NEWS MID AUGUST 2017
I usually prefer to travel by bicycle, unless I have a puncture, then Kenyan public transport often proves interesting, usually in unexpected ways . . . I got on one bus, then was asked to disembark again before we set off. I got on another bus, the same happened. I realized that there must be police on the road. Usually police are happy to take bribes, but just occasionally there’s a special drive to uphold the law, in which case bus-operators get nervous about being overloaded. Being delayed, I thought I just had to take the rather old and rickety looking bus that turned up next. After getting in, we set off back where we had come from! Evading the police this time meant following village paths instead of the main road on which the police were waiting. We trundled along rough roads, with our conductor trying to repair the door, which seemed to want to fall off. Suddenly a bag of rice dropped from the roof of the bus. ‘Stop and put it back’ . . . The bag was split and rice is falling out. We’d better ignore that. Can’t afford to waste time repairing the door while the bus is stationary, so repair is attempted on the move. ‘Stop here,’ says the owner of the bag of rice when she’d reached her intended destination. The bus keeps trundling on for another 30 yards. 'I see you have no brakes' she says. No one denies that accusation. For the next stop, which is mine, the driver intentionally directs the bus up a small hillock to make sure it stops . . . I get out and walk off, with a sigh of relief.
A friend of mine was kidnapped a few weeks ago. He was held for a couple of days, before being released obviously visibly shocked, quiet, contemplative, not revealing much. He was a practicing believer until a few years ago. Pray that he find peace in the Lord.
Pray for my various preparations for my anticipated USA trip. While I have many lectures and seminars to prepare, I find it is hard to prepare for oral presentations intended for Westerners while in Africa. It is important that I be able to relate who I am. Even though I have lived in an African village using local languages for almost 30 years, when I go to the West, I look like the next man! I need to be able to communicate the identity that is the basis for my credibility . . .
As I write, Kenya remains on a knife-edge. As election results are being announced, the apparent loser is making accusations of electoral fraud. The country is in limbo. It seems that many businesses are not operating through fear of what may be about to happen. Hence around here there is no bread in the shops. Forcing the issue could lead to disruption and bloodshed. In the mean-time, until someone admits defeat, we don’t have a president. Around here at least, although there’s a sense of uneasiness, so far things have remained very peaceful. Your prayers are valued.