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November 2006 News Archive


Posted_By: Judy
Date: Saturday, November 25, 2006




The United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in Nairobi November 6-17.  During that time the weather here was definitely not normal for this time of the year according to the natives.  November should be very hot, dry and dusty; instead it is cool, sometimes cold, with rain night and day causing flooding in some areas.  In fact it rained so hard all day and the night before last Saturday that we cancelled Bible study.  The dirt roads were so muddy it was unsafe to walk or drive and the gulleys on each side of the road filled with water and were like small rivers.  The people are saying that surely a drought is on the way.


Last Sunday after church I was invited for lunch at the home of one of the Bible study ladies, Dolvine Tuwei.  I drove as far as my car could safely navigate the dirt roads, and then we walked downhill quite a ways.  She, her husband and 10-month-old son live in a traditional rectangular structure of mud and sticks with a tin roof.  She had it very nicely decorated with colorful scarves and cut-outs on the walls.  The entrance had a small arbor with vines growing on it, and beautiful flowers were blooming in a large garden in the front yard.  The meal was the traditional red beans (from their garden) and rice followed by a cup of tea—delicious!


Bryan, one of the boys at Chemartin went with me to church and enjoyed lunch with us.  This Sunday I hope he and his two brothers will also go with me.  One of his brothers is Andrea (Andrew), one of the drivers.  The other brother is Nikolas who is a Form 3 (11th grade) student at the secondary school run by the tea estates.  Bryan is in Form 2 (10th grade).  They are typical teenagers—they love my RAV4!  Please pray for them as I have been witnessing to them about the Lord. 


Tuesday Shikuku and I left for Nairobi at 7:00 a.m. for me to go to the Immigration Office to apply for permanent resident status.  I called beforehand to find out what papers I needed to take with me, so all I had to do was fill out their form.  I was there only 30 minutes, but it will be two months before I find out anything, and then I’ll have to return to Nairobi to pick up my “alien card.” 


After leaving immigration, we took care of other business then went to the mall for supper in the 5:00 traffic.  Everyone must come and experience a Nairobi traffic circle during rush hour.  You won’t believe it.  Two lanes become crammed into three or four lanes (depending on whether there’s a big truck among the chaos) with only inches between the cars.  There are few traffic lights, so it’s first come, first served, and he who hesitates is left stranded in the dust until everyone else has gone home!  It’s totally amazing and nerve wracking!


Because of road conditions it’s unsafe to drive at night, so we left Nairobi on Wednesday morning.  The drive each way was five hours on roads that were half very good and half very bad.  Along the way the road passes high above and on the edge of the Great Rift Valley.  What an awesome sight it is!  About half way on the trip the road goes down into the Rift Valley for a few kilometers where baboons gather on the side of the highway to watch humans dodge pot holes.  Then the climb begins back up to Nandi Hills and cooler weather. 


Friday was graduation day at Mukhuru Baptist Bible School for two of our pastors:  Peter Kemboi of Cheptabach and John Rotich of Kapsabet.  They received certificates for their theological studies during the last three years.  They would like to continue their seminary studies and earn diplomas and then degrees, and that will depend on God supplying the needed finances.  Please pray for the pastors here.  These two are the first to receive certificates.  All the others have not had the opportunity to go to a Bible school.


I was taken by surprise when before the graduation service began, I was asked to stand in for the absent music teacher.  Two men received certificates in church music.  I had to don a robe and cap and marched in with the other teachers and students.  It was quite an honor, but I surely felt out of place.  But God had a plan.  The experience brought me into contact with a vice-president of the Baptist Convention of Kenya who is in charge of the Theological Extension Education (TEE) section.  His name is Linus Kirimi and he was the keynote speaker at the graduation service.  He will be an invaluable source of help for our pastors.  Over lunch (red beans and rice) we talked about the needs in Nandi Hills and he’s willing to start a Bible school right here!  Mungu ni mwema!!!  (God is good!!!)


I continue to stand in awe at how God is working and providing for the churches here.  I pray we are able to get Sunday Schools started in January in at least a few of the churches, and told the ladies in Bible study today to begin praying about their role as possible S.S. teachers and helpers.  That means having some training sessions.  Please pray for us in this endeavor.


