Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast"



Saturday, December 25, 2010

25 December, 2010 Christmas Day
 
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

Friday, December 24, 2010

23 December 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.

We just got back from market day and had tea and biscuits. The market is a sight to behold! It was a privilege to be there with all the morans and Samburu men in their native garb and hear them wheeling and dealing.  One man bought two brama bulls (ng'ombe) for 60,000 shillings, about $700.  Goats (mbuzi) were going for between 2,000 to 4,000  shillings.  A short and very black man came up and wanted to sell me a rooster (kuku) for 700 shillings. I looked at the rooster and he looked at me.  I decided to pass.  Joseph thought the rooster was worth 450sh.  I thought to myself, one of these mornings I'm going to get my own rooster for the stew pot. 

The market is just outside the town under trees in an large open pasture.  There is a stream running through the pasture where naked black morans wash while the goat and cows drink.  Joseph and I talked to a moran for a while who told us the going price for the animals and then we walked back into town. All the doorways to the simple little shops were flung open and shop owners were selling goods: soap, candles, bread, twine, etc.  Life doesn't more simpler than this.  The average American would go nuts. This morning I stuck my head out the door and workmen were gathered to start work on a crude building across the dirt path. It looks like the beginnings of a tree house the grandkids would build. I said, "Praise the Lord."  They looked at me a little startled and one of them said "Amen!"  He happened to be the one who was somewhat intoxicated yesterday and was trying to tell me he knew he was a sinner and needed Jesus.  I did my best to explain, but I don't think I was got through to him.  Today is wash day. The ladies in the adjoining house washed my clothes and hung them on the line that runs in front of my room. There's lots of red dirt in those clothes!

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. 

Tomorrow is Christmas Day. I think tomorrow Joseph and I will go up the mountains for a time and check out the animals, lions, (simba), antelope (korongo), giraffe (twiga), elephant (tembo ndovu), etc. We will take a few morans with us for safety.  Sunday we will go into the hills,  about two miles up, to be with the village people.  It is a very special privilege to be with them. Most do not speak English and the children don't attend school. They are strictly pastoralist who move from place to place to tend their animals. Since I don't have a video camera I will try a put some of what I see into words. When I talked to Paula she said she put pictures from here on facebook. We took them the last time we were here but nothing has changed. 
 
I'm going to close.  I suppose Merry Christmas is in order, so Merry Christmas one and all!  I pray you all will have a blessed one and enjoy being with each other.  I am with you in spirit, heart and love.  Cliff

Monday, December 20, 2010

LETTERS FROM A BARREN LAND
12 December 2010
Off we go... in the morning at 7:30 to Suguta Marmar.  The taxi driver, David, will pick me up and take me to the airport. The plane leaves at 9:30a and will arrive in at Kisima at approx. 11:00a.  Hopefully,  there will be  transportation waiting for me; those camels and donkeys may come in handy. Stan does not want to go at this time as I had hoped.    
Joseph Leleruk and I will get together to set up classes for some eighteen students and who knows what else.  To have eighteen Samburu men in this remote village wanting to learn the truth of Jesus Christ will be a spectacular sight to behold. 
Thanks for so many prayers that brought this day into reality in the purpose and will of God.  I cannot tell you the various repercussions that have passed through my soul and spirit in how best to advance what we began last time Paula and I were there. 
There may not be a plane coming through to pick me up before Jan. 11.  I am on standby. I feel you all with me-there's no one quite like you. I will communicate as I am able. Love to all,Cliff

  19December 2010 I'll make this short and sweet as I am limited to time on this computer. You pay per minute and then hope the connection stays. It is amazing that there even is internet in this remote land.  I arrived here safe and stayed in Maralal, at the Cheers Hotel the first night.  I bought school supplies for men and took the matatu to Suguta Marmar-an hour and half of bumpy dirt road.  I have a room with an indoor toilet (a luxury). I spent Sunday in a village in the hills with village people and taught them then had lunch with Joseph and Pauline, Joseph's wife. Today classes began with both village men and town men.  It was amazing!  We had three classes. I began with Genesis 1 and taught the value of the soul and benefits of Christ being in the soul, the gospel,  and new life; tomorrow I will move on.  Joseph does a great job of interpreting.  We have a little building just out of town and have a meal after the classes. 

