June 3, 2008
Dear Praying Friends,
Greetings from Kitale, Kenya! We arrived in Kitale on May 5th , and it is so good to be back home. We miss our family very much, and our friends in the U.S., but this is where God has called us, and where our hearts are.
We arrived here in Kitale to find that we had no working phone line, as the line has been stolen for its metal. Our washing machine was broken, our internet connection didn’t work, even when we did finally get the phone lines working, our water heater was broken, and our car was having problems. After about two weeks, we finally were able to get things working so that we could function. This is life in a third world country.
Our son-in-law, Graig, arrived here before we did with his team of five from the University of Michigan. We came a couple of days later, and were able to help Graig to get into ministry with his team. They were able to visit with the members of our newest church out in the country. They also did a de-worming clinic in a neighborhood not too far from our Imani Baptist Church, and worked with our pastors. They even had the opportunity of ministering in a camp for displaced people who had lost everything in the tribal clashes earlier this year. There were two camps in Kitale for displaced persons. One camp had 2,000 people living in it, and the other one outside of town had 20,000. Now, the government is trying to return these people to their homelands, so the numbers in the camps have greatly reduced.
The power sharing of the new government that formed after the disputed elections seems to be working so far. We have a president and prime minister running the country together and sharing power. However, prices have really increased, and our people are having a hard time even feeding their families. Gasoline is over $7.00 per gallon, and the food prices have doubled, and some have tripled. Wages have not gone up, so it is harder and harder for families to survive. Unemployment is increasing at an alarming rate, as tourism and other industries that function because of people coming from overseas, have dwindled. Times are harder than we have ever seen since we have been in Kenya. However, the hard times help our people to focus on our Lord and His faithfulness to care for His people in times of testing, instead of trusting in temporary things.
I have had several meetings with our pastors. One of the pastors had a good idea for ministry. He was interested in seeing if our churches could make a difference in people who are suffering from the later stages of Aids. Pam had training in dealing with people who have AIDS in late 2006, so he asked her if she would teach about AIDS to our church members. She began teaching last week in each of our three churches. She is teaching our members, and others who may be interested, all about the symptoms of AIDS, and how that they can go into homes, and be a witness by helping to care for these unfortunate people. The response has been very good, and we are excited to see our people want to know more, and want to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those suffering from this terrible disease.
I am excited about restarting our Bible Institute with our church leaders, later this month. More are interested in being trained to do the work of our Lord, so I am preparing to start after Roger gets settled, and can help.
We are excited about Roger and Julie Tate and their family arriving to work with us here on June 9th. Lord willing, Pam and I will go into Nairobi to pick them up, and then spend a few days there showing them around. Our plans are to return to Kitale on June 13th, and to help them to get settled into their new lives here. WE are planning a big party for them, and plan to bring the churches together to meet them, and see an evangelistic video in Swahili. We would covet your prayers for us and them, that together, we can accomplish great things for our Lord.
May our Lord richly bless each of you for your prayers for us on this side of God’s world. We are a team together, and whatever is accomplished is because of your prayers and financial support. You are a vital part of the ministry here, and we would love to hear from you. Thanks again so much for bringing our names before God’s throne. We appreciate you and your labors for our Lord there.
Your servants in Kenya,
Mike and Pam
mpanderson [at] africaonline.co.ke
June 3, 2008