Sunday, June 20, 2021

GROCERY SHOPPING FOR 5000 PEOPLE - THE LOG CHURCH SERMON, JUNE 20

(Continuing my account of the beginning of the Log Church Orphanage in Kenya)

Journal Entry – April 6, 2018

When considering the needs of the children at the orphanage, my thinking had been in some ways like the disciples when faced with a crowd of 5000+ hungry people. Instead of taking it upon themselves to help the people, they said to Jesus, “Send them away into the surrounding countryside and into the villages so that they can buy something to eat.”

In response to that, Jesus said to the disciples, “You give them something to eat!”

In regards to the situation with the orphans in Kenya, I am increasingly thinking that he has said that also to me.

The question that the disciples then put to Jesus was typical of how we would usually think of meeting a need of this nature. They asked Jesus, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?”

They wanted to know in dollars and in cents how much money would be needed to fulfill that need.

I also asked Pastor Joel how much money it would cost each day to feed the children. I also asked him about school costs, and when I was visiting them in Kenya, I also checked on the local costs of many other things, such as shoes and clothing.

When the disciples responded to the suggestion by Jesus that they should feed the crowd of more than 5000 people, they mentioned the figure of two hundred denarii. I don’t know why the disciples came up with that figure. A denarius was usually considered a day’s wages, so that figure would be about the wages for eight months of work.

Jesus and his disciples held a collective purse, so whether this was the amount of money in their treasury at the moment, I do not know. It’s difficult for me to believe that they had that much money. But for some reason, this was the figure that the disciples threw out at Jesus—two hundred denarii worth of bread.

However, even this amount, substantial as it was, would not buy enough bread even for “each of them to get even a little.” That was how the disciple Philip put it (John 6:7).

But the disciples had missed the point. And when Jesus spoke to me about feeding the orphans in Kisii, I also missed the point. I hope I am beginning to learn.

The Log Church Bulletin

Happy Father’s Day!

June 20, 2021

Opening Song

Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place,

I can feel His mighty power and his grace.

I can hear the brush of angel’s wings; I see glory on each face.

Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.

Call to Worship

On this Father’s Day, we think of our own fathers, and we also think of our Heavenly Father. When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He taught them to pray to “Our Father, who is in heaven.”

We are grateful for our earthly fathers. For most of us, these fathers of ours have since passed on, but we are grateful for the life that they gave to us. We are also grateful that our Heavenly Father is always with us. He is always available to speak with, and he is always ready to help.

Invocation Prayer

Our holy and heavenly Father, today we give you our praise. Despite the years we have lived and the experiences we have had, we are a people who always need a father. Today we come to you as your sons and your daughters to worship and to praise You, and to tell you “Thank you for being our Father.” Amen. 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

REPORT FROM PASTOR JOEL

Dear Beloved Dad, Mum, Church and friends,

Greetings in the precious name of Jesus our Lord and Savior. We are humbled once again when we remember the great heart you have towards the work in Kenya. We as the church and staff we are praying for your resources to support these children. We appreciate your efforts to help. May God provide for your needs also.

We appreciate all blog readers who are sending donations to pastor Don, Vivian and Church. God bless you all, thanks. Thanks goes to the Log church in USA and Kenya for the 13 days when we had no food at the orphanage. Members from Kenya church sent  food, and out of the 13 days children missed food for only 6 days. We thank God for sustaining you and Kenya family. School payment.

Rianyakwara Primary fees paid =KSh.57,100 fees Balance =Ksh. 88,100

KIMAI  DEB primary  Fees paid Ksh. 57, 000,Ksh. fees Balance Ksh.57,100

Matagaro Secondary fees paid Ksh. 100,000 fees Balance =Ksh. 92,200

Total school balance is Ksh. 237,400.

Our prayers are with you all. We are trusting God for the provision. We looking to him daily
to help this work here to have the school for primary and Secondary school students. But this remains to God to lead and supply what is needed. We know it needs the hand of God for all what needed to be accomplished.

We have attached pictures of the ground where school and how the compound is close to church and orphanage house and the clearing and preparing the ground for the school pictures will be send as we begin. We will need for the start of footing we can need Ksh. 800,000.

Kindly praying for the school building project. Thanks

Below is the expenditures for the money received on Wednesday.

The food budget  was Ksh385, 900.

Maize =558.5kilogram, one kg =Ksh.200 x558.5=111,700.

Cooking oil =60itres,one litre cost Ksh. 250x60litres=Ksh.15,000.

Sanitizer 29litres, one litre @ 150=Ksh.4400

Vegetables 160 kgs. 1kgs =Ksh. 160x160kgs=Ksh.25700

Unga ngano/baking flour 188. kgs One kilogram =Ksh.140 x188 kgs=Ksh.26,300

Salt 38Kgs=3800

Sugar 156.8kgs. 1kg=ksh.160 x156. 8=Ksh.25100

Beans=400kilogramm,one kgs cost Ksh. 250x400kgs=Ksh. 85,000.

Soap 20Kilogram,1kg @150=Ksh.3,000.

Rice=479Kilogram,one kgs=Ksh. 167x479kgs=Ksh.80,000

Transport cost Ksh.5900

We thank God for the provision, day consumption (breakfast, lunch and supper)=number of days. 385900 ÷ Ksh. 22364 =17 days

Food purchased will last as from June 17 to Thursday  July 1st 2021.

