Saturday, December 25, 2010
I had a long newsy e-mail but lost the whole thing when the computer jumped and the time ran out. There are no Christmas trees here in Suguta. At 90 degrees it doesn't seem like that special day. I bought all the street kids suckers yesterday and today to celebrate. It was special for them. My neighbors prepared goat meat, potatoes and other stuff and invited me to lunch today. I met the goat this morning before his fate. It goes that way somedays in the life of a goat.
I am thinking of all of you on this special today, especially the chidlren: Taylor, James, Lauren, Riley, Cameron, Benjamin Weldon, Blaze, Justin, Willow, Sienna, Angel, Summer, Hunter,-I'm thinking of each of them but don't have time to list them all.
It's good to have our new son-in-law, Chris. We are blessed-a new son-in-law every year; this year Chris-last year Bill. Make sure you praise the Lord for me as though I was there for your celebration.
There is a strain on one in adjusting to such a different culture and the heat but I have no complaints as I have freedom and energy in my teaching. I am learning our Father and Lord are infinitely comforting.
It's been a good week over ten hours of teaching and the men are always eager to learn and very responsive. Many do not read or write but draw pictures and have that look of understanding and appreciation in their eyes.
I'm going to shut this down before I run out of time again. Thanks you all for holding me up in this time in my life. I believe it's worthwhile. Love to all as you celebrate this special occasion- where would we all be if Christ had not come to be our Savior? Praise the Lord. Cliff
Posted by CROSSROADS AFRICA EXPEDITIONS at 12:19 PM
Friday, December 24, 2010
Once again I will attempt to get an email out on this computer. It jumps from one line to the other and there is a missing letter between w and y. It has been an interesting morning. No class today because it's market day. The rooster and I both awoke at 5AM; one of these mornings I'm going to get up at 4AM and wake him! I went to bed early so it was OK. I had a great study and wanted to send a lesson but not enough computer time. The lesson was on understanding that each of us has an ultimate purpose that is worth accomplishing. For me I know I am not here because it was something I dreamed up, but that God wanted. God's purpose must be understood, accepted in all of us in order to be fulfilled. It is all relative to that grace that is in Christ for us. Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
I am enjoying the meals. It's traditional for which is plain but tasty; rice, ugali, greens, kuku, a little beef or goat meat, potatoes, flat bread, and spaghetti and souses. What a menu! In the morning we have bananas, boiled eggs and tea. I am careful not to drink the water. I remember years ago getting deathly ill from drinking the water on Indian reservations. I vowed never to do that again! I don't know the name of the street where Joseph and I live but I told him it should be called Dirt Street. The problem is that all the streets are dirt, so maybe our street could be called Joseph Dirt Street (see what you do for entertainment around here)? It reminds me of the times when I worked with Indian tribes. It seems the main difference is that the Sandburu people don't have a chip on their shoulder or have a sense of entitlement. They enjoy their lives and are grateful for relationships.
Posted by CROSSROADS AFRICA EXPEDITIONS at 11:57 AM
Monday, December 20, 2010
I am comfortable in my room and discovering that Christ's life is very adaptable-if one permit; I am permitting. It is not a sacrifice but a wonderful and exciting privilege to be here in this remote corner of Kenya. It is very hot, but you know me, I handle the heat well. I received a blessing from Ben's email- Pass on my love to him and all. The regular email teaching will have to be on hold for a while as I am limited in time. I will try to make it up when this venture is over. That probable won't be until Jan.11th when the pilot can hopefully picks me up in Kisima-this is not certain. I am able to receive emails through Skybeam. I stay in touch with Stan in Nairobi by phone when I have a connection.
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Saturday, December 4, 2010
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Sunday, November 21, 2010
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010
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Friday, October 15, 2010
UPDATE FROM BURUBURU
It's been a while so I thought I better let everyone know how it's going. I'm doing fine here and enjoying life in Kenya. There isn't a lot of news as life has settled down to pretty much routine although every once in a while something crops up to remind you you're not in America anymore.
The two boys I have given a home to, Derek and Isaac, are doing very well and it is good to see them smiling and happy. Derek broke his arm playing soccer so he has a cast but it healing. Most importantly they are learning how spiritual life works, and along with the other young people in my class in Kayole, are growing in grace.
