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September 2006

Entries from August 2006

The Recent Women's Conference in Kisumu

I can only thank God that He opened up the hearts and minds of the women in Kisumu because the messages I brought were well received.. so much so in fact, that according to several men in the church who weren’t there for my teachings told the us that the news spread of my teachings all over that area. I’m very thankful. I was a little nervous before traveling as I prepared because my topics were very ‘touchy,’ but I couldn’t allow that fear to stop me from speaking what I felt was put on my heart for these ladies by God.

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The first night I didn’t want to talk about rape, but I really felt like I couldn’t ignore that still small voice urging me to do it. It was a good thing I listened because that first night I had a large amount of teenage girls in the meeting. I could really tell that some of them were very touched by the message. Please pray for a healing to continue in their hearts as I believe one has begun.

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The second night I talked about women being equal to men. It was not a subject on submission but on the fact that we are ‘equal’. Women in Kenya are much oppressed. They are treated very poorly by their husbands in many cases. As I continued into the second discussion, I talked about marriage. The main point was for these ladies to stop ruining their marriages by worrying or even THINKING about whether their husbands are faithful to them or not. This topic was well received. Many women were very touched during this particular teaching. I’m so thankful to God for that. I was afraid they might get angry and throw me out—ha!

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Then on the third night, we discussed parenting issues and how if parents want respect from their children they first need to give it and so on. I also discussed women’s health issues in the second teaching of this day.

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FYI, during the morning sessions, Johnny gave more ‘spiritual’ teachings of which I really enjoyed. He discussed how salt brings out the flavor of food and that as Christians we should bring out the ‘God’ in people. We should bring out joy, peace, love, etc… in people. It was a great teaching.

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It was a bit tiring because of the long hours and the small hotel beds—ha! We didn’t have hot water in the hotel, either. So we had to take freezing showers and the kids got SO dirty while we were there! But all in all, it was a ‘success’ for lack of a better word.

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On the way to Kisumu and on the trip back we saw monkeys, beautiful birds, donkeys, horses, and of course the normal sheep, goats, and chickens.

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It was a good trip, so thank you for your prayers and your support!

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I’m glad to be back home!

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~Kate


Where the Money Goes

This is a short note to all our financial contributors, and those of you who do not give this is what your money would be used for if you were to give.

A woman asked for special prayer on Sunday after service at our church here in Nakuru, Kenya. I asked her what she needed prayer for and she told me that she just had an operation and found out that she was HIV positive. She is currently living with her brother due to lack of finances. Her husband passed away last year to AIDS, and now she is sick trying to raise their two children. (She has HIV because of her husband's unfaithfulness not because of anything she did, and her children have HIV because of him also. They did nothing to deserve this.)

She needed to fill some prescriptions that the doctor gave her after her operation. These include medicines for the HIV. She did not have the money, so after praying for her I took the prescription to the chemist (pharmacy) and had it filled.

This is one of the ways that we spend the money that is donated to our project.


Heading to Kisumu

This Friday we will be traveling to Kisumu for a weekend women's conference. Kate is the main speaker and I have several spots as well. We will be discussing women's health, women's liberty, economic empowerment, as well as spiritual issues. We look forward to ministering to these women.

Kisumu is a large city here in Kenya, and as such has more luxuries then we are used to in Nakuru. We hope to eat a good pizza (not an easy task in Kenya), eat some good Chinese food, and catch a movie all in our spare time away from the conference.

I also hope the kids can see a hippo or two down by the lake.

We may be checked out of the blogosphere for a few days, but we will be back soon. In the meantime you could check out the archives and photo albums, both of which you can find links to in the column to the right of this post.


Indian VBS

Kate here… I recently had the privilege of helping out with a Vacation Bible School for Indian children here in Nakuru. It was loads of fun meeting new faces and getting to experience a new ‘culture’ here in Kenya. Usually I deal with only ‘Kenyans’ since the ‘Mwindi’ population tends to stick to its own kind. So this was a treat for me. (Those who know me, know that I never meet a stranger and really enjoy getting to know new people.) Cool.

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Anyway, my children enjoyed the experience, too! I’ll post pictures hopefully soon.

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Don’t forget to look in our photo pages for new pictures every now and then. (Scroll down to find the links to them on the right!)

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~Kate


First Funeral

I officiated my first funeral this past Tuesday. Funerals are never fun things to do, but they are even less fun here in Kenya. The pastor is basically responsible for everything that a funeral director would be responsible for in the U.S.A. I had to go and arrange for the body to be prepared for the burial. I had to go and order the coffin. I had to make sure we had transport for the day of the funeral. There are no hearses or special vehicles to use (unless you are rich) so we just hired a taxi. Seems kind of strange, but we transported the coffin in the boot (trunk) of a taxi. I also had to make the arrangements for the plot in the cemetery. During the whole process I just kept thinking how strange it was for me to be doing all these things, but God was there and helped me to get through it all.

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You may be wondering why God needed to help me through it. Well there were obstacles along the way. First roadblock was money. The funeral was for a four month old baby named Laureen. She belonged to a member of our church. Having to do a funeral for a four month old baby is not fun. The mother (a member of our church) and the father (never met him ‘til 2 days before the funeral) had no money. They were unable to pay the mortuary’s fees in order to pick up the body, and well they were unable to pay anything. When they came by my house to tell me about the death, I had just returned from town where I had spent the last bit of money we had. I asked them to plan the burial for Tuesday, and prayed for God to work out the money situation. He did work it out, and I was able to go and pay for everything.

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The second obstacle to preparing for the funeral was corruption. We were going through the process at the mortuary and had gone to pay for the spot in the cemetery where no fewer than four cemetery employees offered to give us a lower price for the plot--as long as we did not need a receipt. We of course went and paid the full amount, and were issued with a receipt. I was not going to take a risk of being turned away from the cemetery on the day of the burial. The mortuary at this hospital in Nakuru is…well how do I say it…like a scene from a horror movie. The bodies are all stored in a refrigerator (that does not always work apparently, since many bodies are in various stages of rot and decay. Think flies and maggots and bones and blood and well, you get the idea.) These bodies are stacked up on top of one another. You walk in and there are literally piles of bodies. These bodies are not wrapped in bags or anything! The guy who manages this room demands a small bribe in order to go and pick the body you want. If you do not pay up you go in yourself. I went with the intention of going in there and searching for Laureen’s body, but when they saw a white man around who was not going along with things the guy went in and picked up the body for us.

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Finally after waiting almost four hours for a doctor to sign the death certificate (delays are another way of trying to get people to pay bribes), we set off for the cemetery. The service went smoothly. The family wanted to take photos, which to me were kind of strange. I try to not remember the funerals I have been to.

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I now have a new experience, and thank God that he gave me the strength and wisdom to make it through this experience.


My First

Today I am conducting my first funeral. I am not really sure how it is going to work out. I am kind of nervous about the whole deal. I think it would be easier if I was doing it in my own culture, but since I am not it just adds to the pressure to do things just right.

Tomorrow morning Andrew and I will be heading to Nairobi for a short getaway. We will be doing some work at the same time, but plan on trying to have fun while there. So you may not hear from us for a few days. Don't worry we are just busy.