Home About Me About Kenya News Guestbook

<<<Back to the News Archives

October 2006 News Archive


Posted_By: Judy
Date: Saturday, October 28, 2006


God Always Has Something Better!


L/R in the picture:  Shikuku, who dug the hole; Simeon, surveyor's helper; David, a deacon at Temso B.C.; Joseph, the surveyor;  Joseph, surveyor's other helper; and Choge, whose property I bought.  This beacon, or marker, is at the top of the triangle at the top of the hill.  The two sides go off to the right and left and down to the road which forms the bottom of the triangle.  And, yes, it's a dirt road!  I didn't realize how big an acre is!  Anna and her gardeners and I will be landscaping.  Anna is a master gardener and her place is beautiful!  My children know how I pictured a beautiful garden in my backyard in Lawrenceville.  Well, here it will be in the front yard for everyone to enjoy!Most of you probably remember the first piece of property I almost bought, but the deal fell through.  The view was that which the Lord implanted in my mind on the 2005 mission trip.  I thought sure that was the shamba God had for me.  Well, that was the view God intended for me, but he had another piece of property a few kilometers away, also on the edge of the Nandi Escarpment, which I purchased on Wednesday, 10/25, just one week after being told about it.  The view is of the same valley, with hills and mountains all around, but also included way in the distance is Lake Victoria.  Psalm 37:4 says, Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.  He has done just that!  Can anyone ask for more?  Bwana asa fiwe!


In a discussion I had recently with someone who believed that all religions have the same god, just a different name for him, they tried to use a triangle to prove it.  One point was “god,” another point was the religion’s prophet, and the third point was the book they use.  They said all religions are like a triangle.  But I said Christianity is different.  All three points of the Christian triangle are God:  God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.  Christianity is not a religion; it’s a relationship with One holy, righteous, all-powerful God.  I said all that to tell you this:  my shamba is one acre in the shape of a triangle!  I’ve thought about calling the road in front of it Trinity Way.


Just above the topmost darkest line on the horizon is a very light blue strip and then the sky begins.  The light blue strip (if you can see it) is Lake Victoria.  I'll try to take some better pictures on a clearer day when the "monsoons" are over.The next step is to cut down some unwanted trees, and then fence it in to keep out all the critters.  Today there were two cows and one sheep grazing on it.  Building the house will begin in about two weeks and it will take about six months to complete.  The whole process is very different than in the U.S., so I’ll be taking pictures along the way and share the process with you.


There’s a wonderful Kalenjin ceremony which will take place this Sunday.  Kalenjin is the collective name for the several tribes that live in the Nandi Hills area and their language.  Whenever one of them buys a piece of property, they all gather there and pray over it.  So this Sunday, we will have a church service at Temso, which is the area where the property is located, then we will walk up the road to the shamba where all the church members and neighbors will join in prayer to ask God’s blessings on it.  I am overwhelmed and get chill bumps thinking about it!  There’s no better way to start a new home!


This has been another very busy week dealing with land issues in the mornings and Bible studies in the afternoons.  Also, the rains are back, although these rains are different.  They are the remains of the monsoons that come from the east coast.  Mombasa is flooding, as is part of the northeastern desert region of Kenya—a most unusual phenomenon since they have been in a severe drought for a few years.  Last Saturday during the Bible study, we had rain and hail which made so much noise under the tin roof that we all went outside on the porch.  Hail is not a good thing as it can damage the tea leaves.


Please pray for our pastors here.  One of them had to step down from his pastorate due to some problems (nothing immoral).  The enemy is working here the same way he’s working there in the U.S. and people are the same everywhere.  John 16:33 says, In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.  Always remember that in Jesus, our risen Savior, we already have victory, and Satan is already defeated, and we have resurrection power in us through the Holy Spirit to make us more than conquerors in this world!


Here is a personal prayer request.  My youngest grandson, Devin, 7 years old, is having some problems.  A CT scan showed nothing, but he has an appointment with a neurologist on November 9.  Please pray for Devin, Barry (my son), Kristy (my daughter-in-love), and the doctors for wisdom and peace, for God’s perfect will to be done, and that God will receive all the glory in this situation.


