July, 2009 - Nairobi, Kenya, Africa
Winter, or at least cooler weather, is in our part of the world and we continue to hear woes of the heat index in the US. I even bought a trusty hot water bottle, since we have no heat in our house and the windows do not close tightly...in fact some are an inch or two from closing. July/August are basically our winter months and it really can get cold.
It was a privilege to be a part of the baptism of 9 adults from Rungiri Baptist Church. On that Sunday, Danny preached a message about baptism and we look forward to celebrating communion with them the first Sunday in August. The pastor asked Danny to preach also that day and he will share all the promises communion represents in the life of the believer. Please PRAY for Pastor Moses and the church music leader, Julius, who were injured in a taxi van accident returning from the burial of a church member. Julius’s arm was crushed and had to be removed and he and Pastor Moses are in a small hospital several hours from Nairobi. The taxi hit and killed 2 young men on the road and lost control and turned over. Travel here is so dangerous.
We have been ministering to some of our missionaries these last weeks. One of our Uganda couples, Stephen and Kaye Carson, came to Nairobi for the birth of their son, Silas William. Several families have recently returned to the US for medical reasons, others are retiring and others have lost their parents. Challenging changes are always a part of our missionary families. Please PRAY for the many needs and challenges that face all of us living in another culture and dealing with issues of health, family, death, births, language learning, culture shock, safety in driving, aging parents in the US and missing children and grandchildren.
We had a great time at our sectional meeting and then an additional 4 day meeting for Sub Cluster leaders. Our job is changing and we are becoming Member Care associates for Sub Sahara Africa. This job is a pastoral role working with our personnel in other countries but Nairobi will be our base for the present time. Please PRAY for this new aspect of ministry and for wisdom and sensitivity as we relate to the many needs in the lives of our missionaries; which I mentioned above.
“Business As Mission” is a new small leather crafting business started by some of our co-workers, Ron/Nancy and Erin Copeland. It has employed 15 young Kenyan men who have demonstrated a gifting in evangelism and a commitment to start new Baptist churches in unreached areas of Nairobi and beyond. They work 4 days a week crafting small leather products; for which they are paid a modest income. They spend 2 days a week evangelizing and disciplining in their neighborhoods; for which they are not paid. They have already formed several Bible storying groups in neighborhoods where there is no church. PRAY for this new opportunity for the men to learn a productive skill with the goal to share Christ with their family, friends and neighbors. PRAY for options/partnerships/buyers to help sell and market the items. PRAY also for the Copelands as they give administrative guidance to this project.
We were able to go to the Masai Mara, in Kenya, for 2 nights, which is the northern part of the vast Serengeti plain in Tanzania, to see the beginning of the wildebeest/zebra/Thompson’s gazelle migration. We saw too many different animals to describe but we had such a wonderful time on 4 game drives and saw thousands of animals in this beginning stage. A big blessing for us was to share about Jesus with our guide, whom we will call “AD.” God opened the perfect time, place and door to talk to him on our way back to the airstrip from where we would depart. Thankfully, I had a small Gideon New Testament with me and was able to leave that with him and he was most willing to accept it. Praise God for GIDEONS INT’L, whose ministry is to give Bibles away. He promised he would begin reading the Gospel of John. He has NO real knowledge of Christ and is part of another religion but more by association than commitment. We shared how even Michael Jackson, who had so much fame and fortune, left it all and had to face God and that we all will do the same as we entwined the Gospel story in our conversation. He was receptive and took our contact numbers and we are praying that someone will come along the way to water the seed we planted. Please PRAY for his understanding and desire to know Christ as his Savior. PRAY also that we might have more opportunity to follow up with him.
On a funny note....our small plane bringing us back from the Mara was taking off on a rocky runway bed when it was discovered that a tire burst upon landing. We then deplaned for the repair to be made. We were very happy to see a replacement tire....BUT...they had no jack. An old school bus had brought some school children on a field trip and was there so our ‘tire changer” went to the bus in search of a “jack.” Fortunately they had one. After raising the jack to its limit, hands dug busily trying to scrap away dirt to make room for the tire to be placed on the rim. It was finally accomplished and we just stood in amazement and fought back the question.... Why was there no “jack” on the plane for circumstances like this? We have learned that asking WHY is an effort in futility. It is better to stand amazed at the way they do make things happen. It just may not be on a quick timetable or with all our perks but they are very ingenious folks.
Our sweet Isaac celebrated a very special and happy 2nd birthday, July 25. He was in the Alabama with his other grandparents, 2 great grandmothers, aunts and uncles and cousins. He also stopped by to see Danny’s mom so he is blessed with lots of love. Lealla is now 7 months and trying to walk...too quickly.
We are coming to Richmond Sept. 16 and will be at a Global Focus Celebration at Eastside Baptist Church, Stockbridge, GA, Sept. 23-27. We will be in Richmond until Oct. 14 loving on our babies as much as possible. PRAY for our time at the conference that others may desire to respond to God’s call to missions.
Thank you for your perpetual love and encouragement. It means so much to have you partner with us in the ministry God has called us to in Kenya.
We Love You, Danny and Claudia