September 30, 2006
Always a New Experience
Saturday’s ladies Bible study
was moved to Koisagat Primary School because it is fenced to
keep the children from getting too close. Thus it was a
quieter environment except for the occasional rain on the
tin roof. We finished Ephesians so I asked them if they had
any preferences about what to study next. They unanimously
agreed on Titus followed by 2 Timothy, so the “older woman”
will be teaching the “younger women.” Of course I’ve been
learning much from them how they live and take care of
infants and children in a culture without any modern
conveniences, even “older” conveniences like power and
water, and am amazed at how well they do and how happy and
healthy most of the children are.
The three groups of Bible
study now have about 40 ladies participating. At Temso on
Wednesday there were two translators: one for those who
speak Kalenjin and another for the Swahili group. It was a
husband and wife team. At Kapsabet on Thursday a husband
came to interpret for us in Swahili. I was told today that
within a year I should be able to speak Swahili good enough
to go it alone. Right now I still feel like I’m in the
Tower of Babel!
Getting to Koisagat Saturday
in my car was very interesting. The dirt roads were fine
until about a hundred yards from the school when the road
became a tractor-only route unbeknownst to this city girl.
I was driving and Alfred was showing me the way. Suddenly a
large rock hidden in the tall grass between the deep ruts
hit the underside of the car leaving a small hole in the
exhaust system. Oh, well, but it gets better.
on the way to Cheptabach the left front tire sank in very
deep mud on another very bad road. Andrew was driving this
time. He and Henry gathered rocks to put under all the
tires but it didn’t help. Henry called one of the men
waiting for us at the church and within ten minutes seven
men appeared to help us. They were truly unusual looking
angels! They tied a rope to the front of the car and four
men pulled while four others pushed from behind. Yahoo!
They did it and we had church!
Last week I said I would
share some of the needs of the churches. The past two
months have been spent observing, listening and talking with
the various pastors. Thursday I received a three-page
document of the most pressing problems they face and their
suggestions for solving them.
Training for the pastors
and other church leaders. This was a very obvious problem
and God has brought the solution through much prayer and
Pastor Samwel Kiarie of the Kenya Baptist Convention. The
churches had not been sending the money required each year
to be a member of the KBC; therefore, they were not
eligible to receive help. The money problem will be
resolved this coming Sunday at a meeting at Chemartin at
4:00 (9:00 a.m. Atlanta time). Also, steps will be taken
to begin the training process offered by the KBC. Please
pray for God’s divine direction at this meeting.
Sunday School. Right now,
except for one or two churches, there is no Sunday
School—just church services. This means there is no Bible
teaching on a level for children, the next generation of
church leaders. One of the problems is space, especially
for the churches meeting in the primary schools of the tea
estates. Saturdays might be an option which we will
discuss on Sunday. Please pray for this and for materials
to use in teaching.
The enemy is regularly
attacking these churches, as he does churches everywhere.
Please pray for wisdom and revelation from God to thwart
these attacks so that unity and harmony will prevail.
On the material side, all
the churches would like to have a keyboard, drum set, and
other instruments, and a small sound system. The people
here are drawn to churches with instruments more than to
the ones with just a cowhide drum. Temso and Cheptabach
need to upgrade their buildings from tin and wood to
brick. Several want to start a nursery school which
requires playground equipment and balls, etc. Please pray
for God’s perfect will in these matters.
The answers to these problems
lie in much prayer, teaching of sound doctrine, discipleship
training, and teaching the Biblical principles of tithing
and finances. All of this will come slowly, but surely,
with the help of the power of the Holy Spirit of God through
Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. To Him alone be all glory
Thank you for your prayers
and Mungu awabariki!
(I learned this week that
“akubariki” is singular, while “awabariki” is plural.