As always thank you for your prayers!

Mungu awabariki!



Before receiving their certificates there was a special prayer for the graduates.

During the service we sang three congregational hymns in Swahili: "How Great Thou Art," "Stand up, Stand up for Jesus," and "Send the Light."

Mukhuru Bible School began in 1998. This was their 4th graduating class consisting of 12 theological students and 2 music students. It's a satelite school of Kenya Baptist Theological College in Limuru outside of Nairobi.

This choir had a beautiful sound.  The bass guitar amp and sound system were attached to two car batteries with a third battery on standby since there was no power on the school campus.



Posted_By: Judy
Date: Saturday, November 18, 2006




Last Sunday, Nov. 12, was Thanksgiving Day in the Nandi Hills Zone.  Over 100 people gathered (inside and outside) at First Baptist Church, Chemartin, for praise and worship and a long session of prayers of thanksgiving for all God is doing here.  We prayed for the pastors, deacons, other church leaders, Sunday Schools, the ladies Bible studies, Anna and Thomas (her husband) and all they’ve done to help start the churches, for the mission team coming next year from FBC Snellville and for the areas they will be visiting with the gospel, for the missions ministry at FBCS, for new converts to all the churches, for my shamba, and the property where Temso church is located.  Then the ladies presented me with a beautiful kikoi or leso (an all-purpose garment), a decorated gourd (sotet or kibuyu) and a pound of Nandi tea leaves.  All of this was followed by a lunch of delicious red beans and rice.  It was a wonderful day of glorifying our awesome God!  It started at 10:00 a.m. and I was back in my abode by 4:30 p.m.  Quite a day!


Here’s the explanation for the title above.  As you know, my last name is Rushing.  Chirchir is Kalenjin for rushing.  Chep denotes a female. Sunday they bestowed on me that name, so that my whole name now is Judy Rushing Chepchirchir.  Everyone here has three names which can be derived from any family member—father, uncle, other—and the place or circumstances surrounding their birth.  For example, chirchir can also refer to a child who came into the world in a hurry.  Some of their names are quite fascinating.


The ladies Bible studies continue to grow.  I’ve informed them that they are being trained to become teachers.  I ask questions that make them dig into the Word to find the answers for themselves instead of just sitting and soaking.  There are several who know enough to start teaching a children’s Sunday School class as soon as the pastors can get them organized.  How exciting it will be to see these children learning more about Jesus!

On Tuesday of this week I mailed 2½  lbs. of necklaces and bracelets to FBCS and to one of my sisters-in-law in Louisiana for her church, Judson Baptist, Walker, LA.  They have a group of ladies called Mission in Action (I think that’s right) and they are exactly what their name implies.  They participate in many missions activities and are praying for me and the Kenyan people faithfully for which I thank them and the Lord.  I’ll be mailing some more soon to anyone else who may be interested in receiving them.


In the list of prayer concerns above I mentioned the property where Temso church is located.  In last week’s update I said the property was originally designated as a site for a cattle dip, but the Temso community very generously donated the 1.5 acres to the church with the stipulation that a dispensary be built along with the church.  That was in 2002.  Since then nothing has happened to fulfill that plan and I just found out that the community had recently decided to take back the land and divide it among five other church denominations in the area.  When Anna and I met with Chief Joseph a few weeks ago, I wasn’t aware of the decision to reclaim the land, but I did explain to him why nothing had happened all these years.  As a result, another meeting was held on Sunday, Nov. 5, at the church involving members of the community and the church, and, thanks be to our awesome God, they decided to give the property back to the Baptist church alone!  God is working behind the scenes setting the stage for great and mighty things to come!


Here’s an update on my grandson, Devin.  They missed the Nov. 9th appointment due to inaccurate driving directions, so it was rescheduled for Nov. 16.  The doctor doesn’t think anything serious is wrong, but they are going to do a sleep test to make sure the twitching while he’s asleep is not seizure related.  Thank you for your prayers!


