baptism

My Journal

What a day today...what a week too!!<br /><br />First, news from today at Nakechichok. A house full for services. We built 12 pews/benches this week and they are in the church now. They all were full with kids having to still sit on the ground. All the mamas who were suffering from TB have finished their treatment and are declared cured by the doctors! A boy that was feared dead when the family herds returned home without him was found. He was very sick(near death), but has made a full recovery! Mzee Paulo (for those who know him) gave testimony today of how God protected his camels from bandits. He is very, VERY near salvation. Please pray for him. He is the sweetest man I have met here in Turkana...but has yet to receive Christ. There were 2 saved today during the services! Pastor David taught on the power of the resurrection and I preached from 1 Tim 1:18-20. Look it up George, it is a great study!!<br /><br />I only carried 1 mama to Lodwar today. She is having trouble with a tooth and wants to see the dentist. This may not sound like much, but it is a huge testimony to the health of the people in this village. The rains continue, Turkana is in full bloom (like I have never seen before), and the folks are healthy and happy. It is beautiful...and all because God sent His blessing of rain. Even today, my heart soared to mountain tops when I saw the open plains moving with the wind. They are covered in calf high grass and it just sways when kissed by the breath of God! <br /><br />I have been given another goat. This one is from my newest parents. When a child is named after me, his parents are now my parents. Mzee Paulo (from above) and Helen are my adopted parents. He gave a huge goat to me today. We will enjoy/eat him soon!<br /><br />Work wise, this week has been spent building...for the most part. We built a cover over the water tank at Napetet church (where our Bible institute is) to keep it a little cool. We also built the 12 benches for Nakechichok. <br /><br />Pastor Michael and I went with Josephat to Naduat to help in the Bible study. 17 made professions of faith and over 40 came for our mid-week service to learn more Bible doctrine. We are praying about organizing this work in August.<br /><br />On a personal note, I was travelling with Pastor David and his friend Asto to Nakechichok yesterday. I can only carry 4 benches per trip...and Asto wanted to see his buddy's work. They were sitting in the back seat because I had 2 of the benches inside and had to fold up the passenger seat to make room for the long benches. Any way...Asto was asking David about our churches, our pastors, and me. I had my i-pod on but I could still hear them. It was the coolest thing I have ever over heard! I will not share most of what I heard, lest you think I am full of myself. But I has humbled by the way Pastor David sees me and by what he says is the testimony of the Pastors I work with. <br /><br />According to him, I always come to the Pastors in a low way and put them before myself. Asto said a white man does not do that when dealing with Africans. David told him, "you do not know Ekiru". <br /><br />Please pray with me that I will always put these fine men of God ahead of myself. They are the work and the future of Turkana Missions...not me. <br /><br />My heart is full, my prayer is one of thanksgiving, and my cup runneth over!<br /><br />Thank you to all who log on and pray for us here in Turkana.<br /><br />Much love tonight,<br />Ekiru
Posted on 24 Jan 2010 by Eddie
2010...two thousand ten or twenty-ten...either way, it is a new year! With it comes hope, and a desire to be a more acceptable child of God...that the trials, sins, and failures of last year will not carry into this one. This is where I find myself tonight...with hope and promise.<br /><br />There has been much planning and prayer this week. I met with the pastors on Monday and again today. Every one had a great time of fellowship and my heart is encouraged greatly by their vision.<br /><br />The trouble in Kerio is finished. The soldiers are still there, but the road is open again and things are getting back to normal. I hope to finish the post work in Nangolipus next week. I went yesterday to measure the building at Nakechichok and to help in a medical clinic. We hope to build benches for this church before February.<br /><br />Pastors Michael and Steven have finished their planning. They will return to Sudan to help missionary John the first 2 weeks in February. I plan to follow them in March. Please pray for John and his work among the Tuposa. <br /><br />I got a report from his sponsoring church (Makina BC in Nairobi) and John said the folks in Sudan call us (the folks in Turkana) the Tuposa of Kenya. They claim to be the original tribe. All I know, the 2 groups share one language...so the pastors from here can go there and be an effective witness. I praise God for their vision and willingness to be used anywhere.<br /><br />We are also finalizing plans to drill more wells the last of January through the first 2 weeks of February. I hope to start at Nangolipus (they are the most remote and desperate for water) and then Nanyangakipi. Nakechichok now has 2 wells...so are no longer in great need. However, the folks in Naduat are thirsty. We hope to organize the Bible study there in August and a well would be a huge blessing to the new church. Please pray for these plans.<br /><br />We will take a survey tomorrow of a new village. It is (kind of) between Nakechichok and Nanyangakipi (we have churches in both of these villages)but a long ways away too. I am told it is a very large village but there is not a church of any kind there. Please help us pray for this survey trip and for God to open a door.<br /><br />That will make 8 villages we will be working in. While I praise God for what He has accomplished...it is a huge reminder, there is much work ahead of us. Please join us in prayer to the Lord of the harvest to raise up more laborers in Turkana.<br /><br />Thank you for all your love, support, encouraging words, and prayers. You are more of a blessing than you know.<br /><br />Much love,<br />Ekiru<br /><br />
Posted on 13 Jan 2010 by Eddie
To catch you up on my friends who came from America, they left Christmas night and were delayed in London because of the terrorist activity. They missed all their connecting flights...but are finally home...and are sick. Please pray for Heather, Josh, and Clint.<br /><br />I left Nairobi on the morning of the 27th and reached Eldoret with no problems. I started my long journey home this morning at 4:30am. If all went well, I should have been home in time for lunch.<br /><br />That did not happen!<br /><br />The road to Turkana has many dried river beds called logas. Being dry most of the year, you just drive over the sand and go on. There is a really long, deep loga at a village called Kalibok. <br /><br />My guys from Turkana told me they had more rain on Christmas. While I continue to praise God for this answer to prayer...I also knew it would present me with a problem at Kalibok.<br /><br />When I arrived at this loga this morning, there were literally hundreds...possibly a thousand people stranded. All were waiting for the water to drop enough so their modes of transportation could cross (buses, private cars and trucks). I drove up to the front of the line and got out to survey the situation myself.<br /><br />The water was over the top of my jeans and flowing very fast. However, people were able to cross. I walked out with them and as far as I could see...nothing but fast moving water!!<br /><br />I walked around the bend and saw a Toyota Hilux pickup that tried to cross and it was not dead in the water (literally). The water was flowing over the hood by several inches.<br /><br />I turned around at that point and made the decision I would have to wait like everyone else! URG!!<br /><br />When I got back to my truck, I placed a rock at the edge of the water to see if it was getting deeper or doing down. It was going down!!<br /><br />I waited about 2 hours and the water dropped about a foot in depth. The lori (semi truck) behind me asked me to move my truck...he was going to give it a try.<br /><br />I knew from past experience, I should go ahead of him because if he did not make it...he would block the road until a dozer could come (several days??) and drag him out of the muck. <br /><br />So I prayed, prayed, prayed...locked my truck into low 4-wheel drive, and started into the water.<br /><br />The loga is about 350-400 yards in length.<br /><br />The further I got into the water, naturally, the deeper the water got. When I reached the spot of the flooded Toyota Hilux, I made the decision to leave the road (praying the water would be lower out of the hole made by the road). I made it passed the truck!<br /><br />As I made my way back to where the road is supposed to be, the water began to freely flow over my hood and doors...several inches up the windows. Then I hit an unseen hole and the truck dropped down....what seemed to me in my terrified state...about 3 feet. The water completely covered my windshield and I was praying that it would not reach the end of my snorkel and flood my engine. I was also praying that the truck would just keep moving and not stick there.