Wednesday, March 21, 2018


"Before you call, I will answer."

Several times I have explained to Pastor Joel of the Log Church of Kenya that it is not my intention to solicit funds for the 32 orphans under their care.
"God will do that," I have told him. 

“If this is the Lord’s work, then he will provide. Our task is to continue to work at what the Lord has given us to do, and to bring our requests to him.”

It is a constant life of faith, since there are no pledges of funding or any source of regular income. I am not sure how this has been for all at the orphanage, but it has been amazing to me to see how God is meeting the needs. The experience for me has been a series of lessons in living by faith.

Occasionally, because God has moved in someone’s heart, they will give to me or send to me a little money (sometimes a larger amount of money), for the support of the orphans. When enough has been accumulated to make it worthwhile to pay the transfer fee (it costs $10 to send $500), I send it to them. This week I did that. Joel always gives me an accounting for how the money from each transfer is used.

This time however, the sending and the receiving was especially interesting to me. Between the time that I sent it, but before it was available to them in Kenya, I received a text from Joel. He told me that the children had been sent home from school until they could find the money for school fees. Also, he said that providing food for the increased number of children now had was getting increasingly difficult.

“Please pray with us in asking our heavenly Father that these needs be filled,” he wrote to me.

I was able to respond to him, “There is money already at the Western Union office. In the morning, you may go and pick it up.”

It reminded me of some words of God about caring for his people. He says,

“It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.”

God knew of the need beforehand, and he had it all arranged. I did not have to speak to others of the need. God spoke. He had answered even before the call.

Thanks to all of you who listened to God speaking to you, so that these needs could be met.

Sunday, March 18, 2018


Perhaps you have seen the film of some years ago that was simply entitled, “300.” The movie is a fictionalized version of the Battle of Thermopylae in the Greco-Persian Wars of the 5th century BC. In the plot of that film, three hundred Spartan soldiers bravely and repeatedly hold off a series of attacks by tens of thousands of Persian forces.

Alas, after fighting valiantly and holding their position for a long time, in the end the Spartans finally succumb to defeat.

The battle is an actual one that took place in history, although of course it is romanticized and embellished for the film audience. Nevertheless, this battlethe Battle of Thermopylae, both in the movie and in actual history, is held up as an example of the power of a patriotic army defending its native soil. The heroes are the 300 Spartans, men who even in their death are revered. 

Today I am going to tell you of another 300. It is another actual battle that took place in history against tens of thousands of opponents.

Thursday, March 15, 2018


When I was in Kenya in December, the Log Church in Kisii was caring for 21 orphans in the church, which doubles as an orphanage. Since then, I had lately been hearing about additional children that had come to live there, so I asked Pastor Joel about it. They now have 32.

With each child there is a story of the death of their parents through malaria, HIV/AIDS, being hit by a vehicle on the road, or some other tragedy. Some of the children have simply been abandoned. They do not know where their parents are.

When I was at the church in Kenya last year, I was so busy with the Bible conference on every single day that I did not really have a good opportunity to get to know the children personally. So, I have asked Pastor Joel to send me some of the personal histories of the children and some photos.

He has sent me several of them. It is a difficult process for them to send photos since they do not have computers, but through a cyber-café in Kisii town they can do it, although they tell me that it is costly to do so.

I am going to include some background information about a couple of the children below. Their stories are by no means extraordinarily different than the other orphans, but it will give you a sense of the level of poverty and abandonment that these children come from. I will write about others in the days to come.

This girl is named Faith. She is now 6 years old, but was found thrown in a rubbish pit when she was only 4 and brought to the orphanage. She is in grade 1. She likes singing and reciting Bible verses and says that she wants to become a teacher.

Fabian is 5 years old. His parents are unknown, for he was found wandering in the street and brought to the orphanage. He is in preschool and likes singing and is learning to read. Like Faith, he also wants to become a teacher (maybe he heard Faith say that so he wants to be a teacher too).

This is Josephine. She is 8 years old and like most of the children, she has been in our orphanage since 2016. Josephine`s parents died of diseases and she was left alone. She is in grade 2. She likes singing and caring for other children and wants to become a nurse. 

