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Mary and Kenya 2014

I had my first planning meeting today for the next trip to Kenya and took the opportunity to show some slides of past trips, along with a few videos. I could have done that all day. The trip will be sometime between February 27 and March 19. If you are interested in going, please let me know.

1 MaryIn the meantime, life and ministry goes on without us in Kenya. We received this report from Pastor Francis concerning little Mary (pictured left reciting a poem), whose tuition we paid so she could escape the slum school and go off to boarding school. Here is his report:

Halo Dr. John,

This is to report back to you on Mary's academic progress in her new school. First term has come to an end. Mary managed to perform fairly well. She had grade C with 330 marks out of 500.The school is also happy with her, saying that she has the potential to make it to higher levels.

We also received her happily back home and we really appreciate the good work of educating Mary. She is expected back on 5th May, ready for next term classes starting on Monday 6th.

Her second term fees are therefore due by the opening time.

Thank you for choosing Mary and for the burden of feeding, clothing and supporting orphans and vulnerable children at Upako Center and in other projects in our land of Kenya, Much blessings and may the everlasting God continue doing good to you and your team so that this ministry can continue.

Blessings

Pastor Francis

Mary's next term school fees will cost $400. So I need you to step up the plate and help me help her with her tuition. You can make a contribution through my website or by sending a check, marking it "Mary," to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. I have discovered that I cannot change all the world, but I can change some of it, one small piece at a time. This is just such an opportunity. I know you will join me in doing so.


Pearl 112: Faithful

TOPIC: Organization and Spirituality

"However that which is spiritual isn’t first,
but that which is natural, then that which is spiritual" - 1 Corinthians 15:46.

You may be thinking, "I'm not sure how relevant my organizational habits are to my spiritual life." According to today's verse, they are highly relevant, for you prepare for and prove your spiritual maturity by mastering natural things. After all, if God speaks something to you and you are so disorganized that you forget or fail to follow through because of confusion, you render yourself spiritually ineffective. Do you see that the natural and spiritual are connected? Can you see how your disorganization has spiritual implications?

Lord, there are no shortcuts to effectiveness in You. I must first prove myself in the natural and then You will bestow spiritual responsibilities on me. I must prove myself faithful and part of that is my ability to organize my life, money, time and possessions. Give me wisdom, insight and vision to do just that.


Pearl 111: Resisting Change

TOPIC: Organization and Personal Development

"He is working in you. God is helping you obey Him.
God is doing what He wants done in you" - Philippians 2:13 (WEB).

You may be reading these Pearls for organizational tips, but one thing is certain: If you are to be more organized, you must change from the inside out. And you can resist the change because it takes you out of your comfort zone where things are uncertain and failure is possible. Yet when you resist change, you are trying to control your life and world in an unhealthy way, stunting your growth and development. Are you resisting some internal change where organization is concerned? What is it costing you in lost opportunities? What are you willing to do about it?

Lord, I recognize I have been blocking my own development by resisting change, and I have actually found excuses and made them sound spiritual! So I am placing the blame for my lack of change on You! Forgive me, Lord, for You are working in me to change and I commit to cooperate with Your work.


Pearl 110: Vision

TOPIC: Organization and Purpose

"Where there is no [vision], people cast off restraint;
    but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction" - Proverbs 29:18.

You need wisdom and divine insight to help you organize today for tomorrow's opportunities. What's more, you need a vision for your life and purpose to organize for maximum effectiveness. For instance, if you are a painter, where will your studio or work area be? If you are a writer, where will you write and what can you do with that space to make it cozy and creativity-friendly? If you are a counselor, how can you organize your day, notes and contact with clients and peers?

Lord, I need a vision for my life so I can plan today for where I will be tomorrow. I ask You for wisdom to put things in place not just so they won't get lost, but so I can find them when I need them, and so they can all flow together with my purpose and daily work.


Pearl 109: Oxen

TOPIC: Organization and Productivity

"Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty,
but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests" - Proverbs 14:4.

You may have an empty manger, so to speak, so you don't have much to organize and oversee. That doesn't indicate your are organized, it just means that you have reduced or kept your world to its most manageable components. If that's the case, then you must ask yourself: What will it take for you to be more productive? How can you obtain oxen to profuce a harvest, a harvest that may involve helping others, creating art, writing or starting your own business, whether small or big?

Lord, I have kept my world simple for fear that I will not be able to manage any more. In some sense, I am afraid of success not failure. I don't have any 'oxen' because I don't want to be bothered with learning how to care for more so I can do more. Help me to expand my thinking so I can expand my world.


Pearl 108: More

TOPIC: Organization and Increase

(Hiram’s ships brought gold from Ophir;
and from there they brought great cargoes
of almugwood and precious stones. The king
used the almugwood to make supports for the
temple of the Lord and for the royal palace,
and to make harps and lyres for the musicians.
So much almugwood has never been imported
or seen since that day) - 1 Kings 10:11-12.

Let's review. You have learned so far that you should not have to go through work to get to work. That means you may have too much stuff, so when in doubt, throw it out to stay streamlined and nimble. Yet God may want to give you more responsibility as you see in today's passage, so you must have an organizational strategy or philosophy that enables you to handle more than you have now. That means that 'more' is not always wrong, but may be God's will. Are you growing in your understanding of why organization is important? What changes have you made or do you need to make to be better organized for God's purpose?

Lord, I am learning much about Your desire for me to organize my world so I can be effective with the opportunities I have and be prepared for new ones to come. Yet I have a long way to go, and I need Your help to want 'more' and then to change so I can handle 'more,' whatever that 'more' may be.

 

 


Pearl 107: Worship

TOPIC: Organization and Impact

"Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you
and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the
Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king
to maintain justice and righteousness" - 1 Kings 10:9.

