Micah Juma: Looking to the Future with Gratitude

It is a great honor for us to be able to present this briefing to all of you who are partnering with us in expanding the kingdom of God and serving “the least of these” here in Africa.

Finally, a new day has dawned for the young man, Micah Juma. In our previous report, Sympathize with the Needy, we shared his tragic story. Micah Juma, at age 23 (the year 2011), was involved in two  road accidents which left him with serious physical disabilities. Though his family managed to scrape together some money to begin to address the problems, they quickly ran out of resources and options, leaving young Micah permanently incapacitated.

After he was sent to the Kingdom Driven Ministries by the local chief for medical assistance, and we in turn asked our faithful brethren for support, several gave with great generosity and concern for Micah’s condition. We are glad to report that together we have finally been able to make some headway with his care.

In his first accident, Micah’s back bone and urethra were badly damaged; in the second accident, his right leg was severely broken. Both conditions were only minimally treated, leaving him for the last five years with a useless leg and a permanent supra-pubic catheter.

Since he came to us two months ago, we have been doing all in our ability to bring relief and hope to Micah and his family. We have encountered some challenges with the medical options available to us, but the Lord has provided solutions as the needs arose. We had to move from doctor to doctor, from office to office, from hospital to hospital, but at last we found a haven of good hope in one local hospital, Webuye County Hospital. After years of suffering, Micah’s broken leg was finally repaired this week! He was officially discharged on Friday.

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Admitted to the hospital

The next big step that awaits him is the urethral surgery, which will hopefully come a few months from now. This period of rest will allow the body to gain sufficient strength and permit the wound and bones to heal. Micah will also receive physical therapy. We pray and trust the Lord will make these next steps possible (and safe).

I would love to pass across the words of gratitude from Micah’s family, especially his father. This is what he told me when I visited him at the hospital after the surgery:

“My family and I would love to express our sincere gratitude and great thanks to all those individuals who have stood with us, and supported Micah. We feel like the big stone that was hindering us from seeing the love of God has been removed by the servants of God. Though  we have nothing to repay them, but still we have something to offer them. We will remember them in our prayers, and ask the Lord to shower His blessings on them, so that they can continue in good work, and help many more who are suffering in deep distress. God bless you.”

The prayer of the poor is no small thing; God is attentive to the cry of a poor man. In the same line of gratitude, we at Kingdom Driven Ministries give thanks to all our brethren for making our duty and service both possible and enjoyable.

In recovery after surgery

At home after surgery!

As Micah recuperates, we plan to take him for a scan, which will be brought to his next consultation with the surgeon so that they can assess the damage to the urethra and see if it can be repaired at the same facility that performed the leg surgery. We have approximately $700 remaining that is earmarked for both physical therapy and the next procedure. Because we needed to pursue next-level care to get the leg surgery done, we are operating with less funding than anticipated going forward. As the future needs become clear (based on consultation and best estimates from the surgeon), we will let you know if further assistance is needed. In the meantime, Micah, his family, and the team here at Kingdom Driven Ministries are thankful for what we have been able to accomplish on Micah’s behalf. Please pray for his recovery and for the future use of his leg.

Celebrating Victor’s Life

The brethren here in our local fellowships have pulled together in an amazing way over these past few days to honor the life of our brother, Victor, who recently passed away after a long battle with cancer. We are more than thankful for the saints from afar whose financial gifts have made all of these arrangements easier, removing a large burden from both Victor’s family and the church at this time.

The burial took place yesterday (Wednesday, the 18th of May) at the home of one of Victor’s relatives. Our church’s wazee and deacons faithfully managed all the details, from food for the mourners, to transport for various brethren, to tents, chairs, PA system. Many of our church’s ladies volunteered their time from Tuesday onward, to prepare the massive amounts of food that would be served after the burial.

Here are some photos from the day’s activities:

Victor suffered for about six years from cancer. Neither his family nor various government agencies could help him, but our local chief asked Kingdom Driven Ministries  for help about two years ago. Because of our involvement in his care, Victor heard the message of the Gospel, repented of his sins, and was baptized into Christ. Eventually we helped Victor find a new home, where he lived in close contact with several other brothers and sisters in the Lord. Though occasionally discouraged because of his illness, and particularly at the end, because of pain, Victor always had a ready smile and rarely complained. He regularly attended the weekly “wazee” (elders) meeting; though he was still a relatively young man (only in his 30s), he was welcomed by the wazee because he had experienced ill health and suffering, which gave a different perspective on life than other youth. When called upon to teach during Discovery Bible Study or share a testimony during the weekly fellowship, Victor did so with an understanding of the Scriptures but even more, with a sense of deep relationship with God. Though of course not a perfect man, he was quick to repent when he fell short. We will miss our brother’s dedication, his friendship, and his warm smile. Thank you again for all you’ve done to assist with his medical needs and improve the quality of his life for the time that he remained with us. We praise God that Victor will enter into our Father’s rest.

