Well term 3 has gotten under way and what a beginning it has been. School opened just 6 weeks ago, but it seems like it has been months. Students came back on Monday the 22nd and school started on the 23rd. Below is a recap of the events that have taken place in the last 6 weeks. I am more and more convinced that Satan is trying to get us off track in our spiritual lives not only personally, but also as a school. Please be in prayer with us.
On the 22nd David and I were getting small things finished for the start of school. Projectors here and there were finished installing and tested. UPS’s were being tested to ensure power was constant to all of our computers and then we had a power outage. No big deal. We have a large 8,000 watt UPS to cover all of our servers and network switches. This time though it failed. All of our servers powered off in a hard way and corruption ensued when they came back on. This corruption affected several of our servers and took quite some time to get them back running. This affected staff and students.
On the 3rd of May we received over 5″ of rain in about 4 hours. This was after having received about 10″ of rain the previous month or so. About 10 pm the chaos started. The Kijabe community started having mud slides. The mud slides last for the next 6 or so hours and did quite a bit of damage to our community. The sad part of the destruction was the death of several children in the community above RVA. A mudslide took out part of the house and killed the kids. The devastation from the slides was unbelievable. Every time we see it we can see the Lord’s protection on RVA and community. It will take years for Kijabe to recover from the devastation.
The month of May has also seen lots of family issues with staff members. My mom was hospitalized in the middle of May in LA while on a short vacation seeing her granddaughter graduated from Master’s University. She was there for a week before being sent home. It appears her cancer has returned and is awaiting test results. Another staff member found out that his father his elderly father has terminal cancer and is very life threatening both physically and spiritually. Another staff member found out that there mother lost feeling in her body from waist down. Another staff member had here mother hospitalized.
About a month ago we got our UPS back that was the 1st problem of the term. It came back repaired, they recalibrated it. We slowly put it back in service so we could do some testing on it to make sure it was working. Everything appeared to be working fine so we put back in complete service about 2 weeks ago. Power was great for about 6 days and then we had a quick blink and our whole network went down again. The UPS failed immediately. After some diagnostics we feel that some of the batteries has shorted themselves out and have shut down the UPS. There are about 100 12 volt 5 AH batteries backing things up. We hope to have new ones from the US in about 2 months.
This weekend was the last thing. We had mid term this weekend. Friday at noon all of the boarding kids went to spend time with there parents or guardians. We decided to go to Nairobi for the weekend and spend some time with some friends of ours at Africa International University. On Saturday we went to one of the parks belonging to the National Museum of Kenya. We went on a hike to see waterfalls, bamboo and a cave. After looking at the caves we took the trail that according to the map was to loop back around to the gate. The trail did not lead back to the gate, but it went anywhere to the gate. Angela, I and the kids walked around for the next hour trying to figure out where we were. We finally figured out what was going on and got out of the park to our car. We then went to the car and went to unlock one of the car locks on the transmission, but it would not unlock. We tried numerous things, but were unsuccessful. We ended calling another missionary who came about an hour later and we used a reciprocating saw to cut the lock out.
As we have gone thru this time of problem after problem we have relied on each other and the Lord to get us thru. The Lord is our rock and foundation. Nothing can take us away from our Father’s hand. Please pray for RVA and the attacks that we are under. RVA has been here over 100 years and since its beginning has been under attack from the evil one. Pray that we would stand firm and rest in our Lord who has in control of everything. Pray that we would be a great testimony to our kids and the next generation of teachers and missionaries.
It is hard to believe that in less a week we will have 4 less boys. This term has just flown by and we have been so busy. I am sorry I have not written more here lately. Please forgive me. This term has been busy with many things going on with the school.
This break will be a little different but we still have alot of projects to get done while the students are away. There is a relocation of major phone equipment, replacing library network lines and possibly some fiber optic work that we will work on. There is no shortage of things we need to do.
I do pray that this break we get spend some time together as a family. We will be taking our next furlough/home assignment in 16 months so we want to make these family times special and memorable. Please pray that we will have great times as a family during this vacation and that we do not get bogged down in the work aspect of things. It is easy for me to do and lose sight of what I really should be doing. Well just as I was writing this Ethan came up to me and wanted to play soccer and rugby so we went out for a little bit and played together. Those are the times for fun that I will cherish. Sometimes it is so hard to remember that the reason I am here is to love on my kids and the other kids around me. That is the purpose God has given each parent. We need to love them, cherish them and adore them and along the way we will be able to make some special memories. Thank you Lord for each of my kids and the kids you have put under my care. Help me to learn from them as much I teach them.