<br /><br />The truck began to struggle in the mud and the many waters that are pushing at the driver's side. I literally cried out for God's help. <br /><br />At that very moment, it seemed to me that an unseen hand just gently pushed the back of my truck and got me through that mess. I broke into tears of joy and shouts of praise!!<br /><br />I still had a long way to go before I was clear of the water. Again the fast moving flood began to flow over my hood...and again God delivered in a mighty way!! My engine stayed strong, my tires continued to find traction, and the truck kept moving.<br /><br />As the water level began to drop, the hundred of folks on the Lodwar side of the loga broke into cheers!<br /><br />I got out to survey the damage to my truck (there seems to be none) and was greeted like a celebrity! They all said they would have to spend the night there...and they would be talking of the white man in his Toyota Prado and his God that got him through!!<br /><br />I am home now and am still in awe at what God did today. My night guard came in about 6pm and was shocked to find me home. He said no truck has reached Lodwar today. That everyone is saying the loga at Kalibok has closed the road. I told him they do not know me and my God! <br /><br />I know some of you may read this and think it was a very stupid thing I did by trying to cross. I will quickly agree with you. All I can say is that in my heart of hearts, I knew God would help me cross. <br /><br />I start seminar on Monday. Please pray. We will finish our survey of the Old Testament. We will cover all the prophetic books in a week!!<br /><br />Happy New Year!!<br /><br />Much love to you and thankfulness to God,<br />Ekiru<br /><br />
Posted on 29 Dec 2009 by Eddie
I have 3 guests here from Arkansas. Heather & Josh Thompson, and Clint May have been with me since 7 December. I have thought much about how to capture all that has happened during their trip...but I found it better for me to listen to them tell the story. <br /><br />This will be a rather long post because it contains the reports Heather sent back to her friends and family as it happened. Please forgive the length. When I read her words, I allowed me to see Turkana through "fresh" eyes. I thought you might like a different perspective on the happenings in Northwestern Kenya.<br /><br />Enjoy!<br /><br />On the most recent episode of Life With Eddie!<br /><br />We had just flown up, were having problems finding timbers, and shared of the horrible drought.<br /><br />Currently, it has taken every day since that last mail to finally get all the lumber necessary to build in Nongolipus. We think and hope that, at least! We've driven to that little village several times the past couple of days dropping off the materials we had, and today finally just got the top plates on. It's been really super slow. <br /><br />Typically, Josh would have been through by now, but that's just how the ball rolls here sometimes-so many obstacles.<br /><br />Josh had to have surgery on some tendons on his elbow and wrist immediately after out trip last year. Since that time, he hasn't been able to return to construction work and it's really severely hampered him on this trip. He tried to give it a go, but his elbow just isn't really allowing him. As a result however, instead of him doing all the building (b/c he's so fast and could do it on his own quickly) he's gone into teaching mode. <br /><br />Today all the pastors of the other villages came and with Josh's help, they built all the trusses. So now that we have the remaining lumber, tomorrow he will help them set the trusses and begin the metal roofing. <br /><br />I feel badly for Josh b/c I know how important these trips are to him and he loves to do the work himself- yet on the other hand, it was so awesome to see the joy and happiness of these African pastors to be participating so much in the construction of one of their own buildings. <br /><br />Eddie's vehicle - We knew something would eventually happen, we all just didn't know when or what-but Eddie has had a vehicle mishap. It's only ironic b/c he NEVER has or has had truck problems until we come. We can only come to the conclusion that it's us. <br /><br />You would probably have to know the roads here to have a true idea of how rough they are-and some places, like Nongolipus, just don't have roads. But as we were leaving Nongolipus the other day, we came to another village of Nanyangakipi to drop off a few people. As we were there, we heard a horrible hissing noise- which we immediately thought was a tire, and prayed it wasn't the radiator. Turns out, that the metal plate that holds Eddie's battery in place had broken and the battery had dislodged and pressed into other parts of his engine (sorry for the technical terms) and had completely broken his Freon and a/c unit. The hissing noise was the Freon leaking out.<br /><br />I know-we shouldn't be crying in our buttermilk over lost a/c-and actually we aren't. These trips never used to have air conditioned vehicles, so there really is no point to being spoiled by it this year. However, it was a nice break from the heat and the sand. It's so hot in Eddie's house, that even my M&M's on his kitchen counter melted-so-a ride in the truck was a treat. But at least this way it's kinda like a high dollar spa-we get a luxurious sauna on wheels and a sandblasted exfoliation all at the same time. Where in the States can you get that combo?? ;-)<br /><br />And not saying it was "eddie's driving" (-but we can't take ALL the blame you know! Ha) but to give you an idea of how he drives--we just left Nanyangakipi this afternoon- dropped off some folk at Nanyangakipi- and were on our way to take another to Nakechichok. I'm looking down at my ipod to change music, and I think that must have been when Eddie took his eyes off the road, because we must have both looked up at the same time and screamed as we flew off an embankment landed and drove through some little shamba compound, flew up another embankment (which was really fun and bouncy) and had to refind the road. I guess the only American equivalent to that would be like taking out a picket fence, a mailbox, and dodging someone's entry way and front door before careening out the other side of their yard. <br /><br />Hmmm-.I may just shift the battery/AC debacle back to Eddie-. ;-) <br /><br />Speaking of not crying in our buttermilk and being spoiled- in the other email, I mentioned the drought here and how their river has been bone dry for almost 3 months now. Since that time, we've driven out of Lodwar town where Eddie lives and into the villages. I know it's a desert and a harsh environment already, but I've never seen it here in these conditions. Usually there are little tiny green scrubby bushes on the ground for a little grazing. But there's just nothing there! You can see all the rib cages of the camels and goats and they seriously aren't expecting any rains until March. It truly is a desperate situation and now that I've seen it with my own eyes, it's gut wrenching. It's images you can't get out of your mind. It's brutal, and unfortunately it's real. How will these people and their animals survive if rain doesn't come until Spring? I really ask that you guys please pray for rain for Turkana. <br /><br />Building will continue tomorrow. Vacation Bible Schools and ladies teachings begin Sunday through next week. Keep us in your prayers, but mainly, we want you to pray for rain!! <br /><br />Saturday 12-12-09<br />Oh My Goodness-I don't even know where to start with this day. So exciting. Full of adventure. And over abundant with God's blessings! <br /><br />Our hopes were to return to Nangolipus to set trusses and lath and have ready to put on the metal roof. This village (not the people-just figuratively speaking) has certainly presented us with numerous obstacles. Can't even explain the hindrances that continue to pop up. But today was one whale of a day-with not a hindrance, but the hugest blessing. <br /><br />We started at 5am as usual and got there fairly early after making our rounds to pick up all who ride with us. The guys get one truss up, and we notice way off in the distance dark clouds. Which doesn't necessarily mean anything. They have clouds all the time which tease of rain, but never produce a drop. And since we were all pretty scorched and sunburned from the day before (just can't stay protected enough out there regardless of the measures you take) we certainly were going to welcome any clouds that wanted to come our way. <br /><br />The winds came-immediately kicking up a mini sand storm-which eventually blew over and it looked as though nothing was going to happen. But wouldn't you know it, it came up the biggest rain they have had in over 2 years. It rained for over 5 hours. 