I have released the dates and information for my tour to Kenya from February 14-24, 2019. I already got my first two applications and I think there will be a big group going for what will be a wonderful trip. I am attaching all the information you will need below for you to download. Read it over and then consider joining me and my friends for a trip you have always dreamed of making. The time is now; don't let fear rob you of your opportunity.
My first visit to Kenya in more than a year gave me a chance to catch up with our partners and get updates on the various projects with which we have been involved. One of them was the brick-making business we helped establish for Pastor Francis and Upako Centre. I was delighted to find out how well the business is doing and how much it is helping them with their 23 orphans and school operation. Here is Francis' report:
The one brick making machine is now supporting part of the orphans feeding program and this is very helpful. We hire out the machine to local people in the community for a fee but we also produce quality bricks (when the machine is not hired) and sell in small quantities. This is a good project and we will [eventually] expand and add more machines. God bless our donors. Francis.
Last night, I was in the Nairobi airport lounge, talking to my friends and giving advice and counsel up until the time I departed. In the two weeks I was there, the following is a summary of what I did:
- I trained more than 600 leaders in four days of training from 9 to 4.
- Visited with all my ministry partners (6) to encourage them.
- Preached two services at Harvest Fellowship in Kangemi area of Nairobi.
- Consulted for a group of lawyers representing those who are marginalized in Kenyan society.
- Brought over books and supplies for those who requested them.
- Met many new friends, trying to lay the groundwork for my next visit - hopefully in December.
- Helped raise more than $8,000, which I distributed to our partners here - every penny that was donated was given without any personal expenses being deducted, for which I am trusting the Lord.
As I sit in the lounge in Paris awaiting my flight to Pittsburgh, I think of the words of Nehemiah, "Remember me for this, my God, and do not blot out what I have so faithfully done for the house of my God and its services" (13:14), and "Remember me with favor, my God" (13:31b). As I return, there is still a matter of my own travel expenses from the trip, which I gladly de-emphasized to raise the money our partners needed. If you feel inclined to help me with those expenses, you can give online or by sending a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. Thank you and I am ready to go home!
It has been a great 10 days for me here in Kenya. I have been able to accomplish so much with the Lord's help and I have another three full days to go. Thank you for your prayers and assistance. Here is a summary of my time so far.
- I trained 435 leaders in the Bomet and Longisa Areas of the Africa Gospel Church. I provided a set of notes, lunch, and a tea break for all those who participated at a cost of $2,000, which included a new video projector that I donated to the Longisa Area for their use. My subject matter was a two-day seminar in each area on the Price of Leadership, in which we covered subjects like goals, purpose, time management, servant leadership, and personal development.
- I visited with my friend Pastor David Koech at Kenduiwo Orphans home to pray for the 54 orphans (18 more were away at school) under his care and to talk to him about some long-range projects that will help relieve the pressure on him, his family, and his churches as they seek to care for those 72 children. I left $200 for the children.
- I preached at Harvest Centre Fellowship and the title of my message was "Clash of Kingdoms." I simply discussed the reality of the war we are in between the kingdom of light and darkness and our need to participate in seeing the fullness of our victory in Christ achieved.
- This coming week, I will visit our library in Banana, our school in Upako, and conduct some training for a group of lawyer and social worker friends here in Nairobi. I delivered money to the leadership in Banana for library furnishings ($1,700) and to Upako for the beds for 26 orphans ($2,700), which are being constructed and should be ready this week. I will post pictures when I have them.
I am now in need of the bedding to go with the beds, so I am asking you to give toward this project to get the kids off the ground and into a bed. You can give through my website or by sending a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. Thank you and God bless you on behalf of the children and our partners here in Kenya for all your help!
This is just a short note to thank you for your help in making my trip to Kenya possible. I delivered the money for the beds to Pastor Francis and Lillian, money to Pastor Peter for library equipment, and the new projector to Pastor David Koech and will begin training leaders today for the next four days. Now we need to work on the bedding to go with the beds for 26 orphans! I know I have asked you for much recently, and if it wasn't urgent, I would not ask. If you haven't given already, please consider doing so, using my website or send a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. Let's trust the Lord together for another miracle.
