I recently saw two videos of an outreach into Gikomba, the largest market in Kenya, where 600 Testaments and Golden Thoughts calendars from the Trinitarian Bible Society in London were distributed. Ken Malenge, a student pastor at the Bible College of East Africa (BCEA), did the distribution for me. These were my last Testaments on hand from a large pallet of Scriptures I received some months ago. The videos showed an eager hand here and there, reaching for a Testament. At first they ran from Ken, thinking he was cheating them by giving a Testament for which he would afterward make them pay. No, they were really free! Market evangelism is a Biblical method of evangelism, and with current life in Kenya sinking daily from Covid, taxes piled upon taxes, lost jobs, politics going crazy, abduction of children increasing to a daily nightmare; yet here is the Word of God freely offered. Oh, maybe something to give me hope! Let me get one! But scarce a happy face was to be seen. I see the market life and its noise at just one junction of lanes in this vast market – 600 Testaments gone in three hours! “It’s impossible to blanket this whole vast market with Testaments… turn down the noise!” some may say. But that’s an African market and there has to be noise, and the Gospel must go forth.
We ask for your prayers for the Trinitarian Bible Society in London, founded in 1830, as they always need funds to keep printing Bibles, and sending them out. They have been doing this for almost 200 years. They have funds to send me 4,300 Testaments, and we could distribute through our present and former students (now pastors), double that number distributed to Kenya markets. It is true, there is a deep hunger for the Word of God in Kenya. “Bring more tomorrow!” they cried to Ken, who told them, “Oops, no, that’s the last we have now.”
Those who have known me over the last 50 years in Kenya, know that I have been in Bible distribution or in sales-at-cost price for Kenyan vernacular Bibles ever since Gary Johnson put me into the Bible project way back then. Now, we are even into getting Peter’s translations of Psalms, printed for the Rendille. I hear Gary will come back to visit Kenya with the SOME Team next January. I pray he makes it. Two boxes of TBS Camouflage Bibles for the Armed Forces went last night to Western Kenya with Ken.
These quarterly letters are supposed to cover news for praises to God, and for prayers. We are in great praises for the court judgement on June 29th, which ruled that a worship service of another faith must be 20 kilometers from the boundary of Baalah Church. This is a matter for praise, especially for our Christian youth of Baalah, and for all others in Baalah. May those friends, who sent gifts to finance this legal defense, receive a hearty thanks from Baalah Church and School, and indirectly from all Northern churches in Marsbit County! The ruling will provide a court precedent for any Northern church who may find themselves some bright morning with a mosque being started in the field next door. The 14 days allowed for an appeal has expired and Dreamer did not appeal. Thank You Lord Jesus!
In prayers first, I am asking now for funds to start an Education Fund for the five children of Peter and Lucy Lkayo. This is a perennial need, for Peter’s salary is not sufficient. Our thanks to those who have seen the children through to this stage, but we are all drained by now. Would there be anybody please, who could scrape their pockets to help Peter’s own five kids? He does so much for other people’s children; will anyone help his own? If he goes for loans, he gets them into schools, but creditors need to be repaid pronto. Please help if at all you can.
Now a letter from Pastor Nacha on the famine situation in Baalah Church. Here it is:
We heard that you were asking about the famine in North. The famine situation is very, very bad. We have no rain for many months. But what is more depressing is that there is nowhere to sell animals, even for those who have animals to sell. Markets are still closed by Government due to Covid. Peter knows well the position of our faithful, as they are very poor with many widows and orphans. We struggle very much. Sometimes we are even afraid of holding services for we are afraid of the frail and weak mamas and children in the church. But we are grateful that our two churches are full.
Were it not the cooking of chai (tea) and Maandazi (donuts), Peter, which you provide for us every Sunday to both churches, we could not have had any services. We thank you very much. Some children after the Sunday services food you provide might not eat even for two days and only survive on water. That is how hard it has
become. We might lose the elderly very soon, and we thank you Peter for what you have done. The orphans, we give them some sugar to take home and so they get some sugar in their body for a day or two.
It’s not that we love telling our problem and hunger, but that is what it is. We are poor, hungry and we don’t manufacture famine. We thank you Judith, you saw it fit to ask our situation. Peter has told us many times please stop asking for famine food. What else could we have done, Peter? We are hungry, we are facing starvation, we might soon die. Yes, our donors are tired, or maybe not, it may be that Peter you have put in your head they are tired, but what else could we have done? We will ask for food and if anyone have something to spare, well, and if they don’t have, is ok, as Rendille saying goes, “What you don’t have, you can’t give birth to.”
We thank you all abroad for all the times you have helped us in food, school, church and even sickness. We know we have brothers and sisters whose love of Jesus radiates from them. But we are hungry, please may you save us again and again…
On behalf of BPC Baalah and Hafare
I (Judith) add details to the above appeal. There are 48 Baalah School small children, who attend one or the other of these Baalah churches, and 60-70 Youths, not mentioned by Nacha in the letter, probably because they are grown and have more energy to survive than the small ones. Altogether there would be 200 to 300 elderly, youths, children and a few men attending. Due to Covid, they use the church buildings and nearby trees to keep protocols. Charles Kulmicha, a student of Faith College is staying behind to help Pastor Nacha in the two Baalah Churches. He has a good spirit for this, and will catch up in his college studies at a later date. I asked Peter about the money Nacha refers to? He told me that he sends some up to feed these church goers from his Ontulili Station profits from the vehicle Sacco, from $920 to $1,200 per weekend. That is a lot, too high for me to help him. He can, at times, send up $1,500, to cover the Sunday snack, together with the costs of the little pre-primary school at Soono, under the sponsorship of Baalah Church. He can’t do it this coming week, because his own family needs for food, electricity, and water.
Another item for prayer is for Baalah Primary School pupils. You have just read Pastor Nacha’s letter on the famine situation in that drought-prone, arid area. The Government is so caught up in the politics of next year’s national elections, that they cannot spare a thought for their famine-stricken people in the North. Yet they too are tax-payers whenever they have money to buy anything. If it were not for the World Food Programme (WFP), there would be nothing for school lunches and malnourished village children.
A casualty of this current drought is that 14 goobs (villages) within Baalah have moved to Sunyuro area, where there is some pasture and water. That is 13-16 kilometers from the Baalah School and Church. Alas, can you imagine pupils leaving home at 5AM to reach school by assembly at 8AM, and after classes and lunch, a gift of WFP, face the same trek back to home. My suggestion is for those families to let their children live during school terms with widows in other Baalah goobs nearer the school, trekking back home on Fridays for the weekend. But then those host-widows would need food for these children. Help us, please, to pray for rains to come in abundance, so that these 14 goobs can move back to within reach of Baalah School and Church for these children. Many of them would have been regular attendants at Baalah Church as well.
Finally, I have an unmentioned prayer request, please pray it for me. The Lord knows all.