Dear Praying Friends
Greetings from Kenya! The word occasion refers to: ‘a particular time, a special event or an important time’. Earlier on this year, along with a missionary colleague, I viewed the Royal Wedding, an occasion that was very special for the British people. As I look back over the past term, I’d like to share a number of occasions or special events with you, related to my life and ministry here in Africa.
September brought the beginning of a new term with its joys and challenges. Five new theology students joined us at Missionary College and I have greatly enjoyed teaching them ‘English Grammar’ and ‘Inductive Bible Study’ throughout the term. During September, it was also a joy to welcome some friends from the UK, who had been particularly supportive of me during my MA studies last year. It was so good to catch up on news and pray together. Another occasion of note, just before we began the new term, was attending a fund-raising for one of our students. Joram Kosgei is second year theology student, married with two children. He is very active in his local church, particularly in children’s work*. In common with many of our students, Joram has a struggle to pay his tuition fees. After a welcoming lunch of rice and beans, the fund-raising began in earnest and amazingly the money that Joram needed was raised even though just a small group of people had gathered at his home for the event. We praised the Lord for His provision. (*Later on this month, I plan to attend a special Thanksgiving Service for the children at Joram’s church. Please pray for this special occasion. )
October also brought a number of occasions some of which were not planned for…unexpected visits to hospital and the vet. I spent a couple of days in hospital with a nasty stomach bug and puss paid a couple of visits to the vet for surgery and a damaged paw. Thankfully we both recovered in good time for the next occasion… my 60th birthday! Somehow reaching this birthday seems rather significant but I’m not planning on drawing my old age pension yet! I had a celebratory meal on the big day (October 2nd) with a group of friends and then on October 3rd, had a party together with the College staff to thank the Lord for 60 years of life. My gifts included 60 beautiful roses and 60 envelopes! It was a good opportunity to reflect on God’s faithfulness and see where I’d celebrated previous ‘big’ birthdays – 50th at Kijabe, 40th just before going to Kessup, 30th in Zambia. I feel very privileged to have served as a missionary in Africa for so many years. October also brought the opportunity to visit two friends at their schools. Rachel is the daughter of some missionary friends working in Uganda. She is a student at Rift Valley Academy (where I used to work) and as one of her guardians here in Kenya, I meet up with her from time to time, to talk and pray together. Over the half term break, I was able to visit Eliseba, a friend from Kessup days. She is now the Headmistress of a girls’ secondary school, about 50 km from Eldoret. Sunday was their Prayer Day for the Form 4 class who were just about to start their KCSE exams. Along with others, I was able to give the students a word of encouragement.
For the month of November, there are two occasions that I’d like to mention. The first one was a fund-raising dinner for our College Extension. Between 90 and 100 people gathered at a hotel in town to eat a meal together and also contribute money towards the building project. Many people came prepared with money that they had collected from friends. A large pumpkin was also auctioned and roses were sold as buttonholes to raise further cash! An invited speaker gave a challenging message on expressing our love for God by generous giving. It was certainly a successful evening and about 1.3 million shillings (£9000) was raised. The following day, a number of staff members attended the dedication of a house belonging to one of the families. The journey there was particularly memorable as we’d had heavy rain for several days and also the vehicle broke down on the way. Fortunately we were able to get a lift and as we slithered along the mud roads I was thankful not to be the driver! However, we reached our destination safely and were given a warm welcome.
After a long and busy term, we eagerly awaited the December break, not only for the prospect of some rest and relaxation but also to celebrate a very special occasion …the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. For Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and the wise men this was certainly a special event. Christmas is much less commercialised here in Kenya than in the Western world so the true meaning of Christmas is not lost amongst the festivities. I pray that this Christmas will be a special occasion for you and your family as you reflect upon the significance of that first Christmas.
With my love and prayers
- For the five new students who have joined the theology programme
- That the Lord is providing funds for the College Development Project
- For encouraging developments in the Wednesday afternoon Outreach ministry e.g the ladies becoming more open with us, children from M$lim homes attending regularly
- For progress with the College mentoring programme
- For new mission/theology students planning to join the College in January 2012
- Pray for the resumption of various college programmes (e.g. Outreach, Mentoring) as we begin the new academic year in January
- Pray for the Lord’s provision of water for the College – borehole, municipality?
- That each student will be well supported in both prayer and finance