Saturday, 13 January 2018

THOUGHTS & CONFRONTATON ALONG THE WAY - DIVORCE - PART 2

Satan is recorded as having said - 'Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.  For put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.'

What is being said here is that any of us (Men AND Women) naturally put the happiness and contentment of their lives FIRST.     It is true both of the Secular and the Religious among us.
Emotional distress, sickness and loss of material well being  can, and do, cause us to CRY out, and even curse GOD.     There ARE exceptions.
SATAN knows how to make each individual one of us CRY out, and with this cry there is always blame - seldom for ourselves.   We must blame someone or something however, since otherwise we must see ourselves as having in some way 'been in  error'.         Adam and Eve were both in error - they both ignored their Conscience, AND the Word they had from God.   The Man blamed his wife - and, through his wife, God Himself.    'The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I did eat.'     The woman blamed the serpent.  'The serpent beguiled me, (and Satan who used him), and I did eat.'     Genesis 3v12-13     Ultimately we ALL know what we OUGHT to do, but please ourselves instead, casting blame on God, The Devil and whatever and whoever else may come to mind.     AND thus the Scripture, existing only for the edification and education of Mankind, says to us in the Letter of James 4v17
'Therefore, to him that knoweth to do good,
and doeth it not,
to him it is sin.

Adam and Eve created the Blame Game in Marriage.     They continued on together ( in their case, of course, there were no alternative partners to run to) and bore one another, and perhaps hopefully also came to forgive each other, and, by the Grace of God,  reach old age together.    

IN THE CASE OF JOB, God let Satan deprive Job of just about EVERYTHING; his sons and daughters, his property, and every animal that profited him, plus his good health and strength, and because of it his social standing and importance in the Society he lived in.     Yes, Satan deprived him of all - except his wife.       
Of course we must accept that this unhappy woman also suffered, and thereafter, living faithfully on with Job had to watch the immediate and progressive disintegration of her husband's joy and well being.     She was hurting with him, and SHE cried out; she was pained, and pained with her husband's pain, and SHE blamed it all on GOD.    She said to her husband,  co-loser of all they had together rejoiced in - 'Dost thou still retain thine integrity?    Curse God and die.'
This wife blamed it ALL on God, and could see nothing to hope for, or to LIVE for.  'Curse God and Die!
BUT JOB, in all this, in all of his agony of mind and body, in all of his loss and pain, did not sin with his lips.     He did NOT blame God.      And he said to his wife 'Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speakest,  What?  Shall we not receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?
Job accepted his situation as God's will and purpose for him.    He was not enjoying it, but he would not avoid it, nor run away from it     Job 1-3.   He trusted in God.   He put GOD FIRST.
And at the END of his story in Job 42 God reversed all that Satan had done, and restored Job's losses so that he had twice as much as had been taken away from.     His WIFE is not mentioned as having been taken away from him at any time - was she still with him?       She may well have been so, and I believe that if they were together they had grown in understanding together, and would have been closer, and more perfectly, joined in the knowledge of God. 


OF COURSE I AM WRITING as a Man who Believes in the God of the Bible, and I write to those who especially know the Christian Bible.   But I am aware that some might read what I write who are NOT Christian, and have not read the Bible.     Nevertheless, the views I express are accepted by me as in line, spiritually, with the Mind of the Creator, as revealed in the Bible, His Word to us all.

This is the 2nd Blog of the year, and as the first was a Comment on Divorce from a rather different
source, I want now to carry on from a very fundamental view tied to the Bible.      I believe my view, but it is only made valid by the Scripture it is based upon.    I will personally stand by it.

DIVORCE - The 2nd Part -A  MAN MADE SEPARATION

It has been said, whosoever shall put away his wife,
let him giver her a writing of divorcement, but a say unto you,
That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause fornication,
causeth her to commit Adultery, and whosoever shall marry her that is Divorced, 
committeth Adultery.      MATTHEW 5v31-32

Divorce is the legal ending of a Marriage (in particular) so that husband and wife are free to marry again, or to live alone, having agreed to separate.  I think in the Roman Church it is also referred to as an Annulment.
Throughout the world, increasingly since the 1950s, the divorce rate has been rising among those who have in facts been legally married either in Church or by Civil Registration.      Additionally those who come together illegally in an unrecognised liaison (known as 'Come We Stay' here in Kanya),  are also changing partners or running out on each other more and more frequently.     This is making serious inroads on the traditional picture of home and family, and affecting the general stability and health of our world society as a whole.
IN THE LAST DAYS OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE it was about the same.     JUVENAL, who died about 458AD wrote that the Roman ladies counted more divorces than married years!   In a sense this seems to have been legalised polygamy.  JESUS said that it had at one time been agreed that whoever wanted to put away (divorce) his wife, he should give her a 'Writing of Divorcement'.     What WAS this?   What does it mean?     In Deuteronomy 24v 1 we read:-
'When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, 
and it came to pass that she find no favour in his eyes,
because he hath found some uncleanness in her,
then let him write her a Bill of Divorcement,
and give it into her hand, and send her away out of his house.

The Hebrew word used for 'uncleanness' has a wider meaning -  NAKEDNESS.   Clearly this was taken to mean that if a husband discovered some matter against his wife concerning her sexual relationships with any man not her husband, either before or after MARRIAGE  -  i..e. instances of fornication, adultery or both, THEN he was free to divorce her.      But eventually this would not be all.
If the husband found ANY moral wrong in his wife, he could divorce her!
In this present age the REASON for Divorce has proliferated and expanded alarmingly.   Uncleanness is now taken to mean almost ANY fault that might be discovered in a woman  (and NOW also, in a man) can be brought as a reason for Divorce.    The most common word used is INCOMPATIBILITY which simply put means an inability to agree or put up with the other; opposite in character, nature to each other; discordant, out of harmony with the other.   They cannot rhyme together.

One wonders if Long Engagements, now often considered out of fashion, and replaced by often very short if not hasty Engagements, are part of the cause.     Men and Women are marrying without understanding each other, or actually being aware of the likes, dislikes, and general opinions and interests that matter one to the other.   Too much hurry, or it purely lust?

JESUS said that the only reason for Divorce can be Fornication.    The Greek work given is PORNEIA is the one used in the Scripture, and also includes the idea or Adultery and Prostitution.    Thus we get a narrowed definition of uncleanness.  Why could a Divorce be agreed to in such a case?   Because the ONENESS of the Marriage had been broken, and denied by the unfaithfulness of one of the two partners in the Marriage.
BUT JESUS ALSO SAID, -  'It used to be said that you can divorce your wife for ANY reason ( a loose interpretation of Deuteronomy 24)   BUT in fact you can only divorce your wife IF you find her sexually unfaithful with another man - either before or after you marry her.'     This seems to be the broad understanding of the Words of Jesus here.  He goes on to say that if we divorce for any other reason apart from fornication we cause the wife to commit adultery, and whoever thereafter marries her will also commit adultery - unfaithfulness.  

 But WHY should this be so?

WELL THIS IS WHERE WE SHALL LEAVE IT FOR NOW.    I am no longer sending regular Blogs; they may appear any time in a week, and there may be more than one sending.   

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TESTIMONY FAITH HOMES IS BATHED IN WARM SUNSHINE TODAY!    All Schools are open again, and yet STILL parents are filling the streets and stores, buying last minute necessities for their children to be in School with.    It has been quite a crowded, busy, and rather hectic week for all school and related suppliers,   US included    But things seem to have settled a bit now, and we pray and trust that the year will begin to pick up and peacefully continue.       However NASA our Government Opposition is still making noises of protest, and threatening to disturb the peace one way or another.    They show little sign of quietening down but we are believing the Lord our God will find a way of bringing some form of agreement between the two parties.

DARYL has continued all week in Nairobi with DAN NDUNGU, our 16 year old heart case.  Dan has been undergoing further extensive tests every day.    Daryl has had to be there a one responsible to give Permission, test by test, and just as a Responsible Person.      During the week the hospital thought they had found Dan to also be suffering from a condition known as Sickle Cell, - a type of Anaemia.     That proved a false alarm in the end.       Daryl and Dan are on the way returning to Eldoret as I am writing.        We have not heard the final result of all the new batch of tests, but we hope the NEXT appointment will be for the Operation!     It is almost a year since we first discovered Dan had a hole in his heart.   This is the third time he has been up to the Heart Hospital in Nairobi for relays of tests.    It has been very wearing for Dan, and but for his faith in Jesus, I think he would not have made it thus far.   Please continue to pray for him.

MANU returned from Tenwick Hospital where he attends the Eye Clinic.   The Consultant was happy to notice IMPROVEMENT in his bad right eye, BUT unaccountably his left eye is now showing signs of infection, and he has had to suffer a whole two days of eye injections and so on.  He has to go back on the 7th February for a further appraisal and more injections    A very arduous and expensive series of treatments.     He has stood up to them strongly in himself, but this time I think he felt very cast down, as he had hoped for better news.    We also!!

This is supposed to be THE HOTTEST time of year.     Currently, since Christmas it has been as cloudy and cheerless with RAIN and COLD - more like July that January.    Our weather totally unpredictable.     BUT for me it is just FINE since I have never done very well in HEAT, and so I am very comfortable.

God Bless you all, and keep you on the 'straight and narrow' with the hearts lifted up and full of Joy.
Not so much that noisy, fleeting, joy of the party spirit, but that JOY that even in the midst of trial and soberness, establishes you in the knowledge of His Love for you, and of his nearness to you.

Love from us all

John, Esther and Daryl Green


















Tuesday, 9 January 2018

THOUGHTS & CONFRONTATIONS ALONG THE WAY - 1. DIVORCE


DURING RECENT MONTHS,  N.A.S.A., Kenya's Opposition Party. has been trying to lobby for 'Breaking away from Kenya'  -   Cessation in other words.     

The map of Kenya to the left shows the way they see the future, with the Opposition leaving the current Government and Nation for a greater self autonomy on their own.    One can see that this would in fact end up with all kinds of complications and disaster for both parties.     
In 1895 what was then the British Empire set up the East African Protectorate, which, in 1920,  became known as Kenya Colony.   Then in 1963, forty three years later,  Independence was achieved and the territory became known as The Republic of Kenya, as it is today. 
For some 122 years this community of tribes and mini nations have lived peacefully together bearing each others cultures and differences toward a National all embracing unity.
WHY break up the process now?     There have been setbacks in the process, but they have always been overcome, and the Nation has grown stronger, and more willing to evoke change within themselves.     A stable Nation.  A mature Nation - but still developing.


WHEN I WAS A BOY in Secondary School my Mum left her husband for another man.  