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



Posted_By: Judy
Date: Saturday, October 22, 2006


Three Months in Kenya Already!


I landed in Nairobi on Saturday, July 15, so last Sunday, October 15, marked three months into the safari here.  It was also an interesting day.  I had been invited to Cheptabach B.C., but couldn’t remember how to get there by driving and none of the Chemartin drivers were available.  The other times I went with a driver we always took a detour somewhere along the way to see something, so I had no idea how to go straight to the church.  Usually someone always escorts me, but the tea is growing faster now in the warmer weather and everyone was working.  In fact, Cheptabach was the only church to have services because of the need for everyone to work to get the tea picked.


Therefore, I decided to walk.  I put on my “wilderness” shoes and, with a walking stick in one hand and my Bible in the other, I started out.  I had to pass by the Chemartin housing camp where ten children joined me.  Half way up the huge hill two of them turned back, but the other eight walked with me all the way to church, stayed for the service, and then walked back with me.  It was a 50-minute walk one way!  Of course, I’m rather slow compared to the home folk who do it in only 20 minutes; and while I was breathing hard going up the hill, the kids were running ahead of me!


When Dr. Russ Shinpoch first arrived at FBC, Snellville, he preached a series of sermons on getting out of the boat.  During the week I had been reading in Matthew and came to that passage.  The Lord impressed upon me to be ready to share it on Sunday, which I did.  I condensed into about 20 minutes what Bro. Russ shared over several weeks.  Obviously, I left out a point or two here and there!  Thank you for the inspiration, Bro. Russ!


During the services here, there is a teaching time and preaching time.  My part is the teaching.  There are always several songs that are begun by anybody sitting in the congregation, and then everyone joins in.  My favorite part of the services is the testimony time.  Each person begins with “Bwana asa fiwe! (Praise the Lord!)  I am saved and know the Lord.”  The congregation responds with amen!  They then share whatever’s on their heart.  There are always five or six people who share every Sunday and it’s always a time of praise and encouragement.  I love listening to them!


Pastor Samwel Kiarie and I met one day to plan further for the Kenya Baptist Convention to provide personnel and materials to begin training classes for the pastors.  He also showed me how the other churches keep their records, i.e. membership, giving and attendance.  That information is hand written in ledger books by the church secretary.  The churches here in Nandi Hills haven’t been keeping such records, but now that they are part of the KBC, they must report accurate statistics to have proper representation at the convention meetings.  So we are slowly getting to where we need to be, organizational-wise.


I’m attaching a picture of some of the beadwork the ladies have been making.  They are working hard to send many samples to the U.S. for your Christmas shopping pleasure.  A few weeks ago, all three Bible study groups were in the same book of the Bible.  Now, however, one group is still in Titus, another is in 2 Timothy, and the third started Ecclesiastes today.  Please pray for these groups and their teacher!  Today after we finished I had four women and five small children in my car to take home.  They’re keeping me very busy.


I guess I need to stop mentioning how great the internet is now because yesterday, Saturday, the day I usually send out the updates, it was down all day.  I tried until 11:30 p.m.  That’s why you’re receiving it today (Sunday) instead.  Thank you for your patience!


I thank God for you, your love and prayers!

Mungu awabariki!



Posted_By: Judy
Date: Saturday, October 14, 2006


Tinderet Mountain


Last Sunday (10/8) I was invited to Revival Baptist Church where Samwel Kiarie is pastor.  If you remember, he is also chairman of the Nandi Tea Zone Association of the Kenya Baptist Convention.  The church is located in an area called Tinderet.  On my trusty map I found that there is a mountain called Tinderet.  Little did I know that the church was on top of that mountain, elevation 8,000 feet, and about 1½ hours from Nandi Hills.


The drive was gorgeous!  Leaving Nandi we (Shikuku, 2 pastors, Henry and I) drove down from 7,000 feet into a beautiful valley surrounded by the mountains and hills.  The road was like any mountain road with hairpin curves but, Bwana asa fiwe, not many potholes!  We drove through the valley to the mountains on the other side where we picked up Pastor Samwel and some Fanta drinks.  My little RAV was very crowded, but they’re used to that.  We turned off the paved road onto a dirt road and started up Tinderet Mountain.  Talk about a view!!!