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.
 Your prayers and care for me is a valuable asset in all that the Lord is doing here. I believer I am getting the job done the Lord brought me here to do. I love these beautiful men I am teaching. To look into their faces and share my heart with them; that's as good as it gets. Love to each one who is with me here in spirit.  Clarity and boldness is working and I am learning the power of what I teach.  Love to All, Cliff   

Saturday, December 4, 2010







  

Sunday, November 21, 2010

 AFRICA TIME    Hi all:  Here I am in Nairobi, Kenya,  East Africa again.  I did send facebook info.  I was welcomed by all at Hampton House and met the new manager.  Stan came by today and we had lunch and caught up-as best we could in my semi-conscious state of jet-lag.  He looks well and is in his element.  We walked to Serit Center-it was like seeing an old friend.  My suitcases haven't arrived yet.  Hopefully tomorrow. It's a good thing I stuck a couple of pair of socks and clean tee shirt to brace my laptop or I would really be in trouble.  
It's rainy, overcast with spurts of sunshine so more difficult for the "internal clock" to start ticking on it's new timezone.  There is no mistaking that one is in Africa. The trees are bursting with colorful blossoms.  Large brown birds are noisy but friendly.  The streets are bustling with blacks chattering in Swahili or other native languages. You can only define the traffic situation as thousands of drivers who at any moment, will certainly run into each other.  I'm eager to begin my teaching.  Thanks for your support to me and prayers as I await those special doors to open and share what we believe with others.
My definition of jet-lag:  a two day condition that attacks the body, mind and spirit in which you can't wake up and you can't go to sleep. Love to all, Cliff

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

CLIFF LEFT FOR AFRICA BUT THE DOGS AND CAT HAD TO STAY.
Cliff left for Nairobi, today, November 12th. His trip started with a wild first leg. He was to fly out of Aspen but the nivagation system was down and there was no time to drive all the way to Denver. An alternative-Grand Junction. We flew there with no time to spare and they rush him through baggage check and security.  Wheeee-he arrived in Denver with barely enought time to catch his British Airways flight to London. HOWEVER-the Lord was smiling down on him-he got three seats across....all to himself.  If you've ever been on an 9 hour flight you know what a blessing that was-more updates to follow. 

It's always exciting and a little unsetteling when listening to your Father's voice means  boarding a plane and flying off into the great unknown. However, one is only setteled by that voice.Cliff...Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.1st Corinthians 1:3 
 

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.

Stan

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.
TEAM UPDATES:
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


 LETTER FROM JOSEPH SAMBURU PASTOR TRAINER


Hi Sister Paula,
Warmest greetings to you and your loved ones. I hope al is well with you and your family. I am really glad to receive your letter. I and my wife Pauline, would really like to see you again. All my family member are praying that you and your family may be healthy and happy all the time. I appreciate to hear you continue praying for me. To let you know Edward came to Samburu with 3 brothers in Christ to visit me they stay with me for two days.
Answers to your questions
I have 8  pastors in my class all of them they have their own ministries in my area.
1. PASTORS I AM TRAINING: There names: Pastor. Jackson Lletorai. Pst Lawrence Lenaroroi, Pst Joseph Lendoyo, Pst John Lekaira, Pst Peter Lopiala, Pst Joshua Lemarimpe, Pst Simon Lolmondoni, Pst John Lelenguya,
2. We have child evangelism  so please I need teaching materials
3. I have training center only
So  I really like to inform you that in the last 6 months the number of B.B.I. student has increased to 35. The Bible is my subject-without this book no education in life is completed.
4. I go to Maralal every end month
5. I met Stephen Letiwa who studies in Ken Black’s training program
Your brother in Christ ,
Joseph Leleruk

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

 ELECTIONS, CHICKENS AND CRUTCHES
(EMAIL FROM STAN) Today is election day and all of Kenya is excited. The last election in 2007 fueled a small civil war ending in 40,000 Kenyans being burned out of their homes and businesses. It doesn't look like that will happen this time because the vote is so lopsided but you never know what these corrupt people will do to hold on to power.

This is an historical day because they are voting on a new constitution. They have been trying to get this for many years but the politicians who are getting the payoff money have always kept it from happening. But the polls show it may be more than 70% who vote yes in spite of many big politicians and church leaders who are urging to vote no. I am convinced it will be a good thing for Kenya and will help to change it from a system run by corrupt politicians to the rule of law. Granted, you won't get rid of politicians and it is not automatically the answer to their problems but it will definitely help. The only down side is that the value of the Shilling will undoubtedly go up after the election and that means my money will be worth less. That's what happened to me in Slovakia. Anyway it is all in God's hands but it is interesting to see how it all plays out. So today is a national holiday so no one is working.

Classes are still going well. The students are beginning to see a totally different Christianity. It is a huge adjustment and not something that happens overnight. But little by little they are being transformed, not by me but by the power of the Word.

 
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.

There is so much false teaching. It's all about emitions, healing, crusades, mixing in the old traditional African religions, etc. (Sadly, most get the idea from Western preachers) Churches becomes a hodge podge of whatever their preacher is telling the congregation. It's basically the same message but just a little different from one preacher to the next. None of them are not grounded in the word so they make it up as they go along.


Well, that is changing for the few who are in my classes. They are beginning to go out and tell others as well. So the seed has been sown here and it is will be interesting to see how it grows and bears fruit.
Stan

Friday, July 16, 2010

Football fans 'targeted' in Uganda bomb attacks

Nate Henn // 1985 - 2010

THIS WORLD NEEDS PRAYER...THIS WORLD NEEDS SALVATION

Friday, July 2, 2010

How to Not Mess Up the Great Commission too Much.

I'M SO EXCITED ABOUT THESE BIBLE LEARNING TOOLS...

"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.


is a company that offers the world's largest catalog of audio Bibles.  Currently, the company is reaching many nations around the globe, with many tools...one being their "Proclaimer" audio Bible.
"We consider the Proclaimer to be a gift from God. Why? Because the inspiration for it came during three days of fasting and prayer by the entire staff of Faith Comes By Hearing. The Proclaimer is a digital player dedicated to playing God's Word in the local heart language. See how it works!" - Faith Comes by Hearing.
The Proclaimer was developed mainly as an audio Bible device for illiterate people who may not have another source of hearing God's Word. Inside the device is an installed microchip which has the recorded New Testament in the heart language.  The sound is digital quality and loud enough to be heard by an entire village. 

The device has a battery; however, it has a solar panel.  As long as there is sunlight, the Proclaimer will run even without battery power.  It is designed to play the entire New Testament over one thousand times.

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
 
Through the sacrificial work of the Bible Societies, Wycliffe Bible Translators, and other translation groups, more people have access to the written Word of God than at any other time in history. Tragically, the effectiveness of this tremendous work has been limited because more than 50% of the world’s population is illiterate. They cannot read the Word of God, even when it is translated in their own language. The answer to this obstacle is provided from the Scripture: “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). That’s why Faith Comes By Hearing provides Audio Bibles to poor and illiterate people around the world.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Please Remember Me

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. 

 
This video gives you a glimpse into the area where Cliff and I stood in the streets and told children about Jesus Christ-how HE loves them and made a way for them to reach HIM.

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! 


Thursday, May 6, 2010

GOD'S LIFE IS GOOD AND SO ARE SHOWERS!

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. 
1 Corinthians 2:4-5  My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.


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

Friday, April 9, 2010

SPRINGTIME IN THE ROCKIES
It's springtime here in the Rockies.  The birds are everywhere and even though we may get a slight overnight snow, it dosen't chase the Robins away. Every year they are an omen that soon the patches of snow on the hillside that are holding onto winter, will give way to the sunlight. Many e-writers are relating their impression of  Spring-how it's a time for renewal, reflection-out with the old-in with the new. But one of the best I've read is by  Chere Williams. Need I say more....

Luke 5: 37-39
37And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. 39 And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, ‘The old is better.” 

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

Friday, March 19, 2010

Thanks for the emails and pictures of the Red Hill Bible class. It's really good to see everyone. Things here is fine and moving along on "African Time." It was a good week of classes and is always encouraging to see the Lord using the Word to build up the men. Isaac, Derek and Isaac are doing great and adjusting more every day. Attached are a couple of pictures which will give you an idea of just how big their smiles are now that they have something to smile about.

It's especially good to see Isaac smiling. Joshephat related some of the stories of abuse he's endured so it's understandable why he didn't have much to smile about when he first arrived. He's starting to feel safe and secure for the first time since his mother and father's death. He knows that now there are people who truly care about him. He and Isaac really enjoy going to school (you'd think they're attending a first-rate boarding school). Slum kids realize how important an education is. They realize without it, they don't have a chance to ever get out of poverty. 

I bought them some drawing paper and colored pencils and they are enjoying drawing-it's not actually Paula's quality of 'art therapy' but I think it helps. They try to copy pictures they see in magazine and book but don't really know how to draw from their imagination.

It always amazes me to see how people here the Kayole don’t even have the simpelest thing of life, like paper. Even Joshaphat will write on little scraps of paper because it's in such short supply. I'm going to buy them a ream so they'll have it available for a while.

Joshephat came by the house Friday because his school was out for the day and we sat and talked. I made him a sandwich, which is novelty for Kenyans. He had never had mayonnaise, olives, tomato juice, or broccoli. 

Hope you guys are able to make it over soon. There's a lot of teaching needed and it would be great to see you. Well, I'm off to pay my bills, which as you know,  is a process. Go to the post office or designated place-walk in and show the security guard the bill you're there to pay a bill-have the exact cash in hand-wait in line-which is always long-explain to the next person what bill you want to pay-go to the next person and pay-go to the next person to get the receipt. In Nairobi they use at least three or four people to do what one person does in the states. I guess there's plenty of cheap labor but it sure makes doing business a headache.   

Stan

P.S. first pic -Derek is on the left and Isaac on the right, second pic -Derek.



Thursday, February 11, 2010

We met with Isaac and his sister today and told them we would take Isaac. To say they were happy is an understatement! The sister said after I had told she and Isaac to go home and pray about the situation that Isaac prayed very hard and was crying. This really puts it all in perspective, hey?  This just goes to show that when these kids are given a chance, they thrive. Isaac wants to be here which is important. He is a little reserved and at times seems sad but if you coax him,  he has a great smile. I guess I would be sad too if I had gone through what he has at such a young age. Derek is thriving in the school. He has made friends and seems very happy. Dixon, the older boy,  told Joshephat that he was amazed at the way God is providing for them all and that they are so grateful.  
With the money you sent we were able to buy mattresses, pillows, blankets,  personal things like toothbrushes,  a rug and cushions for the couch. We placed an order for bunk beds.  This is going to be life-changing for these boys and a blessing. You can't help but give thanks when you see such overwhelming positive changes in these boys lives. I managed to take some pics with my broken camcorder. Without a screen I can't tell what menu is on the screen so I just kept pointing and shooting hoping to get something. I took about 150 shots and all that came out was 10.
We will continue to look to God to provide.
Stan PHOTOS:  1. kids at the school and me 2. Dixon and Purity (Josephat's daughter) 3. Derek and Isaac 4. Isaac

Monday, February 8, 2010

Good to hear what's happening there and that the burgers at Chili’s are still good.  It's amazing how much I miss the simple things like a good old fashion American hamburger and other thing  I took for granted in the states.  I found a couple of things at the local market and got all excited-dill pickles and tomato juice-two of my favorite things.  It doesn't take much to get excited over here.  