“Mungu” means God. For anyone who doesn’t know or doesn’t
remember, the whole phrase means God bless you! in
September 26, 2006
Taito Baptist Church Is
the 2005 mission trip, Taito Church was planted but never
grew and so died. Last Sunday, September 17, it was brought
back to life when 40-50 of us met in a classroom at
Kapkembur Primary School and Ernest Wekesa was named
pastor. Please pray for Pastor Ernest and the people whom
God will send to this church. Also, please notice in the
picture that at the bottom of the sign at Kapkembur school
is the verse from Proverbs 1:7.
Another exciting thing
happened Sunday: the churches in Nandi Hills were organized
under the Nandi Tea Zone Association of the Kenya Baptist
Convention and officers were elected among the pastors.
This came about after they asked me about getting ID cards
for them to carry. I emailed the KBC and asked them to mail
me some applications. Well, an old friend from my first
mission trip in 2002 brought them to us in person. Samwel
Kiarie, pastor of Revival Baptist Church, walked with me
every day but one on that mission trip, and then came back
to see me in 2005 for another day of walking. He doesn’t
speak much English, but we became good friends and he came
to see me with the applications because he is now the
Chairman of the Nandi Tea Zone Asso. in addition to his
How awesome is our God to
knit together two mission trips and a friendship over the
last four years! I was thrilled! This means the churches
will be able to take advantage of opportunities offered by
the KBC. I plan to find out what is available for them and
work with Pastor Samwel to get them involved. Up until now
they have been struggling with no outside help. Several
years ago there was an IMB missionary couple who worked in
this area, but they were transferred to Mombasa on the east
coast and no one has come to replace them. And when Pastor
Charley died, much enthusiasm was lost, but it’s coming
Ladies Bible Study has, as of this week, grown into three
groups. The original one at Chemartin will have its sixth
meeting this Saturday. Because some of the ladies have been
walking 45 minutes to over an hour to get there (in the rain
most of the time), we started another one at Temso Church on
Wednesday afternoons and another at Kapsabet on Thursdays.
Can you imagine walking over 1 hour one way on dirt roads
that are sometimes very wet and muddy to attend a Bible
They are very excited about
the projects we’ve chosen to help them make extra money for
their families. One project is crocheting bracelets,
necklaces and earrings out of their native beads. Some of
you may remember doing those 20-30 years ago using pearls.
Another is crocheting cross-shaped bookmarks from a pattern
given to me by Opal Mitchell. Another is making covers for
Bibles. They are so popular in the U.S. but are not to be
seen here, so the market is wide open. Still another
project is weaving tote bags out of plastic bags like the
ones you get at the grocery, Wal-Mart, etc. They are really
pretty and neat, strong and waterproof! I can’t wait to see
the results of all their hard work. I think I mentioned in
an earlier update that the sewing machines are on hold until
we have a place to keep them safely locked up.
Many of you have been very
generous with your support for this African safari either
directly or through the missions office, and I would like to
share with you some of the ways God has led to use your
One of the pastors needed
$40.00 to graduate from Bible School in October.
A future pastor needed
$280.00 to enroll in Bible School.
The new dispensary in
Cheptabach needed $300.00 to pay a nurse for 3 months and
furnish it with beds, a desk, chairs, shelving, etc., so
it could open and start serving the people.
One hundred ten (110)
Bibles in English, Swahili and Kalenjin cost $783.00. I’m
ordering more from the Kenya Baptist Convention. This is
something we promised the people on our mission trips.
Two soccer balls for the
children who live in the Chemartin compound were $30.00.
A soccer team was using an old volleyball and the children
were playing with a ball of string that used to be a real
ball at one time.
Supplies for the ladies
have cost $100.00+ so far. When their items start
selling, they will receive the profit and I will use the
rest to replenish supplies.
Cheptabach Church needed
$250.00 to finish the payments on the land for their
building which FBCS had promised to them.
Next week I’ll share some of
the needs of the churches.