Continue to pray for Angela as she has not been feeling well this last week. She is having more issues with her stomach and intestines. Pray for healing and mercy upon her.
Yesterday we had the privilege of going on a hippo safari with Naomi’s Village orphans and a group from Love Africa. This is the first time our family and dorm kids have been on something like this and it was so much fun! We left here around 7 am and got to Naomi’s Village around 7:30. We were hoping to be on the way soon thereafter, but the bus would not start. We ended up pulling the bus to a hill not far away and then they jump started the bus. We ended up in Naivasha around 8:30 am and had breakfast with all of the kids. We had chai/tea/juice, an egg and toast (there definition of toast is a full sandwich of bread with butter and jam on it and cut diagonally).
We left there around 9:15 and headed to the shores of Lake Naivasha. We passed a lot of the flower farms on the way so the boys were able to see quite a bit of the country they have not before. We got to boat around 9:30 and started to get into groups to get into the boats. It ended up that most of the kids went with Angela and I had just Ethan.
The boys in one of the boats.
We toured the lake looking for the hippos and saw about 8. We also saw a lot other animals that were on land. We were able to see giraffe, zebra, eyeland, antelope, wildebeest and many different birds. It reminded me again of the creativity of our God.
The ladies all ready.
After the boat ride we had some time waiting for some people so the boys joined in a game of soccer with the kids from Naomi’s village. It was fun to see that and also play with them! After the soccer game we headed back to Naomi’s village where we ate lunch with the kids and then headed back up the hill to RVA. We were hoping to spend some more time playing with the kids, but it suddenly got cloudy and rained very hard. We wanted to get back to RVA before the road became impassable, but as we got closer found that it had not rained there. Oh well. We look forward to taking our kids back down more often for lots of fun. If you want to see more pictures check our pictures page. There are a ton there or will be. 🙂
Playing soccer with the others.
It is hard to believe that this month is already 2/3 gone. Where has the time gone? Let me tell you where it has gone. First Angela’s sister and husband, Julie and Dominic, came for a 2 week visit. They left last Sunday morning. It was such a great time with them and we had so much fun! We went alot of places and saw alot of different animals and things. We went to Maasi Mara with them for 3 days and then did a bunch of day trips into Nairobi to see the giraffe park, elephant orphanage and also Maasi Market. It was quite tiring, but we all made so many memories!
This is just one of the many pictures that we took on our trip to the Mara. Julie and Dominic thank you so much for taking the time to come and visit us! We will cherish these memories for a life time!
During this time I was also working on a server rewiring project in one of our buildings. We are working on having a centralized place for all of our servers and head end equipment. We have reconfigured one of our rooms and had to do a lot of rewiring to bring it up to network standards, but it is almost done. I hope to finish it Monday and then have the rest of break off. Well maybe not as we still have to reimage about 200 student laptops, help put in 3 or 4 projectors in classrooms and put in some audio equipment in our theater called Downing. Some of those items will have to wait till school starts, but we will work on most of those items during the rest of break along with spending time with our kids.
In my devotions I have been reading thru the book of Leviticus. It is a hard book to read as it deals with the laws that God set forth right after the people left Egypt. God gave Moses the 10 commandments and then proceeded to share with Moses and Aaron what he expected from the people and how they were to live. What has amazed me as I have been reading was the different laws for different events. If one had a boil or something similar you had to go the priest and they would look at it to make sure it was not lepropsy. If they were not sure they would quarantine you for a week and then check again. They did this for many things like mold in clothes and in houses also. When things were found they had specific guidelines for how to deal with it and make it clean again. It has reminded me how glad I am to live in a grace period. The law continually shows us how dirty and unclean we are, but with grace I am no longer unclean. Christ took care of that for me on the cross. I am now washed in His blood and able to live a life of grace. It reminds me of Ephesians 2:8-9 where we are reminded that is it by the grace of God and not of works. I can do nothing to make God happy or please Him, but thanks to His Son I have grace as long as I accept it. As you look at the picture above of the 2 elephants we see the momma elephant leading the baby elephant. As long as the baby elephant stays with its mother it will be fine and no harm will come to it, but if it strays of it will be in the danger of the wild. The same is true of our Christian walk. If we stay with Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to continually work in our lives we will survive the attacks of the evil one. If we stray away from Jesus and the Holy Spirit look out because the lions will come and attack. Jesus is the only one who can protect us and shield us.
