I am sitting in a cyber cafe in Nairobi, Kenya. This cafe is located in a place called Yaya Centre, which is a shopping mall that reminds of malls from the U.S. Yesterday I was delayed going back to Nakuru because of a minister friend, so today he has till noon. If he is not finished by then I will leave him. I have to get back to Nakuru to pick up a cake for our Madaraka day party (more on Madaraka day later.) Ok let me leave you with this photo of the Yaya Centre.
Entries from May 2006
My plan changed, or actually was changed for me, and now I am staying another night in Nairobi. So my new plan is to leave in the morning and head back to Nakuru. I did make it to the US embassy here and ordered my new passport. While there I met another American who had just come from Nakuru where his passport, laptop, etc. where stolen from his vehicle. This happened 2 cars down from several policemen. That is what will happen when you leave your stuff in the car in town, but I did not tell him that since he now knows that to be true.
I am in Nairobi this morning. My plan is to go to the embassy this afternoon and pay for my passport renewal. I say "my plan" because this is Kenya and even when I make the most solid plans things always seem to change. It is good to be in the big city. Last night I ate some very good Italian food, and was reminded of how much I miss the good foods of Texas. Well here is a pic of Nairobi:
I am heading to Nairobi in just a few short minutes. Must pay a visit to the American embassy to renew my passport, and visit with a pastor who needs some advice. Traveling to Nairobi is not really all that fun, but at least it only takes like 2 and a half hours. For half the trip you use roads that are like not even roads, but instead they are groups of potholes with asphalt in between some of them. Crazy. The second half however is on smooth roads and is comfortable enough. The family is not going on this trip, but when we head to the airport to pick up a visitor next month they will go and have some fun in the big city.
I want to leave you with some words that have great meaning to me, and I hope you will enjoy them. This group of words belong to N.T. Wright. I am resisting adding my own commentary, but perhaps at a later time:
The second point is that, despite the extravagant claims of some, there is no biblical warrant whatsoever for the suggestion that the reestablishment of the state of Israel in the 1940s constituted the fulfillment of biblical prophecy and that, as such, it should be supported by right-thinking Christians. Galatians is one of the biblical books that most strongly gives the lie to this. Paul is at pains throughout to distance himself from any geographical or territorial claim; these things are done away with in Christ. “The present Jerusalem is in bondage with her children; but the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is the mother of us all” (4:25-26). Nor is this a mere assertion. Paul’s whole argument is that “the Israel of God” (6:16) consists of all those, Jew and Gentile alike, who believe in Jesus the Messiah. “If you belong to the Messiah, you are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the promise.” How then can the “inheritance” of the “heirs” be translated back into terms of a few square miles of sacred land, kept for the descendants of Abraham “according to the flesh”?
I was speaking with our children, Andrew, Makena, and Butterfly, about miracles this past Sunday. My point was that God can and does work miracles in our lives, though many times we do not recognize them as miracles.
So the kids started to think of “miracles” that could happen while we were away at church. One was a stack of Dominoes pizzas on the table when we got home. They thought of all kinds of food and even a new fancy table with a spinning top. I let them go on because I knew it would provide me with a good way of teaching about miracles. I firmly believe that God is active in my life and does provide miracles, but I am wary of “miracles on demand” provided by faith healers. As a father I want to teach my children that God is active in the world, but tends to not be flashy about it. We went off to church all exited about miracles.
During the service I continued my lesson in miracles only with a larger class room. I told our people to expect a miracle today, and to look for it in unusual places. I told them that God often times works through people, and not necessarily the supposedly super holy preachers of the day. They were encouraged to be polite, kind, and loving to all people no matter what their faith, social status, or otherwise because they could be God’s instruments for a miracle.
I know this is getting long, but let me tell you of two miracles that happened to us recently. I needed to go to Nairobi on Tuesday to meet with some Americans who had heard about us from the internet world and they were in the country for a few days. We did not have the money to make the trip, and I was telling Kate I needed a miracle to go to Nairobi on Tuesday (this was Saturday when I was talking about it.) As soon as I said the word miracle a woman came by who owed us money. She paid the money and I was able to go to Nairobi yesterday. I actually did not meet the Americans as I was delayed due to traffic and construction, but I was able to rescue a dear friend who was stranded in the city. God provided for me to go to Nairobi, but not for the reason I intended, and the miracle came through an ordinary Kenyan woman.
