Feeling Full

It’s time to make my way home.   People have shown gracious hospitality, have fed me their best and welcomed me into their lives.  The main road back is open now – overturned trucks have been moved.    There is always room for company in the vehicle – someone needing a ride on the way.  This time it’s sisters on their way to school – Alpha and Gift’s daughters.  Reflecting while driving brings a full range of thoughts on the many ways God has been with me, making a way all along.

Finding Grasses to Purchase

Stopping to Purchase Grasses




Riding on Top

Roof Repair Begins









Repairing the Roof

Roof Repairs Under Way







Grass-Eating Termite

Giant spider I nearly walked into!







Daily Chores – Carrying Firewood

Church at Palei – Bittersweet after malaria takes the life of a member’s 2-year-old girl just the night before











Sisters ready to travel for school













          I’m impacted here by people – by their testimonies, their stories.  There is a deeper connection and realization to some Old Testament stories like those of Josiah and David.  What we don’t know can hurt us.  Being poor – how does it affect spiritual development?  God gives me everything I have – it’s all from Him.  I don’t have anything – I am poor.  It’s difficult to see myself when I have resources; difficult to see my need,  my poverty.  Poverty helps me – not because it’s good – but because I see my own condition.  Scripture is alive, it’s flowing off the pages.  When I’m here I have a feeling of being fed, a feeling of fullness.


Meeting at the Well

Last week, the message to prepare was from John 4 where Jesus meets a Samaritan woman (what normally would have been a tense meeting), at a well.  But, Jesus asked her for a drink.

It’s always a highlight to stop by a well we installed, especially to see how it is serving the community.  We installed this well just last February and met some of the people coming to carry water back to their homes.  This is the only well in their area, now  serving over 400 people.

Usually it is the women and/or children who daily walk to the well, fill jeri cans with water, then carry the water back home.

Walking the paths and watching the water be drawn, brings to life the story of a  stranger asking a Samaritan woman, “Will you give me a drink?” What she didn’t know was how intimate He knew every detail of her life, and that He would make such an offer to her that would change the rest of her life, “. . . but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14

Good discussions were had at the conference on Friday.  Again, the big things that continually come up are Marriage, divorce and having two wives.   Many have grown up in polygamous families – it’s still  culturally accepted, even a sign of status, especially in rural areas.  Here they are eager to see what the Bible says.  Today, it’s about God’s design for marriage and loving relationships.  A very common practice related to resources or finances is for husbands and wives to keep their resources separate and secret from each other.  The husband manages his, the wife manages hers.  A husband shared his experience, explaining that his wife is not at home with him right now.  She took out a loan for over one million schillings (about equivalent to $263), used the money and didn’t tell him.  Later they (the lender) came to him and said he needed to pay this money back, and his response was, “What?!?”  He had no idea she had borrowed the money.  His wife is back at her family’s village selling charcoal to earn the money to repay.  More testimonies were shared by those who have realized God’s way is different.  A wife shares, “My husband listens to me now.”  A husband shares, “If it weren’t for being saved, I know we would have been divorced for sure.”

Leadership Conference

Weaving Paths

The rains stop just in time for traveling about, by car and on foot, for door-to-door evangelism.  It’s a relief the sun is out to dry the mud, yet the dust is settled.  First a time of singing and then prayer for those we might see on our path.  We set set out to nearby villages – an area strongly influenced by a catholic presence.  How surprising and refreshing it is to discuss openly with others who want to talk about the Bible as much as we do!  By the time we return to eat together and discuss the conversations of the day, the afternoon is nearly gone.

But, the opportunity to visit a good friend who lives just off the path nearby cannot be passed up.  “Fundi Francis” (a ‘foon-dee’ is a person who works in the trades) was there when we first came to Paidha to help with the church building at Akir.  He was also there to meet a fellow-fundi in Oz (a contractor back home), who traveled with me in 2016 to lay the foundation and floor of the church.  Now, visiting his hut for the first time, blue skies show through gaps in his grass roof.  Puddles on the dirt floor from the rain early that morning are carefully avoided.  The typical gracious hospitality and welcome into their home ensues.  Eventually, I get to ask Francis about his terribly leaky roof.  How is it that a fundi has such a leaky roof?  We laugh together, but he reminds me that it’s not even been a year since he’s been back home.

Fundi Francis with wife Christine

Francis and his family moved away for two years to attend a Bible school for pastoral training.  It takes time to reestablish, to build up clients again, to be able to earn enough to provide for his family.  So, what is needed to repair the roof?  40 bundles of grasses.  40 bundles!  Yes . . . and some ties – ties are needed to keep the grass from blowing off.  But isn’t he a fundi – can’t he make the ties?  No, he works with metal, not with grass.  Okay.  And also, medicine for the grasses is needed.  Medicine . . . what kind of medicine?  Medicine to keep the bugs from eating the grasses – that’s what caused this damage.  Where can we get some grass?  We will go.  We will find a place.

Weaving in and out of one village after another, we search for grasses for sale.  Just when I think we can not get any more remote, we finally find a vendor!  There is a conversation to negotiate a fair price, supplies are purchased and quickly loaded!  The total bill . . . $30.  Humbled.  Surrounded by joyful people and the surprise of suddenly seeing a familiar face out here in the middle of nowhere leaves no time to reflect and process.

Weaving Rope

Amy!  Amy lives out here and is setting out to walk a good distance to town where she works at the Country Cottages – my home away from home in Paidha.  She gratefully and joyfully accepts a ride to town.  We begin weaving our way back.  How is this going to work?  The grasses are not staying put!  Stopping to get out and evaluate the situation, Amy starts making a rope out of weeds.  Her response to my dropped jaw, “Oh, ya, I can do this!”  She’s just grabbing stuff off the road-side, weaving it together.  Wow?  “Oh ya, it is easy  . . ”  Soon the bundles of grasses are tied together and strapped down!  The light from the day is fading, so back on the road we go!