It’s been such a joy to be home for the last three and a half months to catch up with family and to advance the work on three books I’m currently pushing down the road—a novel called The City, written by a mom in France that unpacks the kingdom of God in a lovely way, a book about interpersonal relationships called The Language of Healing, and a novel set in the Civil War era by the man who presided over our wedding ceremony almost 44 years ago, called (tentatively) Lucien’s Crossing. But my toe is healing and it seems Father has some other adventures awaiting me elsewhere in the world.
At the end of this month I’ll be in the Atlanta area for ten days, then at the end of February in Eureka, CA. After that I’ll make a quick trip to Tulsa, OK the first weekend of March and then Morgantown, WV, and Pittsburgh, PA at the end of it. I may be teaching a DTS in Italy in late April and perhaps go to Norway and elsewhere in Europe thereafter. I’m also hoping to get to hang out with some Jesus-loving biker-types in Southern Illinois, but haven’t found a date for that yet. Later this year I plan on getting back to Kenya to check on things there as we wind down our projects there and hope we’ve given them the tools to move ahead with a growing trust in Father’s provision for them.
Speaking of Kenya, we heard from them the other day with a new emergency. Some of our friends there began a school in a part of Kitale that was settled by displaced people from the tribal violence following the disputed election in 2008. It is an area of extreme need, where many of the adults are hopeless about job prospects and addicted to alcohol. Since school is not compulsory in Kenya, nor is it free, our friends started a school in a church building to educate the children and give them a way out of the hopeless cycle around them. Supporting the school was first picked up by some friends in Virginia for a couple of years, and then it has been part of our monthly support of $10,000 to help with all the needs in Kenya, including our special outreach to Pokot.
Recently torrential flooding there caused the sewage of the school to mingle with their water supply, causing sickness among staff and students. It took them a while to figure out the cause and now the local government wants to shut down the school if they don’t get a new water supply. Drilling a well there will cost $32,000. They have temporarily been transporting drinking water to the school, but wondered if we might help. We advanced them the money in hopes that some of you would join us in keeping that school afloat. If you’d like to help us please.
The needs here are ongoing as is our support for them. If you’d like to join us, you can direct it through Lifestream as contributions are tax-deductible in the U.S. As always, every dollar you send goes to the need in Kenya. We do not (nor do they) take out any administrative or money transfer fees. If you would like to be part of this to support these brothers and sisters and see the gospel grow in this part of Africa, please see our Sharing With the World page at Lifestream. You can either donate with a credit card there, or you can mail a check to Lifestream Ministries • 1560 Newbury Rd Ste 1 • Newbury Park, CA 91320. Or if you prefer, we can take your donation over the phone at (805) 498-7774.
And for those following our saga in Kenya, they sent us a detailed year-end report. here are some excerpts from it:
Greetings in the name of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, Living Loved Care Centre staff and the children, and also from the coaches, schools, dispensary staff and the entire villages in Pokot as well as the Forkland School.
We appreciate your help in the Kitale area:
- Gas station, which continues to buy food and pay the staff at the Living Loved Care Centre.
- Grain enterprise, which helps us maintain the center, and educate the children in nearby schools, as well as help those go to college and university.
- Forkland School, thanks you for helping them repair the facility when it was destroyed by wind and rain, and now we have a challenge with clean water. You can pray and advice us what to do since we are about to open the school, although the children were there.
We thank you for supporting us in Pokot now for 3 years 7 months, and it has remain with 1 years 7 months, so the village will be sustainable, probably in July 2020. There we are seeing villages transformed, helping them know that, although they are in rural areas filled with hardship, God loves them and he has a great purpose in their lives. Our coaches have done great things by teaching the villagers how to meet their challenges. Every village, which we are currently working with, now has water and we are making progress in other areas as well:
Education: Many families now understand the importance of taking their children to school and to keep their compound clean compared to the first time.
Hygiene/Health: As I flash back 3 years back, there were so many cases of malaria, typhoid and cholera and helping them with medicine was very expensive. Now, we have constructed 450 latrines with dozen of utensils stands to help the villages clean and hence reduce of the diseases causing micro-organism. Right now almost each household have utensil stands made of available materials and we are praying that in 17 months each household will have at least one latrine. This is so amazing, as the saying goes better to prevent than cure. Thank to all those who stood with this community for purchasing iron sheets, cement, nails, polythene, and provide tools to build them.
Micro-financing: This program has helped over 400 families start a business to be able to feed their families and run their home affairs.
Agriculture: We nw have farms raising sweet potatoes, cassava, corn, and other vegetables to help feed all the people.
Food donation: Thank you for supporting the aged and the breast-feeding moms on a monthly basis. The monthly amount here has been reduced due to the agricultural projects, which have greatly boosted food security in each village.
In my trip there later this year, we are hoping to make the necessary arrangements that will bring an end to our regular support there over the next few years and ensure that there will be sustainability beyond our involvement. Our desire was not to create programs there dependent upon ongoing support from us here, but for them to have the tools to go forward and trust Father’s provision for the future. We’ve had some great instruction by others who have done this by helping tap the creativity and industriousness of the people there. This will not be easy, of course, and I appreciate your prayers for me and them as we move forward.
It has been a joy to watch these people respond so joyously and so diligently to the opportunities now before them. The reports we get of their responsiveness to Jesus as well as their hard work to better their condition, are incredible. Who would have thought that our little corner of the web could have touched so many people so far away. And it’s all been through relationships that God orchestrated, and not our attempts to try to find a project like this. It’s what love led us to do.