Saturday, March 31, 2007
Last Sunday Henry and I
visited the church at Kapsabet to see if anything had
changed. It had. During the announcements at the end of
the service, it was reported that someone had talked to the
ďdeaconĒ and suggested they treat us better. They did.
They were quite friendly and even invited Henry and I to
speak at the end of the service. However, it was very
obvious that they were still wolves disguised as sheep.
This Thursday, April 5, the administrator is coming from the
BCOK (Baptist Convention of Kenya) to meet with all of us.
Weíre expecting God to do great things to restore this
church for Jesus Christ. Please pray for His perfect will
to be done!
On Monday I went to the
Christian Intermediate Technology Centre (CITC) in Kapsabet
to order furniture. CITC is run by the Anglican Church of
Kenya, and they provide training in woodworking, plumbing,
and metalworking. They also have courses in biogas as a
source of energy and several types of water projects, i.e.
rain collection and well digging. The biogas projects are
especially interesting. Most of these projects use animal
manure, which produces methane gas, to provide power.
However, much to my shocking surprise, they have on campus a
biogas system thatís producing energy to run their kitchen
using human waste from the outdoor latrines. Needless to
say, I was quite amazed! Itís a very interesting place to
visit. Maybe the mission team would like to go there when
Do you remember Kristofer
Ruto for whom I asked prayer before Christmas? He had
stopped by the ladiesí Bible study at Temso church and asked
for prayer to be saved. He was drunk at the time, but he
returned the following Sunday sober. Well, this past
Wednesday we had a similar experience. This time it was a
man named Joseph Kimayo. He, too, was inebriated and asked
for prayer and said he would be at church this Sunday. I
talked to him, prayed for him and told him to bring his
family with him this Sunday. If he comes and heís sober,
Iíll meet with him to explain the plan of salvation and find
out if heís truly ready to repent and follow Jesus. I also
plan to visit Kristofer who, I found out this week, has
started drinking again and hasnít been to church in a few
weeks. He lives close to the church in Temso. Please pray
for these two men.
Easter Sunday is when all the
people who became Christians during the year are baptized.
We will gather at a lake close by on another tea estate.
Easter is the best time because of the significance of the
day and because these are the hottest, driest days of the
year. We will also celebrate the Lordís Supper on that
Sunday. How special it will be to experience these
ordinances in Kenya for the first time. Iíll take pictures
to share with you.
Several ladies at each of the
Bible study groups cannot read or write, so Iím
investigating how to start a literacy class at each
location. One lady has already volunteered her services to
teach the class at Chemartin. Teresia Rotich is an
excellent interpreter, has a diploma in accounting, and
works for one of the tea estates. Hopefully, the classes
will begin very soon.
Thank you, as always, for
your prayers, love and support!
ceilings are 10 feet high. The men are standing on
scaffolding in the sitting room.
decorative part of the window is always painted black so
it will disappear as you look out and is on the
inside. There are no screens on the windows because at
our altitude there are very few insects. The mosquitoes
that carry malaria come out at dusk, but it is so cool
here at night, you rarely see any. Down in the valley
where it's much hotter, there is a malaria problem and
they sleep under netting.
The man in
the picture was working on the last place that needed
plaster. After it cures in a few days, they'll begin
Saturday, March 24, 2007
SHORT AND SWEET
This has been one of those
weeks that we all experience from time to time. Just when
you think you have time to spend on a certain project,
others ask for help to do this or that or go with them here
or there. These are the times when we must look not only
to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
(Philippians 2:4) God will reward our unselfishness by
giving us extra time later to do what we need to do. Also,
what a blessing we receive when we help others and involve
ourselves in their lives. I write this to remind myself of
Last Sunday Henry and I
attended Taito Baptist Church where I shared about what it
means to make Jesus Lord of your life and tithing as a part
of His being Lord of everything you own. That was the
eighth church where Iíve shared that teaching and still have
two more to go. And I started in December! The Lord wants
all the churches to hear about Godís principles of finances.
When a mzungu arrives
here from America, the people instantly think he/she is very
rich. And compared to their income, we are rich. The
highest salary of a tea picker is around 12,000 Kenya
shillings per month, which is $171. The amount of money
they earn depends on how much tea they pick. Most of them
earn less than that, so when they hear that God requires
10%, it means going without a loaf of bread. But I
emphasize with personal testimonies about how God can
multiply the 90% more than if we had kept the 100%. Then
Henry shares later in the service (the preaching part) about
how much God loves us and how much we should love God, and
then he asks them, ďWould you be poor if you had only 90% of
your salary to live on?Ē They all shake their heads no.
As the title says, this will
be short and sweet. One last thing: many people have said
that I look and sound great, but ask how are you really?
