Unbroken Praise

“I bless GOD every chance I get; my lungs expand with his praise.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭34:1‬ ‭MSG‬‬

I don’t always understand everything about God. I can’t explain some of the things that are in the scriptures, I don’t pretend to have the full knowledge of who He is and how He works, but this I know – He is faithful, He will never leave or forsake His own, He is the lover of my soul. No one loves me like the Lord does and no one will ever accept me as He does.
It all began with “I love Jesus”and that has never changed.

It is a simple message and the older I get the simpler it becomes. Not complicated and theological. As we travel and spend time with so many in East Africa, hear the songs of praise, enjoy the rhythms of worship, see the love of God in so many people here I can only respond with thanks and praise. This song  Unbroken Praise sums it up.

We depart East Africa at midnight tonight to return to Canada. To try to summarize our time here, we’ll just say it was beyond anything we have experienced before. The times of ministry have been powerful – fruitful. So many want us to stay but we tell them “if we don’t go, we can’t come back.” Already have some dates for next year when we return. Thank you to all of our dear African friends for hosting, loving, trusting and welcoming us.

Until soon dear friends. Kwaheri!

 

 

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Celebrate Praise

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Her name is Praise and for several weeks, she has been singing the Happy Birthday song in preparation for this day. A day to mark the passage of time on this earth. It is her 4th birthday, the youngest child of our host family in Nairobi.  Four years for Praise is gigantic, exciting, something to sing about, a cause for celebration!

Celebrations are delightful times to remember, to enjoy, to be festive. They are also great times to reflect. Recall what is important, really important to us. No matter what nations, what language, what history, we all can agree that family is vital. Technology allows us to stay connected with our family while we are so far away.

We have been so blessed to mingle with many families here in East AFrica. We love to stay in the homes of our new friends to be able to learn from them, to understand how they live and better know how to share from a cultural perspective. And what a rich cultur!

Praise declared she is not yet 4 until there I’d cake. So Happy Birthday Praise and may more. Enjoy the cake!

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Praise

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Birthday Girl

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Busia District.

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HIgh Fives with Mzungu

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Oyieko Family Of Bookshine School.

45 Years

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For the last 10 days, we have had no internet access. How did we ever manage before the ready availability of connecting with all of you? During this time, we marked 45 years of marriage! If we had been asked at our marriage where we saw ourselves in 45 years, it is certain East Africa would not have been on the long range radar. But here we are doing what we love, loving what we do, doing it together and loving each other more than ever. So thankful to a faithful God who has held us together all this time.

At the Equator

At this writing we are travelling from Kampala to Nairobi on a 14 hour overnight bus. Our time in Uganda has been outstanding. Everyone welcomed us so warmly at YWAM Hope Land and made us feel like we had returned home. We taught in the DTS about Worship and the Work and Ministry of the Holy Spirit, prayed with and over them  and concluded the week with a water baptism for 10 students. The next generation passionate for the Lord.

We travelled on to Maganjo on the outskirts of Kampala. Originally for Sunday through Wednesday, we were asked to continue through the week and again on the Sunday. It was one of those times when you could read the phone book and God would come and do what He planned. The seeds of the Word fell on very fertile soil and will bear much fruit.

Thank you to those of you who have prayed and been concerned for our health. We are both mending well and pressing on.

                                                At Global Primary School

Dave, Meet Freedom.                       Yup, that’s Marg’s chicken.

In Sickness & Health

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We may have ingested some bugs among the swarms around our heads Saturday night at the outdoor meeting in the village of Ngelechom. Sunday morning the rains fell hard and steady, further washing out the roads through the jungle yet people continue to gather here in Apegei for worship and the Word. For them it is very cold but they come together to love their God and give Him praise for the blessing of rain and the life they have.

It has been an interesting week battling some sickness and Dave with malaria. Marg has been able to fulfill some of the ministry in the jungle villages which is a complete delight. Surrounded at one time by a group of 10 year old girls, Marg was peppered with questions, sung to in Swahili, more questions, fascinated by a map of the world and brief geography lesson. One girl shyly said “Can we feel your hair?” All hands in with oh’s & ah’s and giggles of delight.

