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June 2005

Entries from May 2005


This evening, May 25, 2005, we are sitting at the dinner table eating chicken (kuku in Swahili) when my youngest daughter Butterfly holds up a wing and says with sudden realization, “Oh, Mommy, kuku is dead!”

“Yes, Honey, he is dead.”

She begins stroking the meat with sincerity and compassion as she says, “Are you alright, kuku?”

Eating chicken where we live is not what we are used to. In fact, every meal we eat has much more preparation time than our usual ‘frozen dinner’ in the States. Take chicken for example: Chickens don’t come frozen from a grocery store here in Kenya. Since most people don’t have refrigeration, the only way to keep a kuku fresh is to keep it… well… fresh! I think alive is as fresh as it gets!

If we want chicken, we first must walk from our house to a small market called Kiyondo. It’s at least 10 minutes walk from our house. We (Andrew 7, Makena 4, Butterfly 1 ½, myself, and a friend Gladys) select a nice big chicken, tie its feet, then start heading back home. It takes longer to get home because every few minutes someone wants to ‘pet’ the chicken or stop and make sure he feels ok.

As we walk back, we contemplate our fowl’s fate. Should we name him and keep him as a pet or slaughter him for dinner? Andrew wants to kill it and eat it, but Makena wants to name him and let him roam. Butterfly just likes petting it and really doesn’t have an opinion.

After getting home, we decide to let him run around the yard and experience some freedom—at least for today. Makena decides to give the chicken a name. Mr. Voldemort is locked up for the evening.

Day two, and Voldemort is cockadoodling bright and early. Makena wakes with such excitement, “Mommy! Voldemort woke me up,” she exclaims with great joy. I’m glad she was excited about it, but it was then I was certain of our feathered friend’s destiny. After lunch while Butterfly was napping, we decided to slaughter our dear kuku. Andrew studied birds in Science today (we home-school) so he was really involved in the process of feather plucking and disembowelment. And now this brings us back to the beginning of this post as to why Butterfly came to the realization that Valdemort was no more….

By Kate Brooks

Pure Christianity?

So what exactly is Pure Christianity anyways, besides the name of this blog? Simply put the most pure elements of Christianity conveniently packaged in four tenets.

  1. There is a God.
  2. We need redemption.
  3. Jesus provided the redemption through His sacrifice.
  4. God’s gift to us is eternal life.

My religious life had grown very complicated after twenty three years in the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement. Hearing sermons with seven points for getting this, or three ways to answered prayer, reading books on how to pray, and etc I found it difficult just to approach God. I felt like I was being smothered by my church and my spiritual life. When we are going through a difficult time we tend to focus on all the negatives and ignore the good things. I could only see the failures of these churches and could not see what God was doing through them. I do not claim to know everything or even a portion of everything, but one thing I do know is that what is important to me is not always important to God. God does not care if I speak in tongues or not. He does not care about my doctrinal position on divine healing. He doesn’t care how I baptize people or the name of my church. He doesn’t care about any of those things. What He does care about is me. He wants me to be me and He wants me to fulfill His purposes in my life. God brought me to a place where the only things I absolutely believe are those four tenets everything else is open to discussion. Sure I have feelings and beliefs on issues, but I try not to allow them to rule my spiritual life. I also try not to divide people up based on what they believe or not believe.
Pure Christianity is about going back to the first church and seeing how they responded to Jesus’ teachings. My family and I are here in Kenya now because we want to reach out to those who need reaching out to. I speak every week in churches here about doing something with our faith and not just believing. Believing is the first step, and then comes the test. If the only thing we ever do is pray and go to church then maybe we need to examine ourselves and see if we really believe. When we actually love and help our neighbors then we can say we are a true follower of Christ. Jesus was always to be found reaching out and helping the hurting. When we follow Pure Christianity we will do the same, and find ourselves closer to God than we have ever been before.

First Blog Entry

Welcome to the very first entry in Johnny and Kate Brooks’ blog. (I just killed a mosquito. I know what you are thinking I should have given it a fair chance to make it out the window, but I was thinking malaria. I just attempted to smite another of the pests but it proved to fast for me.) I am typing this in Kenya East Africa on a Dell laptop. My family and I moved to Kenya in January of this year to consult local churches. We are working to bring them to a position where they can and will reach out to their communities. I am sure we will have many funny stories to share in this column in the near future. We will try and update it about once a week. We do not have a means of uploading it from home. I have to lug the laptop (which for being so portable gets really heavy over time) to town and plug in at an internet café’ and upload from there. This column will become, I hope, our main voice from Kenya. We will still send out our snail newsletter approximately once a month, but this is where you get the little details that get cut from the final draft of the newsletter. Well I am told that for a blog to be successful it needs to be short and updated frequently. We will also use this forum to share our photos with you. See the links for more information on us and our project.