Tuesday, March 18, 2008

AIDS Widows and Orphans Experience Mercy through the ELCK - Kenya Building Rebuilding Homes and Cleaning - Order Restored

U.S. Relaxes Travel Limitations to Kenya

Thankfully, calm is the rule of the day in Kenya once again. Life is back to normal - as normal is in Africa. When you travel to Africa, you always must be "street-wise." I was raised in the city of Detroit and anytime you visit the city, you must engage your common sense. Just as our big cities are approached cautiously and wisely, so it is when Friends of Mercy travels to Kenya.

There are over 2.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS and the subsequent riots from the presidential elections did not stop the proclamation of the gospel and the work of mercy.

The ELCK (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya) continues to work hard throughout Kenya as her leadership assists members and villages with cleaning up, re-building, and proclaiming the gospel. It looks like we will follow through with our Faith & Mercy Expeditions in June and again in September.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Kenyan Lutherans Keep Going - Concordia Theological Sem Carries Update from Meeker

Pastor Meeker (Springs of Life Lutheran, Kibera Kenya) filed an update to Concordia Theological Seminary (CTS). He graduated last spring from CTS. He was unable to receive a call through the LCMS missions to Kenya because of their internal policies. So, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya agreed to accept him into their ministerium so that he could serve the people whom he had grown to love while he served a vicarage in Kenya. His wife Lorna is from Kenya.

CTS does a wonderful job of training pastors and deaconesses who are mission and mercy minded. Pastors and deaconesses often serve around the world. Pastor's wife, Lorna also was trained in CTS' deaconess program. Read his update at CTS' admissions blog.

Monday, March 10, 2008

GOOD NEWS FROM KENYA! Recent agreement provides stability. Lutheran Ministry continues

Here is an interesting and exciting message about Kenya's financial/economic outlook.

MUMBAI, Mar. 10, 2008 (Thomson Financial delivered by Newstex) -- Standard & Poor's (NYSE:MHP) Ratings Services said it has revised the Republic of Kenya's long-term outlook to stable from negative, citing the likelihood that the recently agreed power-sharing agreement will continue to stem the tribal clashes...

As we've stated in the past, a healthy economy and order in the society is important for the proclamation of the gospel and continued ability to provide the mercy of Christ in the acts of love through the work we do.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya marches on with their effort to provide hope and comfort for the lowly and suffering in Kenya.

Personally, I can't wait to get back to Kenya and see the work of Pastor Meeker, David Chuchu, Bishop Obare and so many of the pastors, evangelists, and deaconesses who work so hard, for so little worldly manna to bring the gospel and love of Christ to the people of Kenya.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Calm in Kenya - Meekers & Springs of Life Lutheran Rebuilding in Kibera

In a recent phone conversation with the Meekers, Pastor said that they were continuing with the clean up and began building a new fence around the property of the church. The property in Kibera is where Springs of Life Lutheran Church, the school, the medical clinic, and the parsonage are located.

The excitement was building as members of the congregation along with some contractors began to get the church fixed up. As the work progressed, it became a symbol of the calm that has returned to Kibera. The church members didn't give up. The bible studies are going again and the HIV support groups are organizing.

The stained glass windows above the altar were replaced and the roofing is going well.

The rebuilding of Springs of Life is because of people who are committed to making a difference through acts of mercy. Thanks to LCMS World Relief and supporters of Friends of Mercy, the progress will continue.

There is still much to be done. The picture to the left shows the stained glass window, the roofing progress, and the obvious work needed on the medical clinic. The medical clinic was at the back of the church which was renovated last year thanks to gifts from supporters such as St. John's Lutheran in Oxnard, California. Marilyn Gregory and Sandy Frandsen, members of St. John's, visited Kenya last October and were there to mark the dedication of the clinic.

St. John's has once again stepped up to the plate and has donated towards the rebuilding of Springs of Life. However, there are many others who have done the same. Thanks to so many faithful Lutherans in the United States, the work of proclaiming the Gospel and celebrating the sacraments will continue in Kibera.

Monday, March 03, 2008

US State Dept on the Kenyan Agreement - Now Lutherans Will Move Forward

Here is the statement from Condoleezza Rice on the the recent Kenyan agreement.

This is truly a blessing to the work of mercy in Kenya and in Africa generally speaking. As was recently reported in the media, it would have been a tragedy if Kenya went the way of Somalia. Turmoil and chaos always creates opportunities for thugs and terrorists to find a home. Kenya will continue to be a stronghold and a light for the furtherance of democracy and stability in Africa.

This story here, is why Kenya is so important for the proclamation of the gospel and the acts of mercy. An orderly and peaceful Kenya will make it possible for Friends of Mercy and others to move around safely and support the local altars in Kenya, such as Springs of Life Lutheran Church in Kibera.

Thanks Be to God for Kenyan Agreement

Last week, the deal was struck between the two Kenyan presidential candidates. From an article in Nation Media,

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown noted that the power-sharing deal was a “triumph for peace and diplomacy.”

Most people who support work in Kenya believe that things will get back to normal now with this important agreement.

Kenya is a good example of how our Lord uses the two "spheres" or kingdoms to implement His will on earth. The civil realm creates order (Romans 13:1-7) so that the spiritual realm, the church, can proclaim law and gospel and offer the sacraments.