NEWS MID MARCH 2015
Have you ever seen a preacher share a message from the Bible while stood on a bed of nails? In this particular church that I visited, shoes are left at the doorway. The wooden frame for the walls and roof had only just been erected. When I stood up to share; OUCH! The rough clumps of sun-scorched dry soil were too much for the delicate souls of my feet! I resolutely ignored the agony of my feet while delivering my 15 minute bible message. Where I sat and stood was in the shade of a tarpaulin. At the end of the service, there were my sandals in the doorway. The blazing midday sun had heated the ground between myself and my sandals like a furnace! Walking to claim my sandals was another ordeal.
‘I will be leaving for a spell in Europe in just a week’s time’ I announced to the small gathered crowd in someone’s sitting room at another fellowship. “Told you” my colleague said to them when he had stood up after my announcement. “Many of you think Jim was born here, and that he was raised in a Luo village. He was not. You see, he himself is conceding that he has a home in Europe which he is to visit for a few months.” Wow!
5th March I made my way to Nairobi. I was saddened to hear my travelling colleague tell me that workers at the sugar factory where he was employed had rioted that very day protesting over their ex-boss’s alleged misappropriation of funds. It is very hard indeed for African people to accept that misfortune can arise without someone intentionally bringing it! Please pray for this kind of situation.
The Mosers came to Kenya to live and work in April 2014. I was privileged to spend 1.5 nights and a day with them. Rebecca would value ongoing prayers as she recently lost her mother. Otherwise, the family is doing well, and are adjusting to life in a very different part of the world to Europe and American that they knew before.
A 4.30am departure from Nairobi to Cairo seemed horrific but went OK. An Egyptian friend who had frequently visited us in Kenya was there to pick me up. It was great to meet more friends, and be shown around parts of the city. 6.00am the following morning we began the 100 mile trip to the St. Macarius monastery in the Natron desert between Cairo and Alexandria. I stayed at this Coptic orthodox monastery 7th to 12th March. There are about 130 monks. Monasticism is a growing favourite with young men in Egypt, I am told, so the population of the monastery rises every year. The monastery combines a determined grip on ancient history (monks have worshipped here continuously since 360AD) with a relatively ‘mystical’ interpretation of the Bible, and many long liturgical prayers. There is a vast amount to learn from monks who are maintaining a vibrant witness to Christ in a Muslim-dominated country. Highly recommended for Christian retreats; but to know what is going on one has to understand Arabic.
For more details see here. For a more detailed report on this visit go to my facebook page.
On 13th March I arrived in the UK. I am to be at New Farm Chapel in Alresford from 20th March, then at Wantage Baptist Church from 26th to the end of the month. In early April I am to move north towards York. My UK base remains Andover.