Dear Friends in prayers for Rendille Outreach, here are some items for Prayers and for Pockets and for Praises too.
I have told you a couple times of the gift of stones from the Christian quarryman in Mt. Kenya, who gave almost 6,000 stones, trimmed and sized, to build the extension of the overcrowded Baalah Bible Presbyterian Church. The stones have all been transported to the site in Baalah, and all unloaded by our church members. I try to visualize our church mamas and youths, and even older primary school children trying to carry those “heavies” together! I am still looking to find out if anyone up there got some pictures. That was self-help in action!
You might remember the great story I wrote you in June of the Famine Fund of 1.6 billion shillings from which the banks paid cash into bank accounts for every household in Baalah (as well as in the other famine afflicted areas in 13 Northern Counties). Each household got 6000 shillings each! I’m sure you remember that marvelous supply to the poor of the worst drought areas in Northern Kenya. It was done under the Hunger Safety Network Fund – what an answer to prayers and hopes and to hunger that was! It was supposed to happen every month during the drought, but it was never done again. The fund disappeared. It was said the funds left the Treasury but never reached the banks. So, no more householders received anything. Right now there are nineteen people in government procurement offices who are facing criminal cases in court over the loss of that money.
Some weeks ago the government agencies which deal with the monthly needs of mature school girls told Peter that I owed them $6,000 dollars for six years of pads, which they had been paying out for our Baalah school girls. Six years ago I was paying monthly to the government to supply our school girls, until we heard that even our private school would be supplied from the government, Now, in late 2019 they decided it was wrongly done, and so they laid the $6,000 for six years on me to pay. I say that was unfair! First, they said for me to pay in a few days; later, they gave me two months. Whew! It was still impossible. Then Peter thought to go to the Cabinet Secretary for the Treasury, who was our friend when he was Governor of Marsabit County before the last election. Peter told him the problem, that famine was so bad in Baalah that Judith ought to be looking for relief funds instead of raising funds for the past six years of girls’ pads. It wasn’t my fault that the government took over the project six years ago! Thank the Lord, the Cabinet Secretary had a way of escape. He told Peter he had a cousin, a lady who is in that work, in a charity which makes these pads for school girls, and he knew she had a surplus, and he told Peter he would get her to give the pads she has on hand, as surplus, to the government agency to replace what I am supposed to owe them. I am praising the Lord in thanks for supplying for me! Wow! That has now left me unencumbered to plead to our Readers once more for the famine relief needs. But I dread to do it, because twice in one year is very heavy. But I fear I must do so now as the year is almost over, and I know churches abroad have their Thanksgiving Offerings, and Christmas Offerings – maybe such can help Baalah Church folk.
The rains came to Baalah in due course, but of course rains can be destructive. These rains made our school toilets overflow, so that we need to get the Honey Sucker again. Alas, rains do not bring food for pastoralists, but for animals. And animals are a source of income. But still, the stamina of the herds is so low they cannot yet be sold for a good price. So we are asking our dear Readers if you can manage to send something for food for the families of Baalah Church? We have 240 families, baptized and knowing their faith. Other families also attend and hear the gospel. Peter says in two months the animals can be strong enough to sell which will bring income to the households with which to buy food. If you can help for these weeks now, know that you will be the answer to their prayers for food!
Our thanks to our Readers for responding so beautifully to our need for those new huge cooking pots for Baalah School kitchen. You rallied to the need and provided enough for both pots and transport. Thank you all so much, whether by the dollars or by your prayers for the Lord to supply the need! For next school term we have received from World Food Programme two lorries of UNIMIX, that very nutritious porridge for malnourished children. This will supplement the regular food Baalah pupils get. The UNIMIX was freely given us, BUT we have to pay transport for the lorries, which we pay from the Child Sponsorship Fund. You who send your $15 or $30 a month to that fund, I tell you, you help with such a variety of needs. Thanks again, faithful donors for your gifts which you send so faithfully. Thank you in Jesus’ Name.
Future needs which we will be coming to you for are the annual Youth Conference at Baalah, December 13th to 20th. The pastors are thinking of choosing the theme to be John 17:12 and 18:9, Of those You have given me, I have lost none. And that reminds me of the story we have just heard, perhaps it even gave rise to that theme. There are tribal clashes still going on in Northern Kenya. It is terrible. We heard of a former pupil of Baalah School; I haven’t got his name with me, but the Lord knows him. He was baptized in one of our early baptisms at Baalah Church, a time when Rev. Gary Johnson presided (that would be about 2005 or thereabouts); it was before we got our beautiful round church as we were under the 12-post shed. The boy in that story would now be in about his mid-twenties. He never got to secondary studies, but worked herding camels for someone at the watering places. His master recently converted to Islam, but the young man himself refused to convert. The other day, last week, Muslims came where he was herding the camels and slaughtered him. I think, Readers, you know the difference between “kill” and “slaughter”? The second word is holding a person down while you cut his throat and let the blood drain as he dies. They did that to him because he refused to convert as his master did. Somebody sent me the picture of his grave being dug at Laisamis, where he herded. We mourn him but he has gone to be with Jesus. Perhaps it was he who made the pastors think of this verse for the theme. For the Youth Conference we will need about $2,400.00 to feed the hundred or so Church youth and hire a vehicle for those few days, especially if we have a guest pastor from Lower Kenya come to speak.
And lastly, while speaking of hiring vehicles, we are missing Mitsubishi Warrior, our old safari vehicle. The one we pray for now is the Toyota All-Terrain Land Cruiser. It is the hard-body model and very tough. It is the best for Northern roads and off-roads. May our dear Readers, please begin to pray with us for this supply. The cost of hiring a safari vehicle with a driver is very, very expensive, yet safaris are often the life-blood of ministry to the North of Kenya. As you would know if you could see any of the missionaries of other missions up there, – a strong safari vehicle is their priority for the North. There is no contesting it. Do help as you pray with us on this matter. For 12 years the Warrior carried us; may the Lord Jesus, Whom we serve too, supply the need.
In news of the Lkayo family: in monthly updates I have told the news of the Lkayos’ daughter, Sabthiyo’s (Sab’di) acceptance for studies in a good university abroad. Along with two other girls, she was not only accepted, but her university fees were so kindly paid, in advance, for four years (except for monthly hostel costs which we look after from Kenya). So now the time is spent getting visas, travel funds for Sab’di, and her mother who will accompany her, and for her kit when she arrives there, warm clothes, computer, phone and so on. The children (Sab’di and Hirle) have written/are writing their own thank you letters to these kind donors. The group of three pastoralist girls, with their parents, will travel on December 28th to the university; the parents returning to Kenya on January 13th, Lord willing. Hirlewa will have his circumcision done on November 9th in a hospital here in Nairobi by a Rendille doctor (cousin to Peter), since after his eye operations, his stamina is not yet up to par to join the community young men for the ceremony in Baalah. But later next month he will join those others for the admission ceremonies to be formally accepted by the Community Elders as new Rendille warriors. Wow, Hirle, a budding warrior!
What an assortment of news. A microcosm of life-situations a missionary meets in Africa.