Our prayers are with you all. Thanks God bless you all, we are praying for you all daily and
we pray that God will supply for your needs also and provide for these children here with us. our prayers to God who made heaven and earth who is our help and sustainer. Kindly join us in prayers for the breakthrough for the children to have their  needs building school, food, clothes by the grace of God we request your prayers.

We are praying that God will send you to Kenya and see the work you are support. Welcome Kenya all of you to Kenya witness the great work God is doing through your prayers and help . God bless you all, we thank God for the regular provision even when delay comes we learn the lesson to remain trusting God more and more in our life is the time to develop our faith grow strong and stronger.

Be of good courage. We love you and may God keep you all in good health. God bless you all, we look forward hearing from you beloved. Thanks.

Yours Son Joel and church/orphanage Leadership-Kenya

Images of receipts below:

Sunday, June 13, 2021

THE LOG CHURCH BULLETIN - JUNE 13

The Log Church Bulletin

June 13, 2021

Opening Song

Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place,

I can feel His mighty power and his grace.

I can hear the brush of angel’s wings; I see glory on each face.

Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.

Call to Worship

It is almost as if we are trained by society to work only as long as we must in order to have time to ourselves. From the earliest grades in school, we endure the class schedule only so that we can make it to the weekend. Then, all throughout our working lives, we continue that perspective of living for the weekend. Finally in our retirement years, our society tells us that these are the years in which all time is ours.

But there is no precedence to this thinking in the Bible. All of the prophets, all of the apostles, in fact, all of God’s workers remained active in their ministries until the end of their days, or at least as long as they were physically able to do so.

Paul said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Invocation Prayer

Dear God, we come to you today as your servants. We are not masters of our own time, but all things are in your hands. It is not the servant who decides when his or her task is finished, but it is the master.

Show us today what it is that you would have us do. Amen.

MY LAST DAYS IN KISII, THE LOG CHURCH SERMON - JUNE 13

Journal Entry – Saturday, November 25, 2017

This morning I woke up at the hotel to the sound of rain hitting my window. The road that leads to the area where the church and orphanage are located is hard-surfaced for much of the way, but the very last two or three miles off the black-top is packed dirt. When the road becomes wet, it at first turns to a very slimy clay, and if the rains continue, the clay begins to soften, making driving over it very difficult.

The road is single lane, and formed with a very distinct crown on it. If a vehicle gets too far down onto the side, it is very difficult to get it to make its way back to the top. There is almost no traction on the greasy clay, so easing the car to maneuver up the slope to the center of the crown takes a light foot on the accelerator and a patient hand on the wheel.

The guy who drives me to the church from Kisii town is the same one who came to Nairobi to pick me up in the very beginning. His name is Amos.

When I heard the rain, I knew that Amos would not be coming for a while. I did not mind. The days have been long and filled with many people and activities. I was ready for a break from it all.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

IN TIMES OF PRIVATION - KISII ORPHANAGE

None of us can know why at times, God withholds His hand of provision and blessing. We do not often know for what reasons He allows us to pass through troubled times. It can of course be for many reasons, and not all of them are negative.

For the Christian, it is very often for their own spiritual growth and understanding of God’s plan. In the last week or so, the church and children of Kisii have been experiencing hunger and privation.

Below is the letter from Pastor Joel telling of how they face these times:

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Dear beloved Dad, Mum, Church and Friends,

Greetings in the most precious name. We thank God for the love and concern for the Kenya family. We are praying for you all each day. We thank you for your prayers and help which has sustained us to this far may God reward and protect you all.

We are sending email not ask for help but let you all readers of the blog the picture of what we are passing through here in Kenya Church and orphanage.

When we are caring the children not only physical, mental but also spiritually a time like now we do not have food, we meet with children in prayer and fasting seeking God not only time of without anything to eat. Our prayers goes to God each day.

We know that you all have needs and desire that you need God to provide we are praying for your provision as well.

We are humbled to that God for using  Pastor Donald and Vivian to handle your financial help to reach us. Thanks Pastor Donald and donors for sending every coin to for the purpose of the Children. We pray that God of heaven will reward you all.

We request all who God has moved in your heart kindly help these children for school fees, food, shoes, blankets and other necessities. And keep praying for them to have their own school, thanks for the garden.

We are happy to report that 3 of our church members brought maize cons and some breads to help the children. On the pictures you can see how the children happy to eat their food this for today only. Kindly pray for us, keep praying for us as we all working to see the children stay well.
Thanks to God for moving in the heart of people here and there to help. Our church members are willing to help but they are below poverty line even they are struggling to help their families and most of the days they go hungry without food. That is the families we are ministering to. Thanks, the food we received from the church members and of that we bought will last through Sunday; we request your prayers God to Our prayers are with you all.

God bless you all.

Yours Son Joel and Church Leadership-Log Church-Kenya.

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If you would like to help the children of the Log Church Orphanage of Kisii, Kenya, you may make your check out to “The Log Church” and write “Orphans” on the memo line.

Send it to:

The Log Church

PO  Box 68

Tripoli Wisconsin 54564

We now need to pay a wire transfer fee with every payment, which amounts to $50 each time, but other than that, your donated money will be used only for purchasing food, clothing, schooling, and other necessities of living. We wait until we have $4000-$5000 before we make the bank transfer to make each transfer more economical. Nothing is held back or diverted for any other purpose. Thanks!

