Good pro-life news from Kenya

Abortion is the worst export from the West.  Thankfully, many countries are resisting this evil.  I have a real heart for Kenya after five mission trips and numerous dear friends there, so I was glad to see this: Kenya Pro-Lifers Defeat Western Effort to Expand Abortion.

When Kenyans voted on a new constitution in 2010, a massive publicity campaign – heavily funded by the Obama administration – assured voters it would not legalize abortion. In fact, “Life begins at conception” is in the constitution.

But the Constitution also allowed abortion in certain circumstances. Pro-lifers warned there would be more to come.

Abortion proponents, including those from the United States and Europe, drafted a set of policies for the Kenyan Ministry of Health that would have imposed abortion on the Kenyan medical system. The policies were rejected this week, according to a source close to the effort. Pro-lifers now want Kenyan legislators to denounce the attempt to expand abortion through the Ministry of Health.

What is truly despicable is how the Left is so pro-abortion that they borrowed money from our grandchildren to try to increase abortions in Kenya.

During the referendum for Kenya’s constitution, the Obama administration spent $18 million and directed U.S. personnel, including Peace Corp volunteers, to campaign for it. President Obama would visit Kenya, it was promised, if they passed the Constitution but he never did.

That’s what you should expect from a political party that is so pro-abortion that they want to increase abortions by removing restrictions and requiring taxpayer-funded abortions.  From the Democrats’ platform:

The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.

If you voted for Obama and other Democrats then you are part of the problem.  Please reconsider your views.  

Parts of the Pachyderm

A favorite updated for your reading pleasure.  If you haven’t encountered the “parts of the elephant” argument yet, you probably will.  Even some people who claim the name of Christ use it to bolster their “all paths lead to God” mistake.

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Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason has an excellent piece called the Trouble with the Elephant.

The ancient fable of the blind men and the elephant is often used to illustrate the fact that every faith represents just one part of the larger truth about God. However, the attempt is doomed before it gets started.

In the story, multiple blind men feel different parts of an elephant and describe it in different ways.  Someone who is not blind then points out the truth to them.

The typical application of the story is that religious pluralism is true – i.e., we’re worshiping the same God in different ways.

A good question to ask anyone who repeats this parable is, “Where do you fit into the story?”  If he is one of the blind men, then why would he have anything to offer you?  If he claims to be the person with sight, then what are his qualifications that he understands this world and you don’t?

Note that the blind men are describing different parts of the elephant, but it is still an elephant.  But if one religion says God is personal and another says He is impersonal, then they can’t both be right.  You can’t be an elephant and not an elephant.  I wrote more on the irreconcilable differences in the essential truth claims of religions in Religious Pluralism is Intellectually Bankrupt.

In a sense, the whole story is self refuting.  While the principle message is that we can only know a certain piece about God, the message itself claims to have the big picture.

It also has a rather odd premise: The “real” religion would be to follow every religion.  That way you’d have the whole elephant.

The only way the parable would work is if the elephant described itself to the blind people – sort of the way the God reveals himself to us in the Bible.  As Koukl says:

If everyone truly is blind, then no one can know if he or anyone else is mistaken.  Only someone who knows the whole truth can identify another on the fringes of it.  In this story, only the king can do that–no one else.

The most ironic turn of all is that the parable of the six blind men and the elephant, to a great degree, is an accurate picture of reality.  It’s just been misapplied.

We are like blind men, fumbling around in the world searching for answers to life’s deepest questions.  From time to time, we seem to stumble upon some things that are true, but we’re often confused and mistaken, just as the blind men were.

How do I know this?  Because the King has spoken.  He is above, instructing us, advising us of our mistakes, and correcting our error.  The real question is:  Will we listen?

Remember that if the elephant illustration is true, then Christianity is false.  The Bible teaches 100+ times that Jesus is the only way to salvation.  This is an argument that no Christian should use.

Roundup

UK midwives protest ruling forcing them to perform abortions — this is getting more and more common.  Religious freedom: You’re doin’ it wrong.  The Obama administration is forcing religious organizations to pay for birth control, some of which are abortifacients.  This is unconscionable.  At least the Supreme Court got one thing right as far as the hiring practices of religious groups.

A summary of Dr. Laura’s Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands — this is just the intro — be sure to read the entire post.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger has written another book that deserves a place on the best seller list with six of her other books, such as Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives and Ten Stupid Things Men Do to Mess Up Their Lives. The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, from this unmarried man’s perspective, is an excellent manual for women on how to get want they want from men and marriage and, generally, how to be happy. Dr. Laura makes a number of important, practical points, based on her experience in private practice, from advising her radio callers, and from literally hundreds of letters and emails she received from men and women while she was writing the book.

Barack Obama fought the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which protected infants who survived abortions from being murdered, but the media calls Rick Santorum the extremist?!

Peer-reviewed paper in medical journal challenges Darwinian evolution — Wait, that can’t be right!  Everyone knows that there is no such thing as that.

A new article by Dr. Joseph Kuhn of the Department of Surgery at Baylor University Medical Center, appearing in the peer-reviewed journal Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings, poses a number of challenges to both chemical and biological evolution. Titled “Dissecting Darwinism,” the paper begins by recounting some of the arguments raised during the Texas State Board of Education debate that challenged chemical and biological evolution. Those challenges include:

1. Limitations of the chemical origin of life data to explain the origin of DNA
2. Limitations of mutation and natural selection theories to address the irreducible complexity of the cell
3. Limitations of transitional species data to account for the multitude of changes involved in the transition.

Why do people hate Tim Tebow? Why do people want Tim Tebow to fail? — It is interesting watching the haters get so riled up about Tim Tebow.  Why wouldn’t feminists want a guy like Tebow, who would be faithful to them, have their long-term best interests at heart, not want to take away their purity, not risk them having to get a disease, an abortion or to be a single parent?  One pro-abortion group tried to raise funds by asking people to donate money for each touchdown pass Tebow makes, so they could somehow profit from his success.  He is similar to Sarah Palin in that his life and story mock the pro-abortion theme that we need to kill the unborn if they aren’t perfect or wanted.

Your tax dollars at work: The administration of the most pro-abortion President ever thought that taxpayer-funded abortions in the U.S. weren’t enough.  They needed to increase abortions in Kenya as well and hired surrogates to spread their message.  It stills sickens me to hear alleged pro-lifers rationalize their vote for Obama.

