Saturday, 25 May 2019

ARE the Late Rains Coming Early - or are these EARLY Rains coming LATE?


THIS IS ELDORET
looking west along the |Nairobi / Uganda highway

LAST WEEK I left you all as WE faced waterless plumbing.    Daryl had spoken to the Eldoret Water Agency only to be told that as from that day - Saturday last, they would be unable to supply water in our taps due to reduced levels in the Dams, and in the pressure available.     Quite a problem for us with so many on our compounds - We went to bed praying for RAIN.     And that in the face of the fact that the Water Agency said they did not expect any rain at such a LATE date, and that we might have no rain in the near future.    BUT we did pray......
AND THAT NIGHT IT RAINED
and
IN THE MORNING THERE WAS WATER IN THE TAP.
and it has continued to rain...........How GREAT is our God.
HOWEVER, this in no way alters what I wrote concerning deforesterisation in our neck of the woods! It is raining as I type this, on Friday Evening, May at about 7.45 p.m.    Beautiful sound of it pattering down on our tin  roof!
Ah yes!     I AM writing, or at least beginning to write on Friday due to the fact that we shall be quite busy tomorrow.     We have one of our girls, who has actually grown up and is working as a Nursery Teaching, quite independently, visiting us.    
 FAYTH is actually introducing us to her Fiancee, and him to us - to her home and family.    She will be bringing two or three others to 'hold their hands', and we will also have Joshua Mbithi join with us, as he and Miriam actually brought Faith up from a baby to maturity in Jacaranda Cottage.  She came when she was only ONE year old, in 1991.   Her birth family have not been traced.     She has been a quiet, obedient and helpful person and loves her Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.      Probably Joshua will be the one to 'Give her Away' on their soon to come Wedding day.     Quite a few other of our houseparents will also be Esther and me.     They are expected to arrive about 11a.m and stay for Lunch and Fellowship.     We are looking forward very much to it.   I have always had a special regard for her.

HERE WE HAVE JUST GATHERED IN GREEN COTTAGE
There were 16 of us altogether!    Esther cooked a beautiful lunch.
They all arrived at 12.30 and left, after have toured our compounds,
at around 3.45p.m.
Here we can see from left to right
Miriam Mbithi / Fayth / Andrew's Mum / Joshua Mbith\
Esther / Me / Andrew

THUS THE WEEK HAS ALMOST ENDED.    But tomorrow I shall be speaking in the Morning at our Fellowship to a packed congregation of students - all or school boarders are back with us for the Term.     It will also be the inauguration of our new School Chaplain, Mike KYALO who started with us on Monday last.

IT IS STILL RAINING!!     Amazing Grace - how sweet the sound!
God Bless you all.      My readers seem to have diminished since I started up sending in February.
From about 200 I seem now have come down to a weekly average of 50!     There had already been a drop last year when I stopped sending for a while.     Will press on  regardless.

MONDAY, there will be a Meeting of all Managers of Children's Homes in our District to discuss the Governments renewed warning that it WILL close ALL Children's Homes within the year.   Please be in prayer for us all, and for the children who are likely to be the ones to suffer the most if this strategy goes through.       BUT it IS all in God's Hands after all.

Love in Jesus to you all

John, Esther, and Daryl Green










































Saturday, 18 May 2019

CAUSE AND EFFECT - What a man sows, he reaps.

NO WATER IN THE RIVER!

NO WATER IN ELDORET EITHER!     The Water Department cut off the supply yesterday, and have said that they will be unable to turn the supply back on until the RAINS - already a month late and believed to have 'FAILED' - return.  Some are predicting this may not happen till October.
This situation has been building up for a number of years, and cannot be said to be in any way un-expected!     One reason is given as the 'Population Explosion' to well over a million in less than a decade.     But the REAL reason has been the destruction of the Forests in our catchment area - and in particular the Kaptagat Forest.
Kaptagat Forest - that WAS!
Almost ALL the Forest has vanished in the last twenty years - most of it cut down and never replanted.      Saw- millers, Industry AND even others who have ROBBED the Forest on a small scale - such as the man on the right, pedalling away as fast he, precariously, can with his illicit load of stolen timber.     He will sell it as firewood.
When we first arrived in Eldoret Kaptagat Forest was still fairly well preserved, but soon it became evident that inroads were being made to meet the demand for PAPER in the area.   In the 1980's President Moi led a campaign to PLANT more trees  which was well supported for while, and then it seemed to be forgotten, and abandoned.     Esther and I had not found ourselves in the Forest area for some years now, but on May 8th a dear friends took us to see a piece of land he had purchased over-looking Kerio Valley, and we had to pass through the Kaptagat area.    We were stunned to discover the Forest had vanished, except for a few scrubby bushes.    People were building home-steads, and even shanty shops,  where trees had stood - it was a truly devastating scenario - and with little immediate hope of change.       The effect of this seems now to be climaxing in the withdrawal of the RAINS.    And the same is happening in many other places in Kenya, as for example in the Mara Game Park.   The Mara River is also drying out and turning the Park to dust.      This will ultimately mean that the Wild Life in the Park will also finally die off, or move away.  Some species could become extinct.    None of this bodes well for the future.    Our once beautiful and abundant land is stricken and dying.