As you know, our container landed in Kenya and the resources have been distributed to the joy of all who received. The children in this video are elated to receive some books. When a child doesn't own anything, even the smallest gift can seem huge. Some of the children you see in this video and picture are orphans and tonight they will sleep on the ground, the concrete to be more specific, with only a thin mat for comfort. I am asking you to help me help them get some bunk beds.
My goal is to raise $3,900 by the time I depart on Thursday, July 26 for their beds and for our library needs. $850 has already come in but I need your help to reach the entire goal. You can give through my website or by sending a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882.
I am not being overly dramatic when I tell you of this need. Recently, there were heavy rains and the children had nowhere to sleep after the flooding. It is time I help get them off the floor and on to a mattress. Do what you can and together we will trust the Lord to put these children to bed soon.
I am pleased to report that after still more trials and tribulations, the long-awaited container has been delivered and some of the resources have been picked up and delivered to our partners. What kind of trials did we endure
- We were "fined" $920 for an inspection certificate that expired before we could ship. The reason we could not ship in February or March was due to the weather (we had one pickup within the inspection time limit that had to be cancelled due to ice).
- Due to new regulations, everything in the container had to be removed and then reloaded. This meant that our 17 pallets, which were shrink wrapped, had to be torn apart and many of the boxes opened for inspection. Then everything was loaded back into the container for delivery, but not according to the color code on the boxes. In other words, everything got mixed up. The boxes were not resealed. We were informed that even if we had shipped within the certificate time limit, this same procedure would have been followed, which begs the question: Why did I pay $250 on this end for an inspection that was still going to require an inspection in Kenya?
- The container was delivered and had to be unloaded well into the night hour.
- Upon unpacking, we discovered that 16 of our computers and 20 computer chargers had mysteriously disappeared.
- I sent $900 this past week to help get the boxes where they need to be. This was for local truck rental and loading costs.
- Meanwhile, I am still "offloading" the 2,100 pair of shoes, 16 bicycles, and six desks that the Kenyan officials refused to allow us to ship as informed during our U.S. inspection,
What a learning experience this has been, and truthfully, I don't think we will sponsor another container. It is time to refocus on some other needs that our partners have, and that is what I want to mention as we close this report.
The orphans at Upako are still sleeping on the floor of the school on mats. We have raised $300 for their bunk beds in the past, but I want to raise another $2,200 before I depart on July 26 to fund this need.
Then our library is in need of shelves, chairs, and tables at a cost of $1,700 (see the conditions of our chairs in the pic to the right; we had chairs to send but were prevented by the Kenyan officials). I would also like to have that before I go.
Therefore, I am announcing a campaign to raise $3,900 by the time I depart on July 26. I cannot do this without your help. You can give using the link on my website or by sending a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. If you would like to issue a challenge grant that would match contributions dollor for dollar, please let me know and I will get the word out.
Thank you for your help and let's help the orphans and children now that the container project is complete. They need our ongoing support and I know you won't let them down. Thank you, and God bless you!
- We sent more than $4,000 this month to our partners in Kenya for school fees, teacher's salaries, and orphan's food.
- I received report cards and a letter from our children from EOTOO.
- I have organized my next trip to Kenya, which will be July 26 to August 8. I will conduct leadership training in Kisumu and Bomet, and then spend four days in Nairobi.
- I have a request to help little Felix with another hearing aid. He lost his. Cost is $400.
- The last I heard of our container was that it left the Bahamas on a ship on April 24. It is due to arrive in Nairobi on May 31. I have been communicating with our agent so I can send the money necessary to clear customs.
- I received some great pictures from the Dr. Stanko Academy. The heading was that the children met with the local chiefs or officials.
I ask you to consider an offering this month toward our work with the orphans and other partners in Kenya. You can give via Paypal using my website or by sending a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. Thank you for helping us help the poor.
