Thursday, October 5, 2017

Helping the Helpless

In our ministry to women we’re privileged to help those who cannot help themselves. Josephine Thogori Waithera is one of those women. 

This 45 year old woman is the mother of 6 children. She was abandoned by her husband after 13 years of marriage. When she was in labor at home, with her last born child, she walked outside and fell into a cooking fire. Because of the disfigurement of the burns from the fire accident, her husband left her.

Women in Kenya usually cook on an open fire outside their one or two room dirt floor houses. She had a seizure, as she labored to give birth, and fell into the fire and suffered severe burns.

Josephine gave birth to a healthy baby girl that day. Now, at 13 years old, Julia now helps her mother everyday and is sponsored for school fees by the LEARN ministry.

That was the first time of 5 times she fell into a fire during a seizure. Burns over 85% of her body have resulted in debilitating scarring.

Before the birth of this baby, Josephine had never had a seizure. To this day, she has multiple seizures 3 - 4 days a week.

During the post election violence of 2007, having no place to go, she was forced to live with her children in an IDP camp. While living there she was known as the delightful, encouraging woman that she was, and still is today, in spite of the tradegies in her life.

She walked among the people in the camp singing, dancing and speaking of her faith in Christ, telling them about Jesus, and spreading hope throughout the camp. 

The authorities in the IDP camp were told she was a mad woman. After questioning her they realized, contrary to the rumors, she was a light in the darkness. They asked her to stay and continue to encouraging people. After 3 years in the IDP camp the government gave her a plot of land in the farming community of Njoro.

She doesn’t have money to build a house so Josephine and Julia are now living in a corner of a mud house with her elderly grand parents. She’s dependent upon the charity of others to meet her everyday needs and has no reliable income. But she’s not a slacker and doesn’t use her handicap for excuses not to work as she does her best to do some little farming to grow food for her family.

Both of Josephines parents have died. Her two oldest daughters are married and one daughter is on her own. She’s blessed with 10 grandchildren. One son went with his father but no one knows where either of them are. Her adult children struggle raising their own families and aren’t able to help her. She has a 16 year old son, Joseph, who, after finishing 6th grade, had to quit school and leave home to work as a houseboy, to help his mom and 13 year old sister, Julia. He is sending them $5.00 a month to help with food and clothing. Josephine would love to have her son back with her and he wants to come home but she cannot afford to house and feed him.

 As you see in the picture someone is growing maize corn on her land until she can build a house.

Her land is close to where the pastor of StoneHouse Fellowship Church in Njoro, Joshua and his wife, Caroline, live with their sweet daughter. 

Her grandparents are aging, her children are growing up and she needs to be close to the church family who will watch over her.

Josephine is worthy of our help and an inspiration to all who meet her. Please consider these needs and how you can be a part of helping her and her family.

How can you help? 

Please consider these needs and how you can be a part of helping Josephine and her family:

Build a house  on her own land: $3,000.00
Provide Food and Water - $10.00 a week 
Provide Clothing and Shoes for Josephine and Julia - $50.00 a year.
Medical Care - $20.00 a month
Bring Joseph home: $10.00 a month
Give a pair of goats that Joseph can help take care of: $150.00
Help the Grandparents by Providing Food for them - $10.00 a week;
and clothing $50.00 a year.

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Amazing Women of God

Sometimes… our Father in Heaven sends us little signs, that this day… is going to be a special day. This was one of those days. This black and white picture of the sun, is an actual picture of the sunrise on the day of the Stonehouse Sisterhood conference. We were excited, we knew He was coming.

Our Masai sisters, Josephine, Santori and baby Niyin, arrived from our newest church family in Ngoswani, Masai Mara, Friday evening and spent the weekend at our house on Windy Hill. Saturday morning we woke up and ate breakfast, with a lot of anticipation of hearing from God and meeting new sisters.

As we arrived at our Engashura church family's gathering place, registration began for the eighty or so ladies coming from the different local StoneHouse churches.

There were many women from our distant church families, that couldn’t attend, as the distance made traveling too cost prohibitive. Those who were able to come, arrived with some trepidation, having never met their fellow sisters.

That trepidation soon dissipated, as sisters greeted one another with holy affection.

The gathering was called to order, by our lovely sister Helen, from our home fellowship (soon to be a church family) in Barut. Lillian, mother of Winnie, interpreted for Helen.

Then everyone sang to and worshiped the One who had brought them all together.

During the general assembly, subjects were taught and discussed like...what does it mean to have faith like a 'mustard seed' and how does someone walk with God in this present age?

Lillian from Keptembwa, Caroline from Njoro were among the speakers talking on the various subjects in the general assembly.

After general assembly and lunch, the ladies broke into various workshops, concerning problems that faced the various demographics. What does discipleship look like for widows, abandoned mothers, single women and grandparents being a few of the discussions.

Among the small group discussio participants, was Josephine from Ngoswani Masai Mara fellowship...

