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Dear Friends,

My home church’s crusade was conducted, together with other Yala churches, by about 200 university students in total. It ended on 19th December. They did a lot of door to door visiting, plus teaching and preaching etc. Meanwhile other local churches also had their end-of-year events, often with many visitors in attendance. I was able to join and encourage a few of those other groups.

I recently reported the coming of a bulldozer, making a new road right alongside my Yala village home where I stay with 12 or so children. On talking with other people in the village, local church leaders etc., the general consensus seems to be that I should just ‘stay where I am’ rather than think about moving. I consulted with an engineer in the UK. He did not see an immediate need to panic about the danger of collapse of the house (judging from pictures that I sent him). He advocated what ought to be done to stabilise it. I have informed my landlady of the same. (Thanks to David Cox of Wantage Baptist Church!) We now have a fence alongside the property, and hopefully soon a hedge planted. My current thoughts are that if I am going to move, then it will be in 12 months time.

The Luo and Swahili classes held on 20th December again went well. We had a combination of new and old students. For the Luo-language students we added practice in spontaneous translation to other language-learning activities, which they seemed to very much appreciate.

A little while ago I met a missionary who has been in Kenya over 9 years. He told me, that he has resigned from his missionary board, and hopes to continue ministering independently. The major reason for resigning, was because while they were doing church work, their missionary board was also using their churches as an avenue for channelling their compassionate aid etc. This practice, of providing aid to converts, has become so problematic, as to be the major cause for his resignation. Yet it can be difficult to get a visa for African countries UNLESS one is providing bountiful material aid for poor people. Pray for this and the many other missionaries who are struggling with these issues. Pray that our ‘vulnerable mission’ writings may be of help to some of them. In practice for many missionaries: once they disconnect from their sending body, things become so difficult that they are soon forced to leave the field.

Cooking is not my strong point. I have enough trouble making a cup of tea. Often when making myself a cup of tea at my Maseno office, milk shoots over the top of the cup all over the table and beyond. I recently got wise to this, so I cut a little hole in the packet, and the milk squirts out slowly. Unfortunately recently I squeezed the milk packet too hard and it burst! Maybe I should take cooking classes when I am in the UK in a few months to learn how to make a cup of tea without making a mess. Offers?

All are invited to my birthday party, and ‘goodbye’ event at the end of my forthcoming furlough. That celebration (my 50th, although I will actually be hitting 51 that time) will be held at Andover Baptist Church on the afternoon of 13th June 2015. A few days after 13th June I will be heading back to Kenya. (My furlough is to be mid March to mid June 2015.) Please block out the 13th June in your new diaries!

Happy New Year to all!


VM 2015 Conference