October 28, 2006
God Always Has Something
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
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.
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
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!
October 22, 2006
Three Months in Kenya
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.
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.
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
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
I thank God for you, your
love and prayers!
October 14, 2006
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
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!!!
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,
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
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!
October 7, 2006
Can You Believe It’s
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
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