Thank you Lord for your Son, Jesus Christ, and for the grace that He showered on me at the cross. What a blessed gift He gave me and you also.
It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving was almost a week ago minus a couple of days. 🙂 We had a great time sharing Thanksgiving with friends. We ate a huge turkey and shared a lot of laughs for quite some time. It was a great time remembering all that God has done for us and given to us.
For my devotions I have been reading thru Leviticus. I have just finished reading the point where Moses gave instruction on how for Aaron and the temple to consecrated. What has amazed me is the amount of rules that Aaron and his sons had to follow. At one point Aaron’s two sons did something different from what the Lord said and the Lord struck them dead immediately. I am so grateful that we now are under grace and I do not have live by the laws that governed the Jews. I no longer have to work to be good enough, but thru faith in Him I am able to live in grace.
Well the dorm kids have left. One left on Wednesday and the other 2 left today. The house is much quieter. The kids will be gone home for the next 6 weeks. We pray that they have a great time with there families. We are looking forward to the rest, but also will miss the boys.
We will use these next 6 weeks to rest, but also get some work done for the IT department. We will spend the next 6 weeks rewiring our our server room and updating . We could not do this during the term as we would take down the network also many of the computers tied to it. I have some pictures somewhere of what it looks like and will share them with you later once I find them. It will probably take us about 2 weeks to reroute some fiber optic cables and then the network cables and put in a wire mesh cable tray. Once we have things rerouted then we will need to repunch down all of the network wires and get things back on line. It will be alot of work, but it will worth it in the long run.
We are also excited to have Angela’s sister and husband coming to visit us for 2 weeks in December. We are excited to be able to show them RVA and Kenya. We will take them to Maasi Mara for a safari to see the big 5. We are so looking forward to the time with them.
Please continue to pray for Angela’s IBS. She is on one medication and will be trying another one. Pray for grace, mercy and that is other medication will work better than the first one.
Well in less than 2 weeks we will be sending our dorm boys home for a month. We have had such a great first term with them. They are a great group of guys, but we are ready for a break! It is hard to put into words how tired we get. We do not really understand why we are so tired, but by 8:30 each night we are ready to crash and hit the sack. We are normally in bed by 10:00 at the latest. This is much earlier than the high school dorm parents.
Would you be praying for our dorm boys as they head home that they would be able to spend quality time with there parents and be able to make some memories that will last them a life time. The boys are here at RVA 9 months out of the year so they spend a little over 3 months with there parents.
Please also pray for us as we will have a busy month off. Angela’s sister and husband will be coming to visit us the first 2 weeks of December and I have alot of work to do with computer related items. We are going to be moving one of our main wiring closets and that will mean alot of rewiring and work. It will be worth it in the long run, but will take a lot of time. It will really clean things up. I also have a bunch of audio things to do in one of the buildings.
This past weekend we had one of our boys father with us. We asked him how things were going and he said they were going pretty good, but that they were dealing with a lot of spiritual warfare. I believe there is much more spiritual warfare going on than what we think. Many years ago I read several of Frank Peretti’s books that deal with spiritual warfare and they gave a very graphic idea of what it might be like. I imagine if we could see what is going around RVA and the world we would be amazed and awed at how God is protecting us and many others. Please be in prayer as many of us deal with spiritual warfare on a daily basis. Just after SEW (spiritual emphasis week) it seemed as if we were attacked by sickness and several things. It took us a little while to work thru it, but we are slowly getting back to where we were.
After spiritual emphasis week I and many others have been challenged to abide in Christ. Allow Him to be the vine and we take our strength and energy from Him. It has been easier said than done. I have been getting up earlier to read my devotions and pray, I then get the kids up and make breakfast. After eating breakfast I go and read my Bible and then pray some more. It sounds quite easy, but it has not been. The first couple of days it was easy to get out of bed early, but as the days and week wore on it was tougher and tougher. Although I have felt closer to God during this time. There are 2 things that I would like to work on as I go forward and abide with Him. I would like to spend more time listening to Him and also memorizing His word. I like to listen to God in the quietness, but being a workaholic it sometimes is challenging to just sit there. I love the quietness, but not doing something can be bothering. I have also found that I need to memorize more scripture so that I may defend myself when I allow temptation into my life and also when encouraging others.
