PART 1 PART 2 PART 1 PART 3 PART 4 PART 5
DEC 05 - 13 DEC 14 - 21 DEC 22 - 29 Dec 30 - Jan 13 JAN 21 - 27 JAN 28 - FEB 8 FEB 9 - 16
Project E.A.R.T.H. Interational
Thursday, January 15 - One month left on the Jabez Journey
WELCOME BACK PASTOR BRETT! Brett Rush has just returned from a Christmas Conert tour in ITALY! Brett
has approved the changes for the journey here in KENYA and supports the plan. Now I want to ask you to pray for
him as he adjusts and gets back into the routine at Shiloh and spends some time with his family. Please pray for
Pastor O.M. as he catches up with the change in plan for my part of the time in Eldoret and makes adjustments. He
has been unable to keep up with communication the past couple days so some of this came as a surprise to him.
in Kenya's journey
I've always gotten a laugh out of the way they pronouce the word developments in Africa. The first time I heard it I thought "What kind of devil?" Devil-ope-ments occur and when they do it's a matter of doing the best you can and moving ahead. ELDORET was a part of this journey where I was going to partner with Pastor O.M. Panicker of I.C.C.M. in a variety of ways that never totally was clear. The more I tried to gain some clarity to prepare myself the more foggy it all became. After several attempts to try and make it work, I still didn't have enough information to make me comfortable with this mission. I tried to get to consult with Pastor Brett about it but my emails and phone calls went unanswered. Brett has just returned from several weeks in Italy and is just getting his feet on the ground in the USA so it was more like bad timing than him just not communicating.
After much prayer I determined that I would cancel the ELDORET part of the journey and extend my efforts here in Litein/Boito since the Dow's were quite open to that idea and there are valuable ways that I can be used here. I am happy I am going to be able to continue to be an encouragment here.
Now it's important that you PRAY for Pastor O.M. and his team in Eldoret and also pray for safe travel for his wife Mercy who should be joining him there soon. To the best of my knowledge ministry in Eldoret begins today. God bless you! Thanks for your continued prayers and support.
Wednesday - January 14, 2009
I appreciate all of you and your prayers for us. Making a change in the plan is often difficult but sometimes it's necessary and althought it can cause some conflict Romans 8:28 applies and it will ALL work together for good . . .
Tonight after we had the little kids fed and tucked into bed the big kids and Greg and Mary Rose gathered around the table for a time of prayer and dis- cussion. This is going to be an every Wednesday night thing. They gave me an opportunity to share with the kids the new developments that meant I would be with them for the next month. They were all happy about that. I will be working to design and produce media that will help people here in Kenya and in the USA to understand more fully what Dow Family Children's Home is all about and how they can help. Pray for me as I get to know every one here so well that I can tell their story.
We all continue to struggle with health issues here. Colds
and flu symptoms keep us reaching for something to blow our
noses. Kids are filling diapers as fast as they can be changed
and fatigue follows all of us around like a shadow.
Mary Rose has gotten used to the idea of having help and
is seeing it as a blessing. Davis' wife is doing a good job and
seems to be a good match for the job. PEI will sponsor this extra help for the next year. If it works out well we will continue. Currently Mary Rose is using her 3 days a week and PEI is willing to pay for up to 5 days a week when school is in session.
I'm working on a media piece about the Dow's that will be distributed in the USA when I return. I am not sure about how I will fund the printing but I have some ideas that I am praying about. There is also a special card I want to make for them that is so easily done in the USA but way too expensive here. I am hoping to have them quickly printed and see if Pastor Doug could bring them when he comes since they won't take up much space and they are lite. PRAY for me as do that.
I always look forward to your emails so don't forget to write!
Friday, January 16 - And Pancakes for All!
One of my first trips with Greg to the store in Kericho he asked them to have the manager order some pancake mix. Not a high priority item here in Kenya. Though Greg had attempted making the mix from scratch a few times it didn't work so well. Today he decided to try again and WOW! He did an amazing job and the receipe he used was a bulk one so it made enough pancakes for the whole crew. Everyone really enjoyed the homemade pancakes and homemade syrup! Good job Greg! Thanks.
It's been a strange day weather wise and still sickness is among us in a variety of ways. We are continuing to fight it off. A few "accidents" with kids has increased the amount of laundry and number of diapers needed. Now that the weekend is here it's time for lots of laundry to be done and a little break from the hectic routine of school.
