Wednesday, February 26, 2020

KISII REPORT - A PROBLEM YOU NEVER THOUGHT OF

Here is a problem of poverty that you have never thought of:
 
I need to write about a problem that our girls at the orphanage face, along with most girls who live in poverty areas of Kenya. So common is it that there is even a term for it.

They call it “period poverty.” That is the situation of being unable to attend school because of lack of funds to buy sanitary products.

It was one of the things that made a significant impact on me during my first visit. With the small amount of money that I brought with me, the one item that the pastors bought for three or four of the older girls were packets of sanitary pads.

The inability to be able to obtain sanitary pads is a real challenge to young women of poverty areas in schools throughout Kenya, and it is a challenge that extends also into their working years. During their days of menstruation, they need to miss days of school or work.

Many girls in their late teen years are still in some of the earlier classes of primary school, not because of lack of academic skills, but simply because they have had to miss so many days of classes.

Even without this consideration, school attendance for the poor children is already a luxury. Many children drop out of school for one or two years at a time because their families cannot afford to send them.

The purchase of sanitary pads is yet another obstacle for these children, and girls do various things to help themselves during these monthly episodes—some of them unhealthy things. Many girls fashion bits of cloth to make pads, which can be washed, but then they also share them with other girls who do not have anything. The pads may appear clean, but they are not sanitary. In a country where HIV infections are common, this can be a life-threatening practice.

And of course the high-school aged boys do not help the situation. They mock the girls and show no empathy at all for the difficulty that they are facing.

According to research by Kenya's Ministry of Education, girls lose on average four school days every month, which translates to two weeks of learning each term. Over four years of high school, they lose on average 165 learning days.

But even that is not the worst scenario. The situation is yet another strain on already impoverished families and many girls resign themselves to not attending at all. A packet of sanitary pads cost about one dollar in Kenya, according to what I was able to determine. That is more than many families in poor areas of Kenya make in a day. When the families cannot even buy food, it is easy to see why buying sanitary products for the girls is a low priority.

As more of our girls at the Log Church Orphanage are at the age when they are entering into secondary school, this is becoming an increasing need. By the grace of God, we are trying to give these children as much of an opportunity as we can to excel in life. It brings up many challenges that none who read these words have probably ever faced or even thought about.

We look to the Lord. These are His children and we pray several times daily that he will care for their many needs, this being only one.


********************************************
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
 
Every nickel given in this way will be used for only aid for the orphans. It will be used for purchasing food, clothing, schooling, and other necessities of living. Nothing is held back or diverted for any other purpose

Monday, February 24, 2020

HOW TO PRAY IN THESPIRIT

The Deep Sigh of Homesickness
Ephesians 6:18 

Paul now turns his attention away from the Roman soldier guarding him. The sword that the Roman had strapped to his side was the only weapon that the soldier was wearing. Paul used that sword as example to speak of the sword of the Spirit, which he called the Word of God. The Word of God is the weapon that the Christian can use in his battle with the spiritual forces of darkness. (This was the subject of last week's sermon).

 But there is yet one more weapon in the armory of the Christian. There is nothing that the Roman was wearing with which Paul could draw this comparison, but it is every bit as important as the Word of God. Of course, the Word of God is critical. It is with God’s written word to us that he will most commonly speak to us. But if we are to be successful in our spiritual warfare, there must be a two-way communication. We must also be able to speak to God.

Monday, February 17, 2020

KISII REPORT - FINANCES

Financial Commitments for the
Log Church Orphanage of Kenya 

Probably the first thing that I should say is that this work in Kenya is not something that I at first wanted to be involved with (you may have heard me say this before.) I fought God about this for almost an entire year.

“I did my bit overseas—I just want to stay home now.”
“Someone else can do a much better job than I can.”

But God would not let me alone on this one. As the old poem put it, God was like “the hound of heaven,” patiently and persistently on my trail, not letting me rest until one morning I said to Vivian, “I cannot continue my life and pretend that God is not telling me to do this. I need to at least go to Kenya and learn about what He is showing me.”

My financial commitment began with only my personal funds, and it was not much. I told the people in Kenya from the very beginning that I was not a source of money.

“I have been a servant my entire life,” I told them. “I worked primarily in poor countries and have never had a job that has paid me much money. It has never been a priority for me.”

“The American is nothing, but God is everything.”

But what I also told them was that I believed God was instructing me to tell the story about what they were starting in their newly established church with the orphans, and putting this story on my blog page. If the Holy Spirit laid it on the hearts of some to help, I would see that the orphanage received the money.

People did begin to help. Not much at first, but lately it seems as if more and more people are helping out. Because this work began only with my own funds, and then afterwards only a very few close friends who know and trust me and wanted to help, I was not concerned that the arrangement was so informal.

Lately however, I have begun to wonder if something more formal needs to be established. I frankly do not like the idea of starting any type of organization—mission organization or otherwise, and I am not interested in doing so.

