31 May 2006

Joy Elika Kibisu

Joy Elika Kibisu was born at 1:15 am on Tuesday, May 30, 2006.
She weighed 3.6 kg (7 lbs 14 oz).
She is content and nurses well. Mama and Daddy are happy and very proud of her!

One Very Proud Baba (Daddy)!

Jeremiah is on "cloud nine"! I commented to him that he must be so happy. He said, "Deb, if you could open up my heart you would see just how happy I am! This little girl - she's my joy! Indeed, God has done great things in my life. He has done so much for me and I just want to praise Him!"

Words of Scripture, blessing, and love pour out of his heart whenever he holds her in his arms.

A few more photos

The top photo is Cyndi, a friend of mine from Omaha, Nebraska. She's here in Kenya for five months. We manage to find lots of time to hang out together. Yesterday, of course, the focus of our attention was Joy and Mama.

Some of my Nairobi friends

Recently George and Linet and their boys, Derrick and Jeremy, came to my place for lunch. We spent a nice afternoon together. 

Also recently, Rose and Sammy spent a couple of days and nights at my place. We played lots of Jenga and Scrabble. They also went to church with me. 

Much of my ministry involves such times of "hanging out" with others - for encouragement, iron-sharpening, discipling, counseling, etc. Please remember to keep me in your prayers as I minister in the manner in which God has equipped me. Oftentimes it can be challenging in a cross-cultural setting.

30 May 2006

News Flash!

A brand new child has entered the world! Karo and Jeremiah's daughter, Joy, was born in the wee hours of the night. Mom and baby are both doing well. Dad is higher than a kite!

To all of you that have prayed for them, please allow me to thank you on their behalf.

I'll post a photo as soon as I can. Stay tuned to this blogsite for the full report. It's an incredible testimony to God's perfect timing and his ability to restore broken dreams.

Birthday Party!

This is Jean Claude (Burundian), Nathaniel (Ethiopian), and Sam (Kenyan). They each celebrated the anniversary of their births last week. I had my homegroup (including them) over to my place in honor of the occasion. Mike and Julius were also in attendance. We had a great time! I fixed lasagne, corn bread, chai, and cupcakes. Nathaniel brought some interesting Ethiopian food - "njera" (a spongy pancake-like bread made from fermented rice) and "T'ibs We't" (a very spicy beef stew). He also sang a worship song for us in Amharic (his language). It was neat to hear him singing worship to our Lord, even though we couldn't actually understand the words! His story of how he came to know the Lord is quite amazing.

One day we will all bend our knee to the Lord in the presence of people from throughout the world - every tribe, every race, and every language!

Beauty in Kenya

These butterflies are absolutely stunning! (I wish I knew their name.) They are most commonly seen during and shortly after the rainy season. This Poinsettia tree is one of several on the compound where I live. It is also absolutely stunning in its current beauty with brilliant red blossoms! It was literally covered with these gorgeous blue and black butterflies. They were in constant motion fluttering from flower to flower. As they lingered briefly on each flower, their wings were in constant motion. It was a dazzling display of God's creative design.

25 May 2006

This is Masudi at school. He shares the desk with another student. He's in Form Two (his sophomore year). Please pray for him.

Goats can be seen rummaging in trash all throughout Kenya. The wood carving was at the cafe where Masudi, Mumu, and I had lunch.

On the beach

Suffering for the Lord on the foreign mission field. :)

24 May 2006

This is Masudi with his young friend, Mumu. We spent a few hours at the Indian Ocean beach near Ukunda (south of Mombasa) recently. Obviously they had fun!

Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria near Muhuru on the border to Tanzania. In April, I went to a village called Manyera in Migori District with Clair (a gal from my church). We went exploring on Sunday afternoon.

20 May 2006

Enjoying one of my favorite past-times in Kenya - a hot cup of chai!

06 May 2006


Kenya is indeed a land of contrasts.

One way this is noticeable is the contrast between the rainy and dry seasons. During the recent drought, thousands and thousands of livestock died. Sadly, dozens of people also gave way to hunger and thirst.