After dinner I hung out with Peter and Al while they milked the cow. It was nice to have that time with them. We
watched the goats playing while the cow was
milked first by Peter then Al finished. While
there we were delivered an invitation to the
evening talent show. I quickly went and got
cleaned up and put on my suit and tie to sur-
prise everyone. You should have see the kids
since it's the first time they have seen me like
The talent show was awesome! Almost all
the family did something. A few skipped out
but they are on the hook for the next one that
takes place in about three weeks when Pastor Lamb is with us. (Get your act ready Pastor!) Everyone had a great time. These children knew nothing of what it meant to be a part of a "family" so they are learning and really are
enjoying it. Mary Rose came dressed special for the event and so did little Hannah. One of the highlights of the evening was a special slideshow Mary Rose put together for me about my first two weeks here and it made me cry. They selected the song: "JESUS FREAK" for the music and it featured many pictures of me with the kids. It was really well done and such a surprise. Mary Rose did a song and dance that was really creative and the kids did songs in their age groups. Peter spun a basketball on the end of his fingers to music and it was all very nice.
After the talent show Greg made popcorn and we showed a Vegetale feature before the kids went off to bed. It has been a full day for everyone.
During the day I studied and prayed and then brought the guitar out and sang for the children during snack time. I worked on writing some emails and also worked on the media project for the Dows. Awesome day!
There's "doubletrouble" on Laundry Day
Saturday, January 17 - Big trouble in the laundry department
With no school today you can imagine what we are up to at the Dow Family Children's Home! If you think you've got a laundry problem - you can't believe just how much laundry there is here. And there is no washing machine and no dryer! Just socks and underwear for this many people is quite a lot to think about. Then there are 14 kids worth of school sweaters, shirts, shorts and dresses. How about pajamas for 25 and then play clothes! While the girls have started on the socks and underwear, the boys are cleaning their shoes.
I went down to take some laundry pictures and couldn't resist getting two of the biggest girls to get inside a pair of my pants (one in each leg and then one of my PEI shirts. They were laughing so hard. I'm sure the neighbors must have wondered what was going on over here. All the children were laughing and screaming as the girls stood there dressed like me. And I was laughing but, I was also just admiring how much weight I lost and now seeing two good sized people inside one pair of pants with enough room for a third was not as funny. I will say that the pants and shirt are both loose on me. The children are not crying and complaining about the work they are doing. They are laughing and smiling and happy to be a part of a family. To have food, clothing, shelter, and
PS: Mom, thanks for all the years you washed my clothes and took care of me!
My mom worked very hard to raise 4 of us practically alone. I learned how to make my own bed and sometimes I put my clean clothes away after they were washed, but my mom always took care of me and kept me in clean clothes and very well fed! It wasn't easy. I was a very difficult child. I love you mom! Thanks!
Sunday, January 18
With all the reports of cold temperatures
there in PA I thought you would enjoy a story
about the cold here this morning. The kids
were all bundled up and singing when I came
out to a bright sunny day that for me was not
cold at all. Bud was there dressed in his fuzzy
warm froggy PJs with the feet in them. Some
days the kids spend their whole day in those
because they are warm and comfortable and
protect their little bodies from everything! The
person who donated those never could have imagined the great blessing they were going to be. The children
taught me two interesting songs they like and when I come back I'll share them with you. One is about a butter-
fly and the other an elephant. Both can become quite annoying as they can go on and on with them for quite
a while. That's what actually got me to learn them. It's the first time I've heard them in over two weeks here so
maybe I won't hear them again for a while. I'm tempted to sing them but if I do it could trigger an hour of torture! (Smiling while I write that). The kids still enjoy calling me Mandazi and I like it. The sweet, doughnut like stuff (Mandazi) is so popular here. This morning Judith and Faith were helping Greg
make it for everyone. They usually make enough for about 3 days although it would be gone in minutes if they could eat as much as they wanted. Every- thing the children receive for food comes in moderation. The Dows feed them well without over feeding them.
Judith & Faith making Mandazi
This morning Greg spoke about remembering why we do what we do and who we are doing it for. It's all about JESUS, not about us. We should speak to each other as we would speak to JESUS and show love to each other as we would show love to JESUS. We get up in the morning for JESUS and go to bed at night for JESUS. It's all about Him. Every minute of everyday. Peter was his example and the story of JESUS telling Peter to get out of the boat and come walking to Him on the water. WOW! What a challenge it is to walk on the water. All Peter had to do is trust JESUS and get out of the boat. That takes a lot of courage and faith. If it had been one of the other disciples telling Peter to get out of the boat, "trust me" he might not have gone and the re- sults though they could have been the same if he did - might not have been. Even in the case of it being JESUS when Peter was distracted by the wind and waves and began to focus on something other than JESUS he began to sink. GOOD NEWS - if you've begun to sink because you got your eyes off JESUS He's ready to rescue you! Don't drown, call Him to lift you up and put you safely back in the boat.
As you know I am speaking from experience right now. Today I would be in Eldoret but I believe it was JESUS' who changed the plan and already I've experienced many reasons why I am still here. In the end, it will all turn out just fine because it's not about us - it's about JESUS.
There was a baby goat born not long before I arrived. It was a happy little goat and I watched it daily running and playing. For some reason the mother wouldn't allow the baby to drink from her as she should. Withholding something so precious is a dangerous thing. Yesterday Al was feeding the goat by a bottle but the baby was so sick. We thought today it would be better. When Al went to check on the baby goat this morning it was dead. Life is like that. We don't know what the next day has for us. So, today - I want to be all about JESUS and what He wants. Blessings!
