NEWS END OF SEPTEMBER 2014
The old man I found in the ward was jolly despite his condition. He’d recently had a stroke. There was his wheelchair besides the bed. The first time I visited him, he was smiling but grimacing. Give thanks that two days later when I called by again, the grimace was gone, and his smile was full. ‘Now I can walk with only a stick’ he told me. In the bed next to him was a younger man who’s been troubled by ‘incurable’ tonsillitis for 20 years. Around the corner, and there’s a lady who has been diagnosed with stomach cancer. ‘I wish I had AIDS’ she said ‘because then I could get a subsidy for my treatment’, which as it is comes very expensive. Next door is a man whose arms were very badly burnt when the oil with which he was cooking chips splashed onto them. A week ago when I saw him, I doubted whether he’d survive, but now he’s smiling and improving markedly. Another lady didn’t tell me what her problem was, but I prayed for her all the same. Just a few of the folk that I visit and encourage at the Maseno Coptic hospital when opportunity arises, usually two evenings per week.
I called my colleague about 1pm. We agreed where to meet at 2pm, and then we went in bicycle convoy about 2 miles along village paths to our host’s home. Half hour later one of the 8 or so ladies that had joined us three men led our gathering. She spoke encouragingly of what the Lord had done in her life. I was asked to share, and did so about the Kingdom of God. God had chosen ‘another’ way for his ministry. He wasn’t going to buy people into his kingdom, amaze them into his kingdom, or force them into his kingdom (Matthew 4:1-11). The other pastor we found there had come to the village with a church plant that failed. His story, despite his apparently few years, sounded incredibly tragic. He’d had to live in a tent for a number of years after being displaced following the 2008 post-election violence in Kenya. Because their church-plant failed, apparently through lack of funds, he’s now helping out at this other church. Give thanks for such mutual encouragement and support between denominations. He picks up piece work in the village to feed his family.
I visited another church. These are people very pre-occupied with means of countering the deleterious impacts of ancestral spirits. They are also evidently struggling with low membership. ‘Please stay and share with me’ the pastor said. I looked up at the dark clouds gathering and excused myself. I do want to go back and visit her and encourage her. I would love to be able to be a part of encouraging her to promote a faith more focused on Christ and less on the untoward activities of the spirits. That’s not easy to do. Your payer valued.
A few days before, God gave me a word to share with a fellowship in another home. I shared about loving one’s enemies. That is often a very difficult thing to do. Often if one has an enemy, that enemy knows it. When you try to show ‘love’, they think you’re deceiving them! How to get around that? Three steps, I suggested, 1. Remove enmity from your heart. 2. Stop speaking badly about the person to others. 3. Start speaking well about the person. By the end of our meeting a lady had obviously been touched. She was not local, but happened to come to visit her mother. She told us about her enemy, and all the nasty things her enemy (the wife of a particular pastor) had done to her. She obviously had been touched by the message, but had not understood it or taken it to heart! Pray for an opportunity to visit her.
Please pray for our intended gathering with Kisumu and local missionaries on 26th September. The idea is that it be a day for encouraging people to learn the Luo and Swahili languages. Please pray for my mother’s planned visit, 10th to 23rd October. I am wondering whether to pay a visit to some of our KIST graduates after that in Tanzania – as I should be in Nairobi to see mum off, so will already be half-way there.