The Queen was not part of Israel, but when she beheld Solomon's wisdom against a backdrop of his kingdom's organization, she burst into worship, praising God for what she saw. When is the last time an unbeliever broke into worship because of what they saw in your world and life? Do you see that Solomon's organization was not the end in itself, but a means for him to fulfill his purpose and maintain justice in his kingdom? What purpose does your organization support and promote?

Lord, Solomon was effective in part because he organized his world to handle and be able to do more. I want to follow his example and structure all I have in such a way that You will be honored and glorified by my resulting productivity, so that others may see and worship You. Give me wisdom and grace to do that.


Pearl 106: Reputation

TOPIC: Organization and Impact

"She said to the king, 'The report I heard in my own country
about your achievements and your wisdom is true. But I did
not believe these things until I came and saw with my own
eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth
you have far exceeded the report I heard'" - 1 Kings 10:6-7.

It is of note that Solomon's organizational prowess had gained a reputation that was discussed the world over in his day. Such is the impact of an organization that is committed to excellence not as an end unto itself, but as a means to release the purpose of the individual or the organization. This leads us back to your organizational philosophy, which should be more than keeping things in place.What is your reputation where organization is concerned? Do you organize so that you can be effective for the Lord's work? Does your ability to get things done attract the attention of others?

Lord, I want to be known for my purpose and I further want my organization to add to and not take away from my ability to serve you. Help me develop an organizational philosophy that will cover my time, things and  priorities. I want others to have confidence in my ability to organize to be a valued team member.


Blue Jeans in Kenya

When we began to collect items to ship to Kenya last year, someone approached us with many pairs of jeans from a children's store liquidation. We decided to take and ship them, and we are glad we did!  Here Pastor Peter updates us on the jeans distribution, along with a report on the other things that were in the container that recently arrived (Click on pictures to enlarge):

Dear Dr. John,

The distribution of the resources you sent through WAPIS is ongoing well, even though it raining1 Jeans 1 heavily and time is chasing us for all the schools will close by tomorrow. We are happy that this project has brought a lot of joy in many kid's lives and i can confess the effort you made was not in vain.

WAPIS feels humbled to be entrusted with this task and we are doing our level best to see the most deserving cases receive the gifts you sent. The students and the teachers have sent a word of thanks, and they thank God for all the support you have accorded them.

1 Jeans 2

 

May the blessing of God and his favor be upon all who support and strongly believe in what going is doing in Kenya through your generous support.Never get tired of doing what is good.

He is the reason for our living.

Pastor Peter

And here is a report from Pastor Francis:

Dr. John,

I hope this finds you well. I just wanted to correct Pastor Peters earlier report to you on what UPAKO 1 Jeans 3 received from what you sent through CMM. We received four boxes of shoes two from Peter (the children size) and two from CMM (smaller sizes and one extra big sizes), five boxes of jeans from CMM and one from Peter, and seven boxes of books - six from CMM  and two from Peter for a total of 18.

Most of the shoes were too small so only a few of the children got  a pair. The jeans were ok and they received at least two each for the small children and one for the big kids. Finally all of them received at least something. God bless all who were involved in this task of serving God through us in our brokenness.

1 Jeans 4I want to sincerely thank you for the gifts that has made the kids very happy and warm. You are more than a Father to these children whom you have always fed and clothed and taught every time you visit Kenya. Receive a very big thank you from the children and staff of UPAKO school in Nairobi. I had tried to attach their photos many times and it kept on failing but I think you received some through gmail.

Thank you for being a blessing to us in such a big way.

Pastor Francis

We are blessed with trustworthy partners in Kenya who are doing a good job of accounting for our donations and their distributions. And you can see how the children [and their parents] are being blessed by what you are making possible.

Can you please help me continue this work? I made a commitment over the weekend to found another library, so our need for books, educational resources and laptops is critical. If you can't give any resources, then make a contribution to help us purchase what we need or to ship it over to Kenya. You can give through my website or by sending a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882.  As you can see, I am committed to continue showing you and the world the need and the work being done in Kenya. I will do my part, please do yours.  Thank you and God bless you!


Widows Project Update from Kenya

1 Widows 1I received the following update with pictures (click to enlarge) on the project we helped start in Kenya to assist widows in their distress. Pastor Peter has been faithful to provide these updates. After you read this and the others he sent, please prayerfully consider how you can help us:

Dear Dr. John,

The widows program has taken off well and their production line is been strengthened  1 Widows 2 every day. Today they were able to finish their second line of making African earrings using cow horns.Their products are amazing and this has brought joy and resources to this group of women.

Their work has received recognition after the UN-Habitat gave them a chance to go and display their work this year at the 24th UN-Habitat World Governing Council at UN headquarters here in Nairobi starting from Monday 15-19 April. We give God all the glory for this humble beginning that will go along way to transform the lives of many.

1 Widows 3Thank you Dr. John and Sheran [White] for giving this women a second chance and for choosing WAPIS. We will always be indebted. God bless all those who participated in making this dream a reality and we look forward to continue working with you.

He is the reason for our living.


Pastor Peter

Sheran White, a widow herself, has gone to Kenya three times with me and decided to do something to 1 Widows 4help those in need by raising money for them. Even though Sheran had no experience or connections, she has raised $7,500 to date to go toward widow's projects like the one Peter described above. Can you do the same? Can you minister out of your own deep need and help someone in the same predicament as you?

If the answer is "yes," then send a gift today to help the widows and orphans in Kenya. You can contribute through my website or by sending a tax-deductible contribution to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882.  Thank you and thank you, Sheran, Pastor Peter and all those who are helping those in need in Kenya.