(posted 22/12/09) Well Christmas is almost upon us. The carol services are over and we're now waiting for the service on Christmas morning.
Before that we have the market again on Wednesday 23rd and on Thursday, Christmas Eve. Unlike other Wednesdays and Thursdays, this time the entire market will be open, so we are looking forward to that. After that the market will be closed until the New Year.
My two nephews finish school today and again, as their parents are now off work, I will have a little break from childminding until the new year too. Tomorrow though we are excited that the youngest of the two boys will be having his photograph taken for the local paper along with other children. A few weeks ago, in a local shopping centre, some children were able to write down a "wish" they had and hang it on a Christmas tree. Some would be granted. My nephew, who has just turned 6, was one of those selected. Tomorrow he will receive what he "wished" for and get his photo taken. He is so excited. So what did he wish for???? Well, while some children listed quite expensive items, he wished for "a toy car and a jumper for a boy in Kenya". That will be a special item for us to take with us next time we travel. So the search will be on for a little 6 year old boy in Kenya! I just recently read a report which was published in Kenya which stated that there are 2.4 million orphans in the country, so the need is immense!
Perhaps there is a lesson in this for us all. Ask for great things for ourselves and we might not get anything, but put others first and we might just see our dreams fulfilled. Perhaps my little nephew with his humble request is a great example even to adults. Even while grown men try to hinder the work of FML among the precious children of Kenya, one little 6 year old boy here took the time to think of a boy in Africa. A little child shall lead them!
As we remember those in Kenya, do pray for those in Kibera who have been affected by a tragic accident which happened yesterday when a train derailed and came down on top of nearby houses and buildings. Some reports suggest 5 killed and many injured but the rescue operation continues. This is a densely populated area which we have visited many times. It is always a hive of activity and I can only imagine the devastation caused. This morning I managed to make contact with some friends who run a school there. Thankfully they are all well, though the accident happened quite close by. Please pray for all of those affected and for the emergency services.
All that remains is for me to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year and to thank you so much for your prayerful, practical and financial support for FML throughout 2009.
FOLLOW UP (posted 14/12/09) In the post below I mentioned a few other meetings we had to take and practical things which had to be done. The Lord really helped.
At the young people's carol service we enjoyed listening to lovely singing and recitations. We were made very welcome and enjoyed being somewhere new. I must admit I had struggled with what to speak. How do you connect the Christmas story with FML??? But the Lord made it all clear in the end and I shared from Luke 2 about the Shepherds keeping watch over the sheep. It was amazing how we could use the passage to help explain our work. It was great to share with the young people the importance of accepting the best gift of all this Christmas....the Lord Jesus. We trust that all there enjoyed the evening as much as we did.
Last Monday evening William and I headed to Belfast to take another meeting. As usual the ladies were very welcoming and supportive....and they really enjoyed meeting William! He was able to share his testimony and told how he was saved and led into the work of FML, while I updated them on all of the news from Kenya.
Yesterday (Sunday) we attended a house meeting. I shared a few thoughts from Isaiah 9 : 6 and there was much prayer for FML.
Most of the practical tasks were completed.....bags ordered and received; Christmas cards designed, ordered and received....though I still have to write and post them!.....insurance for the market renewed; document for Kenya finalised....still working on the new procedures and praying about the best weay to do things....the only thing outstanding is the Christmas leaflet I had wanted to do, I think I might need to hurry up on that one.
Do continue to pray much for the work in Kenya. It is God's work and we are aware of those who are actively and very deliberately trying to halt it! It gives us such peace to know that the Lord reigns and the enemy can only go as far as God allows.
This week I will attend a ladies' meeting, go carol singing in some old people's homes and attend 2 carol services. We also have my nephew's 6th birthday....he had a little party on Saturday with a number of his school friends. He had a great time and is still excited about the big day itself!
The little ones in my Sunday school class yesterday were all very giggly and excited....Christmas is all about children.....let's pray for the many in Kenya at this time that they would accept as Saviour the one whose birth we remember at Christmas.
PREPARATION (posted 30/11/09) BUSY IN THE OFFICE (posted 24/11/09) The office in Nairobi continues to be busy as the work among the children continues. It has been exciting to hear that a group of children near Mombasa have completed the first 15 lessons and more are almost at the same stage. This means that Bibles will soon be distributed. Pray for us as we consider a date for the presentation. Pray also for the provision of funds needed for one of our representatives to travel there. The news from Nakuru is that the recent rally with the children left a great impact. As a result of contacts made at the rally, 5 new Churches have enrolled their children on our course and some others from a little further away are interested. News has also come in of children studying in another province in Kenya. This means that there is only one province in the whole of the country that does not, as yet, have children studying the lessons. A few days ago I received an encouraging email from one of the students who attended our training seminar in the area in July 2008. Enjoy reading this little snippit...... "Receive my greetings in the Lord Jesus. You have been, and still are, a great positive inspiration to my life and do wish to continue receiving updates from Feed My Lambs Children Ministry.
I would also like to appreciate Miss Pamela's efforts and teachings in Kenya, at Nyamarongo Church , through which I got to know of your ministry. My God bless her and bless her abundantly.