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Thursday, June 3, 2021

KISII GARDEN REPORT

Dear Beloved Dad, Mum, Church and friends,

Greetings in the precious name of Jesus our lord and savior, we are humbled once again when we remember how God has used you to help the children in Log Orphanage Kenya, which has brought hope to them, we as the church and staff we are praying for your all who have taken your time and resources to support these children we appreciate your efforts to help, may God provide for your needs also, we appreciate all blog readers who are sending donations to pastor Don and Vivian,God bless you all, thanks Pastor Donald for the report posting about the work in Kenya, welcome Kenya to see this work. Thanks goes to the church in Kenya and USA and all donors may God bless you all. We thank God for the the garden is progressing well the children are planting vegetables thanks to all donated for the this project it will help for the children to learn and have food in the orphanage see pictures attached. We have grown kales, beans and nightshade for the start we will be updating as we continue growing more because we began with little. Portion of the same plot, we hope to grow more types of vegetables for food to see what will do well. Keep praying for children to grow in the knowledge of God. Thanks God bless you we are praying for you, we keep praying for you all. We trust God for school fees, food, building school and other needs like church building debt,on the keep food situation in prayer now what is remaining is for today. May good God bless you all. Thanks for your love. Real good we call you blessed.

Yours Son Joel and Log Church/Orphanage leadership

Sunday, May 30, 2021

CROSS-CULTURAL STUDIES 101, THE LOG CHURCH SERMON, MAY 30

Cross Cultural Studies 101

Journal Entry – Tuesday, November 21, 2017 (Evening)

If you count the Sunday service as the opening day, this was now the third day of the conference. After Sunday, I expected that the format for the conference would change slightly, but it actually has stayed mostly the same as our Sunday worship service was—except longer.

It is not only I who teach a session, which could actually be called a sermon, but each of the pastors also take turns at some point during the day to preach their own sermon. There is always a lot of singing and dancing as well at various times during the day. The children recite memory verses. Always there is much prayer.

I never have any idea what to expect next, and simply wait to see what is happening. I figure that when they want me to do something, they will tell me.

The days have been long in hours, but they actually have passed quite quickly for me. I suppose this is largely due to the fact that this is the first African culture with which I have become personally involved—and as you would expect, much different than any South American or Pacific Island culture.

Nevertheless, I constantly find myself thinking thoughts like, “this is much like it was in Venezuela,” or “this is a little how they do it in Fiji.”

But it was not only I who want to learn about a people with whom I before had no contact. The people here have never before had an American or any westerner visit them, and they are eager to learn about me and about how things are in America.

So far in our daily routine at the conference, we take a lengthy break during the midday to have a lunch. I expect this to be the way it will be every day now, since we have done it for each of the first three days.

During this midday break, I accompany the various pastors who are attending the conference, and we walk the short trail to Pastor Joel’s house to eat together.

In the house, there are two or three low and long tables, like long coffee tables, set up as a line between two rows of wooden sofas with pads on them. This all takes up about half of the pastor’s house. As I had mentioned on another day, another quite large percent of the pastor’s house is taken up with the room for the orphan girls.

If the question is coming into your mind, “With such a small house, where does the pastor and his wife live?”—and that is a good question. They also have two small daughters, one of them perhaps ten years old and the other maybe four.

The entire building is about 20ft X 20ft, or maybe slightly larger. The room where we are sitting and eating takes up one entire side and is perhaps 10 feet wide. The girl’s room is about 10 X 12, leaving the pastor and his wife, along with their two little daughters, a small room of 8 X 10.

I asked Pastor Joel about this and he told me that they are praying that they could construct a separate building for the orphaned girls, similar to what the boys have. In fact, at this present time, this is the most important project for them.

But to get back to our lunchtime seated by the long and low coffee tables. Our noon break is a time for eating a lunch, but in addition to that, it is predominantly a time when the pastors eagerly ask me all sorts of questions. This how most of our hour or so together is occupied.

I am amazed at the high level of English comprehension and speech that most of the men have. There is definitely an accent of course, and it is the Queen’s English and not American, but it is no effort for me to understand.

Especially amusing to me is that occasionally when someone prepares to ask me a question, they preface it by the phrase, “I say…” just as one might expect in a causal conversation on the streets of London. So far no one has called me “old chap” however.

The questions that the pastors ask may be theological, they maybe doctrinal, or they may concern church practices: “What is the correct form and frequency of taking communion?” “Who should be allowed to take communion?” “What about baptism?” “Who should be baptized and which is the correct form?”

I tell them straightaway that I was ordained to the ministry in a Baptist denomination, and I still mostly hold to those views as my own preference. But I also quickly tell them that in my years of ministry, I have worked with many different denominations in many countries and with many various cultures. Through those experiences, I have also come to appreciate some of the perspectives of other churches. Some of my formerly more strict Baptist views have been modified.

We talk through each of the questions and we especially had a good discussion concerning communion and baptism. I hope what I left them with is that in general, we as a church (speaking of the world-wide aspect of the church), have done a very poor job in teaching these two most important ordinances.