BIG ANXIETY growing daily, as the REAL aspect of DROUGHT begins to manifest itself.   A lot of self reproach for letting such a situation be ignored for so long - a great increase in prayers.......!  The whole Nation needs RAIN, and I am sure the Traditional 'Rain Makers' will already be crying out to their own gods.......   Reminds one of  the Prophet Elijah, in the midst of another drought, on  Mt. Carmel calling the prophets of Baal, and of the Lord, to assembly.    In the story, as it is told in 2. Kings 18 (the whole chapter)  It was Elijah's calm, extravagant Faith in God that won the day.    The noisy, frenzied prophets of Baal, for all their shouting at the heavens, failed to provide the slightest evidence that God had heard them.      The Fire of God replied to Elijah's Faith, and the Drought was broken, and RAIN, in abundance came.     So let it be O Lord,  our God, and so let Man stand in AWE and give Thanks to You alone.

HERE ARE  A FEW MORE VIEWS of our ravaged Forest.....How savagely hewn down, their stumps forlornly left, brutally bereft of their glory.    All this done at speed, without regard for what is left behind; a smoke filled emptiness, raped of its once quiet and innocent patience in serving the purpose given it by God.      No longer will the Rain hear it's voice calling it to water the surrounding Earth.  No longer a safe oasis of kindness to the birds and other creatures that rested and nested safely within its branches.

The light clouds race quickly from this scene of
destruction.   the once enticing canopy of green-ery cut down, and the protected ground beneath, laid bare to sun and wind, now turned to dust and desolation.
No birds singing here.    No whispering of God's breath among the countless rustlings of the breeze blown leaves upon the branches ........NO, but unless Man steps in to lift a restraining hand, ready to replant and nurture NEW trees in place of every ONE cut down, then the very memory of them will be forgotten, and even the homes greedily and thoughtlessly built in their place upon the usurped land, will themselves fall into ruin and lifelessness; for there will, be NO LIFE GIVING RAIN to replenish what has gone - and the DESERT will have come.

THIS MORNINGI got up to find 200 Boarders from our School all queued up on the lawn in front of Green Cottage, each with a large plastic bucket, waiting to fill it with water from a single tap placed there, and return to their dorms to wash and so on!    Two hundred of them - and the MIRACLE was that there was WATER gushing from the tap - although officially all water had been TURNED OFF.    Even the Water Tank in our Cottage was filled up!    As the last child filled her bucket, the Tap dried up,  and no further drop of water has been seen to flow from it ever since.      There IS no water to be seen anywhere.       What shall we do?     We wait upon the LORD.    He watches over us, and our situation.    We are content.

Our Love in Jesus to you all, and our heartfelt thanks for your prayers, and also for support just received via AENON.

God  Bless and Keep you safe and confident, no matter what may confront you'

John, Esther, and Daryl Green




















Saturday, 11 May 2019

ANOTHER YEAR GONE BY


John Green, 79 and  Joe Arthur, 82
WELL, HERE I AM, just a few days ago with our old friend and brother, Joe Arthur of the Pentecostal and Holiness Mission.  He was visiting from the U.S. and dropped in to visit.     It was a delight to see him, and for us to be able to share notes about the Faithfulness of God in our lives.    I share the photo here because TODAY is my 79th Birthday, and it happens to be the most recent indication of 'Wear and Tear' of passing years.    I think we both look ready to start all over again; God has been and will be so Good to us.    Because of JESUS we endure the ravages of Time, and will so endure till He Comes Again.    At least we both look as 'pink as the day we were born;  forget the wrinkles.
YESTERDAY,   I was able to take out for a meal, all the Children's Homes houseparents, including Daryl and my dear wife of 47 years, Esther.   This was made possible from a Birthday Gift sent by one of our Testimony 'sons' who is currently ministering in the U.S., bless his heart.   There were 11 of us altogether, and we truly enjoyed the Meal and Fellowship together - me especially!

(Daryl, Grace, Hesketh, Alice, Esther, John, Eunice, Senge, Mica, David and Doris)




THE VENUE for our Luncheon was within the Town boundary, in a Private Recreation and Educational Centre known as POA PLACE.     It is open to the public and provides opportunity to schools, and private school parties to enjoy swimming, and also to view natural history via nature trails and also some minis game park sets where wild animals can be viewed.     It also offers facilities for those seeking Retreats, Conferences.     It also sports a Restaurant as seen above.     It is very affordable, so that it is within the reach of a large section of the general society both rich and poor.     For us  ALL it was very special as none of us often have a chance to get out together for such a very pleasant time.  Everyone, including me especially, expressed a lot of appreciation and Thanksgiving to Sammy for his loving remembrance of us all.    Praise the Lord so much!!