Raise your hand if you love roasted corn!
Monday, January 19 - Corn on the cob - African style!
You can find it on just about any street corner and along any road! Roasted corn. For many in Africa it's a treat. I must tell you, I have not been able to come to grips with this delight of many! When the corn was ready to cut down today - roasted corn came our way although most of this corn will be sent to be made in to corn meal for another type of African dish the people enjoy here.
Today was a day for me to study, pray, write emails, letters, postcards and rest. I also enjoyed hanging out with the kids some and it's always fun to observe them interacting with each other. I am thankful for your prayers for us here. I also enjoyed talking to some folks in the USA!
God's greeting for a new day
Tuesday, January 20 - Rainbow over the Dow Family Children's Home
What a way to start the day! There was a beautiful rainbow that completely covered the Dow Family Children's Home this morning as the children were waiting to leave for school. It was an amazing sight. Even more amazing to me was the contrast of the dark sky on one side and a beautiful sunrise on the other. I always love looking at the way God paints the sky and everything in His creation. There is no one so creative as the MAKER of the universe. How could anyone believe that a "big bang" started all this and set it in motion. That it was all just an accident or mistake rather than a PLAN!
Today I want you to know that God has a plan for you and for me in this day. There is someone you may meet in this day that does not know God and you may be the one to tell them about Him. Let your light shine in the darkness today. Be a beacon of hope in this dark world. Today there is probably not a rainbow over our Nation's Capitol. For many this day represents gloom because they did not vote for Obama. We must rise above that and pray for the NEW President of the United States today. God is still God and He is in control. Do not trouble yourself today. PRAY! Remember all that GOD has done. He's not finished.
Being an "encourager" in a world that needs encouragement
Time to go to work. It's early morning. The birds are singing the sun has just come up and the rainbow was a great start. Then I remember - I'm in Kenya. It would be so much easier for me if I woke up in my bed at home (or on the couch). No matter where I am God has given me a ministry of encouragement. It is a ministry I don't always enjoy. To encourage others it takes a lot of prayer, much time spent in the WORD of GOD and keeping your relationship with God close. I must admit I would fail miserably if that all depended on me. God reminds me daily that if I am "willing", HE is "able". Through the power of the Holy Spirit the FATHER enables me to be an encourager and to make a difference for HIM wherever I am. Today it's Kenya. A few weeks from now it will be someplace in the USA. Being an encourager is as simple as reminding someone who GOD is and what HE wants to do in their lives. It's not just saying something kind although that can be an encouragement. The power of encouragement comes from the one who has the power to encourage! The source of the power is what we need to connect people with. As I go through this day I must listen to the Spirit and watch for opportunities to encourage, build up, and bring hope in the situations where there would seem to be no hope. To many, when I am on a mission I represent HOPE! "I" am not that HOPE. I am the one pointing them to JESUS who is HOPE. In HIM they will find everything they need. When people come to me looking for help they think I will hand them some money, or material things that will meet their need. That could happen if that is what GOD has planned for them. But, what will really make a difference is having HIM as Lord, Savior, Master, Healer, Provider!
The first time I heard about what Greg and Mary Rose were planning to do, I thought "they are crazy". Even though I had asked Fika and Bo to leave their homes and families and be missionaries in the USA, I just couldn't imagine AMERICANS selling everything they own, packing up their 6 kids and literally cashing it all in to help orphans in Kenya. "Are they nuts?" What difference could it possibly make with all the orphans there are in AFRICA?
ANSWER: It can make all the difference in the world
of the children who become a part of their family! I
promise you . . . . it is making a difference!
God is putting all the pieces together and it's a perfect fit. I am absolutely blown away by what GOD is using the Dows to do in the lives of these children. They were not healthy or happy prior to arriving here. Skin and bones would have been an accurate description of most of them and some just hanging on to life. Worms, lice, ringworm, and a host of other problems.
You need to hear the children singing songs to JESUS and you'll experience PRAISE in a whole new way. They are now in the loving arms of JESUS at Dow Family Children's Home and they are "family". When they are tucked into bed at night, they know they are loved, wanted and no longer alone.
We all are a piece of a bigger puzzle and we too fit perfect when we allow GOD to put us in the place where HE wants us. What a beautful thing. As unique as the rainow today!
In case you are thinking I've turned into an OBAMA supporter, I have! Crazy? No! I'm just an American. The people of the United States elected a president and now I am going to pray for him, and do everything I can to show him the respect he deserves as the leader of the country I am a part of and love. If I really don't approve of the decision, there's a whole world out there where I can live. Mr. President, I welcome you and commit myself to pray for you.
Welcome aboard! May God bless America!
Chris Cote - International Mission Director