Happy Thanksgiving from Kenya! Greetings all! 😀
OK… so there is no such thing as “Thanksgiving” in Kenya… but as a good friend of mine in Canada reminded me this weekend, everyday is thanksgiving here! We do have so much to be thankful for as we see God at work in our lives and in so many lives and circumstances all around us here!
Some specific things are thanking God for in these last few weeks…
We are starting to get more and more rain here… an answer to prayer for just about everyone here! Please keep praying!
God is moving and active in bringing more people to draw close and rest in Him though spiritual retreats… I have been been so blessed to have been asked to facilitate another one this coming Thursday, Oct. 15th for the visiting US team in addition to the one set for Friday, Oct. 23rd for some local Pastors, their wives and visiting missionaries. As well, many on the PACE staff have expressed a desire to take part in another retreat day as they were so impacted by the first… we are praying that the staff will be given an opportunity and that God will provide for them to take part in this practice once each school term.
Roger has been teaching french to class 6 and class 7 here… it has been a great success and has given Roger an opportunity to get to know and minister to some of the young people here as well as spend lots of time getting to know the teachers at PACE. Please continue to pray for for this ministry God has opened up for Roger.
Plans are continuing to come together for the mission trip to Rwanda that will depart on Sunday, October 25th. Please pray that the three of us will get a deeper understanding of the needs that the church is looking to address, the ministry that is currently happening there and how we can be a support to the Kenyans who are leading the mission work in this country which still in great need for God to bring reconciliation and solid leadership.
We are so thankful for the fellowship we have been given the opportunity to engage in with the US team (all 22 of them!!) that has been here since the 5th of October. We have had two absolutely delightful sisters in the Lord here living with us… and another dear couple that has been living in the home down the road with two other PACE missionaries. (Many days we all share breakfast and fellowship together.) It has been a joy to get to know them and also to join the team as they have travelled throughout the Nyahururu district, ministering in various areas.
One day Blair and I joined the team to accompany Pastor Macharia to a ministry he offers to seniors in the area. By 10:00 am over 130 folks aged 70+ gathered in a local, rural church for prayer, a very lively time of worship, fellowship and some refreshments. This was after many walked up to 3 hours to get to the gathering place! Incredible!!… They are all over 70!!! As well the US team offered free medical services and advice for all. What a blessing it was to meet and join these brothers and sisters in this time they share weekly. By the end of the morning, two men came to greet Blair and I as they were rushing off to school! Both of these 75 year old brothers, are attending adult education classes and are both in Grade 4. One gentleman was so excited to tell us about his accomplishments, he pulled out his math exercise book to show us his work. The depth of the joy (and the energy!) of these dear friends has been absolutely inspiring!! We are praying for an opportunity to join them again at least one more time before we come home!
That same afternoon, we visited a government school in the “slum” area of the district, over 1100 children from kindergarden to grade 8. Our team of 24 split up into various classed to greet the children, and spend time talking to them about everything from education, to the importance of staying in their great country to help to build a better future, to spiritual and relational issues. Blair and I joined a gentlemen from Philadelphia who led the session to the group of Grade 6 students (about 120 or so!) and led a prayer of faith in which we know one young person accepted the Christ into their heart. They also had a chance to ask us questions which was a lot of fun for all of us.
As well Blair and I had a chance to go back to the Nyahururu prison to come alongside the US team and Kenyan prison officials to minister to men and women prisoners there. One of our US sisters, Claudine, (who is staying at our home) and I had a chance to meet, share, counsel and pray with 4 women in particular. A little while later I helped in the practical ministry of hair washing and dressing. As my experience is limited in this area, I was able to help one of the women to “unbraid” the hair of another. God opened up an opportunity to get to know this gentle woman a little more. She is to be released later this week and she expressed a desire to change her ways so that she can be the mother to her two children (aged 15 & 7) that God has has made her to be. Please pray for her and all of these dear women who, as we all have at times, made not so great choices in life and are living out their consequences at this point… but by God’s grace alone, can (and many are desiring to) turn their lives around so they can live in the fullness of joy and peace that was meant for each one of them… for us all!
We’ve also had the opportunity this past weekend to cheer on many of the young people at PACE who were involved in a volleyball and football (soccer) tournament with 2 other local schools. PACE was the overall winner of the event, but even more than celebrating that, we have been celebrating the great sportsmanship, grace and leadership the young people showed throughout the day as they competed… giving their all and cheering one another on.
And there was an opportunity to join our friend Pastor Geoffrey Njihia as he, his family and his church celebrated his ordination into the the AIC Church and to join the Ngamau family fellowship to greet and encourage the family and share in their lives.
In all of this (and more) that we have been involved in over the last couple of weeks, we have been so thankful for how God had revealed Himself to us through so many people we’ve met, through answers to prayers, both personally and corporately, and for how He has patiently guided and directed our paths in a deeper understanding of the ministry here and how He can use us as we are willing.
Oh… and we are thankful for the turkey we were able to find on Friday on a trip out of town that we will enjoy with our US friends tomorrow (Tuesday) evening! We were asked to host a dinner and prepare a presentation for them and it seemed very appropriate to hold off on celebrating this occasion in order to share in it with them.
So, this Thanksgiving Day, our prayers are with our family and friends. We are so thankful to for so many who we know are praying for us, our Kenyan family and the work that God is doing so faithfully in this place! It is awesome to experience first hand so many prayers answered… and knowing in faith that God is working as well in countless ways that we do not even see. God is good!
As the children so often sing here, and we agree… “This is the day that the Lord has made! We will rejoice and be glad in it!”
May you know the love, peace and joy of God’s love and grace in abundance today!
With blessing, thanks and love in Christ,
Sheryl, Blair and Roger.