1 �&frac12; hours of which was a super hard downpour. It was literally the most beautiful rain I have ever seen. I wish I could describe the joy and happiness in my heart for that moment-along with the realization that so much necessary relief is coming to the people and animals of Turkana. It was flat AWESOME!!!!! It was such a storm, that it even thundered and had quite a bit of lightning. Out of the 5 years Eddie has lived here, he has never seen it lightning before. So you can imagine it was quite a storm. Obviously in the states we're careful of lightning. But since these guys don't see much rain-especially storms-that often. It was a screaming frenzy of the mamas yelling for the kiddos to take shelter. <br />Along with the rain came a few minor challenges that obviously we would gladly receive any day!!<br /><br />Nongolipus is about 50 km from Eddie's house-about 1 �&frac12; hours to drive. It's located on the other side of the Kerio river (which is typically just a dry riverbed) and the remainder of the way past that point is about 6km of powder sand. Not an easy drive dry!<br /><br />Once it started raining, we knew we would probably have problems getting home. But then when it continued for over 5 hours, we figured we'd be stuck there for about 3 days. Just reality here, so we were already beginning to plan for rationing our food and water.<br /><br />There was a minor break in the middle of the rain, so we thought we'd try to make a run at getting out-but uhhhhh-.wow-powder sand and water-we couldn't get 30 yards past the church before bogging and sinking. <br /><br />We nixed that idea and the guys finished building what they could in the rain. Then it got super cold-comparatively speaking-it's usually 120 daily-but the temp was in the 60s and it was baridi sana-COLD VERY!! So once the rain ended we built a fire and dried our clothes the best we could. I've never enjoyed smelling like a camp fire as much as today. (and I was totally wishing for some marshmallows and hot dogs!!! Bummer! ;-) <br /><br />Not wanting to hang out there for a possible 3 days (especially considering it looked like more rain was coming), Eddie wanted to give it another go at getting out. (just gotta take a sidenote here and commend Toyota Land Cruisers! How on earth this vehicle does what it does is astounding! But I'll also tell you we prayed hard over this vehicle on more than one occasion today and the Lord was strong to deliver!) <br /><br />We decided to take another exit out and about 150 yards into our departure-STUCK!! It was gooey, mucky, and we could do nothing but go "WOW! We call this muddin' back home, but here, it's survival!" And of course we had to take pictures and laugh! Dug some ruts, Eddie eventually got unstuck and kinda sorta shot off like a rocket in his truck and we never saw him after that-at least not until after we walked 5 km following his truck tracks! And we were more than happy to walk if that meant he was driving and not sinking. But it was just so hilarious, b/c he just got up and GONE-and never even yelled out the window or nothing..just swerved and slid. Guess he was so excited to be getting out that he was in shock or something. To funny! And really really funny when we'd walk up on tracks where he completely took out some bushes or took out small hills-we could only imagine the bounces those caused!<br /><br />We caught up with him at the Kerio River, which was rocking along fairly well and I suppose you could say Eddie made an executive decision, punched it, and when we made it over to the other side, we all broke out in cheers and handclaps. (it's not every day you get a standing ovation for driving, eh?) <br /><br />I wish I could tell you it was all easy breezy after that, but basically it was like Tokyo Drift Turkana style the rest of the way for the next 3 hours-all sliding and sideways and what not and one of the rivers we had to empty out the car and walk across so Eddie could drive without all the weight. <br />And to top it all off, we just got back to Eddie's just a bit ago and the electricity was off. Gotta love it! (And gotta love gas stoves, b/c that was the only way we got to eat!!) <br /><br />At any rate-all are in bed-the power just came back on-and I'm wide awake in amazement at the day, at the rain, and of our Great God who so miraculously provided such a huge huge rain to this place and these people who are so on the verge of perilous disaster. The rivers are now full and flowing. The animals have watering holes. And in a couple of days the dessert will be so green and full of vegetation for the animals. This may very well be the most exciting day I have ever had in Africa-EVER!!! God kept us safe and got us home to Eddie's. What an awesome day. I just wish you guys were with me right now in person. It's a glorious thing here!!! <br />Tomorrow (Sunday), we were supposed to start our Vacation Bible schools and such at Kalikol, but with the rain and swollen rivers, we've had to cancel tomorrow and hopefully the sun will return and help dry the roads. Until then, we're isolated here in Lodwar. But that is ok. There couldn't be a bigger blessing than what occurred today. <br /><br />Thank you all so much for praying for rain. <br /><br />I just wish you were here to celebrate with me!!! <br />ht <br /><br />Sunday 12/13- 12/16/09<br />Due to the large rains on Saturday and narrowly making it back to Lodwar, Sunday was an off day. We weren't able to make it to any of the villages, so Eddie gave devotional here at his house. <br /><br />Hate to say it, but we were bored with so much time on our hands. We caught up on all laundry and dishes, Josh made us a set of dominoes out of cardboard, duct tape, and sharpie markers. (-and to think they made so much fun of me back home for packing duct tape-- never leave home w/o it! ;-) Josh also repaired Eddie's office chair. He just bought a nice swivel chair a few weeks back, but the first time he sat in it, the plastic legs and roller wheels broke - splashing him in all directions. So Josh took one of his dining room chairs, and with a bit of sawing, drilling, and manipulation, Eddie now has a leather office chair mounted to a wooden dining chair with rolling ball wheels screwed in to the wooden legs. (and YES it IS as nice as you're imagining. It has a quaint charm to it!! ;-)<br /><br />Monday, we had to put Eddie's ride in the shop. Just a few minor repairs and touch ups after Saturday's drive. Then we had our first Vacation Bible school and Ladies classes at Napetet Baptist Church here in Lodwar. Since it's Christmas time, we did lessons on the birth of Christ, why He had to come to earth, and how He is the only way to Heaven. For the ladies, we're doing lessons on Hagar-how she is the first person mentioned in the Bible that the Angel of the Lord (El Roi-The God who sees) appeared to, and how He provided for her in the desert. We're also discussing Mary Magdalene, her life and devotion to Christ, and how she was the first person Jesus revealed Himself to after His resurrection. We then treated the ladies to cookies and chai and later that night showed a movie.<br /><br />Tuesday we were FINALLY able to finish the building at Nangolipus. It was like the project that would never end. But happy to report that it is now finished!!!!!!!!! WHEW! <br /><br />Today (Wednesday) was like going around the world in 80 days. Since the building threw us off schedule, we traveled the village circuit doing Vacation Bible schools and ladies lessons. It was a super full day! <br /><br />Our last village stop was Nakechichok, which I was looking very much forward to visiting. That was the village last year where we built a church building, so was really anticipating reconnecting with the people and especially the kiddos. <br /><br />There were 3 in particular that grabbed my heart last year. 2 boys Elim Lim and Ekoi-who I could NEVER tell apart and we teased each other back and forth about how bad my memory was with names! And the other was Rebecca Sibi Erot (and you must be sure to roll your R's. when speaking her name. She corrected me several times last year. In the Turkana language, they roll their R's so much they sound like a dog fight when they speak. Very dramatic pronunciation.) She was always in my face talking 90 mph, full speed ahead, and when she tried to teach me some dances she literally fell to the ground and rolled in the dirt laughing. As you can see, I really wanted to reconnect.<br /><br />Rebecca was off with family, and when I asked Elim Lim about Ekoi, he acted as if he didn't know what I was talking about. I asked him again as we were leaving, but nothing. As we were driving off I asked Eddie, and he said there had been many who had died in that village, and when someone dies, they no longer speak of them. He said it's a cultural thing that they will never mention that person again. He said he couldn't be 100 percent sure that Ekoi has passed, but is almost certain. <br /><br />It is such a harsh place to live. Between droughts, illnesses and everything in between, death is daily to them. Anna, a lady from Nanyangakipi I talked to today, had twins about 2 years ago. She was unable to produce enough milk to feed both, so she had to choose between which child she would nurse and one she had to let die. <br /><br />My mind can't even begin to grapple those types of choices that are made here. <br /><br />And to think that prior to our trip, I honestly thought 2009 was such a trying and difficult year. <br /><br />12-17-2009<br /><br />Today was the day that I wish I didn't have to write.