Yours faithfully," Here in Northern Ireland I have been very busy in the office. All day yesterday, all morning today and again until 8pm this evening, I have been working away getting visuals together for a children's meeting I will be speaking at on Friday evening. I am also hoping to do a quiz with the children which involves a number of pictures of lambs....at one point the little lambs seemed to be going astray! But I got there in the end. Two meetings over the next week or two also require quite a bit of preparation. I just love my office here at home and am so thankful for a base for the work. God is good. Tomorrow it's off to the market again. Pray that we'll have a profitable week.....financially, but more importantly being a witness to those whom we meet. God has been answering prayer and provided quite a lot of new stock over the past few weeks. We were delighted when one of our little customers, a 9 year old polish girl, brought us some home made cookies on her way to school! That was a lovely treat! Thank-you! Dad continues to keep well and helps out quite a bit at the market. Teaching Sunday School, being Treasurer of our Church and sharing a meeting in an Old People's home every 2 weeks also continues to keep him busy. My two nephews are getting excited about Christmas and I continue to enjoy them very much. William and I have been together as a couple for almost 1 year now and are very happy. He, like dad, continues to be involved in the market and has been very busy cutting sticks/logs for us to sell at there. Customers have been delighted with the quality of the "good burners" and are now ordering large quantities of bags as well as promising their custom throughout the Winter. We offer free local delivery so that helps. Dad and William, like me, are looking forward to returning to Kenya. Thanks for your continued prayers. Thanks for praying for the meeting on Friday evening. There were about 25 children who listened very well. There was quite an age gap between the youngest and the oldest so it did make it a little more difficult to apply the teaching in a way which was suitable for all, but I felt the older ones especially stayed focussed. The quiz with the lambs seemed to work well with all ages there. Have been booked for a similar meeting in another Church at the beginning of January so will maybe use the same lesson again. It was all very exciting as the lesson and quiz were both William's ideas. He not only came up with the lesson idea, but also he spent a good few hours making the visual. I then put together the message and Bible teaching to go along with it. The quiz was also his idea though I made the visuals for that. It's great to have a little extra help and some original ideas. I've done so much of this over the years, I sometimes run out of ideas. William has also made a suggestion for the introduction to a message I have to share at a children's/young people's carol service this Friday evening. The parents will also join the meeting. I have to share about the work in Kenya but also make it appropriate for a carol service. This is a new opening for us in a Church we've never had opportunity to share in before. We are really thankful for this and ask you to pray that the Lord will help in all of the preparation involved this week and for the meeting itself. I also have to speak at a ladies' meeting this day week. They have asked me to speak about the work of FML, but as they are quite up to date with everything, I feel I have to take a slightly different approach to the meeting....making it fresh for those who are familiar with the work, yet informative for those who may possibly be hearing about FML for hte first time. Do pray that I will know guidance and have the time needed to get everything ready. I also have a lot of practical things to get done within the next few days....order more plastic bags for the stall; renew our insurance; order Christmas cards (which should have been done!!!!); prepare a Christmas leaflet/tract for the stall; proof read a new document which has been prepared for use in Kenya and prepare for Sunday School as well. Work is still ongoing on the new procedures for the work in Kenya regarding the enrollment of children and restructuring how the details are recorded. A few days ago I sent a text(sms) to one of our representatives in Kenya and was encouraged by their reply: "God is good all the time. Thanks for yours. I get encouraged through your sms!...Through FML ministry I have been ministering to 1000 children every month!...although under challenges." Please continue to pray for all of those who work faithfully with us in Kenya. God is good and is expanding the work at an unbelievable rate, but the text reminds us of the challenges that are also faced day by day. Sometimes the challenges faced are financial; because of poverty; because of the road conditions which are sometimes worsened by rain; because of a lack of committment or organisation by children's workers who enrol their children or because of people who simply want to hinder the work of God. The challenges faced here in Northern Ireland are similar, sometimes financial; because of a lack of committment and stickability of those who get involved; promises of support or meeting opportunities which never materialise, or yet again, those who simply want to hinder and discourage. More than anything, in Kenya and UK, we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against the devil who just doesn't want us to reach the boys and girls. Keep praying! WORKING TOGETHER... (posted 17/11/09) We are thankful for the many people who work together to bring the work of “Feed My Lambs” forward. We’re thankful for the prayer partners….William and I were delighted to be able to attend a prayer meeting last night. This was a new opening for us and it was a privilege to share about the work among the children.
We’re also thankful for those in Kenya who represent us in the different areas and ask you to pray for them. Following discussions with those in Kenya, we have agreed that we need to put some new structures in place for introducing new centres and children to the work and also for communicating with our Head Office in Nairobi and with myself over here in the UK. As the work grows, and more and more areas are reached, we have felt the need to improve and strengthen our procedures and ensure that there is uniformity in how things are done. A review every now and then has proved beneficial in the past. Pray for us as we evaluate things over the coming days and consider the suggestions made from our representatives in Kenya. Pray for myself and our committee as we put together some guidance and forward it to our volunteers in Kenya for them to consider.