Mungu awabariki!



The foundation is made up of the large stones pounded into the ground then cement poured over that.  The site already has a solid bedrock of stone they call mara which will be the "sure, firm foundation."

Posted_By: Judy
Date: Saturday, November 11, 2006


Sunday School at Irimis Church


When I first arrived here, I was told that Irimis Baptist Church in Kapsabet was no longer meeting.  It is one of the churches we started in 2002.  That was a typical language barrier miscommunication.  I saw it with my own eyes last Sunday.  It is alive and well and is the only church in the upper Nandi Tea Zone that has a Sunday School.  That’s something we’re working on—Sunday Schools in all the churches.  Please add that to your prayer list for us.  Space is a problem and so is a lack of trained teachers, but all of that will be solved with the Lord’s help and it will happen soon!


Jane Sum is the name of the S.S. teacher you see in the picture.  She faithfully attends the Bible study at Kapsabet, and she did a wonderful job with those children of all ages.  They are memorizing Bible verses and the books of the Bible, and they sang several great songs.  I’ve asked her to help train others who the Lord will call to teach.  This will be an item for discussion at the pastors’ meeting at Chemartin this Sunday morning.


Wednesday at the Temso Bible study I gave a pair of reading glasses to a lady who couldn’t see well enough to do any of the beaded/crocheted projects.  She was so proud of them she kept them on the whole time although she can’t read.  She would have had to walk about two hours to the place where she could get a ride in a matatu to take her to Eldoret to see an eye doctor.  If she was able to do that, she wouldn’t have had the money to pay the doctor.  She’s a 57-year-old widow and she’s one of hundreds of older people whose eyes are failing them.  But help is on the way.


The 1½  acres of land where Temso Baptist Church is located was donated to them by the Temso community with the understanding that a dispensary would be built on the land along with the church.  The land was originally designated to be a cattle dip station.  Anna and I met with Chief Joseph (not a tribal chief but an administrator in charge of the district), and the process to construct the dispensary is now underway.  The government and community will help fund it, along with other donations.  Once it is established and operating and the government has seen that the community is actively involved in the process, the government will take over by supplying the personnel and medicines needed.  Some day it can turn into a health center and then a hospital which is so desperately needed in the area.  I found out recently that six workers at Chemartin alone died last month because they couldn’t reach medical help in time.  Also last month a mother gave birth in the tea field and developed complications, but they were able to get her transported to the hospital in Nandi Hills in time to save her life and the baby’s, a blessing that is not always a reality.


On the lighter side I thought you would enjoy the following which I prepared for the Whispering Pines Southern Baptist Association in Idaho.  A very old friend from college and seminary days is pastoring a small church there and an Associational Missions Fair is planned in December.






Kenya’s national dish is called ugali, which is pronounced oo gah’ lee.  It is basically their version of grits.  There are no definite measurements for the ingredients.  You just learn from experience and it all depends on how many will be eating it. 


Ingredients:  water and maize (corn) meal (Jembe brand here.)


Bring desired amount of water to a boil.

Pour in enough maize meal to feed the number of people who will eat it.

Reduce the heat.

Cook until it’s ready, stirring occasionally.


Ready means it’s thick enough to hold a shape.  Some put it in a bowl to shape it then turn it over on a dish and slice it to serve.  Others shape it into a thick, flat cake and use a spoon to serve it.  You can also serve it straight out of the pot.  It can also be made with millet meal.  Most people do not use any salt.





What they call spinach is actually Swiss chard.  They don’t grow the same spinach eaten in the U.S.  This recipe is by one of the native ladies, Peres, who works as a cook and housekeeper at Chemartin.  It’s delicious!



An armful of spinach (Swiss chard) freshly picked from the garden

A couple of tablespoons of corn oil

½ of one large leek freshly pulled from the garden and thinly sliced

1 tomato sliced into small pieces (Tomatoes don’t grow well here in the high altitudes, so they are brought in from Uganda.)

Salt to taste

Spicy beef flavoring (Mchuzi Mix brand is used here.)

Cream made from boiled fresh milk from your cow(s)


Wash the Swiss chard and pull the leaf from the stem.

