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Dear Friends,

I was very encouraged to discover that my star Egyptian Swahili student has gone to Tanzania. Many Tanzanians knowing only Swahili, hopefully that will give him the practice he needs. In my reckoning – it is absolutely wonderful hearing God’s word expounded in African languages. Here’s hoping . . .!

It’s been very dry. A hedge that I planted a few months ago looked like it might die. I started making trips to our stream, carrying two 20 litre jerry cans of water for the hedge. As well as good exercise, this proved at times a wonderful experience. Early in the morning, the stream is in a beautiful idyllic location. Before the heat of the day, early morning haziness, accompanying the dawn chorus, the distant crowing of cockerels all around; it was wonderful to take a walk to the stream! Standing there, so peaceful . . . Problem now is – we have had rain, so no more excuse to go to the stream in the mornings . . .! (Do give thanks for the rain. It’s been very dry.)

Africa’s problem is money: "My problem is I don’t have enough money", the lady told me. When she was young, instead of going to school, she would go dancing, she confided. Her husband was a murderer. He used to slit the throat of fishermen and take over their boats and sell them. That’s why she walked out on him, she told me. Now she has to rear her children alone. Africa’s problem is money . . . well, I guess that’s only half the truth.

Please pray for my work-permit renewal process, that I am now beginning. After 24 years in Kenya, I am still required every three years to apply for a work-permit in the same way as would someone who came to the country a week ago! One of my children has been with me for 19 years, since he was born. The other day I called him and asked him: "How Mzungu are you"? That is, have you been Westernised because of having me as your "father" all your life? "Not at all" was the response. The question didn’t even seem to make sense to him. To that child at least, I have been, 100%, simply like an African father. The child remains 100% "in their culture".