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News for Middle of June 2005

Civil servants in Kenya are currently on strike, demanding a 600% wage rise.
Pray for this situation, which has resulted in a lot of problems around the country, including in government hospitals where some doctors and nurses have been abandoning patients.

Why the 'Pastor'?

It often strikes me, how strange it is that pastors should be given the responsibility of burying dead bodies!

A pastor surely is one who has a love for God and a love for people. On Sunday, I was asked to do the burying at a funeral in a neighbouring village. What a horrible job, being in charge of putting a person in the bottom of a deep hole in the ground, and standing and approving as people put soil back into the hole to cover him up . It felt worse than murder!

The most amazing thing of all in that situation, is that as the person responsible for the burial, one is expected to bring words of hope! Indeed, Christian burial is an unfathomable thing. That the very climax of weakness and vulnerability of people, should be a venue at which to proclaim the love of Christ. That death is a means to new life, a door, and gateway into a glorious future in eternity. If pastors who are burying people aren't right, then they're crazy!

I stood at the graveside. I watched as the soil was returned over the grave.
I gave thanks for eternal life, the gift from God, that is given to those who believe. As Christians we proclaim hope, in the midst of hopelessness.
Hope that is the source of life.


Pray for us at KIST, as we are entering into a busy time. We have numerous workcamps coming over the next few months. Our annual graduation ceremony will, God willing, be on 24th July. The Church of God (East Africa), Kenya, is then due to celebrate their 100 year anniversary in the second half of August 2005, although that will be after I have left and returned to the UK.

Pray for us at Yala and Siaya theological centres. I am almost lost for words as to know what to say. It seems to be hard for people in the UK (and elsewhere in the West) to understand what is going on. It is hard enough for myself, and I am here on the ground!

Best wishes,