Another week has gone by and it still feels like there is so much that could be done. I love writing these updates because it reminds me of what has happened. Before I write the update I wonder what in the world did I even get done because there is always something left undone. I could understand why there is so much to do if I wrote an update only to find there is nothing to write about but that is never the case. I seem to always be able to fill up a few pages writing briefly about what happened. Yes I did say I write briefly if I included every detail and every event then I certainly would get nothing done. I try to speak primarily about the work and go into details when I feel I am able to and the details are important. Ok last week….
On Wednesday I spent a great deal of time on my phone in the office. I sent out text messages to church members that we have not seen and visitors that we have not seen for a few weeks. I have found that texting here is a very effective way to communicate and encourage people. Most are on the go and so busy that it is hard to make personal visits except on the weekends and we usually are together ministering at the church or in worship services. I think I sent out around 30 or so messages. I also spoke to Daniel, Alfonse, and Juma.
Alfonse has been sick so I called him to see how he was doing. He seems to be doing a little better. Daniel said that the church had formed a committee for starting a new work in Mida and for evangelistic outreach there and in Jimba. I had told him last the week before I would help anyway I could once the church had clearer direction. They are also getting stones together to put with mud for the walls of the church. When they get the stones collected they are going to call me so I can go down with our trailer to help carry them to the church. I told Daniel to let the church know that we would help them with the last part of their makuti for the roof of the church. They need about a hundred dollars worth of makuti to finish off the roof. I am so excited to see the Jimba church moving forward. Juma seems to be helping the church in Magangani especially recently with Alfonse being sick.
I spoke to the man at the immigrations office about bringing Clayton Howell’s paper work to him to get his work permit started but we he was out of the office and would not be in until this week. I also had the chance to speak with Eddie Williams about getting Dub from ABA media up to Turkana for their Macmed team, a project for Eddie, and class with John Wanyonyi on Missions. It was good to talk with Eddie pray for him as works out some situations among the pastors he is working with.
Our church member Benson also called. His two week old son Victor was released from the hospital but needed to go to Mombasa for an EKG. I told Benson I was planning a trip to Mombasa and we would be happy to take him by the hospital if it would help. He was super happy and we agreed on a time to meet. I was also able to get some work done on Bible Institute studies and organization. We will be having a class here the end of the month then several next month. I am hoping to get two classes put together myself to video them while Dub is with us. Both classes are new ones so I have a lot of study time and preparations to get them ready.
Thursday January 30 Josiah, Abigail, and I loaded up to go to Mombasa. We passed by and picked up Benson, his wife, and baby Victor. When we got to Mombasa I dropped Josiah and Abigail off at the Orthodontist with some cash and ran on in to take Benson and his family to the hospital. I knew traffic would be bad on the island and I did not want Josiah and Abigail to miss their appointments. I got Benson and his family where they needed to be then passed by and picked up Abigail and Josiah. They finished a little early and drank a soda while they waited for me.
We went back on the island to the skin doctor and had three warts removed from Abigail’s legs. She had one on each knee that were getting bigger and were bothering her. After the wart removal we went by and I bought some Bibles. Before we left for the holidays the Bible Society did not have the kind of Bibles I normally buy in stock but they had them this time. I picked up 48 Bibles for those who complete a Bible study and have no Bible. While I am mentioning the Bible pray about our Bible funds we have pretty much depleted our Bible funds and could use more funds for future Bible purchases.
After lunch I went to the AA Kenya office to ask them to help me get a new Kenya driver’s license. I applied for a new one over a year ago but still have not gotten it. The man at AA Kenya said to give him 10 days and he would have it for me. He seemed confident so we will see in ten days if I get a new license or not… Thankfully when I finished with the Driver’s license Benson called and said they were done. We met where I dropped him off and headed back to Malindi. It was a productive day in Mombasa.