THIS EVENING Daryl, Carol, Jesse, Becky, and Jeremy Green joined us for Birthday Cake

Back - Daryl, Becky, Esther and John
Front, - Jeremy, Carol and Jesse


THE Cake was also a Birthday Present from a dear sister in Jesus who lives near to us, and who attends our Sunday Fellowship.     I have been so very blessed.      And the LORD so very present with us all, filling our day with a great joy and happiness.

Our Fellowship Choir also came to sing Happy Birthday after returning from a special afternoon 'Outing' given to them as a mark of appreciation for all their good singing over Easter.        

Yes truly our Father had  His Arms around us both all the day long.


GOD BLESS you all for  remembering, praying, and helping to  make this day such a wonderful, uplifting, and encouraging Day.

Tomorrow is Sunday once again, and we shall be at the Fellowship with all the four families of the Homes AND the 200 school boarders who have returned to take up studies for the 2nd Term of School.    Should be a good time together once again.

So This will be enough for this week, and we will be remembering YOU all and praying for your, in Jesus Name.

John, Esther, and Daryl, Green





Saturday, 4 May 2019

FROM HERE TO ETERNITY!

ANOTHER VIEW OF OUR FRONT LAWN - please note it is now GREEN again, and this with only a very small ration of rain - just one day and night last week.    My last photo showed only a Brown expanse of what appeared to be only DUST.    Amazing!    BUT it has not rained since, and our National Weather-men are saying it won't rain again - appreciably - before October.    IF that turns out to be true, then I think the whole town will have to be evacuated!!    Let us not, therefore, look too far ahead, and instead be Thankful for Today - tomorrow God will take of.
I took this photo as I was walking around this afternoon - a little aimlessly, having little of great interest to actually report in relation to the past week - the LAST week of the Easter School Holiday.
But although Daryl is now Director I still like to walk around and make sure all is still neat and tidy, and not in some way allowing anything to get run down.    It is quite easy for it to happen with so much going on.
Immediately to the left of the photo above,  separated by a driveway, is Testimony House, still looking just as it did 47 years ago when we first arrived to take possession of it.   It was about 1.15p.m. when I took  this photo, today.   It looks quiet - empty in fact, but it was Lunch time and the family of thirty kids were all inside having their lunch.     Eunice Lahol still Mum and the Lord is with her, and helping her wonderfully to be strong and comforted.

ABOVE a photo of what used to be our first chapel in 1975-87 when we transferred to the School Hall, our numbers having grown from 30 to about 150 worshippers, including all the children in the -Homes, by then.     NOW it is part of the Nursery School, which extends behind it, and then down at right angles to the left, behind the fir trees.      There is work going on re planning a play and recreation area -
The Nursery School has approximately 130 children with nine carers plus the In-Charge.  Currently
 only SIX of the Homes children are attending, the rest coming from the locality around us.   Additionally we have 52 in our Primary School and 36 in Secondary making a total of 94 of our children in the Homes out of a total, as of today, of 127.      A further 20 of our children are attending College and 4  more in University.     The Nursery School is just beyond Testimony House, following the driveway upwards and turning LEFT.

THE NEXT PHOTO is taken from the School Hall, showing the Driveway going the way I have come, from the Nursery School..    In the distant right of the photo you can just make out one of the School Labs.       
We are looking at the Chaplain's Office, framed each end by one of  the Euphorbia Bushes I described last week.    The one that suffered a fall is out of sight to the left of the photo, in front of the Office Building.     This gives a fair idea of the actual size of them.

AT THIS POINT, I walked across to the Jacaranda Cottage side of the road, passing through the School Gate.
THIS is a photo of the now empty Drakeley Cottage.    We now have plans to re-open it in the not too distant future, and hope that Hesketh and Alice Muli will be able to take up the post of Houseparents.   Once installed we hope to take in up to 24 BOYS only aged 2-10 years.
The end nearest to us in the photo is having a problem with the flooring - it is sinking.   This has been a special section of the House where we had set up a sleeping area for GIRLS only, quite apart from  the rest of the house and the boys sleeping area.   It comprised two dormitories and Toilet Shower.     The flooring is sinking slowly along the the whole of the width of the house from the back wall to a width of about two meters.  We are informed that the Builder had not ensured that the right materials were used as filling and that it will now need to be dug out (to a depth of about 1 - 2 meters, and refilled and compacted before relaying the flooring.      Fortunately the perimeter foundation is safe and sure, as is the ring beam, so that the external walls are also safe  Nevertheless it will be great work.   But we can shut this section of the house off from the rest whilst work is done, and still run the rest of the house without any real hindrance or difficulty.      Something we need to do, and we hope you will pray with us.    We do not want to have to withhold the shelter and home this Cottage was built to provide.

