times while I was in Kenya and they gave me peace that I was safe.  But my friend also included this verse:  After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from thereÖ. (Acts 18:23)  When my eyes fell on this verse, I felt the peace of God and knew then that God was the One telling me to go.  The enemy (Satan) was using the other verses to keep me there.


I then emailed my brother that the Lord had told me to leave.  He immediately sent back the message stating I was going to be kidnapped and killed on Sunday morning, February 3, 2008, at 7:00 a.m.  I was shocked!  I began sobbing and had to walk away from the computer.  I went back to my bedroom where I had been praying and wept until I suddenly began rejoicing.  I told the Lord that I must have done something right for them to want me dead.


My brother began sending me detailed directions to follow that I shouldnít question, just obey.  I trusted him completely and had total peace that God was controlling every aspect of the extraction, which was intense and involved a lot of men my brother trusted.  I could use my cell phone and computer only for the purpose of making flight arrangements.  God miraculously provided the means to travel to the airport in Eldoret to fly to Nairobi to connect with the international flights home.  All of that was accomplished within 36 hours. The details of that journey were told in the last update which I sent after arriving in the US.


The kidnapping plan was confirmed when four men arrived at my property on that Sunday morning at the right time.  I thank my great God and Savior I wasnít there!  I later thought about how the Lord had already prepared for this event even before I left the US and used my brother whose efforts saved my life.  I call him Superman!


It took several weeks after arriving in the US for the shock and trauma of all that happened to fade away.  During those first few weeks, I was afraid to go anywhere by myself since I had been warned not to do so before I left Kenya.   After the shock wore off, I realized I was going through a grieving process for the people who had become such good friends and were now suffering so greatly, for the churches and all that still needed to be done for them, and for a country that was once a stable, prosperous model for other African countries but is now at the mercy of terrorists.  A few weeks ago I heard from an evangelist friend who is working with one of the many slums in Nairobi.  He said food prices have tripled and continue to rise weekly so that now he and his family can afford only one meal a day.  Eldoret was experiencing more deadly violence last month.  Henry said a few days ago that food and other supplies are in very short supply, but theyíre expecting some items to arrive by next month.  Gas is now $8.00 a gallon. 


Iíve been able to communicate with Henry via the internet and cell phone so I can keep up with the progress of the churches and the welfare of the people and send encouragement and information to them.  Most of the churches are still meeting regularly with good attendance.  Godís people are enduring their hardships and going on with their lives even in the midst of great fear.  The two pastors I have been sending to theological school were able to continue their education last month.  Hopefully, they will earn their diplomas soon, and then they can teach the other pastors. 


The Lord has been giving me many opportunities to share all that He did while I was in Kenya and the miraculous story of my safe return.  A friend is helping to write a book about it.  When I look back at what Iíve been through, itís like watching a movie.  It doesnít seem real. 


Only God knows if I will ever return to Kenya.  As long as the terrorists are there, it isnít safe for me to return.  Henry is still living on the property and taking care of my house and car and so far everything is still in good shape. 


I wondered why the Lord let me build a house when He knew it wouldnít be long before I had to leave.  Let me share what He has revealed about it.  In an earlier update I told about the property being in the shape of a triangle representing the triune God:  Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Therefore, the property is a reminder that God is there.  The house is built on a solid rock foundation and we know that Jesus is that Solid Rock.  The workers had to dig through the rock into the side of the hill to make a level place to build, so itís built into the cleft of the rock, the place where God keeps us safe.  After I returned home, the Lord brought to mind the Ebenezer stone that Samuel set up (1 Samuel 7:12).  Ebenezer means the Lord is our help and the house is made of stone All of this means the house is a reminder to the people that God loves them and He is there to help them and keep them safe in Jesus Christ.  Just this week the Lord told me to let the people use the house for the Bible school/training center which is sorely needed.  A set of commentaries and other books used in the theological school in Nairobi are already there for the pastors and others to use.  Many details about the school must be worked out, but I know the Lord will accomplish His perfect will


I told this story at a missions conference recently where the Bible teacher shared 1 Corinthians 3:6:  I [Paul] planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.  This verse brought everything into perspective for me.  Paul and Apollos shared the gospel and discipled the people in the churches for a certain length of time and then moved on to other places.  After they left, God used the people they discipled to continue the work and grow His churches.  I had to leave, but God is still there working through the people.  In fact since I left they have started another church at Kipkoimet Tea Estate.  Mungu ni mwema!  God is good!


By the way, you read above the verses that helped me decide whether to go or stay.  After arriving home I was amazed to read that Acts 18:11 says: So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.  Thatís exactly how long I was in Kenya.


Please pray with me for the people of Kenya as Paul did in Philippians 1:3-6:  I thank my God every time I remember you.  In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  NIV


As always, thank you for your prayers!  God is still at work.


Mungu awabariki!





Posted_By: Judy
Date: Sunday, January 6, 2008


Hello from Kenya,

Things have quieted down somewhat, but more homes and businesses were burned this morning in Kisumu, and more trouble is expected on Tuesday. The opponent, Raila Odinga, has called for more than 40 "rallies" around the country on Tuesday, with about 10 of them in Nairobi. The three he scheduled so far all failed to materialize because of the police presence. However, with 40 such happenings, the police will not be able to cover them all. The other option is calling out the army.