The man was himself married, with a wife and teenage daughter.    Both he and my Mum had endured 'unhappy' marriages, and had in fact known each other in their youth, before either married.  In 1950 they decided to set up home together, with me in tow.      I had sympathised with my Mum for many years as she suffered an apparently "Alchaholic' husband, verbally and physically whilst trying to keep the home together..   When she left him I did not blame her.   In 1950, and for some years still to come, the whole situation would have been viewed as immoral, both in the secular as well as the Christian world of the time. Neither of them were able to obtain a Divorce by current laws then in force, and thus lived together 'in sin' as it was called; an adulterous Union.     But, without attending church, or receiving any religious instruction at home, and without having read the Bible, I still had an almost intuitive feeling that Divorce was a  'No Go Game'.   Nevertheless, as I have said, I felt that somehow she had a right to be happy.
But she always   "worried about it in her heart;  then I would say to her that everything was alright, and that God wanted her to be happy anyway.   Anyway?  NO, not 'anyway'and not by any means.  But I had still to learn that.   Certainly God wants us all to BE happy,  l but there is no happiness apart from HIM; no happiness outside of of His Law of Love.     My Mum remained unhappy in her heart"
(extracted from my book 'A Cry from the Street' published in 1987).
Well since the 50's  the Courts have opened up their doors to those wanting freedom to walk out on their Marriage Vows.     Originally it was understood that a so called "Bill of Divorcement' could be written only when proof of sexual infidelity had been discovered.      This was based on Mark 4 in the Bible, and Jesus agreed that Moses had been permitted to allow this - but ONLY because of the 'hardness' of human hearts.    This 'hardness of heart' refers to the 'condition of insensibility to the call of God.'     The 'idea' of Marriage is attributed to GOD and not Man.     The union is supposed to be 'sacred'   It is not an invention of Man, but a divine institution.    The bond that God Himself has tied, may not to be lightly untied.   
But to day, in our world society, divorce is up for grabs for almost anything at all - for anything one or other of the union determines it incompatible with, and for the other.      A situation too far gone to rectify without serious distress and sacrifice.     We may compassionately accept that Marriage is not always bearable, we have made a pact to bare it, with God - and He is not mocked.

ON THE 30TH DECEMBER 2017, the Kenyan DAILY NATION printed a lecture entitled
A NATION SHOULD BE LIKE A FULFILLING MARRIAGE;
ONE IS FREE TO LEAVE IT, BUT CAN ALSO CHOOSE TO STAY

Ernest Renan
The Lecture was written by a well known Kenyan Economist - David Ndii.     He had based a good deal of what he tried to say on a previous treatise, given by one Ernest Renan, a French Philosopher who lived circa 1882.  He was a Catholic, but at the same time did not believe in the Divinity of Christ, and was at some part of his life considered an enemy of the Church.    A Philosopher of repute, but for the most part holding his Christian Faith in error.    I read through Ndii's article, and my eye was caught by this quote from Ernest Renan  - he (Renan) says -
'a nation is a great solidarity, constituted by the feeling of sacrifices made, and those that one is still disposed to make.'   
From here David Ndii continues in his own words to use Renan's explanation of what a nation is.
He writes - ' Renan contends that a nation ought to be a daily plebiscite, by which he means that it must prove its worth to its people on an ongoing basis.   A nations worth is proved when people are free to leave, but choose to strive on - for better or for worse.     In short a nation is a fulfilling marriage.
Although I do not follow either Renan or Ndii.s faith or politics, I must say I felt quite helped by the allegory of a nation to a marriage - and vice verca.      It added to my conviction that Marriage is for ever, no matter how bad it gets.       That conviction begins with Adam and Eve.    They must have had a lot of  problem in their marriage, but they did not split up, did not give up on one another.   It may well have ended up a 'blame game' for the balance of their lives together, but they endured.

RENAN states that a nation is a great solidarity (a great union of variable strengths) made possible by the 'feeling' (inner sense) of sacrifices made (in sticking with each other), together with those sacrifices each is agreeable to make in the future, to the same end.        I understand this to mean that the more we are able to put UNION first, sinking our differences and enduring them, the more sure  it will be that we can end up with a cohesive and strong nation, able to withstand every test and attack upon its identity, as a Nation.  This is so much a description of Marriage, where we have in every case two individuals progessively, through their differences, and sacrifices in suffering those differences,  become welded more and more into a oneness of understanding;  learning through patience to forgive, endure and finally love each other AS ONE.     This IS the intention, I believe.      I wonder if RENAN saw his marriages in this light?    I believe he may have done - even without being a believer.   He WAS married, and had two children, and his family life appears to have been quite settled.      BUT, as a believing Christian, with the Holy Spirit to guide and spur him, he would have seen this even ,more clearly and more essentially.
RENAN went on to say that a nation ought to be a 'daily plebescite' - a kind of daily vote by its people that all is well, on an ongoing basis.     This kind of daily  'rain check' on each others state of heart and mind should always be taking place in the course of our normal communion with each other.
This excerpt from his writings, as cited by David Ndii,, states that a nation is proved (established) when the people who are partners in it are free to leave, but choose to strive on together- for better or for worse.
This again, to me, so rightly speaks of a marriage that will endure.      Of course I know that as a Christian I see Marriage in a special way, but I accept also, that all Marriage began with GOD, and that HE set up the pattern of it, and His intentions are for  it affect the world at large, and meant to manifest to the world what He is in Himself;    He would like to see Himself in our Marriages.  Marriage should reflect God's Mercy and Long suffering toward us all.