===============================

THIS WEEK our pastor and School Chaplain has finally left us for his new appointment.   So far no one has come forward to take his place, and so I shall  take on a little more responsibility in this direction, but not alone, and David Chumba who is  Dad in New Jacaranda Cottage, will be joining in with me and also, hopefully Hesketh Muli, and also Micah Yego from Tyndale Cottage who is just now returning from his annual leave.      This will, we believe, not be for a long period, and we are sure that prayer will be answered and the Lord supply a Man of His Choice to come and join us in the FTH Family.     This Sunday I shall be ministering.   School will open on Monday so boarders will be returning Sunday Evening, but in the morning it will just be us - a small but loving group.
I want to talk about Friendship, and especially that kind that is willing to get involved no matter what the risk to themselves.
I hope to talk about King David's testimony of how, having found himself cut of from God and man in a horrible hole, unable to free himself from its sticky, clinging contents, CRIES out to God, the One he has in fact laid aside to satisfy his sin.    He cries out to the Friend he let go of, to please himself.      I don't think his 'hole' was a physical one, but rather an emotional and spiritual lapse that left him sunken in guilt and deep misery of spirit.       He had failed his Friend.     He himself had failed; and he could blame none but himself.      Where could he GO?  To Whom could he Turn?
He CRIED out to his FRIEND!      And THAT friend did not turn away, but turned to his Cry and pulled him UP and OUT of the mire, and sticky sin, and set his feet - his LIFE - on a ROCK,  AND  established his life, and put a new song in his HEART.      What a Friend!

In JEREMIAH 38 is the story of the a time when Jeremiah, standing and living for GOD, was arrested and imprisoned.    He was lowered into a dungeon - a very REAL and PHYSICAL HOLE in the floor of the prison, up to his neck in unmentionable filth,    A slab was dragged across the opening cutting of all light, and there he stood.      LAMENTATIONS 3 he tells us what he then DID.
HE CRIED OUT TO GOD!       There was no lightening flash, no role of Thunder.
ABOVE the ground one man heard what had happened - and he was a friend of Jeremiah's, though but a lowly servant, a man of no substance, power or authority.    BUT he loved Jeremiah, and was his disciple.     HE got up and went to the King, and there pleaded on Jeremiah's behalf. for mercy.   And the King who was not doing too well in his own life, listened, and AGREED TO HELP, even against those who were in his own pay.      Ebed-melech, the Ethiopian, a nobody, put his own life on the line for his friend, and moved the mountain.       King Zedekiah gave him 30 men, to help move the stone and pull Jeremiah UP and OUT of his hole.     And they together did it gently and kindly doing their best to help without hurt, lovingly.      What a Friend was Ebed-melech.      YES, but a friend motivated by an even greater friend - even GOD, for it was God who moved  his heart, and gave him courage........

We all follow our own way - in or out of the Church.     We all find ourselves in times of trouble.  We all can find ourselves helplessly STUCK in our own sin and selfishness.     We all need HELP, and someone we can depend on to  hear our cry and COME to our rescue.


Forgive me if you feel  the above is out of place in the middle of this little discourse.
I could not resist it.   I love Pooh Bear.   Such a simple soul, so totally unaware of what is going on, even in his own life, and here he is STUCK!!     But his human, friend, his dependable, so much          stronger friend, comes to his aid and immediately gets busy UNSTICKING Pooh!  Well in this case it DID take a bit of work, on Pooh's part as well, and it took a little while to actually happen!   BUT the HELP was available on demand.    It was there for him.   Help full of sympathy and compassion for such a 'Silly old bear.'       Thank you Christopher Robin.       Thank you JESUS for being my dependable, compassionate Friend.    For being my Christopher Robin.     HELP ME to be such a Friend to the one who is in NEED of getting  unstuck as I was.

THERE IS WIND SUDDENLY OUTSIDE.    As I look through the window I see the whole sky has changed from BLUE to GREY, great swirling rain clouds ....... will it rain?    Of course it will!   He knows what we need before we even ask- and he will not be blind or deaf to it when we remind him of the need.
'HE laid aside His reputation'
when He came and stood by me.
He knew, full well, my degradation but became a friend to me!
That's why I  love Him, that's why I love Him;
He laid aside His reputation, and became a friend to me 

God Bless, and Strengthen you all, and as you draw near to HIM may you know HIM to be close to you ALWAYS.

Lovingly

John, Esther, and Daryl Green
















Saturday, 27 April 2019

CHANGE!