Elizabeth from Nakuru fellowship...  

In the green headscarf, Josephine from Njoro fellowship...

In the white blouse, Mary from Keptembwa fellowship...

In the pink dress, Wangui from Keptembwa fellowship ....

All the women attending were attentive and grateful. They spoke afterwards, saying the conference was the best they had ever experienced. 

In the afternoon some of our missionary friends from Christian Aid Ministries, Luke, Jamila Kuntz and their wonderful children (three of which are in the background), brought the widows, boxes of food, containing unga (flour), beans, rice etc., and 1000 shillings (10 US dollars) for each woman.

All the while, outside the building, my car was serving duty as the child care center.

At the end of the day, everyone present, (including me the photographer), was blessed beyond measure. Our cups were full.

That night we all slept like logs and woke up to a great 'Haviylah' breakfast. We then drove Josephine, Santori and baby girl Niyin, to the Matatu stage (bus stop) for their trip home.

We want to express our love and thanks to Robin Nail and Heaven's family for their help financing this wonderful conference. May our Father in Heaven bless you for your love.

And finally... to the Lady, who through a lot of prayer and hard work, brought it all together.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

StoneHouse Ngoswani

Gathering The Living Stones in Ngoswani, Kenya

The Spiritual house, made of living stones, is being built in Ngoswani, Kenya. It’s purpose ... to become an environment to live with and serve our Father. Our beloved sister, Deb Deren, has for three years, been gathering those souls who would be formed into this living House of God.

The honor of this House, is to offer acceptable and spiritual sacrifices to the glory of our Father’s Kingdom. The sacrifices are nothing less than the very lives of those who make up that house. (1Peter 2:4-6 and Romans 12:1)

The five hour drive to the Mara is breathtakingly beautiful. We enjoyed.. for the first time… the journey… without one automotive breakdown. Bless the Lord.

It’s easy to know you’ve entered the land of the Masai tribe, because of their distinctive tribal dress and culture.

When we arrived at Ngoswani, we were warmly welcomed by the children and our precious brothers and sisters living there.

Who had been diligently working to complete the baptismal tank, food preparations of rice and ten sheep and goats (which also required keeping the ten or so hyenas away that night), and other tasks, for the forthcoming baptism and following celebration feast.

We spent the rest of the first day with old and new friends and the fellowship was sweet. There was a sense of expectation in the air and we slept soundly that night, with great hopes for the next two days.

Saturday morning we filled the water tank (which was no easy matter, because every drop had to be carried by multiple trips in the car over two miles away), only to have it all leak out by Saturday night.

We were joined by a fellow worker in the Kingdom called Joseph, from outside the town of Narok, an hour and a half away from Ngoswani. Being a Masai himself, he was a great blessing in translating English to Masai as we taught those seeking baptism. After the teaching he asked if we could come and teach his friends and neighbors, to which we readily agreed to do so.

Later that morning, we taught those who desired baptism and new life.

The man in forefront of the picture below was a village elder who wandered in off the street and proclaimed that God was with us and that the Masai people needed to follow what we were doing in our church. I was told that Deb had never seen him before that day.

After hearing what a true baptism is really means, out of the twenty that showed an interest, ten said yes, and the other ten said, they needed to take some more time before committing themselves to this new King. Four men and five women and one teenage boy chose Life. They also chose to repent of their past life, their sins and their union with this world and it’s culture. We were grateful that the baptism was being taken seriously and not done, without a moral choice and commitment to becoming disciples of Christ.

Sunday morning the car was sent out to pick up people in town, so all the water for Sunday morning had to come by way of donkey carts… six of them. Once again the tank was filled and thankfully, it held the water (well, at least till the end of the day). There were around two hundred and fifty Masai that came to watch the transformation.

Our friend and sister Deb Deren, expressed her need to be baptized as she did not understand the meaning of baptism, when she was baptized years back. She said she wanted to be the first and to set the example for the people she ministered to.

Then one after another… they entered the waters of death and resurrection. They came out a new creation of Christ and were welcomed into the family of God. It was amazing to watch.

One in particular… Makooi. Makooi has been with Deb for 4 years and would never commit his life to Christ. He said … that when I do chose to be baptized … It will be all… or nothing. After his baptism… Makooi was a different man. He smiled… he laughed … he played with his children and was one happy man.

There was also, three young men. Ishwani, Joel and Isaiah. After the baptism, their hearts overflowed with joy, that was observable on their faces. They committed themselves to being made  disciples, and vowed to follow their new King with absolute fidelity. We… were inspired.

After baptism, more of the community came to hear the gospel. Haviylah spoke again the gospel of the Kingdom and many were listening and touched.

You ask… what Is StoneHouse doing in Kenya? This, is what we're doing. Committing men and women to Christ and advancing our Father's Kingdom.
Pray for them… pray for us. Welcome to StoneHouse.