27 June 2006

Ministry in Migori District

These are old photos but I'm just now getting them posted. They're all from April when I went to a village called Manyera with Clair. Hope you enjoy them! The two of the kids singing are during the church services we were involved in.

Everywhere I go in Kenya - whether it be the isolated rural village or the urban slums - children flock to me. The simple, innocent joy radiated in their smiling faces is infectious and admirable. I find it all to be very humbling. I praise God daily for the absolute privilege it is to be here.

06 June 2006

June Prayer Letter


The entire month of May found me in Nairobi waiting for Karo’s baby to be born. As I did so, I hosted many in my home:

  • Cyndi and her friend, Vera, stayed with me a couple of days
  • Rose and Sammy spent a weekend with me
  • George, Linet, and their boys came for a spaghetti lunch
  • The guys in my homegroup came for lasagna and birthday cupcakes

Karo also stayed at my house overnight for five weeks in a row to simplify her maternity clinic visits. I reserved one day for a personal prayer retreat. I assisted Cyndi wherever I could, as she got adjusted and settled in Kenya. My homegroup celebrated communion during one of our weekly meetings. Cyndi and I attended Karo and Jeremiah’s church one Sunday morning.

Of course, the biggest praise item is the birth of Joy Elika Kibisu! It’s my privilege to know this couple and to minister to them in various ways. I firmly believe they are jewels in God’s Kingdom and that He’ll use them mightily for His glory!


Life in Kenya can become hectic and too busy just like in the States. Please pray that I’ll maintain a balanced schedule. I don’t ever want to crowd out personal and meaningful time with my Lord.

“Unless we have invested a great deal of time in our secret ministry to the Lord, then the shallowness of our public ministry will be very evident… Few people today truly minister to the Lord Himself.” - Chip Brogden

“I entered your house and you gave Me no water for My feet.” Luke 7:44

Celebration of the Lord's Supper

The homegroup I belong to, at my church, meets each week right after the service. We walk the short distance down to the pavilion at the “football pitch” (soccer field) and grab enough chairs to facilitate our discussion.

On a recent Sunday, we had a great time celebrating the Lord's supper. There were seven of us - Sam, Mike, and myself (the old-time regulars; Jean Claude was away), Julius, Nathaniel, and Caré (regular newcomers), and my friend, Cyndi (from the States).

We sat around a table with a “khanga” (piece of colorful African fabric) as a tablecloth. I brought a loaf of homemade bread and a bottle of red wine. Sam brought juice for the teetotallers.

Our pastor, Peter Twycross, had preached on the subject the previous Sunday. Each one of us facilitated discussion on one of the points in his sermon - reading the appropriate passages of Scripture, as well as asking the prepared questions and the reflections. We each then ended with a prayer. A couple of times, we joined together holding hands as we prayed.

We had some great discussion. Some of what Peter shared was a new approach to the observation of the sacrament that we weren't familiar with. We shared openly about our reactions to these new ideas. Some we readily embraced; we struggled openly with some of the others.

After finishing the discussion and prayer time, we served one another the bread, with each one tearing off a large piece. We also asked if our neighbor preferred wine or juice and served him/her accordingly.

We took part in the elements amidst lively and warm discussion. Nathaniel (from Ethiopia) shared his dramatic conversion experience with us. We lingered for quite some time. It was indeed a memorable experience!

Self Pity

Self-pity is not a pretty thing, to be sure. Recently, however, I seriously struggled with the emotion.

While walking in Nairobi, a young man passed me. He carried a large, dirty sack over his shoulder. His clothes and shoes were dirty, torn, and beyond worn out. His hair was very unkempt. Totally oblivious to my presence and with his eyes glued to the ground, he searched for trash. He collected plastic items, likely to sell for a few small coins to a recycler. He didn't ask for a handout. Instead, he made his own honest attempt to earn his daily bread. As I secretly watched him pick up a couple of items and add to his meager collection, a tear trickled down my cheek. I could only imagine the life he lives.

A short distance later, I encountered four younger boys (perhaps in their early teens). They also were quite dirty and wore tattered clothes. They didn't all wear shoes. Sitting on the ground, they played a game of some sort that they apparently had made themselves. It consisted of a piece of cardboard with some markings and some pop bottle caps.