A VIEW OF GREEN COTTAGE SITTING ROOM, taken from my desk..... usually not so tidy and not so empty either.    TODAY at 9a.m. we have the lights on as it is RAINING, and rather dark.......but OH, what joy to see, feel, hear and SMELL the rain, at last!
But some of the older plants and trees often find this season a dangerous one.   After the long DRY season, the sudden abundance of rain puts a strain on old and brittle branches that are suddenly over stressed with the weight of the water. Quite a few of our elderly trees have lost branches in this way, land Tuesday morning we woke to find almost half of on the Giant Euphorbia bushes that line one side of the School Drive way had also succumbed, and collapsed.  It was quite a surprised though as theses bushes had been there at least eighty years and seemed almost eternal.   BUT........it WAS not as young and virulent as it once had been, and WHAM.. it yielded to old age at last.
THIS bush is just opposite to the School Hall, on the Office side of the drive.
The Bush is about three and a half times my height, say approx SIX metres, spreading
 out from a central root system.It looks similar to a cactus with ribbed, spiked limbs. 
It flowers usually just before rain, and stores quite a lot of water making each branch
 quite heavy. We reckon about half a ton fell that morning.



TO THE LEFT is a photo of how it appears in flower.

I took a few more photos just to show a little of the hole left in the root, and the bulk of what had actually broken away.      The rest of the Bush remains standing. say two thirds of the original.      It stands within the paved area, in front of the Office, and often Daryl had parked the Toyota Voxy there in its shade.    Fortunately he had moved it elsewhere on the day the Bush collapsed, or is would certainly have caused a dent or to the vehicle.

It has all brought home to me yet again how impermanent everything is.  Nothing is impervious to change;  nothing is changeless.   Everything is on the move, and one cannot go back to yesterday.      We seek the Eternal, but I wonder just how eternal eternity is.    Even there I feel there will be a progression - a continual change.........     Certainly the Here and Now is constantly changing.    Going back in ones memory few things remain as we remember them, and in actual fact trees die, buildings crumble, and even the coastline of our Island erodes with the weather.      People change  Customs, fashions, the constant mix of race and culture all contribute to a changing society, and perhaps even species.      Soon Man may be more bionic than human; he may have arranged for his own Birth, Genetic Code, Maintenance and replacement - all without a soul,I would suspect  -   a very horrifying prospect.        Can change be slowed down?    Maybe, but not I think a great deal.   No more than Face-cream removes wrinkles for a little while.    Age creeps on, and finally the flesh is done, and the tree falls.  What was no longer IS.      Even the Heavens will be rolled up and taken away.        


ABOVE is a close up of the root of our Bush, with the ruin lying all around it.   Daryl is standing there in the white shirty and one of our Groundsmen, also one of our boys who has been with us many years, now married with his own family. A very faithful family member - Joseph Kihara.      I think, at first sight, they were wondering how to clear the site - each segment of every limb was covered in sharp needle like spines making handling very difficult........  But it WAS all cleared in  matter of hours, and already - apart from the hole in the root complex - it all looks as if nothing happened.   So easy and quick to accept and get used to a change in appearance.




===================================== 

EASTER
is over, and we rejoice that the Lord helped us to be Blessed all together, and also to be inspired and strengthened onward for the balance of the year.    

FIRST, once again, a BIG Thank You to all those who sent help to us via AENON, and which arrived on the day of need on the 23rd April.     It is still more than we can rationalise about - just HOW  help always finds us ready and needing it!! Blessed Be His NAME, and blessed be all of YOU also.   Nothing could carry on without His Goodness, and that same Goodness moving in you on our behalf.
James 'MANU' attended the Eye Clinic again on Thursday.     He only had to have one injection on this visit.   The Doctor felt that the badly infected right eye is now stable, but thinks it will not improve further.    Manu will return on the 30th May to see a specialist to give a final opinion as to its future. His other eye is so far OK.
However Manu is still seriously afflicted by very uncomfortable soreness of both eyes, and this even with new glasses to help reduce too much sunlight.    He is very patient in all of this.    
He is still unemployed having spent much time and effort attending interviews and doing his best to find an employer - even with the good degree he has.    He does managed to get a little help from taking orders for baking cakes and also for laying on full meals and and so on - he is very good at it, and proficient.    Who knows he may eventually find this to be the REAL future.       He is now living alone about thirty minutes away from us, and is more relaxed, as we also are.    BUT he has also had two more seizures since living alone, both in the night, and although he suffered no ill effects, it has made him rather anxious.    He has seen a good neurologist and had all the scans and tests available, and NOTHING can be found to account for them.     We think it was just the fact that he had to start out on his own again in new circumstances without knowing how long it will take to actually find a regular job, with regular income.      God is watching.     Our thanks, sincerely, for all those who pray for and care about Manu.