I forgot to tell you that the
land sale did not go through last week. The family decided
to try to take advantage of the “rich white woman from
America” and raised the price 70,000 Kenya shillings
($1,000.00 U.S.) the morning we were to close. The people
in the area are “up in arms” over this and are trying to
find another piece of property for me. So I’m in
“waiting-on-the-Lord-mode” for His perfect “shamba.” Also,
the piano I was supposed to get was sold to someone else,
but another has been ordered which will probably arrive next
week. Boy, the Lord surely knows how to teach patience,
As always, thank you for your
prayers, love and support!
Mungu aku bariki!
September 16, 2006
Time: 1:55 PM
The Rains Haven’t Stopped Yet
Saturday, 9/9, began as a
beautiful sunny day as most days do. Rarely is it cloudy
and rainy in the mornings. So clothes are washed early and
hung out to dry. (Anna has two washing machines but no
dryer.) By now in September the rains should have begun
tapering off, and they did one week, but then started back.
That’s OK, though, because very soon it will be very hot,
dry and dusty, so they say.
to Saturday. Ladies Bible study begins at 3:00, so I began
walking to the school at 2:30. The clouds had begun
building up, so I took an umbrella with me. We all gathered
inside the very rustic room at the primary school and began
with prayer and announcements. Then the bottom fell out.
It rained so hard for the next two hours, that we couldn’t
hear each other over the noise on the tin roof. A few times
the rain would abate somewhat and I’d try to teach over it,
but after a few minutes the roar of huge amounts of water
drowned everything out. I had 8 pages of notes and made it
only to page 2. Do you care to guess where we were in
Ephesians? Chapter 6, verse 10, where Paul begins writing
about spiritual warfare and putting on the whole armor of
God. Well, we had our tin roof shield of faith over us that
kept the flaming darts of rain from drenching us, and we
remained safe in the ark of God. (I’m sure that’s not
theological correctness, but it works in this circumstance.)
The enemy (lately, I refuse
to use his name) threw his flaming darts at us to try to
destroy our joy and make us angry and impatient. But he
didn’t succeed because what was happening was exactly what
God wanted to happen to prove that our shield of faith in
Him was sufficient to overcome the trial. We smiled at each
other—I smiled in English and they smiled in Swahili—we sang
a couple of songs over the roar and chatted with each
other. And would you believe that when we decided to leave
at 4:45, the rain stopped and we left in sunshine? What an
awesome God we serve!
morning worship was at First Baptist Church, Kapsabet—the
first church planted by the first FBCS Kenya mission team in
2001 and called “the mother church” by its members. In 2002
we dedicated the new brick building that was constructed
with funds provided by FBCS members. A picture of this
building is in one of the glass display cases outside Bro.
Terry’s office. In 2005 Bob and Sharon Chalmers went to
Sunday worship there, brought them greetings from FBCS and
preached the word.
A few months later the enemy
tried to destroy that fellowship by using another
denominational group to try to take it over. They persuaded
the pastor and several members to leave the church and
follow them elsewhere. It was announced that the church
doors would be closed. Many members stopped going to any
church altogether because of the deception (another scheme
of the enemy). Only five families remained faithful to the
they have another pastor and several strong leaders, all of
whom are Godly men. They are averaging about 30 in
attendance and have started a mission church of refugees
(about 50 of them) from Sudan who meet before the regular
morning service. There’s also a nursery school (4-6 year
olds) for AIDS orphans, street children and other
disadvantaged children—a ministry God laid on the heart of
the pastor. God has truly blessed that church because of
the perseverance of those few courageous people who remained
faithful. Please pray for them!
Monday morning I met
Caroline, a Christian lady who knows how to sew without
patterns and who is willing to teach the ladies. She came
by to help me with my treadle machine—a whole new world to
me! I showed her some of the projects we’re doing and she
was excited. Things are beginning to fall into place after
only two months.