Stan does his usual excellent work in examining this comment by William Lane Craig:

The counterfactuals of creaturely freedom which confront Him are outside His control. [God] has to play with the hand He has been dealt. — William Lane Craig

Craig is really good but isn’t perfect.  That was a truly odd comment of him to make, but when you peel back the layers it is actually consistent with his worldview.  Whether it is Arminianism or Molinism, they leave the final say to humans on many issues.

MLK, Jr believed homosexuals could –and should– change — Oh noes — what will the fake Christians do with that fact? Oh, they’ll just say he would have changed his mind, just like Jesse went from pro-life to pro-abortion.

Hope Companions

One of our favorite ministries in Kenya is Hope Companions.  The program helps AIDS orphans not only survive but thrive by giving them skills and helping them start small businesses — sort of a “Junior Achievement finds Jesus” program.  We saw this first hand during our last to trips to Kenya and were so inspired.  These orphans not only become able to provide for themselves but they help their siblings and even other orphans.

Here are some stories about orphans who have benefited from this program as told by Jerri Savuto, a missionary in Kenya.

I do want to share about my two days with Halima and Reegan of the Hope Companions Program.  Whenever we have the opportunity to be with the staff and teens of Hope Companions we are filled with hope for their lives, their communities and this nation.  The Hope Companions Program is the way to help the poor to grow and bloom and not become dependent.  Their successes speak so loudly of the love of God, the incredible work of Reegan, Halima and their staff, what hard work and commitment can do in the lives of the poor and how much hope there is for this world.  Thank you Rev. Greg Jenks for your vision, amazing ability to raise funds and ministry to the glory of God.

On Tuesday November 1st, I joined Halima and Josephine, Hope Companion staff, to visit some of the teens and attend a meeting of two groups, Imani Kagwiria and Imani Kaithe.  I was so impressed with the relationship between Halima and Josephine and the teens and between the teens themselves.  We first visited two homes to take pictures of the youth with animals as requested by Rev.  Jenks.  We visited Doris, whose land is so small she must keep her goats at the home of her Hope Companions mentor, Monica Mauta.  Her goat had recently given birth to twins for which everyone was thankful as Doris will give the baby goats, when weaned, to two other Hope Companion families.  She has a goat because she received it through the Hope Companions Program.  Doris is a successful farmer and raises the goats for milk.  Her joy was infectious and I felt like singing I was so thankful.

We then visited Doreen.  She and her siblings have been living with her grandmother in a tiny, mud house. Recently her grandmother had decided the children would move.  Doreen has been working to fortify the old house she and her siblings will be moving to and building a new, small kitchen.  She had bought many goats and like Doris, one of her goats had just had twins and thus would benefit two other Hope Companion families.  Their first animals came from the program.

After the group meeting we visited Anita and took a picture of her with one of the rabbits she grows to sell.  It was exciting to see these teens being so successful in raising goats, rabbits, chickens and/or cattle.  God’s goodness never fails!

The meeting with the two groups was held in a church up the most horrendous, amazing road I think I have been on in Kenya and that is saying something.  There were at least 25 youth and their mentors at the meeting.  They had been meeting before we arrived and then Halima shared with them and gave me the opportunity to meet them and share with them.  Halima was so gracious and loving and so incredibly encouraging.  One of the groups has educated 11 of their 20 group members this year.  That is astounding but they have a very hard working mentor who is known both in their community and in Maua and was thus able to negotiate with the trainers/mentors of the youth to take an additional youth for a small amount of money.  One of the young men who shared with us was trained to be a mechanic and for just $10 additional he was taught to drive and has his license.  As we left I was filled to the brim with new hope for the future of Kenya and for the future of these young people who are being empowered to work hard and take care of their families.

On Wednesday, November 8th, I accompanied Reegan and Josephine to Tharaka North to visit 5 Hope Companion teens and their families.  We were only able to visit 4 teens as the road was so muddy in one area we had to turn around and come home. What a day we had with those 4 families.

When we arrived in the area we met Peter, the Social Worker employed by Hope Companions to work in the Tharaka area.  Tharaka is about 2 hours from Maua.  The first household we visited was headed by 17 year old Ronald who is a total orphan.  When his parents died he was left with two young sisters, Mariam and Mercy, and an ailing grandmother.  Though he had to drop out of school immediately to support his family he is a wonderful farmer and has taught himself to fix mobile phones and radios.  He shared that he makes about 300 Ksh daily ($2. 75 – $3.00) fixing the phones and radios which supports his sisters in school and his grandmother.  He proudly took us to his farm and showed us how he is growing green grams, cassava, maize and beans.  When asked what his goals were he immediately answered that he intended to provide support and education to his sisters until they were able to care for themselves and to provide food and medicine for his sick grandmother.

Ronald is growing green grams between the maize and he said that if the rain continued the green grams would be ready the end of this month.  He felt he could pick 2 bags (90 kilograms each) of green grams and each bag would sell for 30,000 Ksh ($275 – $300).  As we were ready to leave a boy of about 9 or 10 years old appeared asking for his food.  When we asked Ronald who he was, he told us he was a complete orphan who was mentally challenged and lived with a very old grandmother who could not care for him.  Thus he comes daily to eat a meal with Ronald and his family.  They shared what they had with this young, very needy boy.  It is so amazing to see others give out of their poverty while we give out of our affluence.

Ronald and all the Hope Companions we visited shared that members of their group came and helped them plant, weed and harvest the crops.  Ronald had been at a member’s shamba (farm) the day before helping her.  The groups become family and help each other in so many ways along with becoming the teens’ supportive community.

Our next stop was to visit 18 year old Mercy.  She, too, is a total orphan and the oldest of 3 children – she has a brother 17 and one 13.  When her parents died she and her brother’s lived with her elderly grandmother but there was not enough food for the four of them.  Though Mercy was only about 9 years old she went to live with a family and become a house helper.  She shared that she believed it would be better than the current situation she was in and she could send her brothers and grandmother either her earnings or some extra food weekly.  However, she was mistreated by the family she went to work for and found the situation intolerable and was forced to return to her grandmother’s home after many months.  She then pleaded with her uncle and was allowed to come and stay on the compound in a tiny, dilapidated home.  While living there she joined a Hope Companions Group and was helped in many ways.  She was given some chickens to raise and she now has many.  She planted a kitchen garden to provide fresh vegetables for her uncle and her grandmother and brothers.  She was even able to rent land and has planted crops on the land.  She is clearly a hard worker and it was so wonderful to see how proud she was of the work she did.  We walked quite a distance in deep mud to reach her rented shamba and see all that she is growing.