<br /><br />It started great. We got to sleep in and had plans to leave here at 1pm to go to Kalikol for VBS, ladies lessons and to go to Lake Turkana. <br /><br />But those plans never happened. <br /><br />When we first arrived here in Lodwar last week, we greeted little baby Eddie-a 2 month old baby belonging to Peter, the pastor out at Nanyangakipi. He was in Lodwar b/c he had just had surgery on his legs. He was born with his feet and ankles turned severely inward, and then his legs continued to turn inward at the knees. The hospital here in town broke his legs and reset the bones and he was in 2 full casts. (I highly doubt they are orthopedic surgeons here at Lodwar general hospital-so I can't say for certain how they do "surgeries" here.)<br /><br />We've transported little baby Eddie and his mom back and forth from Nanyangakipi to the hospital a few times for checkups. They had removed his casts on Monday, and although we didn't see him at that time, Eddie did, and he said little baby Eddie was fine. (sorry for throwing around so many "eddies". there are many children from the villages Eddie works in that are honorarily named after him.) <br /><br />Sometime around 11 or so this morning, we got a call that little baby Eddie had died at the hospital here in Lodwar, and we drove him and his mom back to Nanyangakipi. Peter asked if we would stay to help bury his son and Eddie preached the funeral. <br /><br />Last Saturday with all the excessive rains was my most favorite day in Kenya ever. Today was the worst. <br /><br />No one knows why he died. There are no answers. He seemed perfectly healthy on Monday. Eddie had to retrieve his body from the hospital (you have to pay money), and he said there were over 20 other little babies just like little baby Eddie in the mortuary. <br /><br />This is the part of Africa that kicks you in the teeth, and you have no way to come prepared for it. <br /><br />Please pray for Peter and his wife and their other 3 children. <br /><br />The Turkana are a people who don't show emotion. They are a people who do not cry. <br /><br />Although today they may have refrained tears, their eyes did not hide their pain. <br /><br />12-19-09<br />Our Turkana portion of the trip has wrapped up. We can all definitely say that this trip has been unlike any other. So diverse-from super high to super low-and will take time to ponder and discern what the Lord wants us to take away from this. <br /><br />Just even the drive back to Turkana had an unexpected twist. We had just entered Pokot land near the police barrier only to discover the road had been closed for over a day and a half. Traffic was backed up- car and lauries (similar to 18 wheelers) for quite a ways. The police said they didn't know when the road would reopen. He said there had been gun fighting, that people had been killed, and the government ordered troops in to regain control.<br /><br />So we sat there for about 20 minutes-.(about the length of Eddie's patience) ;-) then we started asking around about the situation. Then of all things, we saw a Coca Cola truck (a little Toyota) drive through. Eddie said, "if he can come through it, we can go through it." And with that, off we went. We did see some government vehicles and some military, but we never saw any evidence of fighting near the roadway, so we made it through with no problem. <br /><br />We spent the night in Eldoret, and at supper, they sat us in a room with a party of about 50 or so Africans. It was SO awesome, b/c they were having a Christmas party, (we're assuming it was a church fellowship b/c there was one white couple sitting with them and he was leading them in devotion and such) and they were singing Silent Night, and various Christmas songs, and I devoured every minute of it. It was such a beautiful blessing-Christmas isn't considered a "big" holiday here, so it's not celebrated much-so to hear Christmas songs and fellowship in their spirited celebration was a true blessing.<br /><br />However, I will say that one Christmas oddity in Eldoret was a very odd looking animated white Santa Claus that was continuously singing "The Yellow Rose of Texas" with the cutest little 4 year old African girl holding Santa's hand with an extreme look of glee on her face. <br /><br />We made it to Nairobi late this afternoon, and were in a minor wreck. No big deal. Hard to say whose fault, and no one stops to check damage or to check on the other people. So we and they went our separate ways. <br /><br />Tomorrow we head down to Amboseli and Mt. Kilimanjaro-which will make for a pretty nifty birthday adventure. (and should help me forget how old I'm getting ;-) At dinner tonight the waiters did an unusual take on the Happy Birthday song. It was incorporated with some African tribal chants along with some HeeeeYaaawws!!! (like the HeeYaw in the song Rawhide!.but minus the whip sound effect!.) I was definitely caught off guard with that early b-day serenade. I do wish it had been captured on video b/c they were really entertaining! <br /><br />Well, that about wraps up the updates. From here on out, we'll be hanging out with Eddie and giving him a chance to get out of the desert for a while to have good fun and fellowship and to celebrate Christmas with him.<br /><br />Thank you guys so much for your prayers, we've needed every one!!!<br /><br />So until we're back stateside!<br />MERRY CHRISTMAS!!<br /><br />Eddie, Heather, Josh, & Clint
Posted on 22 Dec 2009 by Eddie
After setting posts in the village of Nangolipus, I have tried, unsucessfully, to buy the timbers (boards) we will need to build the church building. Something has happened in the government. They are cracking down on illegal logging and it has resulted in a drastic shortage of materials. Nothing is reaching Lodwar...nothing!<br /><br />As I write this post, I have 3 guests (who are hopefully right now tucked into their beds at a guest house in Nairobi) flying tomorrow to Turkana. 2 of them are builders...and are supposed to help build the building that we can not buy supplies to do! URG!!<br /><br />I have to admit, that URG! was meant as humor. I am not the least bit frustrated by this. I look at it this way...God knows the guests are here. If He wants them to help build, He will provide a way for materials to reach Turkana. If not, then there must be something else we are to do. That is where the wonder and joy comes into play. I like to plan things out...but I LOVE it when God changes those plans. It helps me to remember 2 things: I am trying to do His work, therefore the plan is His to change. Also, for Him to change them...means He sees, is involved, and is shaping the future of Turkana Missions! I really love that last part! <br /><br />Sometimes, it seems I am all alone here. But nothing could be farther from the truth. I live here with God! He is my family (when my family is so far away), He is my friend (when there does not seem to anyone who understands me), and He is my Savior!<br /><br />Please pray for this group. Lord willing (and the creek does not rise...it has 2 different times before and I could not reach the airport in Loki (215kms from Lodwar) to collect my guests...who were forced to spend a night by themselves in Turkana!), I will reach them tomorrow.<br /><br />Please also pray for Pastor Peter's little boy, Eddie. He is about a month old now and things are not right with him. His eyes are not focussing and he seems to have little control over them. Both of legs turn at the knee, and again at the ankle. His feet are almost facing backwards. <br /><br />I carried the entire family today to Lodwar (after church). They hope to see a doctor tomorrow and to begin to build a plan (if possible) to repair the deformity in his lower limbs. I feel a great need to help...but am unsure right now as to how to proceed. <br /><br />If you read this and might want to help cover some medical costs (right now I do not know what they would be), please let me know. It will help me to know what I can offer to Peter and his family as options. <br /><br />Either way, please pray for little Eddie. He has a very long road ahead of him. But that takes me back to the wonder and joy of being in a place where our only real option is simple faith and trust in God! Peter's family has a beautiful peace about them...that can only come from God. <br /><br />Also, please pray for my very good friend George Pennell in Wiggins, MS. He is having surgery on 11 December. You can read the details he wrote in the comments section of my last post. I know he and his family covet all our prayers!<br /><br />Much love,<br />Ekiru
Posted on 06 Dec 2009 by Eddie
