Monday, December 15, 2014

The Waters of Life

A while back, one of my best friends who is somewhat of an expert on early church history, told me that the early church called the waters of baptism … ‘The Waters of Life’.

For almost a year and a half we at StoneHouse have been looking for a place to baptize our disciples. There is nothing in the Nakuru area that is suitable for baptisms. We have used a swimming pool in the past but that was never our first choice. We wanted rushing waters surrounded by our Father’s beautiful creation. Last weekend … our Father showed us where it was. This is the story.

Last week we decided to visit our newest church family in the rural community of Kamwaura. They were waiting for us with open arms. Our time together was so wonderful… as usual. They are so poor in the things of this world, but rich in the ways of the Kingdom. I asked the responsible brother there if he knew where we could baptize people. He smiled and said that after the Gathering he would take us to a place he thought we would love… and he was so right.

After a short, ten minute walk or a two minute drive from his house we came upon this little valley.

At the bottom of the valley, nestled among some huge trees, lay the prettiest little river I think I've ever seen.

There were people washing their clothes.

The water was clean, fast moving and very cold.

Sara, my little Kenyan granddaughter loved it.

Right before the little rapids there was this little pool that was so beautiful.

One of the little boys volunteered to show us how deep the little pool was.

It was absolutely perfect for baptisms.

After a few more pictures, we headed back up the hill and began planning to bring all our churches together the first of the new year for baptisms. God is so good.

After we said our goodbyes to our family in Kamwaura, we drove home rejoicing at the thought of returning to what will now be for us … the  'Waters of Life'.

Much love from  the StoneHouse the Life in East Africa.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Part III … The Marvelous Massai

This is the third and final segment of a three part pictorial post, describing our trip to the Massai Mara. The trip consisted of our participation in a graduation ceremony at ‘Threads of Hope’ sewing school. This wonderful facility is run by a good friend of ours Deborah Deren. While we were there, we also spoke to a small local a group of Massai about seeing the Body of Christ formed in them. Here are a few of the six hundred and fifty pictures we took. It was definitely a surreal experience.

The Marvelous Massai Part III

Sunday morning we drove to the center of town and awaited those wanting a ride up the hill, for a Sunday Gathering under a tree.

After about an hour, they appeared and began stuffing themselves into our two little cars.

When we could hold no more, we took off for the hill where Deborah is building her house.

On the way, we were met with kids… the four-legged kind…

And the two-legged kind.

Half way up the hill, we were met by a precious group of adults and their children sitting under a tree.

We all began singing praises to the Lord.

Then we prayed that our heavenly Father would speak to us.

After a brief introduction from Deborah, we began to speak of what the ancient writings had promised them… that they too, could become part of the people of God, the very Body of Christ.

They really seemed to understand what that meant and that we would help them.

But alas… oh, God… the fields are white for harvest… but where are the workers?

When we finished, a delightful friend of Deborah called Joy… put on a puppet show for the kids. Her name Joy is descriptive of her sweet disposition and we could tell that she was clearly a woman of God.

Then the children presented some songs they had prepared for us.

After the Gathering we walked further up the hill to see where Deborah was building her house. What a view!

Another unexpected blessing happened to us. We were given a new motorcycle for our ministry.  This gift will greatly aid our StoneHouse ministers to travel about and teach in our other churches. The next morning we loaded up our motorcycle and headed home.

Even the trip home was wonderful. We witnessed a huge dust devil and a beautiful rainstorm that testified of our Father’s creativity .

We also unfortunately experienced a spark plug blow out, because our mechanic in Nakuru had forgotten to tighten it down. Fifteen miles later, driving at less than 25 mph, we finally found a mechanic who fixed us up and sent us on our way. No wonder the gas mileage was terrible. Still not bad for a 27 year old car. We reached home exhausted but very happy.

Thanks for taking the time to share our journey, Please remember to pray for StoneHouse Ministries, that we would have the strength and resources to do all that our Father has placed before us. Also, please remember to pray for Deborah and the small gathering under the tree.

Much love … the StoneHouse Family.

Why do we do this? Because people who desire to follow Christ, deserve to see why He came to this earth and see what abundant Life really looks like. Living the Life of the Body of Christ is awesome!

Next up… Kenya’s first Ingathering!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Part II … The Marvelous Massai… November 26, 2014

This is the second in a three part pictorial post describing our trip to the Massai Mara. The trip consisted of our participation in a graduation ceremony at ‘Threads of Hope’ sewing school. This wonderful facility is run by a good friend of ours Deborah Deren. While we were there we also talked to local a group of Massai about forming them into a church. It was definitely a surreal experience. Here are a few of the six hundred and fifty pictures we took. 

The Marvelous Massai Part II

As people continued to arrive we all found our prescribed seats. The visiting guest…

The Massai community…

And the students….

One of the first activities of the graduation was a comedy skit about someone trying to fix some ripped pants. Everyone loved it. Even though we couldn't understand what was said, it was still funny.

Then the beautiful graduating students began to dance and sing…

After the dancing, Deb introduced me as the guest speaker and I began to preach. I told them of the eternal love affair in heaven between the Father and the Son that fell upon humans two thousand years ago … and changed everything.

It was met with amazement...

And wonder…

Even though there were those present it obviously disturbed…

Even so, a few listened.

Still others became fearful…

Of the ever watching eyes of the disturbed …

The crowd had risen to over four hundred…

...when the beautiful Massai women began to sing a song that made me wonder how my wife and I had come to be so blessed as to be in the midst of such a wondrous people.

I looked at the massive Simon holding a young boy and wondered at their strength.

I looked at the beautiful and strong women surrounding us and wondered at their endurance in such a harsh land…

I marveled at the wisdom revealed in the faces of the older women...

Finally the graduation certificates were handed out and Deborah thanked everyone for their participation. Suddenly the four hour celebration was over. We were presented with a beautiful beaded banner for StoneHouse Ministries International.

We were so grateful to have been a part of such a joyous day...

Afterwards everyone quickly lined up to fill their bellies with the goat stew. It was almost five o'clock by the time food was served and my wife and I had not eaten anything that whole day. We were pretty hungry. It seemed as though everyone was pretty hungry. The line quickly became a little rowdy so we decided to exit the line and let the locals eat first. As soon as we did someone brought us our plates. It was so good. 

What a good day!

Next… Part III… The ‘Gathering’ under a tree and our trip home.