Much has been made of late of the concept of white supremacy in the United States. This article will not discuss or debate the impact of that issue, for there is a host of material on the subject, and it often leads to contentious and acrimonious arguments and hurt feelings. What I want to focus on is the recent constitutional amendment that removed the two-term limit of service for the party general secretary and chairmanship of the party’s Central Military Commission. In other words, the man who holds those positions is free to rule for life, although Xi Jinping has said he is personally opposed to lifetime rule. We shall see, for it was not unusual for two-term limits in African nations to be challenged when the ruler approached the end of his second term. It was once said in an American comedy movie, "It's good to be the king."
My point is that the tendency, perhaps even the drive, to dominate others is not a Caucasian trait, or a Chinese thing, or an African weakness. While it has often revealed itself as an expression of racism (Caucasian against black, Caucasian against Aboriginal people, tribe against tribe in Africa), it is a human trait that goes beyond race to cast its ugly shadow over every age, culture, nation, or tribe. The source of this tendency is explained in only one place and that is the Bible in Genesis 3:16 when the Lord said to Eve, "Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” The result of the fall is that Adam would want to "rule over" Eve.
We have seen this play out again and again in male and female relationships, but this desire to "rule over you" immediately expressed itself when Cain killed Abel (see Genesis 4) and when Nimrod established kingdoms that included Babylon, and used his warrior skills to conquer and keep everyone in line, using weapons to do so. From that point in history, we learn that every nation and people has had a tendency to find someone it could dominate and rule. (Lest you think that this tendency to dominate is only a male trait, consider the millions of women who have expressed their domination over their fetus through abortions that had nothing to do with the health of the mother or condition of the fetus.)
Then along came Jesus, whose purpose is explained in Colossians 1:19-20, "For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross." Jesus came to restore order as it was meant to be in the Garden before the Fall, and part of that is to reverse the tendency to abuse power that clings to all human beings. Jesus' recommended antidote for leadership power is service to others, and even that can become an exercise in dominating others as we do things for them that they do not want because those good deeds are in their "best interests."
It is interesting that one metaphor for Jesus is the Lamb. In Revelation, we behold the Lamb seated on the throne, which represents power and authority (see Revelation 4:13). If people were choosing something to epitomize power on a throne, we would choose the lion, tiger, bear, or something equally as intimidating. Yet God chose a Lamb, and then asks us to emulate the model He chose as Jesus taught in Luke 22:24-28:
A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. You are those who have stood by me in my trials."
So don't believe the lie that the propensity to abuse power resides in any one people group. It resides in us all, and while Jesus provided the cure, it has seldom been applied, even among those who follow Him and call on His name. Something tells me this problem is going to be with us until He returns again, so in the meantime, I need to look to myself to see not if but where this abuse-of-power tendency is present in my own life.
Last Tuesday, the work of three years came to a close as a truck came to pick up the 17 pallets loaded with books and supplies for Kenya. The weight of the shipment came to 24,360 pounds, which is 12 tons of supplies for 10 different people and/or locations, including our main library in Banana. This week, I heard from Pastor Peter about how the library is doing and being used:
Here in Kenya we are all well and protected in the Lord. The WAPIS family is well committed in all its projects and we have seen God's favor. The school are closed for break and the students are packed in our libraries. The widows' gardens are busy in the garden and we thank God for rains. Karen school is in good progress and working hard. The music school continues training student and we are happy because of all our supporters for your kindness.
God bless you all.
Pastor Peter also sent some pictures along for us to see the students utilizing the library. Our expenses are not finished with the container, for we must pay to have the goods clear customs in Kenya. Also, school fees for Mary, Phyllis, Obed, Gladwell, Deborah, and our other students will come due on May 1 when the children return from their Easter break. I ask that you help me keep our work going in Kenya by contributing toward either the school fees or the final container clearance expense. You can give through PayPal or by sending a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. Once we have the container paid for, we will be able to do more for our partners since we have diverted money to finish the shipment. Thank you and God bless you!