Wednesday, April 17, 2019

KISII REPORT - NOTES FROM THE ORPHANS

Last week I wrote about some notes that a group of children from a church in South Dakota had sent with me to give to the orphan children of Kisii.

Today I want to show you some photos that I received the very next day after I had put that post up on this blog page. The photos are not quite clear enough to read what is written, so I asked Pastor Joel to send me the wording
 
 
 
 
Thank You Church of USA. Am Elmeldah Kenyanya I thank God for the provisions for schooling and other necessities. Thanks to all who donated to this term. I pray God to provide for the next term also. Keep paying for us here in Kenya as we also do the same. 

 
Cynthia Miruka I thank almighty God for all things that He had helped us student to be  
supported by our church in one way all the other at our academic and other things. We seek God to keep providing.

 
RE: Appreciation Letter.           Am Faith Moraa, I thank the almighty God for the doors that He has opened and I have report the support throughout this term. Is really God who has done this. I also thank the supportive staff who has done this great wonders and praying God to open the doors next term.  May God almighty bless you for your moral and financial support.
 
 
 
Thank you for donations.
God bless you
 
Pray for School Fees
 
 
 
Pray for food
 
 
Thank you for donations
(The second part I just cannot make out. Any suggestions?)
 
 
 
We praise God that we are very close to finishing the home for the children. I hope to have this news for you next week along with some photos.
 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

TWO RIVERS BECOME ONE

Content Despite Our Limitations

In last Sunday's post, I alluded  to some of the smaller mountains that I have climbed in places of the world where I have lived. Each time I hiked up the side of a mountain, as I got higher on the trail, my perspective of the surrounding countryside became clearer. Sometimes however, as I sat down to rest and to take in the view, it became apparent to me that I would have to wait until I was on the top of the summit until I would have a complete perspective of the land that was surrounding me.


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

KISII REPORT - ALMOST DONE + NOTES FROM SOUTH DAKOTA

These photos are the most recent that I received from Pastor Joel. They are installing a ceiling in the dormitory for a couple of reasons.

The first reason is that since there are boys on one end of the building and girls on the other, the government directed us to put in the ceiling.

We are complying of course, especially since the Kenyan government has already made concessions to allow us to have both boys and girls housed in the same building. This has not been allowed in the past.

The other major reason for the ceiling is to help keep out mosquitoes. Malaria is a problem in that area, especially during the rainy season when the mosquito population explodes. The ceiling will go a long way to keep the insects out during the nighttime hours.

On another matter, this week I feel that I need to mention that from the very beginning of my involvement with the orphanage, it has not been my intention to “raise money” for the children. I did not think that this was something that I was called to do. My task was to tell the story of the Log Church and Orphanage of Kenya, and then trust God to put it in the hearts of people to donate. That is why I do not make any appeals for funding.

However, someone mentioned to me this past week that they thought since I do not ask for money, it must mean that the orphanage is fully funded.
Not so—except as the Lord supplies.

The Kenyan church of 200 people or so in that small village, themselves all just living from day to day, are all who supply for these children—they and anyone who reads this blog and whom God calls to donate. There is no organization backing this work, no church denomination, no large donors, just the few whom God has called.

It has been amazing to the people there, and to me as well, that we have seen this building for the children almost completed in a span of less than a year. It will be their home. It has not been an inexpensive proposition, yet God has made it possible. And now we are happy to say that very soon we expect that the children can move in.

But that does not mean that the needs stop. Feeding 42 children plus the half-dozen or so workers costs over $4000 per month, and the schooling $1000 per month when school is in session. These costs are on-going. We do trust God and are so thankful to see how He has provided.

And I am thankful that God did not allow these children to be abandoned to the world, but raised up a humble church to care for them. He has also called Vivian and me, and he has called some of you. Neither can I abandon them.
***********************************

I actually had another matter that I wanted to write about this evening, so despite the fact that this post is getting a little lengthy, I am going to include it. This matter has to do with the photo on the right.

When I went to Kenya in January, a children’s group from a church in South Dakota asked me if I could bring some booklets of John and Romans with me to hand out to the children in the orphanage.

These kids in South Dakota have taken a big interest in the orphans, keeping up with what I write and praying for them. They also have sent some offerings. I was glad to take the booklets, because in the front of each one, the kids wrote a personal note to the orphan who would receive it. Many had pictures that the children had drawn.

I read through the notes before I packed them, and they were so nice, I decided to copy each one before I put them in my bag. I wish I could have copied the drawings as well, since many of the kids were so young that their drawings were their best expressions. Many of the booklets had only pictures drawn, since the children were very young. But here is what I copied:

“Hello from South Dakota USA. We are a small group of believers who love you and pray for you in Kisii Kenya”

From Jasper (age 8): with drawings of a sun, a heart, flower and one of Jasper himself: “Good day to you, my friend.”

From Morgan (age 13): “I hope you have a good future. I’m learning about what Jesus did for me. I didn’t grow up knowing the Bible, but I’m learning now. My mom just had surgery. Grandma has cancer.”

From Taber (no age given): “I live on a ranch. We raise buffalo. I like animals. God made them all. We pray for you.”

