Wednesday, April 17, 2019


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


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


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


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


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?

Sunday, March 31, 2019


“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


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


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


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


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

   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


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.

Sunday, March 3, 2019


I think probably every mother, or any woman who wants to be a mother, must feel at least a little bit of empathy with the woman of this story. Her name was Hannah, and her story is this:

Wednesday, February 27, 2019


Since we began the plans for the dormitory, it has been my prayer that we can see the children sleeping there before the rains. The rainy season last year was devastating for their health. Those rains come in about a month.

It has been wonderful to see how God has supplied to get us this far. The people of Kisii are astounded to see how the building has risen so quickly in this poor village, and we have worked closely with the health officials to make sure that we are providing a healthy situation for these children that God has put under our care.

The plastering of the walls (inside and out) has been finished. I spoke with Pastor Joel about having the orphans sleep there now (after we get glass in the windows and maybe some paint on the walls), since the children are still in those two small rooms in a rather unhealthy situation.
He told me that the person who owns the rooms where the children presently sleep has given one and a half free month’s rent for the children, and that the health official has advised the orphanage leaders that we finish the toilets before allowing the children to stay in the dormitory since it is all part of a healthy environment.

Perhaps his thinking is that if we do not do it before the children move in, it may not get done at all. Whatever is the thinking, it is a good idea to get them done.

Installing the toilets and septic system are a big step further for which we presently have no funds. These items will cost $2088.

In order to bring the dormitory to completion, including glass for the window frames, putting in a ceiling, painting and stringing electric lights, the total cost comes to $5932

We are trusting our God to supply all these needs. He has called us to care for these children of His, and our faith is in Him.
Got questions?


Saturday, February 23, 2019


The plastering of the interior and exterior of the dormitory is now underway. We are grateful that God has provided a way for us to do this. As always, the building remains a step-by-step process as we have funds. But God has begun this work and we know that he will bring it to completion.

The plastering consists of a cement coating inside and out to provide a smooth surface. On the inside, it helps to maintain cleanliness, and on the outside, it prevents weathering.

We move ahead in faith trusting God to supply what is needed, and it is our prayer that the children will be able to move into the dormitory before the rains begin, probably later next month. 

Of course, the other needs are constantly there (food and other daily needs, and of course the school costs) but we are also trusting the Lord to supply those needs. 

The church itself continues to reach many people for the Lord, and the pastors and others often walk many miles to bring the message of salvation to the people of this, one of the poorer regions of Kenya.
We praise God that he has not forgotten these people, and neither will Vivian and I forget or abandon them. God has not, so how can we?

God questions concerning this work? Email me at

Sunday, February 17, 2019


In the Old Testament book of Ruth we have the story of two widows. Like the book of Judges, we do not know for certain who wrote this book, but also like the book of Judges, it is widely believed that it was the prophet Samuel.

Whoever the true author of the book of Ruth was, and if it was indeed the same person that wrote Judges, I am sure it was a pleasure for him to close that book and move on to the story of Ruth.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019


It would be nice if my involvement with the orphanage in Kisii was all bringing new dresses for cute little girls, but unfortunately, the reality is much different.

We presently are facing several difficulties, the most urgent of which is food. The difficulty with this right now is that there is none.

I did not specifically ask Joel this time, but on the previous occasion when they had gone without food for almost a week, I asked him if they had had nothing at all to eat during those days. He told me that they did have some corn meal and they have water, with which they made a kind of watery porridge to have once a day. I do not know what it is now, only that the children are going to bed without having eaten.

The food reality is that it daily takes $150-$200 to feed and provide other daily requirements for the children and the orphanage staff, of whom there are about a half a dozen adults. This is every day.

“It seems like a lot,” you say?
It is a lot, but that is the reality.

Another reality is that, as encouraging as it was for me to see the dormitory coming along so well, the building is still not ready to be occupied. If we are going to have the children sleeping there when the rains begin, we need to be able to continue working. Right now it is at a standstill, since we have no funds.

The next step is to plaster inside and out. The plastering is for much more than just aesthetics, since on the inside, the plaster makes it possible to keep the rooms clean. Outside, the plastering keeps the rains from seeping into the joints and causing structural problems.

The floor also needs to be resurfaced. It already is hardened from the mixing of the concrete when they prepared it for the brick mortar and beams. They mixed the concrete by hand on the floor. It is level and it is somewhat even, but it is not smooth. It needs to have a coating.

On the ground outside the perimeter of the building, we need to put a hard surface as well to keep the entire ground from becoming constant mud during the daily rains.

The cost of all of this work is about $2000.

This is the next step for the dormitory. There are several others as well. Among these are finishing the toilets, which the health and sanitation department of Kenya tells us needs to be a flush system with a holding tank.

This of course requires the plumbing and tank itself, but also a cistern, since there is no well.
I will write about all of these additional dormitory costs in future posts, but the rains will begin possibly later next month, so we need to get moving.

Another reality is the schooling for the children. For the 42 students, this totals to approximately $1000 per month for the nine months of the school year.

“Our Father in heaven, please provide the daily bread for these, your children. This is the most critical need right now. Also please provide for the continuation and completion of the dormitory before the rains begin.”