There is a tremendous amount of religion in Kenya. When I walk around the slums of Kayole, it seems that every little nook and cranny has some type of meeting going on. Some are frantically beating their drums to get that emotional high and some are sacrificing chickens because they think there has to be a blood sacrifice for atonement.
“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
Missionaries have brought the gospel but in many cases it has become mixed in with the old traditional religion and the churches are teaching strange doctrines. Because most pastors are not trained and don't understand spiritual life themselves, it becomes a hodgepodge of whatever they decide they want to teach. It's not a matter of building believers who become spiritual maturity, but rather playing the "church game" to please the people. In spite of all that, I am convinced that the believers here are seeking truth and I count it my privilege to carry that truth to these people.
Just as there is a gospel "good news" for the unbeliever that he doesn't have to work his way to heaven, there is also a gospel "good news" for the believers. This good news that we don't have to work in order to be spiritual! This is the message I keep sharing with the believers here - there is nothing you can do as a believer to impress God. ( Isaiah 64:6: "all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags" ). God is not interested in what you are trying to do for Him, but he is interested to see his life operating in us. So the key to life for the believer is not doing but becoming. God earnestly desires that we gain his life so that from that life we can manifest the fruit. To have the fruit you have to start by planting the seed. That's why we need the Word of God - it is the implanted word that the Holy Spirit can generate into new life within us.
There I go preaching again-but I wanted to give you an idea of the message I am giving the people. It is truly a life-changing message. When you stop trying to be a 'good Christian' and start learning how to grow up spiritually it changes your entire relationship to the Father.
The pastors and leaders that I am teaching are now beginning to have opportunities to tell others of the concepts of spiritual life and they are finding people hungry to hear. Ultimately, these leaders will reach Kenya with the "good new" not me. I pray that I am faithful to plant the seeds but it is encouraging when you begin to see fruit.
I will continue teaching week in and week out, confident that that the seed is being planted and that it will ultimately bear fruit. Please continue to pray for me, those I teach, and ones who will ultimately go forth with the truth.
John 16:13"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
Posted by CROSSROADS AFRICA EXPEDITIONS at 3:52 PM
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Well Summer is fading fast and Fall is in front of us here in the Rockie Mountains. Everyone is trying their best to grab the last days of outdoor recreation before the snow begins to fall. This is a great time to be thinking about traveling to Africa-it is Spring.
Stan is doing well and deciding if he wants to start another session of training. Cliff and Dan are praying about heading over in the next month or so.
Dan will go to South Africa to help Pat at Anathoth Retreat near Cape Town, then to Zimbabwe to visit the rural schools, then to Kenya to work with youth soccer. Cliff will travel to Zimbabwe for a pastor's conference then to Kenya to do CR organization tasks and schedule Spring pastors training. Paula will hold down the fort until January and apply for a few grants for mental health training.
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS (Letter from Stan)
Thanks for the email. It is always good to hear how things are going. Good to see Robbie and Katrina doing so well. It was kind of interesting to see how it started in someones living room with 7 students. I had to laugh when you said Dan may be a little apprehensive about being on this side of Nairobi. I remembered when I was considering moving to Kayloe I too was a little apprehensive. I would wake up in the middle of the night wondering what in the world I was doing and if it would end in disaster. Well, now that I have been here for a while I can say there is nothing to worry about. In fact I actually prefer it here over Westlands.
The thing is once you get to know the people it changes everything. I have friends here and in Kayole and the people here appreciate me. In the Westlands you are just another Mzungu (white man) but in Kayole when I walk down the alleyways I am greeted everywhere with "How are you?, How are you?" Everybody is glad to see me and people I don't know greet me and I get a great sense of welcoming. They don't see too many whites in Kayole and especially the children are always glad to see you. I come to Kayole early on Saturdays and Sundays just to have time to talk to people.
My Swahili is coming along but it is still difficult. I should spend more time on it but it will come together with time.
