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March 2007 News Archive

 


Posted_By: Judy
Date: Saturday, March 31, 2007

News_Entry

Interesting Week

 

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 they come.

 

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!

Mungu awabariki!

Judy

 

The ceilings are 10 feet high.  The men are standing on scaffolding in the sitting room.

The 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 painting. 

 


Posted_By: Judy
Date: Saturday, March 24, 2007

News_Entry

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 those truths!

 

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 us!

Mungu awabariki!

Judy

 

Looking at the house from below.

 


Posted_By: Judy
Date: Saturday, March 17, 2007

News_Entry

FINALLY LEGAL!

 

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!

Mungu awabariki!

Judy

 

You will 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.

I am 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 as security.

Actually, 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.

 

 


Posted_By: Judy
Date: Saturday, March 10, 2007

News_Entry

First Funeral

 

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 stones.

 

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. 

 

The 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 them, too? 

 

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:

Judy Rushing

P. O. Box 247

Nandi Hills 30301

Kenya

 

Thank you for your prayers!

Mungu awabariki!

Judy

 


Posted_By: Judy
Date: Saturday, March 3, 2007

News_Entry

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 prayer warriors!

Mungu awabariki!

Judy

 

Hooray!  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.

The 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.

The water 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.

 

 

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