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.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

HANNAH, THE MOTHER OF SAMUEL--WHAT IS THE SIZE OF YOUR ROBE?

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: