Entries from June 2006
Some good friends from the U.S. donated a projector to our ministry here in Kenya, and I have begun to play around with it. Already I can tell this is going to greatly enhance our ability to teach and even entertain. I know you may be asking what does entertainment have to do with missionary work? My answer to that is, everything. We work with people who have to fight just to eat everyday, so how are they going to entertain themselves or their children? I believe that enjoying life is healthy and good for a child's or even an adult's development. So we are going to have movie night and project some entertainment on the wall of our church. Gasp!! You are going to show movies at the church? Yep. In fact it looks like the first movie we show will be Spongebob Squarepants.
Butterfly celebrated her 3rd birthday yesterday! She is very excited about now being older. We had a small party with just our family and a guest from the U.S.A. Leading up to her party she kept asking for a pink square. We would ask her, "Butterfly, what do you want for your birthday?" and she would respond "A pink square." We figured out after awhile that she was refering to a present that would be wrapped in a pink box. So I bought her a gift and wrapped it in a pink square.
This past week I was in Nairobi waiting for a visitor to arrive from the U.S.A. We were low on money so I was wondering how to get to Nairobi to pick up this visitor. God of course knew all about this long before I realized my situation, so he made some arraignments. We received an email from an American who had been in Botswana for a few weeks and was then visiting Kenya, and he wanted to come and see us. Of course we said come on over, we are always happy to have new people to tell about what is going on here. So he came and spent a couple of days with us and we had some good fellowship. He had hired a vehicle and I managed to convince him to take myself and a friend to Nairobi for free. So then we had a way, but it was a day early. Now we needed to arrange for food and lodging for the night. Keep in mind that we had very little money, and things are more expensive in Nairobi when compared to Nakuru. To make a long story shorter this visitor gave us an offering when we reached Nairobi. So then we booked a room and found some chicken to eat. Miracles like this happen to us all the time, sure I would like to have all the money I need for my family and project, but so far God has not worked it out like that. So we keep getting these cool miracles. It turned out that our visitor missed her flight and was delayed by a day. The money that the first visitor gave us sustained us till she arrived, and I was even able to go watch the Davinci Code.
I hope to get to Nairobinext week and start collecting stories and photos at the school there in Kariobangi. I will not write much about it right now till I get all the facts straight. I do know that we want to build them a new building to house their school and church, and that this will cost $8,000 U.S. dollars. Education is so important especially if you are born into a slum like Kariobangi. The only hope these children have is to get an education. Sometimes the only knowledge they have is slum in nature and that is a skewed way to look at the world. It is our prayer that we will be able to provide a good school for them. This of course can only happen with the generous support of you people.
I wanted to update everyone on the chicken project: We moved to a house that is too small to house the project and so we had to give the chickens to another pastor who had space. I still want to plant these coups in a few places. I would even like to do a larger poultry project in Kisumu. I have space and someone with experience to manage the project, now I just need money. I don’t know how much money yet I have to do some more research. I have found that Kenyan ministers tend to really over exaggerate the cost of things, so the only way to get an accurate picture is to take it yourself.
Sorry it has been a few days since our last post, but I am stuck in Nairobi. I am waiting for a visitor from the U.S. who missed a flight and has been delayed by a day.
We were short on cash so I hitched a ride on Tuesday to avoid paying for the trip. This meant I would be in Nairobi a day early, which was not that big of a deal since I needed to go to the embassy to pick up my new passport. Well on the day the visitor was to arrive I received an email saying she was going to be a day late.
So I had to spend another night in the hotel. Today hopefully all goes well and she will arrive this evening.
This Sunday we will be talking about the Gospel of peace. I have not had the time to prepare as I would want to, but I believe that God will inspire.
Yesterday I spoke on the breastplate of righteousness in our main Sunday service. We stressed the fact that our own righteusness is not good enough, but Jesus allows us to use his righteousness which is good enough. I defined righteousness as being sin free or being able to stand before God face to face. We had a good time and actually a good number of people there.
There was one woman who expressed a desire to join the church, but she left before I could talk with her. Then we had another couple visit just because they wanted to check out the sofas. They seemed to enjoy themselves, we will see if they make it to another service.
We also received our first visitor from the U.S. A Perry Snell is here hanging out with us for like two days. On Wednesday I will pick our other visitor up, Rita Trail, and she will be chilling with us for three weeks or so.
Kate and the kids are doing well. I promise to get some new photos up as soon as possible.
What is the opposite of a rat problem?
A CAT problem! I woke up at 1:am to snack and much to my surprise there coming into our house through the window next to me was a giant cat that does not belong to us! At first I thought it was a rat, but is was so huge! He ran away after I shooed him, but it was a very strange experience for me.
Here in Kenya, we don’t have AC, and we have a kitten so we keep some windows open all the time (to allow the cat to potty outside). The weather is perfect here so we can do that! However, all the stray cats around have discovered our luxurious cat food. We must be the ‘Cat Hotel’ after midnight!
I was told that rats are a problem in this area, but I can’t imagine them feeling comfortable at my house!
There is no such thing as a vulgar word in Kenya, and yet there are vulgar words everywhere! Here’s what I mean: words that are ‘curse’ words to us (Americans) are common use around here (without the knowledge of how they are used in the States). For example, while watching television, it is not uncommon to see a margarine commercial exclaim that their product is “Damn Good!” or to go out on the street and hear young boys saying, “Sheet!!” (The letter ‘i’ is the ‘ee’ sound in Kenya). I thought they were saying ‘sheet’ as in the cover for the mattress, but then the light came on, and I realized what I was hearing!
Their parents didn’t even mind them saying that word! After hiring an electrician to work on our house and hearing him say vulgar word after vulgar word as if they were just ‘normal,’ I decided to ask a Kenyan friend if there were any words in English or in Swahili that they would consider obscene or ‘bad’.
She thought for a moment and said, “No.” So I proceeded to write some down on my daughter’s ‘Magnadoodle’ and asked her about those. She still said, “No, those are just normal words to us.”
So now I’m concerned that my kids may end up going back to the States saying things like “Damn” and ‘Sheet’ as if they are common practice! Ha! I’m sure we can teach them not to use those words, but I thought that you’d be interested in knowing a bit of the culture difference.
We were dissappointed in USA's loss last night, but we loved the Australian v Japan match. What a game. The Aussies came back in the last 10 minutes to score 3 goals and win the game.