Second recent miracle: I checked the mail and found a small package there, and I brought it home. Andrew, my eight year old son, was the only one home at the time I arrived. I noticed right away that he was super excited about the package, and so we decided to open it. We found a package of Velveeta cheese inside, and Andrew became really pumped up. After talking to him for a few minutes I discovered that he was not disappointed in God not giving us pizzas or a new table. The day of receiving the cheese package he prayed for Velveeta, and a few hours later it was sitting on the table in front of him. He was even more amazed when I explained that God new two weeks ago he was going to pray that, because the package was sent then. I also explained how God used people to answer his prayers.
Please do not discount God’s miraculous powers just because some people use “miracles on demand” to make a living. God is working in your life; you just might have to slow down to appreciate it.
I am writing this from an Internet cafe that has just opened up around the corner from our new place here in Racecourse Nakuru, Kenya. It is very slow. I feel like crying because I still can remember my Time Warner Cable connection from Texas. Well at least I did not have to jump on a matatu (public transport) to town and walk to the Internet Cafe. It is also half the cost, so I will end up spending the same amount of money since it is taking me double the time.
I want to casually (ha ha) point out that my Amazon.com wish list is in the right hand side bar of this blog. I really need books. It is so hard to find good books in Kenya, so if you are inclined to order one send it to Johnny Brooks P.O. Box 15260 Nakuru 20100 Kenya. Thank you in advance.
This past Saturday we held another meeting at our church with a group concerned with women's reproductive health. The meeting went well, though I am getting tired of meetings. I want some action! I think we will continue to meet with these people and participate in what they are doing, but it looks like we will have to develop our own plan of action.
Till next time....
Well, we have finally moved to our new house! The good news is that there is a lot more space and places to actually store our clothes and dishes. The bad news is that there is no water pressure so our tank is not getting filled, and we have not had a bath in almost a week! The dishes are piling up, the toilets are stinky, and the kids are sticky. I asked about the water here before we moved, and they said that there was plenty. Soooo now we have to figure out how to get water up into our tank. Also, our hot water heater doesn’t work, but we’ll get that fixed after we get water!
I love the house, and I believe the water issue should be easily remedied in time—I hope.
Some more good news is that someone has opened up an internet café near our house! I don’t know if they’ll allow us to plug in our laptop there, but at least we won’t have to make a trip to town for emergency internet access.
We continued our relationship series this past Sunday by speaking on Spiritual Relationships. In a nut shell we defined what a true minister is and then talked about the requirements of leadership in our church.
The attendance was good and people responded well to the message.
Today we are moving to our new house. Hope to have some photos up soon.
I will have a very cool and exiting ministry announcement soon, so stay tuned.
Till next time, God bless.
“It’s a miracle that my house burned down!”
Today I got a little insight in the mind of my husband. Johnny and I were discussing our childhoods, and he told me something I thought all of you would find funny or at least interesting to know about Johnny.
When Johnny was in the 4th grade, he had a teacher who said that they were going to study the multiplication tables. And she said that when they returned to school after the Christmas holidays they were going to each stand up in front of the class, hold her hands (to prevent them from counting on their fingers), and recite the times tables in front of the class. Now any one who knows Johnny well and has a good imagination of what his 9-year-old mind was probably like can imagine how stressed he felt. Johnny HATED being touched by people and was very uncomfortable talking to others as well--especially when he was that age.
Then something terrible happened (at least to a normal person): On Christmas night when most children are enjoying their new toys, Johnny’s house caught fire and burned completely to the ground. Now a normal nine-year-old would be traumatized or at least upset that he just lost everything he owned (especially his new stuff). However, Johnny never told his parents, but today he revealed to me that he always deemed that fire a miracle. It forced his family to move to a different school zone.
He told me that he was SO stressed about returning to school after the Christmas break because he really hated touching people and talking to people at that age.
I can imagine him standing there watching the blaze consume his home. He is feeling the warmth of the fire on that cold Christmas night with the orange glow flickering on his face illuminating in tiny flashes his ‘secret’. As his family cries in despair and wonders what they will do… Johnny pushes his hands deep into his pockets and grins…he knows what he’s NOT going to do…
It was much more fun hearing it from Johnny of course!
FYI, there is only one baby picture of Johnny that has survived his history of natural disasters (floods, fires, etc…), and I have it, well...unless hurricane Rita destroyed it. Hmm…