Do I really need that?

These past 2 weeks have been quite busy and ucky. This past week I have had a cold that turned into a sinus infection along with an outpatient surgery at the hospital. I have not felt like doing much, but have soldiered on as much as possible. Angela has been a great wife this past week allowing me to get some rest at good times. I am so blessed by her. Today I feel that things have turned the corner and am on the way to get better.

Friday night I was bored will Angela was watching a movie that she wanted to check out before we left. I hopped on Youtube to see what I could find and since I like destruction found some weird demolition derby videos. I was caught by the fact that we like to take things that still have value and get rid of them. Here in Kenya a car is usable until it can not be driven and even then they keep driving them. I wondered what our Kenyan brothers and sisters would think if they saw us taking good cars and destroying them. I thought of how they would think we are wasting such valuable items. Our society in the US is a throw a way society. Do you know how much food is thrown away in a years time in the US? We can not know for sure, but it is estimated to be about 40% of our food. That calculates to cost about $165 billion dollars each year wasted. Think of what we could do with both the food and money. We could really help reduce poverty and food shortages. Here is an article in the Washington Post on it. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/08/22/how-food-actually-gets-wasted-in-the-united-states/ 

How are you and I wasting things that could be put to a good use. For me it is hard at this time as we are packing up to move back to the US, but I know that as I go thru things I would rather leave them here than bring them with me. I can very easily go somewhere to pick things up, but it is not very easy here. I have struggled quite a bit while we have been here with the thought of why did the Lord allow me to be so blessed to have what I want. After today’s message at RVA church I think I know part of the answer and that is to be a blessing to others. God has gifted me with money more than 90% of the rest of the inhabitants on this earth. I must use some of that to encourage them and help them see the grace the of God.

How are you impacting the world for Christ?

What is next?????

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.

Abiding in Christ

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!

Challenging Times

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.

Outreach Day

Almost two weeks ago we participated in Outreach Day, which is where students sign up to be on a team and go minister to different groups of people. In the past we have done things like visit an orphanage, visit children at the hospital or plant trees. This time we cooked a meal for a group of people who gather at a cement building near the other “stores” in Kijabe and sell vegetables, crafts or baked goods (like tortillas and english muffins). For most, selling these items is how they make money to eat, for rent, school fees, etc. And personally, we don’t think it is easy. An obvious statement, but it depends on how many people come to buy your vegetables or crafts. And sometimes it isn’t very many. So, we really wanted to encourage them.

So, our three kids, our dorm kids (minus 2 that were with their parents for the weekend), and a few others that signed up (including our good friend and dorm cover, Lauri) came to our house to make chili and rice and 2 cakes (chocolate and spice).

Cooking the food for the people at the duka.

The boys preparing one of the desserts.

Preparing cards for those at the duka.

After we prepared the food, we made some cards to take down to them and practiced some songs to sing to them. It was very encouraging to see how excited the kids were to do things to bless this group of people. They all wanted to help ask them what kind of soda they wanted, help pass out the food and even get to know them a little bit. While they were eating, we sang some songs and prayed for them. Our only regret was that we didn’t spend very long down there with them.

Handing out dessert to the ladies.

Handing out food to the people at the duka.

Singing to the ladies while they eat.

One of our kids sitting with one of the ladies at the duka.

Vacation or Arrest?

Well this past week has been quite interesting. We will start with all the fun and then share the boring part.

We went to Sunrise Acres in Eldama Ravine to spend some time away and also with the Davis family.  We left on Tuesday morning around 11 am and got to Naivasha around 12:15. At that time we were pulled over for speeding. We will not debate whether we were or not speeding. We were told to wait on the side of the road since we did not have space to take the police officer with us in the car. We had all the seats full with me, Angela and the kids in the back. We called Rich and Stacy and asked them to come and pick up the kids since we did not know what was going to happen. They came and got the kids and took them to Delamere for lunch. Rich and I talked with the officers in Swahili trying to figure out what was going on to no luck though. We told the officers that we had a seat open now and we could go to the police station. Normally when you say that they let you go because they are looking for you to give them a bribe, but once they know you are not going to give them money they let you go. This day was different. They took me to the police station and said I would need to go to court the next day. I told that we were on the way to a week vacation and asked if the court case could be moved to the week after. They said they would need to talk with there bosses. They quickly gave back my 3000 KSH bail money and kept my drivers license. The police officer took me over to the courthouse and I joined about 100 other guys who had been “arrested” early that day for traffic offenses. The magistrate was still hearing criminal cases from earlier in the day and those ended around 1 pm. Normally the lunch hour is from 1 pm to 2 pm and in court they can take longer, but one of the advocates or lawyers for several other asked the magistrate if they could continue since some of the people had been there since 6 am. The magistrate agreed to have a short lunch of about 15 minutes and then come back to take care of the rest of the cases. We waited about 25 minutes and the magistrate finally came back around 1:30 pm. He started hearing the traffic cases and moved things along very quickly. Even though I came late in the day my case came up around 1:45 pm and I plead guilty to speeding was charged with a fine of 1,000 KSH which is around $12. Know things started to get really interesting. As we finished our hearing we were taken out to a room that was about 9′ x 9′ where we were to wait for our judgement receipt. We ended up having about 50 guys in this 9′ x 9′ room that only had a door and small window. Thankfully there were several businessmen and lawyers here also and they informed me that once we were given the judgement receipt we needed someone to go to the local bank which was about 15 minutes away and pay the fine. Once I heard this I informed Rich and Angela that they would need to go pay for me. About 5 minutes after I received the receipt Angela showed up and picked up the receipt from me and then they headed to the bank. They got to the bank and got in line and waited for the next 2 hours for it to be there turn at one of the cashiers. During this time I was moved from the 9’x9′ cell to about another court jail area. This one was outside and about 2,000′ from the other one. It was an area that was about 10′ x 30′ and had a huge tree on one end. There were also 2 outside bathrooms and 3 other covered rooms where people were waiting. One of the covered rooms had about 10 women waiting to get bail for them to be released. All this time Angela and I were texting or SMS’ing back and forth on the progress of things. Finally around 4:15 they left the bank with the receipt in hand and headed back to where I was. They got there around 4:30 and asked where we had been taken to and then proceeded to show the cashier the receipt from the bank and were then given another receipt so they could get me out. Just after 4:45 I was finally out of “jail” just as they were getting ready to take all the prisoners to the main jail for the night. We headed to the police station so I could get my license and our cars. We then headed to Eldama Ravine, but stopped to pick up Stacy and the kids. Stacy and Rich were such a big help to use and sacrified mightily for us. Thank you so much! We then headed to Eldama Ravine and arrived there around 7:30 to start our vacation. We are so grateful for the protection He gave us and how He provided for us during this ordeal.

He is Risen!

Today is Easter Sunday! He is Risen just as He said He would. What a promise that He kept for you and me. How amazing is His love for you and me! I can not imagine!

This morning we arose at 6 am for a sunrise service at the clock tower here at RVA. It was a wonderful time singing led by Karl and then a message by Harry. What a challenge as to how we view the empty tomb.