Thursday, 30 April 2015

Thuguru

For the past couple years I have been making it a practice to try and visit a few of the surrounding areas outside of Nagishot; my desire is to establish relationships and connections with people from those areas which will make it easier for future teams to come and work with the Didinga people. 
Hiking to Thuguru



Some of these areas are more comfortable to visit than others. Thuguru has never been an easy area for me. People just aren't as friendly. One time we were even threatened to be shot. Trying to find a compound (group of huts/family) that would be welcoming was rare.

About a year ago, I found a compound with a group of elderly people. They told me that they were old and could not walk or help in the fields. I remember grinning to myself thinking, " Ah ha, a captive audience!" Over the past year I have been visiting this compound about twice a month and slowly they have become more welcoming and their children don't scream when they see us coming from a distance. The progress is real folks ;)
Some of the kids on the compound
,





Two months ago, Lisa and I were visiting this compound when Luturi (the older man on the compound) looked up to me and asked, "Can God heal me and make me walk again?" Mentally I began immediately going through a theological crisis about how to answer this question, but I replied, "Yes God can heal you, He alone is the healer but God also wants to heal your heart." At this, Luturi looked at Lisa and me and saying plainly, "We don't know God on this mountain; You have him in Nagishot, but I am lame and can not walk there to hear... Will you teach us about God?" 

You can imagine Lisa's and my reactions as we rejoiced to hear a seeking heart.

"If you can not go church, we will bring church to you," we agreed.



Lisa on the hike to Thuguru







Luturi's compound





Since that time, short-termer Lisa and myself, along with Lokolang, a local believer, have been going to share God's word with Luturi and his compound each Saturday. They eat up the stories with vivid enthusiasm. Sometimes it takes a while to get through the stories with the constant interruptions like, " What was Eve thinking to disobey God?!" Or misunderstandings like, "Their eyes were opened...were they blind before?" And thoughts like, "This is why everything is broken and we have hunger..." 
Natiki



Luturui 

Toto



It's been a truly exciting time. Lokolang and his wife Nadodo both came with us to Thuguru this last week. I don't think Lokolang's wife is a believer quite yet, but she is curious and getting close. It's also exciting to see Lokolang share his faith with His own people and relatives.

Please pray for this area called Thuguru, that God's word would continue to go out and impact lives with joy and that the hills would be full of praise to our God!!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

From Hut to House.




My home sweet home for the past three plus years. 
I moved!!!!! 
That's right, I no longer live in a mud hut.  I am pleased to announce that as of last month I now live in a fancy brick house.

Getting materials for a house in an area as remote as Nagishot takes a lot of time, work and planning. This house has been two years in the making, as bricks, cement and rocks had to be slowly gathered.

The Pontiers, a long term missionary couple with A.I.M, agreed to come live in a tent and help organize all the gathering of supplies and oversee the building project.

Below are a few pictures I thought I'd share with you!


Lisa and my new home. 
Veranda. 

Back yard.

Inside.



Our Dining Room/Kitchen.
A kitchen with lots of counter space!


My dad made all the shelves while he was visiting me last month!!! 
Fresh Foods! 

The pantry! 




We have solar power! 







My Room.











I have a sink!

And a shower! 

All of our water flows from these two black water tanks filled by catching the rain off the roof. 

We are thankful that there is now a house for missionaries to come and live in, as they minister in Nagishot!  

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

All These Creatures Great And Small.


The past three years I have lived in a hut. It's actually a pretty cozy place. Unfortunately though, over this past year my hut has slowly yet surely become overcrowded by unwanted visitors. 

Somewhere between a million and a quadrillion termites have moved into the thatched roof and walls, so much in fact, that I have to sleep with blankets covering my head and still, termites have to be picked out of my hair every morning.

I'm not found of termites, they are ugly and they bite and they are presumptuous.
Can you see the termite?

Also, I have mice living in the roof of my hut yet, fortunately for me a bat also moved in about mid September. Yeah! Every night he flies in and hangs above my feet, from a string attached to the roof. He doesn't bother me that much; he respectfully keeps his distance and helps with the mouse conundrum. Only, he has terrible sleeping habits and table manners. He keeps me up all night nibbling his food and leaves poop on the floor every morning.

So when my neighbors and co -missionaries (who live in a brick house) offered to let me live in their home while they were away on home assignment, having read the 'Three Little Pigs' I knew this was a step up, so I readily agreed!!

