Saturday, February 24, 2007
struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the
rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this
dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the
be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the
Lord will bring you today…. The Lord will fight for you;
you need only to be still.
Exodus 14:13 & 14
morning, Sunday, February 25, Henry and I, along with some
pastors and two plain-clothes, born-again policemen, will be
going to First Baptist Church, Kapsabet, to reclaim the
church for the Lord Jesus Christ. Last Sunday five leaders
in the church removed the pastor and appointed a new one.
They told the other members not to come to church and no
vote was taken. Doesn’t that sound unbelievable?!
totally believable when you know about the sin in their
lives: adultery, idolatry (consulting a diviner), lying,
paying bribes, greediness, pride, rape of a family member,
drunkenness, gossiping, slandering, anger and bitterness.
Satan has a stronghold on them because of these sins, and
they are not qualified to be church leaders. We have met
with this group twice in the past four weeks, trying to work
with them to lead them to repentance, and after the last
meeting we thought there would be changes, but evidently
pride kept them from repenting.
Sunday I wanted to go back to Kapsabet, but the Lord said
no. I knew then that they were going to do something to
show what was really in their heart. God allowed them to
reveal the truth of their evil ways.
Iscariot had the same problem. He was the treasurer for the
twelve disciples, but he was a thief and greedy. That sin
in his life opened the way for Satan to use him, and it
blinded him to the truths that Jesus taught. He couldn’t
turn down the money that was offered him to betray Jesus.
Lord is not slow in keeping His promise
returning again], as some understand slowness. He is
patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone
to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
We will be
at Kapsabet at 11:00 a.m. (CAT-Central Africa Time) tomorrow
morning, which is 3:00 a.m. for you (EST). Therefore,
please pray for us before going to sleep tonight that God
will protect us from the evil one, that His perfect will
will be accomplished, and that these people will come out of
darkness to the Light of the world and repent.
said, I have told you these things, so that in Me you may
have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take
heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:31. The
victory belongs to the Lord. To Him be all glory and honor
better things! Thursday there were seven new Christians at
the ladies Bible study. Bwana asa fiwe! Praise the
Lord! Several of their children were there who were old
enough to understand what I was teaching about Jesus. This
took place in Kapsabet at the home of Nancy Kosgei, a godly
woman with the gift of evangelism, who has stood at the side
of Pastor John throughout all the turmoil. She and the
pastor led these ladies to the Lord. Nancy’s mother-in-law
is not a Christian, but I met her on Thursday and she is now
willing for us to go to her home to talk to her about Jesus,
probably next week. Please pray for her.
is a picture of some of the beadwork the ladies have made.
I’ve sent over two hundred of these necklaces and bracelets
to three churches in the U.S. and received great response.
I still have that many more for any of you who think your
church members would be interested in purchasing them. The
cost ranges from $1.00-4.00 (SRP) or whatever the traffic
will allow. Just let me know of your interest via email.
of email, it seems that many people were somehow dropped
from the original list of those receiving the updates. If
you know anyone who is no longer receiving them and want to,
please let me know and they will be added back to the list.
while the fundi (workman) threw concrete on the
walls of the tank with a trowel.
There's just a little more to do on the roof. They
started putting up the gutters so rain can be
collected as soon as it starts raining again,
probably in a couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, the weather has been beautiful--cool in
the mornings and evenings because of the altitude,
and hot with a nice breeze during the day that makes
it tolerable. Hakuna mvua! No rain. No
mud. But lots of dust!
crocheted, but most are done with needle and nylon
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Singing with the Children
As most of you know, I speak
English. I’m trying to learn Kiswahili (the official name
for Swahili) and Kalenjin, the language of many tribes in
the Nandi area. Since I am now 61 years old with a brain
also that old, it’s a slow process. When I arrive for the
Bible studies, bunches of children come out from
everywhere. The younger ones haven’t begun to learn
English, while the older ones know a little, and those in
secondary school (grades 9-12) converse quite well. English
is a required subject in school since it’s the official
language of Kenya.
With all those children and
no interpreter, I was trying all kinds of ways to tell them
about Jesus. It was slightly frustrating until I remembered
I had a Swahili hymnbook that had “Jesus Loves Me,” “Jesus
Loves the Little Children,” “Praise Him, Praise Him” and
some other songs for children. Now when I arrive, I get out
the hymnbook and we sing about Jesus in Swahili. They love
it and come back each week for more. I’ve started teaching
them some easy, repetitive songs in English like “Jesus Is
the Rock of My Salvation” with lots of hand motions. My,
my, I just realized that I’ve started a Children’s Choir
Program! Isn’t God good?!
