"I'm sorry that I have no photos to show but wow do I have stories! For those of you who read the update, it needs some updating. The girl, Rhoda, that we took from the abusive father has been reunited with her mother, Elizabeth. Elizabeth received Jesus, has been given a Swahili Bible, thanks to a generous donation to buy 900 bibles, and has promised to bring her daughters and husband to church! We will follow up with the family regularly. Florence, the woman with the flesh eating bacteria that took half her leg, has had a skin graft and is healing well. The money has come in to cover her bill and she can return, debt free, to her family once she is healed. Best of all, she is happy and her family knows that Jesus has changed her. Ruth, the woman who was stabbed by her husband, has been greatly supported by her community. Without us adding a dime to her formidable bill, her neighbors and family raised the money to bring her home! We pray she finds safety and continues to walk with Jesus.
Today we showed the Jesus Film in the Women's ward and, while not as many could see it as we hoped, the ones who did were very moved. At least two prayed to accept Jesus, others listened with tears in their eyes. One woman broke into sobs and loudly praised God, thanking Him and asking Him to forgive her. She asked for a Bible and promised to read it to the others around her. Her sister is the skin graft patient next to Florence and she was smiling and crying quietly as she watched the Holy Spirit touch her sister. All the women were eager to hear the word. Men had gathered in the doorway, looking on amazed and thanking God. All this happened after the disappointment of not being able to reach as many as we had hoped, but God is a God of small beginnings and He did a great thing today!
We are coming back with the movie on thumb drives so that it can be used throughout the hospital easily. Pray for Pastor Daniel, the resident Pastor, a gentle and available shepherd. He will need the Holy Spirit's guidance and strength as he follows up with those who have heard the gospel. Pray for Graceway Harvest Chapel and her sister churches to be ready to make disciples. The Bibles will be given to the them so that they are the ones continuing the work as we send the new converts to them to receive Bibles, teaching and fellowship. Imagine using Bibles as a way to bring people to church! That is how hungry they are for the word!! Lord make us so hungry and thirsty, too!We want to show a movie in the Pediatric Ward as well. If you can suggest a movie that shares the gospel clearly and appropriately for children we would love to hear it.
This is all such an answer to our prayer that, even as we meet the physical needs we are presented with, God would move and souls would be saved from a life and death without Christ. This gift is so far greater than any good deed we can offer and must always remain the central motivation for all we do! That they may know You, Lord."
Also, there has been new developments with the Agricultural Program. We invited all the parents, rather than those interested in agriculture, and encouraged them to be involved by giving back to the school. Essentially, they will be volunteering one day a week, grouped by the classes their kids are in, to work in the small field where we are planting vegetables for the school lunches. They were enthusiastically in agreement that this would be a good way to give back and keep things community centered, rather than us doing all the work. Caleb went to the plot yesterday with Rose to meet with the leaders each group had chosen and get oriented with what needs to be done. Saturday is the first day of work so we pray everything will be ready to go. The American team has volunteered to put up the fence using bamboo from Karibuni Lodge.
This is prayer week at Graceway and many of our team will be teaching on prayer throughout the week. Saturday is "Family Day" and there will be teaching and prayer all day on the subject of family. This is wonderful but also makes it hard to do home visits and keep up with communication during the best hours to make phone calls, but we will do our best!
Anyway, there are two pressing issues that home visits have presented. One is Margaret, class 1, sponsored by Mary-Lou B------. Her mother has abandoned her. She lives with her father, a new Christian struggling to quit drinking and provide for the child. He has yet to make drastic changes to protect her. She walks home, quite far, and has to lock the door and make herself dinner while waiting for her father to return. Drunk men still come looking for him. When the team went there this past week there were men there already, but no father. I'm glad that the team consisted of four men walking the little girl into the house and chasing the men away. I pray that news will spread that she is protected. It reminds me of little Ruby being walked to school by special forces in the 60s! Wycliffe is insisting that he move to a safe location, not tell his old drinking buddies where he is going and be home when Margaret gets home. He loves the girl but if he cannot meet these requirements we need God to give us a way forward. Because there is no abuse it may be tricky to remove her but the Children's Office makes girls at risk of rape a priority, even over neglected infants. Please pray he will either make these changes or find a loving relative (his mother is cold towards the girl and only wants money) so that she does not have to go into the foster program unless necessary.
The other issue is a girl at the preschool na
med Mercy. Her grandmother cares for her but has tuberculosis. They share a bed and have one bucket to use for washing. She has been spoken to about not contaminating Mercy's dishes or food, but Wycliffe found no changes when he returned. This puts not only Mercy at risk but the whole school. We need to speak to the grandmother more sternly but also enable her to make changes, and buy Mercy a simple mattress and some extra buckets and dishes. Again, if the grandmother does not show concern for keeping the child safe we may need to temporarily separate them. Pray that we are able to encourage the grandmother and keep Mercy with her as she loves her.
Well that is our last week and sort of the agenda for this week as well. Today Dan is going to the men's ward [of Cherangany Hospital] to show the Jesus Film. I am going to deliver Mama Abel a sewing machine with Rose (praise God!) and then Dan and Greg will be sharing in church tonight. I hope this finds you all well and please know that we are thinking of you and praying for you! Can't wait to fellowship with you again soon!