I  wanted to let you know how encouraging it was to hear that you guys are trying to raise money for the boys to have beds and a rug-they are sleeping on the cement floor which is cold and hard.  To me this was definitely a sign that the Lord is in this outreach.
Here's a breakdown of costs:
Rug -              3,000 
Bunk beds    6,000
Mattress -     1,000
TOTAL        10,000 Ksh (about $125 USD).

The figure for the beds may not be accurate-I will have to check with Joshephat tomorrow. The boys room is starting to shape up (Paula, I could use your artist touch). As I mentioned, by American standards it's pretty crude but by Kayole standards it fine and compared to living on the streets, it's a palace! Joshephat found a kerosene stove, some pots and other things so now they can cook their meals. We put a curtain across the middle of the room as a divider and found an old couch but it doesn't have cushions (remember those college days). Anyway, like I said-it's a palace to them and more importantly, a home.

I was there today and the new boy, Derek is settling in and seems happy. Dixon is always happy.  If you pass this on... here's the background on Dixon. He's a 14-year-old boy from my teen bible class who came to me in August with his desperate situation. He had passed his exams to enter high school but since high school isn't free, needed money to pay tuition.  I didn't want to simply pay his school fees;  I thought it important that since he's on his own he learn how to take care of himself. We made a deal that he would do my laundry and cut my grass and I would pay him.   I helped him rent a small room where he lived until the other boy came into the picture and we rented the larger one.

Things seemed to be rolling along so the other day Joshephat and I we talking about the possibility of finding a third boy sine we had the space. We decided we wouldn't until we saw how things developed.  Then the day after we talked a young woman came to see him about her brother,  Isaac. She said their parents were dead and he'd been living her until she got married and the husband threw him out (this is common and how a lot of kids end up on the street). 

Friday I met with them and explained that  I didn't have the funds to take him in at this time.  I asked if they were believers and they said they were.  I told them to pray for the provision and if something changed we would take Isaac. I wanted them to know the power of prayer and that God has a perfect plan for each of his children.  I told them we would wait a week and see if a provision came through.

Well....when I got home and had the email from you and Paula about sending  the $ for the beds, a rug and extras, I was so grateful. This is the first help from America so I feel this qualifies as the  "provision" for taking Isaac.

As you know, I didn't start out with the intentions of starting a boy's home. But as you also know, this had been on my heart for a long time.  I knew if it was the Lord's will He would make a way.  It started simple,  helping Dixon,  now it's taken on a life of its' own. At no time did I want to stop the process if the Lord was working. It's been such a blessing and fulfillment, even though it's stretched my personal budget to the max. Maybe it's because I never had children of my own or that helping one boy over the long haul may change the course of his life.  Whatever, I am confident this work will have an eternal payoff as boys learn how to have a personal relationship with and depend totally on their Heavenly Father.  For boys without an earthly father or anyone to care for them,  this is huge!
It's late and I'm off to bed. Thanks again and hope to see you soon.
Stan

Friday, January 29, 2010

STUCK ON GLUE :- ( UPDATE FROM STAN

Well, the orphan thing is in the process of changing. The video you put on the blog about glue-sniffing epidemic turned out to be prophetic. Both of the boys we had provided a home for ran away back to the streets. Either they were into the glue or as Joshephat thinks, there is someone that is there that uses them to get money for them and threatens them. Like the Slumdog Millionaire movie. Either way they chose to go back and we have had to re-evaluate. It breaks your heart when you think of the future for these kids. Nevertheless, we provided them an opportunity and they didn't take it.