It is not I who started calling the new churches in Kenya, “The Log Churches of Kenya.” I actually tried to discourage them from naming them this, but they have told me that they look to me as “their mentor” as they called me (never had that happen to me before) and to our church in Tripoli as their mother church. They have adopted our statement of faith as their own.

Because this work has become something larger than I ever envisioned that it would, I am pleased that the church where I am the pastor (The Log Church of Tripoli, Wisconsin), has taken on some of the responsibility to help me formalize this a bit more. My commitment and the commitment of the church for any money given for the Log Church Orphanage of Kenya began with the following guidelines, at it will continue the same.

1. Every penny given will go for direct orphan care. 
 
- These costs include food, housing needs, schooling, personal hygiene articles, etc.

- If the funds become available, we hope also to begin to develop sustainable aquaponic or hydroponic gardens

- In order to allow every donation to go 100% for orphan care, I assume all other costs,    including costs of the money transfers, postage for receipts when needed, thank you notes, etc.

- It is my commitment to use absolutely none of the money in this ministry for my own expenses.

- My trips made to Kenya were completely on my own expense except for some euros that once were given to me for an airport layover in Europe.
 
2. I will make no appeals for donations.

3. My task in this ministry concerning donations has been to tell the story of the orphans and the orphanage on my blog page, and depend upon the Lord to put it in the hearts of the readers to give.

Of course, this also often includes telling of the present situation, which includes such times as when they have been without food and are in need. But I attempt to tell the situation without trying to make people feel they must give. That is the ministry of the Holy Spirit—not mine. I depend upon the Lord to speak to hearts.

4. If donations have been given through the Log Church (Tripoli) account, then it is possible for the donor to be given a receipt for tax deduction purposes.

5. My other role in the orphanage has been spiritual guidance, as much as I am able to do so at such a great distance away, and also practical guidance.

********************************************
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
 
Every nickel given in this way will be used for only aid for the orphans. It will be used for purchasing food, clothing, schooling, and other necessities of living. Nothing is held back or diverted for any other purpose

        

Friday, February 14, 2020

KISII REPORT- THE NEXT MARATHON WINNER

It is not as if the challenges that the orphanage face are becoming less, but I must say, I feel a bit sorry about the fact that every week I have to write about hunger and sickness, floods and the lack of school funds.

 
This week is different. I want you also to know that, because these children now have a family (their orphanage and church family), they have many happy times and have a lot of fun together.
 
The school is not only a source of learning for the children, but also a source of activity. Just last week they had a special sports and athletics day at the schools, filled with games and contests. You may be seeing in some of these pictures the next Kenyan winner of the New York City Marathon.
 
There is football of course. The first time that I visited the orphans, one of the boys, about 10 or 11 years old,  approached me and said to me, “Sir, we would like a ball that we could kick.”
 
I asked Pastor Joel, “Don’t the kids even have a ball.”
 
“No. They had one, but it wore out some time ago,” Joel replied.
 
So you see, despite the difficulties, the lives of the children have improved and are improving constantly. It may not be a straight and steady line of improvement, but we are thankful to see a gradual trend upward.

 
And the church is also growing, both in the spiritual lives of the people, and also in number. The area is being reached with the good news of Jesus, and more people are coming to have a new vision of what God is doing.
 
As I think that I said in the previous post, this work in many ways has been for me the most challenging of my missionary career, but also in many ways the most rewarding.
 
Thank you for helping.
********************************************
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
 
Every nickel given in this way will be used for only aid for the orphans. It will be used for purchasing food, clothing, schooling, and other necessities of living. Nothing is held back or diverted for any other purpose

Sunday, February 9, 2020

KISII REPORT - THE MUUSUM WINDS

If there is such a thing as a “normal” weather cycle in Kenya, the traditional month for the rainy season to begin in Kisii would be in March, with another beginning in September. But of course, weather cycles are influenced by many variables in climate, including the monsoon winds that blow along the East African
The Dhow - Ancient Arabic
and Indian Trading Vessels
coasts.

These winds were known to the ancient Arabic and Indian traders as the muusum winds (see the similarity) which depending on the time of year, blow either northward along the coast, or southward. In the normal cycle of weather, these convection wind currents will bring rains to Kenya around the autumnal equinox, and the vernal equinox, the last of these which occurs on either March 21st or 22nd, as all of you who watch the weather at 5:15 know.

But lately, things have not been normal in the muusums. Especially in the past couple of years, there have been heavier than normal rains at odd times of the year, including this year. The rains have come early to the Kisii area, and even now there are days of heavy rains.

 
It is not every day, but it is enough that the mosquitoes have already begun to multiply, and with them the new season of malaria. We are thankful for the new dormitory, which offers a great amount of protection, but our children have not escaped entirely this year. Five of them have fallen ill.