The service began at 10:00, although we didn’t arrive until 10:30, and it ended at about 1:30.  The five churches in the Tinderet area were represented and their choirs sang, accompanied by drums and hand clapping.  There was a keyboard and sound system, but it all stopped working when the car battery that was powering everything died.  There were several speakers, many songs and prayers, and some presentations which included a large decorated gourd or sotet in Kalenjin or kibuyu in Swahili that Pastor Samwel gave me from his church.  It was a wonderful time of worship and praise to the Lord!


FYI:  I still speak everywhere I go with as much as 5-10 minutes notice.  Usually the pastor leans over to me during a song and says, “You’re next.”


After the service they fed us in someone’s home next to the church.  This home was brick with a tin roof.  Lunch, which was cooked in another structure, consisted of chicken boiled with herbs and spices and yellow rice seasoned with onion, bell pepper and herbs.  It was very good and as long as the food is cooked, it is safe to eat.  We then said our goodbyes and I was back in my abode at Chemartin by 4:00.


Please pray for Shikuku, one of the Chemartin drivers, chief mechanic and general handyman.  He is of the Luya tribe but speaks Swahili and English very well.  In fact he’s been one of my Swahili teachers and driving instructor.  (By the way, I’m pretty much driving on my own except in the larger towns where chaos reigns without any traffic lights.  There are some lights, but they stopped using them because the number of accidents increased.) 


Back to Shikuku.  He told me Sunday that it was the first time he had been in church for 18 years.  When I bought the first batch of Bibles several weeks ago, he asked me for one in English, then a couple of weeks ago, he asked me to pray for him.  We’ve had several little talks about the Lord.  When he gets saved, it will impact many people here because he knows everyone everywhere we go!


As an aside, his name is derived from the Luya word for festival or holiday, sikuku.  He was born at Christmas time, hence his name. 


All of the ladies Bible studies are still going strong and they are really into the projects to help their families.  I found out this week that the men are really interested in the bracelets because they like to wear anything that has beads on it.  We plan to ship several examples of their labor to FBCS for your Christmas shopping pleasure!  If anyone else is interested in supporting their projects, please let me know. 


Last night was a great time of fellowship and sharing with the people who will be attending the revived church which meets at Chemartin primary school in the housing compound.  If you remember, this church was started in 1998 by Pastor Charley, but it stopped meeting soon after his death in 2003.  They shared testimonies about their excitement and commitment to the church.  We met in the home of a deacon, Duncan Juma, until sundown when he got out his kerosene lantern for us to have some light.  By the time I started walking back to the house (10-15 minute walk), it was very dark, but seven men walked with me to make sure I made it safely.  That’s one of the many ways these people have been so gracious to take care of me.


The internet service I’m using now is DSL via my cell phone with Celtel.  The only other cell phone company in Kenya is Safaricom.  The speed is now 115.2 kbps vs. 9.6 kbps on dial-up, which means it’s a little faster and more reliable especially with the addition of a new cell tower on top of the hill behind us a few weeks ago.  However, instead of being charged per minute of usage, I’m now charged by how many mbs I send and receive.  Therefore, if you send me a huge amount of information with pictures, music, etc., I won’t be able to download it.  I would love to see it, but it just isn’t feasible at this time on this side of the world.  So please take me off your huge-information/picture/music-sharing-list, but I do thank you for thinking of me!


As always, thank you for your love, support and mostly your prayers!

Mungu awabariki!



Posted_By: Judy
Date: Saturday, October 7, 2006


Can You Believe It’s October?


I’ve heard y’all are enjoying some cooler days.  Fall has been my favorite season with the beautiful, cool, crisp days.  Well, ladies and gentlemen, there is no Fall season here.  In fact, it’s getting hotter and less rainy.  Although we are north of the equator by just 5-6 miles, our weather is mostly determined by prevailing winds from southern Africa, where Summer is beginning.  I’ve been told it gets pretty hot here, so I’m sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for the furnace to heat up!