Back here in the UK, William has been busy making a new teaching visual for me to use. It’s big debut will come at a children’s meeting I will be sharing at next week. It’s very exciting to have something new to use. Pray for me as I get the ideas down on paper over the next number of days and fine tune the lesson. The whole project from start to finish was William’s idea….so am thankful for his help. Meanwhile, I’ve shared a quiz idea with him for the same meeting and he’s now beginning to work on the visuals for that. So there’s still a lot to do over the coming week.
We had an excellent turnover at the market last week. Thank you for praying. Despite having a full stall and some items still in the store…..our stock is decreasing rapidly. So any donations of good quality new or used items would be great. No clothes or large electrical items at the moment please….but most other items are acceptable.
Our office in the UK is now up almost 1 year…..and although the walls are insulated and sheeted….we still only have the basic floor and a heater which isn’t very economical. We URGENTLY need to have proper heating installed and flooring fitted. We are anxious that office equipment and donated items are not destroyed as we enter the cold months of the year. Please pray. Have a look on our photos page to see some views of our office and store here in the UK.
IT'S BEEN AWHILE... (posted 9/11/09) …..since I’ve been able to update the website as my internet connection has been down now for over 2 weeks. I was getting more than a little frustrated with the “host” company who kept telling me “24 hrs!”. It reminds me of a time in Kenya when we were travelling to Homa Bay. Not knowing exactly our direction, we stopped and asked how far it was to our destination. We were told “Kilometre Kumi” (10 Kms). Somehow after 10 Kms we still weren’t there, so we asked again, only to be told once more, “Kilometre Kumi”. A few hours later and after having asked a few more people and being told “Kilometre Kumi”…we finally made it to Homa Bay…..just as it was getting dark!
We want to thank you for praying for the work of God we are involved in. We are delighted that we are aware of some answers to prayer following our recent prayer letter.
In Nakuru, the children’s rally on 31 October was blessed of the Lord and the people are keen to hold another one. Thank you for praying for Joyce and others as they planned and hosted the event. Photos on our home page soon.
I’m also delighted to say that Pastor Aringo was able to make the long trip to an area in Western Province. It took many hours for him to reach his destination, but he was very encouraged with the outcome. He had opportunity to speak to Children’s workers who had shown an interest in the ministry that FML offers. They are keen to have the teacher training course conducted in their area and 200 application forms have been left for children to register for our correspondence course.
I was really delighted to hear that one of the men of the area who was ministering among the children there, turned out to be a man who attended our first ever teacher training seminar in Nairobi in July 2006. What an encouragement to hear of those whom we met right at the start of our ministry in Kenya, who are still seeking to reach boys and girls for the Lord. Even though we had lost contact for a time, I’m delighted that the Lord has brought us in contact again and that he is still seeking to put into practice what he learnt at our seminar. For me, as the one who taught that week, it is so encouraging to see that the course was of use to those who attended, not just then, but long term.
We’re delighted also that another new centre has begun lessons close to Mombasa. Pray for those involved there and for the new children who are beginning to study. Kenya is divided into Nairobi area and the provinces Central, Rift Valley, Eastern, North Eastern, Western, Nyanza and Coast. We are delighted that FML is now working among children in Nairobi, Central, Rift Valley, Western, Nyanza and Coast. Pray that God will open the door to Eastern and North Eastern.
Do continue to consider becoming a prayer group leader for FML as mentioned in our prayer letter. The children of these areas need regular prayer.
We continue to be encouraged with the market ministry. We thank God for His help. We had been praying for more items to be donated and we are thankful for a number of people who have brought us some more things over the past few weeks.
Pray for meetings that we’re booked to speak at here in Northern Ireland throughout November and December. We’re delighted that some are return visits and we’re especially encouraged with two new openings.
Pray for those here in Northern Ireland who continue to be involved in the work. Remember the couple who help us at the market stall and pray also for dad and William. (By the way….today is William’s birthday…..Have a great day and thanks for your unfailing support!).
Our thanks also go to some who have stood by us through problems and difficulties which most people are unaware of. We know this has been emotionally draining and has cost personally. We don’t take it for granted and appreciate this support very much.
The challenges we face; the opposition we face; the time spent planning, praying and preparing; the tears that sometimes are shed; out in the cold weather at the market…..it’s all worth it when I see photos of children hearing the Gospel in Nakuru….it’s all worth it when I speak to Pastor Aringo and hear encouraging news that God is blessing in the office and opening up new areas for FML to minister to teachers and children….it’s all worth it when I see dad smile as he sells something at the market….it’s all worth it when William says “God has opened the door to Kenya and no man can shut it!”…it’s all worth it because Jesus died for us….it’s all worth it because God has called and we have obeyed….it’s all worth it for the salvation of even one child.
PRAYER LETTER (posted 8/10/09) Our Prayer Letter for October 09 has just been issued. Those on our email list have received it and those who get our printed copies should receive it by the middle of next week.....once I've got them counted out, put in envelopes and posted. Our prayer letter is issued every few months with all of the latest news and points for prayer. If you don't already receive it and would like to be added to our mailing list, then just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Those who receive it by email will also receive occasional updates in between times.
