It has been a pretty slow week with nothing extraordinary going on. We had to put the Land Rover in the shop again this time they had to replace the rear break caliper $ and some routine cross bearings. Thankfully it only took a couple days for the repairs. I also had to do some minor repairs on the windows and drivers side door latch. We literally shake the vehicle apart on the roads to Singwaya and Gandini. I made a trip out on Sunday and I must admit I was hating the drive with all the rattles and banging not to mention my door flew open three times. Argh...
One good thing about taking the vehicles into the shop regularly is we have continued to build our relationship with the Christine's husband Fritz. He is not saved and is pretty anti-religion. When I picked up the Land Rover we had a bit of a discussion about "religion". His opinion is that Religion has done more harm in the world than good. I had to consent that "Religion" has done a lot of bad but I told him that does not mean that God is bad. We had a good talk and that to me was a huge step forward. Please pray for Fritz's salvation, he is older and not in good health. If God is using our repairs to reach Fritz then it is time and money well spent, just pray for me to have the patience to endure the frustrations of the vehicles.
Kenya and I went to visit Juma and Neema this week and they are doing well. Juma is continuing to talk with the family in Jimba/Gede about meeting on their plot. Once we get the ok we will plan some evangelistic outreaches immediately. Juma's computer shop is doing well and he has a movie shop as well at another location. I praise the Lord for how he is doing and how hard he has worked with his wife Mercy to build a business.
Today Kenya and I went to town to visit Daniel and his wife at the hospital. Daniel's Wife appears to have had a stroke due to her blood pressure. She is not able to use one side of her body or speak but she is a wake and responsive. They are needing to take her to Mombasa for an MRI. Lord willing we will take her tomorrow for the MRI. Kenya is also in need of getting some tests done so we will do that also.....
Well the update got cut off above when Daniel called and asked if we could take his wife to Mombasa immediately. I left and took Daniel and his family to Mombasa General hospital so his wife could be admitted there and be seen by a specialist who could give her the care she needed. Once I got them to the hospital and they got checked in I headed back to Malindi. We were glad to help and are confident that the hospital in Mombasa will be better equipped to help her.
Kenya and I still had to go back to Mombasa the next day for her test and we also went by to visit Daniel and his wife to see how she was doing. Daniel said the specialist came in and explained everything to them and was running a few more tests. Daniel was happy to have confidence in the doctor who could was giving her very good care. Felistus (Daniel's wife) is still not talking and has no use of her right side but the doctor is confident that with time she will begin to recover. While I was gone to Tanzania to visit Clayton and Lindsey this past weekend Kenya went to Mombasa to bring Daniel and his wife home after she was discharged. Kenya said she was still about the same but there really was not much more they could do for her at the hospital. The family has to work with her at home with exercises.
On Sunday last week I attended services in Gandini at the request of the church. They asked me to come and help them with an issue with their pastor Jonathan. I picked up the young men from Singwaya that have been helping the chuch in Gandini. We arrived and found Jonathan at the church which was a surprise since he had not been to the church in almost two months. We had a good service even though it was a bit off, everyone knowing we had a meeting after services. The good thing was that a lot of the church members were present who I have not seen for awhile.
After the worship service we had a meeting to come to a solution about Jonathan leaving the church for months at a time without communicating or making plans for them while he is away. It was a long, yet productive meeting. I served basically as a mediator and moderator of the meeting at the church's request. They were able to come to an agreement and solution that included Jonathan continuing as pastor. It was a good experience for me to watch how they worked through the problem. I am grateful to the Lord for his leadership in this matter and for giving me the right spirit during the meeting. Inside of me I wanted to attack and say just do this, but the Lord gave me grace and allowed me to mediate and guide the church rather than rule or dominate.
These types of situations test our theological beliefs. What I mean by that for example is that we believe and know the Bible teaches that Jesus gave the church authority. It is easy to trample that authority when we feel we are right or when we want to push our agenda on a congregation, especially as a missionary, but to allow the church to work through her issues and be patient through the process is not always easy. This meeting we were having was long over due but I could not force the church to deal with the issue, they had to come to the point where they were ready to deal with it themselves. In the end the church was satisfied with the end result and as the missionary I was glad to serve the church and guide them as they navigated troubled waters.
I am still teaching Bible study in Malindi on Thursdays and that is going well. The past two weeks we had a good turn out although everyone arrives late. Most everyone that comes is coming in straight from work so I understand, but it shortens our time together. I have really enjoyed the preparation and presentation of the lessons myself.
The big part of this update was my visit with Clayton and Lindsey Friday-Monday. Kenya took me to Mombasa at 4am on Friday so I could catch a bus to Tanzania to go see Clayton and Lindsey at language school. They are nearing the end of their time in school and I wanted to run down to just hang out with them and encourage them. The trip to Morogoro where they are in school is a LONG trip. We spent 2 hours in our van to get to Mombasa to get to the bus stage. I got on a bus waited for about thirty minutes and drove to the ferry then got offf the bus to cross on the ferry which took about 30 minutes. Then we waited for the bus for an hour then got back on the bus for about 2 1/2 hours until the border then had to get off the bus to go through Immigrations then get back on the bus to Chalinze. From the border to Chalinze is the longest stretch of about seven hours driving with a few restroom stops and lunch break in there. At Chalinze I got off the bus and caught a Dala Dala (minibus) to the language school which took another hour and a half. It was a good 14 hour trip from our house to the Language school.
Clayton, Lindsey, and I had a great weekend together just talking, playing games, and going to the places they frequent. Clayton and I climbed the mountain near the language school on Saturday. We climbed the 7200feet to the peak of Mount Lupanaga in 4 hours with three of the teachers from the language school. It was an AWESOME HIKE and not for the faint of heart. The Tanzanian guys that went with us did great, but were whipped most of the hike. It was a strenuous and at times dangerous trip. Going up we really could not see the peak because it was in the clouds so it was cool to ascend into the clouds for the last hour and a half of the climb. If we had been able to see where we were going that last stretch UP we might have been discouraged and we are pretty sure our Tanzanian brothers would have bailed on. That last stretch was nearly straight up. We climbed by grabbing roots and rocks.
When we reached the top of the mountain we ate our lunch and the clouds started to disperse so we could see the town a little. Once we decended to a rock face where we had rested at coming up, we could see clearly where we had come from and climbed to and we were all amazed that we had made it. We were able to get to the bottoom of the mountain in three hours. Part of that time included refreshing in some cold mountain spring water. We had a great time!
It was good to sleep in our bed last night! Today has been finances and getting this update done. We got word last week that John, Amber and Ellonara Strader will be arriving on November 19th to join the work here on the coast. We are super excited about their arrival. We are going to have an awesome Thanksgiving with The Straders here and the Howells back from language school not to mention several missionary friends coming up from Mombasa.