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September 2006 News Archive


Posted_By: Judy
Date: Saturday, 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.


Sunday 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 and honor!!!


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 Swahili)



Posted_By: Judy
Date: Saturday, September 26, 2006


Taito Baptist Church Is Reborn


During 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 pastorate. 


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 back.


The 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 study?


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 gifts.

  • 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, doesn’t He?!


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

Mungu aku bariki!


Posted_By: Judy
Date: Saturday, 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.


Back 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!


Sunday 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 church.


Now 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 any damage.


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!



Posted_By: Judy
Date: Saturday, September 9, 2006
Time: 1:55 PM



Deep and Wide, There’s a Fountain Flowing


Does anyone 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:

          Kina na pana, kina na pana,

          Ile tiririka chemichemi, kina na pana.

          Kina na pana, kina na pana,

          Ile 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 Jesus Christ!


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 sponges!


Sunday services 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 Ephesians. 


My 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!


Yesterday, 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!



Posted_By: Judy
Date: Saturday, September 2, 2006
Time: 7:55 AM



God Is Sooooo Good!


Saturday, August 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 go, though.


Sunday morning 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 his death.


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 church)


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 everyone.


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!



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