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What a day today...what a week too!!<br /><br />First, news from today at Nakechichok. A house full for services. We built 12 pews/benches this week and they are in the church now. They all were full with kids having to still sit on the ground. All the mamas who were suffering from TB have finished their treatment and are declared cured by the doctors! A boy that was feared dead when the family herds returned home without him was found. He was very sick(near death), but has made a full recovery! Mzee Paulo (for those who know him) gave testimony today of how God protected his camels from bandits. He is very, VERY near salvation. Please pray for him. He is the sweetest man I have met here in Turkana...but has yet to receive Christ. There were 2 saved today during the services! Pastor David taught on the power of the resurrection and I preached from 1 Tim 1:18-20. Look it up George, it is a great study!!<br /><br />I only carried 1 mama to Lodwar today. She is having trouble with a tooth and wants to see the dentist. This may not sound like much, but it is a huge testimony to the health of the people in this village. The rains continue, Turkana is in full bloom (like I have never seen before), and the folks are healthy and happy. It is beautiful...and all because God sent His blessing of rain. Even today, my heart soared to mountain tops when I saw the open plains moving with the wind. They are covered in calf high grass and it just sways when kissed by the breath of God! <br /><br />I have been given another goat. This one is from my newest parents. When a child is named after me, his parents are now my parents. Mzee Paulo (from above) and Helen are my adopted parents. He gave a huge goat to me today. We will enjoy/eat him soon!<br /><br />Work wise, this week has been spent building...for the most part. We built a cover over the water tank at Napetet church (where our Bible institute is) to keep it a little cool. We also built the 12 benches for Nakechichok. <br /><br />Pastor Michael and I went with Josephat to Naduat to help in the Bible study. 17 made professions of faith and over 40 came for our mid-week service to learn more Bible doctrine. We are praying about organizing this work in August.<br /><br />On a personal note, I was travelling with Pastor David and his friend Asto to Nakechichok yesterday. I can only carry 4 benches per trip...and Asto wanted to see his buddy's work. They were sitting in the back seat because I had 2 of the benches inside and had to fold up the passenger seat to make room for the long benches. Any way...Asto was asking David about our churches, our pastors, and me. I had my i-pod on but I could still hear them. It was the coolest thing I have ever over heard! I will not share most of what I heard, lest you think I am full of myself. But I has humbled by the way Pastor David sees me and by what he says is the testimony of the Pastors I work with. <br /><br />According to him, I always come to the Pastors in a low way and put them before myself. Asto said a white man does not do that when dealing with Africans. David told him, "you do not know Ekiru". <br /><br />Please pray with me that I will always put these fine men of God ahead of myself. They are the work and the future of Turkana Missions...not me. <br /><br />My heart is full, my prayer is one of thanksgiving, and my cup runneth over!<br /><br />Thank you to all who log on and pray for us here in Turkana.<br /><br />Much love tonight,<br />Ekiru
Posted on 24 Jan 2010 by Eddie
2010...two thousand ten or twenty-ten...either way, it is a new year! With it comes hope, and a desire to be a more acceptable child of God...that the trials, sins, and failures of last year will not carry into this one. This is where I find myself tonight...with hope and promise.<br /><br />There has been much planning and prayer this week. I met with the pastors on Monday and again today. Every one had a great time of fellowship and my heart is encouraged greatly by their vision.<br /><br />The trouble in Kerio is finished. The soldiers are still there, but the road is open again and things are getting back to normal. I hope to finish the post work in Nangolipus next week. I went yesterday to measure the building at Nakechichok and to help in a medical clinic. We hope to build benches for this church before February.<br /><br />Pastors Michael and Steven have finished their planning. They will return to Sudan to help missionary John the first 2 weeks in February. I plan to follow them in March. Please pray for John and his work among the Tuposa. <br /><br />I got a report from his sponsoring church (Makina BC in Nairobi) and John said the folks in Sudan call us (the folks in Turkana) the Tuposa of Kenya. They claim to be the original tribe. All I know, the 2 groups share one language...so the pastors from here can go there and be an effective witness. I praise God for their vision and willingness to be used anywhere.<br /><br />We are also finalizing plans to drill more wells the last of January through the first 2 weeks of February. I hope to start at Nangolipus (they are the most remote and desperate for water) and then Nanyangakipi. Nakechichok now has 2 wells...so are no longer in great need. However, the folks in Naduat are thirsty. We hope to organize the Bible study there in August and a well would be a huge blessing to the new church. Please pray for these plans.<br /><br />We will take a survey tomorrow of a new village. It is (kind of) between Nakechichok and Nanyangakipi (we have churches in both of these villages)but a long ways away too. I am told it is a very large village but there is not a church of any kind there. Please help us pray for this survey trip and for God to open a door.<br /><br />That will make 8 villages we will be working in. While I praise God for what He has accomplished...it is a huge reminder, there is much work ahead of us. Please join us in prayer to the Lord of the harvest to raise up more laborers in Turkana.<br /><br />Thank you for all your love, support, encouraging words, and prayers. You are more of a blessing than you know.<br /><br />Much love,<br />Ekiru<br /><br />
Posted on 13 Jan 2010 by Eddie
To catch you up on my friends who came from America, they left Christmas night and were delayed in London because of the terrorist activity. They missed all their connecting flights...but are finally home...and are sick. Please pray for Heather, Josh, and Clint.<br /><br />I left Nairobi on the morning of the 27th and reached Eldoret with no problems. I started my long journey home this morning at 4:30am. If all went well, I should have been home in time for lunch.<br /><br />That did not happen!<br /><br />The road to Turkana has many dried river beds called logas. Being dry most of the year, you just drive over the sand and go on. There is a really long, deep loga at a village called Kalibok. <br /><br />My guys from Turkana told me they had more rain on Christmas. While I continue to praise God for this answer to prayer...I also knew it would present me with a problem at Kalibok.<br /><br />When I arrived at this loga this morning, there were literally hundreds...possibly a thousand people stranded. All were waiting for the water to drop enough so their modes of transportation could cross (buses, private cars and trucks). I drove up to the front of the line and got out to survey the situation myself.<br /><br />The water was over the top of my jeans and flowing very fast. However, people were able to cross. I walked out with them and as far as I could see...nothing but fast moving water!!<br /><br />I walked around the bend and saw a Toyota Hilux pickup that tried to cross and it was not dead in the water (literally). The water was flowing over the hood by several inches.<br /><br />I turned around at that point and made the decision I would have to wait like everyone else! URG!!<br /><br />When I got back to my truck, I placed a rock at the edge of the water to see if it was getting deeper or doing down. It was going down!!<br /><br />I waited about 2 hours and the water dropped about a foot in depth. The lori (semi truck) behind me asked me to move my truck...he was going to give it a try.<br /><br />I knew from past experience, I should go ahead of him because if he did not make it...he would block the road until a dozer could come (several days??) and drag him out of the muck. <br /><br />So I prayed, prayed, prayed...locked my truck into low 4-wheel drive, and started into the water.<br /><br />The loga is about 350-400 yards in length.<br /><br />The further I got into the water, naturally, the deeper the water got. When I reached the spot of the flooded Toyota Hilux, I made the decision to leave the road (praying the water would be lower out of the hole made by the road). I made it passed the truck!<br /><br />As I made my way back to where the road is supposed to be, the water began to freely flow over my hood and doors...several inches up the windows. Then I hit an unseen hole and the truck dropped down....what seemed to me in my terrified state...about 3 feet. The water completely covered my windshield and I was praying that it would not reach the end of my snorkel and flood my engine. I was also praying that the truck would just keep moving and not stick there.