We pray all is well back home in America! We hope and trust that your celebration of our Lord’s birth was also wonderful!
This month began with us taking a trip to Nairobi (Dec 8 – 12) for the express purpose of seeing off our older interns who were returning to Minnesota to finish up their last semester before graduating from Bethany Global University (BGU).
Since our anniversary is near Christmas, we took this as a time to celebrate six years of marriage. The higher elevation of Nairobi is a much cooler climate with many green trees and, therefore, more comfortable than G-Town. It was a great location to relax.
To give you a quick update on the water pump and flood, yes, the water receded, but not before we lost the entire crop at the farm. The larger trees (mango, lime, etc.) were fine, but the smaller crops that are dependent on a more frequent water cycle all died. Jason pays the farm workers based upon the weekly harvest of the crops sold in the market. It will be difficult to pay them until we can get the farm producing a harvest again. It was good that we pulled the water pump out because the whole foundation to the pump slid into the river; we would have lost it otherwise. The water pump was reinstalled, though, and we should be able to get the irrigation system up and running soon.
The next big thing in our schedule was the Christmas celebration. We, as a missions team, bought gifts for the Anole village children. The boys received a soccer jersey and a soccer ball. The girls received a dira (local dress) and a doll. In addition to this, each family received food (rice, cooking oil, beans, corn meal, sugar, salt, and tea). We spent Christmas Eve packing and wrapping all the gifts for the 15 families. We started the day with a Christmas devotion, prepared for Christmas, and then ate a meal together.
Christmas morning at 9 am we all caravanned out to the farm. The interns provided skits, games and activities for the children and families. While this was going on, we prepared a meal for later in the afternoon. After we ate, we brought out the gifts for the families. Then, after we gave the gifts, Jason and Amos gave a gospel presentation. I was brought to high emotion. This is why we are here – to preach the gospel to the unreached! Jason explained that we are being generous to them because God was generous to us by sending Jesus to die for our sins and rise from the dead.
It is going to be very difficult to minister here in this Muslim context. The people here are very resistant to the gospel. The chief of the village stood up and acknowledged that we are Christians, but they are Muslims. He said he is happy that we can work together and that he was thankful for the gifts. As much as I, too, am happy that we can work together, we are not here just for that. O’ how I desire to see them saved and brought into the Kingdom of Jesus! We will continue to labor and work to establish a self-replicating, indigenous church among them. “… ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6, NAS). We will continue to rely solely upon the Lord and the strength He provides.
I also want to inform you that I have written a Bible reading plan free to download from our website. As you may well know, I absolutely love reading the Bible. It is the Word of God and it is ever important to dwell on it daily. The title is “J.M. Benson Bible Reading Plan” and it is under the Articles tab. Feel free to check it out!
Thank you for all of your continued support that you have shown us. It is because of people like you that enable us to work with sweat and tears for the salvation of these people. Thank you.