We're thankful for the Lord's help over these past few weeks. Last Tuesday I was able to return to a Primary School I visited at Easter Time. The children had collected money for FML. A big thank you to all involved....Principal, Teachers, Parents and Pupils. This week I was also booked to speak at another children's meeting which will be held in November and this incoming week I will be speaking at a Scripture Union in a Primary School in Co.Tyrone. Praise God for these opportunities to share with the children here in my home country as well as in Kenya.
The market has now been opening on Wednesdays and Thursdays for 3 weeks (in addition to the normal Friday and Saturday). We have been encouraged so far and thank God for more people who have learnt about our work for the first time.
In the last blog I mentioned two posters which appeared to have been ripped down on purpose. This increased with all those in the town centre coming down. But we weren't to be discouraged and we just pasted them up again......they're still there. We're on the winning side because we have the Lord on our side!
In Kenya, the meeting with the children's workers went well and a children's rally is planned for October 31st. Pray for all involved in this venture. Pray that children will be saved.
SATURDAY WAS A GOOD DAY (posted 22/9/09) Thank you for praying for us on Saturday as we hosted the FML stall at the Country comes to Town event in Portadown. William and I were down to the town around 7am and were soon followed by dad. Thankfully the main stall had been set up in advance on Thursday and we had a good day selling on Friday. Back to Saturday though, we put up an extra table at the roadside selling our regular stock and also a few food items for the first time. Thousands of people visited the town and we made more money than any single day previously in the 9 months since we started the stall, so we are thankful for that.
It was really encouraging for us to be approached by a number of people from different towns who recognised us from meetings we had spoken at regarding the work in Kenya. We were though a little disappointed that very few people who knew us personally came to support or encourage us despite so many of them being in town.....but a big Thank you to those who did!!!!
Each person who purchased from us received an information leaflet about the work in Kenya and a Gospel tract. Free scripture bookmarkers were also distributed to children. As well as free CDs with a Gospel message, we are also aware of those who received Bibles. It is so encouraging to know of individuals, who werent just out for a good day, but had concern for their spiritual condition. We ask you to pray specifically for one individual who returned for a CD, for one who lifted a tract and said that God was speaking to them and was thinking of getting saved and also 2 children who visit the stall regularly...they are 2 extremes but both little lives who need the Lord.
Pray for the representatives from numerous Churches and Christian organisations who sought to be faithful and witness on the day, mainly by distributing Gospel leaflets. We know that the seed has been sown and God will always honour that. However, we also know that the devil will seek to discourage those who did their best on the day, so pray for them and their families.
We also gave out leaflets telling of our new opening times. From tomorrow we will also open on Wednesdays and Thursdays in addition to Friday and Saturday. You can find more details on the market page. Some items from our market are also available to purcahse online
In addition we had put up a number of posters in various locations around the town advertising our stall and its new opening times. Two of them appear to have been purposely ripped down. An offence against the Lord and the children of Kenya rather than against us personally.....so while we can easily replace them, those responsible will live with their actions.
In Kenya, the work among the children continues to be encouraging. Pray especially for a meeting which will be held with Childrens workers this Saturday. We continue pray that God will confirm to us when we should travel and ask you to pray too.
COUNTRY COMES TO TOWN (posted 15/9/09) This is an annual event which comes to our town here in Northern Ireland. The main day is this Saturday (19th) when the town is closed to vehicles and filled with stalls, animals, tractors and all sorts of events. We are praying that we'll have a good day on the FML stall. We will be in the same place as always. (Details on the home page)
There's some extra preparation for this event. Today I went to the printers to sort out some flyers and posters to advertise our stall and the work of FML...keep an eye out for them if you live locally. Also I printed and cut 200 small leaflets myself which give details of our new opening hours....I still have more to do. We've got new carrier bags in and are waiting on extra collection boxes to arrive. I still have to print out some fresh photos for our display. Though I think I might have left ordering another flag just a little too late.
Please pray for us as we get everything prepared. We'll have extra stock out, so it'll be all hands on deck. Pray that it will be a really good opportunity to raise awareness of our work and pray that we'll do well financially. Pray for us next week as we begin opening two extra days.
If you live in Northern Ireland, be sure and come visit. It's a good day out for young and old.....we have something planned which might raise a few smiles!!!! Hopefully I'll be able to post some photos next week!
BLESSED WEEKEND (posted 7/9/09) If you were praying for us over the past weekend.....thank you!
In Kenya, Pastor Aringo was able to visit one of the centres in Nairobi where children have been studying our correspondence course. Previously 120 children there had received Bibles. It was in answer to prayer that another 115 children received a copy of the Word of God on Sunday. Pray for these children as they begin to search the scriptures. Photos coming soon.
William and I shared at a meeting on Friday evening. I brought a short message from the Bible and gave an update on the work while William shared his testimony and told how the Lord called him into the work of FML. On Sunday morning I taught a children's lesson at an open Sunday School, it was lovely to be there.
TEST OF FAITH (posted 24/8/09) So here's the dilema.....on Friday past I needed to transfer some money to Kenya to cover some of the expenses associated with the work there. By the end of the day at the market we had an amount which could be sent. BUT....we still had to pay the rent for the stall on Saturday and cover some other expenses over here. We knew that the normal Saturday takings wouldn't normally be enough for what was needed, so what was I to do? "Where is your faith?" is the question I was asked...."send it all to Kenya and trust God to bring in the needed amount on Saturday!" So I did......and on Saturday we counted the days takings at the market and discovered that the Lord had brought in just enough to cover all that was needed that day!
