Saturday, May 26, 2007
Kipture Baptist Church
Last Sunday, May 20, Henry
and I visited the newly revived church in Kipture, which is
close to Kapsabet. It was one we started on one of our
mission trips, but they were lured away by another group.
They have now come back to us and are meeting in a mud/stick
structure thatís used by a nursery school. There may be
some property available across the road that they could
purchase with some help, and then construct a building out
of wood or tin sheets.
During the worship service
two childrenís choirs sang, one from Irimis and the other
from Kipture. They also quoted Bible verses and a few gave
short testimonies. They learned the music and verses during
Sunday School. The rest of the service included singing,
testimonies, prayers, preaching, and at the end they
presented Henry and me with gifts. Henry received a mug and
I was given a thermos, a household necessity so that tea is
always hot and ready to serve. Then we were invited to the
mud structure home of Francis and Mary Sugut for lunch.
Would you believe Henry and I had rice with peas and carrots
and pieces of beef, while everyone else had red beans and
rice? We were treated very specially that day!
We began the first step in
getting the churches organized and operating as Baptist
churches by asking each pastor to write their salvation
testimony and call to the ministry. The next step will be
to form committees in each church to draw up a constitution
and set of by-laws. Part of this process will be the
teaching of the Baptist Faith and Message as it becomes a
part of each church constitution. After the constitutions
are completed and voted on, weíll begin the process of
choosing deacons and other leaders in each church. It will
take a while with lots of teaching and educating, but God is
in it and all will be accomplished in His perfect timing.
Linus Kirimi will be with us
tomorrow at Kapsabet. Please pray that Godís perfect will
will be done, that these people will repent and the church
will once again become a beacon of light in the town of
This has been a very full day
with not much time to write, so enjoy this brief update!
Thank you for your prayers!
left pictures are the Children's Choirs from Irimis and
are pictures from Kipture last Sunday of Henry and
his mug and me and my thermos. They're gift-wrapped
so you really can't see the item.
other picture is of our ever-growing literacy class
at Kapchorua. Every week there are a couple of new
students. The teacher is Teresia Rotich standing on
of you may have noticed that Rotich is a common name
among the Kalenjin, almost like "Jones" in the US.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Irimis, Kipture, Taito,
Kapsabet, Temso, Kapchorua, and Lionís Club
(I couldnít think of a title
Some of you may remember that the last time
Henry and I visited the church in Irimis, only one member
and a visiting pastor friend were present. That had
followed many visits where the church was filled. The
pastor, Peter Bett, had gone away and so had the members.
On Sunday, May 6, we were asked to go back there. This time
there were two members and the pastor had returned. Also
present were members from a new church, Kipture, which is
actually one of the former churches that had been led astray
by another group but has now revived.
Bwana asa fiwe!
Tomorrow we will visit
Kipture although we donít know exactly where it is yet. Iím
not sure if the roads are passable by car or theyíre just
for people and cows and sheep. Thereís always an adventure
Last Sunday, May 13, we had a
great worship service at Taito followed by a meeting of the
pastors to plan for the upcoming mission team from First
Baptist Church, Snellville, GA, July 26ĖAugust 4. The
people are so excited and appreciative of the sacrifice the
team members are making to fly to Kenya just to help them.
It will be a huge spiritual boost for all of the churches
and the surrounding area where weíll share the gospel.
Kapsabet update: Linus and
Ojienda are coming next week, the Lord willing. Please pray
that the power of the Holy Spirit and the wisdom of God will
take over everything thatís said and done. Also, please
pray for the pastor, John Rotich. Itís been a long four
months since his last sermon there, and on top of that
someone stole his five cows last Sunday night. Cows are a
major source of income as milk is in high demand by all
Last Wednesday at the Temso
Bible study, which is from 2:30-4:30, one of the regular
ladies arrived at 4:20. I explained that we were almost
finished and was so sorry she missed it. Then I found out
she had walked for two hours, uphill all the way, to get
there. A younger person could have made it in less time.
My heart went out to her, especially when I remembered that
just a few weeks ago she had come with her foot bandaged
where a dog had bitten her. She brought a prescription from
the local clinic for rabies medicine which she could not
afford to pay. The cost was 1,500 Kenya shillings or about
$22. God is so good! Thatís the exact amount I had with me
that day. She came back two or three weeks later eager to
show everyone her healed dog bite. Can you imagine walking
two hours uphill with your foot bandaged from a dog bite?
Can you imagine living such a hard life? Can you imagine
walking two hours to attend a Bible study?
Today was supposed to be
Bible study at Kapchorua where we have the literacy class.
However, it seems that the locks were changed on the doors
to the primary school where the church meets and no one had
a key. The probable reason for the new locks is they now
have power and new wiring and light fixtures, and locks tend
to discourage thieves. Can you imagine going to a school or
church without electricity?
The highlight of the week was
going to Eldoret to pick up the wheelchair from the Lionís
Club for Japhet Kipkorir (but they call him Jeffrey).