SO TODAY I find myself afraid that so many who ARE divorced, and may have found for themselves a greater happiness than they had with their first love (if it was love), have put themselves first, and in seeking their own joy, have missed God's Will and Purpose in Marriage.    I do believe Mankind was not conceived in God's Mind, or created by Him, in order for it to please itself.       I believe we were created simply to SERVE Him, and to be obedient to His Will.        I believe that to allow my marriage  to be broken, or allow another to help me break my marriage vow, and annul that marriage, is a very serious and disappointing matter to God.     It will not be what He wanted from us.     It may not always bring the happiness HE has planned for us.    It does not reveal His Mind or Spirit in us, but speaks only of our own selfish nature which is meant to be crucified with Christ on the Cross.     From God's point of view Mankind has rejected His Word, Believer or Not, as the case may be.      He has progressively allowed himself to push aside the revelation of God's Mercy and Loving kindness working in me patiently in long suffering and forgiveness.     The bottom line is that in God's sight I can have as many partners as I choose but I should not have run out on the
first since, in His Sight, I have not kept my promise which I made in His Name.      I will only ever be truly married to that ONE,as Far as He is concerned.

IN THE BOOK OF HOSEA 2V19-20 - and even onwards from there, we can read -
I will betroth thee unto me for ever;
Yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness
and in judgement, and in loving kindness, and in mercies,
I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness
and thou shalt know the Lord.
God does become angry - BUT He does not cast away for ever.    His way is the 'Until Death Do US Part Way',    and He has done away with Death in Christ.    Marriage viewed in this way is an everlasting covenant.       I feel that God intends that we should all have Mercy upon each other, and that we should bear one another in Christ, and with Christ IN us.
If men and women were prepared to deny themselves and to suffer one another seeing each others good, then how much loneliness and shame, and how much deceit and fear, and how many cases of child delinquency would be avoided?      If only men and women were faithful to the Promises made to each other, establishing a stable , secure, and love filled, merciful home and family, how full of light the world would be!      
Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones writes -
'What right have we to expect nations to stand
by their promises, and to keep their vows to each other,
if men and women do not do it even in this most solemn
and sacred union of marriage?
We must start with ourselves.
We must start at the Beginning.
We must observe the Law of God - not MOSES -
IN OUR PERSONAL AND INDIVIDUAL LIVES


 Nothing is impossible with God even when we consider, humanly, that He cannot get it to happen.   For  'the grace of God who hath called us into His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after we have suffered a while, will make you/ us perfect, and will establish, strengthen and settle you/ us.'    1.Peter 5v10     In the Amplified Bible Translation and the same verse we find it saying that -
'God Himself will complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely, and strengthen and settle you.
IN CHRIST there is no marriage that needs to be broken or promises cast aside.      WITHOUT Christ I must concede that Men and Women may fail to succeed.

RENAN, the Christless Philosopher, says that a nation is a great solidarity of individual differences and opinions, sacrificially abiding together and suffering each other, and choosing not to repudiate one another but to strive and struggle on to ONENESS and unbreakable unity. - FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE.       I like it.     I like it even more in Christ and with Christ.

SAVE THE HOME!     SAVE THE FAMILY!   SAVE THE CHURCH .....Be NOT conformed to the world, and its empty doom.     Seek no occasion against one another.   If you are married, seek not to be separated, but choose to overcome one another in Love.

Thank you David Ndii for bringing this Lecture by Ernest Renan to light.   I guess he was putting it together about the time The East African Protectorate was born.     As a piece of literature I do not personally see that it encourages or proposes the wisdom of  making a nation through Cessation.
Such a Nation divided, and breaking away from itself, will inexorably FAIL to become a Nation.
I hope Mr. Ndii has also understood this fundamentally.      He belongs to the Opposition.    Let us hope that he will help prevent Kenya from being unfaithfull to itself, and its constituent members.
WE have the freedom to break away, but instead let us CHOOSE to stay together and strive and evens struggle within ourselves to refine ourselves, and courageously determining not to lose the Joy and Fulfilment of being a NATION together.   I commend this view to Marriage also.





Above is a Cartoon depicting Ernest Renan.
Although a Catholic he was not a Believer in Christ.
He was much misled, and because of the error in his writings
he was considered to be an enemy on the devil's side against
the Church.


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WELL this has been longer than I had hoped, and has taken me longer to write than usual.   I may not always write so lengthily, and I may not always write every week.        I hope I have not hurt any of my divorced friends by what is written here.      I love you all, and esteem you highly, and know that the Lord I know and love, loves you even more than I do or can.   But this is on my heart, and I must be honest to the light that I have.     We shall all stand in front of God, one way or another, and give an account of how we have served Him.    

DAN NDUNGU, our youngster with the hole in his heart is back in Nairobi going through three days of further tests.      They may send him home again afterwards to wait for the Operation to be confirmed.  It has been as great frustration to him and to ourselves as we have stood with him in prayer. 
JAMES MANU, will be attending his Eye Clinic this week on Wednesday.    He should get a final Appraisal of his progress on this occasion.     He may be there with Joshua Mbithi who will also hope to be having eye treatment with the same Consultant.

