NEWS MID JANUARY 2017
Life is a flurry of activity and confusion at the Coptic hospital here in Maseno for a few days. The bishop has come with a budget to spend, and blitzed the hospital, trying to do a refurbishing and extension of facilities with a band of Egyptian engineers and scores of African craftsmen and labourers, between new-year’s day and Coptic Christmas, which is 7th January! Meanwhile, we also have scores of visitors from around the world, and the hospital continues to operate. Levels of operation of the hospital are in fact above normal, due to an ongoing strike by doctors in government institutions.
The announcing of exam results for secondary students has Kenyans gobsmacked. Suspicions of corruption and pre-releases of exam papers in recent years seem to have been confirmed. Amazingly, top schools that usually have hundreds of students achieve A grades, have in some cases almost no A’s at all. I gather that the minister for education switched the exams at the last minute, so frustrating the efforts of the people who were buying and selling illicit copies in advance! Huge questions now hang over the whole educational system, following such clear revelation of enormous corruption.
“Yesterday my brother came running at me, bare chested, arm raised threatening me with a machete. I was unaware as to what had aggravated him to this action. Fortunately, as a Christian, I knew that my best approach was to respond to him with humility and restraint. After he had calmed down a little, I suggested that we go to dad to arbitrate for us on this issue. When dad came down against my brother, he went for dad with an axe. I only just managed to restrain him. Pray for us and our family in the light of tensions that have recently exploded onto us.” That was the testimony of the man of the home in which we recently held a fellowship, at which I was to share from the word. Those kinds of situations not being rare, make the need for the Gospel very acute. Give thanks for the words of challenge and comfort that I could share. Pray for this family, and others, working through tensions and strife.
A few days earlier, in a village near the Busia road, I visited an old lady who has been too sick to leave her home for years. “One night someone left human-poo on my doorstep,” she told me. That didn’t seem a nice thing to do. She was clearly aggravated. “My daughter-in-law, who has been looking after me, is very sick,” she said. The old lady made a connection between these two scenarios. “That should teach her!” she added. Suddenly I realised that the old lady was accusing her daughter-in-law of trying to bewitch her. It is almost impossible, short of the Word of God, to convince people against witchcraft. “How sad!”
Please join me in giving thanks for the publication of an article in a very well know evangelical missions journal called Evangelical Missions’ Quarterly. They accept only very high quality papers, that must be field-mission-relevant. Amazingly, a piece that I wrote in a few hours one afternoon, was acceptable to them! I hope it will open the eyes of missionaries and would-be-missionaries to some key contemporary issues. Please pray with me for this! (Details here, but to see the full article you will need a subscription. Write to me for a personal copy.)
On a similar vein . . . I have been offered the chief-editorial role for a well-known key missions’ journal, currently operated from a seminary in the USA. Please pray for wisdom to know whether to accept such a role, and if so, with what kind of agreement. Volunteer needed who would be willing and interested in assisting me in receiving, reviewing, and coordinating the publication of missiological articles in this quarterly journal. Anyone interested PLEASE LET ME KNOW.