Jesus instituted these practices to demonstrate our unity in the body of Christ, despite the many other social and cultural differences we may have. But by what we have done with our different practices in the various denominations has been to turn the intention of Jesus completely on its head.

Instead of these ordinances demonstrating our unity in Christ, we in the church have used them to bring division in the body of Christ. This has long been my lament and I have written much about it before, so I will not do that here.

But the fun questions are the cultural ones:

“I have heard that if you feed your dog table scraps in America, you will be arrested. The only food that they are allowed to eat is the food that you buy special from the shops.”

“I have heard that it is against the law to walk on the roads in the US.”

“I have heard that if anyone is hungry in America, they can go to a centre where they hand out food to anyone for free.”

One fellow asked me about the keeping of animals. He had heard that it was against the law in the US to have a farm animal like a cow or a goat unless you had an actual farm.

I told him that in the rural areas there are no restrictions on having a cow or a goat, and even in many towns allow you to keep a few chickens. But when I told him that it was true that most cities and towns had rules against the keeping of animals, it set off quite a big discussion.

This they could not understand, especially since the house lots in many US neighborhoods are actually larger than the area of land that most of them have as their farms.

After a while the topic of our conversation changed with another question, but I noticed that the original questioner about farm animals began talking with the man next to him. I was already talking with someone else, and the two men were having their conversation in the local language, so I did not know what they were saying, but I could hear that they were having quite a discussion about my answer.

Some minutes later, the two men reached what they thought must be the reason for this strange law of not being allowed to keep an animal on your land.

The questioner grabbed my forearm to get my attention. “Is it because they do not want the neighbors to be jealous of you if you have a cow and they do not?”

It was the only reason that they could come to for this silly law that even if you have enough land to pasture a cow by your house, you are not allowed to do it.

We may smile at this idea, but I have also been amazed at some ideas that we, as Americans have of the customs and the cultures of other countries. Before I left for Kenya, for instance, more than one person who I spoke with did not actually know where Kenya was. One man asked me if Kenya was a city in the country of Africa.

I think that we would all benefit from some dinner table questioning. Tomorrow my cultural studies will continue. I actually am looking forward to it.

Well, it is time once again to retire to my “bed fort” and see if I have adjusted to the new time zone for sleep to come to me. I feel tired enough.

The Risk for the One Bearing Gifts

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Journal Entry – November 22, 2017

Today we gave the gifts of shoes, clothing and school supplies that the people of the Log Church of Wisconsin sent for the children of the Log Church of Kenya. I was actually not looking forward to this time, since contrary to what we would hope to be the case, receiving gifts often brings out the worst of our human personalities.

Shortly before I left Wisconsin to come here, a friend of mine, who has worked in clean-up operations in some of our natural disasters, told me of an incident that he experienced after the hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

As part of the disaster relief effort headed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a large trailer of a semi-truck emptied its contents in the center of a big parking lot in one of the more poor areas of the city.

In the truck were the donated items given by people from other parts of the country. These items included things like clothing, blankets, imperishable foods, some tools such as shovels and rakes, brooms and other items—things that could be used to clean up the homes and properties. There was even a wheelbarrow.

Once the workers for the government had organized the contents that had been delivered by the truck, they opened the gates to let in the people who had lost so much during the hurricane.

The first items to go were whatever candy there was and any containers of soft drink. The people also quickly tore through the clothing and shoes, but if these did not have some kind of designer label, they were left in the parking lot.

Not many of the hurricane victims were interested in the blankets, nor the tools. Some took an item or two, but these were largely left on the tables. No one took the wheelbarrow.

A week or so later, the company my friend worked for sent him to gather the remaining items to put into his truck to haul to the landfill. He told me he gathered up probably seventy-five percent of the original contents of the semi-trailer, and brought it all to be disposed.

He said that it broke his heart. He especially noted the wheelbarrow, since he would have liked to bring that home, but he was not allowed to do this since he was not one of the residents of the city. In fact, there were several things he said that he could have used at his own home, but he was not allowed to take anything. Into the landfill it all went.

I have had similar experiences in some third-world countries, though on a much smaller scale. It is for this reason that I am so hesitant about asking people to donate to a cause until I know for certain that it will be appreciated and it will be well used. People give with such good intentions, and they sometimes give sacrificially, only to have what they have given wasted or brought to ruin. Like my friend, my heart has also been broken.

That is also why I needed to come to Kenya myself to see the situation here. Previous to this trip, I had already acted contrary to my normal practice. Even before this time and without knowing for certain the true conditions here, I earlier had already sent some money to the pastor.

However, what Pastor Joel had written to me sounded very critical. It also was true by the time that he had written to me about their collapsed latrine, I had already begun to have some confidence in what he was telling me. He also sent me some photos.

All of that was true. Nevertheless, I had not seen with my eyes the condition in which the children were living, and I had not actually met any of the people. For me to give, I need to know the people. I need to know their hearts. I do not have so much myself that I can give only to have my gifts wasted or squandered, or stolen.

But neither did I feel that I should come empty-handed. The people of our church had sent with me a number of gifts—two large suitcases worth of gifts. None of us actually knew what would be appropriate to send, since none of us knew anything about the children in Kenya.

Some time before I came here I had written to ask Pastor Joel for some guidance. He told me of the need for school supplies such as tablets and pencils, since they are trying to provide some sort of informal education for the children on site at the church. There is no money to send them to an official government school.

