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Dear Friends,

I have taken one of my children's shoes to the cobblers. Some fellows were sitting watching the cobbler at work. "What's that Mzungu (White man) do here?", one asked his colleague. "Ah Otieno" (my African name) responded his colleague. "He lives in the next village. He's brought a new religion, in which people sit and study Muma (the Bible)" he explained. Hmm. Have I brought a new religion?

How we perceive ourselves isn't always how others perceive us, I realised. Wow! I guess we do what we can, and leave the rest to the Holy Spirit.

One of the teachers at my local primary school (a neighbour) was killed in a road accident back in May. Ever since her family and that of her husband have been contesting where she and her two children who died with her should be buried. They took the case to court, and the court has decided that she be buried at her husband's home.

I am spending as much time as possible reading and writing this vacation. I am also looking forward to a few days gathering with the children I have kept in the past who have since left and got married etc.

Please pray for the situation in this area with malaria. There seems to be an ever increasing resistance to most of the drugs we are using to treat it.

Pray for the many outreach activities by various churches going on at this time of year.

Merry Christmas!!