As I walked past them, I looked down to see if their game was draught (checkers). Two of them greeted me and I returned the gesture. Quickly one hopped up and walked alongside me. He asked me to buy them food. I told him, "No".

He politely asked me why not. I told him I don't ever give money to strangers. He quickly replied, "I'm not asking for money. We just want food. Can you buy us some bread?"

Going against my own well-established policy, I agreed to his simple request. He continued to walk with me to Yaya Center (a very classy, modern shopping center). We both knew he wouldn't be allowed in (because of his appearance), so I told him to wait for me at the security gate and I'd come back with some bread.

As we approached the gate, I asked about the game. He told me its name and that it's similar to draught.

I bought the boys two loaves of bread (with a small package of margarine inside). I also got them some milk and a bag of apples.

I found where the boy waited. He wasn't by the security gate, but was farther down. It’s likely the security guards chased him away. As I gave him the bag, he smiled and thanked me. I was tempted to watch them play their game. But I knew I couldn’t handle it emotionally.

Hmm... both encounters demonstrated to me that I don't have ANTHING to complain about regarding my lot in life - present circumstances included.

More Baby Photos

Joy at one week old. She's doing great, as are mom and dad! I've just spent a couple of days with them at their place. Naturally I thoroughly enjoyed holding her every chance I got.

02 June 2006

Madaraka Day – June 1st

Today is a holiday - Madaraka Day - in Kenya. It’s the 42nd anniversary of “self governance”. I headed into “town” (downtown Nairobi) on a matatu and got stuck in a huge “jam” (traffic jam). President Kibaki was speaking at a large public gathering at Nyayo Stadium. My route into town unfortunately passes by the stadium and the roads nearby were closed to traffic. Everyone was forced to use Mbagathi Road instead. Normally it’s a “dual carriageway” (4-lane, divided road). Currently, though, it’s under construction and is reduced to only two lanes (one in each direction). It’s being completely resurfaced with poured cement – a first for Kenya!

Our driver frequently jumped the “kerb” (curb) to drive on the so-called sidewalk. In the process, of course, he forced pedestrians to scatter. Traffic was “boot-to-bonnet” (trunk-to-hood or bumper-to-bumper) and only moved at a snail’s pace! Traffic police were posted all along the way, but they could do little other than to continuously wave traffic ahead.

Unfortunately all of this is not an unusual occurrence. The road system in Nairobi is woefully inadequate due to the rapid rate of urban migration during the past 20 years and the complete lack of foresight by the road department of the government.

The entire city is draped in red, green, black, and white cloth banners for the holiday. As I purchased a newspaper, I heard the President’s speech on the radio.

Anyway, I just thought I’d share that little piece of info to give you a bit of a glimpse into my daily life here in Kenya.

Lake Nakuru National Park

Flamingos, giraffe, and a rhino at Lake Nakuru National Park. It was an incredible experience to see such a large variety of wildlife in their natural surroundings. We also saw many baboons, zebra, Thomsons gazelle, water buffalo, and others. I was there in April with Claire (a gal from my church) on our way home to Nairobi from Migori District over Easter weekend. It was an added bonus to an already great trip!
Sorry this is sort of blurry. This is the gecko that I mentioned in my post titled "Rain!". He's in the middle of his termite snack. Four wings are sticking out and the body is inside his mouth. A few minutes after I took this shot, the wings also disappeared. The wings are about 1-2 inches in length (the termite bodies are only about a 1/2 inch long). This particular gecko was about 6-8 inches long. They can vary in size.

01 June 2006

Two more of Rose and Sammy

Sammy enjoyed riding my bike around the neighborhood. This is Rose - with a rose.

More photos from Ukunda

Top: This is Mama Dennis, the lady Masudi stays with. She's standing at her little kiosk. Notice the tall stack of eggs, tomatoes, and cabbages.

2nd: A water vendor. Their carts have pieces of metal attached to the wheels so that as they move down the road, they make a "clackety-clack" sound. It alerts potential customers to their arrival.

3rd: Masudi stands in front of the sign for the school he attends - Redeemed Academy.

4th: A pile of wood.

5th: The home where Masudi stays.