A lot of money is needed this week but we have given everything to the Lord and are thankful that we have already seen Him begin to work. As the children often ryhme off in Kenya...."God is good all the time, all the time, God is good!"
We're also thankful for God's speaking voice which encourages us. Just recently God has spoken to myself and William individually about something which concerns the work. We have been amazed how we have separately received verses from the Lord which have been almost identical and certainly saying the same thing. Last night we were together in a home and a passage of scripture was read together at the end of the evening.....imagine how amazed we were when yet another verse was read which seemed to bring all of the others together. We have no doubt that God has been speaking to us. We don't always hear what we want to hear, but when it comes from 5 different passages of scripture to 2 different people, there is definitely a peace that it is from the Lord.
We hope we will soon be issuing our next prayer letter. I am working on it at the moment, but am just waiting for a few things to be confirmed so that hopefully I can include all of the latest developments.
Thanks for your continued prayers.
BLESSED! (posted 10/8/09) I am so BLESSED to have so many good friends and family who stand with me in the work. It's great to be able to spend time with them. Do remember Pastor Aringo, Joyce, Pastor Meshack, George and others in Kenya who have been of such great help and such encouragement over these recent weeks. Also, those who print and mark the lessons and the teachers and Pastors who encourage the children in their care to complete the lessons. Also May who helps us at the market stall here every week. And then there's my family....It was dad's birthday on Thursday past. We all went out for a meal on Friday evening, something we do once a year for his birthday. My nephews and their parents were there and so was William. The older of my two brothers lives in England with his wife and so he wasn't able to be there. He is a qualified driving instructor...you can view his website by visiting www.advantagedrivertraining.org.uk Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on ENTER to view more pages. On Wednesday past, dad, William and I took my two nephews to the Zoo. It had a drastic effect on me..... It's such a relief to know that William remained very sensible and mature and didn't loose his senses........hmmmm?????
on Friday and Saturday we were back at the market as usual. We were so BLESSED! The weather was good and the takings were up! We sold a lot of stock. The expenses of FML far exceed what we make at the market, but still it is encouraging to have a little coming in each week and it has become a great way of raising awareness of the work in Kenya. The stall is continually growing. William made a bookcase and extended our table out to the back wall. You can see this in the photos below and also a slightly different view on our home page. The bottom photo also shows; on the right of the photo; the lovely flower tubs (made from barrels) which we sell.
We just love the market and are so thankful for the friends we have made, both those who work in the market and the customers who return each week.
God is good and we remain BLESSED and confident we are in God's will!
THANKS FOR YOUR PRAYERS (posted 23/6/09) Last Tuesday I was able to speak at a prayer meeting about 1 hours drive from my home. It was encouraging to hear those in attendance pray for the work of FML. Pray for us this Thursday as we speak at another prayer meeting. Distance wise it is quite a bit further to travel but we are trusting that the Lord will give us a safe journey and burden those who will attend to pray for the ministry in Kenya.
Last weekend was another quiet weekend at the market, but financially we still made a profit. Pray on for those who we meet each week.
On Sunday it was Children's Day in my home Church. This is an annual event were the children of Sunday School sing and recite poems and scripture. We are thankful for God's blessing. Sunday School now takes a break until September. This Sunday I will attend Children's Day in William's church.
This current week, (22-26 June) William's church is holding their annual Holiday Bible Club. Children attend each evening and are taught a Bible Lesson, Memory verse etc. and enjoy singing and quizzes. Pray much for all involved in this important ministry and pray that many boys and girls will be saved. Next week my own church will have their Holiday Bible Club and I will be teaching a memory verse on Monday evening. We currently have a visitor from Papua New Guinea; I am sure he will also value your prayers as he joins in the work with the boys and girls.
Within the next number of days, Pastor Aringo will visit Nakuru and Kisii areas on behalf of FML. Pray that the Lord will bless him and make this a fruitful time for all involved. Pray that he will be kept safe as he travels on the busy and dangerous roads. We are considering making slight changes to how we work in Nakuru; pray that we will be guided according to God's will. We also continually need to hear God's voice on some other important matters we are praying about. As ever, the financial matters of FML continue to be a matter for prayer and we claim the Lord's promise to provide our every need.
LISTENING (posted 10/6/09) God has been reminding us in these days to listen to His voice and only move when we have His guidance. Over these last days there seem to be a number of issues that we need the Lord's specific guidance on in regard to both FML and our own lives. It is good to be brought to a place where we can't make our own decisions but have to wait for the Lord's guidance. Please pray for us as we watch and wait for the pilliar of cloud and fire to move and pray that in each individual situation, we'll be patient when we're told to "stop". God has a purpose.
On the last Sunday in May we had a really encouraging meeting with some faithful prayer partners. I was able to bring an update on the work and William was able to share his testimony.
On Thursday the boys had an extra holiday as their school was being used as a polling station for the elections, so dad and I took them away for the day.