Yet, living in my neighbors house has also proved a bit of a challenge. They own seven cats, not particularly because they love cats but mostly because kitty birth control is hard to come by. These cats come inside and like to bring in dead mice and leave the best of the entrails for the ants and for us to clean up every morning. They are also demanding. They require warm, yes, WARM milk every morning at exactly a little before we are ready to wake up.

Imagine seven cats, all at the top of their little cat lungs demanding milk!! I wake up and stumble my way to boil water for their milk as I make my way through the entrails and splattered blood left the night before, all covered in ants greedily dragging off there portions. It's gruesome and I feel a little emotionally disturbed as I give them milk; then proceed to make my morning coffee and resist mewing back at my cat roommates.
video
 
These cats are what I might call, well evil. They tried to destroy Christmas by taking down all our decorations. Than, well, they ate Jesus! It all happened so quickly. They knocked down the Nativity and one of them took Jesus right out of his manger and ate him. ATE HIM!!!
Okay, they're sort of adorable too!

Enough about the cats though...

I have chickens! Yea! We got chickens because we wanted eggs.

... But these chickens don't really like laying eggs, at least not were we can find them. What began with four chickens has become like twenty. All because three crafty little hens decided to hide their eggs and raise a little brood of their own. 

You might think, "That's great! Chicken is a great source of meat!" I agree, when you buy it frozen in a store like a sensible chicken should be bought, but noooo, to eat chickens here, you got to chop off their heads. I watched that "Left Behind" movie they made in the 80s, the one with the guillotines and it's always turned me off to cutting off heads. What can I say? It is how it is.

Though our chickens don't really lay eggs, they are infested with mites! A mite is a creature slightly more annoying than termites. Truth is, I have to be honest, we don't actually, really know it it's mites or bed bugs or some creature in the water? WHAT WE DO KNOW with certainty, is that every morning we wake up covered in bites and all day we scratch and scratch like a old woman with a lottery ticket. 

We've tried pouring boiling water all over the chicken coop, all our clothes and mattresses. We've used bleach, vinegar, essential oils, even a spray called "Doom" which had a skull on it! They have prevailed and we have finally surrendered our blood to be drained by a slow and itchy demise.


We have dogs...you know those things that are super cute when they're little and you ONLY want to give the away to a "good home"? Well, we have six of those.

They all know one trick "Come," though they only know it if you have food. Mostly they enjoy chasing kids and playing in people's wheat fields and destroying them. They are also super good at getting in front of you when you have to go to the outhouse in the middle of the night. They also like to give a loving nip on your calves as you walk.

And...they like undergarments...They stole a particular item from the line and have paraded it around the compound, until the neighbor kids brought over what was left of it. 

We don't have cows! No, we don't, but about everyone else in the village does. These cows like clothing, they like to eat clothing that is. When you wash you clothes you are also obliged to watch them dry, as at any moment it could be digested into one of the seven stomachs of a cow.
What was left by the cow..

One particular cow, is a regular thief. She is blind and so she can smell her way to the best dresses. She has literally fallen twice into two different latrine holes on our compound and still managed to live after being pulled out with ropes!!! Imagine how shocking it is to find a cow in your would be toilet!!!!

Anyway, I hope I have managed to make you all feel sorry for us. You may be wondering how we're doing in this trial of the animals....Truth is...we're doing just fine. 

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Student of the week.

Locorro

Locorro is all rascally boy! Every day he wears a green button down shirt, which having long lost its buttons, exposes his bare belly and chest. That, along with his simple cotton pants, raggedly cut off just below his knees, seems to fit his wild, free and Huckleberry Finn personality.

 Locorro is a leader. He is loud, REALLY loud and determined.  He is outgoing, talkative and competitive! He's the commander and disciplinarian of the boys and really most of the class. He tries to be good and always obeys me when I ask him to run around the building for misbehaving...which is a fair amount of the time. :) He does well in school and comes regularly. He definitely adds a lot of chaos in the school day, yet...it wouldn't be school without him.



Pray that Locorro would come to know Jesus.
Pray he would use his leadership skills for encouraging others to do what is right.
Pray I would know the best way to love and encourage him every day.


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

A Bankrupt Heart.




A few weeks ago I was having a particularly rough day. Like everything that could possibly go wrong was indeed going worse! Listen, living amongst an unreached people group can be hard. You see sin all around you. I mean really presumptuous, evil and cruel people and it's hard. It's hard being surrounded by so few believers. It's difficult working in an area for three years and not seeing much fruit from your labors. (But hey, I'm not complaining...yeah, okay I am.)

I sat looking into the eyes of one of my ten year old students who had a smirk on his face after hitting one of his fellow classmates. He kept saying disrespectful things and my anger kept rising.