From Joni (no age given) with her drawing of a church with an angel, a snowman, a drawing of Joni herself along with one of the orphan children: “Dear wonderful child. Hi, my name is Joni. I hope you got money and food. I hope you get better and get a warm home! I hope you get your home built before the cold time. From you friend Joni.”

From Megan (no age given): “Please know that you are being prayed for and that God loves you very much! One of my favorite verses is Phil. 4:6-7”

From Erin (age 11): “Never forget, God is always here, God is always there. God is watching. God cares, Cast all your care upon him for He careth for you.”

From Sawyer (age 8) with some drawings of a house, some flowers and a snowman: “Dear child. Hi my name is Sawyer. I heard you are trying to build a house before the rainy season. I hope you get plenty food and water. I hope you get your house built before the rainy season and I hope your house is nice and warm like mine. I have been praying for you.  Have sent some money for you and your friends. I hope you get a lot of money. To awesome child. Love Sawyer”

From Ty (age 11): “Always keep God with you. He promises to always watch over us – in Kenya and in South Dakota.”

From Morgan (age13): “Wish you a happy life. God go with you.”

From Joshua (age 12): “And by the way, if something is hard, never give up. God says he will never fail us or forsake us.”

From Riley: “Hi, I’m Riley. I’m 10, and I hope you can get food and money to help the kids.

From Cayson: “I hope you are happy. My name is Cayson. I am 6.”

From Shaniah (age13): “Always be a child of the heavenly Father. He made you and is watching over you.”

From Alanah: “Hi my name is Alanah and I am 11. I will always try to help, and donate money. I am always interested in you. May God watch over you in love.”

From Ruger (no age given): “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you. He will never leave you or forsake you. Deut 31:6.”

Sylvia: “What a privilege to hear of a church adopting children and to be a very small part in helping meet their needs. We pray…for Jesus…does not fail us…thank God for the little Log Church in Kenya. May the love and light of Jesus. Continue to shine bright in your hearts. Romans 8:38-39”

 

Sunday, April 7, 2019

IT ALL BEGAN WITH GRACE

A Choice that was Made in Eternity Past

I closed the previous post on this subject saying that we were about to begin a very difficult climb in our understanding of the life of faith. Thus, preparing ourselves to do some weighty thinking, here is how Paul continues as he writes to the church in Ephesus:  

He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in His presence. In love He predestined us for adoption as His sons through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the Beloved One. (Ephesians 1:4-6 BSB)  

We have been likening our study of these first verses of Ephesians as climbing a mountain in order to obtain the viewpoint from the summit. It is only from the summit that we are able to see clearly the lay of the land. Things that seem confusing and even contradictory when we see them at ground level become more evident when viewed from a higher perspective.

In the verses that I quoted above, the apostle introduces us to some concepts that, as we view them from ground level, we cannot understand. So impossible for us to comprehend these things now, that many people reject them completely.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

KISII REPORT - THE RAINS ARE BEGINNING TO COME

It is 3:30 in the morning in Kenya as I begin writing this (7:30 PM here in Wisconsin). On my phone I monitor the weather in Kisii, and as you can see, the rains are beginning to come to the area. It is not raining every day yet, as there are still some pictures of sun, but soon it will be raining almost every day. Pastor Joel told me that they have some days of heavy rains now.

As you can see by the other photos, the septic system is finished and covered. That was done before rain began pouring in from the roof.

 
There are a few additional things that must be completed before the children can move into the building, but hopefully that will be soon.

My prayer always has been that we could get them a healthy and safe sleeping building before the heavy rains are upon them, and it remains my prayer. We continue to look to the Lord to provide for the needed resources to complete this building.

Got questions or comments?
donaldrhody@gmail.com

Sunday, March 31, 2019

CLIMBING TOWARD A GREATER UNDERSTANDING

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

This is how the apostle Paul begins his letter to the church at Ephesus. The letter that the apostle wrote to the church is one of the best representations of the grace and the peace of God to be found anywhere. For any Christian who is going through turmoil in their lives, where they are not experiencing peace, the book of Ephesians can remind us what is truly important.

When everything in life is put into perspective and we see what is ultimately crucial, we also see that the truly essential issues can never be in question for the believer, because these are the very matters where we see most clearly the grace of God.

When we see his grace, we have peace. Alternatively, it is useless trying to know peace without knowing the grace of God, for true peace can only flow from his grace.
 

Sunday, March 24, 2019

THE LESSON OF THE SEED

Life from Death
 
There are no days that can compare with those of the early spring in Northern Wisconsin. Upon waking up in the wee hours, just before the sun comes up, the frost is still crisp on the ground as the stars are still shining overhead. Down in the valley, you can hear the rushing water of the creek, full to the brim from the newly melted snow of the winter.

Then, as the sun begins to ascend in the heavens and show itself in the treetops, the first life of the year begins to awaken.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

KISII REPORT - SEPTIC SYSTEM IS BEGUN


Looking at these photos, you will understand why it was necessary to get the septic system finished before the rains begin. Last season, once the rains started, it rained every day for more than three months.