Friday brought us to the market again. I don't know where everyone disappeared to, it was a quiet day. We had our first day off on Saturday and kept the stall closed as there seemed to be a lot on for everyone that day. William and I were guests at a wedding, as were another couple who help us each week at the stall. We had a good day.
Sunday it was back to teaching my lovely Sunday School class and then headed to William's church in the evening as I do quite often now when I'm able.
Monday evening was a meeting regarding the Holiday Bible School coming up in my home Church in a few weeks time and last night I was at another function.
And so it goes on. FML work continues. Our flights for July have not been booked as yet and we are waiting on the Lord's leading. We've come through the frustration now and have a peace that it is in God's hands and His will, will be done, in His time.
Pray on for Pastor Aringo who is overseeing our office. He is very busy in these days. I'm in daily contact with him. I'm always encouraged by the effort he puts in and I don't have to chase after him, he works very willingly. Communication on the phone is getting much easier, he is understanding my English better now and I'm enjoying learning new Swahili phrases from him.
We continue to need much wisdom from the Lord in these days as to how to bring the work forward and also to know His mind on all matters we face.
Thank you for your prayers.
SOME FELL ON GOOD GROUND...(posted 27/7/09) The parable of the sower was a real challenge to me as I read it this morning. The seed was faithfully sown, some fell on stony ground, or among thorns or by the wayside.....but some fell on good ground and brought forth fruit. It is our prayer that the seed which we sow among the children of Kenya will bring forth fruit. The devil will seek to destroy, but we are praying for children to be saved and to have a depth in their walk with God that will enable them to stand firm in the time of trial and testing. We want our workers to have this depth in their lives too and not to be consumed by riches and the cares of this life.
Just a little update.....
After a break for a week the market has again resumed and we had a good weekend. William is our expert at expanding the stall and finding ways for us to add more stock. We are already making plans for a Saturday in September when the town will host an annual event. It draws a huge crowd and so we are hoping for a good day of trading, sharing Gospel literature and raising awareness of the work.
During a previous week, Dad held the fort at the stall while William and I went to a few of the car parks in the town and left a leaflet concerning the work of FML and a Gospel tract on the windscreen of parked cars. Pray that this will be fruitful.
Remember the needs of our office and store here in the UK too. We need to install central heating before the cold weather sets in. We would hope to do the work by September at the latest and are praying that the needed funds will come in.
The photos below show some of the stock we have stored at the moment and intend to sell at the market. (We still have a lot to sort, so excuse the fact that it looks a little untidy!)
The photo below shows my desk with shelving above for records, teaching materials and other resources for working with children.
For those of you who aren't aware, our plans to travel to Kenya this month have been postponed. We believe this is the Lord's will. We plan to travel at a later date.
On a personal note, I've been having a little holiday from minding my nephews, they'll be back next Monday. I can hardly believe that the oldest boy turned 10 this past week!!! I've missed his birthday these past few years when I was in Kenya, so it was lovely to be part of his special day this year!
MANY CHILDREN ARE HEARING THE GOSPEL (posted 2/7/09) It's great to know of so many children who are hearing the Gospel over these days. Pray on for the many children who are studying our course. Did you ever think, that if each child studying our lessons has contact with just 2 other people....that is nearly 15000 people hearing the Gospel directly through the FML lessons. That's a lot of people!
Pray also for the many children who were taught last week in William's church and are being taught this week in my own church.
We would ask you to pray for wisdom for each situation we face. We have heard that a teacher training seminar was held in Western province in Kenya....apparently by Feed My Lambs. I am sure those involved are good people, but it is so frustrating for us when we hear AFTER the event.
We love to hear of those who want to be involved in the work of God and are delighted that so many people want to be trained to work with children. However, when people take it on themselves to hold training for FML which we know nothing about, it causes a lot of problems for us. To give you an idea of how to pray for us, this is what can happen....We have people claiming to represent us who we don't even know; we have materials being used that we have not seen and may not endorse; we end up with all sorts of scripture versions being used that are not supported by FML; people in other areas who are waiting for training get discouraged and think we have bypassed them; sometimes transport or other things are provided and then we are expected to do the same in the future and usually promises of aid or materials are made to those who attend.....and then FML are expected to contribute. It's not an easy situation. Pray that we will have patience in such situations and also that we will deal with it wisely, in a way which will avoid similar things happening in the future, yet without discouraging those who mean well and want to work for the Lord.
At home, my nephews are now off school for the summer holidays. Yesterday we travelled to William's home town with the boys and my dad. After making a few stops, we met up with William for lunch and then later we visited his house. Dad was able to meet William's mum. The boys had a great time with his sisters.....though we all managed to get a bit wet!!! They were also amused to see William's uncle and dad moving sheep down the road.......not something we see too often in the town!
GOOD WEATHER (posted 28/5/09) According to the weather forecast, tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday are going to be good days. Pray this will be the case. Why? Well, let's be honest, good weather means a busier market, more opportunities and more sales! People definitely take more time at the stall when it isn't cold and dreary.
We still take donations of good quality items for the stall, but we also stock quite a selection of brand new items too. We just stocked up on Monday, so this weekend will have some new products which we haven't had before. Come down and see us if you live locally!
