December 29, 2007
Christmas and Elections
A couple of days before
Christmas Eve the Lord and I were working on my loneliness
since my children and grandchildren are on the other side of
the globe, when a young girl (7th grader) came to
my door. She had visited briefly another time with a
friend, but this time she was alone. We talked for a few
minutes before she asked to go with me to the U.S. and be
adopted. She said her parents, especially her mother,
abused her. We talked on, and then I shared the gospel with
her. She prayed to give her life to the Lord and I
explained how she needed to forgive her parents just as
Jesus had forgiven her. She left a much happier person with
a new English Bible, and my loneliness was gone. God has an
answer and a cure for everything!
On Christmas Eve we had
an evening service at Cheptabach. Henry volunteered my
smallest generator, which doesn’t have enough power to run
the fridge, but can run a couple of lights. Well, it worked
for about an hour and then stopped. I turned on one of my
rechargeable lamps which burned out before the service
began. We had arrived at 7:00 to set up and be ready for an
8:00 service which didn’t start until 9:00 when the pastor
finally arrived. Typical African timing! The second lamp
was now on, so they decided the service would end at 11:00
instead of midnight so we would still have some light. I
readily agreed since at my age I turn into a pumpkin at
10:00! Even with all the unexpected events, the service was
beautiful with a children’s choir, a youth choir which sang
“When the Saints Go Marching In,” and Bible teaching in a
rough tin-sided-and-roofed building with dirt floors filled
with God’s people.
Christmas morning we were
at Temso for another wonderful worship service. The Sunday
School children sang several songs and recited Bible
verses. What a great job they did! More singing and Bible
teaching followed, and then we were on our way to family
celebrations. I and my dog Bush went to Anna’s for some
delicious food and fellowship. Bush visited with his
grandmother, mother, father, siblings, cousins and friends.
(Anna has about 12 dogs!) And we spent the night so I could
have a “real” hot shower, the best Christmas gift ever! The
next morning Bush and Panya, one of his sisters, visited the
fish in Anna’s pond and both looked like wet mops! December
26, Boxing Day, is still celebrated in Kenya as it was
during the English colonial days.
Then came the big
day—Election Day, Dec. 27. Police and military were
everywhere in the country, especially at all the polling
stations where trouble was expected. It was relatively
quiet with only four deaths, but many were injured. Since
then, the tension has been building as the results have yet
to be announced. In fact, I had to go to Nandi Hills this
morning with Shikuku because my car battery died. None of
us expected any problems in that quiet town of the Kalenjin.
However, all the signs were there—piles of grass burning on
the paved road, tree limbs and rocks in the road—but the
fires were out so we continued. We found out there had been
a riot earlier, not with the Kalenjin, but with other
tribes. Police and military stopped it and all was quiet
when we arrived. But then a group of men destroyed some
items outside one of the “supermarkets” and started
everything all over again. The police and military in flack
jackets, helmets and automatic guns rushed to the scene and
people started running in every direction. I was safely at
the bank a block away where there are always guards and
Henry was with me. Shikuku came back and escorted me out of
town through broken soda bottles and a barricade at the main
entrance to town (more piles of grass on fire and a line of
men trying to stop us). There will be more trouble tonight
(Sat., Dec. 29) and tomorrow after the winner is announced.
Please keep praying for this struggling young country.
Thank the Lord elections are only every five years!
I pray that all of you
have a blessed New Year in the love of our Lord God!
December 22, 2007
I know all of you are
very busy so this will be a short update. I’ll be spending
most of the holidays at Chemartin. I might even spend a
night there and get a “real” hot shower! My “pitcher”
showers are hot by heating water on the stove, so I’m clean
and smell OK. Don’t be concerned.
Some of you have asked
for pictures of the inside of my house. Attached are
pictures of the sitting room with the sunset colors coming
through the windows and a little Christmas tree, dining
area, study with the sewing machine next to the computer,
bedroom with a magnolia bedspread from Stone Mountain (a
touch of Georgia), and kitchen. There are also two guest
bedrooms and two bathrooms (indoor). As you can see it’s
nice and roomy and very comfortable.
