Sarah's Journal, Mission to Africa - 34 Days in the Dark Continent

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sarah's Journal

34 Day in the Dark Continent

ę 2001

 
From October 21st through November 26 of 2001, my Dad sister and myself were privileged to travel to Africa to minister the gospel to many dear children of God. We chose Kenya due to the friendship of Pastor Joseph Kimani over the past 5 years. The Lord made it possible for him to visit the U.S. last year where we had the opportunity to aid him in the raising of funds to support the ministry of the gospel in Africa. He was in the U.S. 5 months preaching from coast to coast. When he came to Arkansas he lived in our home for 3 and Ż weeks, and he invited us to come to Kenya during that time. For my siblings and I, Joseph became a second father and we loved him very much. So by the grace of God, we were able to minister in East Africa for five weeks. As we ministered to these precious saints, they in turn ministered to us by serving us in unfailing love only found in the spirit. God worked a fruitful and blessed stay that we shall never forget. In the following entries you will read of my experiences during our time in Kenya.

May you enjoy reading them even as I enjoyed living them. I hope I present the African brethren to you in such a way that perhaps you will catch a glimpse of life in this part of the world and join me in steadfast and faithful prayer for them.

October 23, 2001

We arrived in Nairobi at 8:25 in the morning. The weather is cool and breezy. We are exhausted from the journey, but I know the Lord will bless and sustain us. After obtaining our luggage, Ndugu Joseph met us beyond the gate with a smile. Coming through the gate, we realized there was an entire group with him, men of the church. Daniel (a dear brother and pen-pal) was there with Joseph, anxiously waiting for us. We were greeting them all with hugs and kisses on the cheek. They were so happy we had come. The van was pulled around to us, the infamous church van we raised the funds to purchase during the summer of 2000. It's white with three bench seats in the back and no seatbelts. The back window says: "Gospel Tunes." It is used as a "matatu" (taxi) during the week to help support the church in Nakuru.

Kenya is beautiful. Very flat large plains with mountains in the distance. We rode on a bumpy road through Nairobi and into Nakuru, (over 100 miles) but not before stopping to see the look-off point for the Great Rift Valley. We stopped and looked inside some small shops where a lady insisted that I buy four necklaces for so many shillings. Right now, I don't have a clue of their value and did not intend on buying anything at that point. This lady was so insistent that Brother David (Joseph's younger brother) had to physically help me out of her shop. She thought since I was a white American that I would be easily persuaded and buy like a tourist.

The houses in Nakuru are small. A lot of them are very close together and very humble. They actually don't seem to be much more than a shelter. Some are made of stone, some of wood and some of mud. In the rural areas some are still made of grass. There is not a lot of grass here, but plenty of dirt. Cows crowd next to the road with their shepherd, often a member of the famous Masai tribe. We saw zebras, donkeys, a few horses and flamingos. The ride was bumpy but not too long. The time passed quickly as they all sang African praise songs together. Their singing sounds just like in the movies, so beautiful, echoing one another and harmonizing. A real treat!

We pulled into Pastor Kimani's home at an iron gate with stone walls on either side. I was almost expecting to live in the bush for three and a half weeks, so his home is a very pleasant surprise. When we came in the front door, which is a metal gate in itself, we were urged to sit on a sofa with purple hand-crocheted doilies on them. Jennifer and I have a room to ourselves and a bathroom inside, upstairs. The indoor plumbing I'm especially happy about. The homes surrounding this area almost look Italian, colorful in pinks and oranges, and cottage-like with vines and vivid flowers everywhere. We later learned that a congregation in California was paying for this two-story town house for Brother Joseph so that he could house those who come to minister the gospel. It costs about $200 per month which is astromical in Kenya. Most of these nice homes are housing Indians.

I've gone to the balcony to write this and a little girl has seen me from below next door. She waved and ran to get her sister. They said she's wondering where I came from.

Our first African meal was delicious; peeled potatoes, cabbage, chapati and soup, and pineapple juice. Jen and I walked into the kitchen, a small room with an open window and open door to the outside. Faithful sisters were cooking on the floor, heating a flat skillet for the chapati which was being rolled out on the counter. They served us chai, (African tea), very good!

After talking with John and Hellen, it is clear, they are expecting big things to come of this visit and the coming crusade meetings. They love us and all the assembly with a love that is so sincere, they say it cannot be expressed.

Right now, Dad is outside playing soccer with Simon and Isaac (Joseph's sons) and it is beginning to get dark. I'm not homesick yet, this still seems like a dream.

October 24, 2001

I woke this morning having slept well through my first night in Kenya and took a bath. We just discovered there is only cold water. Yesterday it seemed to be warmer. Coming downstairs our breakfast was ready and on the table. Two slices of white bread, margarine, a boiled egg and chai.

Eunice, Jen's old-time pen-pal came this morning and cried to finally hug her. We went for a long walk along with Daniel and Ciro. We passed a lot of cows grazing next to the road. Sheep cross in front of us. People are waiting under trees for public transportation, (usually big vans) and there are cornfields on every side. There are women carrying baskets on their heads. We see Muslims called Muhindi, and they don't seem too happy that we're here. We've heard that in Nairobi there is an uprising in the Muslim community against Christians and Americans.

I've just been in the kitchen talking with MamaKairu, MamaFaith, and Hellen as they prepare what is called "mandazi". In America it would be sopapillas without the powdered sugar and honey. MamaFaith gave us a taste and they are so good!

At noon we drove to the Nakuru market with Joseph and Brother Benard who we dropped off there. I've never seen a place like this with my own eyes. There is fruit everywhere and vegetables being sold on the sidewalks. People walking all over, buying and selling. The streets are full of people lined with anything and everything you ever wanted to buy. Little boys follow us around and ask for shillings. Everywhere you turn there is someone there. It's unlike anything I've ever experienced.

Everyone here at Pastor Joseph's home receives us very well. They are coming in shifts so they're not all here at once. We've learned there are differences in our customs. Everyone shakes our hand and kisses each cheek. We learned that quickly at the airport when we were picked up yesterday. All the women wear skirts and sometimes scarves for head wraps. They're very interested in our hair.

We e-mailed Mom, Matt and Mike in the city today. It costs 40 shillings per letter. The weather is very warm and sunny today until this afternoon then it began to sprinkle. Touring Nakuru, we were a bit warm for comfort and these people are wearing long sleeves and layers of clothing. I don't know how they do it. It must just be that their bodies are adjusted to this climate.

We're going to introduce the women to oatmeal and granola bars. I try to explain the contents but a lot of ingredients they've never heard of. Joseph's kids have never tasted a hamburger before, only seen them on television. It shows the vast difference in our cultures. I think I could really get used to it here though, it's like a second home.

This evening, Jeni taught the kids to play cards, they've never had any. Daddy, Joseph and I went downtown to find a man named Moses who would lend us a keyboard. He owns a barbershop and two tailor shops. We picked Moses up and went to his home driving through the area where the common people live. It was pitiful. Run down and dirty, but the people seem to be content. After we packed the keyboard, we drove to a pastor's home. His name was John Njogu and his wife's name is Elizabeth. They were friendly and invited us freely into their home. From there, we sang worship songs at home and praised God with each other in the living room and ended up on our knees praying with some speaking in tongues. The Lord is with us and with us always, and it feels good to know that we are loved by Him.

Right now, Dad and Joseph are downstairs talking. It's after 1:00 a.m. Their voices are carrying clearly through these halls, their subject being the heart of the gospel.

October 25, 2001

Today was a good day. Bwana Asifiwe! (Praise the Lord). Eunice came over to stay a little while and we had wonderful meals as always. Three more women from the church came to meet us and prepare lunch. They were so happy to see us. They wanted their picture taken with each of us. Outside, they prepared the mandizi and viazi (cooked bananas and potatoes). There is a banana tree next to this house and the bananas are short and green, they taste more like potatoes than bananas. The women made supu, (soup) and nyama (meat) and other side dishes. Dad says they're going to eat him to death with these continual big meals.

I think we all feel quite at home. The brethren are almost unrealistically precious, so precious. At lunch today, Jen and I laughed so hard, we cried. We were talking about PePaw, our Grandfather back home, and Joseph said, "Yeah, he's a good guy, man" then nudged Jen in the side and smiled. For some reason, this was extremely humorous to Jeni. All of us were laughing and Joseph added, "He smokes a lot,......He coughs a lot." Joseph got tickled himself and that made us laugh even more.

Each meal is called a race. The objective is to eat a lot and finish first with no food left on your plate. I never win.

At four today, we were to set up our music equipment and hold a crusade for that evening. We went to town first to drop off our pictures for the posters that will be used for the upcoming crusades as we travel. We parked right alongside a mosque. We got some unfriendly looks as we waited in the car. A man across the street threatened to throw a large rock at the car and made an obscene gesture. We are being semi-careful around the Muslims. We see them often.

There is great need here. Dad has informed us that we will need to stay five weeks instead of three and I feel good about that. The need is so great that you almost don't know where to start. So anyway, we came to a place where there was much poverty and an old wooden stage with pieces missing where we would minister the gospel. People were everywhere. Some watched from a distance and some close by. Many children are leaning at the front of the stage. David opened up the meeting preaching loudly and inviting everyone to come in the Swahili language. It was wonderful. He delivered the Good News so boldly. Dad played "Awesome God" and "Jesus is the Answer". Jen and I stood at the front of the stage and sang. We noticed we drew a lot of people. They wanted to hear us sing and when Daddy started preaching afterwards, some began to leave. Entertainment is what they want, a lot of them. I sang "Jesus will still be there" for the last song and Daddy and Joseph preached more. David and John interpreted for the people most of the time.

There were two men causing trouble, growling and yelling. Daniel and others tried to keep them from coming near us. One of them tried to knock over a tall speaker. One of them came through the crowd and right to the edge of the stage at Dad's feet. He was still growling like an animal and disrupting people. Dad bent down and laid his hand on his face and began to speak in the spirit rebuking him, the demon hushed and was taken aback, but it seem to be only temporary, for after the meeting was over we saw him still acting under the demonic influence. But praise be to God, he was bound until our crusade was over.

The kids follow us wanting to shake our hands and kiss our cheeks. One of them continually asks for Jen's watch. They say most of them are orphans who live on the street. The best thing to do is buy them food because with money they may buy shoe glue and get drunk. It's pitiful. Orphans are everywhere.

We had a good turn-out tonight. Many people stayed to listen and there were some who came forth to be prayed over, Hallelujah. For our first crusade, I am so pleased.

I am constantly learning Swahili words and phrases. It is so exciting to understand bits and pieces. Dad witnessed to a couple of young men at the gas station today. He has taken both of their addresses down and they want to learn more. One man wants to learn about the Sabbath. The other man wants to change his life because he has been spending money on liquor. He only makes $25.00 a week. So, we shall see what comes of this.

For the most part, I am so happy to be here. I was washing dishes today and I looked up and said to myself, "I am washing dishes in Africa." God really has brought this about. Mungu ni mwema: (God is so Good.)

Isaac, Joseph's oldest son, taught me a song tonight called "God is so Good." They surely have no trouble praising. They have no restrictions. Hellen, John, David, Kairu, and Daniel sang on stage tonight. They danced and praised. I could not keep from smiling, it was great.

Dad wanted me to also write that the man he counseled was a Sabbath-believer, but was employed by a man who would not allow him to keep from working. This man has a great dilemma. He was almost in tears and clearly having a difficult time. So, problems here are very similar to those in the States.

October 26, 2001

Our crusade this evening was very successful, thanks be to God. David opened up as before and sang a couple of African praise songs. Then we all sang a few songs of ours together, and this time I felt much more at ease. The words came easier and I spoke to the people telling them that God is inviting them to be part of His family, to be His children. No matter what color you are or where you come from, we are all one in Christ. There were two prayed for tonight and I am believing that God will heal their souls. A couple of men came up to me afterwards and Eunice helped to give them directions to church for tomorrow.

Daddy preached and told them that a time of trouble is coming and he read John 3:16. We had no obvious trouble with spirits tonight. People looked very serious and listened intently. They especially like the up-beat songs. I think it's in their blood.

David told me this evening that when they hold crusades, sometimes 1600 people might show up and cover the field. They even go door-to-door and are welcomed freely inside their homes to hear from the "man of God". They are very eager to learn. In the city, Christianity is often preached and there are always standing at the back with their arms crossed. But in the rural and remote villages, people are very open and interested in the Word. Many times David would leave having given them his shoes or clothes and often buying food to feed them first and then minister the gospel. We are looking forward to going into those places.

David asked me if I would mind leaving my backpack with him when we leave. He said the backpack would be most useful when he travels to different areas for crusades. He needs something big enough for his clothes but small enough to carry while cycling. So surely I will leave it with him.

At this point, I am enjoying myself thoroughly and do not want to see our visit come to an end. The need is so vast, the opportunities wide open and the brethren so precious.

Tonight we ate passion fruit for dessert. Joseph laughed so much to see me try to eat without crunching the seeds.

I am still amazed a this place. There are no stop lights or stop signs and often no lines on the road, people crowding on both sides of the road. It's a wonder more people are not run over. Their public transportation vans are packed full with people hanging out of the door, literally. The vans stop on the side to whistle for others to come. When you think they couldn't possible fit another person inside, they make room for three more.

Tonight is the Sabbath and I am very much looking forward to tomorrow. For so long, I have prayed to be here to worship with these people and I am seeing the manifestation of the answer to those prayers!

October 27, 2001

Today was the Sabbath! We left here at 9:30a.m. and headed toward the church building. Six people fit tightly into Pastor Kimani's car and the rest take public transportation. The service was beautiful. They had many visitors, some from Nairobi, Keringet, Naivasha, Nyahururu, etc. There was also a Sabbath-keeping church that closed for services to be with us. The building was packed. The visitors, one by one, introduced themselves and same some songs. There were two separate children's choirs and they each gave their presentations to us, singing Swahili and English songs and quoting scriptures. It was precious. These children are so very beautiful and they are very attached to us, following us everywhere.

Jen worked the video camera and they had Dad and I sit up front. We were openly blessed by so many. There were many preachers who came to actually receive something from the service and they sat up front seemingly agreeing with everything. They embraced us greatly. It is very obvious that this church has eagerly waited for us and rejoice at our presence. I feel quite at home.

Daddy preached a fiery sermon about who we are in Christ. Joseph interpreted for him and they were both on fire for the Word. I think the people received it really well they could hardly contain themselves. Joseph introduced Jen and I to everyone and we gave our personal greetings to the Church. Joseph told them our ages and said to all the saved young men who love the Lord, "You never know!" I think they may have us married before we leave. Everyone laughed. I imagine I was very red and blushing!

I spoke with Daniel for a long time after church. He's so happy we are here. He is trusting in God for us to come again next year and he wishes for everyone to come. He sends his greetings and says he loves all in our church. I talked to John also for quite some time and I learned he was saved in 1994, receiving the Sabbath in 1995. He loves God and knows his Bible. Our talk was very encouraging to me.

It was a very good Sabbath. Nearly 20 of us crowded inside Susan's two-room apartment for lunch. She lives right outside the church. A big thunderstorm came along and it was so loud on the tin roofs. It continued to rain and we had to cancel our crusade for this evening. We also had the opportunity to speak with Benard Masite and his wife Hellen and ate dinner with them. Precious people, they taught us a song on the way home.

I must write this. Last night, Jen, Hellen, Ciro, and I were upstairs in our room and I was drying Hellen's hair straight. She saw that we had a hair dryer and wanted us to try it on her hair. So I decided to give her a facial as well. Hellen did not know what is was, but was willing to try it. I spread a green mud masque on her face and Simon came to the door and said, "Wow, Beautiful!" So she had to go to the mirror to look and she came out laughing so hard she ended up on the floor and I think we all did as well! It was so funny, we could be heard laughing from those outside. Hellen is a 23 year old who genuinely loves the Lord and loves to sing. She is staying with us away from her home to cook for us and care for the home while we are here. We absolutely love her. I know it's not going to be easy to leave, even now after only four days.

Everyone wanted their picture taken with us today. The children, the visitors, the local brethren. It's really sweet, they act like cameras are a foreign thing. They love us. Some of them want kisses all the time.

October 28, 2001

I went for a long walk today with Dad, David, and John to the edge of the game park. We could see ostrich and buffalo in the grass below us. It was really beautiful. You can see Lake Nakuru with hundreds of pink flamingos at the shore. From where we stand, they look like pink foam.

Our crusade this evening was especially interesting. I really believe there were spirits trying to work against us. The keyboard quit working before we even started. We could not get my music tapes to sound through the speakers. Tonight's crusade was opened, as the others, with David welcoming everyone and many of them singing a couple of Swahili songs. Jen and I sand "Shout to the Lord" and "We will worship the Lamb" and then Daddy preached. David prayed and Joseph closed the meeting. An altar call is always given and even though there may not be anyone immediately coming up for prayer, everyone is encouraged to draw in close together. Tonight, three were prayed for. It was beautiful to see. My heart goes out to them.

Afterwards, Hellen brought me to a man she wanted me to talk to. He said he was the only man in the house who was not a Sabbath-keeper. So we counseled with him and during that time another man came to my other side wanting to talk. It was getting dark by now and this man was leaning right up to my face. I thought by the look in his eyes and his difficulty in speaking that he was being influenced by a demon. He was saying that he was a Catholic and did not believe Jesus was coming back. To begin with, he pronounced that he wanted to know more about "this Jesus". I spoke with him for several minutes and Hellen, who was standing behind me, wrapped her arms around my waist to protect me just in case. This man was definitely not well and was very troubled. Many crowded around listening to our conversation, Duncan being one of them. He took the man aside later to help. Daddy and David talked with also and prayed over him. Dad discerned that this man was hiding a cigarette in the inside pocket of his jacket, and that somehow it represented a hold demons had on this man. This seemed very strange to Dad but he demanded that the man reveal what was in his jacket pocket. He resisted but finally pulled out a single cigarette which he did not want to let go of. Finally he voluntarily gave Dad his cigarette, and the man immediately sobered and seemed to be freed of demonic influence.

People were thinking seriously tonight about the message. Dad told the people we would be preaching in another place tomorrow. A 17 year old asked me for prayer and we had a picture taken together. I got his address to write him later. There was another young man who wanted to ask me about the Sabbath being changed to Sunday by the Roman Empire. We talked for a while and he was very familiar with the scriptures I quoted. I think he was the last I spoke with because David was telling me they were ready to go. It is difficult to leave because the children don't want to let go of us and they want kisses before we go. Some of them latch on and have to be persuaded to let me go.

We're growing very attached to the people here, not just those in the Church but Kenyans in general. They are very sweet and precious people. For the first time, I feel like we are covering ground and really helping spiritually. I'm amazed at how receptive these people are. It feels great to be spreading the gospel and truthfully being busy about our Father's work.

