Friends in The Faith, Gospel Greetings to you in that Name Above All Names, the Lord Jesus Christ,
May I update you on several items of past news or of current interest.
First I think of young Hirlewa Lkayo, who just turned 15 years old. You may remember that at his last eye operation, the lead eye surgeon, a Christian American, together with volunteer specialists from Medicines’ sans Frontiers (Doctors without Borders), grieved that they were unable to remedy all the permanent damage that had been done to his eye by the previous surgeon-specialist. So, since then, we have agreed, together with Hirle, that our faith in the Lord on this is twofold. First on the basis of Matthew 9: 27-29, we do believe, yes, that Jesus is able to heal his eye. But we don’t know the will of the Lord on the matter. So we trust the Lord to do His will, whether to heal the eye slowly, letting it gradually improve, or suddenly all at once. It is so easy for God the Healer to speak or to touch the eye and heal it! OR, He may be pleased not to do so. We leave the outcome to the Saviour, who loves His children. We are thankful that He did not will to call Hirle to Himself. Perhaps He has work for Hirlewa to do in life, disabled as he is. As for me, I pray for Peter too, lest those double physical abuses laid upon his son kill the father early, because he suffers/feels/lives, trying to survive, as if it had all happened to him personally.
Second, I call to mind the nine-year Sunday School Curriculum for three levels (Primary, Junior and Senior) which I edited with my former students at the Bible College of East Africa, and working together with four American BP pastors wrote the senior lessons in theology. We completed and published the set in Kenya during 1979 –1984. At the time, I thought it perhaps the best thing I had done for Kenyan churches during my career in Africa. It could transform the whole youth work in a church if it were followed and taught. It covered the Life of Christ, and Bible Stories from Genesis through to the prophets in six years for Primary and Junior levels. In the senior level, three terms to cover the Gospel: The Law, Faith, and By Grace Through Faith. Christian Life was one term each during the Senior year, Doctrine was two terms, and Outreach (book of Acts) was two terms. Altogether there are nine books of lessons for Sunday School teachers, covering nine years, three terms each year, and following the calendar of terms in public schools in Kenya. There is also an exam included for the end of each term, and memory work assigned from Bible passages and Catechisms. It was thorough! On a recent visit from Rev. Michael Koech, one of the former student lesson writers, now Dr. of Theology and head of Bomet Bible School in Rift Valley, he told me his Youth had put it all into software for computers so all can be accessed and printed lesson by lesson as needed. WOW! Great! I am so happy for the preservation of that curriculum. May the Lord continue to use it in the hearts of our Christian youth in Lower Kenya churches, and also in the new Bible Presbyterian churches planted and growing in Northern Kenya. There is a real field of churches up there who could use it; and why not you Anglican and AIC churches? It would rejuvenate your believing youth!
Third, in a recent Update to Lean-Listers, I told the story of our Baalah BP Deacon, Sammy Huuricha. Deacon Sammy served faithfully in Baalah Church for twenty years, and suffered in a motor-bike accident last month. He had to sell a camel to go toward his hospital operation (to mend his clavicle which was broken in two places) along with all the other expenses. Beyond what the camel could provide, some brethren came through for him and gave through the Mission Office. Praise God! Let me here record his thanks: Thank you so much. I know I have a family there. Thank you to the Office, and to those who contributed for me!
Forth, from Kenya’s Daily Nation, Editorial, April 6, 2021, Tackle starvation threat: Hundreds of thousands of people in the northern and northeastern counties are staring at starvation. The most affected are Marsabit and Mandera, whose leaders have sent out an appeal for assistance.
The Kenya Food Security Steering Group has also found that 1.4 million people face acute hunger. The situation has been aggravated by the Covid-19 lockdown as pastoralists cannot transport their animals to Nairobi for sale to avert further losses.
The government and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) attribute the crisis to low levels of rainfall that have resulted in poor food crop harvests and declining livestock. The northern regions are also reeling under the effects of climate change with concerns about poverty and food insecurity. That has been worsened by the pandemic wreaking havoc on the country.
Pastoralist families now face a difficult choice between feeding themselves and their animals. Following livestock deaths, the next victims will, definitely, be the people. Livelihoods have been wiped out for families that rely on livestock for meat, milk, transportation and trade.
The situation is worsening by the day with local leaders warning that, unless the national government and well-wishers step in, they will be overwhelmed. In Mandera, at least 200,000 people, or 30 per cent of the county’s residents, are in dire need of relief food, as the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) has confirmed.
Hunger and starvation is a perennial problem that calls for an innovative sustainable solution. The prevailing crisis is blamed on failed rains and last year’s desert locust invasion. But tackling hunger is possible. The vast swathes of the arid and semi-arid lands hold massive potential that can be harnessed to boost livestock production and provide markets for the pastoralists.
Of course, this calls for the channelling of more resources to the region, which is being realised through devolution.
Fifth, in current news, I bring Readers to today, Easter Monday. About ten days ago Peter went to Nanyuki to get the rest of his receipts for his hip operation, but fell so sick while there, into such weakness, there were times I could not hear his voice on the phone. He said it was his throat. But the medical services could find neither bacterium nor virus present, so they gave him lozenges and such. I sent him Vitamin C, but I fear cancer. He has had cancer in his system for years, as long-time readers will remember. Nanyuki is the HQ for our region for the Ministry of Disability, and readers might remember that Peter carries the Disability Card. He told me today, had not two of our former Baalah pupils, now in their final year of university studies left their studies and come to nurse him, he could have died. They are Lowa and Gegeylo, and both have been in Baalah stories through the years. Our problem is that the yearly comprehensive medical policy for theLkayo Family expires on 17th April and if Peter needs chemo, there is not enough credit to cover it or any other treatment needed for whatever his problem is. So may Readers pray for him once more on the cancer issue is my request here. We are even today in discussion with the Mission HQ for the cover to be renewed. As soon as it is renewed, Peter will return to Nairobi for specialized treatment.
Finally, I have reproduced an email from the Baalah churches with greetings for you and news of the Baalah churches’ need of PRAYER. It was written yesterday, Easter Day, by the pastors, both Nacha and Peter, along with two of our Youth. Both youth, Larawon and Zairen, are in tertiary studies. Here is the message I received this morning; read for yourselves and do pray for us!