Back to the rain. Saturday
(the same one as above), Sunday and Monday evenings brought
storms that cut off the power and cell phone access and,
thus, the internet was down. Monday night the power was off
for about 4 hours and the generator broke. Anna and I sat
in her living room in front of a beautiful fire eating
supper by candlelight. A flashlight and escort got me
safely to my abode in the guest house where I burned candles
until the power returned in time for me to have a hot shower
before bed. Monday afternoon it hailed the small size that
destroys tea leaves. Thank the Lord it wasn’t enough to do
Shikuku finally trusted me
enough to drive my car the short distance to Nandi Hills.
What fun! I kept telling myself, Stay on the left side.
Stay on the left side. And I did! My left hand even
shifted nicely. I can’t wait to try out the potholes while
watching for cows, sheep, donkeys, carts, bicycles, and two
cars coming at you in one lane! The shoulders of the roads
are well worn. Speaking of potholes, my favorite sign on
the highways is a picture of a bump, which lets you know you
are approaching a town after you have just dodged 2.5
million potholes getting there!
Thank you for being with me
in spirit and prayer. Mungu aku bariki!
September 9, 2006
Time: 1:55 PM
Deep and Wide,
There’s a Fountain Flowing
remember the song by that name? Well, I taught it to the
ladies at Bible study Saturday, 9/2, in Swahili, and they
loved it. Here it is:
pana, kina na pana,
tiririka chemichemi, kina na pana.
pana, kina na pana,
tiririka chemichemi, kina na pana.
We had arrived at
Ephesians 3:18 and that song came to mind, so with the help
of Peres and Chemutai, I was able to put it together. There
are so many Bible verses I have memorized because I sang
them throughout my life, and those are the ones that stay
with you. The fountain is truly flowing with the love of
We had another
good turnout of ladies (and a few men) and the children
cooperated by staying outside until it rained. At one point
they found a drum and started beating it outside one of the
windows. Each week gets a little better, though, and we’ll
soon have them all trained to stay out in the school
playground. Bible study lasts for 2 hours. We start at
3:00 and end at 5:00—all study time except for a couple of
songs and prayers. That takes a lot of preparation during
the week, but it is certainly worth it. They are like
at Siret were great with the room filled with people. It is
not one of the churches our mission teams planted, but
one that Pastor Charley started. (He’s the one who died
from AIDS.) Since it is in the Nandi Hills area close to
the other churches, they included it in the circuit I’ve
been on for the past 6 weeks. They had a youth choir that
sang for us and a baby dedication at the end of the
service. Then there was a baby shower for the newest baby.
They brought the mother and baby up front, began singing and
bringing gifts and money for them, and a few ladies danced
during the singing. What a celebration!
As they were
passing the offering, I was told I was next to speak.
There’s always a surprise somewhere! Up until Pastor Elisha
Dome of Kapchorua Church preached, I didn’t have any clear
direction from the Lord, so I thought I was off the hook
this Sunday. He spoke from Acts 12 about Peter being
released from prison miraculously by the angel, but he
stopped before verse 12 where it tells about the Christians
who were gathered to pray for Peter when he suddenly showed
up at the door, and they were so surprised that God had
answered their prayer. So I started from there on prayer
and worked in the prayers Paul included in the book of
cup is truly running over with blessings from the Lord!
Monday I moved from one side of the guest house, where I had
a large bedroom and bath, to the other side, where I now
have a large bedroom, bath and a large “sitting room” with a
fireplace! This means I now have room for a sewing machine,
which I bought yesterday, and a digital piano, which is
being transported from Nairobi as I write this. But that’s
only the beginning of blessings!
Friday, I drove back from Eldoret in my “new” car, a 1998
Toyota RAV 4 with brand new all-terrain tires (a necessity
here). Actually, I didn’t drive it because no one trusts
me, including myself, with driving on the wrong side of the
road and having to manually shift with my left hand. Also,
the wiper and turn signal controls are reversed. Isn’t that
going to be fun?! Shikuku, chief mechanic and driver,
chauffeured me home. He had found the car for me and
checked it out and it passed his inspection. It’s a real
cool car! Still more blessings have come!