Bible Classes are beginning to wind down and I am wondering what I will be doing next. I'm not sure I want to begin another session here. Will have to see what God has in store. Well, I have to go. I am trying to work on getting Vine's copies from my computer and printed out so the students will have it available but it is a big project.
Say hi to everyone. Later, Stan
Posted by CROSSROADS AFRICA EXPEDITIONS at 2:24 PM
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Just the other day Joshephat and I were walking back to the matatu and he said: "You see those people over there? They are sacrificing a chicken for atonement."
After class on Sunday we were stopped by a man who wanted to talk about God. He told us how he was offered 10,000 Ksh if he would walk into a crusade with a pair of crutches and pretend to be healed.
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Friday, July 16, 2010
THIS WORLD NEEDS PRAYER...THIS WORLD NEEDS SALVATION
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Friday, July 2, 2010
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"Equal Access to the Word of God" Faith Comes By Hearing is dedicated to reaching poor and illiterate people worldwide with the Word of God in audio, discipling them in their mother tongue. Bible listening programs for the world’s oral majority. A passion to offer all people equal access to the Word of God so that they can experience the hope and salvation of Jesus Christ.
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Currently, 423 languages have been recorded, spoken by people in more than 152 different countries. "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come" (Matthew 24:14).Another device is the BibleStick an MP3 player that contains the complete bible. It is also comes in many different languages. There is a ministry to US service men using this
Posted by CROSSROADS AFRICA EXPEDITIONS at 8:01 PM
Monday, May 31, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
REMEMBER to PRAY for the MISSIONARIES who caRRY the good news of Jesus TO tHose who don't know HIM in Dangerous, hostile areas around the world.
Posted by CROSSROADS AFRICA EXPEDITIONS at 8:55 PM
Monday, May 24, 2010
REMEMBERING THE SAMBURU DISABLED CHILDREN
It has been over a year since I was with the Samburu children but not a day goes by that I don't pray for them and remember their great spirit. Let us not forget or become desensitized to the plight of all disabled children in developing countries, for they have no voice but ours. SPEAK LOUDLY!
Posted by CROSSROADS AFRICA EXPEDITIONS at 7:58 PM
Thursday, May 6, 2010
May marks my 18th month in Kenya. God has been good and provided every need. I have been very comfortable personally and have been content that I am where God wants me to be and doing what He wants me to do.
The teaching continues to go well and I get feedback that the pastors and leaders are understanding more and more of God's grace and His Word. I am taking care that they understand what the Word teaches - not a theological system or a denominational creed. I want to be sure that at the end of the day they can say with confidence I believe this because this is what God says in His Word - not I believe this because my teacher said it.
January saw several of the teens which I have been teaching go off to high school. Here it is different than America in that most kids go away from home to boarding schools for high school. This is true even of the poorer families in the slums. So I have started over with basically a new group of teens teaching the basics.
I mentioned in my last letter how I have undertaken to help two boys, Derek and Isaac, who otherwise would have nowhere to go. This is not what I consider to be my 'ministry' but rather what I have decided to do personally. My ministry remains first and foremost the teaching of the Word. Anybody who comes to Africa can't help but be aware of the great physical needs of the people here. As a minister I have to know what my priority is and maintain that priority. Otherwise the needs of the people become the priority and we become just another humanitarian organization. As a minister of the Word I know the greatest need is spiritual and I have to maintain and teach the Word as a priority both in the churches and the individual believers.
Having said that, I as an individual believer can't shut up my compassion toward the physical needs I see around me. I decided that the way I could help was not to spread limited resources around but to concentrate on helping two boys and making a difference in their lives. I can't help everybody but I can help these two boys have a home and hope for the future. It also gives me the opportunity to teach them spiritual things so 10 years from now by God's grace these two young boys may be strong spiritual men giving light in the midst of darkness. I say this because I believe in the power of the Word. Religion ultimately has no power except to enslave, but the Word of God taken into the soul and generated by the Holy Spirit does have the power to transform lives. So I believe and so I teach which gives me great confidence -- not in my ability but in the power of the Word of which I am privileged to be a minister.