We talked and decided that the old cliche - God works in mysterious ways - applies. Maybe this is God's way of having us open this home and get it started and he has two other boys in mind. We really didn't feel like shutting it down when we had just got it started. At least Dixon has a home which he didn't have before. I don't know his situation in detail but between the flooding and a mother that doesn't take care of him, this is a definite step up for him.
Well, no sooner had we talked about possibly getting another boy, someone came to Joshephat and said they had a boy whose father had died and his guardian is ill and they were looking for somewhere to put the boy. This is a different problem than the streets but one just as needy. The homes that are available for children are so overcrowded that the children don't get good care and in some cases don't even get food. The good thing from our perspective is that these children have not been on the streets and therefore haven't picked up the street mentality nor the glue addiction.
So in just a few minutes I am off to Kayole to meet this boy and his guardian and find out what the situation is. Pray for this new boy and for someone else to be a companion. I don't even know his name right now. I will try to get photos but I am not too optimistic. I asked Joshephat and he didn't know anyone with a camera. The people in Kayole are too poor for that luxury. So eventually I am sure I will get photos but I don't know how.
I will fill you in when I get back. STAN
 Photo 1 Reaching Hearts for Kids
(Teenage mother with one child in the Reaching Hearts for Kids orphanage in Nairobi )
Photo 2  The Mothers Movement-James Njoroge, executive director, Dagoretti4kids

Thursday, January 21, 2010

NAIROBI STREET KIDS





UPDATE FROM STAN
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:

Well I had an interesting week. I have been to the Western Province (Kakamega is the town) and just got back last night. Dennis has a friend who rents cars. He rented us a nice 4 wheel drive Toyota for 2500 Ksh per day (thats $30 so it was a good price). Joshephat had a friend that drove for us so I didn't have to drive. We went to Joshephat's traditional homestead near Kakamega. It was like being back on the farm again.  I slept in one of the traditional mud huts with thatched roof and it was actually nice. The mattress was a straw tick and the sheets felt like burlap but I slept pretty good. This was just down the road from where we went for the retreat with the kids last April. It is really a beautiful area, mountainous but lush green instead of all the dry brown in Colorado. Joshephat's grandfather got quite a bit of land back in the 1940's when you could just trade a cow for some land. Now it is divided up between Joshephat's father and three brothers. So everybody in the area is related and when we got there Sunday evening all the kids showed up to scope out the Mzungu (white man). There were about 25 kids sitting in a semi-circle just watching every move I made so of course I did my magic trick for them and they got a big kick out of it. The rural kids don't speak English very good like the city kids so when I get my Swahili down it will come in handy out in the rural areas.


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.

Now I am going to do something I normally don't do - ask for financial help. I am not doing it for myself but for two boys named Ian and Isaac. Around the area where I live there are street kids who have no parents and live from hand to mouth so to speak. When I go to the market they come around wanting a hand-out. I almost always give them something just because I have a soft spot for kids in this predicament through no fault of their own. There are also grown men who want money and mothers who bring their babies and sit there waiting for a handout - I usually pass them by and use my money to give to the kids. The scripture mentions giving to the widows and orphans - not grown men who could get a job or women who could get a husband. If one gave to everyone what you would like you would soon go broke. With most of the kids it is just a matter of giving them a few shillings to try to help them get some bread. There is one kid though, who I kind of made a connection with. He would see me and come running with a big smile on his face and shake hands. He's a cute kid with a smile that would melt a glacier. His name is Ian, he is 10 years old and he sleeps in one of the stalls at the market at night when it closes. So I see him around and I have been praying for him for some time as I give him a little money to eat. Every time I wonder if it is the last time I will see him and if I shouldn't be doing something to help him.

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:

Click on 'About Us' and then 'Donate' where you will find an address you can send donations to or you can follow the Paypal link to give with a credit card. Guess that is it for now. I can't think of anything else so GOD BLESS, 
Stan

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Thousand TEN or Twenty TEN - HAPPY NEW YEAR


Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. John 4:35
(this verse is the focus of the new Crossroads documentary -coming soon to a mailbox near you).

Have you decided how you'll refer to the new year? Twenty TEN or Thousand TEN? For me personally I like Twenty TEN but this is the least of the problems that face us as Americans and as believers.

This year has started off with a bang-well not as big of a bang as it would have if the terrorist on the Detroit flight would have been successful. Time and time again I am so thankful that those I love are God's child-therefore His responsibility and not mine.


What is happening with the Crossroads members?

  •  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!