No backhoe here. Just Backs
This is not a small tank they are building, and it is right under the eve of the roof. Why there? The property where the orphanage sits is so small that it is the only place available.

We are grateful to the Lord for His provision, and we are 
When I saw this photo, I thought,
"Almost finished with the hole"
one step closer to the day the children will have a safe and healthy place to sleep.

We are also trusting that by next week, we will have more progress to report on the building.
Nope, a little deeper


I would also like to report that the food store has been restocked with about $2000 worth of food. It sounds like a lot of food, and it is, but you may be surprised to learn that it will last only about three weeks. We have a lot of children to feed!
These final photos were surprising



This entire project has been a big undertaking, and we thank all who have helped. And of course, it does not end when the dormitory is completed. Vivian and I actually do not know what the future holds for us. We only know that God has called us to be a part of this work.


As you can see, walls will be re-enforced brick,
then a waterproof plaster applied

If you have not read my two posts on “Knowing the Voice of God,” I would encourage you to do so if you are wondering why we are involved. The simple answer to that question is that I am only doing it because God told me to do it.

I realize that those two posts are very long. They are the transcripts from my sermons in the Log Church for the past two weeks. If you read them, I think you may learn something about listening for the voice of God.


But if you simply do not want to read a lot but still want to know why we are involved, then just scroll down to the very end of the last post. It is there I explain our how God spoke to me and our involvement with Kenya.

 


 



Sunday, March 17, 2019

KNOWING THE VOICE OF GOD: PART TWO

How Do I Know It Is God Speaking to Me?
 
(How did I know God told me that Vivian and I were to go to Venezuela, and how did I know that we were to be involved in Kenya?
 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

KISII REPORT - TALKING DOLLAR$ AND $HILLINGS

Sometimes it is necessary. In the world which we live, good thoughts are not enough. It take Dollars and Shillings to feed the children, to enroll them and school, and as we know at the present, to build a dormitory so that they have a safe and healthy place to sleep.

When I visited the orphanage in January, the building was up and looking good, but we still lacked several components to bring it to completion. Here is the list that we came up with in conjunction with the Kenyan national health and sanitation department:

   Plastering inside, outside, floor, valandar and labour
                                                   Ksh.200,000=$2,083

   Ceiling, fiscal board and labour ksh.150, 000 =$1,562
   Septic tank, piping and labour.  Ksh.80, 500=$838
   Water tank and installation ksh.12, 000=$1,250
   Glass for windows, doors and labour ksh.70, 000=$729
   Painting and labour ksh.85, 000=$886
   Electricity wiring and labour Ksh.65, 000=$677
            Total =Ksh.770400 =$8,025.

During this entire project, with each step I have been a bit taken aback by the cost of each portion. But the costs are real. They are not inflated.

Nevertheless, I have also been taken aback (in a positive sense) to see how God has supplied for each step. We have looked only to God for provision, and he has put in the hearts of his people to help. This has been heartening to me, because although I write about what is happening at the orphanage, I make no appeals for funding. It has been the Lord who has inspired people to give.

Still, even with all of this, these final expenses seemed difficult since I knew that the rains would soon be starting in Kenya. In addition, for a period of about three weeks after I had returned from Kenya, I received no money to send, and Vivian and I had been tapped out of resources. I don’t know if I would go so far as to say I was beginning to doubt if it could be done, but I should admit that I was not far from doubting.

But of course, none of this was difficult for God. Shortly after this brief financial drought, a friend of mine sent me a check for $200 and told me that at the beginning of April, he would send another $800. Another gave me a check for $250, and another $500. There are two couples who regularly send me $50 per month, another individual who does the same, and one couple who puts $20 in the offering plate almost every Sunday for the children. Then, I received another word from someone else that they will soon be giving $1000. It is beginning to add up.

Then, in the ways of God, he is bringing about a heretofore unknown and unplanned life change for Vivian and me. If all goes as it seems it will, very soon (within the next few months), our son Matthew, his wife Sarah and their two little daughters will be selling their house in eastern Wisconsin and moving into our home here. Although Vivian and I still have some things to arrange, we will be moving into a smaller place.

This move will free up some money for us, money enough that I feel that I can commit to paying the remaining portion of the needs for the dormitory, plus pay the $3000 school bill for the children for this term, plus resupply their food pantry with another healthy stock of food.

I am troubled no more about finishing the dormitory. Just yesterday I sent $2500 so that they can begin, and I am pretty sure we can keep them supplied with funding so that the work can go on steadily until completion.

We still should have a couple of weeks before the rains, and we will pray that God will hold them off until the children have moved safely into their new dormitory.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

KNOWING THE VOICE OF GOD: PART ONE

KNOWING THE VOICE OF GOD
Are You Following the Call of God,
Or is it Merely Your Own Call to Adventure? 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Roy and Helen Approach to the Observance of Lent

The Apostle John wrote these words: 

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not from the Father but from the world. The world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God remains forever. (1 John 2:15-17 BSB) 

As well as any words ever spoken or written, these words encapsulate the meaning of Ash Wednesday and of Lent.