Slice the leaves into very small pieces.

Heat the corn oil in a pot large enough to hold the greens.

Add leek, tomato and salt and sauté for a few minutes.

Add the greens and let them cook down.

Add the spicy beef flavoring.

Cook 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the cream and continue cooking until desired tenderness.


Do not discard the stems or any blemished leaves.  Finely slice and dice them and feed them to the fish in your pond.  If you prefer, you may cook them and add them to your dogs’ food.  Rabbits do not like Swiss chard.


Kenyans traditionally do not eat desserts.  They do eat lots of fresh fruits picked off the trees, i.e. bananas, pawpaws, mangoes, and papayas.


As always, thank you for your prayers and Mungu awabariki,



Everything is done the old fashioned way--hard work and sweat!

Posted_By: Judy
Date: Saturday, November 4, 2006


Shamba Prayer Service


My cup is overflowing!  Last Sunday, 10/29, was an outstanding day.  We had another wonderful church service at Temso, and then all of us walked through the woods to my shamba where we gathered for another service and prayer over the property.  At the end of the service everyone joined hands in a circle with me in the middle and several people prayed.  What a very special time that was!  After returning to the church there was a meeting of all the pastors followed by a meal of red beans (kidney beans) and rice, a meal I grew up on in New Orleans.  Beans and rice is one of the staple meals here and it was very good.


Tuesday we took our usual weekly trip to Eldoret to do various errands, like grocery shopping, buying more beads for the ladies groups, getting my brakes fixed, and a doctor’s visit for Anna.  When we returned to Chemartin I walked to the primary school where I met two of the ladies, Agnes and Annita, who showed me how to make the traditional, fancy beaded necklaces.  What fun!  Annita is a whiz at making them and Agnes was there to translate for us.  We worked until it became too dark to see very well, and then they walked with me back to Chemartin.  They are all so good to me, insisting on carrying my stuff—on their heads!—and making sure I get back home safely.


On Wednesday Agnes and Annita accompanied me to Temso to show the ladies there how to make the necklaces.  They were so interested and were working so hard, we spent the whole time doing that, so the Bible study will continue next week. 


I was invited to speak at two primary schools on Wednesday and Friday to encourage the graduating class as they begin their exams next week to determine where they will attend secondary school.  Primary school (elementary/middle school) begins at age 6 or 7 or later and they attend for eight years.  Instead of “grades” they have “Standards” 1 through 8.  Upon completing Standard 8, they are tested to see which of the three levels of secondary school (high school) they are qualified to attend.  The highest level is a National Secondary School.  Next highest is a Provincial school, and then a District school is the lowest.  Those attending the national schools almost always go on to universities.  The others may or may not, or they may attend a technical school, or just find a job after graduation.  The secondary school “grades” are called “Forms” and consist of four years of Form 1, Form 2, etc.  Form 4 students have exams over a two-week period in November to determine their eligibility to graduate and attend a university.  The school year is January to November with vacations in April, August, and mid-November through December.  Many secondary schools are boarding schools because they are so widely spread out, there’s no transportation, and it’s too far to walk to and from home every day.  They all wear uniforms.


As you all know, mentioning the name of God or Jesus in American schools brings problems.  Here, one of the subjects is Christian Religious Education.  When I was asked to speak at Temso and Cheptabach Primary Schools, my instant response was, “What can I say?”  Their answer was, “Encourage them, pray for them, and share whatever God puts on your heart.”  I thought, Wow, just like church!  Each of the classes where I spoke sang a Christian song, one of which was about God calling Moses and He could call and send them out, too.  This was in a government school!  Bwana asa fiwe!  Actually, “government school” means the government furnishes the building and books and pays the teachers.  Everything else is up to the community, parents and teachers, including upkeep on the building.  Most schools are also supported by one or more churches.  Hence, pastors of those churches were also invited to speak to the students.  I was impressed with the teachers at both schools and look forward to going back to share more about Jesus with them.


God is working through your prayers!  Thank you for your faithfulness to pray.


Mungu awabariki!



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