Last Sunday’s services (10/1) were back at Chemartin, which was their second meeting for the newly revived church.  We had visitors from Revival Baptist Church where Samwel Kiarie, Chairman of the Nandi Tea Zone of the Kenya Baptist Convention, is pastor.  His choir sang, accompanied by their director on drums.  They sounded wonderful!  I will be visiting their church this coming Sunday in an area called Tinderet, about 40 miles southeast of Nandi Hills, but still in the Nandi District.  Tinderet is in lower Nandi, while we are in upper Nandi, referring to the difference in altitude of a few thousand feet.


For the last ten weeks I’ve been visiting a different church each Sunday with most of the pastors and some of their congregations traveling around with me.  For the trip to Tinderet next Sunday, only two pastors and Henry will be going with me in my car.  So the churches should be getting back to normal with the pastors in their own churches with their own people.  After this I’m thinking I’ll probably just show up at one of the churches unannounced to see what “normal” is, so I’ll have a truer picture of the situation.


Last Sunday after church there was a wonderful meeting of most of the pastors here along with Samwel and five pastors from the Tinderet area.  It was good to see them interact and get to know each other.  There was some tension at first because the pastors in upper Nandi thought the ones in lower Nandi were coming to take charge.  It was a total misunderstanding which happens very frequently around here mainly because three very different languages are spoken:  English, Swahili and Kalenjin.  I’ve been in several situations where I didn’t totally understand what they were saying in English because of their accent and they didn’t understand me because of my accent.  For example, one day I wanted to know how to say “hot” in Swahili.  They thought I said “hat,” because “hot” is pronounced “hoht” and “hat” is pronounced “haht.”  (I hope you get it.)  Anyway the meeting went well and it was the beginning of upper Nandi getting further involved in the Kenya Baptist Convention.


Another good thing to come out of the meeting was Samwel’s insistence that the pastors walk with me to visit church members and prospects.  I tried to get that going several weeks ago, but no one would commit to do it.  I didn’t want to force the issue at this point because I believe the pastors should be the ones to initiate the process, and, Bwana asa fiwe!, this week one of them set a time for us to go next Friday.  I’m going to suggest that another church member also go with us for training purposes.  Once this gets going regularly we will begin to see the churches grow and souls saved!


The three Ladies Bible Groups are growing and they are really into the projects to help the economy of their families.  I took some samples of their work (crocheted bracelets and necklaces) to several places in Eldoret to “test the waters” and had great results.  The first person I showed them to was Hasu, an Indian lady, who, with her husband, owns the store where I get most of the supplies (beads, crochet thread and hooks, material, etc.).  She was very pleased with them and said we could get more for them than Anna and I thought possible.  The news excited the ladies and they showed up with many fruits of their labors.  I had to apply some “quality control” and reminded them we were still in the practice and perfection stage, but most of them were very well done for their first attempt.  We’re getting there. 


Also, they are beginning to really get into the Bible studies by sharing and asking and answering questions.  I was taken aback today when I asked why some of them didn’t bring their Bibles.  One of them said she couldn’t read.  So I asked if anyone else in her home could read, like her children.  She said they could.  So I suggested she have her children read the Bible to her and they have a family devotional time.  Last week we were studying in Titus about the young women loving their husbands and children.  What better way to show that love than to learn God’s Word at home together?


On a personal note, I saw two more possibilities for land to build my house.  One place was very good.  The other one was close to a family who raised sheep which I could smell from the road.  You understand that I’m a city girl and air pollution can be more pleasant than some “country” aromas.  There’s also another “shamba” close to the first one that fell through.  I’ll probably go see that one next week.


I must describe to you some “toys” I saw recently.  A little girl about 7-8 years old had fashioned a cell phone complete with antenna out of mud and was calling several friends.  Two other children were playing with “push” toys made out of plastic bottles, sticks and jar lids.  The stick was inserted into the top of the bottle.  The bottle was slightly flattened and had an “axle” going through the base with a jar lid on each end of the axle serving as wheels.  On one of the toys the bottle had extra pieces of plastic added to make it look like a train engine.  “Necessity is the mother of invention” and the children were having great fun!


Please continue to pray for us.  These people are praying for you!

Thank you and Mungu awabariki!



Top of Page