It’s been a very quiet
week with just a few opportunities for ministry. Today was
the last day of work for the tea estates and most people are
traveling back to their homes around Kenya for family
Christmas celebrations and to vote. The whole week is one
big holiday: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day (a
hold-over from the English colonial days), Election Day, and
Day-after-Election-Day when everyone will be traveling back
to go to work next Saturday. Please pray for peace all over
A very blessed and Merry
Christmas to you all!
December 15, 2007
Furaha ya Krismasi!
That’s Merry Christmas in
Kiswahili, although you never hear it. Everyone says it in
English. In fact I remember last year asking several people
how to say it in Swahili and very few knew how, so I looked
in my dictionary.
Last year Christmas was very
low key with no lights, few or no decorations in the stores
and very few Christmas trees since there’s not much room in
a mud hut for a tree. My funniest memory from last year is
the white mechanical Santa Claus singing “The Yellow Rose of
Texas” outside Nakumatt in Eldoret.
This year Christmas is being
outshined by the elections on December 27. Tomorrow one of
the presidential candidates is coming to Nandi Hills. The
announcement was made through a loudspeaker attached to a
car that kicked up a lot of dust as it drove by. This means
church attendance will probably be quite slim in the
None of the above diminishes
the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior in my
heart. I pray that all of you who are reading this know
Jesus personally and will experience His love, joy and
peace, not only at this time of year, but always. God bless
you and your family with a beautiful Christmas in His love!
Because of Christmas and
elections we ended Bible studies for the year last week, so
I’ve had some extra time to catch up on some things like
hemming my curtains which have been way too long since
July! But ministry never ends no matter what’s going on,
for example, a lady needed counseling after losing her job;
a pastor needed prayer as he faces a divorce due to
unfaithfulness on the part of his wife; a lady needed love,
comfort and prayer after receiving news that her husband was
killed in a car accident and their son was driving; and a
lady who has four children by four different fathers prayed
to receive Christ as her Lord and Savior. That is what
Christmas is all about. That is why Jesus was born and died
and was resurrected. He brought us hope, love, forgiveness,
peace and eternal life in Heaven free of all our worldly
For to us a Child is born,
to us a Son is given,
and the government will be on
And He will be called
Counselor, Mighty God,
Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His
government and peace
there will be no end….
The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish
And He did over two thousand
years ago because He loves us!
A Very Merry Blessed
Christmas to you all!
December 8, 2007
Troubles, Trials and Testing
John 16:33 says, “In this
world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have
overcome the world.” This verse is on my husband’s grave
marker. He suffered through 10 months of cancer, and then
overcame the world at the age of 51 to live a heavenly life
forever, free of all trouble. If you are reading this, you
are still in the world facing trouble.
On my return trip to Kenya in
September, after a wonderful month-long visit with family
and friends, the Lord told me, “The first year in Kenya was
easy, but the next year will be much harder.” How’s that
for an encouraging statement?! As usual, He was right.
Ever since I returned the trouble, trials and testing have
not ceased. The generators, all four of them, have
continued to give trouble. Because of the generator
situation, the hot showers I didn’t want to give up have
been few and far between. We were to go to Molo to see the
beehive makers this past Monday, but my car exhaust system
fell apart. Henry tied up the parts with wire so I could
drive it to Chemartin for Shikuku to weld it back
together—the 16th welding job on the underside of
my car in 14 months. I’m laughing as I write this. There’s
more but I won’t bore you.
1 Peter 4:12 says, “Dear
friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are
suffering, as though something strange were happening to
you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of
Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is
revealed.” Now that’s encouragement! All the above
happenings are to be expected if we are doing the will of
God because Satan wants to discourage us, take away our joy,
destroy our witness, and stop the work of God. Well, he
isn’t because he’s already been defeated by the cross of
Jesus Christ and faces eternal damnation in Hell. The
promises of God are enough to keep us going in His grace and
I told you about purchasing
land in Lengut for the church a couple of months ago. God
has provided even more land for other churches. Esther and
John Muigei have sold us land to expand Cheptabach church
property. The members want to build a Christian school on
their property and God is providing. On Monday we will be
going to Setek to meet with a landowner who has offered a
parcel to the new church there at a good price. Very soon
we’ll be finalizing a deal with a landowner in Kipture for
the church that is meeting in the bisected building. The
money for all this property is being furnished by the
generous members and friends of First Baptist Church,
Snellville, GA, through the Missions Office. Thank you and
God bless you all!