But as far as shoes and clothing, we only had our guesses. The people of our church picked up some children’s clothing in the stores of various sizes. They also sent some shoes.

One lady wanted to send boots, but I actually did not know if the people in the area of the orphanage wore boots. I knew so little about where I was going that I did not know if it ever got muddy. Now, even after a couple of days of being here, I can see that boots would have been a very good thing to include in the suitcases.

Nevertheless, as ignorant as I was in deciding what items to include, once I arrived and saw the living conditions of the orphans, I immediately knew that the gifts that I brought with me from the people of our home church would not be treated as those that my friend told me about with Katrina.

I could see that in the case at the orphanage in the Log Church of Kisii, each one of these items would be used and cherished. Seldom have I seen people who are living in such need. Theirs truly is a day-by-day, hand-to-mouth, existence.

Still, it is in distribution events where the worst of our personalities can come out. This morning, as I sat in the church looking at the rows of children with their wide eyes of some cute baby owls sitting on the benches, I wondered what I would see at midday, after we had our lunch. It was then when they were to receive the gifts.

For the moment, I will have to put off writing about the giving of the gifts until tomorrow. I really need to get to bed right now. It has been a long day and I am dead tired. I will have no time to write in the morning, but tomorrow evening I will try and describe how it went to hand out the gifts.

An Early Christmas

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Journal Entry – Thursday, November 23, 2017

At some time during this day it dawned on me that it is Thanksgiving Day back in America. I miss my family today. I think that all of our boys are home with their families.

It is a bit ironic, I would say, that today is Thanksgiving day and I ended yesterday’s journal saying that today I would write about giving the gifts to the children, and to see if they would be truly thankful for what they received.

As I described a couple of days ago, several of us men, including visiting pastors, retire to Pastor Joel’s house for the noon-time lunch. Yesterday as we emerged, I saw my little children sitting in rows on the ground. It amused me to see that the seating arrangement was much like it had been inside the church—the littlest children first with the age increasing as you move back in the rows.

I did not know until I saw the children sitting there with the two suitcases that I had brought with me on a table in front of them that this time had been planned for giving the gifts.

The pastors and workers who knew each orphan had at some time during the previous evening separated the items to decide which child would receive what item. There would not be enough for each to receive a piece of clothing or shoes, but the leaders wanted to be sure that all would receive something.

I did not want to be the one who passed out the gift items. Of course I realize that the kids would know that it was I who brought them, but in any way that I could, I wanted to separate myself from the gifts. These were to be gifts given by the Lord.

The two bags I brought with me on the plane were set in front of the children. The pastors had labeled the items, so they knew which child should receive each gift. The clothing and the shoes were first. They were given to the children whom they fit. In all of this, the children all sat quietly. When someone received a pair of shoes or a shirt, they all clapped.

Then it was the note books. The older children received more than one, since they had greater need in the classes that they were studying. The people of our church had also sent many pencils and pens, and these were handed out one by one.

Our people had also sent perhaps ten boxes of crayons, I think that they must have been sets of 16 or 24—something like that. I assumed that these would be given out to selected children as sets. But these the pastors handed out crayon by crayon.

One lady from our church sent two bags of balloons. When the pastor saw these, he said that the children would really like them. In my mind I pictured a party of some kind with balloons hung on the walls and from the ceiling of the church. But again, these were handed out one-by-one.

Every child received something, although not all a clothing item or shoes. And despite my overweight suitcases, there were not enough tablets for everyone. At the end, I saw a couple of the littlest boys holding in their hands a pencil and three crayons. That is what they had received—only those. They were so excited.

I have to say that the whole event was pretty emotional for me. I was afraid that I would start to tear up, but I managed not to.

In my years in working in these types of situations, I have found these times the most emotional when I first have come from the United States, where the kids complain if they cannot get the video game that they want.

Here at Kisii, when I saw these little children, each a face the color of a freshly roasted coffee bean and shining with delight while grasping in their hands a pencil and three crayons...well, I think you see my point. It can cause one’s emotions to take over.

This all becomes less difficult the longer one is away from America. The longer you are gone, the more that you identify with the people themselves and are given the privilege of simply sharing their delight. You can be happy for them without feeling so much pity. That is so much easier and actually the correct way to feel.

Later, Pastor Joel, Pastor Vincent and I went into the town to buy items for the children who still had need of school items. I guess I will have to wait for tomorrow to describe this event to you.

A Party for the Orphans

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Journal Entry – Friday, November 24, 2017

As I mentioned yesterday, each child received something from the two suitcases that I had brought with me on the airplane, even if it was just a couple of color crayons and a pencil. But of course what I brought was far from adequate for them to have enough supplies for school. We had especially come up short of tablets. There were also a few other items as well that we thought should be added.

In addition to this, we wanted to buy a treat for the children. We wanted to do something fun for them. We wanted to have a little party. As I saw when we passed out the items from the suitcases, it takes very little to bring out wide smiles in their faces.

Things used for play are some of these things that bring out the smiles. There are two places on the grounds where the staff has set up swings. These are the only items that I could identify as being for play. All the kids use them—from the youngest to the oldest. Whenever someone is swinging, it is not only the one swinging who is delightfully screaming, but the six or ten children who are watching are also enjoying the time.