Later this week, we should be going into some remote areas and showing videos at night, maybe even going door to door. So, God be with us.

October 29, 2001

David and Duncan are spending the night here until we travel to Keringet for crusades. David was telling me that he hadn't been back here in Nakuru for six months. He and Duncan had moved to Naivasha to try to start a church there. This past Sabbath was his first since he's moved to Naivasha. David misses it, but he stays very busy. He left his wife at home sick and said the devil was trying to make trouble right before he left. But he said he would stay busy about his Father's business and then the Lord would take care of his wife. She is well and he was rejoicing to hear of her recovery.

Kairu and Daniel came over this afternoon and talked with us. We're planning to go see Daniel's house tomorrow. He's dying for us to come over. Talking with Kairu, we found out he doesn't like living here and said by 2004, he would come to the States. He's 16 now and this boy can dance! Whenever there's music, he dances. Kairu is going to teach Jen and I how. I told him he could take my plane ticket and go live in my house and I would live here in his. He found it amusing, but he really does hope to live in the U.S.

Our crusade went well this evening. We got a late start due to the drive to the post office to check emails. We stopped to talk to John Njogu (head of the Churches of God 7th Day in Nakuru), Francis and Moses and went to the Church of God 7th Day Office to access Jen's Yahoo email. It was after 5 before we arrived for the crusade. We were in a poverty-stricken place where there was a small platform that was scary to stand on. We put the equipment there and stood on the ground to sing and preach.

Dad told the people there is no life in Muhammad or Buddha. There is only life in Jesus. He thought to himself, "Larry, (being so bold) you'll never make it through the tribulation." You never know who is standing out there listening. It was just days ago not far from here that we were threatened to be stoned while parked beside a Mosque. One man, an older man with bit ring holes in his ear lobes, came forward to be prayed for. We went to the church afterward and visited inside Susan and Jackson's home. We talked about all the differences there are between Kenya and America, from divorces to agriculture. MamaFaith served us ugali(cornmeal dough) sukumawiki (steamed greens) and maji moto (hot water). I was not hungry at all but I forced most of it down. Everyone is helping us learn Swahili and they are amazed at how quickly we are catching on. They really enjoy it.

We walked from the crusade, (injili) to the church (kanisa). It was dark and we were having to be very careful. Those bicyclers will run you right over!

October 30, 2001

Daniel and John came this morning, about 9:30 to take us all to their place. We took two buses there and two buses back. We walked through a place they call "Langa Langa" and into the midst of several apartments. The ground in between each building is dirt, although inside each one there is concrete. People have their clothes hung outside on wire lines to dry. There is one room in these apartments, separated by a sheet behind which they put their beds. John and Daniel live next to each other with only a door to separate their rooms. We looked at photos and went into John's room for sodas and muffins. It was so sweet how they received us into their homes.

We left there to climb up a steep hill where we could see the game park and Lake Nakuru and, on the other side, the city. It was really beautiful. The wind was blowing hard today. For the past few days, it's partly sunny in the morning and rainy in the afternoon. When is thunders, it sounds different here. It's hard to explain, the thunder sounds so close but is really far away.

So far, we've only been prevented once by the rain for the crusades. This evening, we set up in an open area where there are many shops lining the street and lots of children, as always. We set the keyboard on top of the car and the people sit on the grass. One man came forward tonight and a woman with a baby wanted prayer. So it was a successful evening. The Lord says His Word will not return to Him empty-handed. So we know the seeds have been sown. We pray they fall on soft and fertile ground.

Dad gave Ciro one of the black baby dolls this evening. She's seventeen, but tossed it up and giggled as if she were ten. Dad gave Duncan his ring with the ruby colored stone in it. It was a ring presented to Dad by the Russellville congregation a few years ago. He was really happy, probably never had anything like it before. Dad gave him the other doll for his two children in Naivasha. David was given the little stuffed cow for his son, Martin.

We should be leaving Thursday for a period of four days. Our destination will be a place called Molo next to Keringet.

October 31, 2001

I got up at 4:40 this morning. The sunrise was so beautiful. Brilliant pinks and blues.

Joseph took us to Menengai, the volcanic crater today. We drove all the way to the top. There was a quaint gift shop there selling African pottery. It was so high up there and the wind was just whipping. This crater is huge! Inside there is hot, volcanic rock that was actually smoking. Joseph told us it was believed that the gods were there burning their land for the next harvest because large sections would catch fire. Even today there are black areas. Menengai means "many gods". It was really spectacular. The grass moves in the wind like it's rolling up the hills.

We were intending to hold a crusade today, but we were prevented by rain. We ended up standing inside a very small shop with several others waiting for either the rain to quit or for Joseph to pick us up. People stare at us everywhere we go. Some of the children act like we're stars from the big screen. I sat down on the grass yesterday during our crusade where one child petted my ankle, one held my hand, and about 15 sat close around me.

Joseph picked us up from the rain and took us to the church. We were invited into MamaFaith's home. We talked for hours in a small room. Then we walked to Mama and BabaJen's home for dinner. The meals they serve us are not the norm for them but they have prepared a variety of special foods for us. The come around with a pitcher of water and a basin to pour over our hands. We're given a towel to dry with and pass to others. Before we left, we were told what an honor it was that we came into their small home. They had arranged that we would be there this evening ahead of time with Joseph. Precious, precious people.

Joseph pretended to have his feelings hurt because John and Daniel had a "party" prepared for us yesterday and he wasn't invited. Joseph said he's going to email MamaSarah (the women are identified by their oldest child) and tell her to fast for him because he's mistreated. Dad said he could open up a shelter for poor abused pastors. I said he could be the president of this shelter. But he said it's fine, he just won't marry them when they find ladies to marry. Haha

We tracked back through the mud to the car and made it back here safely, thanks be to Jesus. We're learning more and more Swahili each day. I am convinced that if we were here for very long we would catch on quickly. Daniel told me there are forty languages in Kenya! I think I'll stick with this one for now.

Daniel was telling me tonight that before he was saved he prayed "I know you're going to save me some day." And the Lord was full of mercy to do just that. He's filled with gladness because of what the Lord has done in their lives. The message of salvation is so close to their hearts. You can see it on their faces. Praise the Lord. Bwana Asifiwe.

November 1, 2001

We got up early this morning and left for Keringet with Joseph. David and Duncan took a bus. The people here received us gladly. We're staying several days in an old house that belongs to a brother Julius, who is a doctor. It is an old white-settler pioneer home. There is no toilet or running water in the house. The one they use is a slab of concrete surrounded by four walls with a hole in the center of the slab, and it's a good way from the house. I thought Jen and I were going to die when we first saw it. But, hey, we were expecting to have to rough it a little.

After lunch, we set out for the crusade. This place is so poor. In the distance there is beautiful farm lands and hills, but the town is dirt all around. Many of the local people do not wear shoes and their feet look weathered and dry. We sang and preached in an open field. A lot of people surrounded to listen and seven were prayed for. This evening, if the rain ceases, we're showing a "Jesus" film with the projector that we brought with us from the States.

Right now, Jen and I are relaxing on the bed missing Nakuru and all of our friends and familiar faces. It's amazing how quickly a person can become so attached. We're looking forward to going home to Nakuru on Sunday evening or next morning. Then we should be traveling back and forth to Naivasha and Nakuru for several days holding crusades. There is great hope to start a new church and we're praying for many to receive Jesus into their lives.

Driving through these roads, people are staring at us from every direction. The children are saying, "How are you?" over and over again. It's a weird feeling, really. We are the center of attention wherever we go because we are white. I almost wish I weren't.

Dad said he's thinking about building a home somewhere around here, but Jeni and I insisted that we live right next door to Joseph. Joseph said Dad could get rich because people would give a lot of cows as a trade for the two of us, and there's a lot of money in cattle. A man must purchase his wife from her father here in Africa.

We showed a film tonight about pagan beliefs instituted into Christianity by Constantine. The projector was set up under a large cattle shed because of the rain. Lots of people came. We were warned by everyone that it would be cold here, but these people get gold so easily. It's a good thing we brought at least some warm clothes because it was very chilly tonight. They've started a fire in the living room fireplace and it's cozy inside by the fire. But outside, the wind is frigid. The generator used to power the projector consistently went out during the film. They don't know why yet, but they finally got through the entire showing. They then sang some festive worship songs with a guitar and drum. We sat up on a wooden platform for the show and the children crowded behind us to look at us and touch our hair. One woman told me her husband came to see a white person because he's never seen one before. We're spectacles! Jen's had about all of that she wants. Sometimes all the attention is tiring.

Swahili music is playing in the house. It make me happy. The sky looks so big here and the moon is so bright, a flashlight is barely needed. We're blessed of the Lord. What a privilege! What an opportunity!



 

November 2, 2001

Two men came forward for prayer a the crusade this afternoon. It was very breezy and cool. Dad, Jen and I took a walk this morning but we didn't go very far because Julius told us there could be drunks here. I picked some flowers and we passed lots of donkeys by the road. A man in camouflage ran past us with an Uzi. I don't know what he was doing.

We're still a little homesick for Nakuru and David and Duncan missed their wives and children. The Lord is working here though. Today, Joseph said the spirit was telling him that many people were wanting to come forward, although only two actually did come. Everyone is invited to the showing of the Ten Commandments tonight and to Sabbath services tomorrow.