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Testimony of Faith through Deeds

20160216_120122Mzee Erasto, age 56, is the father of eight children and the grandfather of Eliya and Abigail (two of the children in our malnourished program). He is also one among many wazee (“older men”)  in our house church network. How did this man come to the knowledge of God? What prompted him to seek salvation? This man saw faith in deed and believed.

Mzee Erasto was bitter and sour in heart. His daily life was full of adversities and hard problems; indeed he was in great distress. Being a breadwinner and a father of eight children was a big and unhappy task for him, keeping in mind that he had no job and means to sustain his family. He was in despair and concerned especially about two of his grandchildren, as their health was deteriorating day by day. They were children of his daughter, Robbies, who had been married but returned home in disgrace because of mental health issues. She had obviously struggled to care for the children; they had developmental delays and were severely malnourished. When she returned to her home community, the whole family was ridiculed. Neighbors asked among themselves, “Where will they bury these children? They don’t even have a shamba [farm]!” This only added to Mzee Erasto’s burden. How did he come to see the Kingdom of God through all this?

Eliya and Abigail were first discovered by the Sweazys, the missionary family who sojourned here for a little while before moving to Uganda. When they came across these needy little ones, they took them in their house and shared the love of Christ with them. To Mzee Erasto this was not an ordinary thing; it was something not of this world. Truly to him they were good Samaritans sent by God to answer his deep secret prayer.

”My prayer was that if God would be merciful and remember these little children, and restore their health, then I will serve and love the Lord God with my house,” said Mzee Erasto. Did God listen to this man’s prayer? Was he answered and granted his desire? Of course yes, the Lord granted the request through His servants. Truly this man came to believe that this is a permanent law: ask and you will receive.

After a few weeks of visiting the local fellowship and attending the weekly wazee meetings, Mzee Erasto was moved and greatly touched by the ways and simplicity of the brethren. During one of the fellowship meetings, he stood and declared, “I have met people who are not of the world. I have met people of God, and I want to be one of them.” So our dear brother Silas shared the message of the Kingdom and planted the seed of truth. Mzee Erasto was guided through repentance, and eventually baptism. The Words of Christ resonated with him: “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Mzee Erasto’s life was changed and transformed, his heart softened and sweetened by the love of God. His eternal gratitude is to the brothers and sisters who made this miracle a reality, and above all to the great God and Father who is in Heaven.

“I am so happy every day when I see my grandchildren looking just like other children. I am very grateful to the people who unselfishly helped us. Now we have food at home and the truth of the Gospel. I am a poor man and I cannot repay all the people who helped my grandchildren and other children, but God will repay them. I will always repay them in prayers,” said Mzee Erasto. This man is overjoyed that now his neighbors see the work of God in the lives of his children and grandchildren. Even Robbies has miraculously improved, working at home and helping to care for her children. He looks forward to Abigail and Eliya being able to attend school just like other children, something he had previously not thought possible.

The Kingdom Driven community also thanks all of you brothers and sisters for you great help and donations, for enabling us to serve and help the people around us. Every single dollar donated in the spirit of LOVE is an immortal dollar; every dollar that can be converted into LOVE is eternal treasure.

 

Reagan

 

Kingdom Driven Ministries welcomes Reagan Simiyu as a contributing author to the blog.

 

A Father to the Fatherless…in Bidii

Bidii is a Swahili name that means effort. It’s a good name for the fellowship in Bidii, since it is a small community of believers that has been bonded together through great effort by our brother, Lazarus Lordia. As they live and work together, it is also with great effort that they are seeking to live out the teachings of Jesus and be a supportive community of brothers, each helping the other to succeed and to earn their “daily bread” as they follow Jesus together. The church in Bidii is a group of poor and needy folks, but they have a burning zeal and unquenchable thirst for the kingdom of God and righteousness.

