Sad News


We awoke this morning with some sad news. Valerie’s father, George, has passed away. We were hoping that he would rally and hold on until we returned to the states but the Lord’s timing is always perfect. He died peacefully while his brother, Dick, was holding his hand and the hospital Chaplin was in the room reading Psalm 23. The amazing thing is that he did not experience pain throughout his entire month in the hospital. We thank the Lord for that!

Now begins the process of planning his funeral. Valerie and I had initially thought that if he passed while we were in Kenya that she would come home for a few weeks for the funeral and the care of her father’s estate, but I had made a promise to the family that I would officiate at George’s funeral and I feel it’s important for me to be with Valerie at this time. So, even tough it will be expensive and exhausting, we will make the trip to Indianapolis this Tuesday night. I will then return to Kenya in one week and Valerie will return in two weeks to continue our mission. We were up early this morning going over our schedule to see what can be moved and rescheduled. One good thing is that the people of Kenya are completely flexible, due to all the unexpected things that happen here. So pray for us dear friends as we move through the next few weeks. You may remember that I shared with you several weeks ago that the Lord shared a word with Valerie. It was “You shall suffer, preach the Gospel.” She is taking comfort in this word.

In spite of the news Valerie and I went with the nurses this morning into the Kibera slums for a medical camp. We felt we needed to be there to get everything organized and orient the nurses to the environment. When you come from the organized and sterile world of US healthcare, and into the chaotic and unclean world of the slums, it is almost traumatizing. It is amazing though how adaptable people are. After an hour of so of working the medical line people begin to realize that medical care can be brought to anyone anywhere! Today 3 or 4 hundred sick people will be attended to who cannot afford to see or doctor or buy medication. All of them will be prayed for and many of them will accept Christ. Medical camps are such a meaningful way to show the love of Christ!

We have made many trips into the slums and up until now nothing ever changed. But today, as we drove the main road the whole place seemed to be lighter and less oppressed. It seems that that President Kenyatta has been inspired to do something about the conditions in the slums. Usually this only happens in election years, when politicians are trying to buy votes from the 1.3 million people in the slums, but the President has launched an initiative using the manpower and resources and a group called The National Youth Organization (Much like our Job Corps). Literally thousands of young men have worked to widened the main road, they have brought in water and electric lines and (best of all) they have launched a massive garbage collection program. This, my friends, is a major answer to our prayers. Any and all, may now bring their garbage to the main road and it will be carried away for free! Garbage is one of the main causes of disease in the slum. I’m sure that all of this didn’t happen just because you and I prayed, but we are directly connecting it to our prayers just the same! Thank you God!

Tomorrow, before we fly to Kakamega for a few days we will be involved in a totally new WorldCOMP outreach. We are reaching out to the street kids of Nairobi. We are going to bring together hundreds of kids who have been in trouble, on drugs, into crime and prostitution to share with them about the life-changing power of Christ. They are calling this a “Youth Empowerment Initiative. Following this Valerie and I will jet off to the airport and head to Kakamega.

God Bless you my friends. Our continued gratitude for your prayers and financial support.

All our love,
Richard and Val