One day, one of the boys approached me, and after shaking my hand and telling me his name, he said to me, “Sir, we would like a ball that we could kick.”

I later asked Joel about this. “Don’t the children have a ball?” I could not imagine a group of school children without even one ball.

“No, they have no ball. They had one, but it became worn out.”

Even the swings never last long. They only use some nylon ropes about a half an inch in diameter to hold the seat. These they could get for free. But like the well-used ball, the ropes also quickly wear out and break.

As a matter of fact, there is very little for play items that I could see for this group of about 30 kids—and I think that I have seen everything. Most of the kids are orphans, and there are also a few other children associated with the church. It seemed incredible to me that in this group of kids whose ages range from about 3 to 13 or so, not to have any play things. Not even a ball that they can kick!

What I had in mind to buy when Pastors Joel and Vincent and I went to town was a soccer ball so that they would have a ball to kick, and some chain that could replace the nylon chords on the swings.

I will not say that it is necessary for kids to have toys. A stick is sometimes the very best toy. But the complete lack of play items for so many children was striking to me.

 

Going to the store with Pastors Joel and Vincent was a good experience for me. We went to a large department store sort of place in Kisii town. As we shopped, I watched these two men as they bought with great care the items that we needed.

We all picked out the football (soccer ball). I actually was surprised at the price of the best one. It was the equivalent of more than $50 US! I had already seen that food was more expensive here than I would have expected, but this was my first sticker shock experience with Kenyan prices. I could not believe that it could cost that much! We did not get it, but we found a very good one for about $25.

We found the tablets, and Joel picked up a jug of a kind of orange flavored drink. The jug was about two gallons at the most, and I questioned him if it would be enough. It was to be not only for the children, but for all who would be in the church service.

“We will dilute it so that there will be enough for each one,” he told me.

We also went to the candy aisle. They wanted to buy a treat for the children. The two pastors looked at the number of pieces in each bag and talked with one another, wondering if they should get one or two bags.

“Should we buy one or two?” Joel asked me.

They were not paying. It was understood that I would be paying for what we bought. I told them that they know what they need and they should get what they need. But I did not try to convince them to buy more.

I simply answered them, “If you think you should get two—get two.”

The two men continued to talk about it. I actually went into the next aisle to look at something as the two pastors deliberated far longer than I thought this decision should take. They ended up putting one of the bags back.

“We will get biscuits (cookies) also. So it will be enough,” Joel told me.

The bag of candy that they had put back on the shelf cost about $1.95 US.

We also stayed a long time in the cookie aisle, looking at the boxes to see how many cookies each contained and comparing the prices. We ended up buying two boxes at about three dollars per box. Each box contained sixty small packages of a vanilla cookie. It would be enough for 120 people to have treat. I tasted them and they were quite good.

By the time we finished buying the party items, besides the other supplies that we were shopping for, the day was getting late. We had no time to look for some chain for the swings.

When we returned to the church, we had a bit of a program and I had a sermon, but I tried to cut it short. The kids knew we brought treats. They could see the bag in the front of the church.

After the service, Vincent called for the helpers to bring in two pails of “clean water” to mix with the drink that we had brought, and he and some others began to pass out the cookie packages. All the children were so excited.

They formed themselves into a line from the front to the rear of the church to receive, one by one, each a piece of candy and a biscuit. More kids were present for the party than the pastors had counted on when we were buying the candy, since other children from the village had come. As the kids came through the line, the candy did not reach to the end.

I saw some disappointed looks on the faces of the children who did not receive a piece of candy, but there were no words of complaint spoken. No child screamed, “It's not fair!“

Then, to the great cheers of the kids, Vincent produced the football. It will be well-used.

 

The receiving gifts often brings out the worst in people, but it can also bring out their best. A gift, after all, is not something given to us as payment for a service rendered or for an item we have sold. That is called a payment of a debt.

A gift is a token of grace. It is not something that is earned, nor should we assume that it is something that we will be given. Neither are we to receive a gift as something that we deserve, but something that is given as an expression of love. We are to receive it with grace, and know that it is given as an act of grace.

I think that I mentioned that when I was sitting in the church for the first time how I was learning so much from the children in the service. Now, at the distribution of these gifts, I have learned more about how to receive a gift.

For these kids, it was not, “He got more than me.”

It was, “It is so kind of you to give me this crayon, since I have done nothing to deserve it.”

In addition, it was not only the one receiving the gift who was thankful. When one of the children received a pair of shoes or a tablet, everyone clapped. They all rejoiced along with the recipient of the gift.

“Always pursue what is good for one another and for all people. Rejoice at all times. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in every circumstance.” That is what Paul the apostle wrote.

 

In the end, it is all about grace. We must all become recipients of grace. With humble spirits, we must learn to accept the gifts of God. “Every gift that is good and perfect, is from above, having its inception and coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights” (James 1:17).

And as the writer of Hebrews says, “Therefore, since we are receiving an unshakable kingdom, let us be filled with gratitude, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe” (Hebrews 12:28 BSB).

Thursday, May 27, 2021

LOG SCHOOL OF KENYA

They will call it the Log School. It will not be made of logs, but since they have named their
church the Log Church of Kenya, this school will follow in nomenclature.