In their beginnings, they encountered much pain and sorrow under a false shepherd and self-seeking man, but  the Lord helped them to stand firm and strong in the narrow path, remembering what the Chief Shepherd said about the narrow road to the kingdom: it is not easy and it was not meant to be easy; rather, it is by much travail and tribulation that the gates of the kingdom can be entered. We thank God for the man Lazarus,  who has been a strong anchor and support to the brethren of Bidii.

IMG_0162Lazarus is a strong brother in the LORD, an evangelist with zeal and passion for God’s kingdom. This man’s life story is a fascinating and captivating one, a story that reads like a movie script. His father divorced his mother when he was six, and he was raised by his alcoholic father. He felt alone and struggled through the many ups and downs of his young life, feeling largely unsupported and without guidance. Yet, God used this for good, as  a preparation for his future mission in the kingdom of Christ. How could this man know this from the onset? In fact he felt the opposite, he felt neglected and forsaken by the Lord.Twice he contemplated suicide and termination of his life. It is amazing what man can hold in his mind when he is ignorant of God’s will and love for him; indeed, His thoughts are different from our thoughts and His ways different from our ways.

Yet his background gave Lazarus a great empathy for those young people who were growing up vulnerable and disadvantaged. He turned his attention to the youth in his community, serving as a football coach and mentor. His life found some purpose and meaning, but he still felt something missing. Before he meet with Marc Carrier, a missionary in East Africa, who unveiled the hidden truth of the Kingdom to him, Lazarus sold drugs and trained in martial arts, even while he invested in the local youth as a coach. Yet in his sincere seeking of the Kingdom, he has found freedom from his past and experienced death of the old man of sin. A new man has been born again by the power of God.  The truth was given unto him, and now he is on fire, fighting a noble and royal fight of the Kingdom, a spiritual warfare, the battle between good and evil. Using his worldly experiences as a football coach, now he is coaching the little community of Christ of Bidii. He is leading many souls to the Lord, both old and young. Among his personal disciples are those of his own household: wife, children, and father.

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Lazarus has found many challenges as a follower of Christ in his village community. He has been scorned and ridiculed, and church leaders have directly threatened him because their traditions are being challenged. As the leader of a growing church with many struggling for their “daily bread,” he is looked to for support when he has his own household to keep in order. Yet, he accepts this challenge with strength and views it as an opportunity to live the Kingdom of God in a community of brethren who can support each other through their times of need.

Daniel Miteti, another disciple in Bidii,  grew up as a fatherless young boy. Raised by his single mother until the young age of four, when the mother also passed away, he was left under the care of the family relatives. Did his relatives viewed him as a poor orphan who needed attention and love like other children? Of course not, they viewed him as a source of cheap labor, someone who will look after their cows, goats, and sheep while other children were in school seeking a better future. This is a normal case with many unbelieving families here in Africa. Do we still remember what the Psalmist said?, “Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked.They do not know, nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are unstable.”(Psalm 82).

Daniel being weak and having no one to protect him, was frequently mistreated. One of his relatives ended up beating him badly and even threatened to cut off his hands after he lost the rope which was used to tie the cow. Eventually he was pushed out of the family and ended up in the street. Without any form of  education, the only work he could secure was that of a herdsman; he was employed to look after the animals, and there is where he met his wife-to-be, Sandra Nelima, and they wedded.

Our evangelist Lazarus met with them and shared the gospel with them, and both of them repented and were baptized two months ago. Now they are among the body of Christ, those who are called by the holy name of the Lord. Brother Lazarus did not just baptize them and abandon them but instead he gave them his little barber shop, which he also was given by the one who baptized him. Daniel and his wife now earn a little money to sustain them. (Their daily earning is approximately Ksh 200 [$2 per day]). And still life is a big challenge to him, being a husband and a father, a young disciple. His faith and love for Our Lord are very strong and the only reason to keep on moving.

Brother Charles and his wife Lydia are among the brethren who meet in Bidii, the fruits of Lazarus. He also had a background like that of Lazarus and Daniel. His mother died when he was still an infant of two weeks old and he was raised with other family members. His father became negligent of the young Charles after he remarried. He never got any education, just like his other siblings. Being orphaned and poor he was an object of oppression and abused. He was falsely accused of stealing and was jailed fora  few months. Though he was eventually released, his freedom was not long lasting. He was once again accused with another false accusation of rape. Thank God for His divine intervention; Charles was released due to lack of sufficient evidence against him.

How did this  man came to the knowledge of God? How did he came to learn about the message of the Kingdom of God? Praise God for the work and obedience of Lazarus, who shared with him the gospel and led him in repentance and baptism. Now he, too, has a Father in Heaven who cares for him.