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Dave is still recovering but is back in action for our final 3 days in this district before we travel to Kisii area for a 3 day Leader’s conference.

Our friend sent this as she prayed for us this week and we say Amen!
“Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you,”. Exodus‬ ‭23:25‬ ‭NIV‬

East Africa Love

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Once again, here we are in wonderful Kenya! Our first few weeks was been very full and we are delighted to be available here.

FAQ’s from caring people back home:

1. What draws you to East Africa?  Simple answer is her people. They are warm, gracious, loving and welcoming, always ready to share a cup of African tea.

2. Aren’t you afraid?  NO! Absolutely not! What is there to fear. We are cautious as we move around, knowing that we are foreigners here. Fear saps your strength, clouds your thoughts and robs you of opportunities to learn and grow.

3. What about the food; what do you eat there? We eat whatever is offered and enjoy the experience of being with new friends, immersed in their culture.

4. Where do you stay? It is our preference to stay with someone where we are visiting if they have a bed and can easily accommodate us. We don’t need anything fancy or a hotel as so many westerners do. To get to know a host family, and be part of the daily life helps us to understand and relate more closely as we teach.

Our first week was with several churches. During the day was in centre city Nairobi at PEFA Church for their 6:30am Morning Glory and Lunch time services so the business community can come daily for worship and the Word. A three evening seminar on worship and Sunday morning and afternoon with another PEFA Church in Utawala rounded out that week.

Last week was with YWAM Athi River, east of Nairobi during the final days of DTS for debrief and graduation.

An ovaernight bus on Saturday brought us to Western Kenya to be with a very dear brother there to work with his churches in a number of villages. To be in Apege is always a highlight for us.

We have struggled with some intestinal upset the early part of this week. Appreciate prayers for this. A friend sent this for us: “Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you,” ‭Exodus‬ ‭23:25‬ ‭NIV.‬‬ Amen! That says it all right there.

Travel Time

We have joined the crush of people pouring on and off airplanes, scurring through airports laden with knapsacks, bags and guitars, to hurry up and wait for the next flight. Here we are at Schiphol International Airport in Amsterdam ready to board the next leg of our journey that will return us to East Africa.

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It is always exciting to embark once again on another adventure in these beautiful nations interacting with, sharing, teaching, travelling and enjoying the experience of culture. We will post as often as possible so you can follow along with us.

This evening. Nairobi!

 

 

 

Final Days in Kenya

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At night, the last thing we do is tuck the mosquito net around the bed. Just as we’re dropping off to sleep – bzzzzzzzz – . We have closed ourselves in with one, blood thirsty, dive bombing mosquito. Annoyances can completely distract, even derail us from what is at hand; be it a good night’s sleep, getting tasks accomplished or following the direction to reach specific goals. It’s like the mosquito buzzing close to the ear and you end up spending then next hour trying to find and eradicate the nuisance.

East Africa has been our home for 4 months now. We have so much enjoyed the varied opportunities of sharing in a array of settings; church services both rural and urban, lunchtime fellowship, early morning office devotions, schools. We have travelled in Cars, Buses, Matatus (van) & Boda-Boda’s (motorcycles). Whatever will get us from here to there. Travelling on some of the roads could have been  that distraction, like a buzzing mosquito, but we see it as part of the whole adventure. Apparently the mosquitos are too!

Our time here is coming to a close – for this trip. We fly back to Canada in just a coupleof days. This week, we’ve been teaching at Church of the Living God in Nairobi. Saturday was a “tech” day; training technicians about the set up and running of a sound system. Everything from speaker placement to wrapping cables; patching the sound board to holding microphones. Sunday, we spoke  in the morning service and afternoon was a Worship Experience – joining with their worship team to praise and worship the Lover of our souls! So very Blessed!!!

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Better than a Zoo!

