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May 2007
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July 2007

Entries from June 2007

Vocational School

I was able to pay for 2 more months of school for 3 people this week. They are attending a vocational school, and since we will be gone for a few weeks I went ahead and paid for next month as well.

Thanks to all of you who make this possible, and I say thank you to my God for allowing us to do this kind of work.


Final Step

This past Tuesday I took a matatu (van used for public transportation here in Kenya) to Nairobi. I also came back on the same day, no fun task because of the horrible state of the road.

I was picking up our passports with the updated visas, which was the final task to accomplish for our upcoming trip to the U.S.A. We will be leaving on this Sunday, God willing.

A friend of mine, Abdi Ali, accompanied me for the trip. We just wanted to hang out since I will be gone for 2 months. I had a great time showing him around downtown Nairobi, he had never been there. He also had his first hamburger at a place called Steers.

No comparison to American hamburgers but was a new and interesting experience for him.

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Quote of the Week

“I do dimly perceive that whilst everything around me is ever changing,
ever-dying, there is underlying all that change a Living Power that is
changeless, that holds all together, that creates, dissolves and re-creates. That informing
Power or Spirit is God…. For I can see that in the midst of death life persists; in the midst
of untruth truth persists; in the midst of darkness light persists. Hence I gather that God
is Life, Truth, and Light. God is Love. God is the Supreme Good.”

 

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

 

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Hold On For Dear Life

Psalm 91:14 "If you'll hold on to me for dear life," says God, "I'll get you out of any trouble." I really like that. No matter what comes my way, if I am just holding on to my God, then I will make it through. If I am just with him, all will be o.k. You know something? Hanging out with someone is not all that difficult.

Religion demands that we work towards pleasing God or that we appease him. We have to attend Sunday meetings; we have to pay our tithes and offerings; we have to pray; we have to read the Bible; we have to, we have to, we have to... The list is very long. "If you'll hold on to me for dear life," is a completely different principal. Think about it. There are some relationships that we have from afar. For example, my relationship with the I.R.S. (Internal Revenue Service) is one from a distance. I fill out forms for them, keep certain records, and pay what I owe them. I have a relationship with them, but it is one of obligation. A relationship forced on me by my government. Now look at my relationship with my friends. I simply can be with them. No expectations, no requirements, no forms, and no payments due.

Holding on to God requires only one thing; that we hold on. The Bible says "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Where is the religion in that? Where are the rules? The criminal hanging next to Jesus had no time for baptism, tithes, sinners prayers, prayer, fasting, good deeds, or loving God. He simply reached out and held on for dear life.

We are here in Kenya holding on to God for dear life, and because in order to hold on to someone for dear life means you have to be close, some of God's desires and character seem to be rubbing off. I look at the scriptures that have been preserved through the ages for us, and I see a God who cares for the fatherless. I see a Father who wants all of his children (Which is all of mankind not just a select few) to know him as Father.

When I asked, "What can I do?" He responded with the idea of setting up a home for orphaned or rejected girls here in Kenya. When I asked him how I could teach his word and introduce him to as many people as possible, he responded with the instructions to not just believe but to live my faith.

Psalm 91:14 "If you'll hold on to me for dear life," says God, "I'll get you out of any trouble."

 

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Things I miss...

Living in Kenya is not difficult for me and my family, but as we prepare to visit the States, I've begun thinking of things that will be luxurious to me during our stay there. Here's the top of my list: laundry 0107 (2)

  • Fluffy, soft, machine dried, towels*
  • Fluffy, soft, machine dried cloth nappies (diapers)**   
  • Consistent running water
  • Hot water
  • A bath
  • grassy lawns

Of course there are a lot of things about Kenya that I will miss, but I will save those for another post.

*Currently our towels are line dried so they are so hard they can stand on their own and so scratchy, one could remove the paint off a car!

**Right now, our nappies are line dried and are so crunchy and hard that I can barely fold it to put between little Emma Caite's legs!


Washing Robots

I am trying to prepare our children for the cultural differences they will experience in the United States.

Our daughter Butterfly is turning 4 soon, and she's lived in Kenya for most of her life. She has no memory of what America is like. So today I said to her, "Butterfly, did you know that in most places in the US, dishes are washed by a machine?"

Her eyes widened as she tried to imagine how it could be possible, so I asked her, "What do you think they look like?"

She started waving her arms around like an octopus as she said, "They must have arms and hands!"

I hope she won't be too disappointed when she sees a real dishwasher!

~Kate


Coke Float

Kate has a friend who runs a salon across the street from the house we rent here in Racecourse, Nakuru. She is a nice woman and a good example of how to be a Christ follower. You will not find her attending meetings on Sunday or attending the midweek prayer meeting, but you can find her helping those who need help.

She invited us over for dinner. We had the typical Kikuyu meal; goat stew, mukimo, and chapati, which is eaten not in the dinning room (non existent in most Kenyan homes) but instead in the living room (sitting room.) She is a single mother and at least sat down to eat with us. Most Kenyan woman do not eat with their guests, but instead eat in the kitchen or after the guest leave.

We brought along desert; ice cream, chocolate syrup, and coke. I could tell her children were interested to see why I wanted to serve the ice cream in glasses, the idea that I might mix it with coke had not even crossed their minds.

Well they loved it. I heard very many exclamations of Gai. Which is a Kikuyu word for 'god', so they were saying something like; "Oh my God."

I so enjoy exposing folks to new and different things. I think it is a gift that God has given me.

We ended up leaving the remainder of the ice cream and coke for them to enjoy later. (Our kids will be spending 8 weeks in the U.S. so finding good food will not be difficult.) Their mother recently was able to purchase a refrigerator and so is able to keep the ice cream frozen.

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Spiritual Warfare?

I found myself thinking on this topic, spiritual warfare, today after listening to a pod cast by the guys at www.familyroommedia.com.

Typing a response to their pod cast found me realizing that I have come to a different understanding of spiritual warfare. I used to think that the good fight had one front line and the principal weapon was prayer. I would rebuke, cast out, bind, curse, and whatever I could think of for hours at a time. Till one day I sat down and asked where does all this get me?

Nowhere.

You can find in the letter to the Romans a sentence that changed my idea of spiritual warfare forever: Overcome evil by doing good.

I fight the devil, however you may define him/her/them/they/it (and perhaps we can take up that issue in the future), by doing good. That is the answer to how to resist the devil. You do good.

Exactly what is good? Good is not bad.

Opening a home for orphaned or rejected girls is good not bad. Feeding the hungry is good not bad. Clothing the naked is good not bad. Caring for the sick is good not bad. I think we all know the difference between good and bad. Good is not bad and bad is not good.

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Church

I was updating the categories on some past articles and realized that I had not posted any updates about the church* we were working with here in Nakuru, Kenya. So let me give you an update:

We have transitioned from the role of senior pastors in the church to working on the home for orphaned or rejected girls, A Future and a Hope. Not having to pastor the church gives us more time and resources to work towards opening A Future and a Hope.

When we return from the U.S. I, Johnny, will have a part to play in the church. Not exactly sure what part yet, but I will want to be able to talk to the people from time to time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*I realize that many of you will define church in a different way then I am using in this post, and I do understand that the church is the people of God living out the way of life defined by Jesus. However for this blog post the word church refers to a people meeting in a specific place at a specific time.