Our last leadership conference of the year took place in Siaya, Kenya. Siaya is a small, old town in Luo controlled land here in Kenya. The town has a few buildings, small supermarkets, a post office and little else. I spent a week there participating in meetings for pastors and church leaders. I had the privilege of being part of a baptismal service on Sunday morning. The church we were using does not have a pool for baptisms, so we had to go to the local water source. I was the guest of a local bishop who has a small car. We drove the car over rough dirt roads surrounded by bush and small homesteads till the road disappeared. We were forced to make the last part of the journey on foot. Through reeds, grass, and other bushes that were taller then us we went. We passed women washing clothes in the stream, small animal trails, and a half eaten carcass of some kind to get to the lake. Once there the service begun and eight people went into the watery grave and came out rejoicing in the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus. I had a good time. I mainly spoke of reviving the ancient church practice of meeting each others needs through the sacrificing of our property. The message was well received and I look forward to hearing how they implement it. I also found a good place to build one of our chicken coops, so as soon as it is financially possible we will go and build. We will be bringing an update soon on the progress we are making with the church plant here in Nakuru.
Entries from December 2005
Well, Johnny is deep in the bush country of Africa. He has traveled to a rural area where there are no ‘buildings’ or roads, only mud huts with thatched roofs and tiny paths through the bush that cars cannot pass through. While he is off ministering, I thought I’d share what we (the kids and I) are doing back home. Today we rescued a gosling. Our neighbor’s geese hatched 5 eggs, and one managed to escape the ‘coop’. The kids enjoyed holding this little baby. It was the softest thing I think I’ve ever held that was alive. It felt like a squishy ball of cotton. We returned it to a flustered mother. Later in the day we herded some cows that managed to break out of their stalls to a large, open field. We petted 2 baby calves, a sheep, and saw newborn puppies. We went on a long walk to get some roasted goat for lunch, and we watched two shows on the TV in the evening- “Malcom in the Middle” and “Boston Public”. That was our day. Johnny’s been gone about 4 days in the bush, and we expect him home this evening. It’ll be great to have him back and hear of his adventures! More on that I hope soon! Have an adventurous day, will you? ~Kate
The announcement has been made. We have committed one hundred percent to the task of planting a church in Kenya. Making that announcement was one of the hardest things I ever had to do in my ministry. That statement binds us to the vision God gave us. I struggled so much with it because of the responsibilities that go with it. It in no way changes our original vision of inspiring believers in Kenya to reach out to their communities, in fact it will only enhance our mission. The scariest part is the unknown related to money. It will take more money than we now have to rent a location, furnish, and pay utility bills. There are times when my faith is tested now related to money, I can only imagine what it will be like when we are responsible for a church community also. I believe that people will respond and all will work out. We also have to trust that God will bring us a Kenyan minister to train and eventually replace us as senior pastors (we may not use that title or any title at all, but for now I will use that term.) Please pray and should you like to be involved somehow send us an email or snail mail us at: Johnny Brooks P.O. Box 15260 Nakuru 20100 Kenya
So many things happened this week so here is a lesson from our life in Lanet…
Our middle child, Makena just turned five this month, and two days ago, she asked to have her training wheels removed from her bicycle. I watched her try to get momentum while balancing on two wheels. For two days she would try to pedal, CRASH, get up, and then try again. She got so many bruises, but she was so determined to ‘grow up’ and be like her big brother that she looked past the pain, and now is riding beautifully on her own! Watching her blossom and learn a new skill is like watching a miracle happen. Makena has left the comfort of her using training wheels. She is finding a new normal.
Yesterday evening around 5:30 pm, I went to my neighbors to fetch milk from her cows. As I pushed open the gate, I found one of the cows in labor! I saw the little calf’s hooves and head, though she still was not breathing because she was only out to her neck, but she was blinking and looking around waiting for her mom to ‘get with the program!’ Finally, after an hour or so, she came out completely. The mother was licking her newborn calf, as my children watched in awe of this new beginning. This calf stumbled as she tried to get to her feet. She is finding a new normal.
On November third, a small bird laid two eggs in a nest just outside our dining room window. We were able to monitor the nest everyday. At meal time, we sat and watched the father bird bring food to the mother. One day, we noticed the mother had been gone and was now back with food, so we checked the nest and the babies had hatched from their eggs and were little pink things the size of our thumb! In just a few days, they grew feathers. We watched them stand on the edge of the nest and stretch preparing for their new beginning. Today, we came home from church to find—an empty nest—the birds have flown for the first time! They have found a new normal.
Today, after I noticed the baby birds had flown away, I went to let my sitting hen out of her box so she could eat. Underneath her were 8 baby chicks already hatched! One chick was head down in the grass with a hundred ants all over her. I scooped her up and washed her in the sink. She was nearly dead as I pulled ant after ant off of her tiny lifeless body. I thought it was a useless cause because she even had ants in her mouth and down her throat. I took tweezers and removed the ants from her tongue. Then I blow dried her to get her warm. The kids and I carried her around all day so she’d stay warm. After a while, she started peeping, and in the evening she was reunited with her mother. She has found a new normal.
Life comes with changes often times causing us to leave the comforts of our normal. Losing a loved one, having a baby, getting robbed, winning the lottery, losing a job, or getting promoted-- when life throws you a curveball, find a new normal.