First, thanks to many of you who have been praying for these weeks when Priscilla is in UK with the family and I (Keith) am using the opportunity to travel to many places in Kenya to encourage the work of the Lord. Priscilla has helped to move Deborah and her 2 children to Liverpool to be with Matthew, at least for the immediate future. We continue to pray for the issuance of her work permit here in Kenya.
Second, the Lord has been so gracious in all the travels so far and below is a short resume for your thanks and continued prayers.
1. Mosiro (24-27 July)
Although only 50 miles directly west of Nairobi it took more than 4 hours to drive there! We picked up Stephen Kakoiya on the way, our Maasai Pastor at Olgumi. He is the one who proposed this trip to investigate the possibility of church planting in this area. He has become involved with disabled children amongst his Maasai community as such children tend to be hidden from public view and is starting a home in Olgumi that will eventually cater for up to 200 such needy children.
We visited various homesteads where there are disabled children and had the opportunity to bring the word of God to the extended families present.
There are a few churches in the area but so many remain untouched with the gospel. There is certainly a great need for church planting in such areas, but where are the labourers who can be sent?
We met a man from about 20 miles away from Mosiro who told us that there are no roads, no schools and no churches in his area and that he worships God traditionally as the Maasai have always done. Stephen got in contact with him to help him to acquire crutches.
2. Miathene (28-30 July)
We were very apprehensive about this visit, the place where I originally came to Kenya as a teacher. We had recently to dismiss one of the 3 Pastors from the Church and he has been resisting this decision. We found it necessary to obtain a court injunction to bar him from the premises in order to prevent physical confrontation. Sadly there was such confrontation on the Sunday and we had to call the police for protection and to seek to get him arrested for defying the injunction. Instead they allowed him to preach in the premises to those who wanted to listen. The case will be heard the middle of September. We have sent a brother from western Kenya, Martin Mokoyan, to give them leadership in the present crisis. We have tried to do everything possible to prevent such a terrible situation, but we believe it will turn out for good in God’s inscrutable wisdom.
The few faithful members who were willing to brave the possible chaos on Sunday July 29th.
I was able to spend a full 2 weeks in Rendille, this time with one of the young men from the church, Huston Malande. It remains a land totally committed to the old traditional order but things are changing fast. And they are not ready for the change.
(1) Oil is being prospected just to the north of Kargi.
(2) Large wind turbines are planned for east of Lk. Turkana.
(3) Infrastructure is planned to link Kenya with Ethiopia in the north, and South Sudan to the west.
(4) Education for all children is being insisted on by the Government, though children are a necessary part of the culture of pastoralism.
We received many encouragements as we went from goob to goob preaching to whomever we could find and following up on contacts.
The Korr congregation in worship on 5th. August 2012.
In Lontolio – the mzee (man) in the middle is one of the first I have ever heard give a testimony of faith in Christ. Others from left to rights are:
Raphael Bulkash (Ndikir), Stephen Leseitalo (Lontolio), Patrick Ochieng (Korr), 2 wazee from Lontolio, and Nadesol (Evangelist in Korr)
Huston with 3 of the Nursery School teachers – Matthew, James and John – who are all from a Catholic background. We had a good opportunity to talk with them about the Faith and to give them literature.
There are also many challenges as people cling tenaciously to their traditions. We pray that the Holy Spirit will show many the futility of the traditions inherited from their fathers and lead them to trust in Christ alone. Many try to say that the main ceremony (sooriyo) is just eating meat, but they do believe its observance, together with many other rites, will ring the blessing of God upon them. There are many blessings of God’s common grace but saving blessings are through Christ alone.
Wareiya and her husband Sagante professed faith and were baptized in Nairobi. Upon moving back to the goob of Matarbaah Sagante married another wife and has had to be disciplined. Here is Wareiya with her twins of 5 months.
The great challenge is for the Lord to raise up preachers of the Word. In Korr we have Patrick Ochieng assisted by 3 untrained evangelists. In Ndikir we have Raphael Bulkash. In Lontolio we have Stephen Leseitalo who has recently started Sunday meetings. But there are so many other places crying out for regular preaching of the Word.
Evangelism in Forakore under the tree for shade with the huts of the goob (village) behind.
First visit to Lagarama where we have recently started a nursery school and they are crying out for a church but we have no one to send.
For our last evening we were in the goob called Ntumo near Merille. In the evening we had the opportunity to preach the gospel to more than 10 wazee (elders) in their ‘holy place’ called nabo. It is just a thorn-bush enclosed circle of ground in the centre of the goob, where a log is kept always burning and where the elders meet for discussion and prayer each evening. At the end one mzee stood and said how much they appreciate our message, but it has been a long time since we have come. But since it takes us so long to return they prefer to follow the old religion that they have known from their fathers rather than the new religion from us they do not really understand. Come weekly and teach us, he pleaded, and we will follow your teaching!
Please pray for those who are leading the work of Trinity Baptist Church in Rendille.
Raphael Bulkash and his family in Ndikir – wife Lucy, children Omar, Hamado, ‘Underhill’, and the twins!
Underhill & Underhill
I have included this picture of me with my young namesake so that you might continue to pray for me and my family. Please excuse the bitty nature of this report, but I could write page upon page.
Yours for the triumph of the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.