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Seeing “zoo” animals in the wild is surreal –  a tower of Giraffes (that’s what a group is called – who knew!), several herds of Zebras, a couple of herds of Wildebeests, birds of iridescent hues and beautiful songs. All in an hour and a half. It makes me mindful of Revelaion 4:16 “…and for Your pleasure they exist and were created.” Even I f no one ever sees these incredible sights, God is enjoying them everyday. So glad He shared it with us!

There have been some wonderful moments.  We shared in a concert in Nairobi with Igniters Band; a group of young adults with a passion for worship, reaching and training their generation. Lots of energy, excellent music and shared vision. We look forward to future time with this delightful band.

It is always so exciting to teach in a YWAM DTS. YWAM Athi River is located East of Nairobi in Machakos County. We spoke on worship and also the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit, an often misunderstood or spooky part of Christianity. At the end of our time, four of the students requested to be water baptized, so a cleaned out cow trough became our baptismal tank. It was while at the YWAM base that we went for a hike into the adjacent bush and were treated to a visual feast just before sunset.

This week we are teaching a series on Worship at Shofar House in downtown Nairobi. We began on Sunday, Mother’s Day, and will continue through Friday. Their worship leader, Bjourn Kamau, joined our team for three out of four Arts in Ministry Intesives. Another week and a half will remain of our time here in East Africa.

If It’s Friday, This Must Be Bumala

Who gets to do this! We arrived in Western Kenya late Sunday night after a wonderful time in Kampala area for the Easter Weekend. We have spent much time deep in the villages for the past month and not near Internet and in many cases no electricity.

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In Western Kenya, the Busia district, we travel daily to a different jungle village to teach. An overseer, whose church we have been to several times, has planted 24 churches throughout the region. His pastors complained that when a guest comes, they all have to come to the main church to hear them. “Couldn’t you get them to come to us?” When Apostle Inya asked us, we immediately said yes. So each day, we drive over what would be impassable roads in Canada and arrive at a church building, usually made of mud with a metal roof and we share for the day. What a privilege to speak with these eager, hungry souls. Not many would have this opportunity and we are loving it.

Next week we return to Nairobi where we’ll teach in several seminars, a number of churches and a week East of Nairobi in Athi River at the YWAM base teaching in their DTS (Discipleship Training School.) Then back to Nairobi for two packed weeks before we fly home to Canada.

To Rwanda & Back

We concluded the fourth and final Arts in Ministry Intensive yesterday at 6:00 pm. It was held deep in the village of Mutonto, in the midst of cattle country. We drove over some very interesting roads; narrow, rutted and bumpy. Surprisingly, this remote area had the largest attendance of the four conferences which presented us with challenges, especially for John in the workshops; finding enough space for the large group to break down into smaller groups to effectively participate and learn. All were so very delighted that we came to them in their remote area. To learn how to creatively present the Gospel story to those that have not heard is new and very different but a welcome concept. Some can hardly wait to get started!

At midnight, we boarded a bus for Kigale, Rwanda, while Grace and Rosette travelled the opposite direction back to Mityana. Their input and translation skills was a huge assist. In the evenings, we sat together putting the song list together for the next day’s worship and the Nkanjis were able to translate a number of the songs into Luganda. It made the songs more accessible to the people, giving them more freedom to enter into real worship.

Here in Rwanda, the nation is remembering the Genocide of 23 years ago for the whole week. This country has completely turned around and is rebuilding and healing. Along with John, we will share in Scira Community Church in Kigali. John returns to Kampala overnight to fly back to Canada and his family on Monday. John Wason is a brilliant Story Teller who stood up to the many challenges confronting him; language barrier being a major one. John took the biblical principles we taught and put them into practise making it very practical and applicable. Thank you John for sacrificing and giving your time, finances and talents to make these Arts in Ministry Intensives a reality and successful.

On Monday we shall meet with a group of pastors to talk about a possible Conference here in 2018. On Tuesday we’ll be back on a bus to Kampala, Uganda.