When asked how things were living with her uncle and family, she lowered her head and stated something to the effect that she is surviving.  When asked about her Hope Companions group she lifted her head and with a huge smile shared that they are her family and supporters and they work together for the better of each other.  When asked if she was thinking of getting married she firmly stated she would not marry until both her brothers had completed school and were on their own.

The third person we visited was Caroline.  We found her working in her shamba, weeding and what a lot of work she had done that day.  She too is a total orphan and has two sisters to support.  A young widowed aunt came to live with her and she supports her also.  Along with growing crops, Caroline has cows.  She received a calf from the Hope Companions and from that has earned money to buy a second and third cow and seed for crops.  I found Caroline so alive and thankful I didn’t want to leave her presence.  These young people are not afraid to work very hard and are literally thankful for every opportunity, everything that comes into their lives.  We all have so much to learn from them.

Our final visit of the day was to Godfrey, a 19 year old with two younger sisters, Mercy and Mariam, and an elderly grandmother.  Godfrey was clearly a hard worker who has a cow, goats, chickens and a pig.  Godfrey received a calf from the Hope Companions and has slowly but surely added the goats, chickens and pig as he has made money from the cow, then the other animals and his crops.  The seeds for planting originally came from the Hope Companions group.  He is sending both his sisters to school and when he talked about his grandmother I was so impressed.  He stated that his grandmother was so important to his family because she had such wonderful stories she told them at night.  None of these homes have electricity or running water so after working in the shamba all day and feeding the animals, being able to sit and hear stories was a great joy to Godfrey and his sisters.  When he talked about his grandmother she looked so proud and happy.

With each family or Hope Companion teen we talked together, prayed together and marveled at their joy, their smiles, the pride they had in their work and their ability to care for their siblings, grandmothers and other family members.   Each teen’s goal was to see that their siblings are educated beyond what they were and have a good start in life.  It is amazing how selfless they are – not like typical Kenyan or US teens.

Donation information here (item 7).

I’ll never look at genealogies in the Bible the same way

I must confess that I find it hard to read through the genealogies in the Bible.  The best I can do is to scan for familiar names.

But I have a new appreciation for them after hearing the President of Faith Comes By Hearing speak at our church last Spring.  He noted how some of the people they take audio Bibles to initially fixate on the genealogies because they are so important to their culture.  Being able to trace ones ancestors is a key to leadership and respect.  When they see how Jesus’ lineage goes all the way back to David, Adam and others, they realize they should listen very carefully to him.  So parts of the Bible we may skim over are very important to them.

More about the Faith Comes By Hearing ministry from a previous post

As I mentioned in my summary of our Kenya mission trip, one of the highlights was taking the Proclaimer audio Bible to the local Christian hospital and churches.  This ingenious device is used to get the word of God out to those who can’t read.  They can be powered by electricity, solar or hand cranked so they can be used over and over almost anywhere.  We took versions in Swahili and English (and are working to get a version in Kimeru, another local language), so they can hear the word in their language.

Faith Comes By Hearing translates the Bible into hundreds of languages in audio form.  Having it translated in writing is important, of course, but when you consider how few people read you realize how important these audio Bibles are.

Last year we took one to Kenya as an experiment.  It was so well received that this year we took a dozen.  As you can see in the video below, my friend Stanley Gitari was eager to get as many of these as possible to get the word out to “all the corners.”  I never get tired of that.

 

Proclaiming the word in Kenya

As I mentioned in my summary of our Kenya mission trip, one of the highlights was taking the Proclaimer audio Bible to the local Christian hospital and churches.  This ingenious device is used to get the word of God out to those who can’t read.  They can be powered by electricity, solar or hand cranked so they can be used over and over almost anywhere.  We took versions in Swahili and English (and are working to get a version in Kimeru, another local language), so they can hear the word in their language.

Faith Comes By Hearing translates the Bible into hundreds of languages in audio form.  Having it translated in writing is important, of course, but when you consider how few people read you realize how important these audio Bibles are.

Last year we took one to Kenya as an experiment.  It was so well received that this year we took a dozen.  As you can see in the video below, my friend Stanley Gitari was eager to get as many of these as possible to get the word out to “all the corners.”  I never get tired of that.

Stanley helped me get the units in the hands of local pastors, who often have 10 small village churches that they serve.  Audio Bibles will be priceless to them.  We also gave some to the church/school in the Kawangware slum in Nairobi, where they can use it to get the word out to the neighborhood.

Here’s an amazing fact: Their 2nd most downloaded language is Arabic!  This is the single best way to get the word of God into Muslim countries.  Many people are listening to the Bible on their phones.  Apparently the governments aren’t aware or haven’t figured out how to stop this yet.

Many peoples know there is a God, but when they don’t have his word in their language they don’t think He is their God.  Faith Comes By Hearing has countless stories of communities transformed by hearing his word in their language.

Be sure to get the free Bible.is app for your iPhone, so you can read and listen anywhere.

If you go on mission trips or just have a passion for getting God’s word out to be who are eager to hear it, please look into the Faith Comes By Hearing organization.  You can get free audio downloads of the New Testament and play them on your computer or iPod, or you can donate to help spread the Word.

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Here is an email from the hospital chaplain about the Proclaimer we took last year.

Let me say we have been using the device and its demand is too high especially in the local church. The one you left us is only used within the hospital and if we could get others we would really appreciate. Our department was thinking if we had an intercom in the hospital we would only use one proclaimer by putting it in one place and connecting it to all the wards for all the patients to listen to the message at the same time. This would be of great help especially because the staffing is not adequate in chaplaincy unit.

For now i can say we are using the device to the maximum. We sometimes leave it with the patients after showing them how to use and they really like it. Thanks a lot to you and those who donate them. They are a great way of taking the word of God to the people.

Receive new year wishes from Maua methodist hospital, church and the chaplaincy unit.

Looking forward to seeing you next year.

God bless you.

Rev Alice

This picture is of Reverend Alice, the hospital chaplain, explaining it to a group of patients and their children.

I’m a firm believer in Isaiah 55:10-11

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

From their website:

How does the Proclaimer work? An installed microchip contains Scriptures in the heart language; the chip will not erase or wear out from frequent playing.

The battery will play for 15 hours and can be recharged enough times to play the entire New Testament more than 1,000 times.

The Proclaimer has a built-in generator and solar panel to charge the battery.

The solar panel, in addition to charging the battery, will run the Proclaimer even without battery power as long as there is sunlight.

The sound is digital quality and loud enough to be heard clearly by groups as large as 300.

The Proclaimer was developed primarily as a playback device for poor and illiterate people who may not have any other source to hear God’s Word. Our goal is to use the Proclaimer in the majority of our FCBH programs worldwide.

Very few of these people read, but now they can hear the transforming and powerful word of God.  This is probably the best use of technology I’ve ever seen.

Kenya 2011

This was my 5th trip to Kenya, my wife’s 2nd and my youngest daughter’s first. It was amazing to be able to share it with them, though it would have been 100% perfect if my oldest could have come (she had a dance commitment that worked out splendidly for her, and she is now a paid apprentice with a professional ballet company!). The whole trip was my daughters’ idea. We had talked about doing a Mediterranean cruise to celebrate our 25th anniversary and my youngest’s high school graduation, but the mission trip won out.

We helped construct an AIDS Orphan home, which is one of our usual projects.  The recipient is a 15 yr. old boy who cares for his nearly-blind grandmother and lived in a mud/stick hut.  Now they have a 12’x20′ two room home that will keep them dry and safe.  His parents and three siblings had died.  The local church has helped counsel him and he’s doing much better than he was.  He seemed to have some good friends.  He even helped with the construction.  The grandma was so quiet all week, then at the dedication she started jumping and singing in thanksgiving (something about being lifted higher by Jesus).

Part of the group saw the Hope Companion project, a terrific endeavor where orphans are given practical business skills to support themselves, sort of a Junior Achievement Meets Jesus program.  It gives the kids hope and us as well, because it makes such a radical difference.  This isn’t about handouts for multiple generations, it is about making them self-sufficient.  The U.S. could learn a lot from this model.  Whether it was sewing, baking bread or planting seedlings for sale each of these youths were now able to support themselves and often others.  One boy had 7 younger siblings he could now care for instead of having to beg from others who already didn’t have enough — plus he took on care for another orphan.  That’s convicting!

We visited a bush clinic where vitamins, de-worming, antibiotics, etc. were dispensed to a few hundred people.  Getting out in the community is one of the best parts of the trip.

I shared my leadership training (“great results / high employee satisfaction”) to the hospital management team.  Given cultural and language barriers I set low expectations for how it would be received, but it really seemed to resonate with them.  It highlights the techniques I’ve used to run successful groups with best-in-class employee satisfaction scores and remarkably low turnover (I really need to blog on it someday).  I’ve presented it at a few conferences in the U.S. and shared it in a session with managers where I work, but wouldn’t have thought that it would work in Kenya.  But in talking to the hospital CEO last year and hearing about their staff turnover problems, I realized that this was just what they needed to hear.   Good, basic management skills are universal.  I enjoyed adding Bible verses to the presentation and focused on the theme that if God had such high expectations for how Christian masters should treat slaves in the Roman empire, how much more so should Christian supervisors treat their employees well?

Our associate pastor had to cancel at the last minute, so I ended up giving a couple messages in his place. One was at the morning devotional for the hospital employees. Their scripture for the day was from Ephesians 5, starting with “Wives, submit to your husbands.” Oh, good, an easy and non-controversial topic!  I embraced it as a chance to talk about how many U.S. churches hate that passage and rationalize that Paul didn’t write it under the inspiration of God, and because of that they miss out on a beautiful passage.  Also, in that culture the men love that verse but tend to stop reading after that.  I noted that they need to focus more on the part about “husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church.”

The other talk was a 20 min. sermon at the church in the Kawangware slum in Nairobi. That was a huge blessing. I figured the pastor would want something lighter, but he wanted me to include topics that they face like AIDS, domestic violence and poverty.  I preached on John 1:1-5, emphasizing Jesus’ deity, God’s sovereignty and how Jesus is the light to the world and uses us in his plan.  It seemed to go well.

Visiting Dennis, our World Vision sponsor child, is always a highlight for me. We’ve written him for over 13 years so he is like family to us. He is in college now and works very hard. He is an amazing young man with a passion for God.

We took 12 Proclaimer audio Bibles to distribute, and I was beyond thrilled at how well they were received.  I’ll blog separately on that.

In addition to the daily 15 min. services at the hospital, we got to worship there twice — in Maua and in the church in the Nairobi slum.  The services are a little longer (2 hours) but much more energetic than in the U.S.

The hospital in Kenya does amazing things to help the community, and they are extremely cost-effective.  They share the Gospel with all the patients.  They know how to reach the poorest of the poor.  They are hurting now with the food shortages.  If you want to help the hospital and community, click here.    Money goes a long way in Kenya!  For example, for only $10 / month you can feed, clothe and educate a child.

Miscellaneous things

Flight stuff: We flew on Emirates for the first time, with a 15+ hour flight to Dubai then a 5 hour flight to Nairobi. As we’d been told, the leg room was a little better than what we’re used to. Yea! But those long flights are still killers (“Let’s see, I’ve read, gone through all the pictures on my computer, napped, eaten a meal and a snack, and read some more, so we must be almost there . . . ack! 11 hours to go!”).

I took my laptop on this trip. It was a bit of a burden to carry all the stuff (it is a heavy one, plus the extra batteries and such) but I loved being able to write and edit pictures on the plane and when we had free time. That is always the hard part of returning. There are lots of things to catch up on after being gone 17 days, but my OCD nature (“It’s not just a disorder, it’s a lifestyle!” ™) makes me want to complete all the picture editing / uploading right away.  With Google’s Picasa software the various albums were all set to upload as soon as I logged in at home.

Ending the trip with a couple of days on a photo safari in the Masai Mara (where they film some of the Discovery Channel wildebeest crossing / crocodile videos) is a joy. Seeing God’s creation in such an un-touched way is just amazing.  No animals were harmed in the filming process.  OK, maybe one zebra.  Circle of life, baby!  Circle. Of. Life.

I’m back. Sort of.

I was in Kenya the last 17 days on a mission trip, so I just had a few blog posts set up to publish while I was gone.