Today I have to prepare for Sunday School and also for a meeting I will share at on Sunday evening. As well as the market during the day on Friday and Saturday, we also have special meetings on in my home Church on both those evenings as well as on Sunday. So there won't be much time after today to get things ready.
The next few weeks will be busy as we have a number of meetings on, but am looking forward to it. It's always great to share about the work in Kenya and there'll also be opportunities to work with children here too.
Next week William and I will be guests at another wedding, hopefully the weather will be good for that day too. There are also elections here next Thursday, so the boys will have a day off school, maybe we'll get away somewhere nice for the day.
MORE ENCOURAGEMENTS (posted 20/5/09) There have been quite a few encouragements this week. On Sunday afternoon I was speaking at a Sunday School Prize Giving. It was lovely to share with the children and it was a lovely surprise to receive a donation for the work of FML.
Over the past few days, a number of bookings have come in for meetings; that's an answer to prayer. Am especially pleased that these are prayer meetings; something I had specifically asked prayer for in our last prayer letter.
There has been great response to the prayer update which I sent out on Monday by email. I received a number of emails back from people assuring me of their prayers for FML. In the update I had shared about some of the opportunities we've had at the market and also the news of another 50 children completing the first part of the correspondence course and now being ready for Bibles.
The next few weeks look like they're going to be busy, but we're so excited to be doing the Lord's work.
PRAY FOR NEW OPPORTUNITIES (posted 30/4/09) Please pray that we will know God's help over the coming weeks as we prepare for our next trip. We would like to get our programme finalised very soon and ask you to pray for all which is involved in this.
The Lord seems to be opening new doors of opportunity for FML to serve amongst the children in Kenya and we're praying about a few possibilities. I can't say too much at the minute, but hope you'll pray that our thoughts will be guided over the coming weeks and that any discussions held during our next trip to Kenya will be profitable.
Remember our market stall every Friday and Saturday. Do come along and see us if you live locally. We now have a lot of new stock for sale as well as used items. Click on "Ministries" and visit our "Market" page for more information.
I'm really enjoying our new office here in Northern Ireland. I'm able to work away in it every morning while the boys are at school doing work for FML. We still have some practical work to take care of in the office. We need to install central heating and the floor needs sheeted and some carpet laid....but it's still comfortable in the meantime. Pray though, that both of these needs will be met over the next few months before the cold Winter weather comes back! Perhaps I'll post some photos of the inside soon. Keep watching!
This Monday is a Bank Holiday, so am looking forward to a day off!
WEDDING AND OTHER THINGS (posted 12/4/09) I mentioned below about the opportunity to share in another Primary School. Thanks for your prayers. I enjoyed watching the children's Easter presentation and then they listened really well as I shared about Kenya. There was also great interest from the teachers and parents and I was made to feel very welcome.
The following day I went to my nephew's school to see his Easter play - he was a raindrop!!
Last Thursday William and I had a lovely day as guests at a wedding. Everything went really well and we enjoyed ourselves. It's difficult to get the two of us serious enough...and quiet enough...to get a decent photo.....but I've put one below for you to see anyhow. Another photo can be found on our main "photos" page.
BOYS! (posted 29/3/09) ..........two of them have moved in!!!! Well, for a few days at least, my two nephews; aged 9 and 5; have been staying with dad and I whilst their parents have been away. Everything has gone smoothly apart from the habit there seems to be of falling out of bed in the middle of the night! The house will certainly be quiet tomorrow night when they're back home.
This week I'm looking forward to sharing about Kenya in another Primary School. This is a new opening and is especially good as the parents are also invited.
The market continues to go well. Yesterday was soooooooo cold! The weather has been improving but yesterday seemed to go down hill slightly. A good day, weather wise, also means more sales, so we're looking forward to the better weather. We've made a profit every single week we've been there, even during the quietest, coldest days....so it's still worth while going.
Our latest prayer letter has just been issued, so don't hesitate to contact me if you want to be added to our mailing list.
ANOTHER WEEKEND (posted 16/2/09) Please continue to pray for all of the financial needs of our ministry. We always trust God to supply our needs and He never fails. However, we are conscious that so many people are findiing things difficult these days and so we appreciate every sacrifice which is made. We are praying that the exchange rates would rise as the current situation is costing us a lot extra. Also, as of a few days ago, our method of transferring money has had to change; for a little while anyhow; but this is also working out more expensive, yet can't be avoided at the moment.
If you get our prayer updates/emails, then you'll know by now that there have been some changes over the past week in regard to personnel and responsibilites and our general way of living and working. Things are going well so far both in Kenya and Northern Ireland, but we continue to ask for your prayers as we get into routine and deal with any teething problems.
The market stall went well on Friday and Saturday. It was busier than the past few weeks and the weather was a bit milder and not just as cold as previous weeks. We thank God for an opportunity which opened up for books to be transported to Kenya and we seek the way ahead in regard to that.
We had fun too. Saturday was Valentine's Day and we have had a few items for sale since the week before. There were a few last minute purchases.....mainly from men! I suppose they knew they would have a lot to listen to otherwise, ha ha. And yes, I received a few lovely items too!!!!!!!!!!! (but not from our stall!)