In the words of Pastor Joel, “Kindly pray for these children, that the Lord will provide for the meeting of their needs, like clothing, medication and shelter. Other children are suffering many sicknesses, such as chiggers, skin diseases, kwashiorkor, and marasmus.” (I had to google these words to see what they were)

Most of the children also have worm illness because they live in dirty places and they do not get enough food. 

There is so much more that I could share. I have said nothing of the work of the church in reaching their neighbors with the message of Christ. Nor have I written about how the church is involved in bringing about new lifestyles in the community, so that many of these family situations like the orphans have come from will not be so common.

It is still puzzling to me how and why God has called me to be so closely involved with such a work so far away after I have spent most of my life ministering in Latin America, and after I was happy to have my overseas work completed so I could just stay home on my farm (or so I thought).
I do not know but I do not complain. These children are precious in the eyes of the Lord, and they now have become my children as well.
If you would like to become involved, write to me and tell me what you have in mind.

Sunday, March 11, 2018


After the extended time of forty years in the wilderness, the Israelites finally were able to cross the Jordan and enter into the land of milk and honey. Sadly, the spiritual history of the people in that land was not much better than it was when they were in the wilderness.

The sixth chapter of the book of Judges in the Old Testament opens with these words: “The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites.”

Sunday, March 4, 2018


It should not be a forty-year journey from Egypt to Canaan.

True, the trip was never meant to be a direct one—nonstop to Canaan. After all, what Moses had told the Pharaoh was correct; he actually did intend to take the Hebrew people into the wilderness to worship the Lord. It was in the wilderness and specifically at Mount Sinai where God had planned to give instructions to this new nation that he was forming. Before the people were to enter into their promised land, God wanted to teach them his law, as well give them the instructions for the building of the tabernacle.

But despite these matters, when Moses and the Israelites left Egypt, no one expected this to be a forty-year stint in the wilderness. The time required for the instructions at Mount Sinai was only a matter of a few months at the most, and the journey itself should not have taken more than an additional month.

But things got complicated.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018



I am not certain of the current number of orphans that are in the Log Church of Kenya orphanage. In the last list that I had of the names, there are 21 total, but a couple or perhaps a few more have been added since then. The children are split almost evenly between girls and boys.

In one of my blog posts that I wrote when I made a trip to visit the church and orphanage, I spoke of the sleeping room that the girl orphans had. This was (and still is) a small room in the pastor’s family already small house. It is a mud house, made in waddle and daub construction. The girls have a room that is about 10 feet by 12 feet (as near as I could estimate), leaving the pastor’s family of four a private room of only about 10 by 8.

Sunday, February 25, 2018


“Go down at once,” the Lord said to Moses on Mount Sinai, “for your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves” (Exodus 32:7 NAS).

It was the incident of the Golden Calf. In the days before this event that took place at the foot of Mount Sinai, the Israelites had just been delivered by the powerful hand of God from four hundred years of slavery in Egypt. In their exodus from that land of slavery, they had witnessed God’s great power in the ten plagues that he had brought upon the Egyptian nation and on Pharaoh, finally forcing the Pharaoh to agree to let Moses lead the Israelites out of the country.

But Pharaoh later changed his mind about this, and sent his vast army to pursue the Israelites. As God’s children fled before the armies of Egypt, they saw the Red Sea open before them so that they could pass through. When the Israelites had crossed the sea, they looked back and saw the water close up again to swallow up the Egyptian army. The army had been right on their heels in their pursuit when they had entered the sea.

But those events were behind the people of Israel now. They were entering into a new relationship with God, and Moses was the man whom had been appointed by God to be their representative. At one point not long after the people had escaped from Egypt, Moses climbed Mount Sinai with Joshua to meet with God and to learn of God’s vision and plans for this new nation. It was to be a meeting that would last many days.

In the meantime, the people at the foot of the mountain were growing tired of waiting for the return of Moses from the heights of the mountain. It turned out to be forty days and forty nights before Moses finally did come down (Exodus 24:18). During that period, the people had grown increasingly impatient for him to return. The Israelites had expected a lot more from Moses and apparently wanted it a lot sooner. They were restless. 

Sunday, February 18, 2018


Some time ago on this blog, I mentioned that in the beginning of my overseas work, during the time when my family and I were living out of our suitcases for many long months, I identified with the nomadic man Abraham more than any other individual in the Bible.