Monday, February 11, 2019


I was a bit hesitant about bringing the little dress to the orphanage in Kenya. Someone from our church had given it to me to bring, but it seemed a bit too fancy. And I only had one. I did not have one for every girl in the orphanage, and I did not want to create envy among the children.

I told this to the lady who gave the dress to me to bring for the orphans. Nevertheless, there was something about the spirit in which she gave it that caused me to want to take the dress along with me. I did so on this last trip.

Somewhat timidly, I showed the dress to Pastor Joel. I explained to him the situation, and simply told him that I did not know what to do with the dress, so I was giving it to him to decide.

The following day, Pastor Joel told me that when they had met as the staff of the orphanage, they talked about it. “We decided to give the dress to Vivian,” he told me.

I do not know the reasons that they decided in this way. When I gave the dress to Joel, I did not give him any preference of what they should do. I was just glad to hand off this dilemma to someone else.

The people do know that Vivian is also the name of my wife, whom they call their “Mum,” but they told me that this was not the reason. I also had told Joel that it was not my Vivian who had given me the dress, but someone else from our church. I frankly do not think it had anything to do with the name, but I did not ask questions. It was their decision.

Later that day when all the children had gathered after school, and before the crowd of all the children, two of the pastors made a presentation of this gift to little Vivian. Every gift seems to be given in this way. They make a little performance of bestowment when they are given. This one was a new dress for Vivian Mosoti.

I later thanked the pastors for doing this, and then I confided in them the same doubts that I had expressed to the woman from our church.

“I did not want to create envy among the children,” I said to them.

“What is envy?” Pastor Joel asked.

“Envy is when one child receives something that the other children wish they had, and they begin to resent the one who did receive it.”

Joel gave a little laugh. “Oh, that happens in the world,” he responded. “But it does not happen in the church.”

I thought to myself but did not say out loud, “You do not know the church in America.”
You can learn your life lessons from preachers with huge churches and even bigger homes, if you like—the ones who have gone to school for effective communication.

I still prefer to learn mine from the humble of the earth.

“But the humble will inherit the land, and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.” Psalm 37:11

Sunday, February 10, 2019


“…For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

These are the words of the Apostle Paul in describing the Christian life. We often hear about “living a life of faith” as well as “walking by faith.” We are fond of calling ourselves, “people of faith.” These are all very pious sounding words, but sometimes we do not really understand what it means to walk by faith.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

WHY I WENT TO KENYA (conclusion)

You will notice that the title of this final installment of this series of posts is slightly different than the rest. Instead of saying, “Why Am I Going to Kenya,” it says, “Why I Went to Kenya. It in the past tense, because I returned home last night. Vivian drove down to the Central Wisconsin Airport to pick me up.

It was not until I arrived at Chicago that I remembered that this Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday here in the United States. Everyone was talking about it at the airport—either about that or about trying to find a flight home. So many flights had been cancelled in the previous days due to the record cold temperatures that everything was backed up.

I don’t care about the Super Bowl this year. You might accuse me by saying that it is because the Packers are not in it, and that admittedly may be part of it. If they were playing, I would have more interest. But that is not all of it. Even when my state’s home team still had hopes of post-regular season possibilities, my interest in the season had waned down toward zero.

During the past several decades, the sports industry, just like the music industry and the movie/television industry, has been elevated to a level in our society that it does not deserve.
This is made evident by the fact that the most well-know stars of these fields have become the spokes-people of our culture on almost any subject. When an opinion is needed on world affairs, a cultural shift in society, or even about what is right and wrong, it is to the sports stars, the movie stars, and the rock stars that we turn.

Increasingly, I am tiring of all of it. These are not the people that I care to have shape my opinion on anything. All three of the afore-mentioned industries are entertainment industries, and they are little more than that. The place of their professions in society is not to guide us into higher levels of thinking, but simply to provide diversion for us for a few moments—that’s it!

Perhaps it is possible for them to produce shows and music that have somewhat higher values, but while they have excelled at computer driven graphics and recording technology in order to better amuse us, they have remained primitive in  the more redeeming qualities.

In general, these industries that are mainly meant to entertain have outgrown themselves in levels of importance because our society has diminished itself in its ability to think critically. We have come to believe if someone has the ability to give us a few moments of amusement, then they are worthy to lead us in every aspect of life.

Freshly back from my time with the people of the Log Church of Kenya, this contrast of priorities of life hit me hard. These people of Kisii, who despite the fact that they themselves are among the most needy of the earth, have still opened up their lives to provide food, shelter, and a supportive community for the orphans of their area.

These are the kinds of people whom I would rather shape my world view.

“The Bible instructs us to care for the orphans and the widows,” the three pastors of the church told me in a meeting one day. “We decided to begin with the orphans, because they have the biggest needs in our area.”

Pastors Douglas, Joel and Vincent
I have always gained the most insight into life from the lowly of the earth, and I have worked with many in many different societies. The rich and the famous have had relatively little to offer me on living a life.

Part of this comes from the fact that they usually have too high an opinion of themselves. It is the humble man and the humble woman, the ones who live life where it actually exists, who have the most to teach.

And when history has come to a close, when all the Super Bowl rings have been been burned into ash along with all the Emmys and the Oscars, it is the work accomplished in the orphanage that will remain.

Thanks for coming along with me on this journey. I will continue to write of what is happening with the orphanage—not daily, but more like weekly.
I hope you continue to follow.