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December 2007

Entries from November 2007

Mary

002I met Mary a couple of weeks ago. She has been bedridden for two months, and we went to visit her to see what  we could do. I am not sure what can be done to get her out of bed, but we will continue to visit her. She is HIV positive, open about it, and was given the ARV drugs. She started taking them and shortly after that found herself unable to get out of bed.

In order for the drugs to work properly you have to eat properly, which she has not been able to do so. She simply cannot afford good food. ARVs do not work for everyone, so it could be she needs another option.

So I went together with Ben and a few other friends to bring her some food. She was happy for the food, but more excited about the company. We talked for a little while. I try to not only talk about her situation but to chat about life, elections, neighborhood, the future, and whatever else she might be interested in.


More Than Meets the Eye

The majority of the folks in our home have never been able to go to a theatre to see a film. Currently there is no movie theatre in Nakuru. So I did the next best thing for them and set up the projector. We had a great time watching Transformers last night. Everyone seemed to enjoy the movie. Well o.k. Edith fell asleep at some point, but she likes to go to bed early anyway.

This was my favorite review of Transformers so let me share it with you:

Just follow this link


Comfy Quilts

There's nothing like wrapping up in a comfortable quilt.

Yesterday, we received a package with some very special quilts inside! One was made for Grace with her name on it, and the other for Edith with her name on it.

Grace has been an orphan longer than she can remember. She has never had anything made 'just for her.' Seeing her eyes light up when she read her name on the front of the quilt was priceless.

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Edith also received a quilt with her name on it. She immediately started playing with it and hugging it. She and Butterfly had a blast hiding under it. 

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Now, I've put them on their new beds. They are so happy!

~Kate


A Good kind of Busy

I haven't been keeping up with my own blog! I've been so busy, that I don't know what articles Johnny has posted, and so I may repeat some things only telling them from my perspective.

Having eleven people in the house keeps me moving! I must say, however, every day, as I wash dishes I get this wonderful, supernatural joy that rises up in my soul. I am so fulfilled doing what I am doing. (I'm not talking about the housework either).

Our ministry has grown. Every day Johnny and Ben are on the forefront visiting people who are desperate. People who would die without the love and compassion shown to them by Jesus shining in us. I think Johnny told you, but yesterday there was a man whose leg is literally rotting off. He has a severe infection, and he had NO means of getting to the hospital. Literally. We did a simple act of transporting him to the hospital and paying a small admittance fee. He's now being cared for properly. But more than that, he knows that a stranger who loves Jesus had compassion enough to find him, visit him, and do more than just pray and walk away.

While Johnny and Ben are out there, Pauline and I are here at A Future and a Hope. I think the best part about being here is seeing these girls laughing, giggling, and playing like children should. Of course, seeing them eat nutritious meals is a blessing to me too. Thank you for making that possible.

When Edith arrived here, she was so malnourished from eating so much of the same thing (Ugali, made from maize) that her belly was as big as a pregnant woman. She looked like the pictures of the Ethiopian children we grew up seeing on the TV, remember? She had this huge, protruding belly. Now, to look at her, her belly is half the size it used to be! She still has a little 'pot' there, but it's a normal looking one.

Anyway,I just wanted to say thanks for making these small acts with great love possible. We aren't paid by an organization. Everything we do is done as an extension of the kindness of you.

Thank you for reaching out.

~Kate


The Poor Will Always Be With You

Jesus said, " The poor will always be with you."  This is not because God is powerless to do something about- as some people suppose in order to rationalize that God does not exist; because if He did, there wouldn't be so much suffering in the world.  A lot of evil happens in this world because men do evil things.  Then there are those, such as the elderly, the sick, handicapped, the dying, the homeless, the poor, and the orphaned, that suffer through no fault of there own or direct sin of someone else.  I've come to "see" with spiritual eyes that these people( that are last in this world, but first in God's kingdom) are the very best gifts that God gives us, aside from Jesus and redemption. 

