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Dear Friends,

Cycling to church Sunday morning, I meet a lady coming towards me with her three children. She seemed familiar. In due course I recognised her. She is the blind lady living ‘up the road’. Her husband, who is much older than her, has a serious alcohol problem. Despite help she has received from some quarters, this lady lives an incredibly difficult life in very difficult circumstances. I stopped to shake hands with her and her three children, one of whom was leading her by the hand. “I am going to praise Jesus. I am going to sing to Jesus”, she told me.

She is the kind of person who, if you think you have problems, would make you think again. Her ‘problems’ are just enormous compared to what most of us might have to deal with. This is why it really struck me, that she was going to praise Jesus and to sing to him. She was going to sing praises to God! Her oldest son, aged maybe 15, was amongst those walking with her to church. Here’s hoping he’ll learn from mum and not from dad.

An Egyptian colleague walking into my room at the Coptic compound a few days ago complemented me that, for a single man, my room is clean and tidy. (This comment is really for mum, and I suppose other mum’s who read this news!)

Someone once told me that Maasai men (the Maasai are a Kenyan tribe) don’t like women. This was strange, because over half of Maasai are women. Also because Maasai men love marrying women, and will marry as many as they can, even if that means their life becomes a constant headache. Maasai men find women to be very important indeed. They rely on them for all sorts of things, including to raise children and to cook food.

There seems to be a problem in the UK. A lawyer who said women might have a special gifting when it comes to rearing children, has been sacked. Contemporary British people seem to rejoice over men who don’t like women. Maybe British people don’t like women. Let’s pray for British women.

Just having made a 1 hour 20 minutes ride in a bus . . . a few yards after I boarded the bus, suddenly we were surrounded by armed police. The driver of a nearby motorised rickshaw belted off on foot at full speed trying to evade capture, while all traffic on the main highway was held up . . . Later a very Kenyan thing on the same bus; the radio was turned off, and a man stood up and started preaching to all passengers using English, Swahili and Luo languages . . . Kenyan people (especially women of course!) do love preachers.

On 2nd April I am to participate in the receipt of an ‘African reward’ for rearing girls! That is the day on which the husband to one of the girls who lived with me (from 1997 to 2007) is to pay some cattle. (The cattle won’t come to me, but I do get to share in the associated feast.) I suppose that’s another thing that shows that in Africa people love women: they are prepared to pay for a wife, whereas Westerners expect to get one for free.

UK plans: I am to be at Norwich Central Baptist Church 1st May to 18th May, and at Andover Baptist Church 20th May to 14th June. I look forward to meeting many of you then.


For information on my latest book see: here.