NEWS MID DECEMBER 2014
I would value your prayers for a trip that I am planning for next ‘summer’. All being well, I will spend a week in Congo ministering to and encouraging people in the Coptic Orthodox Church in Lubumbashi for up to a week. My plan is then to go to Zambia and either just to visit a few ‘old haunts’ there, and/or, if that works out, to spend some time encouraging some missionaries. Then, on the way back to Kenya I hope to spend up to a month visiting mostly ex-students of Kima International School of Theology many of whom are now in key leadership positions in churches in Tanzania.
As I write, I have spoken with a few missionary colleagues here in the last few days. Time and time again I hear the same lament. Expecting people to be providers of ‘aid’ at the same time as giving spiritual ministry is extremely problematic for many many Christian missionaries. Give thanks for opportunities that arise to share with them about vulnerable mission. For many however, even if you tell them the theory of what they ‘should’ be doing, their particular circumstances make it very difficult for them to implement.
While moving from house to house doing visiting with a local pastor a few days ago, we discovered a lot of activity alongside the university we now have in Yala. Getting closer, we discovered that students had gone on the rampage in protest over a certain policy regarding their night-time Someone told us that they had managed to block the major international road that runs through Yala for almost 2 hours. Eventually, it was apparently motorcycle taxi-riders sent by police followed by considerable gunfire and use of tear gas that dispersed them.
Give thanks that word has now gone out to over 60 missions CEOs in the UK, inviting them to our 2015 vulnerable mission events, especially the ‘invitation only’ events in Oxford. This word has been sent out by the executive director of Global Connections in the UK Martin Lee, who is strongly recommending people to consider attending one or more of our events. Join us in praying for mission executives as they consider the invitation.
Tuesday 2nd December 2014 was the day that the bulldozer finally came to Jim’s place. We had been told to expect it about 6 years ago. Then years went by … and we thought that the bulldozer may not come after all. See pictures below for what my house looked like 2 days after the bulldozer came through. I now have to decide ‘where to from here’. There are two main choices. Either, stay where I am and accept that I will not have much privacy (and least for a few years until a hedge we plant grows). We will have more dust and noise than we have been used to. Or, try to find an alternative housing arrangement for myself, 12 children, and housemother. (Note that I rent two houses. The other one is behind this one. This is to facilitate separate sleeping according to gender.)
My house, which I rent (actually, two houses on one plot) was built many years ago on a piece of land that had already (in the early 1960s) been demarcated as a road. The builders were not sufficiently careful to avoid the strip of land that the government had already designated 'road land'. Now, in 2014, the road has been actualised, meaning that the bulldozer was sent by the Kenyan government to clear a way for a road, which obliged it to pass very close to my house.
Some months ago I shared at a home fellowship of a certain church. After I had talked about love and forgiveness, a certain lady stood up and told us that she had not gone to church for two years because of a very difficult relationship between her and the wife to her pastor. I have ever since been planning to meet up with a pastor friend in the same area so that we can find the time to visit this lady and encourage her if necessary to join another church. A few days ago I finally got around to visiting a fellowship of this pastor’s church. I thought the one lady looked familiar, but said nothing. Then as tea was being served she testified to having been inspired by my message those months ago, such that she has now become a regular member of this church! Give thanks.
We are in Yala hosting 200 or so university students from within Kenya to do Christian ministry here for the next 2 weeks (6th to 19th December 2014). This is an effort by combined churches within Yala, which is very encouraging!
My Ugandan friend, one-time KIST student, came to see me. We talked about how to set up a mobile Bible school. I hope our conversation has been an encouragement to him.