<br /><br />The truck began to struggle in the mud and the many waters that are pushing at the driver's side. I literally cried out for God's help. <br /><br />At that very moment, it seemed to me that an unseen hand just gently pushed the back of my truck and got me through that mess. I broke into tears of joy and shouts of praise!!<br /><br />I still had a long way to go before I was clear of the water. Again the fast moving flood began to flow over my hood...and again God delivered in a mighty way!! My engine stayed strong, my tires continued to find traction, and the truck kept moving.<br /><br />As the water level began to drop, the hundred of folks on the Lodwar side of the loga broke into cheers!<br /><br />I got out to survey the damage to my truck (there seems to be none) and was greeted like a celebrity! They all said they would have to spend the night there...and they would be talking of the white man in his Toyota Prado and his God that got him through!!<br /><br />I am home now and am still in awe at what God did today. My night guard came in about 6pm and was shocked to find me home. He said no truck has reached Lodwar today. That everyone is saying the loga at Kalibok has closed the road. I told him they do not know me and my God! <br /><br />I know some of you may read this and think it was a very stupid thing I did by trying to cross. I will quickly agree with you. All I can say is that in my heart of hearts, I knew God would help me cross. <br /><br />I start seminar on Monday. Please pray. We will finish our survey of the Old Testament. We will cover all the prophetic books in a week!!<br /><br />Happy New Year!!<br /><br />Much love to you and thankfulness to God,<br />Ekiru<br /><br />
Posted on 29 Dec 2009 by Eddie
I have 3 guests here from Arkansas. Heather & Josh Thompson, and Clint May have been with me since 7 December. I have thought much about how to capture all that has happened during their trip...but I found it better for me to listen to them tell the story. <br /><br />This will be a rather long post because it contains the reports Heather sent back to her friends and family as it happened. Please forgive the length. When I read her words, I allowed me to see Turkana through "fresh" eyes. I thought you might like a different perspective on the happenings in Northwestern Kenya.<br /><br />Enjoy!<br /><br />On the most recent episode of Life With Eddie!<br /><br />We had just flown up, were having problems finding timbers, and shared of the horrible drought.<br /><br />Currently, it has taken every day since that last mail to finally get all the lumber necessary to build in Nongolipus. We think and hope that, at least! We've driven to that little village several times the past couple of days dropping off the materials we had, and today finally just got the top plates on. It's been really super slow. <br /><br />Typically, Josh would have been through by now, but that's just how the ball rolls here sometimes-so many obstacles.<br /><br />Josh had to have surgery on some tendons on his elbow and wrist immediately after out trip last year. Since that time, he hasn't been able to return to construction work and it's really severely hampered him on this trip. He tried to give it a go, but his elbow just isn't really allowing him. As a result however, instead of him doing all the building (b/c he's so fast and could do it on his own quickly) he's gone into teaching mode. <br /><br />Today all the pastors of the other villages came and with Josh's help, they built all the trusses. So now that we have the remaining lumber, tomorrow he will help them set the trusses and begin the metal roofing. <br /><br />I feel badly for Josh b/c I know how important these trips are to him and he loves to do the work himself- yet on the other hand, it was so awesome to see the joy and happiness of these African pastors to be participating so much in the construction of one of their own buildings. <br /><br />Eddie's vehicle - We knew something would eventually happen, we all just didn't know when or what-but Eddie has had a vehicle mishap. It's only ironic b/c he NEVER has or has had truck problems until we come. We can only come to the conclusion that it's us. <br /><br />You would probably have to know the roads here to have a true idea of how rough they are-and some places, like Nongolipus, just don't have roads. But as we were leaving Nongolipus the other day, we came to another village of Nanyangakipi to drop off a few people. As we were there, we heard a horrible hissing noise- which we immediately thought was a tire, and prayed it wasn't the radiator. Turns out, that the metal plate that holds Eddie's battery in place had broken and the battery had dislodged and pressed into other parts of his engine (sorry for the technical terms) and had completely broken his Freon and a/c unit. The hissing noise was the Freon leaking out.<br /><br />I know-we shouldn't be crying in our buttermilk over lost a/c-and actually we aren't. These trips never used to have air conditioned vehicles, so there really is no point to being spoiled by it this year. However, it was a nice break from the heat and the sand. It's so hot in Eddie's house, that even my M&M's on his kitchen counter melted-so-a ride in the truck was a treat. But at least this way it's kinda like a high dollar spa-we get a luxurious sauna on wheels and a sandblasted exfoliation all at the same time. Where in the States can you get that combo?? ;-)<br /><br />And not saying it was "eddie's driving" (-but we can't take ALL the blame you know! Ha) but to give you an idea of how he drives--we just left Nanyangakipi this afternoon- dropped off some folk at Nanyangakipi- and were on our way to take another to Nakechichok. I'm looking down at my ipod to change music, and I think that must have been when Eddie took his eyes off the road, because we must have both looked up at the same time and screamed as we flew off an embankment landed and drove through some little shamba compound, flew up another embankment (which was really fun and bouncy) and had to refind the road. I guess the only American equivalent to that would be like taking out a picket fence, a mailbox, and dodging someone's entry way and front door before careening out the other side of their yard. <br /><br />Hmmm-.I may just shift the battery/AC debacle back to Eddie-. ;-) <br /><br />Speaking of not crying in our buttermilk and being spoiled- in the other email, I mentioned the drought here and how their river has been bone dry for almost 3 months now. Since that time, we've driven out of Lodwar town where Eddie lives and into the villages. I know it's a desert and a harsh environment already, but I've never seen it here in these conditions. Usually there are little tiny green scrubby bushes on the ground for a little grazing. But there's just nothing there! You can see all the rib cages of the camels and goats and they seriously aren't expecting any rains until March. It truly is a desperate situation and now that I've seen it with my own eyes, it's gut wrenching. It's images you can't get out of your mind. It's brutal, and unfortunately it's real. How will these people and their animals survive if rain doesn't come until Spring? I really ask that you guys please pray for rain for Turkana. <br /><br />Building will continue tomorrow. Vacation Bible Schools and ladies teachings begin Sunday through next week. Keep us in your prayers, but mainly, we want you to pray for rain!! <br /><br />Saturday 12-12-09<br />Oh My Goodness-I don't even know where to start with this day. So exciting. Full of adventure. And over abundant with God's blessings! <br /><br />Our hopes were to return to Nangolipus to set trusses and lath and have ready to put on the metal roof. This village (not the people-just figuratively speaking) has certainly presented us with numerous obstacles. Can't even explain the hindrances that continue to pop up. But today was one whale of a day-with not a hindrance, but the hugest blessing. <br /><br />We started at 5am as usual and got there fairly early after making our rounds to pick up all who ride with us. The guys get one truss up, and we notice way off in the distance dark clouds. Which doesn't necessarily mean anything. They have clouds all the time which tease of rain, but never produce a drop. And since we were all pretty scorched and sunburned from the day before (just can't stay protected enough out there regardless of the measures you take) we certainly were going to welcome any clouds that wanted to come our way. <br /><br />The winds came-immediately kicking up a mini sand storm-which eventually blew over and it looked as though nothing was going to happen. But wouldn't you know it, it came up the biggest rain they have had in over 2 years. It rained for over 5 hours. 