Julius gave us a tour of the hospital. There is such need for so many things. I pray the Lord may provide since He's given Julius a heart to serve. Julius said they always tell the people that Jesus is the One who can heal them, body and soul. Between fifty to one hundred patients come to the hospital per day. So that's quite a ministry. May the Lord bless them.

We had the film show about 7:30 tonight. We began the Ten Commandments and everything ran pretty smoothly. There were many people that came. After the movie ran for a time, Joseph told the people that the God who delivered the children of Israel from the land of Egypt is ready to deliver them from sin tonight. Several of them raised their hands to be saved. Joseph prayed for them collectively and then invited them to Sabbath tomorrow. Joseph is wanting to begin a church here.

The land in this area looks a lot like Arkansas, but there are many plants we've never seen before. One of them stung Jen as we were walking in the yard. All you have to do is touch them. A big area on her foot was red and stinging like fire. Later they informed us that not all of the plants are friendly around here. Surely not!

Tonight was a sight! Hundreds of people sitting on the wet grass to watch the movie and hear the Gospel. Jeni and I watched from inside the car to keep warm. But the Lord faithfully stopped the rain. Praise Him!!

We are becoming more comfortable here. We had a good meal. Joseph keeps telling us if we're married in Kenya, we'll have to obtain certificates when we've learned to successfully make "ugali," "sukumawiki," and "chapati," their staple foods. He's always keeping an eye on our plates, urging us to eat more. Dad's not losing any weight yet. I tried "maziwa lala"tonight. It's fermented milk kept in gourd and mixed with ashes from a special tree they burn. I did not like it. It was like drinking chunky yogurt with no sugar added. Joseph drank two full glasses and says he's going to sleep like rubber. Rubber? Yes, just like rubber.

November 3, 2001

We kept the Sabbath day in Keringet at Julius' home. There were maybe twenty of us. They opened for services with loud songs, beating a leather drum they call "ngoma" with a strap and stick. The service included testimonies and personal greetings from each person, lasting about five and a half hours. Dad gave the main sermon and told them who we are in Christ, revealing the mystery of our identity. It was powerful and just what we needed to hear. A lady that came and said it wasn't her intention to meet with us today but God's will. Three men walked twenty kilometers this morning to be here because they heard there was going to be visitors from the U.S. and Nakuru. I really think God brought certain people to hear the message.

We ate lunch and then set up for the open-air crusade. This time we stood on top of a grassy hill to sing and preach. The weather was great, sunny and warm. But as soon as we began, it started to sprinkle. The clouds rolled in with the cold rain and it got dark pretty quick. Joseph, Jen, Joseph Rono and I sat inside the car to get out of the cold. Dad stood out in the rain and David interpreted for him. People stood underneath the coverings of small shops across the road to listen.

Not everyone understands Swahili here. Some speak Kikuyu. There are so many other dialects that we are unsure everyone understands. Like Daniel said there are over forty languages in Kenya, and so many different tribes. Some tribal characteristics are very distinctive, as carrying baskets on their heads or having large loads on their backs.

We showed more of the Ten Commandments tonight. Many people turned out to see and hear the film. Five were prayed for tonight. There were a couple of men questioning Dad about the sacred names, which is rare. Mostly, people ask questions about salvation and Jesus.

Tonight we are sitting in the living room and there is a fire crackling in the fireplace. Dad's speaking with a pastor, and other men of an Apostolic Church that observe Sunday. I'm talking back and forth with a few young men about the pictures in our album from home they are looking at. They can't believe Matthew is only thirteen, as big as he is.

Helen has completely received the message today and says the devil is so angry because of this revelation. She says, "No retreat! No surrender!"Joseph Rono gave testimony after services. He loved the sermon and told us about a vision he saw last Thursday. He saw a very green place with a green snake present, disguising itself. Joseph was afraid to move forward because the snake was angry. He is trying to connect this vision with the message he received today, that maybe the devil has been keeping him from moving forward in the spiritual things.

November 4, 2001

This morning we visited a local primary boarding school down the street from where we have been staying. We came through the gate and the kids were so excited to see us. We were invited into the office by the Deputy Headmaster, while he assembled the children in a large hall. There are 402 normally present, except today, grade eight was gone. The kids were all sitting together singing when we approached. Joseph introduced himself and then each of us seperately. We gave our testimonies to the children. Their ages range from five to fifteen. I told them I had come to tell them that Jesus loves them and that life with Him is blessed. We taught them the song, "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus." After we shared our messages with them, they lined up outside to greet us. We shook all their hands and greeted them in Jesus' name. Afterwards, we were served sodas and chapati in the office and took several photos with them before we left. The children followed us around the campus, pulling our hair and touching our hands to feel if our skin was different than theirs. We nearly had to be escorted out, but it was a great experience for us.

We held our regular crusade this afternoon and just like clockwork, it started to rain when we began. But there was a big crowd and they were listening. When Dad started preaching the details of the crucifixion, then rain got heavier and many of them headed for cover across the street where they could still hear. We stayed where we were.

Our film-showing has been cancelled tonight. We had a great, spontaneous worship service - singing praises in both Swahili and English. Right now, we're sitting in front of the fireplace studying and writing. I'm so thankful to be here and everyday I am blessing the Lord for this opportunity. God is Good! Mungu mi mwema!

November 5, 2001

It is so good to be home! This morning we had breakfast in Keringet and headed for Nakuru. We were all very ready to make this trip. Everyone said goodbye and we prayed together. Brother Julius said it was an honor to have us with them in their home and that the seeds that have been sown would take deep root. They received the word of their identity with enthusiasm. There was a Pastor and an older man who stayed through this morning with us who said that they would be telling others of this message. They are certain that we met for a reason.

So, after saying goodbye to everyone, we had the hour-and-a-half journey home, stopping on the way to greet a friend of Joseph's. She worked in a little hardware shop and gave Daddy an African broom to take home for mom. There was a man begging for money outside. We stopped to check the post office. People are always coming up to our windows trying to sell us everything under the sun, newspapers, jewelry, postcards.

Coming home was great. Ciro, Agnus, Mama Faith and a few other women were there waiting for us preparing lunch. We were so hungry! We jumped up and down and gave everybody big joyful hugs. It's hard to imagine coming back here after a year. After lunch, we walked to a market where they were selling food, clothes, jewelry, and shoes. Daddy found a group of young men to talk to while Jeni and I shopped. We bought some traditional wrap-around skirts called "shukas" and beaded necklaces. My skirt was 120 shillings which is maybe $1.50 in American currency. So it's very cheap to us but not necessarily to the natives here. We shopped and then we bought a banana to bait the monkeys at the safari park, but none showed up. So sad.

November 6, 2001

This afternoon we went to a town and mailed off some letters. Daddy bought a watch and Joseph payed a bill in the office. Jennifer and I shopped in the street and she bought a beaded bracelet. It was sunny and beautiful for most of the day.

We left for Naivasha around 2:30 PM. The drive was gorgeous. There were acacia trees and great mountains and a salty lake with flamingos. We passed a lot of zebras and some of them were right beside the road. They were beautiful.

Joseph drove us to where Mama Kimani lives and Daniel, John, Duncan, and David were there also waiting for us. We finally got to meet David and Duncan's wives and they loved finally meeting us, as we loved meeting them. David's three year old son, Martin, is so precious. He says were are "Jennifer, Sala, and Pasta Lally." Duncan's two daughters, Grace and Emma finally saw the "msungus" (white people) and they embraced us quickly.

We held the meeting in dusty, open place. Naivasha is not a big city, and the people are very friendly. There were women preparing food right there on the way. They look at us everywhere we go and it seems they're surprised when we wave and say hi.

Joseph's Mom was so happy to see us. His Aunt was about to fall off her seat, she was so excited. The one-room apartment where his Mother lives has no light inside. The apartment complexes are like long homes split into several one room apartments. When we drove there, we saw some Masai homes. They make them with small sticks and cow dung. Joseph said the women build and the men drink.

Our crusade was successful because many came to listen. It didn't rain and one young girl came forward at the end. It was very hot and breezy. But as soon as the sun went down, it became very cool. The sky is mostly clear tonight and the stars are brilliant.

Mama Kimani was so excited about the gifts that Dad gave her. It was a cosmetic bag filled with lotion, bath products, and other things. She sat on the ground and just smiled and laughed. Joseph said she was happy to meet us finally and extremely happy to see Jen and I.

We stayed up late tonight and played cards. We sang a lot of songs. Isaac told me about a song called "Expect For Grace" that just makes him want to cry. "This amazing grace that saved this wretch, covering these mistakes." So beautiful. Isaac has a heart to worship the Lord and I really enjoy him. He's 17 and talks about how much he loved his mother Esther. Esther died recently from malaria complications. Even Mama Kimani was sick for months because she wouldn't eat after Esther died. They loved each other and she was very much grieved. I think that it has given the family a real desire for the Kingdom of Christ, knowing Esther will be raised to eternal life. Oh, that we would sing of this grace until the day we're taken up.

November 7, 2001

Dad, Jen and I walked down to the market again today, crossing and old railroad track and passing lots of goats. Jen bought a watch for 400 shillings and Dad bought me a shuka for 210. "Mahindi choma" is sold everywhere. That's roasted corn on the cob. Women sit in front of a small fire and roast it. We've tried some and it's actually pretty good. We also bought some sugar cane today. It tastes just like sweet watermelon.

