14 July 2006

Ngong Hills Hike

These cactus-looking trees are called Uforia. I'm not sure of the spelling. They are fascinating, to say the least.

A sisal plant at dusk.

Sunset on the hills. It had indeed been a great day!

Beauty everywhere! Even up close! God is such a creative being!

Acacia trees off in the distance - the quintessential Kenyan tree. I love them!

Moss growing in the trees. James said they call it "old man's beard".

Me... contemplating life.

This is James, our "guide" for the day. - he was great! It actually seems to me like the word "guard" should be used, though. It's strongly recommended that hikers hire one of these guys for a hike at Ngong Hills (at $14 for the day, with the money going to the Kenya Wildlife Service). "Thugs" (thieves, rapists) are common, as are buffalo! We saw the footprints of a leopard and could smell the remains of a "kill" that a leopard had consumed. James told us incredible stories of 6 "jumbos" (elephants) that had strolled through the hills just two weeks prior. It was an exciting adventure, to say the least! I've now gone there four times and have loved it each and every time.

08 July 2006

2-Day Free Medical Clinic

Above: Nora's Mom and little brother, Nora, Amy, me, Margaret Wanjala, Dr. Chris.
These two pictures are from the 2-day free medical clinic that I helped with in Matunda a couple of weeks ago. Dr. Chris removed a 1.5 inch thorn (likely from an acacia bush or tree) from Nora's ankle. When she came into the clinic, she could hardly walk at all. Her ankle had gotten very swollen and painful with a severe infection. The local doctor that saw her wrote out a referral and told her to go to a "hospital for surgery". Dr. Chris assessed the situation and confidently proclaimed, "I can do it here!" She sent Amy to the tubs of supplies (that the team had brought along) for the items she would need. Margaret was summoned to act as interpreter.

It took several of us to hold Nora still while Chris did her work. Nora was a real trooper in the midst of her many tears. Everybody rejoiced when Chris pulled the thorn out. Nora's mom exclaimed, "Refu (long)!" when she saw it. Margaret asked Nora if she'd gotten it while searching for firewood. Nora nodded in the affirmative. To say that children in Kenya live a different sort of life than those in the States is putting it mildly. Imagine, having to hunt for firewood every single day so you can eat!

Chris, continued to concentrate on her work and cleaned the area out thoroughly. Once the ordeal was over with and her ankle was bandaged, we all gave Nora several hugs. Amy prayed that the wound would completely heal.

With a little bit of asking around, I found where they lived a few days later. I wanted to stop by to see how Nora was doing. She came walking towards me grinning from ear to ear - and walking with NO limp! "Sasa (How are you)?", I inquired. "Niko poa (I'm well)", came her immediate reply.

We helped with many such situations during the two days. We treated around 1,000 people with all sorts of ailments. Every child that came received a de-worming syrup. Most rural Kenyans have no extra money to seek medical treatment or to purchase the medicine needed. This team comes every year to assist in this heroic endeavor.

07 July 2006

Me and My Hut

My lantana fence is looking very nice and most of my trees are doing quite well!

05 July 2006

My July Prayer Letter

Praise Items and Highlights During the Month of June -
  • Naomi (my oldest daughter, who lives in Ohio) gave birth to Mia Sarice on the 7th of June. This brings her and Todd’s family to a total of five, including Mia’s big brothers – Terran and Tony. I’ve now been blessed with 4 grandchildren!
  • I spent some time with two different missions teams from the States during the past month. It always encourages me to interact with others who also have a heart for Kenya!
  • On three different occasions, I was with my friend, Martin Kimani. Actually he goes by the nickname of Kim. I’d like to believe that I’m able to inspire him as much as he inspires me. He’s a very creative and reflective young man.
  • I spent an enjoyable 10 days on the road and at my place at Matunda. I helped at an exhilarating 2-day free medical clinic, as well as hired a couple of guys to dig two 15-foot holes for me – one for my own toilet/washroom and the other for my own well. I traveled to Bukembe to visit Charles, Agnes, and their boys and also went to see Collins at his school at Luandeti.
  • I celebrated my birthday by having Karo, Jeremiah, and Joy to my place for lasagna and cupcakes. Karo’s sister, Jacki, and her nephew, Cliff, also joined us.
  • Cyndi and I spent an adventurous day hiking Ngong Hills. We managed to avoid all the danger lurking around us – the “thugs”, leopards, buffalo, and even elephants. The day was foggy and a bit chilly but we reveled in God’s creation nonetheless.
Prayer Items and A Look Ahead at July –
  • I’ll be teaching some foundational things about God’s Word at Karo and Jeremiah’s church on the 9th. Please pray that the congregation will be able to bypass the language differences and absorb all that I have for them.
  • Towards the end of the month, I plan to travel to the West Pokot area. One of Collins’ uncles – Geoffrey – has invited me to visit his church. This area can be rather volatile at times. Pray for our safety.
“Never choose to be a worker; but when once God has put His call on you, woe be to you if you turn to the right hand or to the left. We are not here to work for God because we have chosen to do so, but because God has apprehended us.”
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Ngong Hills

These shots are from our hike at Ngong Hills. It's an arduous trek of 12 miles, to put it mildly. Much of it is at a very steep incline. But it's wonderful to get out in God's great out-of-doors and to stretch ones legs! In case you're wondering... my hat is off to the side to keep the sun off of my face. We were on the hills for the entire day. We hiked basically in a southerly direction, so in the afternoon the sun was on our right side. At 8,000 feet and in the equatorial sun, it's wise to be careful. The middle shot is me (in the distance). The guy whose face is in the corner of the foreground is James, our guide/guard for the day.

Mosquito Net

Sleeping under a mosquito net is pretty much the norm here in Kenya. Actually, at my place in Nairobi, I've opted instead to use a vaporizer that kills the mosquitos. This particular shot is of me on the top of a bunk bed.

01 July 2006

More shots of our ministry time in Migori District in April

The top photo is my friend, Claire, teaching one of the four sessions. Pastor Joseph interpreted for her. The second photo shows their very simple church "building". It's made with poles and plastic and does a fairly good job of keeping out the rain and sun. You can see how intently they listen to God's Word being proclaimed. They sat on crude benches (or on the ground) for hours taking notes and absorbing what God had for them through Clair. Many of them walked for miles (literally) to be there for the two days. They were indeed eager to hear God's Word!

More shots of folks eager to hear God's Word