 

What is so  impressive about these little ones, the brethren of Bidii, is their obedience to the teachings and commandments of Jesus. Yes,  The two newest disciples are  are poor and needy and they cannot yet speak loudly and boldly about their faith. Yes, they are illiterate and unenlightened and they cannot preach a beautiful and colorful sermons. Yet,  they can live and practice the Kingdom. Their true love and obedience to Christ is their sermon to the world. The world marvels and wonders, “What makes these poor and uneducated folks so happy? What is the secret of their happiness?” It is their obedience to the great law of the Kingdom; they love the Lord their God with their whole hearts, souls and minds, and then they love one another as the LORD loves them.

The secret of their strength is their similar life experience, their common background, and their love for God. The Lord himself declared that the world will know we are His disciples by our love for one another. We pray that their love will grow stronger and stronger, and that more will join this faithful little group as they follow Christ in true unity.

 

Reagan

Kingdom Driven Ministries welcomes Reagan Simiyu as a contributing author to the blog.

A Man You Might Never Notice…

I spent a long time looking through folders of poorly categorized and labeled ministry photos on our laptop, hoping to find one of Mzee Timothy. (Mzee is a term for a respected elder.) I wasn’t particularly surprised to not see him in any of the snapshots, because he’s a man who often fades into the background. He wouldn’t try to find his way into a group shot with the other wazee at the weddings or funerals. He isn’t a gifted teacher, so you won’t see him leading a group discussion. He’s not ordained to baptize. He misses out on a lot of events because he spends much of his time working, just struggling to eat each day. This is the best I could do–our only photo of Mzee Timothy–one not really representative of his quiet and pleasant demeanor, but one taken during a time of severe illness just before he was admitted to our local district hospital:

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I wanted to introduce you to Mzee Timothy, not because of his notable accomplishments or his superior giftings, but because he is representative of so many in our local fellowships: quiet, unassuming, hard-working…and not out there on the front lines of Kingdom expansion, leading Discovery Bible studies or evangelizing any one of many small groups of men who hang out together here in the village. Instead, he is busy each day caring for his family (which now includes many grandchildren), and perhaps visiting with his neighbors. He rarely misses a Sunday fellowship, and although he doesn’t have a gift for exegesis of the Scriptures, he believes in God’s Word and takes it for what it teaches. Marc has encouraged him, as one of the few wazee in our local fellowship, to share something during our interactive services, and Timothy has taken that responsibility seriously. He is one of the first to stand up and speak; not with the force of personality but with the quiet authority of the Word. Most of the time, he simply shares a Scripture from the New Testament that has been meaningful to him during his week. It is enough.

Now that you know a little about Timothy, and can imagine what a sweet old man he is, you can also perhaps share in my joy as I see and relate the fruit of the Kingdom message in his life. This past Sunday, Alexander, a friend and neighbor of Timothy’s, accompanied him to our fellowship gathering. Alexander shared that he has quietly been watching Timothy’s life since he surrendered to Christ. Marc noted that Alexander usually attends the weekly wazee meeting if Timothy is the host. Alexander shared of his lifelong church attendance and his desire to find the “real thing,” but not really being satisfied with denominations. Instead, he has seen something in Timothy and wants to know more. He expressed a desire to hear the same teaching that changed Timothy, and said that he believes he will need to be baptized into new lifeFrom here, I’m sure one of our gifted teachers will be sharing the Gospel of the Kingdom with Alexander eventually, but this would not have happened without the quiet witness of Timothy’s life. So praise God with us for the fruit that is being born for the Kingdom of God, not in the preaching to hundreds, but in the day-to-day example that so many disciples here live out before their families, friends, and neighbors. And pray with us for a continued harvest here on the mission field in Kenya.

Finding Truth

Greetings all in the name of our King Jesus, it has been awhile since I last blogged. I have been traveling on various missions all around Kenya, Uganda and most recently Tanzania.

I was so blessed to connect again with a beautiful family from the Middle East. Their commitment to the Lord is inspiring and I want to share a testimony from a dear sister in Christ. (For their safety, all names have been change.)

Testimony of finding Truth

 Kristen was Born to a very loving Muslim family in 1989. As a family they where very committed to their faith, Kristen prayed 5 times a day, read the Koran and studied at the madrasah (Muslim school) through high school. Kristen loved Allah and Muhammad very much.