1 �&frac12; hours of which was a super hard downpour. It was literally the most beautiful rain I have ever seen. I wish I could describe the joy and happiness in my heart for that moment-along with the realization that so much necessary relief is coming to the people and animals of Turkana. It was flat AWESOME!!!!! It was such a storm, that it even thundered and had quite a bit of lightning. Out of the 5 years Eddie has lived here, he has never seen it lightning before. So you can imagine it was quite a storm. Obviously in the states we're careful of lightning. But since these guys don't see much rain-especially storms-that often. It was a screaming frenzy of the mamas yelling for the kiddos to take shelter. <br />Along with the rain came a few minor challenges that obviously we would gladly receive any day!!<br /><br />Nongolipus is about 50 km from Eddie's house-about 1 �&frac12; hours to drive. It's located on the other side of the Kerio river (which is typically just a dry riverbed) and the remainder of the way past that point is about 6km of powder sand. Not an easy drive dry!<br /><br />Once it started raining, we knew we would probably have problems getting home. But then when it continued for over 5 hours, we figured we'd be stuck there for about 3 days. Just reality here, so we were already beginning to plan for rationing our food and water.<br /><br />There was a minor break in the middle of the rain, so we thought we'd try to make a run at getting out-but uhhhhh-.wow-powder sand and water-we couldn't get 30 yards past the church before bogging and sinking. <br /><br />We nixed that idea and the guys finished building what they could in the rain. Then it got super cold-comparatively speaking-it's usually 120 daily-but the temp was in the 60s and it was baridi sana-COLD VERY!! So once the rain ended we built a fire and dried our clothes the best we could. I've never enjoyed smelling like a camp fire as much as today. (and I was totally wishing for some marshmallows and hot dogs!!! Bummer! ;-) <br /><br />Not wanting to hang out there for a possible 3 days (especially considering it looked like more rain was coming), Eddie wanted to give it another go at getting out. (just gotta take a sidenote here and commend Toyota Land Cruisers! How on earth this vehicle does what it does is astounding! But I'll also tell you we prayed hard over this vehicle on more than one occasion today and the Lord was strong to deliver!) <br /><br />We decided to take another exit out and about 150 yards into our departure-STUCK!! It was gooey, mucky, and we could do nothing but go "WOW! We call this muddin' back home, but here, it's survival!" And of course we had to take pictures and laugh! Dug some ruts, Eddie eventually got unstuck and kinda sorta shot off like a rocket in his truck and we never saw him after that-at least not until after we walked 5 km following his truck tracks! And we were more than happy to walk if that meant he was driving and not sinking. But it was just so hilarious, b/c he just got up and GONE-and never even yelled out the window or nothing..just swerved and slid. Guess he was so excited to be getting out that he was in shock or something. To funny! And really really funny when we'd walk up on tracks where he completely took out some bushes or took out small hills-we could only imagine the bounces those caused!<br /><br />We caught up with him at the Kerio River, which was rocking along fairly well and I suppose you could say Eddie made an executive decision, punched it, and when we made it over to the other side, we all broke out in cheers and handclaps. (it's not every day you get a standing ovation for driving, eh?) <br /><br />I wish I could tell you it was all easy breezy after that, but basically it was like Tokyo Drift Turkana style the rest of the way for the next 3 hours-all sliding and sideways and what not and one of the rivers we had to empty out the car and walk across so Eddie could drive without all the weight. <br />And to top it all off, we just got back to Eddie's just a bit ago and the electricity was off. Gotta love it! (And gotta love gas stoves, b/c that was the only way we got to eat!!) <br /><br />At any rate-all are in bed-the power just came back on-and I'm wide awake in amazement at the day, at the rain, and of our Great God who so miraculously provided such a huge huge rain to this place and these people who are so on the verge of perilous disaster. The rivers are now full and flowing. The animals have watering holes. And in a couple of days the dessert will be so green and full of vegetation for the animals. This may very well be the most exciting day I have ever had in Africa-EVER!!! God kept us safe and got us home to Eddie's. What an awesome day. I just wish you guys were with me right now in person. It's a glorious thing here!!! <br />Tomorrow (Sunday), we were supposed to start our Vacation Bible schools and such at Kalikol, but with the rain and swollen rivers, we've had to cancel tomorrow and hopefully the sun will return and help dry the roads. Until then, we're isolated here in Lodwar. But that is ok. There couldn't be a bigger blessing than what occurred today. <br /><br />Thank you all so much for praying for rain. <br /><br />I just wish you were here to celebrate with me!!! <br />ht <br /><br />Sunday 12/13- 12/16/09<br />Due to the large rains on Saturday and narrowly making it back to Lodwar, Sunday was an off day. We weren't able to make it to any of the villages, so Eddie gave devotional here at his house. <br /><br />Hate to say it, but we were bored with so much time on our hands. We caught up on all laundry and dishes, Josh made us a set of dominoes out of cardboard, duct tape, and sharpie markers. (-and to think they made so much fun of me back home for packing duct tape-- never leave home w/o it! ;-) Josh also repaired Eddie's office chair. He just bought a nice swivel chair a few weeks back, but the first time he sat in it, the plastic legs and roller wheels broke - splashing him in all directions. So Josh took one of his dining room chairs, and with a bit of sawing, drilling, and manipulation, Eddie now has a leather office chair mounted to a wooden dining chair with rolling ball wheels screwed in to the wooden legs. (and YES it IS as nice as you're imagining. It has a quaint charm to it!! ;-)<br /><br />Monday, we had to put Eddie's ride in the shop. Just a few minor repairs and touch ups after Saturday's drive. Then we had our first Vacation Bible school and Ladies classes at Napetet Baptist Church here in Lodwar. Since it's Christmas time, we did lessons on the birth of Christ, why He had to come to earth, and how He is the only way to Heaven. For the ladies, we're doing lessons on Hagar-how she is the first person mentioned in the Bible that the Angel of the Lord (El Roi-The God who sees) appeared to, and how He provided for her in the desert. We're also discussing Mary Magdalene, her life and devotion to Christ, and how she was the first person Jesus revealed Himself to after His resurrection. We then treated the ladies to cookies and chai and later that night showed a movie.<br /><br />Tuesday we were FINALLY able to finish the building at Nangolipus. It was like the project that would never end. But happy to report that it is now finished!!!!!!!!! WHEW! <br /><br />Today (Wednesday) was like going around the world in 80 days. Since the building threw us off schedule, we traveled the village circuit doing Vacation Bible schools and ladies lessons. It was a super full day! <br /><br />Our last village stop was Nakechichok, which I was looking very much forward to visiting. That was the village last year where we built a church building, so was really anticipating reconnecting with the people and especially the kiddos. <br /><br />There were 3 in particular that grabbed my heart last year. 2 boys Elim Lim and Ekoi-who I could NEVER tell apart and we teased each other back and forth about how bad my memory was with names! And the other was Rebecca Sibi Erot (and you must be sure to roll your R's. when speaking her name. She corrected me several times last year. In the Turkana language, they roll their R's so much they sound like a dog fight when they speak. Very dramatic pronunciation.) She was always in my face talking 90 mph, full speed ahead, and when she tried to teach me some dances she literally fell to the ground and rolled in the dirt laughing. As you can see, I really wanted to reconnect.<br /><br />Rebecca was off with family, and when I asked Elim Lim about Ekoi, he acted as if he didn't know what I was talking about. I asked him again as we were leaving, but nothing. As we were driving off I asked Eddie, and he said there had been many who had died in that village, and when someone dies, they no longer speak of them. He said it's a cultural thing that they will never mention that person again. He said he couldn't be 100 percent sure that Ekoi has passed, but is almost certain. <br /><br />It is such a harsh place to live. Between droughts, illnesses and everything in between, death is daily to them. Anna, a lady from Nanyangakipi I talked to today, had twins about 2 years ago. She was unable to produce enough milk to feed both, so she had to choose between which child she would nurse and one she had to let die. <br /><br />My mind can't even begin to grapple those types of choices that are made here. <br /><br />And to think that prior to our trip, I honestly thought 2009 was such a trying and difficult year. <br /><br />12-17-2009<br /><br />Today was the day that I wish I didn't have to write.