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News for Middle of October 2003

His crooked body walking slowly across the compound with the three year old leading him by the hand or by a rope tied to his wrist, Otusi (aged 18 or so) laughs and is happy. Otusi is almost totally blind and severely mentally and also physically retarded. He speaks Dholuo, that often does not make much sense, and Kiswahili that he has apparently learned almost entirely through listening to the radio. He loves playing with 3 year old Alan, who leads him hither and thither. His whole body is bent and crooked through
some serious congenital mishap, giving him a height of about 5 feet.

His father lives off their small piece of ground and whatever other local income he can make. His mother is also blind in one eye, and of late suffering chronic weakness in her body. A colleague recently recommended a man of prayer to pray for the family with its various ills. The same took two goats in payment when it had only been agreed for him to take one, thus forcing Otusi's father to take the case to the local police, to eventually be given £20.00 in compensation.

These are our hosts at every Monday's YTC class. They have built a small mud walled church on their compound, of about 10' by 18' with a rather rusty leaky roof (which we frequently discover whenever we are rained on in class) called St. Luka's church. The church that worships here is a Roho church, that places great weight on praying noisily with the use of candles and crosses. We meet here and discuss God's word every Monday from 2.00pm to 4.00pm. It is about 12 miles from my home.

We have been looking at widows in our latest course with the folks at this centre. This week we began also to look at widowers. A widower here has a problem, in that he is barred from marrying or from sleeping in his bed in his house until he has 'dreamt his wife'. That is, his late wife must come to him in a dream, prepare his bed and invite him to sleep with her, before he is permitted to remarry. Should this not happen to him and he go on to marry, then he and / or his new wife will die, so it is said. We heard of a man whose junior wife died and who lived alongside his senior wife's house for over 10 years without ever joining with her or eating her food, because in all that time his junior wife had not yet come to him in a dream.

The Kenyan media has recently been giving major coverage to corruption in the judiciary. Many judges have been asked to resign as the judiciary has been found to be corrupt through and through. Pray for this country in the midst of such turbulence.