We got back in time to greet everyone at Thursday night Bible study. We also saw Kleopus. Benson showed me the report of the scan and the doctor said that Victor has two holes in his heart chambers. Benson has to take him back next month to see if the holes are closing up or not. Pray for Victor and his family.
Friday was a little bit of a crazy day because we had planned to go to Singuaya but the Land Rover was still in the shop. I do not like to take the van out to Singuaya especially Gandini because we have to drive back up off the main road a ways and the van just can not do it. Thankfully the shop called and said the Land Rover would be done by mid morning. Dub and I ran to town to change one of his flights to Turkana while we were waiting for the Land Rover. We got the flights done and picked up the Land Rover then headed to the house to pick up Kenya and Dub’s family.
We ran to Gandini and met up with Jonathan, Lawrence, and Mzee Philip at the church. We visited for a little while and Mama Faith joined us. It was so good to see everyone and to just talk a little. Shortly after we arrived I had to leave Kenya, Dub, Joni, and their girls so I could run back to Garashi to meet Mwangiri at school. He is still attending secondary school and we agreed that I would meet him on his lunch hour.
When I got to the school I greeted the principal and he called for Mwangiri and gave me permission to talk with him for a few minutes. Mwangiri said the Singuaya church was doing well and they planned to baptize 12 this week. I told him I would like to make plans to meet with him more regularly to help him continue with his Bible studies. He was excited and said that he was ready and eager to get started. Mwangiri has a lot of potential even though he is young, he has the respect of the people he serves. I think that he is around 20 years old.
After my quick visit with Mwangiri I ran back to Gandini and went to Jonathan and Mzee Philip’s house to have lunch. They cooked Kumbu (Minnows) and Ugali. Kenya even ate a little and said that it did not make her want to vomit. I like the kumbu especially when it is cooked with some spices. Dub and Joni stuck to the Ugali but tried the soup once I think. It was really a good visit. I think the church in Gandini is basically hanging in there. The issues with William and Mama Faith divorcing really had a big impact on the congregation. Both the Gandini and Singuaya churches need some teaching and the pastors also.
Saturday we woke up with a sick Samuel so Kenya stayed home with him when I left with Josiah to go to the church. We got to the church and there was only one young boy there. He and Josiah started raking and I went to the Sunday school room with our guest book and tried to update my phone list and put the names of our recent visitors in my phone to contact them. Peter arrived and started working on cleaning as well as Esther, Richard’s mama. I continued to work on messages for our visitors and for the ladies to remind them they planned to go by to see Benson’s baby on Sunday. I sent out around 50 or so messages to folks.
Nicholas and Geoffrey showed up and we all sat down for a short service time. We sang a song and Peter asked me to bring a devotion. In the middle of our devotion we had about six of the teen boys show up and continue with us. When I finished there was a question asked about music and what was appropriate. I shared for about fifteen or so minutes on music. After the question time the men and I met for about an hour talking about the church and some things we needed to do and about the business meeting on Sunday. Josiah and I did not get in until after 6. While we were at the church Kenya took Samuel to the doctor and got him some medicine and took Dub to the airport so he could got o Nairobi to video some classes there and in Western Kenya.
Sunday was a really good service. Ricklynn was not able to make it so I ended up leading the worship service but thankfully we have singers so they did a great job. It was a good time of worship and I finished the message I started last week. It was also good to see Esther, Richard’s mama, with us again. After services we had a business meeting and got a lot done. I was very happy with how things went. After lunch at Shukarani we headed home.
We had a good evening worship time together in English.
Monday was my day off. It is not completely off more of a day for family and personal things. I worked on the dryer a little for Kenya but did not have any success. I was able to fix a couple doors that we have been meaning to fix. Late afternoon we all went out for ice cream and a drive on the beach in the Land Rover. It was a nice day together.
My big office day is usually Tuesday and this week was no exception. I spent the day working in the office. I spoke to Alfonse a little about a couple dates the church gave me to do some evangelistic outreach. I tried to clean out my flagged emails and respond to several emails as well as read all the new ones from the weekend. One email was from Heather Thompson about bringing three of the graduating students and one house parent from the Texarkana Baptist Children’s Home. We are working on the details of their trip scheduled the end of March.