Thanks to your generous giving and help we were able to have another retreat for the teens this April. I think it was Cliff who told me once not to call it a retreat but an advance. We definitely didn't retreat and those kids are advancing spiritually thanks to the teaching of the Word. So let's just say we took the kids camping at a place on Lake Naivasha called 'Fishermen's Camp' It was a great facility and the kids were able to bike, swim, play soccer, and do things they don't get a chance to do in the slums. Even the fact that they had hot showers available was the source of great enjoyment as this was a luxury they don't have at home.
There were 8 girls, 7 boys, Joshephat and I and a driver. We rented a vehicle which was nice because we were able to drive around the lake and take the kids to Hells Gate National Park for a day of hiking through some great scenery and wildlife. We were not able to take the vehicle into the park so we all walked 8 km to the place where the spectacular gorge begins. Yes, you read that correctly, I actually walked 8 km although it was difficult and my leg was hurting. I had to get a ride back but the kids had to walk back another 8 km after hiking the gorge. Needless to say they were pretty tired that night. We were able to see quite a bit of wildlife including lots of zebras, gazelles, antelope, warthogs, giraffe, storks, monkeys, baboons, etc.
The campground set up two big tents for us and the girls cooked our meals on the campfire - including the live chicken we brought along. I told Joshephat there was no way one chicken was going to feed 17 people but somehow it did. So it was a great time for everybody and most importantly we were able to give the gospel and teach the Word to these great kids.
I managed a few pictures which I will attach although the quality is not the greatest. Stan
Posted by CROSSROADS AFRICA EXPEDITIONS at 1:30 PM
Friday, April 9, 2010
As I cheerfully bid adieu to old man winter and welcome spring with open arms, I’m reminded of how we undergo different seasons in our own lives. Spring ushers in a time for renewal, possibilities, and optimism. The sun warms the earth, the flowers begin to bloom and signs of new life surprise us around every corner. This is a wonderful occasion to reflect upon our personal and spiritual growth. This is an ideal time to plant internal seeds that lead to personal transformation. God’s desire for his children is for them to spiritually mature and shed their fleshly skin to mirror his image and his works. He wants us to obey his instruction and examine our spiritual life to gage our Christian progression. He doesn’t want us to resume behaviors or thoughts that aren’t serving him or hinder his purpose for our life.
This spring don’t commit only to spring cleaning your home, commit to cleaning your spirit. Dust the cobwebs from your mind, throw bad habits in the trash, thoroughly clean your heart and discard any bitterness, anger, or negativity. Spring into a new season of your life with a sense of enthusiasm to do God’s will. Start your journey by pursuing the 3 R’s, Reflect, Renewal, and Rebirth
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Friday, March 19, 2010
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Thursday, February 11, 2010
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Monday, February 8, 2010
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Friday, January 29, 2010
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Thursday, January 21, 2010
I want to give everyone an update on what is going on here and let you know how your prayers are being answered daily. I am doing fine here in Buruburu. I feel at home here and my needs are continually met as I study and teach the people that God has given me to teach. There are naturally some frustrations but overall I am very happy and fulfilled in doing what God has given me to do. The feedback I get from those I teach is very positive and they continue to tell me they are seeing the Word in a new light and are able to see how God's grace is effective in their lives. One of the men told me yesterday he had an opportunity to speak at a government girls school and when he gave the gospel using the teachings of grace, there were about 50 girls that responded! He was quite excited.
As far as the prayer requests I mentioned to you: I haven't seen Hammond but Joshephat tells me he is doing fine and will be going away to High School in a couple of weeks. Joshsephat's school is ok for now. The city has given the landlord an additional two months to come up with the tax money so we will see. The kids that took the school exam and graduated from 8th grade will be finding out this week where the government is sending them for high school. It is not like America in that they usually go somewhere else for High School and it is usually a boarding situation. I am going to miss them in my classes but there are new ones coming in to take their place.
Some of you haven't heard of my trip to the Western Province over Christmas break so here is a report I wrote earlier:
Monday we took a drive to Kisumu and had lunch at a resort on the shores of Lake Victoria. Kisumu is about an hour from where we were staying. Then on Tuesday we drove back to Nairobi which turned into a six hour trip because of traffic. I brought back a kitten that they gave me so now Rafi (my dog) will have a friend. They are getting used to each other now.
