Friday, May 25, 2012

The Power of God

"God is powerful, eh?”  Six-year old Joshua exclaimed as he looked up at me with a huge smile on his face.  Why did he say that?  Had God just caused a mighty windstorm to rise up before our eyes or cause mountains of rock to be torn loose and moved away?  Maybe it was the magnificent display of a lightning storm and the cracking boom of thunder followed by a double circle rainbow?  Is this what comes to your mind when you think of the power of God?  It may be that God’s awesome control over the environment often invokes these types of images of His power. We kind of expect Him to do those sorts of things. 
Joshua however was blown away by another facet of God’s power.  I had just given him a plastic ball as I was sorting through things in packing for our move.  He thanked me and was quiet for a moment as he looked at the ball.  It was at that time that he made that statement.  He then told me that he had been thinking to himself that he really wanted a ball very badly but he had not told anyone what he was thinking.  Now here he was holding a ball in his hands.  He had made the wonderful discovery that God had drawn so near to him that he even knew the most intimate thoughts and desires of his heart; this was most certainly cause for wonder and joy! 

Has this happened with you recently? I hope so, because when it does, it brings exhilarating refreshment to your soul and releases a trigger for your relationship with the Lord to burn more intensely and enter into a dynamic time of growth and maturity.  Kamau and I experienced this kind of power the other morning when we were praying about concerns and challenges on our hearts about our transition to Kenya.  How are we going to get our belongings to Dar es Salaam?  Should we sell the car or take it with us?  Will we have a house or apartment to live in once we get there or will we have to stay at a guest house for a time?  What about the location for the children’s center in the slum? Where will it be and how much will it cost? And what about the guy who is holding up issuance of the permanent certificate for our ministry in a government office because he wants a bribe?  Lord please set him straight and sort out all of the other stuff that is threatening to discourage us!  As we prayed about these things, we turned to our daily devotional reading that we have been enjoying and experienced this breathtaking aspect of God’s intimate power. 

Here is what the verse said that spoke directly to our hearts, “I will go before you, and make the crooked places straight:  I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron.”Isaiah 45:2   Wow!  This quickened our hearts and strengthened us so that we could be reminded that the Lord himself “will do the impossible and that the crooks and turns of human craft and satanic subtlety will be straightened for us”.* It is the Lord’s work we have been called to and we have boundless resources as his children.  Indeed, it caused us to agree with Joshua.  “God is powerful, eh!”

*Chequebook of the Bank of Faith, Charles Spurgeon

The coming weeks will be busy for us as July approaches.  Here are some ways that you can pray for us during this time:

May 21-27
U  Remember our fender bender we were involved in last month?  Well, we finally have the damage to our car repaired after being without it for two weeks.   However, when we picked it up from the shop, we have found that there is now a problem with the wiring and it is affecting the battery, lights, horn, etc.   Whenever we are able to get it back to Lusaka which is about an hour away, we will return it to the body shop to have them fix whatever went wrong when they were fixing it. Pray that God will give Kamau peace, wisdom and strength to do the necessary running around to sort out the car and its issues.

U  Kimberly and Malaika are experiencing some intestinal disturbances and discomfort.  Please pray for healing.

May 28-Jun 18
U  Kamau will be traveling within the US during this time period.  He will be making stops in the Midwest and East Coast in order to share the vision that God has given us concerning bringing His word and hope to children in impoverished communities such as the Mukuru Kayaba slum in Nairobi.  Pray for safety in travel and that God will communicate His message to His people through Kamau.  Pray that people will respond as God desires.

Jun 19- Jun 30
U  Kimberly and the children will be traveling to Ontario, California and will join Kamau there.  Our mission agency, Go Ye Fellowship (GYF), is having their 80th anniversary reunion and has encouraged all of their missionaries to attend. We did not think that we would be able to make it, but God provided the funds through various means including a partial travel scholarship which we received from GYF.  We are really looking forward to meeting other staff and missionaries from all over the world.  Please pray that we will arrive safely and enjoy the fellowship and encouragement from those attending and that we will be a blessing to them also.

July 1-4
U  We will all be traveling to Zambia.

July 5-22
U  During this time we will be making our final arrangements for our move to Kenya.  Our biggest concern during this time is the transport of our things.  Please be praying for God to show us His provision in all aspects of the move.   As this will be a costly undertaking, any donations to assist the expenses will be welcomed.

July 23-31
We will be traveling to Kenya some time during this period.  Pray for a safe, peaceful, orderly traveling time and arrival.  We will travel first to Dar es Salaam, Tanzaniza by train and then by bus to Nairobi.  
Thank you for taking this journey with us as you provide encouragement for us by your various expressions of support!

Grace & Peace,

The Kamaus

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Look at the height of that maize in the background!
 Greetings Friends,

It has indeed been a while since you last heard from us and you may be wondering whether we are already in Kenya or still in Zambia!   The reality is that we are still in Zambia and a lot has been happening since you last heard from us in February. Here is a little outline of what has been happening as the count down towards our transitioning to Kenya.  (By the way, you may have noticed the new name for our blog which is, "Habari...from the Kamaus."  In Kiswahili, which is one of the languages spoken in Kenya, this means news or happenings from the Kamaus.)