<br /><br />It started great. We got to sleep in and had plans to leave here at 1pm to go to Kalikol for VBS, ladies lessons and to go to Lake Turkana. <br /><br />But those plans never happened. <br /><br />When we first arrived here in Lodwar last week, we greeted little baby Eddie-a 2 month old baby belonging to Peter, the pastor out at Nanyangakipi. He was in Lodwar b/c he had just had surgery on his legs. He was born with his feet and ankles turned severely inward, and then his legs continued to turn inward at the knees. The hospital here in town broke his legs and reset the bones and he was in 2 full casts. (I highly doubt they are orthopedic surgeons here at Lodwar general hospital-so I can't say for certain how they do "surgeries" here.)<br /><br />We've transported little baby Eddie and his mom back and forth from Nanyangakipi to the hospital a few times for checkups. They had removed his casts on Monday, and although we didn't see him at that time, Eddie did, and he said little baby Eddie was fine. (sorry for throwing around so many "eddies". there are many children from the villages Eddie works in that are honorarily named after him.) <br /><br />Sometime around 11 or so this morning, we got a call that little baby Eddie had died at the hospital here in Lodwar, and we drove him and his mom back to Nanyangakipi. Peter asked if we would stay to help bury his son and Eddie preached the funeral. <br /><br />Last Saturday with all the excessive rains was my most favorite day in Kenya ever. Today was the worst. <br /><br />No one knows why he died. There are no answers. He seemed perfectly healthy on Monday. Eddie had to retrieve his body from the hospital (you have to pay money), and he said there were over 20 other little babies just like little baby Eddie in the mortuary. <br /><br />This is the part of Africa that kicks you in the teeth, and you have no way to come prepared for it. <br /><br />Please pray for Peter and his wife and their other 3 children. <br /><br />The Turkana are a people who don't show emotion. They are a people who do not cry. <br /><br />Although today they may have refrained tears, their eyes did not hide their pain. <br /><br />12-19-09<br />Our Turkana portion of the trip has wrapped up. We can all definitely say that this trip has been unlike any other. So diverse-from super high to super low-and will take time to ponder and discern what the Lord wants us to take away from this. <br /><br />Just even the drive back to Turkana had an unexpected twist. We had just entered Pokot land near the police barrier only to discover the road had been closed for over a day and a half. Traffic was backed up- car and lauries (similar to 18 wheelers) for quite a ways. The police said they didn't know when the road would reopen. He said there had been gun fighting, that people had been killed, and the government ordered troops in to regain control.<br /><br />So we sat there for about 20 minutes-.(about the length of Eddie's patience) ;-) then we started asking around about the situation. Then of all things, we saw a Coca Cola truck (a little Toyota) drive through. Eddie said, "if he can come through it, we can go through it." And with that, off we went. We did see some government vehicles and some military, but we never saw any evidence of fighting near the roadway, so we made it through with no problem. <br /><br />We spent the night in Eldoret, and at supper, they sat us in a room with a party of about 50 or so Africans. It was SO awesome, b/c they were having a Christmas party, (we're assuming it was a church fellowship b/c there was one white couple sitting with them and he was leading them in devotion and such) and they were singing Silent Night, and various Christmas songs, and I devoured every minute of it. It was such a beautiful blessing-Christmas isn't considered a "big" holiday here, so it's not celebrated much-so to hear Christmas songs and fellowship in their spirited celebration was a true blessing.<br /><br />However, I will say that one Christmas oddity in Eldoret was a very odd looking animated white Santa Claus that was continuously singing "The Yellow Rose of Texas" with the cutest little 4 year old African girl holding Santa's hand with an extreme look of glee on her face. <br /><br />We made it to Nairobi late this afternoon, and were in a minor wreck. No big deal. Hard to say whose fault, and no one stops to check damage or to check on the other people. So we and they went our separate ways. <br /><br />Tomorrow we head down to Amboseli and Mt. Kilimanjaro-which will make for a pretty nifty birthday adventure. (and should help me forget how old I'm getting ;-) At dinner tonight the waiters did an unusual take on the Happy Birthday song. It was incorporated with some African tribal chants along with some HeeeeYaaawws!!! (like the HeeYaw in the song Rawhide!.but minus the whip sound effect!.) I was definitely caught off guard with that early b-day serenade. I do wish it had been captured on video b/c they were really entertaining! <br /><br />Well, that about wraps up the updates. From here on out, we'll be hanging out with Eddie and giving him a chance to get out of the desert for a while to have good fun and fellowship and to celebrate Christmas with him.<br /><br />Thank you guys so much for your prayers, we've needed every one!!!<br /><br />So until we're back stateside!<br />MERRY CHRISTMAS!!<br /><br />Eddie, Heather, Josh, & Clint
Posted on 22 Dec 2009 by Eddie
After setting posts in the village of Nangolipus, I have tried, unsucessfully, to buy the timbers (boards) we will need to build the church building. Something has happened in the government. They are cracking down on illegal logging and it has resulted in a drastic shortage of materials. Nothing is reaching Lodwar...nothing!<br /><br />As I write this post, I have 3 guests (who are hopefully right now tucked into their beds at a guest house in Nairobi) flying tomorrow to Turkana. 2 of them are builders...and are supposed to help build the building that we can not buy supplies to do! URG!!<br /><br />I have to admit, that URG! was meant as humor. I am not the least bit frustrated by this. I look at it this way...God knows the guests are here. If He wants them to help build, He will provide a way for materials to reach Turkana. If not, then there must be something else we are to do. That is where the wonder and joy comes into play. I like to plan things out...but I LOVE it when God changes those plans. It helps me to remember 2 things: I am trying to do His work, therefore the plan is His to change. Also, for Him to change them...means He sees, is involved, and is shaping the future of Turkana Missions! I really love that last part! <br /><br />Sometimes, it seems I am all alone here. But nothing could be farther from the truth. I live here with God! He is my family (when my family is so far away), He is my friend (when there does not seem to anyone who understands me), and He is my Savior!<br /><br />Please pray for this group. Lord willing (and the creek does not rise...it has 2 different times before and I could not reach the airport in Loki (215kms from Lodwar) to collect my guests...who were forced to spend a night by themselves in Turkana!), I will reach them tomorrow.<br /><br />Please also pray for Pastor Peter's little boy, Eddie. He is about a month old now and things are not right with him. His eyes are not focussing and he seems to have little control over them. Both of legs turn at the knee, and again at the ankle. His feet are almost facing backwards. <br /><br />I carried the entire family today to Lodwar (after church). They hope to see a doctor tomorrow and to begin to build a plan (if possible) to repair the deformity in his lower limbs. I feel a great need to help...but am unsure right now as to how to proceed. <br /><br />If you read this and might want to help cover some medical costs (right now I do not know what they would be), please let me know. It will help me to know what I can offer to Peter and his family as options. <br /><br />Either way, please pray for little Eddie. He has a very long road ahead of him. But that takes me back to the wonder and joy of being in a place where our only real option is simple faith and trust in God! Peter's family has a beautiful peace about them...that can only come from God. <br /><br />Also, please pray for my very good friend George Pennell in Wiggins, MS. He is having surgery on 11 December. You can read the details he wrote in the comments section of my last post. I know he and his family covet all our prayers!<br /><br />Much love,<br />Ekiru
Posted on 06 Dec 2009 by Eddie
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