In the LiveDead book we were challenged to give 10% of our day to the Lord which would end up being 2.5 hours. So far I am spending about an hour with the Lord and it does feel great! It seems like alot, but when you do out of joy and desire to learn it is pretty easy. When you do it out of obligation that is when you find it hard and boring. I have been reading in Genesis and things are coming out that I have never seen before. I am so grateful that the Lord is opening my eyes and challenging me thru His Word.
How are you doing with your devotions? Are you spending time with Hime out of obligation or out of a desire to learn more and grow? Are you abiding in Him and allowing Him to be your strength or are you doing everything yourself? I have tried doing things myself and it does not work! I have failed every time. Allow God to work in your life and you will not regret it!
I am sorry for the delay in writing.
Last week was SEW or Spiritual Emphasis Week. It was a very challenging week on several fronts.
First off we had a meeting with the school board to share our ideas and concerns for the special needs program at RVA. The board is working thru what should RVA do for kids with learning issues. We were grateful for the chance to talk with them and share with them, but it took quite a bit of preparation. We talked with 2 other missionary schools to see what they did and how they approached things. That took quite some time and are very thankful for the openness of the other schools. We continue to pray for the board and the challenges that they have.
Secondly I was highly involved in the sound for the week. We had the Lifepoint band from North Carolina leading us in worship for the week. They were a great group of musicians who played bass, electric guitar, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar and drums. Two of them also sang. They arrived on Saturday and started setting up and I came Tuesday for the first rehearsal. We had to make some changes to the acoustics of Centennial since there is no sound absorption in the room. We put up over 20 mattresses around the room and then covered the ones at the front with black material so they would not be distracting. Ken then made a drum house out of different items to also reduce the volume of the drums in the live room. With all of the changes things sounded great. I was amazed at the difference. One of these days we will see if can make some permanent changes there to help improve the intelligibility. For SEW week we had sessions every night so we did a rehearsal/sound check every day around 2 pm. Most of the mornings I was busy adding things for the band to make them sound even better or fixing things. It was a tiring week, but a good week. We had alot of kids through out the school challenged about ministering to closed door countries. Our speaker Dick serves in a closed door country and challenged all of us to consider doing so also. Did you know that there are 6,500 unreached people groups and most of them are in the middle east? Who is going to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to them? It is estimated that 40% of the world has never heard the Gospel. To me that is a staggering figure. The book that we have been going thru to prepare our selves for SEW was the livedead book. Click on the link in the last sentence. It is quite a challenging book on how we need to live our lives for Christ. I have been reading it the past month along with many others and would challenge you to get a copy and read it every day for 30 days. From the sessions and the book I have been challenged to abide more in Christ and to make sure He is the center of my life. If He is in the center of my life than I know that I am in the center of God’s will. What joy I can have from Him!
I am going to miss SEW as we made lots of new friends, but God has something great for us from this week. We may not know what it is for years to come, but there is definitely something stirring in our hearts and those on this campus. Please pray as some students came forward for salvation and others came forward for the desire to abide in Christ and have him the center of there lives. Pray for all of us that we would hear what God wants us to hear.
What a week this has been. Ethan was sick at the beginning of the week for about 10 hours and then one of our dorms kids was sick the same night. They both had the stomach flu around 3 in the morning, but were better by 8 am in morning. It was quite interesting and tiring. The next day I started to have abdominal issues and for the next 24 hours I was stomach issues. As this was going I started to have nasal drainage and cold issues. They have continued on to get worse and worse. Last night I had a nose that kept draining down my throat and did not allow me much sleep and at the same night Ethan developed another stomach flu. He is slowly getting better and slowly I am to, but I am sure tired. Angela was feeling pretty good this week until today when she started to have abdominal issues again. She has tried to take today easy, but it was parent day at RVA and she had a bunch of ESL students to work with. We are so looking forward to getting a little bit of rest this weekend.
This week has felt like we were being attacked the prince of this world. We know that we battle not this world, but the principalities of this world. We would really covet your prayers.