The Government has more or less been carrying out what amounts to a  national Census this week, and our School Hall has been busy as one of the Centres for Registration.     Each person resident in Kenya has to fill in as very lengthy form with all his/her details.      There are people on hand to assist others in this, and generally it is a rather more complicated and time consuming  activity than usual.      A lot of public annoyance with it, though basically this is little more than the normal irritation at having to share private information about oneself and situation with outside organisations     When I was growing up we used to hear the phrase 'BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU'  but these days it far more truly an ongoing and progressive fact than ever before.      More and more creepy, and more and more relevant to the Mark of the Beast!!  But those who BELIEVE and TRUST in the Lord have a Friend who far more vigilantly watches over us, to keep, protect, deliver, and safeguard us, against all that ANY enemy might imagine to accomplish    Thank God for that Assurance, and Confidence in the Name of Jesus Christ.

SOON it will be MAY DAY - much more happy a term than LABOUR DAY, which mainly brings to mind industrial discontent, strike action, and hordes of impoverished, undernourished and ill considered human beings who share the planet with those who often demonstrate that they wish such members of the family did not exist.       I think Socialism has to be appreciated - but it is not an end in itself.        We all need to be able to appreciate accept and understand each other no matter what our condition socially may be.      Theses great gulf that open up between us socially and every other way are not the way to true peace.      We ARE in need of loving our brother/sister whoever and whatever they are.
I GREW UP with the May pole on the village green, and generally a village Fete, and everyone coming together for a day Happy Thanksgiving for the onset of Spring!      I think - I hope - such gatherings still do happen in a few places.    BUT the Day HAS changed....and there we are AGAIN....CHANGE.

Yes and greater CHANGE is coming soon.      |Le us be ready for it.

Love to you all, as always

|John,Esther, and Daryl Green















































































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Saturday, 20 April 2019

TWO NIGHTS IN THE TOMB


THE SUN BURNS DOWN UPON US OUT OF A BRILLIANT SKY, and there is no sign of rain right now!.     All around us the greenery is drying up, shrivelling, and turning to dust, and our grass already vanished from all sight.   Yesterday we were told we are on the threshold of a prolonged drought that might continue till October.    WELL, we look to Jesus.    We know it may be true, and already to the North of us the Desert conditions continue and in Turkana people also continue to die.    BUT even so, in the midst of such encroaching threat to life and and well being, we find ourselves in the Remembrance of the Cross, and the Victory Christ obtained for us and all mankind as he gave up His life for ours.       YESTERDAY we held our Good Friday Service.     It was an especially blessed one - not long in duration, but filled with the Presence of  Jesus.   All the children and staff of the Homes plus some local friends attended, and there was such a sense of JOY and Victory, even as we were again reminded in Word and Song, of the suffering and pain it took to purchase  our Salvation.    AND YES... JOY TO THE WORLD !    To and for everyone who will BELIEVE and ACCEPT God's Love for them.     HE will walk with us, and hold on to us, and bring us through whatever life may bring to us on Earth.     He IS our Saviour.

Love covers ALL sin
 In Matthew 27 in the Bible it is written
'His Blood (the blood/life) of Jesus be upon us and on our children'
WHO said this?
The Jews in Jerusalem at the Judgement Seat of Pilate the Governor.
They were saying ' Crucify him, Crucify him - and we will be held accountable for it;
you can BLAME us for it.'       AND a good many people HAVE blamed them ever since.
BUT JESUS FORGAVE them, even as he hung suffering on the Cross!   He cried out to God
'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing'
THE MAJORI.TY
of those people in the crowd in front of Pilate, and even ALL those who watched Jesus crucified,
did not KNOW why they wanted Jesus dead.  They just followed the CROWD.
Jesus forgave them all.

NONE OF THEM WERE DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR JESUS BEING CRUCIFIED.
Jesus Himself came from Heaven to Die;
to Die instead of each one of us, taking OUR punishment for OUR sin
upon Himself.
He was not murdered or assassinated.
He voluntarily laid down his life in place of ours.
He could have called ten thousand angels to set him free.

NO, He came knowing that if He did not take our place no one else ever would or could.



ON Friday we Remembered how he died.   We remember how they laid him in the tomb, and how his friends all felt the loss of him among them.    They were lost without him; lonely, afraid, and sad.
TODAY, SATURDAY, all is quiet, and we remember the awful despair that had taken hold of all the disciples, as they waited for the passing of the Passover and the Sabbath.    They would have entered
into the  services in the Temple no doubt, and spent time in prayer.   But Jesus lay dead in the tomb; the stone blocking the way to even seeing his body.  That day for them passed slowly and mournfully.     They must have felt life had ceased, even for them.     For us life goes on pretty much as usual, although this year we are more than cheered within our own family to have David from Huddersfield with us, and also Steven our son from England.   And of course Helen and Abby are still with us, and Manu will be dropping in, so we shall not be allowed to feel as alone as the disciples may have felt.


Tomorrow, SUNDAY is usually celebrated as Resurrection Day here, and in many other places.  Monday has become of holiday (even less than a HOLY Day) and many take advantage of it purely as a holiday - a family day - or just another day.         HERE it is a normal Sunday, and we shall have our  usual Service, but with the difference at Easter, that it is another reminder of how desolate the followers of Jesus all were as they continued to miss him.       Our Service will be low key - no Worship, no Breaking of Bread.........    A  kind of dull day...?     Life with Jesus ALIVE  by our side is never dull.