That work for me in foreign countries continued for many years. Although my family and I no longer had to live out of our suitcases during that entire period as we did in the beginning, our lives still were far from settled. In those years, our place of residence changed several times. During different periods, we lived in four separate countries. In addition, I was required to travel extensively for my work.

At the end of it all, I was tired, and I was glad to come home. My wife Vivian and I moved home to our own little farm that we had for so long missed. In my mind, I was done with all the activity of the past and was glad to settle in to a simple life. Vivian and I acquired a few farm animals, and we looked forward to living out our lives being small-time farmers—hobby farmers, I guess you could say. We had long desired to return home to live, and we were happy those years had come. We came home and settled in. I was done with the life of such busy activity.

In leaving all of that activity in the past, instead of identifying with Abraham any longer, in some ways I felt what I imagine Moses must have experienced when he had left Egypt as a young man and settled into living a life of a shepherd in the land of Midian. I think that he was actually happy to be away from the palace life where so much was expected of him, and even away from the responsibilities of thinking of helping his own people—the nation of Israel.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


If you are in the custom of watching the local evening news, on almost any given evening, you may see a story about some unfortunate family who had just suffered a devastating house fire. This is especially true during the months of the winter heating season. Perhaps even some of you have had this experience.

As the reporter interviews the family, the husband and wife are usually standing in front of what was once their home. In the background is the rubble of their building—and ashes. Many ashes.

Ashes are what is left after all that is useful is burned away. After the fire has consumed all that was worth consuming, it leaves the ashes. Ashes are the useless byproduct of disaster. Even the fire refuses these.

Sunday, February 11, 2018


By the time that we first read of God speaking directly to Moses, Moses was no longer young. In fact, he could already be called an old man. He was fully eighty years old when the Lord God called him from his life of tending sheep; and the manner in which God called him was designed to awaken Moses out of forty years of the slumber.

Moses had been living a quiet life in the country. We know very little of this forty-year period of his life, but they seem to have been years in which he did little more than caring for the flock of sheep and goats of his father-in-law.

When God appeared to Moses, he did not do so in a dream. Moses may have dismissed a strange dream as simply the result of some undercooked mutton that he had eaten. Rather than this, so that there would be no misunderstanding of the certainty of the calling, the Lord appeared to Moses in a way that he would not be able to forget. God spoke to him from a blazing fire in the midst of a bush.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

KFC - Kisii Fried Chicken (and eggs)

A week ago I wrote on this blog that through the gifts of some brothers in Christ, the present food crisis for the orphans of the Log Church in Kenya had been averted. Not only that, God has blessed to the point where the 24 orphans were able to be enrolled in the primary and secondary schools. This ability for the children to attend school has been an answer to the prayers of many months and even years.

We are glad for the answers for these present needs, but of course to have lasting change for the orphans, there needs to be an ongoing and more permanent improvements made in the lives of all of these people. One matter that is important is new sleeping quarters for the girls. We have a start on purchasing building materials for this, but I will write about that another time. Tonight I have something else in mind.

Sunday, February 4, 2018


Pardon the levity when it comes to Joseph of the book of Genesis, but on one level, his story could almost be told as one of those worn-out comedy sketches that you all have heard: 

“Joseph’s father made him a special coat of many colors to show him that he loved him.”
“Oh, that’s good.”
“No, that’s bad, because it made his brothers jealous of him.”
“Oh, that’s bad.”
“No, that’s good, because God gave Joseph some dreams that told him that one day his brothers would bow down to him.”
“Oh, that’s good.”
“No, that’s bad, because then his brothers hated him and threw him into a pit and planned on killing him.”
“Oh, that’s bad.”
“No, that’s good, because the Lord rescued him out of the pit.”
“Oh, that’s good.”
“No, that’s bad, because the brothers sold him to some slave traders.”
“Oh, that’s bad.”
“No, that’s good, because a rich guy from Egypt bought Joseph and put him in charge of everything that he owned.”
“Oh, that’s good.”
“No, that’s bad, because the rich guy’s wife had a thing for Joseph, and when Joseph refused her advances, she falsely accused him of rape, and Joseph was thrown in prison.” 

Bad Turned Into Good
I could go on and on in this manner through the rest of the life of Joseph, but the hackneyed jokes start to wear a little thin.