Family Deaths and Singuaya Preparations
After the Masai Trip I took a Thursday off to recuperate. We found out Thursday also that Kenya’s Grandpa passed away on Wednesday night after a long battle with cancer. Kenya’s mama was dealing with all the details. Kenya decided after talking with her dad that she would not go home for the funeral. It was not an easy decision but the Straders were coming and Kenya felt that her mama had good support and seemed to be doing well.
I went out to Singuaya on Friday to meet with the church concerning their building needs. They have done a great job getting things ready for their building and have done much of the work themselves. The rains are just around the corner so they urgently needed to get the roof on so that is why I immediately went to see them after the Masai trip. I have spoken with the church already but we could not really build until April anyhow because their Pastor Mwangiri is finishing up secondary school so he was not free until school closed in April.
I had a great meeting with the church members that were able to come. It was a pretty good turn out considering most were in the fields getting things ready for the rains. Mwangiri, Furaha, several mamas, and even William came in for the meeting. We discussed the size and all the materials that would be needed. Thankfully there was a man that cut palm trees into boards near the place we were meeting. He was working on a project for the local school so he was available to give us some advice. We looked at the cost factor and decided to hire the local man to make all our boards for the roof. We agreed with him on price and time frame. I was glad we found someone local to get the wood from so we would not have to bring poles all the way from Malindi.
We also set a date for the project and I asked the church to take care of the food for those that came to work. I was pretty sure that I could get some to come from the other churches to help us. The church agreed to take care of the cooking and purchasing the food. By the time the meeting was over I felt very confident in the project and was super excited for the church. I left the meeting to return to Malindi while the members continued to discuss the details and talked with the local “lumber dude”. I gave the church the funds to pay for the wood then departed.
We did talk briefly about the Gandini Church and how the Singuaya church was helping them by sending Furaha to teach since Jonathan was not around. We did not go into a lot of details about the situation in Gandini I just encouraged the church if they could help that was great and that I was hoping to visit the church in the near future to see what was going on.
William walked me out to the Land Rover while the others continued to talk. I told William I was so glad to see him and gave him a hug. It had been a long time since I had seen William face to face. I really love William and he has so much potential but he has made a mess of his life and has destroyed his testimony with everyone around him. No one trusts him and for good reason, but I still love that rascal. I told him I was glad to see him and I was praying for him. I also told him we were still friends but our relationship as far as ministry was different now and I hoped that he would allow the Lord to help him restore his testimony. It was a good moment with William that I hope defines our new relationship and allows for room to grow. I could say so much about William but it is enough to say that God has taught me many lessons through my dealings with him.
On my back to Malindi I say Lawrence from Gandini church walking along the road headed to Garashi. I picked him up and we had lunch together in Garashi and talked about the church in Gandini. He said that things were not good and that Jonathan had not been in Gandini for more than two months. He said that he was teaching when Jonathan was not there but if he is not there usually William’s ex-wife Mama Faith would read a scripture and they would sing because it was only mamas and kids. He said there was other issues and I told him that I would try to come as soon as I could to meet with the church. I was thankful to the Lord to see Lawrence but a little discouraged to hear of the condition of Gandini. Please pray for the Gandini church and for opportunity to meet with them and encourage them.
It was a good Weekend in Malindi with the normal activities. However Sunday’s worship service really stunk! I know that is bad to say maybe but it was really bad. Our normal keyboard player and choir leader were both gone so that through things off a bit. One of the Masai guys “tried” to play for us but it was terrible he just could not get with us and he only knew one tune and he played it loud and fast. I finally had to turn his volume down and Geoffrey asked him to stop playing. It was not just the music there was just a heavy spirit for no apparent reason. The Good news is that after services Baba Jennifer who we have been praying for got saved. I preached on what being a Christian is and he told me after church he was ready to be saved and become a Christian. AMEN!
Monday we got word from our family back in Indiana that Kenya’s Brother In-law Curtis had died of a massive heart attack on Sunday night.. It was terrible news especially since Saturday they had buried Kenya’s Grandpa and the next day this happened. Kenya’s sister did CPR for 15 minutes until the paramedics came but it was too late. So it was a traumatic experience to say the least. As soon as we got the call I started looking for flights for Kenya to get home with her family. She continued to talk to everyone on the phone to get details and by the time she was off the phone we had flights booked for her and she was packing to depart that afternoon. She was to leave at 4pm so we told the kids everything and got her all packed up and we were on our way to Mombasa to the airport.
My uncle , Kenya’s grandpa, then Curtis all passing was a lot to happen in a matter of a week. It has reminded us that we are entering a new phase of life with our families and making the distance between us a bitter reality. I remember on deputation and even on furlough folks saying, “I could never go on the mission field I love my family too much” and I would always think, “I love my family too”. I know they did not mean anything by their statement but it always kinda rubbed me the wrong way. We love our families so much and our hearts ache for them when they suffer and we can not be there. Just as true is the fact that we do not get to celebrate in person with them in the good times either. Such as my brother’s up coming wedding the end of May. I will not be able to attend due the expense. I am not sharing these thoughts to complain it is just a reality and one that we are feeling more as we again enter a new phase of life. We praise God for allowing us to serve Him here in Kenya and these feelings do not change our resolve to be faithful to our Lord and His calling. We know there is a cost to serve and God has given us and continues to give us grace.
I almost forgot to share our dogs latest Kill….we were told it was an Egyptian Mongoose.