JESUS CHRISTIANS NEWSLETTER #104, SEPTEMBER 2008
This month a team went to Nairobi to distribute books and to visit Giddy's
relatives. The guys found a new spot near a very busy market where they were
swarmed by people who wanted to get their hands on the meaningful books. Two
of our main school book distributors in Nairobi took a break this month because
of the school holidays. They already have orders pending for September at
various schools in the capital city and other province.
An Australian couple with their thirteen year old son stayed at our centre for
a week towards the end of the month, along with several pastors from their
associated churches in Africa, while they held a pastors convention nearby.
They mostly preached on the need for accountability and the appropriate use of
funds, as well as raising issues such as equality of the sexes and overcoming
superstitions. After their stay with us they returned to Uganda where they
have been ministering for the last seven months.
Kim also arrived back from Australia where she visited relatives and did some
business. Kim's and Fran's relatives were happy to have Kim stay with them for
days at a time. Fran's relatives in particular appreciated the chance to get
to know Kim more and are very happy to have her as part of their extended
family. All the relatives sent lots of "goodies" back to Kenya with Kim, which
were greatly appreciated here.
This month we hosted volunteers from various places, including a group of
Japanese volunteers and one from Argentina. We also had some previous Kenyan
volunteers return to work with us during the holidays. Our volunteer centre
continues to appeal to international volunteers who are looking for cheap/free
opportunities to help the Kenyan community. Unfortunately many volunteer
organizations charge exhorbitant amounts of money for the privilege to work for
free, and volunteers sometimes leave disillusioned by the greed and corruption
they see within such organizations. Fortunately, every volunteer who has
worked with us has given glowing reports about their times with us, sometimes
posting such reports online. One volunteer wrote on her blog:
"These people are awesome, and we truly felt part of a community while we lived
there. We shared meals, stories, and games together, and respected each
other's quiet times. When we weren't working with the kids, we put ourselves
to good use bettering the community center... I miss them, I miss the
friendships we made, I miss the kids, I miss being of service, and more than
anything, I miss the feeling of pure bliss I experienced in finding my true
calling. Save for the six-day silent meditation retreat I did several months
after [my husband] and I were married, I've never felt more alive and free and
in touch with my true self than when I spent those eight great days in western
Kenya. Someday I will go back."
An orphanage from a nearby town brought all 30 children to our centre to go on
an excursion to the local forest and play football (soccer) with us afterwards.
It was a lot of fun having the kids around and we all enjoyed our time together.
Several of the children also put on a show for us where they presented some
traditional songs as well as some original ones composed by themselves.
The Lions Club held a free eye clinic this month, offering people examinations
and treatment for serious eye problems, as well as glasses at subsidised rates.
We were able to pass the word around and took several people from our local
area to the eye camp. One 17 year old boy, who is going blind, was offered a
free eye operation that would restore his vision. Unfortunately, his mother
refused for him to get treatment, most likely because of a superstitious belief
about operations. Despite attempts to persuade her by her neighbours, she was
unwilling to give the boy permission to receive the free eye operation that
normally would cost hundreds of dollars, far above the reach of poor people
such as them. Some of the other people we took to the eye camp received
treatment and were offered further examinations for free at a famous eye
hospital in Western Kenya.
Our "Peace Kenya" T-shirt project has continued on, despite attempts to slow
down our production and shift towards restarting the reading program in the
schools this coming month. Boda Boda (bicycle taxi) drivers are particularly
keen on them and we have been inspired to supply them with the shirts as they
advertise the message throughout the main roads of towns and villages. We also
continue to receive large orders from people from other areas and provinces.
Fran and Giddy worked together to record a new reggae song called "When Love Is
Our Philosophy" which is now available on our music page: www.music.
In Australia, Ross and Barry have been hitting towns in outback New South Wales
and Queensland that have not been visited by members of our community for many
years. They have been very well received.
Cherry has written a new article, which appears on our web site. It's called
Issues continue to be discussed on our forum. There have been heated
discussions this month on such subjects as abortion and homosexuality:
The Jeremy Kyle Show on ourselves was rebroadcast in the U.K. twice during the
last month, bringing in scores of new responses from viewers who were able to
see through the chicanery of the producers. Read some of their comments here:
Another one of our members is getting very close to being able to donate a
kidney, and there has been intense media interest in it. Hopefully we will
have more on that next month.