After very long meetings the
past three Sundays, we are seeing the enemy fleeing from the
two churches that were experiencing problems. He’s left a
few demons behind who are still trying to disrupt the unity,
but the mountain is down to a molehill. Members have been
asking each other for forgiveness and repenting. Several
leaders have had to step down from their positions due to
their not meeting the Scriptural qualifications, and that’s
where a couple of problems still exist in the form of
pride. But God has performed so many miracles that we know
He will complete the job so those churches can get on with
winning souls and making disciples. John Rotich, the pastor
at Kapsabet, has brought twelve new souls into the Kingdom
of God in the midst of all the challenges these past three
weeks. Doesn’t that tell you why the enemy is trying to
destroy that church?!
Linus Kirimi (Baptist
Convention of Kenya) traveled twelve hours by bus and
matatu (mini-bus public transportation) from Nairobi to
Nandi Hills to meet with and encourage our pastors last
Wednesday. The journey should’ve taken half that time, but
that’s another story. All the pastors but one were present
and were so thankful they came, especially since a meal of
red beans and rice was served. Bro. Linus challenged the
pastors to find and train twelve disciples by April. He
told them to have each church member tell five people about
the mission team coming this summer and be ready to receive
them in their homes so they can hear the gospel. We talked
about the Bible School which starts in April and training
people to teach Sunday School to all ages. Two churches
have already started a Sunday School class for children.
Two other churches have started a weekday nursery school for
4-6 year olds. Things are really happening, and with Linus’
help and support much more will be accomplished to the glory
Immigration update: My
friend Saina met with the deputy immigration officer last
week in Nairobi. It was determined that I needed to get an
Entry Permit rather than a Residency Permit. An Entry
Permit will allow me to do the work I’m presently doing,
while a Residency Permit requires a person to just sit in
his residence and do nothing. On Tuesday Saina will return
to Nairobi to meet again with the official to find out if it
has been approved or if there is further information
required from me. If all goes well, I should be able to
travel to Nairobi the following week, pay for the permit,
and receive my office legal immigrant card! I wonder if
Your prayers are
strengthening and giving confidence to the people here.
Kirimi visited my shamba Wednesday on the way
to the pastors' meeting at Temso. He missed the
philosophy class he teaches at Limuru Baptist
Theological Seminary to come meet with us. I thank God
for introducing us to each other in such a unique way at
the Mukhuru Bible School graduation last November.
picture was taken Wednesday. I haven't been back since,
but the whole roof should be on now. The color is a
deep red, so I guess you can call it the Red Roof Inn on
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Happy Valentine’s Day
On this day of love let’s
spread the love of God by sharing the greatest story of love
ever told. Jesus Christ loved all of us so much that He
paid the supreme sacrifice of His sinless life for us so we
can live eternally in Heaven with Him. Just believe in Him
with all your heart, soul and mind and obey His commands
rather than continuing in your own ways and ideas which
can’t compare to the blessings He has for those who do His
will and love Him. God is love!
On Valentine’s Day some of
the pastors and I will be meeting with Linus Kirimi of the
Baptist Convention of Kenya to talk about the Bible School
which will start the Monday after Easter. Taito Secondary
School has graciously consented to allow us to use their
facilities—classrooms and dormitories—while the students are
away on vacation. They will supply us with two cooks, a
matron to look after the dormitories, and a watchman at the
gate. Our pastors are so excited at the opportunity to get
theological training so close to home. A lot of the
problems we are experiencing in the churches could have been
prevented if the pastors had been better trained in the
Word. But God is providing way beyond our largest visions,
and Christians in this area will become Daniels in a den of
TEE (Theological Education by
Extension) has begun and I’ve had to order twenty more
books. The response has been great from the church members,
and all of the pastors and leaders are participating. The
people are starving for more knowledge of the Word. TEE
will give them the basics of theology and Biblical
principles, while the Bible School will take the pastors
much deeper so they will be able to earn Certificates and
Diplomas in Theology.
The Ladies’ Bible Studies are
still going strong. Since August we’ve studied the books of
Ephesians, 2 Timothy, Titus, Ecclesiastes, and now we’re in
the Gospel of John. Some of you may think that’s a lot to
accomplish in just six months, but remember, this is Africa
not the USA. Our study time is usually two hours every
week, not just 30 minutes to an hour. Also, we’ve stopped
doing beadwork for several reasons, and are now producing
purses, Bible carriers, tote bags, and we’re thinking about
placemats, made out of recycled plastic shopping bags. The
idea came from a women’s group in Nairobi. We cut the bags
into strips and crochet them into various shapes and sizes.
I made a purse and use it all the time. I’ll send a picture
of it for your enjoyment.