This evening there was a special program shown simultaneously on all the local TV channels where prayers, music and speeches of encouragement were shared. It was a beautiful program, well done, and included officials from these groups: Anglican, Catholic, Pentecostal, Muslim, and Hindu. One of the songs that were sung was composed by a rap artist and contained the words "land of the free and home of the brave." It was beautiful!

The voice of reason is being heard on all news programs and I have been very impressed with the opinions and statements from both men and women. Most of the people here are shocked at what has happened and are calling on the leaders to bring the country back to peace, truth and justice. Mothers are banning together to help their children understand and to discipline the youth who are taking part in the violence.

There was pretty good attendance in our churches this morning; however, Kapchorua and Nandi Hills town didn't meet because the people are still too afraid. I haven't heard from all of the churches yet. Henry and Anna wouldn't let me leave to go to church, so I spent the morning in Bible study and prayer. Did you know that Shem, one of Noah's sons, was still alive when Abraham arrived in Canaan?

Please keep praying and let's join the Kenyans in praying for peace, truth and justice.

Mungu awabariki!



Posted_By: Judy
Date: Friday, January 4, 2008


God Is in Control

Although it doesn't appear to be so at times, we know that God is in control of all activity on earth. He allows the enemy only so much room to do his dirty work, but always sets limits on him. If this were not true, all of Kenya would be in flames and tens of thousands of people would be dead instead of only a few hundred. What we're seeing here live and in color is the result of our sinful nature. If all of these people knew Jesus personally as their Lord and Savior, this wouldn't be happening. The elections would have been totally honest and a godly man would be president with no opposition. But then we would be talking about the New Heaven and New Earth where no evil force will be present. That is coming soon when Jesus returns. Hallelujah!

However, we're not there yet, so we face the consequences of sin daily. But God walks with us through the tough times and our faith in Him grows.

Since the last update I've had to move out of my house and am now back at Chemartin tea estate where I lived the first year in Kenya. Security is much tighter here. The night watchmen are carrying bows and arrows along with their night club-quite a contrast to the automatic weapons on TV. In Kenya only police and military are allowed to carry guns legally. Anna's ten dogs roam the compound all night and they were joined by Bush (my dog) today.

On January 2nd, Anna called and ordered me to go over there. Those of you who know Anna know that her orders are to be followed or else! The area where my house is was very safe as long as it was all politically motivated. But things changed quickly into unwarranted violence by gangs. Henry and Dorcas stayed in their house to watch over the shamba. Since my car battery was still dead, Saina came to get me in his tiny, old Suzuki. What a ride on all the dirt, bumpy back roads.

I'm sure most of you have been keeping up with all the happenings on the news, so I'll just share a little about the affects on our people in Nandi Hills.

President Kibaki is a Kikuyu, the largest tribe in Kenya. The opponent, Odinga, is a Luo. When Odinga didn't win, all other tribes were incited against the Kikuyu. The Kikuyu were originally found in the area around Nairobi, but since independence they, and other tribes, have moved around the country mingling and intermarrying. Many lived here in Nandi Hills and worked on the tea estates until after the election when they began to be attacked and their houses burned. The tea estates rounded them up and took them to the police station in Nandi Hills where they were held until transportation, ground and air, could be arranged to take them to Nairobi and to safety.

One of our pastors, Duncan Karinde of Lengut, was among them. I received a text message from him from the Nandi police station asking me to help him, his wife and little son. He said they hadn't been fed. I talked to some of our church people and determined there was nothing we could do. It was not safe to go to Nandi because all the roads were blocked with fallen trees and large rocks, and I had already experienced the fires in the road last time I was there. He and his family are now gone and we'll probably never see them again. That is just one story of the approximately 500,000 people who have been displaced. Please pray for them.

The tea estate workers have been receiving text messages from the opposition warning them not to work, so no tea has been picked and processed since Monday this week, and last week was one big government-ordained holiday because of Christmas and the elections. The tea estates are suffering economically, not to mention the workers who are paid according to the amount of tea they pick. It has been very quiet without the sounds of manufacturing from the tea factories and the voices of the tea pluckers in the fields. And the people are afraid.

Another problem we all face is no gas and no food because roads are blocked all over the country. Kenya provides gas and food for Uganda, Somalia, Sudan and Tanzania, so a very wide area is beginning to suffer. Anna and I had stocked up on food to get us through the elections, but never imagined we would be in this situation now. We've pooled what we had left and are sharing. We're good for another week. Our bottled water is gone, so now we're boiling water to drink. Today Andrew, one of Thomas' sons, took me back to my house to get the rest of the food out of the fridge since there's little gas left to run the one generator that's working. He started my car with battery cables so I could drive it back to Chemartin. It has a half tank of gas we'll probably need at some point.

Eldoret, where the very tragic church fire took place, has become quiet. As soon as the roads are cleared, we plan to send Shikuku and Andrew to get provisions for us. The situation in Kisumu has also gotten better, but over 600 businesses were destroyed plus countless homes. Those are the two places we shop for food and anything else we need. The rally that was supposed to happen today in Nairobi didn't materialize, so that city was quiet for the most part. We pray that's a good sign that things are gradually getting back to normal and people are coming to their senses.

The political problems will not be settled easily. Kibaki is president under great protest. Odinga isn't any better as he has been instrumental in inciting most of the violence. The two of them do not get along at all, so there's still a long road ahead to healing and normalcy. Please continue to pray for peace in Kenya.

Thank you for your concern and prayers. I know God will take care of me as He has so many, many times since I've been here. I think His angels are getting overtime pay!

Mungu awabariki!



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