 
When Pastor Joel wrote to me last week about these five children, he was not sure if they were ill with malaria or pneumonia, since the symptoms are similar in some ways, and they had not yet been able to take them to the doctor. Besides that, they had no money to buy medication.

Pneumonia also can be a problem with the children, since they are often wet from the rain. They walk to school each day, ½ hour coming and going in the mornings and evenings, and an additional time at noon when they are sent home for lunch.

 
They have no raingear, or even umbrellas, so when they return to the orphanage, they are often shivering from the cold. Kisii is in the higher hills of Kenya, so even if it is quite near to the equator, the climate is rather temperate. A rain can be quite chilly.

 Thankfully, last week the Lord supplied (through you), $800 that I could send to them.

 Here is how it was spent (figures rounded):

      $500 food
     Medication for the sick children $200
     $100 used to buy warm jackets.
 
When they received the money, they were able to buy a menthol
rub (I suppose something like our mentholated rubs). This salve
relieved the body aches. This, along with the internal medicine,
is helping the children's health to improve
Thank you once again for your kindness in helping these brothers and sisters in Christ. Joel reports that with the medication, they are now improving.

 
Folks have also been asking me about the locust plague. The latest on this is that the government says that they have it now under control (although many farmers disagree). The federal government has been doing aerial spraying to combat the infestation of locusts, which of course has its own ecological consequences.
 
It sometimes seem to me that the difficulties that our little orphanage faces are insurmountable, but we have also seen the faithfulness of God in amazing manners.
 
For me personally, this ministry for me in many ways has been one of the most challenging of my career, but also one of the most rewarding. These children are alive and being raised on God’s word, and the Log Church Kenya is thriving despite their poverty in material possessions.
********************************************
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 
Every nickel given in this way will be used for only aid for the orphans. It will be used for purchasing food, clothing, schooling, and other necessities of living. Nothing is held back or diverted for any other purpose.

Monday, February 3, 2020

KISII REPORT - LOCUSTS!

During the past couple of weeks it has sometimes seemed to me that here in America we have mostly been riveted to either the impeachment trials or the super bowl and little else.

One of these hopefully will soon come to an end soon, with predictably one half of the nation happy about the outcome and, in our new Divided States of America, one half angry about it.
 
The other event took place last evening on Sunday, I suppose with one half of football fans happy about it and the other half not happy, but hopefully not angry.
 
But while our TV’s have been burning the images of those two events into our visual receivers and brains, other things have been happening in the world—important things. For those concerned about human life, very important things.
 
For the past couple of weeks I have been reading about what may be a looming food crisis in Kenya. If you have been following the Kisii Reports of the past, you know that for the past couple of years, Kenya has been suffering cycles of unusually heavy rains (as is occurring right now), which then moves to drought. This has made all food prices rise significantly.

But now, a new and potentially much worse problem is on the horizon. It is literally on the horizon right now in the eastern part of the country. Instead of telling you about it, I will just quote clippings from a couple of newspapers. Photos of images from the internet browser, and one from a Kenyan newspaper online edition:  

Saturday, February 1, 2020

KISII REPORT - THE RAINS HAVE COME EARLY

It was this time last year when I was in Kisii. It was much different then. Some days it rained, but it was mostly pretty dry. 
This year the rains have been relentless.
*******************************************

Dear Beloved Dad, Mum, Church and Friends,

Greetings from Kenya church and orphanage, we are humbled for your love and concern, our prayers are with you all who have helped and supported these work in Kenya through prayer or financial help through Pastor Donald and Vivian. 
We pray that God of heaven will supply for your needs also. To all who have not confirmed the reality of this work, kindly you are welcome to Kenya to know and see the work.
Thanks for your help we received this week— $800. $500 was used to buy food. $300 used to reduce the school balance. Thanks.

 
We have experience rain in the last two weeks and the children are being rained on to and from School. Kindly pray for us the children need even an umbrella and rain coat, gumboots to help them in this duration of rain.
The vehicles are parked and motorbikes are also parked as you can see on the pictures.


Its heavily raining and vegetable cannot grow as the water is more than on the ground kindly pray for us and help where you can.

The food we had in stored was finished yesterday supper and now we have nothing for breakfast, lunch and supper we are opening our eyes to God where help will comes from.

Kindly pray and help for the needs of the children they are suffering for coldness pray for warm clothes, pray for the 5 children now who are sick malaria and pneumonia.

Kindly pray God to send help for the children.
Challenges of heavy rain:
    Food cost increase
    Transportation cost raise
    Fuel cost for industry increase.
    Vegetable not growing well.

Our prayers are to God to supply. Kindly as God moves in your heart kindly help. Thanks. God bless, we are praying for you all.

Yours Son Joel and Church/orphanage 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
 
Every nickel given in this way will be used for only aid for the orphans. It will be used for purchasing food, clothing, schooling, and other necessities of living. Nothing is held back or diverted for any other purpose