My answer, which I think everyone can identify with is this:
Iíve been here eight months and havenít had to take one
Immodium! I wanted to share that to encourage anyone who
might be afraid of coming here. Kenya is one of the most
progressive countries in Africa, and although you must be
cautious and keep your hands washed, itís quite safe. And
whatís this I read about rat poison in dog food in
America?! I feel safer here!! God is watching over me and
He will take care of you, too, if you come. Mungu ni
mwema sana! God is very good!
Please continue to pray for
the house from below.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
On March 5th my
Entry Permit was approved and signed. Bwana asa fiwe!
Praise the Lord! On March 9th Saina, the
friend who has been traveling back and forth to Nairobi
talking to people at Immigration for me (he also takes care
of personal business on these trips) brought me the signed
notification of approval. To finalize everything I had to
get a bankerís check to pay the fee and an insurance
security bond to cover expenses in case I misbehave and have
to be deported. On March 13th I traveled back to
Nairobi to pay the fee and show proof of the bond after
which we went to the office of the Deputy Immigration
Officer who had her assistant stamp my passport. What a
wonderful feeling that was! The permit is renewable every
three years. Mungu ni mwema sana! God is very good!
While in Nairobi, I was also
able to buy a digital piano, which has been one of my
heartís desires since arriving in Kenya. Itís been eight
months since Iíve played, except on a little keyboard that
Anna has. I didnít realize how much Iíve missed it until I
started practicing on it. Itís not the 100+-year-old
Steinway I had at home, but after all Iím in Africa and itís
perfect for here. Delight yourself in the Lord and He
will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4).
Psalm 37 tells us that the
wicked will not last longóa great comfort for us while
waiting for the Lord to show us the next step in dealing
with the rebellious group at FBC, Kapsabet. Verses 12-13
say, The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash
their teeth at them; but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for
He knows their day is coming. An administrator from the
Baptist Convention of Kenya is scheduled to come next week.
Please pray that the matter will be settled very soon. The
very good news out of all of this is the growing number of
new Christians. Four more were added last week. They are
located down the road from Kapsabet in an area called Namgoi.
It may be that they will become charter members of First
Baptist Church, Namgoi.
My house is coming along.
Theyíve started plastering the walls inside and the
decorative iron bars are on the window openings. Everyone
has those unless they live in a mud hut. They started
digging the hole for the second water tank that will be
underground in front of the house. It will supply water to
the servantís quarters and be a reserve for the main house.
There will be pumps to move the water from one tank to the
other as needed. Each tank will have its own filtration
system. Also, a chemical called Watersafe will be added to
the water in the tanks to kill any and everything.
Iím sure some eyebrows went
up when you read ďservantís quarters.Ē The law here
requires that housing be provided for all domestic help. I
will have one servant called a shamba boy, a man who
has a family, who will do all the outside chores, i.e.
gardening, cleaning water tanks, washing the car and dogs,
heavy jobs, etc. Everyone who can afford them has servants
here. Anna has three house servants for cooking and
cleaning and three shamba boys for outside jobs. I
will have only one outside, but I plan to give him driving
lessons so he can struggle with the potholes instead of me.
Since Iím the only one in the house, I can do my own little
cooking and cleaning. When company comes, Iíll be able get
someone to help if necessary.
Here is a very serious prayer
request. Remember Annaís daughter, Tricia, who was to have
surgery to correct her bleeding problem? Some of you are
also aware that she was hospitalized several months ago as a
result of a beating by the father of her three children, and
that wasnít the first time. Anna found out last night she
is officially missing and hasnít been heard from for two
months. The children are with their fatherís mother. Dan,
a step-brother who also lives in the US, and the police are
trying to find her. They questioned the father who is ďnot
cooperatingĒ according to the policeman Anna talked to last
night. The doctor who was to perform the needed surgery
says a date was set in January, but Tricia didnít show up.
Needless to say Anna and Thomas are very greatly concerned
and need your prayers. Please pray for all involved.
As always, thank you for your
prayers, love and support!
notice a square shape on the tank lid on the left. That
will be the place where someone can get inside the tank
to clean it. I asked if there would be a gauge on the
outside to show the water level. I was told to get a
long stick and use it like the oil dip stick
under the hood of a car.
outside taking the picture of the workmen inside looking
out of the front window. All the window frames are one
piece with the bars and made of iron. They're made to
order and not mass produced one-size-fits-all. I
measured them today for curtains and they were all
different sizes. Paint will cover the red
rust-prevention coating. Glass panes will be installed
after all other work is completed on the house. As I
said in the update, the bars serve as decoration as well
all of these men were not plastering. Some were doing
other jobs. But when I get out my camera, everyone comes
running to get in the picture. They are working on the
walls in my bedroom.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Last Monday, March 5, Evelyn,
a 26-year-old girl was buried after a life-long battle with
polio. The disease, which struck within a few weeks of
birth, left her paralyzed on one side. She was one of six
children of Sarah Chepkwong, a widow who belongs to Temso
Church and attends the ladies Bible study there.
Funerals take place at home
with burial in the back yard. I was told to arrive at 10:00
a.m., so I did. But I keep being reminded that African time
is always time plus two hours; therefore, the funeral
service began at 12:30. That gave me plenty of time to
visit with Sarah in her home where her daughter lay in a
hand-made wooden casket. I also met many family members and
friends who were eager to give me lessons in the Kalenjin
language with a few words added in Kiswahili.
Another reason for the late
start was that they were still digging the grave when I
arrived. After removing about three feet of dirt, they hit
solid rock which had to be chiseled into movable chunks. I
donít know what time they started, but about twelve men were
taking turns digging, chiseling and hauling out the large
When the service began there
were about forty people sitting on the grass and one large
chicken was walking around pecking the ground. A few
minutes later three medium-sized chickens joined it, and
then nine head of cattle arrived. They first went to the
other end of the yard, and then began grazing toward the
crowd. A little girl (children take care of all the
animals) moved them away, but on their way out a bull
stopped right in front of me and just stared. I guess he
had never seen a mzungu (white person) before.
More than twenty people spoke
during the service. They were family, friends, several
pastors and me. If they spoke in Kalenjin, it was
interpreted in Swahili, and vice versa. By the time the
service ended at 2:00, there were over one hundred people
present. African time also means ďget there when you can.Ē
All the family members gathered in a circle for prayer at
the end of the service, and then the people placed a
monetary gift in a bowl sitting on a wooden stool.
Evelynís casket was off to
one side near the grave. The family and pastors began the
procession by the casket, and then we all gathered in a
large group by the grave. The lid was nailed shut and the
casket was lowered into the ground with ropes. Singing
accompanied the return of the dirt and stones. Several of
us near the grave tossed in a handful of dirt. (Iíve seen
that done so many times in movies or on TV, but that was my
first time to participate.) Then some of us placed cut
flowers on top. Long poles had been placed in the ground at
all four corners. I wondered what they were for until I saw
them stringing barbed wire around them to make a fence. I
guess it was to keep the cows off.
The whole process was a very
moving experience. I was honored to be able to participate
in such an intimate part of their culture and was so
thankful to be there.
past three Thursdays Iíve been leading a Bible study in
Kapsabet for the new Christians that were brought into the
Kingdom by Pastor John Rotich and Evangelist Nancy Kosgei.
They are so eager to get to church, so please continue to
pray for our troubled church while we wait for someone from
the convention to accompany us. Weíve been praying and
making plans ďshrewdlyĒ while seeking Godís perfect will as
to how to handle these people. God reminded me of Korahís
rebellion against Moses and Aaron in Numbers 16. It is such
a parallel to whatís been happening, even down to the couple
of leaders refusing to attend the meetings (verses 12-13).
I thought, Is God going to open up the earth and swallow
One day this week I had a
chance to talk to my builder, Kihara Waweru, about the
Lord. Weíve had a few brief conversations, but this was a
golden opportunity and he began it by asking about the
Trinity. I explained it using the sun as a model. The ball
of fire is God the Father and it manifests itself as light
(Jesus) and heat (Holy Spirit). It is one object just as
God is One, but manifested in three ways. He liked that
illustration; it made sense to him. Then we talked about
Jesus and the necessity to believe and repent. Using James
2:19 which tells us the demons believe in God, I asked him,
ďAre Satan and the demons going to Heaven? They believe in
God and Jesus. Why arenít they going to Heaven?Ē The
answer is because theyíre doing things theyíre own way
instead of Godís way. They canít repent, but people can and
unless we repent, we will all die eternally (Luke 13:3).
Just ďbelievingĒ isnít enough. Repentance is absolutely
necessary. Anna was also there listening intently without
arguing or interjecting her own ideas as she usually does.
I could tell both of them were seriously thinking about what
they had heard. The conversation ended there because Waweru
was in a hurry to get to another appointment. Conviction by
the Spirit can be very uncomfortable. Please pray for both
of them. God is truly working in Nandi Hills!
Work on my house is
progressing. I took some friends there one day this week,
but forgot my camera. Iíll have some more pictures next
week. The whole process has been so fascinating!
I keep forgetting to tell you
about the petrol (gas) stations. Remember the days of ďfull
serviceĒ? Well, theyíre still here. How wonderful it is to
drive up, tell the attendant how much, and just sit there
while they fill Ďer up and wipe the front and rear windows.