This afternoon, we drove to Duncan's home in Naivasha to pick up the equipment for the meeting tonight. We got lost. We drove in a big circle and finally found it about half and hour later. The dirt roads were do bad we had to get out of the car and walk while Joseph drove over the big puddles. Little Martin was waiting for us outside when we got there. He is so cute! Dad bought him a tennis ball today at the market and David said he would never forget Dad because of it. Martin loves this gift so much. David told us before that the cashiers knew Martin as the little boy who loves to play with the ball in their store.

Jen and I gave our testimonies for the crusade today. A lot of people came really close to listen and Dad preached on the Sabbath. Joseph had sensed in the spirit that the people of Naivasha need to hear it and that there is a lot of drunkenness and adultery in that place. Three people came forward to David and Duncan before the service was over. Two of them were prayed for and the third was an old man who wanted money. Joseph said he's dealt with him before. The young girl who came forward to receive Jesus last night was there again today and she testified in front of everyone that there had been a change in her heart.

Afterwards, we dropped the sound equipment back off at Duncan's and returned to Nakuru for the night. Praise God.

November 8, 2001

We had a couple of visitors today. Jackson is a pastor of a Sunday keeping church and he is wanting Dad to preach to his congregation. Actually he is the bishop and founder of the Victorious Churches of Kenya. I don't know how many there are. The other man stayed longer to talk about the Sabbath with Dad. His name is Robert and he pastors a Disciples of Christ church. He took public transportation and traveled 200 miles to meet with Dad. Dad explained to him where the scriptures tell of it's holiness and when Sunday observance came into effect. He listened and seemed to see it's sanctification.

We left for Naivasha about 2:30 p.m. and actually got there early. So, Mama Grace invited us into her home for chai. The crusade went very well. Helen gave her testimony. Jen and I sang a few songs. There were "I Will Call Upon the Lord", "Amazing Grace" and "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever". There was a spirit of worship upon us and Joseph insisted we go on after the first two songs.

Daddy preached on end-time events that are ahead of us. Many were listening intently. I could feel the power of God in my legs at one point and we were certain that there would be many coming forward. When the people were asked to raise their hands to receive Jesus, there was no one! Joseph and David continued to preach and the people were asked to come closer. Even at this point, the people were reluctant to come forward. Joseph said, "We're waiting on you." to a large group of people standing off to the left. They slowly came and stood very close as they were encouraged to come to the Lord. But still, no one stepped forward. We were all really amazed. It makes us wonder why they stay in the first place. Our reactions are the same, there seems to be something holding these souls back from release.

During the service, there were two disruptive women. One of them was finally escorted away because she kept coming toward the speakers walking back and forth through the crowd. The children, who were standing in the front, scattered, causing more of a disturbance. Daniel told me he thought she was drunk. But after David talked to her, he was certain she was sick instead with a bad case of malaria. Joseph said there are a lot of people in Naivasha who are drunkards. There are a lot of people who need Jesus.

Arriving back home in Nakuru, Baba Kairu and a few others from the church were waiting for us at the house. They were so happy to see us. We've been traveling back and forth for the crusades all week and have not seen them often. James, the matatu(bus) driver came later to see us too. Before they all left tonight, we prayed together in the living room.

I was in my bedroom at 10:35 p.m. when Hellen came upstairs to say goodnight. She saw that I was studying and didn't want to stay long. But as soon as she walked out the door, she came back in. She wanted to go to sleep but felt she couldn't rest until she told me what was weighing on her heart. So we talked for 45 minutes about the need for collective prayer before holding a crusade. We've all been praying individually, but when it comes time to leave for the crusade, we leave without asking God's protection or anointing. It's not a football game we're leaving for. I saw that this timing of prayer would be most beneficial.

I shared with Hellen what the spirit conveyed to me this morning. The spirit of the Lord was upon me and I prayed fervently for Him to do a great work in Naivasha, to let His children grow in power, remembering the vision I saw months ago.

When reading an e-mail, I read that a new church had begun in Naivasha, a place I'd never heard of before, and that many were there who had received Jesus. Upon reading this, I saw myself on a wooden stage with others beside me and many dark hands raised in front of us. Their hands were in motion; I could see them moving. I was clenching my hand to my chest, feeling the power of God, and the spirit of God was upon us.

So I shared this with Hellen tonight and told her I believe the Lord is planning a release for the people of Naivasha. There is a toughness there that we've not known in the other places we visited. Hellen received the vision, having been burdened that same morning by the spirit we are lacking. Mark 16:15-18 had been weighing on her because we are not displaying these things. How can we believe to be saved and disbelieve to have the power as written in Mark 16? God revealed to me that just like the Israelites came to the river and there was not other way across, we've come to the river also. If the Israelites had waited, fearful to cross the river, they would have been destroyed. It took their stepping forward in faith and going across the parted waters to be delivered from their enemy. We've been waiting for dry land, when God says that the way will appear before us upon contact. Wow! So, Hellen and I were edifying each other and being blessed. Before she left for bed, we got down on the floor to pray. Then we sang songs to the Lord and felt strongly in the spirit that God will do something great. Is He a mighty God or what? "THE PEOPLE WHO KNOW THEIR GOD WILL DISPLAY STRENGTH AND TAKE ACTION..." Daniel 11:32

November 9, 2001

I woke this morning and spent about two hours studying and praying before going downstairs. I read about how the "Shekinah" glory filled the temple in II Chronicles and Daniel 11, and the people of God displaying strength.

We walked to the nearest gas station to buy sodas and talked to John there, (the man we met shortly after we flew in). He wants us to be sure that we don't forget him when we go back to the States. Then we walked over to the Safari Bite restaurant for a snack. Dad had a couple samosas (fried pockets stuffed with beef) which he didn't order. Jen had french fries which they call chips. I had a "mandazi" and it was very good. We then had a safe drive to Naivasha. The drive is so beautiful. On one side of the road are great cliffs and grassy hills where shepherd boys herd goats. On the other side is a big lake, mountains and zebras close to the road. The road itself is awful. The speed limit is 80 km, which is maybe 55 mph. Some places you must drive much slower. In Naivasha, there is a beautiful mosque that says "Muhammad is the Prophet" on the outside. We see men and women with long dressed and head coverings. The other day, we passed a man wearing a red blanket and no pants. Joseph says they're "Masai" It is said if you herd cattle wearing white they will come for you. So they wear red and if you ever spend the night at one of their homes, bring your own blanket because they don't keep extras around aside from what they wear.

The crusade was powerful. We are really battling with spirits. The presence of God could be felt and Dad and I were both moved in the spirit. I knelt in the dirt, sensing the Lord's burden. Dad spoke on the purpose of mankind and our job of seeking out those who have been pre-destined to be in the family of God. The people came very close when asked to come nearer. Dad asked if there was anyone who was sick and one man came forward saying something was wrong with his stomach. So Joseph and Dad laid their hands on this man and prayed. Five people came forward in response to the altar call. Two of them were presumably drunk. One man came stumbling up to Joseph and Dad and sat right in front of them. He was being loud at one point and Daniel and David reprimanded him. Even Joseph told the man to be quiet or leave. There was a woman also drunk. She came up to Dad and I after the service. She would grab our hands and talk right into our faces. I could smell the liquor immediately on her breath. Three other men were prayed for as well. So our efforts were not in vain. Of course, it is our commission to sow the seeds where they may or may not sprout and believe that God's Word will not return to Him empty. The brethren here have a heart for the Gospel like I've not known. And we need that.

November 10, 2001

It's the Sabbath day! We drove to Naivasha this morning for services. A zebra walked right in front of us on the way. Once we got near the church building, we found that the roads have been blocked with big mounds of dirt and deep holes. We maneuvered our way around them and pulled in next to the school where they were having church.

Joseph went early this morning to pick up Jimmy and Mary (his two other children) from boarding school. They were downstairs at the house when we came down this morning. They are so precious. We said "Praise the Lord" and Jimmy said "Amen, amen." I gave him a watch and Mary her jewelry box and bracelet before we left for church. Both children are easy-going and opened up to us in no time.

Joseph, Dad, Isaac, Mary, Jen and I packed in the car and picked up Josephine on the way. Simon and Jimmy rode a bus to the church in Nakuru. David pastors the church in Naivasha with Duncan's help in a one-room school building. The floor concrete with a lot of chunks missing from it. We sat on wooden benches. Daniel and Duncan were a little late. They set up the speakers outside and a few inside. All the while, we were singing praises. They had started a while before we got there at 10:30 a.m., so we sang a lot and prayed. All visitors were given a chance to greet everyone. We sang and prayed more. They move from singing to praying on their own and everyone kneels where they are to pray, loudly and they weep. Joseph spoke shortly. He said he's been feeling very low this morning because we've been spending time and money to preach the gospel in Naivasha and no one from the crusades came today. He feels we are wasting time. But there were a few who came to sit in on the service and one of them testified that he had come from a place in the bush where the tribe had never her the gospel. The people of his tribe worship the sun and the trees. He said if we want to preach, we should preach there. Joseph feels we should no go to a place like that instead because he likes to see the fruits of his labor. But he said he knew God was going to do something to lift his spirit.

Joseph invited Dad to speak. Dad gave a good sermon about seeking the power of God, living by faith and the spiritual gifts. It made an impact on them and they received these seeds with great readiness. There was one man there from another church who wanted to be baptized and another man of the famous Masai tribe who received Jesus as his Savior. He then invited us to preach the gospel in his village. It was a powerful message and we felt very encouraged to walk in power.