Finally, I grabbed him by the shoulders, looked down, not even able to look him in the eyes and said, "Dang you..."except it wasn't dang, it was the other word, the one with a mn at the end.


Yep, I'm a missionary and I cursed at a ten year old. He didn't know what I was saying, he doesn't know English, though I'm certain he could tell I was angry. The moment I said it tears started to fill my eyes, not because I said the curse word but because at that moment that was exactly what I meant.


"Go to hell, I don't really care anymore. "


Wow, I might just be the worse missionary ever.


For the following week, every morning I woke up and stared at my grass thatched ceiling with this sad overwhelming feeling.

I don't love Didinga people.


I've nothing to offer anymore.


I am spiritually bankrupt.


Last week I heard a sermon on the parable about the man, who in the middle of the night had a visitor. He didn't have bread to feed this guest and so he went over to his neighbor and knocked at his door. "I have a visitor, please give me bread." The neighbor had already bolted his door and was in bed with all his children and told the man to go away. Yet, the man was persistent and knocked harder and harder. "Give me bread, you MUST give me bread!" He had a visitor and had nothing to offer, he NEEDED bread! Eventually because of the man's tenacity, boldness and annoyance, his neighbor got up and gave him what he asked for. (See Luke 11:5-13)


Jesus used this parable as an example of asking God for His Holy Spirit, which when asked for He promises to give.


He says,


"   If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" Luke 11:11

I am bankrupt.

I used to think that ministering to others was more like me coming to God with my debt of $200 dollars. I put forth my $2.50 and ask Him to spot me the $197.50. Now I see that in actuality I don't have ANYTHING!!! Without God's Spirit, I am very presumptuous, evil and cruel.


I need bread...because I have none to offer of my own.


I need God's love for Didinga, I need God's love for people, because, as much as I'd like to pretend I'm bursting at the seams with it... I'm not. This I know, God loves Didinga, He loves them so much He sent His son to die for them, for us sinners! I need that kind of love!


I've been thinking about the story where Jesus goes to Peter, James and John after they had worked hard all night and caught nothing. Jesus tells them to throw out their nets into the sea and try again. Peter proceeds to tell Jesus how they had fished all night but, because Jesus said so, they would do it. Of course as the story goes, the moment their nets hit the water thousands of fish jumped into their nets until the boats almost sank.


Then, Jesus tells them that from then on they where going to catch men. (See Luke 5:1-11)


For the first time, while reading this story I asked myself the question... So, who caught all those fish, the disciples or Jesus?
Seems a ridiculous question to ask with such an obvious answer.


I mean, the fish were in the disciples' boats and they were caught using their nets, but it was Jesus who caught these fish!!!


I can't help but link the parallel in catching men. Perhaps this was a part of what Jesus was teaching them in this miracle? That catching men would only be possible by the power of God. Not in their own strength. Their own strength caught them nothing all night.


I'm gonna be honest, sometimes in life and ministry I feel pretty worthless. It's like I've fished all night and caught nothing. I mean, I've worked hard. Really hard! I can get frustrated. I was trained for this! I'm a pastor's kid; I went to Bible school; for goodness sake I'm a missionary!!!!!


But really, I am nothing. Without His Spirit, I am nothing but a well mannered sinner.


So today (and by God's GOD'S grace), everyday and most likely at various points of the day, I'm going to be asking for bread (His Spirit).


And since it is Jesus who tells me to put down my nets again...I will, because He catches fish. Oh yes, He catches evil, presumptuous and cruel people and transforms them by His Spirit!


We are spiritually bankrupt, but by God's divine power He has given us everything we need for life and godliness. ( 2 Peter 1:3)


Zec 4:6; Then he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts."



Sunday, 2 November 2014

Student of the Week: Sarafina



Sarafina has a gentle and kind spirit. There is something about her that brings calm and order wherever she goes. When she first started school, three months ago, she couldn't put the numbers one through three in order and didn't even know how to hold a pencil. Now, she not only can write numbers one through twenty she is also on her way to reading!

Sarafina is quiet, and never finds the need to draw attention to herself, yet she is always sure to give me a firm handshake and a little smile every day after school...it's like our thing. Yeah, she's definitely one of my favorites. I am very thankful for Sarafina and the quiet gentleness she brings to each day.


Pray for Sarafina.
Pray she sees Gods, kindness and love toward her.
Pray she seeks for truth with all her heart and grows in it.
Pray she continues to come to school and enjoys learning.
Pray she goes to God with all her troubles and problems and finds Him, as he truly is, faithful.