I could not finish in time yesterday, so Sunday has come, and the Message below preached - though this is only a note rather than the full text.


Proverbs 10v12

Adam and Eve were the first to sin.  They disregarded and disobeyed God.
And instead of listening to him they believed the serpent through whom the Devil spoke.
They HID from God ashamed and afraid, but God covered up their sin
Genesis 3v21

THE BIBLE says 'The soul that sins shall die'  Ezekiel 18v4.    But God says that He has no pleasure in the soul that dies.   He asks 'Why will ye die?  Turn yourselves and live - Ezekiel 18v31-32.
THUS in Genesis 3v21 we find God finding SKINS to cover the nakedness, the obvious sin, of Adam and Eve.   He did not want then to DIE!      
BUT God's Word tells us that -
 '....without the shedding of blood there is neither  remission or release from sin and its guilt, nor the remission of the due and merited punishment for sin'  Hebrews 9v22
And SO God had to kill an innocent animal, shedding its blood (taking its life) in order to clothe (blot out / hide) the sin in Adam and Eve - temporarily.
THIS is the Beginning of Easter   -     A life for a life / a lamb for Man  -    It is ALL about LIFE

In Genesis 4 we find Abel, Adam and Eve's son bringing a lamb from his flock to sacrifice in his place, in order that he might be forgiven his sin and escape punishment.    He saw and understood his need to have a life that was clean and sin free.   He knew that he himself had sinned.  He offered  the sinless, innocent life of a new and prime lamb from his flock, instead of himself.   The lamb was his substitute.      And God accepted Abel.
Abel's own brother was of another mind - HE ended up cursed.
Thus the idea of offering a sacrifice to God for our sins grew into regular practice.    Annually the people took their sacrifices to the High Priest for presentation to God, hoping to secure forgiveness and remission for their sin for the year ahead.
AND AARON  the first High Priest,  had to wear a gold plaque fastened to his turban which declared to all those who saw it and read it -
HOLINESS TO THE LORD\
As a reminder and Warning to all the people of what they were all
individually expected to be in front of God.
BUT MORE THAN THIS
It was to remind the people of their need of  ONE to stand between them and God,
 Exodus 28v36-39

All this was  understood by Moses in his day.

And in Leviticus 16v21-22 we hear about a goat.    There were two in fact but I only want to mention one.    THIS goat had been brought to the Temple for a special purpose.   After all the sacrifices had been offered and the necessary prayers offered up, this Goat was brought ALIVE to Aaron the Priest in front of all the people.
He laid his hands upon the Goat's head.
THEN he committed all the sins of the people, 'en mass', upon the head of the goat, and sent it off into the Wilderness, thus taking all the sins AWAY.        Here once more is a picture of sins being actually TAKEN AWAY from us by another party of a pure and innocent nature.    This Goat was called the Scapegoat'  - one bearing the guilt and sins of, and instead of, another.
ALL THIS TIME between Adam and even today THOUSANDS  of innocent animals have been made to shed their blood as a temporary atonement for the sin of Man.      Was it SO impossible to find another way?   GOD looked, and found not one.  Isaiah 63v5   AND He was surprised, and He said 'Therefore my own arm brought salvation to  me; it upheld me.'    The WORD of God, He who was to be born into the World as JESUS (for He shall save His people from their sin).   Answered God's call and said ' LO, I come to do thy will oh God'   whom John the Baptist was to point out in John 1v29 saying 'LOOK!  There is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.'
IT IS THIS JESUS of whom the Prophet Isaiah spoke in his book chapter 53v1 onwards.   -  A man without sin or deceit.  A man who bore our sins and transgression, taking them  upon Himself, being punished for them instead of ourselves......
THIS MAN SHED His blood for us. Blood more precious than that of any animal -  ONCE only was enough. -   He ransomed us with is own Blood; with His own Life, whilst His Father in Heaven watched.   And it was all because God Loved us so much.         Psalm 49v15 / 19v25. I know this to be the TRUTH.



TOMORROW - MONDAY will be the Day for us all to Rejoice.

REJOICE with US
with our Love always in HIM

John. Esther and Daryl, Green


Saturday, 13 April 2019

A WEDDING - without BELLS!