After services, we walked to Duncan's home for lunch and then headed down the road (balabala) for the crusade. We walked there and found two men with white turbans on their heads preaching in the middle of a crowd and selling cassettes in our space. So we walked to another place that seemed like the wilderness, flat, dry and so windy. We almost called it a day because we got started late and weren't sure if we could get anyone to come out there. But we carried on and people came. There were close to a hundred children present. They came from all directions to see these "msungus" (white people). There were adults that came as well, but not near as many as usual. You can never tell what might happen because four people came up for altar call out of that small group.

It was dark before we finished and getting cool. We walked back to Duncan's and Daniel taught me a Swahili song called "Yesu Nakupenda". We're always learning new phrases and songs. We unloaded the car and left for home where MamaFaith, Mike, Faith and Jimmy were waiting for us. They cooked us dinner. We've grown quite attached to the food around here. We drink "chai" all the time and have "chapati, mandazi, or ugali" with each meal. These women make a living out of cooking, seriously.

November 11, 2001

Daddy and I took Faith and Mike for a walk to the supermarket and the game park this morning. Dad bought them chocolate bars and we looked for a battery for my camera. On the way back home, a man on a bicycle stopped us, simply because we are white. He was trying to explain something about a man in Nairobi inviting him to a church in Nakuru, mixing his speaking with Swahili and English. I really didn't know what he was trying to say until he asked for 100 shillings to fix his bike, (which he was riding by the way). Dad said he didn't come to Kenya to fix bikes but to preach the gospel. Then, the man started to talk about the good Samaritan. We pretty much said "see ya". Then we met Eunice as she was coming to meet us, so we walked together to the house. We ate lunch and left early for Naivasha, stopping by to see Esther's sister.

We held the crusade in the regular spot for our last one here. The men in the turbans were not there. Many came to listen. There was a lady who appeared to be drunk, who walked right up front while Daniel and Hellen and the others were singing. She began to dance with them. It was fine for a while and then she danced up to Duncan. He gently pushed her away a couple times and then she threw herself on the ground screaming like an animal until she was picked up and taken to another place. After a while, she calmly stood by me during the rest of the service. Very strange. There was a man who came up beside us and was crossing his arms pretending to be really listening, making others laugh. I guess he was drunk too. These crusades must draw evil spirits.

It was a cloudy day today. Joseph said the weather looked "stupid". Yes, when the weather is undesirable, they say it is "stupid or foolish" in his tribal language. We laughed and laughed about this. "Stupid weather".

When the alter-call was given, no one raised their hand. But Dad feels progress was made, the devil gained no victory tonight. The people really listened!

We said goodbye to MamaShiko and MamaMartin and went to Nakuru. Pastor John Njogue and his wife Elizabeth were waiting for us when we got home. We ate dinner together and talked about American's problems. After John and Elizabeth left, Jen and I stayed up late with the kids, talking and playing cards. Mary is so precious. She fell asleep on my shoulder on the way home, but stayed up with us and told me all about her boarding school. I've been thinking about what it's going to be like not to be here. Ciro, Isaac, and Daniel are always mentioning how said it's going to be when we leave. I'll be glad to see my family again, but will miss this African family so much. I've purposed to be thankful for each day and trust the Lord will help us with the rest.

November 12, 2001

Today was a day off for us. We went to the city and used the email service. Dad bought a knife for Michael in the market. I don't like going to this market in the middle of the city. These men follow us around with their things trying to persuade us to buy them. Dad talked to a Canadian the other day and he told him they triple prices in this spot. So Dad bargained this guy down 250 shillings or so. There are men who roll wheel barrels around with pineapples in them and they cut them fresh on the streets. A guy approached us sniffing a bottle of shoe glue. Dad tried to convince him to give it up. This man looked like your typical hobo. Torn clothes, and strange things hanging from them like batteries and a piece of mirror. There was a young girl we've seen before who followed us around and asked for bread to eat. Joseph gave her some money.

We stopped by to see John Njogu at the Church of God Seventh Day office where we had soda and chai. John had run into a man who was talking about us saying that there was a Sabbath-keeping preacher preaching on the gospel in Nakuru. They were very surprised that the Sabbath and salvation were together. Sad, maybe it won't be like that for long.

When we came back to the house, John, Daniel, and Eunice had come to visit. The seeds of Dad's message have definitely been sown. There are seeing the need for power and realizing there is something lacking. Ciro was sick and they wanted me to lay hands on her and she would be made well. They have faith. I guess it just needs to be combined with a step of faith.

It rained today, so we couldn't go for a walk. But we listened to music and visited a lot this evening. David and Duncan are here. We leave for Nyahururu in the morning.

November 13, 2001

We left Nakuru at 10:20 this morning. The drive to Nyahururu was beautiful with tea fields on one side of the road and coffee fields on the other. Women were out in the midst harvesting with big bags on their backs. Nyahururu (Thomson Falls) is at the top of a mountain. The drive was a lot like driving up Pettit Jean Mountain in Arkansas.

Benard met us in the middle of the road once we arrived about an hour and a half later. Joseph says this place is like hell. The road to Benard's home is so muddy it's undriveable. And they say it rains 24 hours a day here. It would take God's intervention to even have the crusades. Benard and a Pastor named Peter, rode with us to where we will be lodging in his church, the African Inland Church. We were initially impressed. This is a big, nice church (even by American standards), with a big hall, balcony, pretty grass and flowers and several boarding rooms. Compared to Keringet, this is great. But still, there is no running hot water and although there are bathrooms in each room, the toilets are out of order. We're paying 200 shillings per person per night. Hellen is staying at Benard's and she will help prepare the meals. We had chai and lunch at Benard's home. It's so funny, everywhere we go, we're served the same meals on the same dishes from the same bowls with the same spoons. They have different patterns, but they are the same otherwise. The variety in the shops are very limited, I think. We drove into a busy part of the city and set up for the injili.(crusade) It's very muddy here as well, but no raining, praise the Lord. Many came to listen and one man came up front. Dad thinks this place is tough. These people have heard the gospel and there are a lot of churches. But our main objective is to seek out those who are being called so as to build a church here. There are three called out ones now: Benard, his wife Helen, and her sister.

We ate dinner and with Benard's tribe it's customary to sing and pray upon arrival and departure. So we sang, prayed, and ate. We had a long discussion about women's apparel. Benard wanted to know what Dad thought about it. So Dad told him that it shouldn't be regulated in the church, but that modesty should be taught. After all, we are not after the outward things. The holy spirit will guide each person. We then got on the subject of "ugali". It seems Benard must have ugali with each meal. If ugali isn't served with each meal, he feels he hasn't eaten. Dad says this man is obsessive about this stuff and it's a disease to love ugali this much. It was very funny. Everyone almost, had their opinions and it was like we were discussing a major doctrine.

Anyway, we are back at church and we're very tired. I think we will all sleep like rubber.

November 14, 2001

I woke up before 7:00 this morning and the car had frosted, it was so cold. Comparatively, Nakuru is much warmer. They brought us warm water in a basin to bathe in and we went o Benard's for biscuits and chai. We stood on a bridge and watched for hippos, but have not seen any yet. After lunch, we came back her at the church to rest and pray. I found a small shelter with a bench underneath and prayed there. It was raining and cool, and we were wondering if it was going to quit. Finally it did, so we loaded up for the crusade.

Initially, Joseph did not want to stay here. We threw a breaker today and thought the step-down transformer was broken. The electricity here in Africa is 220 direct current, so to use any appliances from America we must use a converter called a step-down. We have no power for our equipment without it and they almost decided to leave then. But we're still here, a little homesick for Nakuru but making it just fine. The sun actually came out today. We had the crusade near a more rural area. There were many children. Not many adults were near, but they could be seen standing far off inside small shops at the marketplace. There was probably 100 kids there. At the beginning of the meeting, a bus with a trailer on the back, pulled in next to us and the kids went wild, jumping and screaming. It was a mobile cinema. They travel and show films for free. Keep in mind, these aren't Christian films. So Dad went to talk to the men showing the films. The men said this was their regular spot. Dad told them, "I don't know what kind of work you're doing, but we're doing the Work of the Living God!" Dad demanded that they leave. The men left but we found out they had just parked on the other side of some small building very near to us. Anyway, we continued with the crusade. One drunk man, (I could smell the alcohol) wanted to be prayed for. It was dark when we finished and we did not show the film because of the competition.

Benard's wife Helen, fed us ugali, cabbage and supu with chai for dinner. We stayed there until 11:00 p.m., listening to them sing Swahili hymns, lounging on the couches in this tiny room by the light of a single lantern. It was really cozy although the walls and floor are stone and the couches are wooden with little padding. It was like we were sitting around a camp fire, about 12 of us there.

We were all talking about dating and courtship and certain customs this afternoon. They are amazed Americans date recreationally and that they're given in marriage without giving something in exchange for the bride (dowry). In Kenya, the man will consult the woman and then the father and a deal must be agreed upon by both sets of parents. They believe if you get something for free, then you will mistreat it. David and his wife Phyllis spend their honeymoon in the very place we are now. Thomson Falls are supposed to be gorgeous. I think we'll go see them tomorrow after breakfast.

November 15, 2001

After chai this morning, we walked to see the hippos and saw several in the water. They were flicking their ears and making big noises that sounded like killer whales when they blow air from their blow holes. We walked through tall grass to get to a place where we could see them. The hippos had made huge footprints in the mud where we stood and big patches of grass were laying down where they had been.

