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Middle of May 2002

Almost all our students having returned means we are now in full swing at KIST. It is good to see the new Dean (Vice-Principal) functioning proficiently. Pray for her (Tammie Tregellas) especially in her planning of the big annual event, our graduation ceremony in July. I have 10 first year BA students on one of my courses, on Biblical Interpretation. I have 8 final year BA students doing interview based research looking at how local pastors get their direction/vision/guidance in their work.

The running of YTC (Yala Theological Centre) seems to have been very slack in my absence. This shows again how little faith people here have in a theological education programme that is not either oriented to chasing away evil forces (demons) or closely backed by a white man.

The good news at YTC is that one of our teachers who resigned 17 months ago has now come back to work with us again. David Asembo is a wise and amicable single man in his late 30s. Pray that he have the motivation and drive to invest himself fully into his classes. He is to begin teaching a new class today as I write this.

Meanwhile I am finding that cycling in this altitude is tiring me more than usual. Pray that my body strength build up again, after having suffered from cycling-deficiency-syndrome while in the UK!

I have discovered again that being prosperous and successful in Africa in an environment where many are poor is hazardous. The second of five of the sons of my 'landlady' having been killed here in a vehicle accident, and a third one having had an accident but survived, was enough to convince her that she had been bewitched by jealous neighbours. We continue to suffer from various ramifications of this witchcraft accusation having been made publically.

Esther, one of the girls living with me in my house was made pregnant by her boyfriend in November last year. She is currently with her aunt, but we are calling her back in the hope that we can encourage her and the boy to marry. Please pray for them (and us) in this.

We have been asked to vacate our current accommodation by the end of August. The widow who this house belongs to had it built on the death of her husband in 1982. She has never lived in it as she has been in Nairobi. Now Luo traditional law requires her to live in her house for a while before the man who has inherited her builds her own place for her somewhere else. This being the house of the eldest son, other sons cannot move out until she has done so. Please pray that we find suitable alternative accommodation.

EMAIL - please note that I will NOT be using my hotmail address from now on. Please use new email address.

Jim Harries