Japhet had returned to his school for the disabled, which is
30-45 minutes from here, and was not able to go, so I asked
John Rotich, and his wife, Judy, to ride with me. They
brought along their two youngest children: Jeruto, a girl,
4, and Malcolm, a boy, 3, who were very well-behaved.
Jeruto thinks Iím her white mom!
We arrived at the Lionís Club
school where several people met us. I brought a picture of
Japhet which his uncle gave us to document the need. Many
pictures were taken and everyone was very happy. We plan to
take the chair to Japhet at his school, Tachasis School for
the Disabled, run by the Catholic Church, this week.
Hopefully, his uncle, with whom he lives, will be able to go
The Eldoret Lionís Club would
like to hear from any of their fellow Lions in America.
Hereís the address:
Lionís Club of Eldoret
P.O. Box 59
President Ė Lion Shanti Shah
Secretary Ė Lion Daksha
V. Pres. Ė Lion Sanjay Gujral
Members - Lion Bharumati
Mandalia Ė my friend who, along with his wife,
Hasu, owns the dry goods
This club is a mission field!
Thank you for your
faithfulness to pray!
wheelchair is Pastor John Rotich, with Malcom on the
left and Jeruto on the right.
At left on the back row is Judy Rotich, Lion Daksha
Lodhia (a doctor's wife), me, President Lion Shanti
Shah, Lion Sah'sh Shah, peering from behind him is
my friend Lion Kirit Mandalia, and last on the right
is Lion Bharumati Lodhia (sister-in-law to Daksha,
also a doctor's wife).
school pictured is a primary school, grades 1-8.
Across from it is a nursery school, ages 3-5. A
secondary school is planned for the immediate
future, grades 9-12.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Lionís Club in Kenya
Some of you are members of a
Lionís Club and are aware of all the benevolent things they
do for people in need. Do you remember Jeffrey, the
17-year-old young man in the wheelchair in Kapsabet? Iíve
been trying to find out where to find wheelchairs and their
cost because my daughter-in-law wanted to collect money for
him to have a new one. I went to Eldoret Friday to buy more
curtain material from my Hindu Indian friends, Hasu and
Kirit (wife and husband), and the Lord told me to ask them
about wheelchairs. How amazed I was to find out Kirit is a
former president of the local Lionís Club! He made a phone
call and told me they had a wheelchair available. All I
have to do is bring him a picture of Jeffrey to show the
members and to document the need, and make a donation so
they can get a replacement. Bwana asa fiwe! Praise
Our God loves and cares for
everyone no matter who they are or where they live. Jeffrey
will experience Godís love and care when he receives his new
wheelchair. Also, this was another opportunity to plant a
seed about the Christian God to my Hindu friends. I told
them that the Lord told me to ask them about the wheelchair
and their eyes opened wide. Only our awesome God would have
known to ask Hindu Indian owners of a dry goods store about
the prices of wheelchairs!
Speaking of Indian friends, I
stopped in to say hello to Deepen Bhatt whom Iíve asked for
prayer because he is truly searching. He shared some
problems and then asked, ďWhy do we feel better when we help
other people?Ē I told him itís because God made us that
way. He told us to love others and one way to show that
love is to be available when they need our help. Also, in
the process of involving ourselves in the lives of others,
our own problems become insignificant and we realize how
much we are blessed. He liked that! By the way, he hasnít
read Ravi Zachariasí book yet because he just returned from
a long visit to Canada and didnít want to accidentally leave
the book on the airplane. How thoughtful!
Shikuku, Chemartinís resident
driver, has been on leave this week, so, I drove myself to
Eldoret, an hourís drive over and around millions of
potholes. This was my first time to drive that far. I
stayed on the wrong side of the road and turned my
windshield wipers on only one time when I wanted to signal a
turn. And I made it safely through all the busy
intersections without traffic lights. Of course, much
prayer was offered many times! Anna had Joseph, one of her
house servants, go with me in case I had a flat tire (called
a ďpunctureĒ here). We had a good time practicing my
Kiswahili (which still has a long way to go!) and eating samosas
(Indian hamburgers) at Sizzlerís Cafť.
patience-waiting-and-perseverance game continues, but the
Lord reconfirmed that He is going to do something. When I
was reading about King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20, verse
12 stood out like a neon light: We do not know what
to do, but our eyes are upon You. Waiting is
exactly what He wants us to do so we donít get in His way.
Every time I think about the SWAT Team, He reminds me of my
need to have patience!
In a little over two months a
mission team of 13 people will be here from First Baptist
Church, Snellville, GA, to help with evangelization, lead
conferences for men and women, train leaders so we can start
AWANA in all the churches, train other leaders to start a
Kenya-based program called MotherWise, and lead a Youth
Rally that will draw hundreds of secondary school students.
Much planning and many, many emails have been written and
sent on both sides of the world. Oh, how I thank the Lord
for the internet!!! Please pray for us as we seek Godís
perfect will for His people here to grow spiritually and for
new Christians to be born.