Two more churches are being
born on tea estates at Septon and Sitoi. That’s an answer
to prayer. One of our goals has been to have a Baptist
church on every tea estate. Because the estates are private
property, we can’t go in and evangelize like we do other
places. We find someone living and working there who wants
a church and is willing to work to build one, and then God
grows it. That’s exciting!
Please continue to remember
Anna and Thomas Ngeno in prayer. Anna was diagnosed with
osteoporosis in her neck, is taking medication and wears a
brace most of the time. Because of that she can’t travel on
the pothole-filled roads and hasn’t been to Kisumu in quite
a while to get her hair cut. So the other day while I was
there waiting for Shikuku to weld my car back together, I
cut her hair. Pat Hamilton, my friend who used to cut my
hair in the US, gave me a professional pair of scissors to
take with me to Kenya in case I got desperate. Well, Pat, I
used them on Anna and she was brave enough to let me do it.
Her hair looks a whole lot better than before. That was an
act of God’s mercy on us both!
This was the last week of
Bible studies until after Christmas and the elections.
Please pray for the Kenyans. As the time gets closer (Dec.
27) the demonstrations and violence get worse. In fact my
broken exhaust system was an act of God’s protection to keep
us away from Molo where violence erupted and all the roads
were blocked the day before. So I’m staying pretty close to
home until January. We’ve had no problems in the area where
I live and work and don’t expect any. The trouble is only
in certain regions inhabited by certain notorious tribes and
always in Nairobi.
As always, thank you for your
December 1, 2007
Many adventures have been a
part of my life here: The car getting stuck in mud a few
times; falling down while walking in mud; sliding on rocks
walking downhill; trying to get up my driveway during the
rainy season; dodging cows, sheep, goats, bicyclists, and
pedestrians all at the same time while driving on all the
roads; dodging potholes without hitting oncoming cars which
are also dodging potholes; closing the car windows fast
enough when passing or being passed by another vehicle on
very dusty roads during the dry season, which is now; and on
The most recent adventure was
yesterday, Friday, while waiting for a three o’clock
beekeeping meeting to start at 4:00 at Temso. A few people
had told me about a water source that I might be able to
pipe to the house, so Henry and I started out to find it.
He thought he knew where it was. “Just up there,” he said,
pointing to a very high hill. Off we went. At every mud
hut he asked directions. We ended up at a source he didn’t
know about, and then found two other sources of water coming
up out of the ground looking very clean and refreshing. Two
or three families shared the water at each location, but
none of them provided sufficient water to pipe to my house.
In addition, the terrain made it impossible to lay down
The walk was fun and exciting
as it was very steep going up and down, especially finding
the last water source. Water was coming out of a large hole
in the side of a hill under the roots of a huge tree. From
there it went almost straight down to what must have been a
creek or stream. The dense growth prevented our seeing the
bottom. I heard bees and then saw them getting water and
flying around the wild flowers. We followed their path with
our eyes to a humongous hive hanging in a nearby tree.
Tarzan may have been able to swing to it, but we certainly
couldn’t reach it. There was probably a gallon of honey in
that hive. God answered one of the many questions the
people have asked about raising bees for honey: Where do we
get the bees? He has already provided!
Last Sunday was our first
visit to the new church in Nandi Hills Township. (Nandi
Hills is the name of a town and the very large general area
where all the tea estates are located.) There were about 22
people present, and they seem to have a strong foundation.
They had even borrowed a small keyboard for the occasion.
Henry and I stayed only about 30 minutes and shared words of
encouragement and a promise to return to them soon. Then it
was off to Chemartin to worship and meet with them about a
new pastor to replace the one who went politicking.
Our two pastors who have been
able to attend Bible school left this week for another
three-week session at Kenya Baptist Theological College in
Limuru, a suburb of Nairobi. Pastors Peter Kemboi and John
Rotich need your prayers for God’s wisdom as they gain
knowledge and training and for provision for their families
while they’re away. Also please pray as we try to start the
Nandi Hills Bible School in January, which is a God-sized
project that I know very little about, but God knows all
there is to know. As King Jehoshaphat said in his prayer as
a huge army was approaching the Israelites, “We do not know
what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”
(2 Chronicles 20:12) We
serve an awesome God!
As always, thank you for your
are pictures of the new church in Nandi Hills
Township and their pastor, Joshua Ebei. Please pray