Serving Our Lord Jesus in Kenya
December 13, 2016
Very busy here since arriving back in Nairobi on evening of 18th after a great little Youth Conference, thank You Lord! You readers had the timetable, and I think some of you prayed us through. Pastor John Dyck of Edmonton needed three sessions to cover Total Depravity and Justification by Faith Alone. He showed how Justification is an ACT of God for the believer in Jesus Christ, and Sanctification the ongoing WORK of God within the believer by the Holy Spirit, to enable the believer more and more to die unto sin and live unto righteousness. That was the highlight of the Conference, and the results of a 10-question written test showed the secondary youth fairly understood those basics. The top three who each got 7 out of 10 points were given a further 5-general question Bible test to find the one who will receive the prize of one full year’s school fees in secondary school! Wow. It was Galfure Galgeisa Gabriel, who has just finished Form III (Grade 11 American). That very morning his father had said to Peter, “I have done all I could! I haven’t got a camel left to sell to pay Galfure’s school fees! I am finished! I have told him there is no hope, and he should plan to stay home this next year (which would be his Form IV, or grade 12). But Galfure won the second test by knowing the fifth question:
“What did Jesus tell Nicodemus: you must be ______ _______.” (born-again). Imagine the joy of the boy! I have his picture. It was an Elder in Nairobi Baptist Church who had given Peter that prize for whatever student should take tops in most things.
We had other messages, gave out 71 TBS Bibles, most of them Pocket Reference Leathers, (not counting 18 Pocket Reference Leathers left here in Nairobi for the Rendille University students to pick up later), Shorter Catechisms, wordless books/ necklaces/ bracelets, so now I will need more … I did Jesus in Isaiah with them giving them colored pencils to mark the passages. When we came to chapter 11 and the Jesus-verses there, I showed them verse 11 where their own people are mentioned: Cush! Imagine one’s own people-group named in the Bible as part of the Lord’s remnant! Cush is defined as “the dark-skinned peoples south of Egypt and in South Arabia”. Those youth looked at me stunned, as they are Cushites. They know their people have for generations prayed to Waakh (God) to send them His First-born Son; may they put the two together. Pastor Patrice gave messages on practical Christian life topics for youth, and refereed the soccer matches. Peter the mentor of them all, challenging them to live for Jesus, live for Him as the Bible shows how! Then to serious matters of testimony and temptations and traditions. There was a traditional dance held by some non-church youth through one whole night in a village to tempt them, and it led to much repentance next day and blaming themselves. Only village traditional girls attended; we are so glad no school girl and not one of our Christian girls attended. Sometimes as a youth, one has to learn one is fallible and susceptible to temptation and cannot go in one’s own strength, but needs to pray against temptation. Pray for them to maintain good conduct from now until schools re-open 4th January, when idleness can be a problem, also for their Christmas camp the Youth are preparing, planning for some musical instruments to accompany their choirs.
Pastor Dyck brought some printed Bible quizzes with him, and before they got their copies with answers, Peter led them in quizzes between two teams. What fun! They loved it! I was on one side for assistance, and Hirley Lkayo on the other. At one point in the quizzes contest, Peter wanted to challenge the youth for low Bible knowledge, so he pointed to a small pupil in Baalah Primary (not Hirley), “This little guy in the red shirt from Grade 5 knows more than you secondaries!” On the final day the youth each got a copy to quiz each other by.
We are still trying to cover the additional expenses of running out of water and firewood. And one of the church mamas in the kitchen broke three fingers when something very heavy fell on them. The Outreach quarterly gift from a church has come which helped us to finish paying the vehicle hire. Praise the Lord. The Mission Office has subsidized the remaining Conference costs for those additional kitchen expenses. If anyone can send something to assist in that subsidy, it will reduce Outreach debt for this much-loved conference. But the hundred youth present, plus us visitors and the cooks, were fed through eight days. Between us all, we ate the seven last goats of the school herd. We missed the older Youth who were absent while writing their Form IV (Grade 12) finals through November, also those in tertiary studies who were in class and could not attend.
For the Lord’s Day, the 13th, there was much anticipation as thirty-six youth prepared for baptism. They had each been interviewed one-on-one on Saturday by Pastor Dyck. The pastors filled in the Baptism-Records Book for individual certificates, and the stubs for the church office. When the 36 candidates had all received that sacrament, there came a small high-pitched protest from some other church children sitting on a front bench: “But what of us? Have you forgotten us? Why cannot we be baptized too?” Pastor Dyck was on the spot: he said, “That is like the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts who said, ‘Here is water, what hinders me from being baptized?’ So he allowed them to come up and he gave each a question or two, and twelve were baptized, until Peter and the pastors said, “Next time, wait for next time.” Adding five infants, children of baptized parents, the total was 53 in all. Wow!
