Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sister in Africa

As some of you know, my sister, Margaret is just outside Nairobi Africa for 4 months teaching about Christ and using her nursing skills to help with the HIV crisis. Here is a message from Josh that I thought you guys might like to read.

Greetings from Kenya:

Early this week, I read in I Thessalonians, chapter 2, about Paul’s conduct while he was in Thessalonica. I feel like this passage carries a special meaning for us now because it seems like we have some similar circumstances to those Paul had at that time. He explained that he was seeking glory from God, not from men. He goes on to mention how hard they worked while there so that they wouldn’t be a burden to their hosts. They behaved blamelessly among them, while encouraging the new believers to walk worthy of God. I think these are very tangible, realistic goals that can be met with Gods help. Please pray that we would be able to follow the example Paul and his friends set for us when they were in a foreign place sharing the gospel and teaching Gods word.

The week has been very fruitful. Margaret, Catherine and I went to Nairobi to purchase Bibles with money given for that purpose. We left the chaotic city with 25 Bibles in three different languages, some of which have already been given out. Additional money has been given and will be set aside to buy more Bibles when we’ve run out of the ones we have. Also, we’ve used $200 given for miscellaneous needs to buy food for the children here at the school. There were a few days last week that the kids went without their usual porridge, corn meal and beans because there was no money to pay for it. The poorest of these children may only receive the meal served to them at the school, their families not being able to afford to feed them dinner at night. The food we bought will feed all 78 of them, including 6 teachers, for the next month!

Also, the various Bible studies we’re a part of are thriving. The HIV support group we meet with has seen new faces, and the two men who translate for me in that group have decided to join us on Fridays when we meet with the teachers. In both groups, we’re studying the Gospel of John verse by verse. The translators, Patrick and Shadrach, are growing and learning quickly and have shown interest in learning more. So in addition to Thursday mornings and Friday afternoons studying John, the three of us are going through Zane Hodges’ The Six Secrets of the Christian Life. My hope and prayer for these men is that they’ll reach a point where they’re comfortable with and capable of leading a group themselves after Margaret and I have gone. Please remember them in your prayers.

In general, people Margaret visits in the surrounding communities respond well to what she has to say in regards to the gospel. However, going to such places and talking with the people always seems to reveal suffering on a level that many of us have been blessed enough not to be exposed to. One girl here at the school, for example, arrived one morning with burn wounds on her forehead from her mother, who had heated a knife on the stove and then put it on her skin. Several other girls at this school have been sexually abused by a neighborhood pastor, who actually has a reputation for fondling children. We reported the abusive mother to the local authorities. After witnesses against her came forward she confessed her guilt. But due to the corrupt nature of local policemen, nothing was done and the child is still with her mother. As for the abusive pastor, we ask for your prayers about which direction to take. It is no secret around here that local law enforcement isn’t that at all. They don’t enforce the laws unless the bribe is convincing enough. Exposure to such an absence of justice makes me grateful for our system in America and even more grateful for our Lord, who will make everything right in the end!

Finally, Id like to share with you that Catherine has won a chicken in a raffle! They’ve just removed it – still alive - from a grocery sack in the kitchen to be killed, plucked and cooked. That means we’ll have meat tonight for dinner! Life is good when God provides.

No comments: