The Story that is My Life

My life as it has been and as it continues to unfold is a story. One story made up of many stories. One complex, yet simple story. One sometimes messy, but so beautiful story. One story that I wonder if it might be interesting to be told.

This blog is my attempt to put part, or parts, of that story into words, pictures, or whatever form my mind can wrap itself around or create from within myself to express what it is like to be the one inside Cindy's Story. This is an exploration on my part and on yours in reading, and seeing, and maybe even hearing. It is not necessarily chronological. It might not always make sense, but it is my expression. It is me.

You are invited to see how my story unfolds.....

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Kenya Month Three; November 29, 2000

[The following prayer update was written by me from Africa about three months after arriving there.  I am including these writings from Kenya in my blog because they tell a part of my story I want to remember.  You can relive the story with me as I discover the things I did and went through in Africa and my thoughts along the way.  I like this letter because it shows me how God answers prayer and shows me that people still have needs.]

Wednesday, November 29, 2000

Dear Friends and Family,

Bwana Asafiwe!
Praise the Lord!

God really is so good and loving to us, knowing all our needs and taking care of each one of them in His perfect timing.

Asante Sana!  Thank you so much for all your prayers!  God is listening to you and answering in many ways.  You have all been such an encouragement to me over this past month.  Many of you have written and said that you are praying and have even offered your help in various other ways.  I am so encouraged and humbled by the way God is moving in your lives and using me even in times that I feel so week.  All glory goes to Him.  Let me share with you some of the ways that God has answered your prayers:

* Food.  The day after I sent off my last Prayer Update, which included the need for prayer for food for the children, food arrived!  Bags of relief food were brought to the school for the children's lunches the ver day after the previous supply had all been eaten.  God answered our prayer at just the right time, and the kids did not have to go without food for even a day.

* A friend.  You have been praying for a friend for me, well God is sending me a partner to share in friendship and ministry with the Kamba people very soon!  She is a girl from England who has recently finished her high school studies.  She will be arriving in January and joining me shortly after.  We will live together and teach in the same school.  It will be nice to have someone to share things with.  She will be able to take on some of the subjects that I had been teaching at the primary school, thus freeing me up to do even more Bible teaching and activities in area churches, high schools, and technical training schools, which is my desire.

* Rains.  God has sent the rains!  Rain started to fall a little three weeks ago, and has fallen off and on since then.  It is amazing the change in the landscape almost overnight - from brown to green.  People are now busy planting and watching over their shambas (fields).  Some people have even said that it is more rain than needed.

* Teaching God's Word.  God gave me numerous opportunities to share and expound His Word over the last month, including giving the message in the Sunday services at Kathuma, Muthoyoi, and Malooi churches and speaking to the youth at Kathuma.  Also, in January we will start having youth meetings at the local church twice a month where I will be able to teach the Bible and encourage them to remain faithful to the Lord.

* Singing Praises.  A hymn book with music  in it was found so that now I am able to play the keyboard in church as the people sing the hymns in their language (Kikamba).  They enjoy this, and it is a joy to me.  I am also teaching a few of the young men in the church who lead worship how to read music and principles of the keyboard so that they will also be able to learn, play, and teach the songs they want to sing to God.  They are very happy about this, and many hours are spent in singing praises to God as they learn.

May I share with you some more needs that you can bring before God.  These needs are very tangible and have been shared with me directly from Simon Kamu, the pastor of the local church and the head of the family that I live with.  These are all things that the Kamba people see as needs in their lives or desires that they have for their community.

Physical Needs
In the Family
* Simon Kamu has Asthma, and this makes life difficult at times because he must walk or ride his bicycle to the church he pastors.  Plus, it is difficult to continually find the money that is needed to pay for his medication.  Pray for God's strength and provision for him.

* Ebenezar, the Kamu's fourth born out of six children has some type of sickness which is having an effect on him.  It has made him have to repeat fourth grade, and he is still the last in the class.  This can be very discouraging for him, especially when the other children make fun of him and when his younger brother and sister are passing him up in school.  Again, the family must find money to pay for his medication.  Pray for God's provision, encouragement, and healing.

* Crops.  Now that rains have come and the family has done all the needed plowing and planting, they are praying that they will have a good return on their crops.