From there, we walked to Thomson Falls. There were many souvenir shops. When the vendors saw us coming, they came quickly to meet us and invite us in. The Falls are beautiful. The trees and shrubbery are very green and plush. There was a rainbow in the mist of the falls. A couple was there painted from head to toe in tribal motif and they danced for the camera. After Dad showed them theirselves on the LCD screen of his video camera they were amazed. They said in their native tongue "It is a miracle that we are inside (the camera). When we were walking away, they were insisting that Dad pay. After a while, Dad had to reprimand them.

We went shop to shop looking at all the beautiful things and the vendors followed us around trying to persuade us to come into their shops. It makes me uncomfortable and I've learned to emphatically say "Hapana" (No) in the nicest way. Dad was looking for a drum and he had them all searching their stations for drums. The first price we got was 800 shillings. There was actually one drum for 2500 shillings! Dad came out of there laughing knowing that he was just trying to take unfair advantage of a white American. The guy came down to 750 and by the time we left was saying "take it at your own price", but it wasn't the one Dad wanted anyway.

We were split up this afternoon. Joseph and Ben left and ate lunch somewhere. Daddy, David and Duncan went walking. Hellen was at the house. We intended to preach at 3:00 but Joseph and Ben were late. At 4:00, they couldn't find Dad to get the room key to get all the equipment. We went back to where we're staying 4 different times because of misunderstandings and oversights. Then it began to rain and it got dark really quickly. So we did not preach or show the film. We're all feeling pretty low, wondering if we should be here at all. There was a lot of talk about getting our money back for the next three nights and driving back to Nakuru for the night. We have been very disorganized and things have not run smoothly. Many of us were irritated because we feel we're wasting time, not accomplishing anything.

This evening was awesome. The spirit moved and Ben told us of a dream he had received before we came to Kenya. In his dream, he was in a beautiful garden with Jennifer and I (mind you, he had not yet seen us in the flesh). There were heads of cabbage in the garden with weeds among them and the Lord asked, "Can you separate the weeds from the cabbage so they can grow?" Then he saw a man raping a woman. Immediately, God gave Dad the interpretation of this dream and it was like listening to Daniel interpret the King's dream in the Bible. He explained that the cabbage is the harvest in Nyahururu and the "ugali" is the people. The weeds, human feces and the woman are false Christianity. This place is corrupted with a mixture and the word was for Jennifer and I as well as for Ben. The spirit was very powerful in that room.

Dad told how many were saved in Naivasha after I fasted and that I had seen a vision of Naivasha. Joseph asked me what I saw so I told them. And we are in full agreement that it will take place. The spirit was strong. Ben told us of another dream he had about us coming which was very much in detail and part of it was that we were unable to come for the mission trip because Dad was sick. So the church collectively prayed and Dad told them that ever since he's been here, he's had no pain in his chest as he had before. Another part of the dream was that our car broke down on the way and we had to take a bus. Surely the devil was at work to hinder us from coming, but he has been successful. The Lord gave Ben two scriptures for us to share together and they were Nehemiah 4:8-14 and Revelation 8:13. When the first one was read, I could feel the power of the spirit in me. God gave understanding to Dad of what it meant for us. We have been opposed, but the walls are coming down and it's not by might, nor by power, but by the spirit of the Lord. We sang and worshiped and prayed. God has given the devil three days to do His work, but what He has done will be turned into good. For we have three days and three nights left here. Three is the number of emphasis and we know we must redeem the time and make the devil pay. Oh, we lifted up our voices to God, even joined hands to sing and pray with all our heart. God was there tonight. It was beautiful. He took us from a place of deep discouragement to a place of full determination. The walls are coming down. Praise the Lord!

November 16, 2001

I woke up this morning thinking about last night. Before we left, Ben said we should pray and then bless one another. We mostly said, "Mungu Akubariki" God Bless You, to each other. But Ben prayed heavily over Dad and myself. When we hugged, he spoke some powerful words in Swahili over me, putting his hand heavily on my head. I don't know if he even knows what he said, in case he was speaking in tongues. I think, though, that it was Swahili. I received that blessing.

We went to Ben's for chai and mandazi for breakfast and quickly went to Ben's school. He owns a primary school to minister to the children. The children sang many songs for us including, "I Have Decided" and "What a Mighty God We Serve". It was really a blessing. After our service, they offered us porridge which we did not bring ourselves to drink. Directly from the school, we went to set up for the crusade. Dad preached hard on the Sabbath. We broke for lunch and MamaJen came from Nakuru with John. Such a nice surprise. We've been missing them.

We intended to start the second crusade at 3:00 but found another group wanting to preach in our spot and use our speakers. They suggested that we're preaching the same gospel anyway and Dad informed them that, in fact, we are not. Dad thinks these men may represent one of the spies in Ben's second dream. But because the generator needed gas, Joseph let them preach first. Later, Dad preached more on commandment-keeping and turned and singled out those who had gone before us as not keeping the commandments. The two pastors soon left as Dad was issuing challenges to all ministers in the area to come forward and tell the people why they teach the relaxing of God's commandments! Ben went to town and said that you could hear clearly all the way there. So even though many may not walk near, they still hear. There was a group of young men who wanted to hear the Sabbath message again. A man came to ask for information about the church also. This evening we showed some of the Ten Commandments film. They used the projector we brought and tied a white sheet to the speaker poles for a screen. You could actually see the stars tonight and hundreds of people came to see the cinema. Jeni and I brought a couple of cups of chai to the crusade and Joseph said people would be talking about that for a week. Apparently it's funny to walk around with a drink. I told him that in America, people do that all the time. Even John told me that the first day we came to Naivasha, there was a child who was surprised we have eyes. It's like they think we're inhuman.

The cinema went well. It was a sight to see all those people crowd around a big screen in the middle of an open field. During the day, the children followed me around and crowded me. So it was nice to be in the dark for a change. Waiting for dinner at Ben's house this evening, a neighbor came in drunk and insisted we all be introduced. He told us his name is Robert and he was a neighbor of Ben's. He also stated he was happy. Over and over and over again. I've never been around drunkards as much as I have been on this trip.

November 17, 2001

It is the Sabbath! A bus-load of our brothers and sisters from Nakuru came here to keep the Sabbath with us. We had a long service, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., non-stop. We were in a small room at Ben's school. Visitors were given a chance to introduce themselves. Then we, in turn, introduced ourselves. Joseph said when he stayed with us for three weeks last year in America, he felt as if he were at home. He also said that having us here is like having the very bone inside them, as if we are one flesh. When my chance came, I told them that if I had words, I'd tell them how I love them. But that I don't have words because the love of God surpasses all knowledge. I got close to crying today. The thought of leaving is bittersweet to me. The children sang a few songs for us. The rest of us sang many songs. Dad wowed them with science as he preached on the greatness of God, and how God always provides for the works of His hands.

Ben had received another dream. In this one, there was a beautiful field with very fertile soil and a voice said that the ground was ready. He said that the spirit told him people would not be the same after leaving today. Two women stood to share their dreams, two very similar dreams involving car accidents and death. So we prayed together to break the power of those spirits. It poured down rain and it was very loud on the tin roof.

We ate lunch afterwards. They fed us soup with rice. We decided to walk down to see the hippos. It was so wet and muddy that I learned a new phrase: "sipenda matope", meaning "I don't like mud." It's so thick it absolutely cakes on the bottom of your shoes and makes it so difficult to walk. But we did see the hippos. They were so near to us that I feared they might climb up to the lamb. John, Kairu and Champion were with us.

The same people who preached in our place yesterday were there again today. We simply showed the film tonight. Hundreds came once more. John, Joseph Rono and I laid the tarp out and sat there to watch the movie and somewhere in the middle, the generator ran out of fuel. Then, both of the poles holding the screen fell down. They were metal poles and I feared someone was hurt. But bless God, no now seemed to be harmed. It was cool tonight, but the sky was very clear. We returned to Ben's for supper and fellowship before coming back here where we sleep. They had made ugali, cabbage, supu, and bitter herbs which I didn't eat much of.

It was so nice to see people from Nakuru again, especially Kairu, Mama and Baba Faith. John told us that water from a busted pipe in our bathroom ran out and filled the room, even went downstairs and woke up the kids while they were sleeping in the middle of the night. So it seems we may have a wet mess when we get back there.

It seems our work here is becoming fruitful. Mary, a teacher at Ben's school, was with us today and a friend named John who had not yet decided to stand for the Sabbath. God revealed to us what we're dealing with and we now the seeds we sow will germinate and grow.

November 18, 2001

Today was our last day planned in Nyahururu. On our way to Ben's house, we say many, many people walking to and from mass. We decided to wait until the afternoon to hold the crusade. We had time to walk to see the Falls again. John and Ben came with us this time. We bought some things in their little shops. We knew the rain was coming and sure enough, it started on our way back to the house. By the time Jen and I walked all the way back, we were absolutely soaking, dripping wet.

We had an interesting conversation in Ben's house. They are amazed at how many choices for meals we have in America. Ben stated they more or less eat to be filled. But in America, we eat to enjoy. Dad makes us laugh trying to explain how a coffee-maker works and describing what a corn-dog is. It is hilarious. They ask, "You eat dog meat?!" They dream about hamburgers and cornbread.

We had the crusade in our regular field. Dad preached on keeping the full Commandments of God and holding to the testimony of Jesus. Francis came today and preached also. I sat on a rocky place and the children gathered around me. We sang Swahili songs together, boys and girls alike. Some of the little girls have babies on their backs. There are also very small children walking around by themselves and it makes me wonder where their mothers are. Yesterday, the young pregnant girl named Medrin, who's been helping in Ben's house, had her baby. It was a girl. And such a special talk has been placed on Jen and I. She wants us to give her baby a name. So, hopefully, we will be able to visit before we leave tomorrow. Medrin was due almost a month ago. The day she went into labor, she was carrying firewood and working in the house.

