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