We went to the homeless expecting to minister to them- but it happened quite the opposite.  They had quite a tent city set up and needed nothing from us, except maybe love and acceptance.  In fact, they gave gifts and candy to all our five children and have become dear friends of ours.  These people are truly humbled people, who because of their own ability to see their humanity, do not have a judgmental bone in their body.  ( at least this particular group,- a lesson a lot of churchgoers could well learn from them.  They had the courage to welcome us with open arms, without suspicion or retaliation to a society that has rejected and judged them.  I mean really, how would most of us respond, if a homeless person showed up at our door with pizza and said, " Hey , can we hang out with you?"

I began to see that these kinds of people, any person with needs or rejected, fulfill a vital part of God's plan in bringing His kingdom on earth through the body of Christ. Might even perhaps be their "calling"( uhoh!).  That perhaps what we see as bad in the natural has good spiritual potential.  You see, as we reach out to them with Christ's love, we are made into His image and bring light into this dark world.  Without these kinds of people in the world, we would all lose our compassion, and our love would grow cold.  You see, the real miracle is not it the temporal things that we can help them with, but what happens in our hearts. This is the bringing in of many brethren into God's kingdom , ( them and US).  And the gates of Hell will never prevail against this.

Heather


Psalm 1

This past Sunday I spoke in a church here in Nakuru, Tehillah Gospel Assembly Church, and I used Psalm 1 as my text. Essentially I preached the same thing I always preach; which is to love your neighbor by helping them when they need help.

The text goes something like; "Blessed are you when you do not walk in the counsel of the ungodly." Some of the people I have visited in the past few weeks have been abandoned by the "ungodly." Their families, friends, churches, and communities have just given up on them.

Take Misori as an example. He was bitten by a spider. The bite basically rotted his leg. Now he has family members, but not a one of them tried to help him. He has neighbors, but no one offered to help get him to the hospital. There are churches in his community, but because his family is primarily comprised of drunkards they could not soil themselves by visiting him. This is walking in the counsel of the ungodly.

The world cares only about one thing; itself. Selfishness, in my opinion, is the greatest threat to life on this planet. In fact I would say it is even the greatest threat to the next life. If anything will keep you out of the Kingdom of God it is selfishness. You cannot accept the way of life preached by Jesus and keep on living for you and you alone.

It is time we walked in Godly counsel, which would want you to stop and assist the person laying on the side of the road, and not just walk quickly by because the thugs may still be nearby.

 

`Johnny Brooks


OOPS!

It wasn't until I received an email saying, "I hope you had a great Thanks Giving." that I realized it had passed by.

Thanks Giving is not a Kenyan holiday, and well, I kind of guessed the date wrong. Yes, it goes to show you how living in Kenya definitely can isolate one from American traditions. I thought it was the last Thursday of the month, and not the 2nd to last Thursday! Ooops!

Even Johnny let it go by without notice. He is saying I'm showing my ignorance by posting this, however, even HE let it slip since we were planning a big party on T-Day, funny eh? However, Johnny's birthday is on the 29th of this month, which I mistakenly thought was Thanks Giving, and that was where my focus was. Sooo, we will celebrate Thanks Giving on the last Thursday of this month instead.

It goes to show you that while Americans are celebrating, feasting, and preparing for the big Christmas Day, the rest of the world is going on with out any notice. No feasting--in some places people are starving. No music and holiday cheer, just mundane life.

~Kate


Quote of the Week

"There were plenty of folks talking about the gospel and writing books about it, but as far as I could tell, living out the gospel had yet to be tried in recent days."

Shane Claiborne in The Irresistible Revolution:  Living as an Ordinary Radical pg 42


A Future and a Hope -- The Update

Just wanted to let you know what is going on with the orphanage. We still just have the 2 girls, and it looks like it will be a week or more before we can add anyone else. I am trying to handle all the legal aspects of the home quickly before we add too many more kids. I would hate for someone to demand a bribe that I cannot afford. So I felt that God was telling me to make things legal and then add more girls.

Certainly we have many girls who need help, and we will do what we can for them. Otherwise things are going well with the orphanage. The girls are adjusting well and our own children are loving being with them.

Thanks for all the prayers and support, we and the orphans really appreciate it.