After High School, Kristen went to train as a Lady Health Visitor [LHV], this was her mother’s desire for her. In order to study, Kristen had to stay in a hostel. This was the first time she had ever been away from home without being accompanied by her father. She passed her first year and entered into her second year.  At this time, Kristen met a new first year student called Lorna. They became close friends. Lorna told her family about Kristen, and Kristen also told her mother and grandmother about her new friend, Lorna.

As their friendship grew Kristen learned that Lorna’s family converted from Islam to Christianity, she was not happy to hear this. She asked Lorna’s mother Naomi, “How could you do such a thing?”  Naomi responded that Kristen had not read the Bible. They discussed this further, and Kristen accused Naomi of not reading the Koran with the correct interpretation. Naomi responded with a smile saying, “When you read the Bible you will not talk like this.” Kristen knew that the Bible was one of the five Holy Books, but she believed that the Koran had the final authority.  When Kristen’s mother and grandmother learned that Lorna’s family was Christian, she was told to stay away from them. Kristen did not follow their advice and continued the friendship.

Because Naomi stayed busy working at her medical clinic she was not always available to answer any questions Kristen had, so Lorna’s twin brother, Steven, would talk with Kristen. (This communication was done by phone only, they did not meet face to face.)  After one year, Steven sent a gift to Kristen… it was a Bible. She thought that it was okay to take it home as Muslims consider it to be one of the five Holy Books. She showed her family the Bible and placed it next to the Koran.  One of Kristen brothers, who knows the Koran by heart, was furious. He scolded her; she was upset by his reaction she took the Bible down and hid it.

Kristen liked reading the Bible and in time she spent more time reading the Bible than the Koran, but she showed her family that she was still reading the Koran. She also would share small things from the Bible with her family but they would not accept its truth. Kristen’s family noticed that her behavior had changed and they found out about her communication with Steven, this did not make her family happy.

 Kristen decided to read the entire Koran with a detailed translation to find something to share with her family. In doing this she found many things about Jesus in the Koran to which Muslims do not pay attention. She gathered books about the Prophet Jesus. She found that in the Koran Jesus is called the Spirit of Allah. When she compared the Prophet Jesus with the Prophet Muhammad she found that Jesus was more spiritual. Slowly over time Kristen stopped reading the Koran and praying namaz, instead she would pray to Jesus! Inside of her was great fear at the consequences of what she was doing, there was a battle going on inside. So she prayed and ask God to show her the right path.

 At this time her mother was very angry with her and she was removed from her education at the hostel. Kristen continued speaking with Steven on the phone and shared with him what was happening at her home. He encouraged her with verses from the Bible. The first time her mother got angry with her, Kristen prayed in the Name of Jesus as Steven had taught her and a half an hour later she noticed that her mother was no longer angry. Her faith was encouraged, she loved her mother much and was happy at this result.

The communication between Steven and Kristen grew into more and they felt it would be good for them to marry. Naomi had learned that Kristen had accepted Jesus and was praying in His name! Naomi wanted them to go to Kristen’s parents and ask for her hand in marriage. When she told her mother she flew into a rage and forbid Kristen to see Steven and his family again.  Her family became very strict with her, she was monitored all the time and accompanied wherever she went.  However, she had decided she wanted to marry Steven.

When Naomi heard that Kristen’s family had refused to allow her to marry, she understanding what a shame it was for the family. She took Steven’s phone from him so he could no longer communicate.  However, when she realized that Steven and Kristen were truly in love, she returned the phone to him. Though it was difficult Steven continued to reach out to Kristen and encourage her with Scripture.

After knowing Steven for two years she went to his house for the first time; it was Resurrection Sunday. She was greeted with great love, and she felt at home. Although she had not seen Steven before, this she was happy and she wanted to marry him.  Steven continued to teach her about the Word of God. Kristen was fully committed, she now knew the Truth and the Truth had sent her free!

Steven’s family talked about the marriage, but Steven’s father was not happy about the union as he knew it would mean trouble and even death for the family. Steven and Kristen were very upset about this and decided to pray, fast, and seek God’s will. Steven’s older brother and father asked if she was prepared to leave her family. She responded that the Lord would give her strength. Steven and his family decided on a date when Kristen would leave her home.

Kristen made sure she had all her documents and left a note for her family.  In it, she told them she had come to know the Truth and had accepted Jesus Christ. Kristen met Steven and Naomi and they went straight to court where they were married under Muslim law.  When she didn’t return home that night, Kristen’s mother called her. Kristen told her mother that she had left a letter for the family and that she was fine.  Her family kept calling but she did not answer. A few days later they had a church wedding.

Kristen’s family did not leave things alone.  They registered a case of kidnapping against Naomi, Steven, and Lorna as well as a case of adultery against Steven. Steven’s father advised that Kristen should file a petition to say that she had left her family and married of her own free will.  However, Naomi thought this would incite Kristen’s family. Her family sent Police to Naomi’s house to find out were Steven and Kristen were hiding. Naomi would not give them any information and she went to jail for two nights. Kristen phoned her family and asked them why they had Naomi arrested, she was told that they did not care about Naomi, but she must return home. When Naomi was released from jail she went straight to check on Kristen.

Naomi never angry or uttered a bad word against the actions of Kristen’s family. Kristen testified that in all the years since her marriage to Steven, his family has never spoken one bad thing against her family. She has been completely accepted by the family.

“I am far from my home and far from my family. But I don’t feel I’m among strangers. ”

Kristen and her husband along with other family members have been forced to flee for safety, by circumstance they have had to literally sell everything pack a bag and leave the country. They now see God’s wisdom in the situation because they have been freed from all the things that tie them to this world, and can now serve the Kingdom of God as pilgrims and sojourners in a strange land. Their circumstances have placed them in a unique opportunity to expand the Kingdom of God and this is something they are very excited about!

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

Hebrews 11:13-16

 

Sojourning in Africa,

Charlton

A Life Redeemed—Jackson’s Story Part 2

I have already written a brief biographical sketch of Jackson’s life from the mission’s perspective. However, there is an amazing story behind the story. This story is an incredible action suspense thriller.

To start, Jackson comes from an extremely wealthy family. His father had a lot of property and multiple cars (which are only owned by the super rich here in Kenya). Jackson was a driver and was well off himself. He was married with multiple children, but lived as a swinging single, his driving work putting him often away from home. He was happy-go-lucky and thought things were just fine the way they were. Well that all changed when his father died.

When his father died his uncles were determined to seize the opportunity to steal the inheritance from nephews. They immediately killed Jackson’s two older brothers and used witchcraft to render his younger brother insane. After they sold four of the five parcels of land formerly owned by Jackson’s father, Jackson took them to court. They threatened to kill him as well and he responded in extreme violence to terrorize them in return. They then used witchcraft to kill him causing a serious car accident which killed his passenger and left him hospitalized for over three years. The uncles then visited him in the hospital and organized for the doctors to kill him. Through a nurse’s intervention he was warned not to eat or drink anything or allow medicine from anyone at the hospital because doctors were paid to kill him and they accepted the payment. She gave him some of her personal money and he snuck out of the hospital with his serious leg wound (we earlier reported we suspected it was from a spider bite—apparently it started from a car accident wound) to a nearby city Eldoret. From Eldoret, he called his bed mate (people commonly share beds in Kenyan government hospitals) and his bed mate’s son answered and informed Jackson that his bed mate was killed. The nurse explained to Jackson that the doctors had accidentally killed the wrong man assuming it was him.

After some time, being totally abandoned and hopeless, he decided to visit two of his uncles in West Pokot. They rejected him and left him outside the gate. He decided to drink agricultural chemicals to end his life right outside their gate. He woke up in the morning with a bad stomach ache, but alive. His uncles chased him away and he went to a local pastor for assistance. That pastor gave him a little money and sent him to a safer place. He ended up in our village.

Here in our village he took the little money the pastor gave him and found a place to sleep for the night. When airing out his wound it wreaked terribly and neighbors let themselves in to give him soap to wash. They saw the wound and showed him compassion. They assisted him with a little food, a blanket and helped him find more permanent housing. He hopped with his walking stick to a nearby pharmacy and asked for boxes to sleep on and they assisted him. Later he sought the local government office for assistance and they gave him a little money immediately and a daily allotment to sustain him and get medicine for his wound. These many miraculous interventions were showing him that there truly was a God watching over his life.

With the money he was given he went to the pharmacy and there met Charlton and Silas. That was the beginning of our involvement. We raised funding and organized to amputate his leg. These were amazing impossible miracles to Jackson.