This land – once dusty and gripped by a deadly drought – is now sopping wet and muddy. Much of the country is immersed in the “long rains”. Everything outdoors is beautiful and alive with a radiant green. On the downside, riverbeds – that were just recently bone dry – now overflow their banks leaving devastation in their wake. As seems to be the case every year, floods (in MANY parts of the country) have destroyed crops and homes – as well as killed people. Just recently, a matatu was swept away by a raging river. Three people, including the driver, drowned.

Another downside, is that the subsequent pools of standing water become fertile breeding ponds for mosquitoes.
Leaving home without ones umbrella and a jacket would be foolhardy. Many men tuck their pant legs into their socks. Jumping puddles and avoiding soggy, muddy areas puts ones athletic abilities to the test. At times I almost feel like I’m training for a competitive obstacle course or the triple jump! Arriving at ones destination with clean shoes (not covered in mud) – and dry clothes – is a major daily accomplishment. The ability to dodge splashes from passing motorists as they land in the potholes (that have now become small lakes) takes a keen sense of paying attention to ones surroundings.

The sky is oftentimes very dramatic and spectacular with rain clouds and rainbows.

Tree nursery owners, shoe shines, car wash attendants, and umbrella vendors undoubtedly make a killing during this season of rain. City council workers can be seen clearing out drainage ditches throughout the city. In the leafier suburbs, workers can frequently be seen hand “slashing” the ever growing grass.

Previously dormant and silent frogs now croak and sing their melodies throughout the day and night. It can take 2-3 days for clothes to dry on the line, as the sun frequently hides behind gray clouds and the humidity level hovers at 70% (quite high for Nairobi’s altitude of 5,000 feet). Termites emerge from the sopping wet ground by the hundreds.

One rainy evening, my sitting room was literally invaded by dozens and dozens of annoying flying termites. They are rather clumsy and their disturbance made my attempt at reading quite difficult. Another critter – a gecko – shared my living quarters for the evening. I think he was happy with the event, unlike me! I caught him in the act with just the four wings of a termite protruding from his mouth. It was a comical sight. I imagine he enjoyed his meal.

The other day, Cyndi and I got caught in a thunderstorm. It soon turned into a virtual deluge! By the time we arrived at our destination, we were soaked literally from head to toe! My umbrella even leaked.

Laughingly, she suggested my next book should be titled, “So, You Think You Want To Be A Missionary?”

02 May 2006

May Prayer Letter, 2006


Safe travel to two far corners of Kenya during the month of April. I went to Mombasa to visit with Masudi (actually we met in Ukunda). I got to see his school and meet the family he stays with. We also had lunch at a nice restaurant and spent a few hours at the beach. It was good to re-connect with him and get caught up with one another.

Secondly, I traveled to Migori District (in South Nyanza Province). I accompanied Claire (a British gal from my church who's in Kenya working with an arm of Wycliff Bible Translators). She ministered during four teaching sessions in two days. We stayed with the pastor of the church. We had a nice bonus of an afternoon along Lake Victoria at Muhuru on the Tanzanian border. We got to see some Nile Perch that had been caught that day. We also got to spend a couple of hours at Lake Nakuru National Park. We saw lots and lots of animals - flamingos, zebra, buffalo, giraffe, rhino, gazelle, waterbuck, and warthogs. It was incredible to say the least!

Karo and Jeremiah's church recently held a "Love Offering" service. I was one of their special guests. They're raising money for a PA system and a keyboard. Their goal is 100,000/= ($1,500) and they were blessed with 25% at this function. They were quite pleased!

My friend, Cyndi (from Omaha) arrived safely last week. She'll be in Kenya for five months. She's rented a place on the same compound where I stay in Nairobi.


Please remember to pray for Karo as she gives birth to her baby. It should be any day now! Pray also that all of their needs will be met.

Collins, Masudi, Masha, Musyoka, Rose, and Sammy all start back to school next week for their second term. Pray that they will develop not only along academic lines but all aspects of their character.

Wisdom for me as I frequently disciple and counsel various friends. This can be quite a challenge in a cross-cultural setting.