YET ANOTHER WEDDING, in the Family's long history, this time between one of our Daughters - BETTY WANJIRU NJUGUNAH,  and Dan Kogei who was at one time working with us as an accounts Clerk; a very reliable and excellent Christian young man.     Betty is also into Accounts and works in our own Finance Office here in Testimony Faith Homes.    Maybe they will one day set up their own Finance Company!
The Wedding took place in one of our Town's Churches,  The Africa Inland Church (Fellowship Church) at 10a.m. yesterday!     It was the ONLY day available at this time - so many getting married it seems in this month of April.   They were duly Married
together by one of our Old Boys from the Homes, The Reverend Moses Ongonga, who is also an A.I.C.  minister in the Fellowship Church   All our Staff and Children - past and present - seemed to be in attendance, except for Daryl Green who was involved in some event in the Nairobi Area and unable to make it.    But Carol, his wife, was with us, and this was so good, since Betty grew up with Daryl and Carol in Testimony House for many years from 1998 to 2008.    After that Alice and Hesketh became Mum and Dad till she started out in life, on finishing College.     And so of course Alice and Hesketh, who were in fact on leave, made sure they were with us for the Day.     And Esther and I could not miss since basically it was to us that Betty's Father, who was terminally ill at the time, turned, and pleaded for us to take her, and her brothers into our care, on his death.     His wife, their mother, had already died.  It was a very sad and poignant matter.      He himself died shortly afterwards, and so initially, just before Daryl and Carol took over Testimony House from us as house parents,  they all came to us.........They have all been 'special' ever since to us both.

WELL it WAS a brilliant day, and it was a real JOY to be there, with everyone.   So many of the extended Family were also there to witness their sister's long awaited wedding to Dan.      AFTER the Service there was a BIG reception in the Church grounds with Lunch and Entertainment for all.    Esther and I finally left at about 4p.m.   We were feeling tired, having both got up at 6a.m. to get the Bride and Bridesmaids all ready.   Feeling our age a little - probably the heat as well, it was up in the eighties most of the day.
Betty's brothers all came into our care together in 1998.  Solomon also is an Accounts Clerk in our Office, Then Moses is working in Banking.   Benson also into Banking,  and Boniface still seeking steady employment.   They have all grown up peacefully, and in Jesus,  as if they had known us all their lives.  We feel the same about them, but it is hard not to feel the same about ALL who we have personally had to do with.

Our daughter Helen, still unmarried, arrived on Wednesday to be with us for some weeks during the Easter Break, together with her daughter, our grand daughter Abigail now aged five.   Helen was one of the Brides maids and Abby was flower Girl.    Great to have them with us again, and good to see them both well and loving the Lord Jesus.    He is so loving and kind.   Helen is on the left in the photo and Beverly Jebres, another old girl from Testimony House is on the right.

We are blessed to still be alive to see so many blessings grown up.

IT HAS BEGUN TO RAIN!    It started on Monday with just a brief evening shower, and has so continued.   Nothing too heavy, but at least the 'earnest of our expectation.    But the days are so far still full of sunshine, AND heat!  |I never do very well in hot weather; makes me feel quite drained of energy, but on the other hand I am feeling very well indeed.     And looking forward to Easter.   AND we are fortunate not to have a lot of glitzy advertising about the 'Holiday Season' - not even an Easter Egg in sight!     Regretfully neither is there much sign that Jesus DIED for the World to be seen or heard.    Very eerie feeling really - sort of an uneasy sense of waiting - for something to happen!

ON the 17th we are expecting David Brook, another dear friend from Huddersfield to be with us and to remain until the 22nd.    David taught here in Alliance Girls School many, many years ago, and it is good to be able to keep our friendship going on.     ALSO we are expecting our son Steven to visit over Easter, shortly - and then, before we know it, April will almost be done.   This years seems to be going like turning the pages of a book.......we shall arrive at August all to soon....     And in between we shall be Greeting yet another Team of Students and Friends from Tyndale Christian School in South Australia - they expect to be with us early July.
EASTER will commence for us on Thursday 18th April with a commemorative Supper.   Each Home will Remember the Lord's Passover Supper separately.    Then usually some hymns and prayer.
GOOD FRIDAY Service on the 19th which usually follows a program of SEVEN Readings, and then, after each one, a short comment from different Christians who feel led from among us.
THEN finally a short Word of Conclusion.
SUNDAY we do not celebrate the Resurrection - it is a Sunday apart, Jesus not yet risen.   I hope to minister the Word that day on  Proverbs 10v12 - 'Love covers a multitude of sin.'
MONDAY MORNING is Resurrection Day for us all, Everyone together again for Praise and Worship, Breaking of Bread, Testimonies and a Word of Exhortation.   

We shall not be so many this year  - about 120 kids, and maybe 12 staff (some are away this year for their annual leave) and a few friends and neighbours from around us + any guest visiting.

We do pray that the Lord, who loves us, and longs for our fellowship, will be very close and real to you all during the week to come.    The whole of the year ahead pivots on these few days when so much was done for us.    Indeed the whole of our life pivots on it.      Our love to you all, each and ever one, and our deep appreciation for all you do for us in prayer, and in often support.   Truly we are made aware of how much GOD loves us when we see the same love in you and your care for us.
It is all to and for His Glory.

John, Esther, and Daryl Green