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"

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The calendar tells me it is Christmas time. It is kind of hard to believe. I haven’t seen one Santa Claus, the houses aren’t all lit up, and the weather is certainly not Christmassy. But you can’t argue with the calendar. Because it’s that time of year again, I thought I should let everyone know how I am doing. It hardly seems possible that it has been three years since I came to Kenya. Reflecting back on my time here and what’s it is like living here I would have to say overall I really enjoy it. There are a lot of things that if you dwell on them you will get disgruntled. I much prefer to look at all the blessings – and there are many – of living in Africa. I love the weather. I have come to really like the people of Kenya. They have their problems, sure. Sometimes I wonder – ‘what are they thinking?’ But on the whole I have come to like them. I no longer think of them as ‘Africans’ but as individuals with great personalities who are not bogged down with all the American ideas of conformity and fashion and ‘being cool’, etc. I can be myself here and be accepted more than I ever could back in the good ol’ USA.

Of course the main thing and the reason I am here is that I find here people who are genuinely positive to the gospel message and who want to grow and develop in the grace of God. Among all of the superstition and ignorance of a third world economy are some special people who are learning and growing and rejoicing in God’s grace. It has been my incredible privilege to be able to teach them, to bring them the truth that it is not religion, but God’s work on the cross that not only saves them but is also the basis of their new life and sanctification. Many have told me that they used to be under the bondage of trying to please God by what they do, but are now understanding the grace provisions by which it is God who works in us and produces the life which sets us free. Every day I am in awe that God is able to use someone like me to bring a message of such importance. I would not have traded my time here for all the physical luxuries in the world.

So life here is good. The school that many of you helped build is going great. Joshephat and his family have been so faithful to help me in many ways. My boys, Isaac and Derek are growing up into a couple of great teenagers. It is good to see them growing spiritually as well as physically. Just this last Sunday Derek asked me if I could buy him something for Christmas. You would never guess in a million years what it was. While the kids in America put things like toys or clothes on their list, what Derek wanted was textbooks for his class in school. Not just for himself but for the others as well because they cannot begin the next grade without textbooks. I was kind of blown away. I have to find out from Joshephat how much money is involved to see if I can afford it but I told him I would certainly do what I could. Dixon and Kazi are also doing well and help me keep up my house and yard.