They donít check the oil though. Actually, I donít ask them
to fill it up because when I did that one time, two men
suddenly starting shaking the car and I realized that they
were trying to get in every drop they could. Now I just
tell them a certain amount of shillings.
I now have my own P.O. box.
Hereís the new address:
P. O. Box 247
Nandi Hills 30301
Thank you for your prayers!
Saturday, March 3, 2007
Shrewd but Innocent
I am naÔve and have always
been that way. I trust people and believe what they say
(most of the time). So when we went to Kapsabet last
Sunday, I expected them to obey Godís Word and step down
from their leadership positions without much trouble. We
had made plans to take care of all we thought was necessary,
i.e. retrieving all the church records and finances, new
locks for the gate and church building, etc. But we
certainly werenít prepared for what greeted us.
The gate already had a new
lock so I couldnít drive my car inside the grounds, but
there was a space where we could walk through. The service
was already underway, so we allowed them to continue. The
ďdeaconĒ went outside to make a phone call, and then very
soon a man arrived who made a speech about how the church
could do whatever they wanted and they were changing to
another association. Then he left. I found out that he
used to be the treasurer, but had ďrun awayĒ after being
caught stealing church funds. He now tends bar somewhere,
and has been caught stealing on other jobs. He no longer
attends any church. Sinful people use other sinful people
to do their dirty work. I was totally blown away!
The service then ended with a
prayer and the leaders walking hurriedly out the door. We
were amazed! We followed them outside where a scuffle
began, but the pastors who were with us helped to stop it.
The two main players then went out the gate on their way
home. The others stayed to talk to us. I talked with the
womenís leader who proceeded to tell me the same lie about
the pastor she told at our last meeting, a lie that she
admitted was a lie in front of everyone present, and
admitted again it was a lie in front of those listening
outside. Sinful people cannot see or believe or live the
truth. Again, I was totally blown away!
Henry and I were the last to
leave. We were followed out by the secretary who continued
on with more lies. We told him we knew he was lying, and
said goodbye. We accomplished nothing we had planned to
do. We were naÔve about how deep the sin problem was. I
spent the rest of the week pondering and praying about all
that was revealed and asking the Lord to show us the next
step. He gave me these verses:
Luke 16:8 ďFor the
people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their
own kind than are the people of the light.Ē
Exodus 1:10 The new Egyptian king who didnít
know about Joseph said, ďCome, we must deal shrewdly with
them (the Israelites) or they
will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will
join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.Ē
2 Samuel 22:26-27 David is writing about
God: ďTo the faithful You show
Yourself faithful, to the blameless You show Yourself
blameless, to the pure You show Yourself pure, but to the
crooked You show Yourself shrewd.Ē
Matthew 10:16 Jesus is giving instructions
to His disciples before sending them out into the world:
ďI am sending you out like sheep
among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as
innocent as doves.Ē
Those are our instructions
today. We are living in a world full of wolves pretending
to be sheep, and those wolves are in our churches pretending
to be Christians. The order from their boss (Satan) is to
destroy the churches by destroying their witness in the
world. They are very successful to our shame. God has
opened my eyes to the problems of being naÔve. Please pray
for us as God teaches us how to be shrewd, yet innocent as
we face the enemy.
I must point out that this is
only one of the twelve churches in the Nandi Hills area that
has problems this serious. The others are worshipping and
praising God every Sunday and bringing in new members. They
are studying the TEE books and the pastors are looking
forward to the Bible school opening in April. Many, many
good things are happening, and as all of us grow in the
wisdom and knowledge of the Lord, the existing problems will
fade into solutions as will future problems.
ďFuture problemsĒ means I am
not naÔve enough to believe there will be no more problems
or that other problems arenít happening right now that
havenít surfaced yet. Of the seven churches mentioned in
Revelation, only two didnít have problems. How
wonderful our God is to have written a Book that is totally
honest! If humans alone had written it, it would have
contained only the good stuff, like chocolate sundaes with
no calories at all. My, my! I canít wait to have one of
those in Heaven!
I thank God for all of you
All the gutters are up and already collecting rain water
in barrels for them to use in the wall plastering and
seating the floor tiles. I know what it takes to place
floor tiles because we did it for a church in Mexico on
a mission trip.
ceilings will be 8 feet high so that hot air will have a
place to go. A few inches below the ceiling on all the
outside walls are vent holes with fine screen mesh to
keep out bugs. I believe these permanent vent holes
were necessary when all cooking was done on wood
stoves. They also keep the house cool on hot days which
haven't been many at this altitude.
tank is almost ready. We've had a few days of rain, but
the long rains are due to begin in 1-2 weeks. Of
course, with all the climate changes, only God knows
exactly when that will be.