It’s now Saturday
morning, 9/9, and I just came from talking to the
representatives of the family who is selling the absolutely
gorgeous one acre of land God has provided on the side of a
hill overlooking a valley with mountains on the other side
and the hills of Nandi surrounding the property. You must
come see it! We are supposed to close the deal on
Wednesday, and then Waweru can start constructing my house.
Everything is falling into place. What else can I say about
how great our God is?!!!
Now I’m finishing
preparations for this afternoon’s Bible study on “putting on
the whole armor of God.” I’ll send this update out tonight
at 8:00 (off-peak time), which is 1:00 your time.
As always, thank
you for your prayers and Mungu aku bariki!
September 2, 2006
Time: 7:55 AM
God Is Sooooo
26, was the third meeting for the ladies. There were over
20 of us, plus about 7 men, plus many children. After
singing with the children and telling them a story, Alfred
found a big stick to encourage some of the younger ones to
go outside to make room for the ladies. That scene was
repeated a couple more times as their curiosity got the
better of them. They love seeing the white woman from
America and shaking my hand.
I showed the
ladies all the supplies I had gathered thus far—beads,
scissors, thread, etc.—and their excitement grew as they
examined it all. Since there wasn’t enough to start a
project, we spent all the time beginning our study of
Ephesians. Alfred’s wife, Teresia, interpreted. Every time
I use a Swahili word they laugh. I’m told it’s because they
are so happy that I’m learning. I still have a long way to
church services were held at Chemartin Primary School where
the ladies also meet. Again, the children swarmed!
Chemartin church has a sad history. It was started by a
national pastor, Charley, in the mid-90s. Everyone loved
him. He worked hard to build that church and started a
couple others in the area. He contracted AIDS from his wife
in 2003 and died in 2004. No one was found to take his
place as pastor, so the church stopped meeting shortly after
But this Sunday
morning service was so exciting as 62 people gathered for
worship. As of that day, the church was reborn with all the
local pastors pledging their help and support until a
permanent pastor is found. A few of the old members who
attended, expressed their joy at being able to worship again
in that place. (See photo at right of singing at Chemartin
As part of the
service I spoke on Who Jesus Said He Was. I’ve had many
conversations with people who say that it doesn’t matter
what you believe; as long as you believe in something.
Sound familiar? I shared many verses where the Bible tells
us very plainly that Jesus was and is God!
There were several monkeys outside the
back gate at Chemartin on Sunday morning. I was locked in
behind the gate and they were wild and free to roam. A
reverse zoo! (See photo below)
Aside #1: We
don’t have evening services because there is no
electricity. Even on Sunday mornings we must keep all the
doors and windows open so we have enough light to see and
read. However, Kenya is working hard to get electricity to
the rural areas and some day soon it will be a reality for
Aside #2: The
first two churches I visited, Temso and Cheptabach, have
free-standing buildings on their own property. The other
churches, Kapchorua, Koisagat (see photo at left of Koisagat
church), Chemartin and Siret (next
Sunday) are all located on tea estate property of the same
name and meet in the government primary schools located in
the housing compounds provided for the tea pickers. The
companies or investors owning the tea estates will not allow
a church to be built on their property because there are so
many denominations that would want to do so.
On Tuesday I had
my first African haircut by a young man who did a very good
job. Anna and I were the only white people in the shop and
everyone else was watching discreetly how he cut our hair.
So now I’ve found a hairdresser. That’s a good feeling for
any woman any where!
It looks like
we’ve found some land for my house. It’s presently a
cornfield on the side of a hill behind Anna’s house and has
a view to die for! I’ll tell you more later when/if the
deal is finalized. Next week I should be getting a car,
something that’s been in the works for three weeks. The
internet has finally become much more manageable. And I’ve
found a digital piano I like. A friend of Anna’s is
researching it to see if he can get it for me. Things are
falling into place slowly but surely in God’s perfect
timing. Meanwhile, the lessons in patience go on and on.
Now that the
internet is more easily in reach, I’ll be catching up on
emails. Thank you for your patience and prayers!