Alex’s Master’s research took us on an eight-hour adventure north of Nairobi to the town of Marsabit on the road to Ethiopia.
Our four weeks there enabled Alex to conduct his research into Borana’s predominant religion worldview. Whilst there, Alex had lots of great conversations with various members of the predominant religion about what they believe and what it means for us to put our faith in Jesus. In a conversation with Baba S, a senior Borana politician, Baba S claimed that ‘Peace is the most important thing for Borana people’, an interesting claim considering the Borana and Gabra people have been violently raiding each other’s cattle for generations. Baba S saw education as the solution to the lack of peace. He put this into practice by educating all his children including his daughter, S, who invited us to bring Elias over to play with her daughter L. The month was interrupted with various challenges including a toe infection for Elias, various vomiting bugs, water shortages and power outages, and we have to admit it was a relief to get back to Nairobi safely and enjoy the relative ease of life back in the capital. Pray for Alex in the next few months as he writes up his thesis.
It was also great to meet with two indigenous Kenyan missionaries. Martin Mwangi works with the Samburu people in a tiny village in what feels like the middle of nowhere working through the Bible chronologically in schools and with anyone willing. Jomo Nderitu (Crosslinks-sponsored Marsabit youth worker) is involved in the missions department of the Anglican Church of Marsabit, training pastors and youth leaders in how to teach the Bible faithfully. It was great to work together on a bible-handling seminar on 1 Peter for church leaders in a local Gabra village. One of the elders used to be a leader of the predominant religion and is now a church elder, praise God! Pray for Martin and Jomo to be faithful in preaching about Jesus in a culture not their own.
One of the biggest highlights of our time at AIU was getting to know Simon Mastaki. After finishing his Masters at AIU Mastaki will be the most highly qualified leader in his indigenous denomination of 120 churches and will likely to be appointed as director (a bishop-like role). The many discussions we had and the Bible studies we shared were mutually beneficial. It is our prayer that God would use him to challenge the doctrine of sin in his wide field of influence: he tells us that his denomination’s current teaching is that a Christian (and especially a pastor) cannot sin if they are ‘truly saved’. Mastaki plans to write a book to help address this issue. Pray for boldness and clarity for Mastaki as he engages his own church on this sensitive topic.
We are enjoying being back in the green and pleasant land where we don’t stand out (too much!) and where virtually everything works. Driving back from Heathrow we were struck by just how good the roads are here, tarmac right down to the farm lanes, lines painted on all major roads, street lighting and signposting… Even when compared to the best roads in Kenya, England’s transport system is vastly superior. Elias noticed the same thing in my parent’s village saying: ‘The boys builded a very nice road and pavement, that was kind of them’. If you live in the UK; praise God for the blessings of living with such high development. Bella and Elias are showing signs of feeling unsettled despite the wonderful welcome of their grandparents. Last week whilst out at a playground Elias said: ‘I’m going to ice’. Poor chap doesn’t know what’s coming his way (winter!). We look forward to seeing as many of you as we can over the coming months and please pray for us to keep our spiritual disciplines of reading and prayer whilst out of routine in this transient stage.
Come February we don’t quite know where we will be living/doing ministry, pray for good conversations with Crosslinks over the coming weeks as we discuss the idea of going to Senegal long term.
October 7-10 Crosslinks Prayer Conference Derbyshire
December Baby due
February/March Move to wherever God wants us to be
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