On Sunday evening about 6.30p.m. 40 Chapatis disappeared from the kitchen store.   They were part of the Supper, and were to be eaten with a good Stew.       They had been locked inside the kitchen store, but when the cook unlocked and went to collect them he found not even ONE left!     Rather like ,magic.     How DID 40 heavy chapatis leave a locked room without even a crumb left behind.  A mystery.     Well 'someone' still unknown must have had a key.     But even then what would any one want with 40 pizza size Chapatis.      We trust the Lord will uncover the matter in His own time.


Much love to you all in Jesus Name.

John, Esther, and Daryl Green











Saturday, 30 December 2017

ALL THINGS COME TO AN END......WEAR AND TEAR IN ALL THINGS!

OUR FRIENDS, Mark and Kathy Lessig, have now finished 12 more months with us as Councellors and Christian Educationalists in co-operation with their 'home' mission..     These very dear brethren in Christ  have truly challenged both staff and students in the School AND in the Homes concerning their personal committment to Christ. But they have demonstrated more than a theological idea in bringing the Gospel into the Classroom and the Family, they have also reached out to all they meet and rub shoulders here, with with the overflowing Love of Jesus.   We 'feel' His Touch and Care everywhere, and Esther and I have also been so blessed and encouraged by them.      Mark is a very 'active' man, with a gift of D.I.Y.!!     He has done a lot on his own property not far from us - an old 1940 colonial ranch house.     
Visiting US one morning, and noticing our kitchen was looking a bit hang dog after 20 years of constant use and wear,  Mark offered to give it a face lift - for FREE.      Just before Christmas he arrived with another Kenyan friend of his, and together they laboured for THREE days to repair, renew, and repaint out kitchen.     It was just such an answer to prayer, and done so lovingly and so unselfishly.      A very real and relevent Christmas Love Gift to us both, AND indirectly to all those who come to visit and stay with us.    We thank them  both for sharing themselves with us for those days - just for Jesus Sake.
Before work began the original cupboards and shelving were almost in a state of collapse,    The man who first fitted out the kitchen used the cheapest timber, hinges and handles he could find!  Mark and his friend restored all of this and also installed a second sink.  A truly 'sunshine' miracle.   It also gave Esther so much joy to be able to cook and cater in what ultimately was a NEW kitchen.

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NOW A FEW ODDS AND BOBS in pictures -

FIRST, ONE OF ESTHER AND STEVEN.  Steven was with us just a week before Christmas on a kind of express visit   It was taken just in front of Green Cottage, with the Old Tree behind them, and the grass already dry and withered by the sun.      They have both ever loved to chat and so both were in their element.     I was not far away though, but just to the right of them on our veranda - I like to keep in the shade; definately NOT a 'mad dog'.
Steve hopes to visit next year with his son, Erik, and also John Finney Joseph, Elisabeth's son!  probably in June/July, and even Elisabeth is thinking about coming out in August.

MOST OF OUR CHRISTMAS photos did not come out well this time,and so we have only a very few to put up.     To the Right is a photo of our grand daughter, Abigail, now 3 and eight months, in front of our Christmas Tree in Green Cottage.     She is full of happiness, and very intelligent.  we have enjoyed having her and Helen, our daughter, for most of this month.     Always happy, and always GROWING,   She and Helen will soon return to Nairobi to commence the 1st School Term of the year.    The house will feel empty!
TO THE LEFT, a photo of a Christmas Cake donated every year since the 1970s by our old Baker 'Paul's Bakery' in Eldoret Town.   They continue every year even though we now bake our own bread, and give them little custom.  Real friendship over so many years, without rancour or disappointment on either side.   It is usually delivered on Christmas Eve, and then divided up between the houses.    SUCH joy!!
We had our usual Sunday Service on Christmas Eve morning, and after supper, in front of Testimony House we had a Carol Service with a short Word from Daryl and the Bible under the stars.     No photos to hand unfortunately.

CHRISTMAS Day we were again in Church in the morning, and then on Boxing Day, we were all at the Pool-side, together with many guests for the Annual Home's Pic-nic.    Beautiful weather, and fun for all.We have 135 children and young people resident with us in the Children's Homes and Hostels at present, but not all of them were present with us this year.    Since their arrival some have been found out by relatives, initially unknown to us, and although they have still been unable to have the children repatriated to them due to poverty or some other ill, we are unable to prevent them from having access. and so now an average of 25 go home for at least one holiday during the year.    But we had plenty of old boys and visitors to compensate, and all together we were almost 150 in number.   And all were fed to 'the eyebrows.      A lot of swimming and splashings.  Races, and water games, and all the time the sun blazed down. The first to arrive in the morning were there at 10.A.M.    The LAST to leave left at 6p.m.     A very good Family Day for us all.     A day in which you were all very much a part.  Bless you all SO MUCH and we pray that you also may have had good reason the Praise God for His Goodness to you also.


AND FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK we have been busy looking into the coming year.     School will open on the 3rd January.    SO first of all, there is School Uniform and other necessities to think about.    Shoes wear out the most and this year we shall have to buy NEW some 31 pairs (leather), plus the repair of approximately the same number.  Then about another 100 pairs of Rubber shoes for PE and home wear.  THEN, there will be school shorts, trousers, shirst, skirts and blouses, ties, and socks!  Phew.      Still a lot to find, BUT this week a lot of our parents have called in to hand on uniform passed down from their own children, and still in good repair.  This will be a help, and we are glad that our parents are in the main very anxious to help us.    There are caring hearts even here around us.
FINALLY !!
                                             
                We send you all, our very best Wishes                                                           for
the Year ahead
A hundred years ago peace came to a war torn world
But the World has not known true Peace since.
But the Lifter up of our heads shall come
and he shall make Peace'
GOD BLESS YOU ALL SO MUCH

John, Esther, and Daryl Green














Saturday, 23 December 2017

GREETINGS !