If you scroll down to the May 14 post, you will see the present school costs this year for our 61 students. Of these 61 are the 49 orphans, plus 12 children of the volunteers at the orphanage. The school costs have continually been rising in Kenya. Among other things, the pandemic has caused new regulations, which has caused increases in fees.

Also, as the kids get older and advance in grades, we now have more students in the secondary school, which is more expensive than the primary schools.

This 3-month term the total cost comes to (in US Dollars), $7,915.

There are three terms in the year, which if costs do not increase, means $23,745 for this year of 2021.

I think that you will agree that that is a lot of money. But we feel that it is important that the kids are able to go to school. For these children to have any chance to advance in life, we believe that it is necessary for them to receive an education.

However, it is for a few reasons that we are praying more about beginning our own school at the orphanage. If God allows us to begin, this will be the most costly project that we have undertaken—more expensive than the dormitory, more expensive than the water collection and irrigation system, and more expensive than the garden.

We will do things under government supervision so that we are certain that it is all done legally, and that we will not have any trouble when we actually are ready to begin.

This is another of the projects that we have talked about from the very beginning, but like all things, we do things as God provides. We have divided the entire work into smaller steps, the first being the foundation for the building. There are still many steps, many questions, and even many unknowns, but we think it is time for us to step ahead in faith with this work.

Whenever I consider the monetary cost of all that God has accomplished in the orphanage work, I am simply overwhelmed by how He has provided in the past. I suppose if I took the time to go back in the records, I would see how it all came in, but all of this is beyond my understanding.

And of course the normal every day expenses remain, things like food and clothing.

And now we are considering a school. Amazing.

Please read Joel’s letter below which will explain this further.

 

Dear Beloved Dad, Mum, Church and friends,

Greetings in Jesus name, our prayers are with all, we to thank God for your prayers also you are in prayers, may prosper you, allow us today to share more on the churches in Kenya, we are humbled for your prayers we are seeing the lives of people here being transformed and changed more are coming to Christ who have never accepted Christ now they are spreading the fame of Jesus Christ, our prayers are with you all.

Thanks for your support and prayers for the work in Kenya. We have two Log churches of Kenya. Glory to God for everything He has planned for the Log orphanage and the churches of Kenya  It will be a great privilege God to provide for His work here in Kenya .yes, we will be accountable to God and we need to use wisely every resource He will provide for the success of ministry.

 

(Thanks you Note: From Church/Orphanage Leadership.)

We thank God for Pastor Donald, Vivian, Family, Church and Donors, we are humbled for everything you are doing spiritually and materially and we appreciate for the help which has come on our way since we started connection. May God bless you, feel free to help this work as God provides and move in your hearts thanks to all who are obeying the call of God to supporting this work. To God be the glory.

Pastor Vincent Osoro.

 

LOG orphanage Home fosters Orphans and needy children from the surrounding communities. Because of the swelling number of children of this kind, public schools that are supposed to cater for keep complaining of congestion in classrooms. This ends up at mistreating and mishandling of the children we send to these schools from our orphanage home. This necessitates that we have a school for our centre, where the children can learn without disturbance or mistreatment. Besides school administration, other children keep teasing them. This may affect their learning.

Secondly, sometimes food stuffs are expensive and purchasing food for all of them is cumbersome because of this the centre leaders were of an opinion that the orphanage start a gardening project. This project apart from being a source of food materials for the children it will also be a learning resource for them. If expanded, it can also be a source of the orphanage home income.

 

Way forward

To liaise with possible sponsor(s), friends and well-wishers for possible funding. This will help to start a school that will gradually grow over time

EXPECTED OUTCOME


a)         School

Learners will have conducive learning environment

They will not need to walk long distances to search for education

School can be used to train them on new skills to make them self-reliant

In future school can became a source of income as other children from able families can be admitted on small school fee.

Our prayers is that we can begin on phase to building school class room, be below is the phase we can begin with

1.         SCHOOL PROJECT(5 CLASSROOMS, STAFF ROOM & HT OFFICE)

i)          MATERIALS

•           15,000 bricks @ 17                             Ksh. 255,000

•           12 lorries of sand @ 25,000                Ksh. 300,000

•           600 bags of cement @ 900                 Ksh. 540,000

•           10 lorries ballast @ 18,000                 Ksh. 180,000

•           Total for the first step of footing        Ksh. 1,275,000

Thanks for all the prayers and heart of help for the work in Kenya, may  God bless you all, the garden the children seeds which have long seed dormancy in sprouting they now sprouting out of the  ground pictures cannot show it clearing will be updating on the progress of the garden thanks to all who donated for garden. Keep praying for the need in Kenya, also keep praying for the trip for Pastor Donald and all who are willing to come to Kenya we welcome you with open arms. Thanks we call you blessed.

Yours Son Joel and Log Church Leadership

********************

If you would like to help the children of the Log Church Orphanage of Kisii, Kenya, you may make your check out to “The Log Church” and write “Orphans” on the memo line.

Send it to:

The Log Church

PO  Box 68

Tripoli Wisconsin 54564

We now need to pay a wire transfer fee with every payment, which amounts to $50 each time, but other than that, your donated money will be used only for purchasing food, clothing, schooling, and other necessities of living. We wait until we have $4000-$5000 before we make the bank transfer to make each transfer more economical. Nothing is held back or diverted for any other purpose. Thanks!