One of the posts got tons of traffic from the allegedly pro-science crowd (they aren’t any more pro-science than I am, they are typically just pro-abortion atheist Romans 1 poster children looking for reasons not to believe and they reflexively repeat the religion vs. science false dichotomy).  I had limited and sketchy Internet access and was surprised to see all the traffic come in one day.  I’m in catch up mode, as you can imagine, so I’ll probably not post many of the comments (nearly all just oft-refuted gems from the Big Book O’ Atheist Sound Bites) because I just don’t have the time.

One of the things I love about mission trips is getting away from Facebook, the news, politics and blogging debates for a while.

Hope you regulars are all doing well.  I’ll be blogging on the trip and more soon.

Not just a joke, but a bad joke.

See Gay minister suspended for 20 days for the first announcement about the “penalty” for this “minister” conducting a “same-sex wedding” in 2009.  Sorry for all the scare quotes, but she is obviously not a Christian and “same-sex wedding” is an oxymoron.  And the penalty was less than a slap on the wrist, because it includes her being ordered to “draft a document outlining issues that harm United Methodist Church’s clergy covenant with help of church leaders.”  That will obviously end up being a forum for her to advance her apostate views and isn’t a penalty at all.  That’ll show her, right?

So she deceives by promising to uphold the rules of the church while having no intention of doing so, shakes her fist at God daily, finally gets called on it, and ends up with no punishment.  Her conference needs to either quit calling themselves Christians or they need to grow a pair (uh, metaphorically speaking).

She should have been fired a long time ago.  Her supervisors should be fired now for letting this go on.  If an HP employee started selling Dell products, they’d be fired that day.  She and her ilk are doing Satan’s business and have no place in church.

DeLong reminds me of Beth Stroud, another person who lied at her ordination vows and infiltrated the church, won people over, then came out on queue.  These people either lied at their ordination vows or changed their minds later and didn’t have the integrity to quit, and that alone should disqualify them from ministry.  This goes for the 100 or so Methodist “ministers” threatening to perform same-sex ceremonies.  They should all be fired just for their conspiracy.  They are plenty of apostate denominations for them to join.

I’m assured that the Texas conference of the Methodist church wouldn’t ordain a false teacher like her and definitely wouldn’t do a phony trial like that.  I’m looking forward to visiting with the Methodist Church in Kenya later this year, as they are authentic Christians who actually submit to the word of God (what a concept!).  The U.S. apostates hate that the international church is growing, so they tried unsuccessfully to minimize their voting power.

Some lowlights:

A jury suspended the Rev. Amy DeLong from ministerial duties for 20 days, beginning July 1, noting the time is to be used for “spiritual discernment.”

Uh, yeah, that’ll work.  What makes them think that after her “seminary,” her 16 years in a lesbian relationship and all her years of false teaching will be fixed by 20 days in time-out?

“We’ve said all along that we have already been successful,” DeLong said. “We had a 100 percent chance of winning because our goal was to be faithful and to tell the truth. We have done that and we’ve broken the silence. We’ve opened the door a little bit so (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) people can hear a good message from the church.”

You can tell how sad she is for “losing” at trial.  What a sham.

These folks could hear a good message from the church, except that DeLong and company refuse to share it.  Here’s the message: If you repent and believe, you’ll be saved.  But you need to meet God on his terms.  When you mock him, make up your own god and twist/ignore his word it does not qualify.

If you really love LGBTQX people you’ll share the truth with them and point them to ministries like this.

Church counsel proposed that DeLong should be suspended until she signs a pledge that she will not perform same-sex weddings in the future, as long as it remains church law.

. . .

Despite the ruling, DeLong said she would not treat an invitation to preside over a same sex marriage any differently than she would a traditional marriage.

“There’s no way I would categorically discriminate against them based on their sexual orientation,” she said.

Gee, can you see how repentant she is?

What utter cowards and fakes.  She refused to sign an agreement saying she would follow the rules (which would have been redundant with the vows she already broke), and they let her off!

If John Wesley were alive he would never stop throwing up.

If you are a Methodist and are happy with this ruling, please leave the church.  Christianity may not be your forte’.  If you are unhappy with it, please fight it or leave.  But don’t just sit on the sidelines while these people mock God and his word.

The “birthers” and the race card

I never cared about the birther issue.  I find it unproductive and annoying.  But Stan had a good post about motives. It reminded me of how quick the race industry*used the “birther” issue to paint Obama’s critics as racists.  But that means Hillary Clinton’s supporters, Michelle Obama, and the ambassador from Kenya were racists first.

group of disgruntled Hillary Clinton enthusiasts started the “Was Obama born in the United States?” question thing. It was fed by comments from people like the president’s grandmother who said he was born in Kenya and Michelle Obama who referred to Kenya as his “home country“. It wasn’t helpful when the ambassador from Kenya said that the president was born there. All of this fed the “birther” idea. Now, let me say up front that I am not a “birther”. To me it’s a moot point. I just don’t care. But what has fascinated me in this whole discussion has been the claims of motivationfrom the president’s supporters. You see, even though it was people from his Secretary of State that started the question and even though it was people like his wife, grandmother, and the Kenyan ambassador that fueled it, it appears that the only possible motivation for “birthers” is racism. That’s right. No one could suggest this stuff if they weren’t racists at heart. And without even batting an eye, the secret motivations of the heart have been easily and cleanly extracted and shown for all to view.

Anyone using the birther issue as a claim of racism against Republicans is ignorant of the origins and/or the real racist, who uses race to divide people.

*which includes false teachers like Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistribution” Wallis and race-baiting Chuck “Jesus is not the only way” Currie

Loving your enemies

Alternate title, read like a grumbling Homer Simpson: “Stupid John MacArthur sermons making me feel guilty about not loving my stupid enemies.”

Seriously, I just listened to a series by MacArthur about loving our enemies (I’m 4 months behind on Podcasts, for you MacArthur fans wondering if you missed something).  He made some powerful points about how loving the seemingly un-lovable and those hostile to us helps them see God, because that is exactly what God did for us.  We’re saved by his grace and not because we had anything to offer him or did anything for which He owes us.  We rebelled against him as enemies, yet He loved us and saved us.

Putting that into practice in the blog world is a challenge.  While my SuperFans (TM) are a regular fixture on my iPhone prayer list app, I don’t think that engaging them personally is productive.  I prefer to pray that while they are going through the Bible to abuse it to support their false teachings that God will open their eyes to the truth of his word.  True biblical love is having a person’s long-term best interests at heart.  Their ultimate good rests in being reconciled to the one true God.

As Jesus pointed out, it is easy to love those who are good to us.  It takes more effort to love those who can do nothing for us, but it isn’t nearly as hard to do as loving my enemies.  Once I focus on people in, say, prison ministry, I find it easy to love them.  Then again, I wasn’t their victim.  That is when things get tough: Loving those who seek the worst for you.

It is also hard with pro-legalized abortionists — especially those claiming the name of Christ — because it isn’t just their hatred of you that you are dealing with but your desire to protect the victims of their satanic ideology.

The same thing goes with pro-gay theologians, who claim the name of Christ while teaching falsehoods about him and advancing policies that will be very harmful to children.

I try to remember what one preacher said when asked why he didn’t lash out at some gay activists who burst into his church in protest and threw condoms at the pulpit: “I don’t get mad if a blind person steps on my foot.”

Our enemies are just doing what is in their job description.  I’ve been convicted and reminded that loving them — in the biblical sense — is in our job description.  Praying for them and not reacting in the same manner they use is a start.

Yes, it is hard to love our enemies, but I often think of a woman in Kenya who is one of the most amazing Christians I’ve ever met.  Her husband went nuts and hacked her with a machete, cutting off her hands and almost cutting off one of her legs.  He left her for dead, but she survived and was helped at the hospital we support there.  She instantly forgave him because Jesus said to.  If she can forgive something that severe . . .

Good news about spreading the Good News

As I mentioned in my summary of our Kenya mission trip, one of the highlights was taking a Proclaimer audio Bible device to the local hospital (see the portion of the original post below).  I was thrilled to get this follow-up email today from the hospital chaplain.  We’ll definitely be taking many more Proclaimers when we go back in the Summer of 2011.

I am fine and doing well both at home and at work. I wish to apologize for keeping you so long on the request you made. I was away in DRC (Congo) for mission the time the mail arrived and when i came back the demands of work and internet problem gave me a challenge.

Let me say we have been using the device and its demand is too high especially in the local church. The one you left us is only used within the hospital and if we could get others we would really appreciate. Our department was thinking if we had an intercom in the hospital we would only use one proclaimer by putting it in one place and connecting it to all the wards for all the patients to listen to the message at the same time. This would be of great help especially because the staffing is not adequate in chaplaincy unit.

For now i can say we are using the device to the maximum. We sometimes leave it with the patients after showing them how to use and they really like it. Thanks a lot to you and those who donate them. They are a great way of taking the word of God to the people.

Receive new year wishes from Maua methodist hospital, church and the chaplaincy unit.

Looking forward to seeing you next year.

God bless you.

Rev Alice

If you go on mission trips or just have a passion for getting God’s word out to be who are eager to hear it, please look into the Faith Comes By Hearing organization.  You can get free audio downloads of the New Testament and play them on your computer or iPod, or you can donate to help spread the Word.

We also took some of their mini-devices (sort of like a small iPod that only plays the Bible) and gave them to our World Vision Sponsor child and his family.  One was in Swahili and one was in English.  He just wrote and told me he is using it regularly as he buses to his college classes and back.  What a joy! 

From the original post

The Proclaimer – getting the word of God out to those who don’t read.  This is one of my favorite parts of the trip. Faith Comes By Hearing translates the Bible into dozens of languages. You can download New Testament versions for free. They give away these "Proclaimer" devices so that illiterate people can hear the word of God in their languages. As noted at the bottom, these can be AC or solar powered so they can be used over and over almost anywhere.

This picture is of Reverend Alice, the hospital chaplain, explaining it to a group of patients and their children. She plans to play the Bible in Kiswahili for them regularly and to set it outside for when the patients go in the sun to warm up. She will also take it to remote locations so they can hear the word. I hope we can take more the next time.

I’m a firm believer in Isaiah 55:10-11

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

From their website:

How does the Proclaimer work? An installed microchip contains Scriptures in the heart language; the chip will not erase or wear out from frequent playing.

The battery will play for 15 hours and can be recharged enough times to play the entire New Testament more than 1,000 times.

The Proclaimer has a built-in generator and solar panel to charge the battery.

The solar panel, in addition to charging the battery, will run the Proclaimer even without battery power as long as there is sunlight.

The sound is digital quality and loud enough to be heard clearly by groups as large as 300.

The Proclaimer was developed primarily as a playback device for poor and illiterate people who may not have any other source to hear God’s Word. Our goal is to use the Proclaimer in the majority of our FCBH programs worldwide.

Very few of these people read, but now they can hear the transforming and powerful word of God. I never get tired of that.

Margaret

A few weeks ago my wife (who is not named Margaret) shared a message at church about our Kenyan mission trip.  It was my wife’s first trip outside of N. America and her first mission trip.   She has graciously kept things going at home on my previous trips to Kenya and Honduras.

Since she has a reputation for being a germophobe and somewhat on the neat side we wondered how she’d acclimate to Kenya, given that it has a little dirt and several germs.  The truth is that she was amazing in every way, dealing with the inevitable challenges of short-term missions and jumping way out of her comfort zone.  This was the best mission trip yet because she was there.  She dove into every situation with grace and ease and was a model missionary.  And she’s actually talking about going back!

One of the highlights for me was watching her befriend Margaret, who is in the pictures and part of my wife’s message below.

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I had the privilege of being part of the 13 member mission team recently sent to Kenya.  As we prepared for the trip we talked about the task vs. the purpose of the mission team. Colin Wilkinson, our fearless leader, reminded us not to confuse the two.  The tasks were the activities we were going to do, while the purpose was to radiate the love of Jesus Christ, and to joyfully serve Him and express His love by all that we do while on the mission.  I am pleased to report we were able to complete all the tasks on our “Mission Team To Do List”:

  1. We assisted building an AIDS Orphan home.
  2. We conducted VBS and helped with construction of a new worship center at the Kawangware Methodist Church in Nairobi, which ministers to the people of a major slum.
  3. We spent a week in Maua at the Methodist Hospital, painting the pediatric building and assisting in mortar work on the flats being constructed for visiting doctors and conducted VBS for children of the hospital staff.

Being a major advocate of to-do lists, I found the task part of the mission concrete and straight forward. But the purpose seemed vague to me.  Intellectually I understood the purpose, but living it out was another story.  I felt overwhelmed upon arriving in Kenya.  There were so many people needing to feel the love of Christ, and we were only 13 missionaries from Texas on a 2 week trip.  How could we possibly radiate Christ’s love to all these people?  Everywhere I looked there seemed to be people struggling daily to survive and needing the hope and comfort of a loving God.

It wasn’t until I met Margaret that the answer fell into place.  Margaret was one of the construction workers employed by the hospital as part of the AIDS orphan project.  Just like in America, being a construction worker is primarily a male occupation.  But Margaret had a knack for the job and she was in desperate need of work.  You see, her husband had died in an accident leaving her with 3 small children.  So, she worked during the day at her construction job and took side jobs in the evening to support her family and keep her children in school.

On the last day of our week in Maua, the mission team has a dinner and Holy Communion service for the team and people we worked with.  Colin told us to think about who we wanted to invite.  Immediately a number of us mentioned Margaret.  But we were not sure she would even attend.  Normally, Margaret, being a member of the working class, would not be invited to a dinner where the main attendees were hospital administrators and church leaders. However, the team felt strongly about inviting her.  I was thrilled when she accepted my invitation.   My excitement began to fade when I saw how uncomfortable Margaret felt upon arriving at the dinner. She was gripping Pastor Holly for dear life and looked like a deer in the headlights.  Having been in “fish out of water” situations myself, I felt great empathy for Margaret.  She fidgeted and looked around nervously, watching me closely for what silverware to use and following my cues about how a buffet works.  I tried to converse with Margaret and smile to make her feel at ease, but my 6 words of Swahili and Texas accent made it difficult for her to understand me.  I feared we had made a mistake…

Until the Holy Communion service began.  Margaret’s demeanor changed immediately.  Although we had worship programs, Margaret didn’t need them.  She knew all the prayers and responses by heart. She began to sing the hymns loudly and with great feeling and emotion. At the close of the service she was the first to stand and grip my hand tightly to sing our closing hymn, Amazing Grace. The words of scripture from Ephesians 4 filled my heart and head:  “There is one body and one spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one lord, one faith, one baptism;  One God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”

It was then that I knew that even though our culture, lifestyle and homes were worlds apart, we were one in Christ.  I realized then that our mission team didn’t have to do it alone.  We were called to do it side by side with our Kenyan brothers and sisters in Christ.  It was the body of Christ working as a whole that could accomplish the mission’s purpose.   We had experienced this unity throughout the duration of our mission trip whether it was with the hospital staff, the construction workers, Pastor John and the teachers at the Kawangware church, or the Kenyan children’s simple faith.

I feel blessed to have experienced this unity in Christ as part of the Kenya mission team and for that I say” Bwana asifiwe,” which in Swahili means “Praise the Lord.”

Margaret is an amazing woman, and so is my wife.

Kenya mission trip pictures / highlights

This is a looong post – actually a bunch of posts in one — but please take time to check it out plus the links.  We had an amazing mission trip to Kenya with a group from our church.  It was my 4th trip but definitely the best because my wife joined me this time.  She was amazing – diving into everything with energy and grace even though the whole enterprise was way out of her comfort zone.

Click the links to see many more pictures.

1. Church / school in Kawangware slum – One of our projects was helping a little on the church building and doing two sessions of Vacation Bible School for the kids at the school. I was playing guitar for the VBS sessions so I don’t have pictures of that, but I’ll post pictures when I get them from others. The kids seemed to have a great time singing, dancing and playing.

This church and school is truly a beacon of light in a dark place. Worshiping with them was one of the seemingly endless highlights of the trip.

A little more background on the slum here.

2. When giraffes attack! — A visit to the giraffe park was fun. We went on the first day in Kenya as we acclimated to the time changes and such.

3. Maua Methodist Hospital – we did daily devotionals with them and various projects.

We did some painting at the hospital to help them maintain certifications that keep their reimbursements up and did some mortar work at a building they’ll use for visiting missionary doctors.

The hospital does amazing work for the community, offering low cost medical services. They save many lives. They have outstanding community programs to help AIDS orphans and to help them go to school and develop skills to support their families (sort of like a “Junior Achievement meets Jesus” program).

No, you would not want to stay there yourself, but for them it is invaluable.

Somehow I didn’t get many pictures of tea time, a nice and tasty tradition they have there.

4. Safari — We spent a couple days on safari at the end of the trip enjoying some of God’s amazing creation.

5. The Proclaimer – getting the word of God out to those who don’t read.  This is one of my favorite parts of the trip. Faith Comes By Hearing translates the Bible into dozens of languages. You can download New Testament versions for free. They give away these “Proclaimer” devices so that illiterate people can hear the word of God in their languages. As noted at the bottom, these can be AC or solar powered so they can be used over and over almost anywhere.

This picture is of Reverend Alice, the hospital chaplain, explaining it to a group of patients and their children. She plans to play the Bible in Kiswahili for them regularly and to set it outside for when the patients go in the sun to warm up. She will also take it to remote locations so they can hear the word. I hope we can take more the next time.

I’m a firm believer in Isaiah 55:10-11

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

From their website:

How does the Proclaimer work? An installed microchip contains Scriptures in the heart language; the chip will not erase or wear out from frequent playing.

The battery will play for 15 hours and can be recharged enough times to play the entire New Testament more than 1,000 times.

The Proclaimer has a built-in generator and solar panel to charge the battery.

The solar panel, in addition to charging the battery, will run the Proclaimer even without battery power as long as there is sunlight.

The sound is digital quality and loud enough to be heard clearly by groups as large as 300.

The Proclaimer was developed primarily as a playback device for poor and illiterate people who may not have any other source to hear God’s Word. Our goal is to use the Proclaimer in the majority of our FCBH programs worldwide.

Very few of these people read, but now they can hear the transforming and powerful word of God. I never get tired of that.

6. AIDS Orphan Homes

The local church and hospital does a great job of identifying the poorest of the poor. Some children have lost their parents and live in stick / mud huts, while others may have one living parent or a neighborhood person who takes care of them.

Local workers do the foundation and the heavy stuff and we help out with painting, hammering and such.

In this case, the father died of AIDS and the mother and youngest child are probably HIV positive. She has resisted testing because of the stigma but it appears that they finally convinced her to get help. The anti-retrovirals have been very successful at preventing deaths and more orphans.

$2,000 builds a home to keep them safe and warm. It does amazing things for their self-worth and gives them a place to study once they are in school.

The hospital program and church stays engaged and follows up with them.

The purpose of the AIDS Orphans’ Project is to provide food, schooling, medical care and improved housing for AIDS orphans and to train their guardians in caring for these children. This project was established in response to the needs of the increasing numbers of AIDS orphans within the region that the hospital serves. Maua Methodist Hospital serves a district of 600,000 people as their only full service hospital. The AIDS orphan children are in desperate circumstances. The hospital is reaching out to them to share the Love of Jesus Christ by helping to care for their basic needs, and by giving hope for a better life.

7. Miscellaneous – travel and such.

8. World Vision sponsor child visit — These are from our visit with Dennis, our World Vision sponsor child since 1998, and his family.  I’m so glad that my wife finally got to meet them.  After all these years and multiple visits they are like family.

Dennis is roughly my oldest daughter’s age.  He is working on a 2 yr. journalism degree at college.  We are very proud of how hard he works.  He is a very humble and godly young man.  He knows his theology well (on my last visit he showed me how he got a 67 out of 70 on a test — not sure I could do that!).  I’ve been praying since he was 6 that God was use him in a big way and that prayer has been continually answered.

Our friends from World Vision, Peterson and Martin, hosted us for most of the day.  They do great work there and are very accountable with all they do.

9. Miscellaneous — shots from Vacation Bible School, the AIDS Orphan home dedication and more.

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Africa follow up

Right after the post on Africa and business went up I received an email with this update from a contact at the hospital in Kenya.  They are experiencing a severe drought and many adults and children are starving to death.  Please pray for rain and for the people.  If you want to you can click here to donate to Maua Methodist Hospital in Kenya.  More information at their web site.  I have seen them in action several times and can vouch that they do a fantastic job of helping the poorest of the poor in a very efficient way.  Stanley Gitari (who wrote the email below) is one of the most amazing servants I have ever met.  He has such a huge passion for helping people. 

Dear friends of Maua Methodist hospital

Receive very warm greetings from Maua Methodist hospital team!

I do hope that this email finds everyone , well as we are here today in the hospital. We are well in the lord our God, we are truly thankful to our lord for his grace, mercy which has kept us going in the hospital up to now. Our hospital family, MCK churches and partner sponsored programs including the aids orphans feeding, giving hope and the Ndoleli/ Mutuati humanitarian emergency food aid response for the needy children in school and the elderly/adults people in these program targeted areas. The drought situation has been getting worse since you left, streams and rivers have almost dried completely! the green pastures land have turned in dust especially in the north of Meru north district(isiolo samburu etc) and the marginalized areas of the hospital catchment area-Ndoleli, Ugoti and lower Mutuati areas.nyambene synod is struck once again by the severe drought, animals are dying in large numbers and the people are at the verge of death. Boranas and Somalis from the neighboring northern districts brought their animals and have been grazing in the people’s farms. Provincial administration are forcing them out of our district so that the people can have the opportunity to prepare their land for planting in the near future, although the seeds for planting will also be a challenge for the majority poor

During the visit to Ndoleli and Mutuati by the MDUMC, the team witnessed a heartbreaking situation of lack of food and water in both communities, the team gave what they had to the starving children and some of the adults. At Ndoleli primary school the team was informed that the school had dropped the enrollment because children were looking for food. or were so weak to come to school

Right now as I write this letter, we are faced with a very serious life threatening drought and starvation due to lack of enough rains for the last few years(3 years) water catchment areas have all dried this has caused the country to ration electricity. The hospital is not spared by this either so this means we have to continue running the generators to keep the hospital and patient a life, this means very high cost for the hospital electricity bill. Poverty and lack of food is affecting the hospital operations indeed as all the patients are being admitted without money- no income is coming from any farm product as many people are not employed.

It is very sad thing to see every day on TV thousands of cows, goats and camels dying due to lack of water for drinking as the rivers have dried and grass or leaves to eat.

Maua Methodist hospital and development partners are reaching out to offer life saving relief food that is given to the guardians for the orphans and the school porridge at Ndoleli primary school.

This is a national crisis that requires concerted effort to avert further serious situation, urgent action by friends to alleviate the suffering of children and the adults is needed. It is now estimated that over 10million Kenyans are facing starvation and are at great risk of starving to death. . Kenya meat commission is buying the cow’s near death and many of them are just dying because they are very week. Food supplies are getting expensive and scarce and out of reach for many people.

We at Maua Methodist hospital and Kenya urge our friends to join us in prayer for the rains from the lord above and food for the families affected and especially the children

Grace and peace

Bush clinics: 2009 was a very special year, the hospital and the mission partners reached to the communities to treat disease and counsel those who wanted to know their HIV/Aids status- the camps were carried out in all corners of the hospital catchment areas in the wider old Meru north district. Over 700 patients were seen in these camps. Among the bush clinics were conducted by the ZOE- giving hope mission volunteers, Oregon team/Idaho, German town, Memorial drive UMC, Chappelwood UMC, Shalom outreach ,KeMu and Maua Methodist hospital. As cooperate and social responsibility the community benefitted as a result of this partnership. Many of the people served in these out reaches are the poor of the poor who would normally go for health care or are very far away

STANLEY GITARI IMUNYA COORDINATOR,CHD Mission Team Liaison

MAUA METHODIST HOSPITAL PO BOX 63 MAUA Tell. 0736-41 3000

http://www.mckmauahospital.org  

www.mauahospital/xanga.com

Kenya update

kenya-2007-neil-018-8x10.jpgI am very happy to hear that the violence in Kenya has calmed down.  Here is an update from one of our primary contacts there:

Many thanks to our Lord God almighty! We have peace at last. President Kibaki and ODM leader agreed to share power and the agreement was signed in the presence of the international media and diplomats. We shall have an Executive prime minister, and two deputy prime ministers, and the ministers shall be shared 50/50.

To us this arrangement is ok as long as  we have peace in the country and the displaced peaople go back to their homes. The parliament will open next week  thursday to ratify the agreements. the two parties will work together the modalities to overhaul the current constitution in 12 months,so that it allow the position of the prime minister and others changes . The mediators are now discussing the dispute on land and resource allocation, this may take long to resolve.

Problems remain, however, as ~600,000 people are still displaced.  They need donations now more than ever.

On a personal but much smaller level, I am very disappointed that we won’t be going on a mission trip to Kenya this year.  This one was going to be extra-special because my oldest daughter was going to go with me.  There were just too many concerns to be able to make travel commitments at this time.  Oh well, something will come up!

I really feel for all the people who rely on tourism for a living, such as John who sells us carved animals and woven baskets.  I’ll also miss seeing Dennis, our World Vision sponsor child.