A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL!!

YESTERDAY - Friday
Daryl was called to the home of the Vice President, William Rutto,
together with the Governor, and other County Officers, and Managers 
of Charitable Children's homes.
Daryl and other Managers with him were presented with
Goats, Sugar, Rice and Flour for Christmas.

Thereafter, the V.P. addressed them all
and confirmed that the Government appreciated all the help
and good work put toward aiding Kenya's orphans.
He also confirmed 
that the policy of the Government was currently to see all 
Charitable Children's Homes closed by 2020
to fall in with international  cooperation with the ideals of UNICEF.


a rather bitter sweet Gift!

and this time 'a little bit of sugar' has not made the 'medicine go down!'
The way forward for all seems to be Fostering and Adoption.


BUT IT'S CHRISTMAS!
and our thoughts are glued on Christ!
Our thoughts are upon the One to SAVE US - Joy to the World.
Thus we cast all care aside, all fear and anxiety of what man can do to us.
We look upward expectantly, with Thanksgiving
hoping for the SECOND coming of our Lord and Saviour
FATHER OF THE FATHERLESS.


AENON Trust has passed on many Christmas Gifts to us, on behalf of many who have remembered us, and we truly Thank you all, and the Lord our God who has put us upon your hearts.    TONIGHT is our usual Christmas Concert put on by our children, and performed in the School Hall, the public also being invited.      It is not a 'fund raiser' but rather a 'sharing' with friends and others from around us.   There will be Carols, A Play, and a short Christmas Message from the Word of God.   Christmas will have commenced for us all, and all the children are keyed up with the excitement of the JOY of Christmas; the EXPECTANCY of having JESUS in the midst.........Our hearts are all lifted up.   AND it is one of our 'Family' times with many who have left home calling back in, and fellow-shipping with us.
We shall all be thinking of YOU, and we do wish you a very Glad Time in which all the Wonder of what God our Father planned for our Salvation, and which JESUS was born to achieve for our sakes.
May the WARMTH of that LOVE surround each one of you, and give you PEACE and COMFORT, plus the ASSURANCE of His Presence with you moment by moment through the coming Year.

With our united Love in Jesus

John Esther, and Daryl Green


Saturday, 16 December 2017

A MAN RESPECTED, YET BARELY NOTICED!

WE MUST NOW SADLY ANNOUNCE THE UNTIMELY DEATH OF one of our senior Primary Teachers in Testimony School.  Benjamin Khamasi, born on 7th February 1962,  came to teach in our School, 22 Years ago in 1995.    He had graduated from his own primary education with straight 'A's  and continuing to High School was able to attain a Division 1 as he Graduated in 1984.  Thereafter he entered  Meru Teacher Training College where he won a P1 Certificate in 1988 and straight way commenced teaching in a number of Schools, mainly Private, finally coming to US in 1995. 
A sincere Christian man, of diligent competent,  and careful nature, he soon shone as a teacher who was indeed 'given' to his profession.    Nothing was too hard for him to attempt, and in everything he proved faithful and accountable.
In 2010 he was promoted to Senior Teacher, and later in 2013 also to the post of Deputy Headmaster in Primary School.     A diligent and careful planner and organiser, yet ever humble and hard working, he became a very  dependable and respected teacher among teachers.    He could also be very direct in his speech; very definite and determined - not an easy mind changer, and therefore not always popular with those who looked to 'win him over'.    Thus he won respect.
Ben became ill at home  a few weeks into the Holiday.    He suddenly lost feeling in his hands and feet, and became unable to speak or swallow.      After a week or more he was taken to the Referral Hospital in Eldoret and has been there ever since - about two weeks.      He was seen by a number of doctors none of whom ventured to provide a diagnosis that might explain his problem.    He slowly regained use of hands and feet, and throat, and was about to be sent home the next day, but passed away suddenly in the afternoon.       From the descriptions we received, we wondered if he had suffered a kind of heart attack, or stroke, but none of the doctors that saw him seemed to follow up on such an idea.      He leaves a wife, and five children.     We shall miss him enormously.
He is to be buried at his family home in Bunyore, Western Kenya on Tuesday next week.     The School will hold a Memorial Service for him on Monday 18th December.    We expect a good many of our parents, staff, children and friends to attend.

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CHILDREN from all three of our Family Homes singing carols last Christmas.   All happy,and all safe and secure to follow School, and prepare for the future without anxiety.
This week one of our Old boys, John 'Jonny,Jonny' Astariko commented of government plans to do away with Children's Homes.    He writes -
'I am saddened by the whole scenario,
and it kills me to know that the very place that brought me up,
and made me who I am now,
would be taken for granted by the Government!
It shakes me, but all my prayers and thoughts
are with you all, and with ALL the children of 
Testimony Faith Homes.