Before we went to Kakamega I had witnessed a disturbing event. Joshephat and I were returning to my house from Tusky's on the day before Christmas. As we turned a corner there was a group of a dozen people and two or three of them were beating the tar out of man on the ground. I asked Joshephat what was going on and he said the man had been caught trying to break into a house. The people here tend to take the law into their own hands because they know if the police take him he can just pay a bribe and go free. I thought this was disturbing enough but then Joshephat said the man was as good as dead because by the time the police get there they will have beaten him to death. Pretty brutal! It's one thing to know this happens, but another when you witness it firsthand. Kind of reminded me of the Old West in America.
One day after the first of the year he came up to me quite somber and was trying to ask me something. My Swahili is just good enough to understand that he was trying to ask me about school. I didn't know what to tell him even if I could communicate so I had to just let him go. The next day I had my phone with me so I sought him out and had him talk to Joshephat on the phone so he could translate to me and we found out what their situation was and that he and his friend Isaac both want very much to go to school. The next day I took them on the matatu (small bus) with me to Joshephat's school so we could all talk face to face. Bottom line is that we are arranging it so that they can live in Kayole where Joshephat is and go to school there. Joshephat has rented a room close to where he lives and arranged for Dixon to help him supervise them. Dixon is the high school boy that comes to my classes and helps me at my house. He is responsible and is a good student so I feel good that he will be helping supervise - I think he will be very good for the younger boys.
This is something I feel like I need to do and I feel like this is the result of the leading of the Spirit. It is a little scary not knowing where the provision will come from but it is so exciting and a privilege to know that it is making such a huge difference in a couple of young lives. Without help these boy's future is very bleak. So I know things are tough economically now but if anyone has any funds available and feels led, I would appreciate some help with this. We need funds to set up a room (mattresses, stove, blankets, etc.) and get the kids some clothes. Then on an on-going basis I am going to need at least $150/month for rent, food, school fees, necessities. This is for the bare necessities and any extra will be able to make their lives a little better. I am willing to pay this out of my own pocket but it will make it financially difficult for me so like I say if any of you feel like you would like to help please do so.
I guess I should tell you how to donate. You can go to our old website which unfortunately hasn't been updated since I came to Africa:
Posted by CROSSROADS AFRICA EXPEDITIONS at 10:17 AM
Saturday, January 9, 2010
- Stan is moving along with the Crossroads Bible School in Nairobi. The classes will complete their nine month training in April and are looking forward to graduating. New classes will resume after a break. Stan has been looking into properties for sale, outside of the city, that would house the training center and a small residential school for boys.
- Cliff has started an online ministry-sending out short bible lessons and his thought-provoking poems on spiritual life (soon to be posted on his blog). He has also been in close contact with our Samburu rep., Joseph. They are working together to develop a simple curriculum for the Samburu pastors. This is truly an amazing opportunity! He is praying about returning to Africa to continue follow-up teaching with the men who graduated last year and to assist Joseph and Gabriel.
- Joseph in Samburu land continues to present the gospel message to his fellow Samburu tribesmen . As well as training new pastors at the Crossroads Bible Training Center in Suguta Mara.
- Gabriel in Zimbabwe, begins the year with a renewed hope that the country is on its way to crawling out of economic collapse. The children who live on Redmile Farm (see previous posts) are now able to go to school and Gabriel has managed to stretch the funds we send him for the feeding program to feed 40 more orphans.
- Paula has spend months editing the hundreds of hours of video footage shot on the 2008-09 mission trips and will be sending out the short documentary, "FIELDS RIPE FOR HARVEST" in February. It has truly been a labor of love and many thanks for the patience of friends and family while she has been involved (more like consumed) in this project!
- Daniel continues to be the Crossroads Ambassador on the slopes of Aspen Mountain while instructing for Challenge Aspen and the Aspen Ski Company. This ski season Challenge Aspen, offering outdoor sports to the disabled, has their new program for vets going full steam ahead. The new program, C.A.M.O. will bring joy to many returning vets and their families.
Posted by CROSSROADS AFRICA EXPEDITIONS at 11:09 AM