The next miracle went like this. He was hobbling on his one leg with his walking stick and his sandle broke. While sitting in his room he noticed a bicycle wheel spoke in the rafters. He knew that was what was used for making needles to repair shoes so he gave it a try. He successfully repaired his sandal. His neighbors noticed him repairing his sandal and asked if he could fix their broken shoes. By the end of the day he had fixed many pairs making a good day’s wage of under $2. Now as a driver he was making a huge wage of over $20 but it helped him little. Now this $2 seemed a fortune and assisted him immensely. Through these incredible circumstances God had given him his future business.

After KDM assisted him with building a new shop in a prominent location, government workers began disturbing him and trying to shut him down. Silas and Jackson visited the senior government official’s office and was welcomed by a man with one leg. The man asked him what his need was and Jackson informed him that local government officials were disturbing his business. This man is a big man in government…one phone call and Jackson is now permanently free to operate his business undisturbed.

We have already discussed the miracles of him being reunited with his family. Bit the story was incomplete. The last missing piece of the puzzle is this. Today two disciples taught Jackson’s wife the Gospel of the Kingdom. He has surrendered and has accepted to repent and be baptized on Sunday. Wow! What an awesome God we serve!

A Young Miracle

About a week ago, Sammy and I were sitting in a mud home where another church has been meeting for several months. We were there to have a pretty difficult meeting with this church. As we sat in the home quietly talking before our meeting began—in Kenya this can be 30 minutes to over an hour—we were hearing about issues that were affecting the small little village.

One particular situation was about a woman who had recently had a little baby. There were complications during the birthing process and she was rushed to a local hospital. We were not a part of this process so I wasn’t sure the reason for hearing this story, but they continued.

She was having many complications and the baby was not moving through/with the birth process. Once at the hospital, the doctors decided to do an emergency C-section to try to save the baby. Both baby and mom lived, but complications after the birth continued.

We were told that the place of the incision was becoming infected, she had a bad case of malaria, and even worse, her stomach was beginning to bloat larger and larger.

Two days before we talked with them, they had taken her to the hospital for more treatment. But the doctor there didn’t know what was going on and weren’t sure how to help her. She was then taken to the “District Hospital” where they have greater experience. But even there, they weren’t sure how to treat her accurately. In the end, two days later, she passed away leaving a husband and three children, one being the recent newborn.

The day after she passed, we were brought a little girl, the older daughter, who was very ill. She had been sick for some time and was not doing well. In fact, she had been taken to two other clinics/hospitals and each had no idea how to help her. The family was afraid there would be another death in the family! They thought their only hope was to bring the little girl to us for help.

While here with us, we were able to pray with her and give her medication—in the end, we sent her back home with medication in hand. But here’s where God did one of His wonders!

Timothy, a local brother in the Lord, testified of the change he saw from when they sent the girl to when she returned. He told us that he had asked what we did for her. The answer, we prayed! Timothy noticed a great change in the little girl’s energy, look in her eyes, and overall health. He saw such a great improvement in such a short time, he knew God was in the midst of healing that little girl at that moment!

Over the next few hours, Timothy witnessed a total healing of this girl…but with medication in hand, they gave it to her anyway. Despite, they (and we) are convinced that the Lord put His healing hand on this little girl and spared her life!

In this picture, she is the one wearing the purple. You must realize, they have a little baby that is with a wet nurse, mom has passed away, and her entire world has turned upside-down…there seemed to be no joy in her face.

This next picture is the family, minus the tiny baby and the one with the flower dress (she insisted on being in the picture). As you can see, this is a very young family, and their grief could be seen the entire time I was there.

Finally, this is a picture of “the hill people” (as they call themselves). They are nearly all family members. Pictured are cousins and brothers/sisters along with two neighbors that everyone considers family. This group of people have banned together to help burry this woman and take care of the hurting family.

In the end, no medical missions were needed (physically), no money was spent, no time put out…just a talk with our Heavenly Father for our needs before us. Never-the-less, we are thankful for your support and giving. Because of our Father’s healing hand, medicine and money can be used in other areas and in other ways. We are so grateful for your prayerful support. The Lord IS faithful! Praise His name for making Himself known to the people of Kenya.

 

A Life Redeemed–Jackson’s Story

When we first found Jackson, he was in rough shape. His leg was literally eaten away to the bone. There was no salvaging his leg; he required an amputation to survive. What began as a pimple eventually resulted in the total destruction of his leg. Retrospect suggests a spider bite, but we can only guess.

 

Jackson -- a depressed man

Jackson — a depressed man

Bad leg

Bad leg

His spiritual life was not much better. He was not a good man before we met him. He was married with children, but had been unfaithful to his wife. When these troubles befell him she left him and he lost the children as well. Since he had never paid dowry, his father-in-law gave his wife to another man. He was now going through these struggles alone.