I did a boatload of work on mission finances and trying to get the monthly financial report ready. I talked with Gertrude a little about Swahili classes for the Vickers this summer, Ashley Johnston, Clayton and Lindsey, as well as John and Amber Strader. She is excited about working with all the new missionaries and helping as they all learn the language.
I still had another office day on Wednesday working a lot in the morning or getting finances ready for tax time both personally and missions. That took me a couple hours but I think I sorted it all out. I also started working on this update but did not get to far. I started to work on the monthly report as well but decided that this update needed to be done first so I could look over it and the previous updates to remember what all happened this month. I tapped out a few emails again and worked on helping Dub get his iPhone unlocked. It was a productive day but I still did not get any time in on my sermon for Sunday or Bible Institute lessons….
Today….Blah… I spent the day working on rigging up a water pump to pump water from the downstairs tanks to the upstairs tanks. Our house and the mission house both get water throughout the houses from water tanks in the roof only but the city water when it has come on has not had enough pressure to pump up to our tanks so we have run our tanks bone dry and that was with no showers since last week just “pool baths” and Kenya washing hair in the front yard. I managed to pump water up to the tanks in both houses and now we have water in the house and the showers are on tonight not to mention we can flush the toilets! Everyone has done well with the water rationing but it was getting a little disturbing so I spent the better part of this day working on it.
I must admit that I was a little bummed out today about “wasting” the day on water issues but I know everyone needed water. Being on the foreign field is not always preaching and teaching sometimes is dealing with stinky toilets, water shortages, and electric outages nearly daily… It makes it a little more challenging to get things done that “I” want to get done. However I am reminded that the Lord is in control of all things and I will get done what He wants for the day. Of course as I write those words I just laugh to myself because it still eats my lunch. At least I am able to get this update done and we will be going to Bible study soon to be with some for the folks at church. I hope we have a good turnout…
I must set tomorrow aside for studying for Saturday’s lesson and Sunday’s sermon and writing our monthly report. Pray that the Lord will speak and I will be able to hear from him. There is also much planning that needs to be done but these three things are first thing on the list. By the way Sadie is doing great with the kids and school. Kenya and I see improvement already in their studies. Sadie devotes full attention to the kids and school and it shows.
Kenya has had some freedom to do some things that she has not been able to around the house and has been a huge help to me the past two weeks. She has done a lot of running to town for me and picking up things. She has also had the chance to talk with Christine and they are planning to start up an English Bible study during the week on Thursdays. Please pray for Kenya with the time she has now to help with the ministry and to allow the Lord to show her areas that He wants her to use her talents.
* As a matter of prayer please pray for our family and the possibility of my dad coming to stay with us for a month. I have been talking to him and he has gotten his passport and is ready to come. This past year was a difficult year for him, his girlfriend that he had been living with in Maine for the past fifteen years passed away. Also my sister’s son Thomas past away just a few months before that so he has had some heavy hits. I am thankful to the Lord because he has remained sober through these difficulties and has been for the past three years. My dad professes to be saved but he has always struggled with alcohol. I worry for him that with the passing of his girlfriend Debbie that it will destabilize him.
When we were in the states for the holidays I mentioned to him that maybe he could come and see us while he is trying to get himself sorted out and he is taking me up on the offer. Currently he is preparing to move from Maine back to Indiana where we are from before the possibility of making a trip over. He has never been out of the country so this could be an eye opening experience.
I know that this is really a personal matter but it is part of being a foreign missionary and having parents and family so far away. As our parents get older and children get older we are entering a new phase of life. Soon we will be bringing kids to the states for college. I think this trip could be good to reconnect with my dad and to connect him to our children and maybe a month with us will help him find direction for what he needs to next with his life.
Thanks for taking the time to read this personal matter.