2011, No. 15 (20/10/11)

Dear Brethren

I am writing hard on the heels of No. 14 as I will not have the opportunity to write again for a few weeks.  Please do continue to pray for the grace and wisdom of the Lord in the many things that lie ahead.

Last Thursday evening we received the news that Brother Kiplagat’s first wife suddenly died at home just around the corner from us.  Every evening family members and other friends meet at the home to console and plan for all the arrangements up to the burial.  With Kenyan families being much larger than western ones there are many people involved, 25+.  Two daughters have flown in from the States where they are studying.  The Pastor is looked upon to give words of encouragement from the Scriptures, and that is what I have sought to do almost every evening – John 11:25-26, Job 1:20-22, Matthew 27:51-53, 2 Corinthians 12:9.  What has struck me most has been the openness of the family.  On Saturday evening the young people of the family who had witnessed her death as they had tried to give first aid (she died from a blood clot) were asked to narrate in detail everything that took place.  In addition, the constant refrain has been that God is in control.  As in the custom in Kenya the burial will be at ‘home’ which is near Nakuru, about 4 hours away from Nairobi.  I will be going on Friday, ready for the service on Saturday, at which I shall be preaching.  Then I will have to head back to Nairobi for Sunday.

Rain at last
We thank the Lord for rain that seems to be general across the country.  I have heard from Rendille that there has been some heavy rain.  But it will be a few weeks before the animals come back from the far distant places to which they have been taken, and provide the milk that people depend on.  So we are continuing to seek to provide some food relief to the few communities where we have a school with the money with which we have been entrusted.

Somalia situation
You have heard from the news media of the further abductions from the Dadaab Refugee Camp.  With half a million estimated to be seeking refuge there it is the largest Camp in the world.  Kenya has sent its army into Somalia and the Al Shabaab has issued threats of terrorism against Kenya as a result.  One of our members, Emma, a lawyer, is there working with an NGO to help children.  Of course, we pray for her safety and growth in grace through all this.

Pokot North
I am again away, this time in Pokot North from 26th. October to 3rd. November.  Chris Gatihi will be accompanying me.  On the way we shall stop by Siaya for a Fraternal on the 25th. with the brethren in this region north and west of Kisumu.  That night we will stay with Brother Simon Chesibol in Kaptama on the slopes of Mount Elgon where he is seeking to plant a church.  Apart from asking for God’s blessing on the ministry of the word and the personal encouragements for the church leaders, please pray for me as I have not been well in the past month, first a sinus infection, then a parasite picked up from Rendille, and for Priscilla as once again I am away from home.

Looking ahead into next year I would like again to bring 2 things to you:
I plan to visit Malakal, South Sudan, for the second time (the first was 2 years ago).  God willing, this will be January 20-30.  I have brought before you my desire that someone accompany me with the aim of the developing this ministry in fellowship with the Trinity Baptist Church of South Sudan.  So far no one has expressed interest and as things stand I shall be going alone.  This is a newly independent country, wide open to any kind of help, including the spiritual.  The vast majority now profess to be Christians, as opposed to traditionalists, and there is an urgent need to train men that they may minister the truth to their people.  Encouragingly for English-speakers, English has now been adopted as the official language.
We are continuing to pray that a few men will be willing to come and help teach in the PTC in 2012, both in order to relieve me of some of the burden, and also to provide a variety of teaching as at present I am the only one teaching.  So far we have had one person expressing interest.

Thank you for your prayers.  “Ask and it will be given”.
In Christ’s service,

Keith Underhill

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