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NEWS mid September 2004

Bat a Rat

"Rats aren’t supposed to fly" I told myself. Reports I was receiving were to the contrary. Every morning this rat would choose an opportune moment to leap in front of the person squatting over the choo (pit toilet) and then dash down the hole between their legs (this presuming that the person concerned was a lady). Some days later doing my standing business, having put down poison and thinking that the issue must be resolved, the same guilty animal almost dropped onto my feet. "When that happens it makes you loose your breath" said the one lady. I almost lost my breath indeed!

Two mornings following, I carefully open the door of the choo as I stand outside with grass-slasher in my hand, poised like a batsman at the oval. The rat refuses to drop, so I tapped on the wood above the door, and then suddenly there he comes legs splayed out ready to land on the floor. I strike, aiming for a century, but miss. "Bang, bang, bang . . . " I hit the floor, but the rat has already dropped down the hole. We have put down poison, I have set a trap, and I have been the oval batsman, but the rat issue is as yet still unresolved. Any better batsmen out there?

Noyike Maber (she was well buried)

"Good burials" are the frequent topic of conversation here. Knowing this didn’t stop me being struck by the report from a 20 year old girl that I received following the burial of her 30 year old cousin, having come back from the burial more excited than I had seen her for months! Hearing her chattering away in a neighbouring house I went for her to tell me the story. In animated style, she explained some of the family issues that had come to the surface at the burial. There had been a rift between this lady’s and her (also late) husband’s family, that resulted in a sharp exchange of words and an initial refusal to allow the girl to be buried in her designated spot. The dispute was settled, differences worked out, and the burial went ahead. Funerals are indeed the key social event around here.

The late has given birth to 5 children, but 4 having already died she leaves just one orphan.

Indigenous Church Beats the Pack!

The reputation of African-founded churches here in Western Kenya deserves to be rising dramatically according to a graduation ceremony that I was able to witness on 4.09.04. The African Divine Church, headquartered about 25 miles from my home, produced a set of about 25 graduates with a one-year certificate in Biblical and Theological studies. Considering the reputation of these churches as counter-education and only "spirit guided" – this was an incredible event to behold. Thanks to OAIC (Organisation of African Instituted Churches) for their key role in this!

Seminar – not yet . . .

I went to present my seminar on 9.9.4, only to find that the date I have been given is 23.9.4. Please pray for this date, that my presentation of some of my discoveries on language use here in Kenya (that have a profound impact on mission and the church) at Maseno university will go ahead and be a productive experience.


As I write (on 9.9.4) we have almost 100 students already reported at KIST, and work is going on apace! Give thanks.