May the God of Hope fill you with Joy and Peace this Christmas.
‘Hope’ is the joyful expectation that something Good will happen.
Humanly speaking, it’s not surprising that the ‘Hope’ in us seems to be gradually disappearing into a depressive, fearful state, when you witness the strife and turmoil all around us today.
‘Who can we Trust?’
We are in the season of ‘Goodwill to all men’ bringing and exchanging gifts with one another. We remember and celebrate the Birth of Jesus; let us too receive from Jesus the gifts he brings to us of Love, Joy and Peace. This releases us from all the fears consuming this world.
Merry Christmas Everyone and a Blessed New Year from Brenda and all the Peacemakers. Thank you for being a part of changing lives in Kenya.
Christmas bulletin from Kenya:
We are sending our prayers and wishes for a wonderful Christmas over there (in the UK).
Here the searing daytime sun belies the approaching nightly torrents. This rainy season is now predicted to last to the end of December. I spend restless nights listening to the incessant downpours. Remember, most of the house has a tin roof and the noise is deafening; the raucous chorus of the jubilant frogs in unison with the dogs howling at the lightning flashes. You can almost imagine you are on board a ship in a stormy sea… The gutters can hardly cope with the roof water gushing down; the water tanks fill to overflow.
We have been waking up to flooded areas, spending hours mopping up and scooping the soil back up the slope. We have been hacking out extra channels and planning digging more slow-down ponds. The Kenyans call the rain “Blessings”, of course! We did not have any rain in March this year but this November season has made up for it! For us, it hopefully means a good harvest is ahead.
We had a wedding in between the showers… thank God for helping us. From 4 am we were re-erecting tents, decorating everywhere and we managed to get everything done in time. It was great to see Isaac’s photography team Siera having the contract for the photos.
This time, the actual marriage took place in our thatched building and the reception down in the garden. The caterers cooked all night. Typical wedding fare includes beef stew, “mukimo” (mashed potatoes, yellow maize and greens, chapati and rice with grated carrots.
We have also hosted three graduation parties.
We thank God that a group of ladies and a few gents from our community want to start the Peacemakers Outside Catering Team. We already have a growing market in catering for groups and we need to do more by enlisting a full team. We are praying how to go ahead with repairs to the kitchen and extra equipment. As we begin to have guests to stay in the house, it will be all the more necessary for me to have a qualified hospitality / housekeeper employee as I find myself stretched in many directions to present a quality service.
Our nearest neighbour Mama Eric has been longing to start it but has been caring up until last week for the mother of the late Patrick Kavungura, one of the original Kenya Peacemakers. Mama Kavungura passed on at the age of 94 years; we attended the burial on December 4th. According to custom, most people travel to the mortuary to view the body then return to the homestead for the burial in the garden of the home.
The youth dig the grave at dawn the same morning and return the soil at a spectacular speed after the committal.
We have now planned to start new registration of members in January 2020 with a nominated committee. We had a marvellous Prayer time where the Lord really spoke to us all about forgetting the former things (Isaiah 43) and marching forward, finally reaching our hope and future (Jeremiah 29;11).
I am looking forward to stepping back a little to see the Kenyans organise and manage more. The new committee will plan regular activities including the start of a Bible Teaching base, monitor the Youth projects for tree planting, poultry and livestock. We will revive our Craft projects and extend training activities for nutrition and health. We plan to do a lot more marketing of our accommodation and facilities. We have seen how God has taken us on a journey to where we are now and are excited for the next stage.
Our real needs at the moment are to get the greenhouse up and running for planting more sensitive seedlings like avocado and macadamia and rotating to capsicums again but by constructing soil tunnels as the soil we have has wilt. We would be getting new soil from Mt Kenya Forest. This will be another Youth project, along with the poultry rearing. At the moment, there are hundreds of idle school leavers around, without funds for further education and few opportunities for any employment. We also need to make
money from the B&B business and catering. Our profits return to the vulnerable. We really have to see God getting all the glory when we see this place prospering. Here are some of the rooms for you to stay.
We are all thankful for your wonderful support. The students continue to be able to attend school because of regular gifts. The Terrington Ladies have been stars in contributions for beans for the Disabled children, and lovely knitted jumpers, the Swansea Ladies the same. Thanks to Lifewell for money for food distribution for needy families this Christmas and the Orphans’ Party. Thanks to the Taylor Davids for moving us so far forward with water projects. Thanks again to the Beadles who have enabled us to help so many people. Thank you for all your gifts and prayers.
Much love from all the team here and from my new addition of a Cardigan corgi, Evie (AMAZING, I know)
Happy Christmas from Kenya!