Here he is to the left, and also to the right where he is partying with his two young daughters.   We do believe he is not the only one of the many hundreds of boys and girls who found a shelter and refuge when needed, who were able to also find Assurance with which to jump off, and into the world.     Surely it was not always the perfect 'home' but it was certainly better than the Street, or some impersonal and institutional 'Holding Centre'.      Thank you John!

+++++++++++++++++++ 




OUR SON Steven, has been with us this week!    It is always good to have him with us even for such a very short time.     He hopes to be back next year, God Willing, together with his own eldest son, Eric, and possibly for longer.    But we have enjoyed so much having him with us.     He leaves us tomorrow evening for Nairobi and on to the U.K. where storms of ice and snow await him, together with -4c temperatures!!!

Thank God for our current sunny weather, and comparative warmth.       


I watched a Black and White film this weak on You Tube.     It was made in 1951 when I was eleven.
It is entitled, 'NEVER TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER' and is a simple story of a small orphan boy and his donkey, Violetta, who earn their living together in the town of Assisi in Italy.     The donkey falls ill, and filled with anxiety for the animal that is everything to him, he seeks permission to take her to the tomb of St. Francis in Assisi, that he might answer prayer and heal her.     On finding only opposition and frustration, the boy finally leaves Violetta in the care of a friend and walks to Rome to see the Holy Father.     Once there he again discovers opposition, but continues to seek a way until eventually he IS allowed to meet the Pope, who grants him permission to take his donkey into the tomb.      The film ends as we see him and Violetta walking into the tomb..........       I found it at once a very simply told, and moving account of a child's love for his animal, and dependence upon his faith in St. Francis.      Yes, of course it was a Catholic film.     One lady commented that 'she saw no value in it at all; rather childish and uninteresting unless perhaps to a Catholic.'       I felt sorry for her.
The film showed great compassion for an animal by a small child.     Oh that we were all compassionate - and not only to animals.     It also portrayed the 'innocence' of the child in believing not only in the efficacy of the Saint, but also in the goodness of those of those around him, and the unbelief and arrogance of those who had no time either for children or faith.      I am a Christian,   I also happen to admire what I have learnt of the man known as Francis of Assisi who also was a Christian.       I was moved by the film.       Good for children and adults alike.    I recommend it.
The film is taken from Paul Gallico's short story 'The Small Miracle'.

WE ARE A WEEK FROM CHRISTMAS!     Guests begin to arrive on Tuesday.    By God's Grace passed on to us by so many we have been able to have our needs provided for;  enough to Celebrate Christ's Birth, to rejoice together, and to appreciate what is take to Love each other as He Loves us.     Our Love and Thanks to you all for your prayers.

John, Esther, and Daryl Green.


Saturday, 9 December 2017

ARRIVALS - AND APPREHENSIONS

TODAY, I AM ABLE TO INTRODUCE OUR NEW 'DAD & MUM' at Jacaranda Cottage  -  David and Doris Chumba.       They arrived on Wednesday evening, and Esther and I were able to visit them in their new home the following morning.    They both seemed to be already settled in, and we were very much impressed by their testimony and also by their attitude toward God.      We hope they will go ahead to prove their Calling.       It is always a big challenge to the children, to have to first of all LOSE 'parents' and then to ACCEPT new ones who are complete strangers to them.

INITIALLY Esther and I thought we would never leave being Dad and Mum in Testimony House, but with a population of more than forty, in those days, we felt as we came came closer to 60 that we would not cope well with a family ranging from 9 to 24.     We were right to retire from houseparenting, but in doing so we had to accept that as time went by in each Family Home, we would need to accept NEW parents coming in to take the place of those needing to leave.    It has not been easy,  and on looking back we might now have remained in Testimony House till we died, without starting the other homes.     A moot point really, since we have been able to absorb and help four times more children by opening up four Homes, and allowing a ring of changes to happen when the situation proved it necessary.     BUT we still feel that the 'longer the better' is the MOST desirable when it comes to considering just HOW long parents should stay as Dad and Mum in their designated House.       Esther and I were 28 years in ours.    Joshua and Miriam were 19 years in Jacaranda.     Others have managed between 3 and 8 yeas.         Please pray with us for David and Doris as they adventure their heart and life together, here, for our children, and for God.  David is just entering his 50s and Doris a little behind in her forties.     May God Bless them so much, and defend them from all the wiles of the devil.
We have also seen an addition to our Farm.    Some two or so weeks ago the first of our current TWO cows gave birth to a heifer, whose photo I include here.    She is most friendly and curious, and Daryl has felt to call her name Danni, in sincere respect and love to Danni Potter, in South Australia.   Danni is wife to Mike, and both have for decades been adopted with their children into the Testimony Family.  They have also long had a practical interest in the success of the Dairy.      So please pray for this latest little one in our family.     We do thank God for her.      Her mother and aunty continue to provide a good and fresh supply of daily milk for our children in the Homes, and even some to the School boarder.

On THURSDAY this week, our little daughter, Helen came with her 3.8months daughter to stay with us over Christmas.   Always a joy to have them both with us, and to observe yet again how Abby is growing.     THEN Today,  Daryl and I were at the Eldoret Airport to once again to welcome STEVEN who has flown in just for a quick week's visit before getting once more embroiled in his rather demanding work.      Always great to have him visit, even when alone.    We are hoping next year he will be coming in the summer with other of his family as well to rejoice our hearts.     He was here last in 2016 together with his daughter, Tonia - again just for a short visit.    We enjoyed them both, and Esther and I will no doubt challenge him yet again to a game of Scrabble before he leaves.
STILL TWO WEEKS TO CHRISTMAS !!     I am praying that all may have received our latest UPDATE and also Christmas Card to 'almost end the year with'.       Our decorations in Green Cottage are finally up, and next week on the 16th all the other houses will also decorate for Christmas.   Otherwise life will continue as usual during this next week without any other event to draw attention to the Season.     THEN in the following week, all of us hope to be quickened by His Advent and Birth together.     We shall share as we go along.