We showed the latter part of the film tonight. It was very cold and the sky was strangely clear. Hundreds of people came. Joseph, Dad and David preached for a good while before we started the film. John and I were sitting on the poles that were holding up the screen so the kids wouldn't knock them over. Our necks were hurting looking up to one side. So we decided to switch places and as soon as we did, the poles began to fall. We were able to partly catch them so no one was hurt. Thank God, because the poles are very heavy.

At the end, after we prayed, a young woman came to tell us she wanted to be saved. So Dad, Joseph, and Ben prayed with her. Jen and I hugged her and greeted her in Jesus' name afterwards. I really believe she was serious. So we were pumped about that, excited to know our work was not in vain.

We had good fellowship back at the house and stayed there until almost 1 a.m. We sang and laughed and prayed. Francis gave a short message about living in the fulness of God's will. Ben also shared a vision he had a week and a half ago. Ben said he saw in the spirit, our church in Russellville with great manifestations of power and spiritual growth. He received a prophetic utterance saying "The Lord is well pleased with your church and is going to bless you mightily, especially in the things of the spirit. So church, continue to exercise the gifts of the spirit without fear or partiality." You can clearly see the seeds that have been sown here. The seeds have found good ground and the seeds that we ourselves received, are beginning to bear fruit. I cried tonight when Ben and Hellen were formally thanking us and saying goodbye.

November 19, 2001

I stood on the equator today. We packed up this morning, took chai at Ben's and headed home to Nakuru. The exact spot of the equator is marked. There is a sign and a little gift shop. We were shown how water turns different directions when you are at least 20 meters from the equator. When you stand directly on the equator, the water drains straight. It was so cool.

Oh, when we got home, we were rejoicing. Even driving into town, it was a relief to see Nakuru. Women were here preparing lunch and they were so happy to see us. Daniel and Eunice visited and told us how much we were missed. We went to the market and walked to the game park.

Daniel told me his full testimony and it is so amazing. In one day, he went from smoking and selling marijuana to receiving Jesus and leaving the others behind. He read the Bible for the first time that day and he cried. It's so beautiful how God delivers. John came and we relived moments of running from hippos.

Everyone is very sad to think of Sunday, the day of departure.

November 20, 2001

It is so good to be at our Nakuru home. We spent the day in leisure. Daniel came this morning and we went for a walk and had something to eat at Safari Bite. Dad like the samosas. Jeni and I ate chips, which we call french fries in the U.S. Daniel had a samosa and shared my chips. The weather was beautiful today, sunny and warm. We walked to the market, (open area) and to the game park. The animals seemed very far today.

Joseph took Mary back to her boarding school this morning. She was not happy to be leaving. Mama Faith had a photographer come to the house with a horse today and he took a few photos of us with it. We had a lot of time at the house. It was so nice. I know I'm going to miss this climate.

Everyone keeps talking about the day we leave, making themselves sad. Anne and MamaFaith told me today that they would just keep me here. They wish I could stay and I told them surely MamaSarah is missing me. Isaac is my Swahili instructor. My assignment for tomorrow: To tel him an entire story in Swahili.

November 21, 2001

Eunice invited us to her home, so we went there for lunch today. She had a house-full of people wanting to meet us and helping make the lunch. Daniel and David came a little later and ate with us. They had a huge spread of fruit for dessert: pineapples, mangos, oranges, and bananas. I was feeling ill an didn't eat any, as good as it looked.

Eunice and I walked to the 'duka la dawa' for some pain medicine called 'Hedex'. We went to town with Joseph later and back home to load the music equipment for the crusade. We set up and preached, as before in an open area. A lot of children were there and a few adults. But when Joseph asked everyone to come closer and for any to receive Jesus, three people came to stand with him. One woman and two men. Even afterwards, a man wanted prayer because he backslid in his Christian walk. So, I think it was very successful.

We came home to Simon and Isaac who had missed us so much today, and ate 'mandazi' for dinner.

November 22, 2001

This morning, I woke up early and I walked down the road to read my Bible. Cirro went to buy milk, three small plastic bags of milk tied with a knot, for our morning chai. Dad walked to the market for his regular morning walk. Daniel road his bike to the house around 1:30 p.m. Bishop Jackson and his wife also came over to the house. The church here would say it was 7:30 p.m. because they use 'Bible time', adding six hours to the time. It's a bit confusing actually. Anyway, we left soon for Josephine's because she was making our lunch. Her husband was there at their mud house. Before we left, he said by the time we come next year, he will have gone from the world to God. He was so touched that white Americans would accept an invitation to his mud home to eat lunch. He witnessed more than Bible Words, but the love of God. So Daddy and Joseph preached to him a bit and also prayed for him, asking God to heal his leg that he's injured and to help him make a decision about his salvation. Dad paused during the prayer to thank God for the power he felt. I felt the power of God as well, a surging in my legs. So we believe God may be calling this man. Joseph said they have been praying for him.

We had the crusade after leaving Josephine's home. Although no one said they wanted to receive Jesus today, people were listening. We're confident that we've done our part is sowing seeds. I think or only regret is lacking the power and manifest presence of our God.

The speaker and other equipment were driven to the church, so we walked from there. I really enjoyed it. It was dark already and there were many people in the streets, at the markets and all over. Loud music blaring from these little shops and women sitting in front of a single candle with their produce to sell. Since Mama Faith lives right outside the church, we took chai at her house and looked at family photos. Baba Kairu was there to say goodnight to us and he was telling us how everyone would just cry and cry when we leave on Sunday.

We went to Pastor John Njogue's for dinner. They were very precious to us. I sang a Swahili song for them and they were so delighted. Just as it was like a dream when we came here, it doesn't seem real that we are leaving, actually leaving here.

November 23, 2001

There is a man named John who works a the filling station down the road. We went to visit him and his wife and daughter at their home this morning. He lives half-way up the Menengai Crater hill. We took two buses to get to the bottom of the hill and then we climbed th rest of the way. John's wife was in the corn field harvesting maze. Dad gave them scriptures about the Sabbath because John was interested in learning about it. We were with him for about 3 hours.

It started to rain on the way home. Once we were home, it poured. The rain quit in time for us to have the regular crusade. But still sprinkles while the preaching was going on so we kept the equipment covered. We had dinner at Joseph's friend's home.

When we arrived back home, we stayed up late talking. It's the Sabbath tonight. Everyone is a bit worried about tomorrow, that there will be much weeping. I know all of us are very emotional about our stay coming to an end, even understanding it has to be. The bond between all of us is very strong and there are particular people we feel we can't live without.

November 24, 2001

We had church from 10 a.m. to about 4:30 p.m. There was a lot of preaching and singing. My, did they praise! Kairu jumped and danced, Simon sang. It seems like the floor should have fallen through. Some were saying farewell to us and we greeted everyone outside the door afterwards. I did cry then. I was able to sing special music and give my testimony without crying too much though.

We ate lunch at Mama Mwangi's (Agnes), a very late lunch. Afterwards, Jeni and I walked back to church with Jimmy in the spare time we had available. We were going soon to Bishop Jackson's home for dinner. Kairu and his Mom are very sad. Daniel has been down for the past several days, and Isaac is about to fall apart. It's very difficult to say goodbye to those you love. My heart is aching tonight. Joseph's son, Isaac, wrote a farewell letter to me and left a red rose with it in my room. I'm going to write individual letters and tell them how much they mean to me tonight. Everyone's hopes are that we will return to them next year, with others, and we will rejoice together once more.

November 25, 2001

This morning at 10:30, we visited Bishop Jackson's church. The music was the best I've heard yet. They had guitars, drums, keyboard and a choir. Their songs gave me chills. Jackson gave us the chance to testify. Joseph introduced us and we sang several songs. They really enjoyed it, especially Joseph. Daniel and John came with Patrick to be with us since it was our last day. Dad preached on treating the holy casually and receiving the glory of God. He wanted to get across the message that Christians should not treat casually what God has sanctified as holy. He was hoping to lay the ground-work for presenting the Sabbath through literature we will send through the mail. Afterwards, Jackson asked for people to come up confessing there is sin in their lives. Fourteen people came.

We went home for lunch and goodbyes. Many brethren came. The ladies presented us with gifts and we all crowded into the living room and dining room while Josephine, Baba Faith, Joseph and Isaac spoke in behalf of everyone to bid us farewell. It was emotional for all of us. We prayed together and they decided who would accompany us to the airport. We were particularly happy for Isaac, Daniel, David, Duncan and Hellen. We stopped at Naivasha for goodbyes to Mama Martin and Mama Kimani. Once at the Nairobi Airport, we embraced each other with tears.

I've very sad to leave Kenya. It feels like I'm leaving a part of myself behind. But, I thank God for the work of the spirit and enabling me to be a part of it.

We held 34 meetings in Kenya. By God's grace we were able to establish 3 new congregations. We were able to help encourage and strengthen the church, and we were privileged to witness many receive Christ. We are not sure of the exact number but believe it to be in the hundreds. We were also told repeatedly by those who received the Word that they would take the same message we brought to their villages and assured us that when we return we will see a great harvest, the fruits of our labor. Praise the Lord! May God receive the glory!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Points of Truth Ministries