* College Fees.  Mumo, the oldest son, as well as Mboya, the second born son, have both finished high school and would like to go on to college to get training for a job, but they need prayer for the raising of college fees.  It is not like in America where a student can get a job which pays an hourly wage to put him through school.  There aren't really any jobs in the village, only in the big cities which are far away.  The Kamu family would also like to be able to send Kamena to a training college so that she will be able to support herself in the future.  Kamena is the firl that lives with us and helps in fetching water, cooking, and cleaning.  Her mother has died and her father is unable to support her so she must depend on others and her own hard work even as a girl.

In the Community
* Bibles.  Many Christians do not have their own Bible to read and study.  The Kamba peple understand their own language the best, but many of them are also able to understand English.  There are Kikamba Bibles for sale at a town not far away, but all the money a person has is going towards food these days rather than buying other things.  One pastor even suggested that they would love even to have the used English Bibles that people in America are not reading anymore.

* Discipleship Materials.  There are some Discipleship materials/booklets that I would like to be able to purchase and use with some of the interested youth in the community.  Please pray for God's direction and provision in this and for the interest and commitment of the youth.  These material are printed and sold here in Kenya so the cost is kept low and seems like it very well may be possible.

* Church Building.  The current church in Muthyoi is too small so a new one is being built.  The brick walls are up and money has been raised to put on a tin roof and finish the floor.  Please pray that this would not just be a building, but that it would truly  be a place where people worship God in spirit and truth and come to know Him more.

* Crippled Children's Home and School.  A building has already been halfway started next to the primary school in Muthyoi (but abandoned) with the purpose of being a home for crippled children so that they can go to school.  This is one desire of the community which has currently been put on hold due to many needs.  If this project is to go forward God will need to provide many things including the finishing of the dormitory, the beds and supplies for the children to live there, loving and responsible adults to live with the needy children, and direction in choosing which kids will get to live there (there are many in need).

Well, I know this has been a very long letter, but so many of you have shown such interest and dedication in prayer that I wanted to continue to provide fuel for your prayers.  I especially want to say a big THANK YOU to all the kids who are praying.  Keep it up.  God is listening to you.

Keep loving Jesus and resting in His love.

Kenya, One Month; October 1, 2000

[The following prayer update was written by me from Africa about a month after arriving there.  I am including these writings from Kenya in my blog because they tell a part of my story I want to remember.  You can relive the story with me as I discover the things I did and went through in Africa and my thoughts along the way.]

October 1, 2000

Dear Family and Friends,

I send you greetings from Kenya.  Simon and Mary Kamu (my host family), Paul and Phoebe Kamu (brother to Simon, neighbor, and fellow teacher) the teachers at Muthyoi Primary School, and all those at the church in Muthyoi send their greetings to you all.  Thank you for your continued prayers.  God in His goodness is sustaining me and teaching me many things.  I am growing to love Him even more.

I can hardly believe that over one month has gone by since I arrived in Kenya.  It feels like I have been here a long time, and yet it still feels like I have just arrived.  I am still seeing and experiencing new things all the time.  Let me share some things with you.

I am able to join the Kamu family three nights a week for family devotions and prayers.  This is a source of encouragement for me.

September 10 - I gave the message at Muthyoi AIC Church.  I talked about how Jesus is the Bread of Life as He says in John 6.  It was good for us to be reminded that Jesus knows our hearts and can fulfill our deepest needs.

September 13 - Paul Kamu's wife Phoebe gave birth to a healthy baby boy.  This is a big praise because Muthyoi is very far from a hospital and the family does not have the money for such.  She had the baby in the nearby basic clinic.  We also praised God because that night it rained, which is avery much needed because of the drought.

The kids at school enjoy having me there and seem to understand my English okay.

September 24 - I gave the message at Malooi AIC Church.  I spoke on Hebrews 12:1-3, encouraging us all to live the life of faith with endurance drawing our strength from the example of the lives of others and especially that of Jesus Christ.


That I would find one good Kenyan friend in my village that is a girl close to my age.  I am often lonely and would like someone to talk to who is just like a friend rather than a student or other teacher.

Ability and understanding in teaching on my part as well as on the part of the kids.  I teach classes in grades 5, 6, 7, and 8 with a wide variety such as English Science, Math, Art and Craft, Music, and Christian Religious Education.  I also teach a Bible club on Wednesdays that I need ideas and encouragement in.

The Ukambani area still needs rain and the people need provisions.

For understanding on my part of what the best way for me to act and be involved is in the community and family life.

I am learning about the spiritual needs of the people and hope to share more about this in the next letter.  Please pray that God will help me in this regard.

Again, thank you for your prayers.
In Christ,