HOME AND ABROAD....KEEP PRAYING! (posted 2/2/09) I was saddened yesterday to hear the news of an explosion in Kenya. A tanker overturned and caught fire killing over 100 people. Pray much for all of those who have lost loved ones and remember also those who have been injured. We trust that many will be spoken to of their need of salvation through this tragic event. Pray also for families effected by a fire in a supermarket in Nairobi a few days ago. You can read more by clicking HERE.
Continue to pray for my home Church and for the leadership who have many decisions to make. The weekly children's meeting are collecting money to buy Bibles for Kenya...pray for the boys and girls here that they will be saved and that the leaders will know God's strength and wisdom. Remember also the children of our Sunday School. I love my little class to bits and really enjoy teaching them. The oldest is 5 and the youngest will soon turn 3. Pray for Grace, Dylan, Daniel, Kezia, Eli, Matthew, Abi and Hannah. They're all precious to God.
The next few weeks will bring a few changes in the office in Nairobi in regard to personnel and responsibilities and there will be a new routine here in N.Ireland as well. We will share more soon, but in the meantime, do pray for us all as we adjust.
A LITTLE ENCOURAGEMENT (posted 14/1/09) I just thought I would share a little encouragement with you. You'll have read on my previous posting on the blog that I was going on Monday 12th to speak to a group of Primary School Children. It went really well and I enjoyed being back in school!
I had been asked to share a Bible Lesson of my choice and also a Memory Verse. I had prepared the story of Jesus and His disciples in the boat. You'll remember how the storm came and the disciples became afraid and began to panic. Meanwhile the Lord was sleeping! But in the midst of the storm, the Lord was still there and knew everything the disciples were experiencing.
As I prepared the lesson and as I thought upon it as I travelled, the Lord really spoke to me and challenged me. Do we always trust Him in the storms that we face? Sometimes it may seem like the Lord is sleeping, perhaps we find it hard to talk to Him, or it seems like we can't hear His voice....but He is always there and has the power to calm the storm if we have faith in Him.
As I travelled in the car for about 1 hour to get to the school, I prayed that, just as it had blessed me, the lesson would also be a blessing to the children. I prayed that it would be so appropriate for even one boy or girl who perhaps is worried or frightened at the moment.
Well, it may seem like just a little thing.....but when the teachers put up the songs for the children to sing; not knowing what my lesson was; they had a song all about the Lord sending the sun and the rain and the wind and how He controls the weather!!!!! It was a song I wasn't familiar with, but none could have been more appropriate for the Bible Lesson. It just confirmed to me that it was the right lesson for the children that were there and I believe the Lord brought everything together reinforcing that He is all powerful.
I believe with all of my heart that the Lesson and song, at least, were especially meant for someone in the room. Do pray for the boys and girls that they would understand the Word of God and how the Lord knows all about them and wants them in Heaven with Him.
Pray also for a return visit I will make to the school at the end of February to share with the children about life in Kenya and the work we are involved in.
KEEP PRAYING (posted 12/1/09) The New Year has started off as busy as the old year ended, but we're thankful for everything we can be involved in. We're working on getting together a store (for market stock) and little office here in N Ireland. I've no doubt both will be of great benefit to the work.
Yesterday I wasn't feeling the best, though am better today. I think there was a man with a hammer inside my head!!!!
Do pray that the Lord will continue to help. We're conscious at times of the devil's attack and we trust that the Lord will bring us through.
I have a few different ideas in my mind about how to develop the ministry in this incoming year, am especially considering how we can encourage people to pray more for the work we're involved in. Pray for guidance.
Today I'll be travelling for about 1 hour to speak to some Primary School children and am a little nervous about going into a school again, but also really looking forward to the opportunity.
This Friday coming we'll be opening up the market stall again and also on Saturday. God willing we'll be keeping the stall going on a weekly basis, every Friday and Saturday, from this weekend on. This was a bit unexpected and not what we had originally planned, but we feel God changed things round and so we're happy to give it go and see how things go.
I have a lot of paperwork to do over the next few mornings as well, it's already a bit behind, so pray I get settled to do it.
On Saturday past, dad and two other men went with me to help yet another elderly man to clear out a relative's house. It's quite a sad story, but we're thankful, that in the midst of it all, the items in the house have been donated to FML. Later in the week, we'll return to fill a few more boxes.
On top of all of that, we have special meetings in my home Church tonight, tomorrow night and Wednesday night. I'm still looking after my two nephews before and after school and everything which goes with that and this morning I've been catching up on replying to a number of emails which were received last week.
Right now, I need to go and do a little final preparation for the children this afternoon. I will teach them a Bible Lesson and a Memory Verse.
Thanks again for all of your prayers.
HAPPY NEW YEAR (posted 3/1/09)
It's been lovely to have a few days off. Dad and I enjoyed our time in England. I hope you've had a good start to the new year too. On Monday my nephews will be back to being minded by me as everyone returns to work and normal routine. The office in Nairobi will reopen too. Tuesday 6th will be my birthday....but am not sure that'll be an excuse for an easy day?????!!!!!!!!! Let's see what happens!!!!!!!!!!!!!!