It looks like my nyumba
(home) won’t be ready until May. A few weeks were lost due
to waiting for the fresh-cut lumber to cure and having to
put preservatives on the wood during a rather rainy week.
They have almost finished building the water tank that will
fill up with rain water collected from the roof. (It had
better keep raining!) The filtering system will be attached
at the point where the water comes out of the tank, so all
water entering the house will be drinkable. Next week I’ll
go pick out tiles for the floors and bathroom and kitchen
walls. I’ll also go see a group of Christian furniture
builders and probably place an order for beds, tables,
chairs, and whatever else I may need. My furnishings will
not consist of over-stuffed leather ensembles! They will be
African hand-crafted pieces.
is made of hand-hewn stone and cement. It will have a
concrete cover with a hatch so someone can go into the
tank to clean it out. Just remember--there's no water
believe there are no rocking chairs around here? I was
told I might find them in Nairobi, so next time I go
there I'll look for some.
purse the most fashionable item you've ever seen? And
to think, we're helping the environment!
When I arrived in July, Anna
was very anti-computer. She didn’t want anything to do with
those contraptions. However, she is now the proud owner of
a new laptop as of this week and is getting hooked on
Yahoo! Tricia is so proud of her mother entering the
technical age. My IT son would be proud of his mom and all
she’s had to learn since she no longer lives a mile down the
road from him!
Please continue to pray for
the churches. We had a three-hour meeting last Sunday and
there will be another meeting tomorrow, which will probably
be followed by red beans and rice for lunch!
Thank you for praying for us!
Saturday, February 3, 2007
This has been a very hard
week. Last Sunday there was a four-hour meeting after the
worship service at one of the churches where the enemy is
attacking in full strength. God has revealed serious
problems among the leadership (not the pastor). Please pray
for God’s wisdom and guidance to be given to all of us in
leading these people to repentance and for God to bring
love, forgiveness and unity to the church.
As I’ve said before, people
are the same everywhere. Our sinful human nature is always
at work trying to destroy our relationship with our Lord
Jesus and our witness to the world. Jesus said, “In this
world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have
overcome the world.” (John 16:33) What a wonderful promise
that in the scheme of eternity this problem has already been
solved and overcome and the victory has been won!
On the brighter side, the
pastors are beginning to evangelize the people in their
area. At Kapsabet Pastor John Rotich has led nine people to
the Lord in the last couple of weeks. Bwana asa fiwe!
The TEE classes have started at the three locations. I
don’t yet know the total number of participants, but I do
know we ordered 20 books and need more. God is blessing
immensely and many good things are happening, which explains
why the enemy is attacking so strongly. Satan loves
complacency and compromise, but can’t stand it when lukewarm
Christians become hot!
The roof is not yet on my
house because they’ve been putting many coats of
preservatives on the wood framing between rains (which
shouldn’t be happening this time of year). The plan is for
the roof to be completed next week. Then they can start on
the inside plastering the walls, building cabinets and
wardrobes (there are no closets in the houses), and
installing bathroom fixtures.
Some of you have asked if
I’ll have indoor plumbing. The answer is YES! The water
will be filtered and treated so it will be drinkable right
out of the faucets. I’ve decided against solar energy
because it is so expensive and has only a one-year
guarantee, so I’ll have a generator until power is brought
in. That shouldn’t take too long because there are three
schools very close by, and the government has mandated that
all schools be supplied with power.
Can you imagine attending a
school without electricity? Can you imagine having to carry
your own supply of water in a plastic jug every day? The
students have a two-hour lunch break because they have to
walk home and back, which is quite a distance in many
cases. Now there’s some ammunition for you parents next
time your children complain about their school!
just realized that I haven’t taken any pictures this week,
so I’m sending a picture of my dog, Bush. He was a very
“bushy” puppy when I arrived over six months ago, hence his
Anna gave Bush
to me. She has so many dogs, geese, rabbits, cows, and 2
cats, that she won't miss one annimal. I plan to get
another dog from the vet or KSPCA. They'll have fun
together chasing monkeys!
He is part golden retriever and part Alsatian (German
shepherd). Right now he is a gold color and his pupils are
gold, but I’ve noticed some black fur beginning to show
through. Time will tell what he’ll look like when fully
I can’t thank you enough for
praying for us. It is so comforting to know that so many
are interceding for God’s work here as Jesus did for us in
John 17. Here are some excerpts from His prayer to use in
prayer for us: “Holy Father, protect them by the power of
Your name—the name You gave me—so that they may be one as We
are One…. My prayer is not that You take them out of the
world but that You protect them from the evil one….
Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth…. My prayer
is not for them [the disciples] alone. I pray also for
those who will believe in Me through their message, that all
of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am
in You.” (John 17:11, 15, 17, 20-21)