March 2012

 We started off the first week of the month with a trip to Harare, Zimbabwe.  We traveled there to attend the Foundations for Farming three day conference; this is because at Hope Anew, we believe farming will be one of the key components to our ministry especially once we reach the second stage which will involve a farm in a rural setting to grow crops for sustenance and food security for the children at the school and the children’s home.   There were about 19 countries represented from all over the world, Mexico, Paraguay , India, U.S.A, Germany, Burundi etc.  Do not think that the conference was all about farming.  In fact, it felt and looked more like a missions conference! We had vibrant praise and worship, testimonies and excellent bible teaching!  Kimberly and myself and I believe many others, felt like it was a rallying call and commissioning to go out there and announce that the Kingdom of God has come and it is our duty as Christians to advance God’s Kingdom where there is darkness and hopelessness in every sphere of influence the Lord has placed us.
 After the morning devotions, we would participate in various breakout sessions/tracks depending on one’s interest. The different tracks were family, education, health, business, finance, and farming.  The questions we all tried to address is how it would look if the Kingdom of God was advanced in these areas, strategies that we could use, and what impact did we think would result in our communities!  The discussions were very lively, energized and inspiring!
After the conference, Mark Maisonville,  a friend of our family who had traveled from Michigan to attend the conference, and I traveled to Kenya to visit the slum where the children’s center will be built. Kimberly and I first met Mark when he and his family visited Villages of Hope for two months in 2009. Mark is an excellent builder and his wife Maureen is a teacher, their son Kris is an artist and they have been praying about joining our effort to rescue and bring hope to the children in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya.
We arrived in Nairobi on March 16th and were together for 10 days; while there, we took measurements of my brother’s shacks.   We had initially hoped that we could build the children center there, but we found it to be too small and congested for the buildings that we will need to put up and it didn’t help that it is right next to a tavern.   Surely, that doesn’t sound like a conducive environment to bring children for bible clubs/tutoring and recreational activities!
Mark on the right speaking with my friend Emmanuel

We did however find out that there several people willing to sell their shacks in other areas which are a tiny bit better and somewhat less congested and these are the options we are presently exploring.  Mark was invaluable!  Due to his building experience, we were able to take measurements of one location which enabled us to approximate how much land will would be needed; we also visited hardware stores as well to check out the cost of the building materials.  Mark will now calculate the numbers and help figure out how much it will cost to the build the children’s center. 
Children eagerly greeting us at one of the slums that we visited

We also took the opportunity to travel to the countryside about two hours away from Nairobi, I had previously visited this area in January and had learnt that there was a piece of  land available for sale, we found the land was still available and even met the father of son who is selling it.  It is 25 acres of land situated on a beautiful land near a river flowing from the nearby hills.  I couldn’t help envisioning what a wonderful place it would be for a school/children’s home and farm.

April 2012

Kimani and Kamale hard at work sorting and packing
I returned to Zambia from Kenya on April 5th.  Kimberly, Kimani, Malaika, my nephew and Dick were on hand to pick me up from the train station for the two hour drive to Villages of Hope.   It was about 9pm at night and we were happily chatting along as we drove when we unexpectedly came upon this huge pot hole in our lane.   I slowed down to negotiate it when, suddenly, a car right behind us rear ended our vehicle.  Fortunately, nobody was hurt but both vehicles were damaged. Since then, I can’t remember how many man hours I have wasted between the police station and the insurance company in an effort to get our vehicle repaired.  The driver who hit us was drunk and driving without proof of license or insurance.  When I pointed this out to the police officer and even asked that he take a sobriety test, the officer could care less and even let the man drive away in the car! 
I was wondering about this obvious display of a cavalier sort of attitude, when several days later, I met the wife of the driver who hit us.   It turned out SHE was a police officer! She showed up at the police station in her uniform and that’s when it dawned on me why none of the officers were particularly zealous in pursing the matter although the guy who hit us was clearly in the wrong!  Instead I was given the run around when I tried to get a police accident report to take to the insurance company, especially when they realized I was not a Zambian.    Nevertheless, like the persistent widow, they realized I was not just going to go away and finally, with God’s intervention, they gave me what I needed.   I am now waiting to hear from the insurance company as to when I can take our vehicle for repairs.

On the positive side of things, I found Kimberly and the kids had been busy sorting out and packing our household stuff which we will take with us to Kenya. It is a slow and tedious process which nonetheless which must be done. We are only able to take our books and instruction materials for the ministry and clothes.  When we arrive in Kenya, we’ll be starting all over again.

Prayer Request
·         Please pray that the insurance company will move forward in repairing the damage to our car.  Also, in regard to taking our car to Kenya, we have heard stories about import taxes that cost the same amount as the car itself, so understandably we are hesitant to try to take it so we thought selling it would be best.  We want to do what the Lord wants, however, so please pray that God will give us clear direction.

Grace & Peace

  The Kamaus