Well one day he visited the KDM clinic and his life was about to change. His first challenge was simply surviving his ailment. We took him to a regional hospital and inquired as to the amputation procedure. They agreed to take on the task but at a cost of nearly $1,000. Praise the Lord you faithful contributors allowed for a very successful surgery. But this did not solve his greater need: to be reconciled with God.

 

Happy man with one leg

Happy man with one leg

Jackson began visiting one of the KDM home fellowships and was immediately taught. He completely surrendered to the Kingdom, repented, and was immediately baptized. His transformation was incredible.

 

one-legged baptism

one-legged baptism

Baptism

Baptism

Then the team worked to get his life back in order. The disciples through your support helped him start a shoe repair business. It was immediately successful and he now sustains himself comfortably. But his life still had a gaping hole: he wanted his children back.

 

New shoe repair shop

New shoe repair shop

Having become convinced that remarriage was not an option, he wanted to reconcile with his wife. But that did not seem likely under the current circumstances. But at the very least he wanted his children back who were now staying with his in-laws. The disciples coordinated a distant trip to see Jackson’s prayers answered.

 

When they arrived he found both his wife and children present. He proposed to get his children back. And, to his surprise, he was offered his wife as well! His father-in-law explained himself. Since he was an unfaithful husband and had never paid dowry, he felt compelled to take his firstborn daughter back. With his condition appearing terminal, his hopes for dowry payment and a good life with his daughter were untenable. But now that he was a changed man, the father-in-law expressed his joy that the illness had struck and humbled him into submission to God. That now with one leg he will be home and care for his wife and children the way he should. He was happy to reunite them.

 

Well this is all great news, but the going rate for dowry is twelve cows, an impossible feat for a disabled cobbler. But God had something else in mind! Local tradition is that if a man fails to collect dowry for the first daughter, the suitors for subsequent daughters do not have to pay dowry. Therefore, this man held many agreements but no cows for his many daughters. He really really needed to close the deal on this girl to open the floodgates. His offer, 20,000 KSH ($250)! Jackson could have his wife and children back for merely $250. Well, not yet certain where this money would come from, the muzungu (white) disciples decided to pay the bill while the offer stood and everyone signed and witnessed the agreement. Done! Jackson has his entire life back…completely restored. And even more…now he is a Kingdom saint reconciled with his Maker! Glory to God!

Happy family (one child not pictured)

Happy family (one child not pictured)

Sickness in Saboti

I came across a challenging situation today in Saboti. This situation was especially challenging because of the health of this family; the woman has had Malaria for some time, the little boy has had malaria, and even worse, this same boy has a terrible ear infection!

Five days ago (Wednesday), me and Sam (one of our local translators) visited this fellowship in Saboti. They had several cases of Malaria in this village and this woman gave up her dawa (medication) for her son to have his. This, in itself, was such a blessing to me. But today, things escalated.

Mom gave her child her own medication to better the child.

Mom gave her child her own medication to better the child.

Marc and I returned to the village of Saboti to pick up three children (with their parents) to take them to the hospital earlier this morning (Monday). This woman could not join us on our journey to get help for her child! Her husband was out looking for work so they could eat today. She was running her small little shop—risking missing a customer while away is too dangerous, so she decided not to get help for her son.

What’s the issue? These children have an ear infection…so bad that puss was coming out of the ear! This woman’s child was one that was very sick with puss coming out of his ear as well!

Bottom line, she didn’t have the time to set aside for her child to get medical attention for his ear. She didn’t have time to take off because she needed to run her shop. And, lastly, she gave her malaria medication to help her son get well, causing herself to suffer and get worse!

Today, as I visited them, we took two children to the hospital for the ear infection issue, got medication, and took them back home. We were able to purchase the needed medication for the child’s ear issue. And lastly, we purchased malaria medication for this woman!IMG_0483a

Honestly, there is nothing better than meeting someone, seeing their need, and being able to deliver the much-needed assistance to make them well! Even through the language barrier, we can see and hear their needs. But, God is good. We were His hands to deliver this aid. But we have brothers and sisters in the States that provide us the funds to make this happen. We can’t do this alone; the needs are much too great, but we can address those in our circles, those that request help, and bless them with, and for, you. Thank you for your continued support. You are truly a blessing to those around us—they, and we, say thank you!