Our combined Love and Prayers come to you daily as we meet together, and we believe that God, our Father in Heaven, in the Name of His Son Jesus, will continue to empower you to make this Christmas one to be especially remembered.

Sincerely in His Mercy and Grace
John, Esther, and Daryl Green

Saturday, 2 December 2017

PARTING IS SUCH SWEET SORROW...!


ON THE 29th NOVEMBER, OUR FOURTH FORM children in Secondary School concluded their National Examinations, and came together for a final Farewell Lunch with their teachers, and others.  In this photo Esther is cutting the Cake.   I am to be seen at the top table with a few others.    Daryl is taking the picture.
This is an Annual event, and it is always very special, and enjoyable.  Many of these students, including of course some of the Home's children as well, have been in the School for up to 12 years.   Now they must leave for University, College, or Employment!    A big Jump into the BIG pond of the world around them.     With continual shortage of jobs, and continual lack of moral integrity in our Universities and even Colleges, this transition is fraught with may dangers and anxieties for parents as well as their children.      And obviously this also is a matter of concern and challenge to us.   
The General Syllabus is also changing over the next few years.  At present we are expecting to consider whether or not we will continue to run Secondary School, or concentrate on Primary only.  This will only become clear as the next year proceeds.   We need to be very sure about this before continuing beyond 2019.
This particular event took place between the hours of 1 and 4p.m. on the 29th.   I was also able to share a final Word, together with others who were there with us.    We pray that God will watch over each one of these young people.

OPPOSITE IS A PHOTO of the Macharia Family - baby Esther, Agnes, Ben, and Joseph.    They came to us as family to run the NEW Jacaranda Cottage in July 2015, taking over from  Beatrice and Joseph Rop who had been with us eight years,  and were then retiring.
They fitted in really well, and won all our hearts.
Regretfully they have unexpectedly had to leave us at the end of October, whilst they were on leave with their relatives at home in Njeri.     We shall seriously miss them as whole hearted labourers together with us all, and for their spiritual commitment and input with the Jacaranda Family.    We hope not to lose touch with them and also that they will be able to visit from time to time.      PLEASE REMEMBER TO PRAY FOR THEM.  BUT NOW we have to seek the Lord as to who might replace them.      We have already met a prospective couple, and they will be visiting again this Sunday when we hope they will spend some time meeting other of our community, as well as the children in Jacaranda Cottage.    They are committed Christians, and have experience in helping children and young people.   They are both in their fifties.      Hopefully I will have more to say next week.    Until then the children are being cared for by other of our staff.    They are safe, but rather sad to lose the Macharias.

JAMES MANU, OUR SON, attended the Eye Clinic a little early this time, but returned with better news than last time.    His Consultant says there is improvement, NOW, in the one eye, and even in the worst.   He thinks he will need to continue Injections for two more months, and that he may also have to do a minor op to re-attach a loose retina in one eye.    It has been a long and rather painful haul, but Manu seemed much encouraged this time, and we continue to BELIEVE for the Answer to all our prayers.

AND DECEMBER has commenced!      Christmas, which seems to have begun in September for most of the rest of the world around us,  is still to begin to be seen here in Testimony.     We have usually waited, for example, to put up any Christmas Decorations until about the 18th of the month, but we may start this coming week, this year, as we expected visitors to begin dropping in soon.     So far, in our Town shops, there is NO sign of Christmas.    Everything remains the same, other than the fact that shops are not as well stocked as they were, and prices are rising daily - all a sign of our continuing economic constraints.    BUT the sun is shining, and the skies are their usual stunning blue.
Daryl is about to take his Annual Leave, and all our School Staff are also away for the Holiday until the first week of January.
This week planning will begin by the Houseparents to look into Christmas needs, and especially the Christmas Week housekeeping.    As you will remember each house celebrates Christmas individually.       Also there has to be other matters to plan into the month free time, like family games and other communal activities, plus the Christmas Concert, and Carol Singing which usually take place just before Christmas itself.     All this whilst still trying to balance all our normal monthly responsibilities and needs.       Helen and baby Abigail should be here on Friday, and our son Steven also visiting on Saturday for a week or so from the UK.       Also our friend Paul White and son Joshua are hoping to join us for Christmas.        SO with a short staff, and Daryl away us Old Foggies will no doubt find ourselves On Call, and probably more involved than usual.     But we continue to Thank Father, for good health and strength - though I still have a few challenging visits to the dentist to fit in over the next fortnight or so.

I will try to put an UPdate AND a Christmas Card in the works before Christmas, but of course it may be delayed on the part of any I have had to post.      We covet your prayers over this period, and we Thank you all for your love and care.       We shall hope to continue to put up a word or two each Saturday as usual.     Let us lift up the arms of each other in the warmth of His Love, and the JOY of the Season.

Sincerely in Him
John, Esther, and Daryl Green