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Dear Friends,

“Jim. Glad you’ve come. I’d asked so-and-so to share, but they had to leave early. Do you mind preaching?” Those were the words of the youth leader, half hour before the Sunday service was to begin. The youth were leading this particular service. I felt spiritually thoroughly empty! Very often I go to a service with a message prepared just in case. That morning I was too frizzled. No message could come.

My policy is, if asked to share, not to refuse. After all, if I was to have something to say, it would anyway come from the Holy Spirit and not from me. (If I start refusing to share the Gospel, then what will people be able to rely on me to do?) I found an empty room with a desk and chair. I went in, closed the door, prayed, shed tears (that’s how empty I was!) then . . . the Lord brought a message! The message, that I presented partly in Luo and partly in Swahili language, seemed to go really very well to the 100 or so people present! Well, it wasn’t from me as I said. I was empty. I give the glory to God.

I’d value your prayers, as this is a critical time of discussions pertaining to the nature of some of my ministry from June 2014. I am in discussion with various churches/ministries in this area as I seek help with the renewal of my work-permit, that is otherwise due to expire in June.

One thing under consideration; is how much I make myself available to any new ‘project’. You will know that for 21 years I have engaged in informal ministry in Yala up to 4 days per week. Since 2011 I have taken on various new informal assignments that I very much value. I may have to make some changes/adjustments, depending on the requests to be made by whoever gives me a work-permit-renewal. (I have an application for Kenyan citizenship with the government, but I have not yet heard back from them, so I don’t know when/if this will come to fruition.)

The new boy (aged 8 or so) at home is settling in well. Give thanks also for the very good Bible classes we are having in Yala on Mondays, which a colleague of mine is teaching. My Swahili students are doing well here at Coptic. One reported that she recently translated a message by a local Kenyan from Swahili into English! Theological classes here at Coptic have re-started. As at present I am not directly involved. Give thanks for a very challenging church service yesterday. The star of the show was a lady, until recently a neighbour who often visited us at home, who has been unable to walk for 10 years or so. She had a major operation 18 months ago. She gave a moving testimony of how God is impacting her life, as well as leading us in lively singing! Unfortunately, she still can’t walk more than a few yards with crutches.

Please note that I did not produce a Jim’s Journal near the end of last year. I have not yet got one in preparation for early this year. Other activities have just been too pressing, so that I have not got around to writing the Journal. There is also the question of expense, given the rise in cost of postage in the UK . Join me in prayer for the best way forward on this.