Thank you so much for your
before and after picture is of the outside
stonework. The ceiling of the porch is on the top
left. When they laid the stones, they didn't smooth
the mortar between them. Now they're chiseling out
some of the mortar and applying a new layer and
smoothing it. The stones above the lintel in the
picture are rough, while the stones below the lintel
have been chiseled and remortared. (Hope you can
see what I'm talking about.) Next they'll take iron
brushes and clean the excess mortar off of each
stone by hand. Lots of hard work!
some reason Kenyan men are enamored with my RAV4 and
want me to take their picture with it. It must be
their dream car, or maybe they want to show it off
to their girlfriends!
iron work on the doors and windows must be sanded
before painting, so that's what the men in the
picture are doing. The front door is actually a
door and a half that opens like a French door. It's
a great idea to make sure there's enough room to
move in all the furniture.
Saturday, May 5, 2007
Honey Care Africa
Tuesday and Wednesday were
spent traveling to and from Nairobi to visit the people at
Honey Care Africa. I came away with my mind filled with all
the possibilities and challenges of organizing the people,
setting up training, arranging for funding, keeping good
accounting records, and transporting many beehives to and
from the people and the honey collection point. Once itís
up and running, it will be an excellent source of a
substantial, supplemental income for the people. Iím
excited and so are they!
Hereís a brief summary of how
it will work. Honey Care recommends that each person have
at least five hives. They are Langstroth design and
ďidiot-proofĒ (I plan to try it!) and cost $65 each. If
they canít afford the full amount, which most will not be
able to do, they can pay 10% down, and then each time
theyíre paid for the honey 50% will go to them and 50% will
go directly to pay off the hive. At that rate it will take
about three honey collections to pay for the hive. I will
set up an NGO (Non-Government Organization) to act as a loan
agent. The organization will buy the hives and the people
will pay it back without interest. Therefore, the money
will be reinvested over and over.
Do any of you know of a group in America that
would be interested in funding such a project here? Right
now the countries involved are Denmark, Belgium, India,
Kenya, Britain, Germany, Finland and Sweden. The U.S.
Ambassadorís Fund is also involved with a small group, so I
plan to contact the U.S. Embassy here in Kenya to see what
thatís all about. But wouldnít it be great to have a
Christian NGO helping in an endeavor like this? James 2:16
says: What good is it, my
brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?
Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is
without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him,
ďGo, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,Ē but does
nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the
same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by
action, is dead.
Kapsabet update: Nothing.
The hard lesson in patience continues. Iím waiting for next
week, so please keep praying. Meanwhile, I received a call
from one of the members at Irimis, which has been affected
by the problems at Kapsabet, asking that Henry and I go
there tomorrow. I hope itís good news!
The number of ladies in the
literacy class doubled today at Chemartin following Bible
study. They are thrilled to have this chance to learn how
to read and write and theyíre trying so hard! When I
attended church last Sunday at Kapchorua, I realized all the
women participating in the class are from there. Therefore,
today we decided to start meeting at Kapchorua beginning
next Saturday. They said it will be a 30-minute walk for
me, but only 15 minutes for them because theyíre younger and
more experienced. Since Iím not familiar with all the
shortcuts through the tea fields and I really think it will
take me an hour to walk, I think Iíll drive!
Itís getting late here while
you are enjoying your afternoon naps, so Iíll close for
now. Thank you for your love, support and prayers!
building is located in the International Trade
Fairgrounds outside of Nairobi. It looks rather
small but it spreads out behind. We toured through
part of the grounds and saw how the Langstroth hives
work. The queen bee is isolated in the bottom part
of the hive where the brooding occurs. The upper
layer is where the bees make the honey and the queen
cannot enter to lay eggs. It's a fascinating
process and very easy to take a whole layer with ten
frames of honey to the collection point.
was a Girl Scout I earned a Beekeepers badge without
even getting close to a bee. Now I plan to try the
real thing. A word of caution: these are REAL
African bees, so good equipment is necessary to be
safe. What an adventure!
The kitchen and dining area are the last rooms
to be tiled. Next they'll do the cutting and
trimming of tiles to connect the rooms and do
The servant's quarters will be the home of Henry
and Dorcas Maritim and their one-year-old
daughter Tracey. Henry has been called by the
Lord to serve as a missionary in his own country
and he's the one who goes with me on Sundays to
all the churches. He's also Bro. Terry Hopkins'
"black" son. He's taking a correspondence
course through BTC, Baptist Theological College
in South Africa, majoring in missions. Henry
will be my watchman, shamba boy (taking
care of the grounds), and all-around handyman in
charge of the outdoors. I also plan to send him
to driving school to learn how to drive around
traffic circles and through busy intersections
with no lights.
Most people, who can afford them, have maids;
but with just me in the house there wouldn't
be enough for a full-time maid to do. Also, I
don't have enough money or room to build another
house on my property. The law here is that
servants are provided with housing, water and
electricity by their employers in addition to
their salaries. What a deal!
realized the way I took the picture of the house
and tank with the pipe makes it looks like the
tank is higher than the house. Actually it's
just a little lower, but the weight of the water
will cause enough pressure to move the water
into the house with no problem.