Then at 5 pm, (still on Lord’s Day) Peter preached from Romans 1:1-6, emphasizing that he himself is only a servant (as Paul called himself), but not the servant of everybody but of Jesus Christ and of His Church … As sheep know the voice of the Shepherd, so His servants know His Voice. (He seemed to be talking to pastors or to those who want to be pastors.) “If you are not called to be a servant, you came through the window. You will work for the one who sent you – whether for a person, or for yourself, for money, or for position. But to be a servant of the Lord, you must have been called by God. And if you think you want this, go pray first, and ask God to call you. It is not easy work. You must be separated from Rendille traditions, from the world; your work is to follow the Lord and His Word … God sacrificed His Son for you. You see my son going around here; could I sacrifice him for you? No way. … Only God did do that for you.” I give you this summary of Peter here so you can see how he is trying to get out the pastoral call to others, but showing them the price. (I noted that he did not tell the price of suffering which goes with that called work. But they know a lot of what he goes through.) … Then Pastor Dyck led in the Lord’s Supper, the pastors serving small pieces of chapatti and grape juice. The newly baptized partook for their first time.
The Purity Dorm for Christian girls is now under construction as the Contractor and workforce have come on-site with the pre-cut blocks from the manufacturers in Thika. While they are there on-site, they are ready to give a two-week thorough renovation to the whole Baalah school blocks for a special price to the Mission. They will work free, and they will work at odd hours to complete it during their set time to build the Dorm. They gave a special price to the Mission Board to cover it; pray for this!
On Thursday afternoon, 17th, we leaders were called to a meeting of combined Elders of all goobs (villages) of Baalah who had sent from each two or three representatives to meet with us. They felt it was urgently serious for them to tell us of the famine. I have already written you readers of the famine, I have appealed for help, and every dollar you sent has gone North. Even the Mission Board itself sent its contribution, received the 23rd, together with what they had received from you to forward to us. So here I only give you readers the facts the Elders gave us to body-out the appeal I have already sent you twice. I put it in italics:
We are in terrible famine … You see those children up there playing, when you come again they may be gone—dead. … We thank you for the school and for all it has done for our children. We thank you for the church and for teaching the things of God which we had not known before about Him. … Yesterday (the 16th) three gov’t lorries brought food for the people of Korr, which was distributed from the senior chief office to the people in queue. We were not near enough to see how much each got. But there is never anything brought to us in Baalah, ( just 10 km from Korr town). … We know why nothing is brought to us. We know that Baalah is hated, or envied for its school and its church. And some hate Baalah because Baalah will not allow Islam entrance to the Baalah School to teach or influence our children. That creates enemies who hate us. … It may be the gov’t wants to show they do not reward those who make such distinctions. So we plead with those people who have helped us before—the Americans and the Canadians to help us now!” Then I asked how, for instance, the money is shared which we sent up. For example, we brought up here with us US$2300 from a very small church, how far would that go? There are 5,500 households in all of Baalah goobs, and for that amount to buy maize meal; each household would get 1.25 kilos (‘bout 3 lbs) of meal. To make it last as long as possible, they make porridge with it …
Then it was that I had the last word: “I reminded them of their traditional group prayers to Waakh to send them His First-born Son, whom we have often told them is Jesus. I suggested that as individuals, not in the group- way they usually pray, but as individuals, they pray to Jesus directly and ask Him for rain. Then see what happens.” Peter translated and reinforced the suggestion for them to so pray.
Rev John Dyck heard the Elders’ plea with us, he said his church was that very weekend taking a famine offering. Thanks to you other willing churches who have done and are doing so. It may be we will get a portion of the Thanksgiving Offerings being raised even now from churches. John suggested a fund on internet to appeal to, I don’t know it; is it GO FUND ME? Maybe we can try that or another site which is available. … Meanwhile this Thanksgiving Weekend may you all, and we with you, thank God you have food to eat and do not go much hungry. And after giving to help feed hungry Baalah, will you continue to pray for them to survive and that we find more food for them to live.
But a word for Peter: His doctors told him to get an MRI to find out why he blacks out, if he has meningitis, or if the nerves are blocked (nerve spasms on one side). On November 3rd he blacked out while driving and hit a woman crossing the road. She suffered three fractures and in hospital where Peter must pay the costs. Thanks to those who helped him already toward those costs; but if anyone else can help, he needs still $2,000 to finish her bill. He goes periodically to visit her in hospital and prays with her, trying to encourage her to live, but he had to borrow to pay final bills to release her. She is now at her home and on crutches. On Saturday the 26th he was six hours under MRI testing where they found no meningitis, but within his ceramic hip replacement (November 2005 at Jefferson in Philadelphia) a nerve had worked its way into the hip joint which causes the spasms (I have seen him in a five minute-spasm and hope never to see one again).
Peter had $10,000 credit at Aga Khan Hospital deposited there years ago by an American lover of Outreach for this very purpose. It’s still there and they have allowed him to get $9,500 of it and have other doctors do the operation elsewhere (Aga charges would be $24,000). And yes, those marvelous orthopedic doctors who mended his clavicle so well last year in Nairobi Hospital have agreed to give him a steel replacement, and move the intruding nerve out of the way for $16,000. But they say it is urgent, as he could go out during a bad spasm, and as they go for Christmas leave on December 20th; operation set for the 16th; and only $6,500 is needed.
Lots of news for you, please keep praying about all for these things – thanks for all you have done for us and for the Baalah Famine—no room to say more, but Lord bless you!