****************************

Monday, May 24, 2021

MY FIRST DAY IN KISII - THE LOG CHURCH SERMON, MAY 23

“The American is Nothing

________________________________________

“Our daddy has come!”

It was after the newly formed church in Kenya made the decision to become the Log Church of Kenya that Pastor Joel began to refer to me as “daddy,” and to Vivian as “mummy.” It was also after he had written to me that they as the leadership of their church had chosen me to be their mentor.

I frankly wished that he would not have started calling me “daddy.” It seemed overly intimate to me. In my past experience overseas, when people placed themselves in this way under an individual, it was usually because they wanted that person to take care of their needs.

This manner of acting always seemed to me to be a bit repulsing. It seemed a flattering or fawning type of attitude. The adjective for this is “obsequious.” It is way of acting that is almost subservient, or one of servility. “Sucking up,” to put it in modern terms. It is like a waiter in a fancy restaurant hovering around the table of a wealthy celebrity, hoping to be given a large tip.

I did not like it.

But I never said anything to Joel about this. The reason that I did not was because I knew nothing of the ways of the people of Kenya. I am ignorant of the customs and of the way that people in this part of the world interact, show respect, and generally behave toward one another. Before I even set out on this trip, I decided that I would mostly just observe and learn.

Early western explorers referred to Africa as the “Dark Continent,” because so little was known about it in those days. It is said that the American explorer and journalist Henry Stanley who went to look for Dr. Livingston was the first to use this term.

That was in the middle of the 19th century. We are now in the beginnings of the 21st century, and because the continent now is much better known to the outside word, Africa is no longer referred to in this way.

Nevertheless, to me personally, Africa is still a largely unknown continent. I cannot assume that because I had one experience in some country on some other continent, it would be the same here.

Not a Patrón

Saturday, May 22, 2021

THE LOG CHURCHES OF KENYA

Below is the letter this week from Pastor Joel telling about the two churches. It is amazing to
hear about what God is doing there in than far-flung part of the world. It is especially amazing to me as I have lately been going through the journal that I wrote on my first visit there, recalling all the questions and doubts that I had at the time—and even at first outright refusal to become involved.

We do not know all that God has in mind. Please pray for these churches and especially the pastors and leadership, as they have taken on big responsibilities, both with the churches and with the orphanage.

************************

Dear beloved Dad, Mum, Church and Church,

Greetings from Log Church and Orphanage Family, we are humbled for everything, prayer, provision and spiritual help we receive from the blog. Its helpful for the growing of the churches here in Kenya, which has lead the churches to packed. Even the Nyakembene Church needs expansion and even this main church we built last year we are seeing it becoming small and need expansion. More are coming to hear truth we print from pastor Donald blog.

We thank all for the donation for the Bible we received the church members are devoted to know God keep praying for the for new souls which have added to the Log  churches. Still we have a need to clear the church building debts. Pray for the chairs and expansion of the Log branch Nyakembene. We pray for for the provision.


Kindly pray for Pastor Donald and all want to come with him God to provide and give grace them come report this report on eye witnesses God is at work in Kenya Log Churches we pray for you all also to manifest His working power.

Thanks for the Bible once again and we are need of more Bibles because more are coming to God Kingdom. We thank God for provision for the food and school fees we decided as leaders to pay for secondary as on the receipt. We are trusting God for the provision God bless you all.

Thanks for the help received from you Ksh. 400,000.

KSH. 60,000 School fees (Matagaro Secondary)

Matagaro Secondary fees Balance Ksh. 252,200-Ksh.60,000=Ksh. 192,200

The food budget  was Ksh330, 700

Maize =558.5kilogram, one kg =Ksh.200 x558.5=111,700.

Cooking oil =60itres,one litre cost Ksh. 250x60litres=Ksh.15,000.

Sanitizer 29litres, one litre @ 150=Ksh.4400

Vegetables 160 kgs. 1kgs =Ksh 160x160kgs=Ksh.25700

Beans=400kilogramm,one kgs cost Ksh. 250x400kgs=Ksh. 85,000.

Soap 20Kilogram,1kg @150=Ksh.3,000.

Rice=479Kilogram,one kgs=Ksh. 167x479kgs=Ksh.80,000

Transport cost Ksh.5900

We thank God for the provision, now daily consumption of 63 children and workers .Now total money spent to buy food ÷day consumption (breakfast, lunch and supper)=number of days. 385900 ÷ Ksh. 22364 =13 days.

Finally all leadership thank you and all who are behind the Log Orphanage Kenya also children are happy and humbled for the provision receive their thanks giving. God bless you all. Really appreciate all your work and love God blesses you once again.

Yours Son Joel and Log Church/Orphanage Kenya.

********************

If you would like to help the children of the Log Church Orphanage of Kisii, Kenya, you may make your check out to “The Log Church” and write “Orphans” on the memo line.

Send it to:

The Log Church

PO  Box 68

Tripoli Wisconsin 54564

We now need to pay a wire transfer fee with every payment, which amounts to $50 each time, but other than that, your donated money will be used only for purchasing food, clothing, schooling, and other necessities of living. We wait until we have $4000-$5000 before we make the bank transfer to make each transfer more economical. Nothing is held back or diverted for any other purpose. Thanks!

****************************

Receipt images below: