Wednesday, October 22

2nd Update

Removing the bitterness from the heart

Yesterday GOA leaders held seminars for over 50 youth leaders. It was easy to mobilize these leaders because the GOA pastors is on the board of A-Step. A-Step is an Community Based organization founded in 2003. Their funding has been sporatic coming mostly from well-wishes. They work through sports. Their founder and director Timothy is passionate about reaching the youth through sports. He himself was a street boy in Nairobi and played football for Mathare Association. He told it was playing football that changed his life. He seeks to give that change to other youth. They are very organized with football happening every weekend all over the city. They have 24 boys teams and 6 girls teams. There 50 core volunteer leaders and 150 other volunteers.

One of the speakers was a GOA pastor who shared his testimony how he was affected by the violence. He is Luo and his wife is Kikuyu. During the height of the violence angry men were going door to door looking for Luos. They came to his door and threatened to kill him. They had killed and cut a Luo man to pieces just nearby. Only by the grace of God was he not killed.

After his testimony three young men came to him and confessed they had bitterness in their heart. While they and others are working with other tribes it is only on the surface. They still have bitterness in their heart. They told the pastor they wanted to heal the bitterness in their heart because they believed if after what the pastor went through he could still be a pastor and love and believe God and forgive those who hurt him then they too could forgive.

Praise God for the pastor who was willing to share what had happened to him even though it is painful to share the story. Praise God for the healing that is happening in this city, in this Nation one heart at a time.
                                              People give their lives to Christ

Blessed to witness God at work, Connie

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1st update from Kenya

Maggie's School touching lives in Eldoret
I am in Eldoret with a Reach-A-Million iniative. Partners for Care and GOA leaders have partnered with a community based group A-Step to do a sports evangelism. Football teams have been playing games all week leading up to the finals to be played tomorrow. This iniative is reaching people with the message of salvation, HIV awareness and peace. Eldoret was one of the places with the most post-election violence. It was a church in Eldoret that was burned and children in the church were killed. There has been months of working to heal the pain and hurting the violence created. There is much bitterness in the hearts of the people here.
Our team came to Eldoret during the violence. We saw the burning and were affected ourselves as we faced roadblocks and attempts to harm the bus. We went to IDPs here including the one at show ground where 10,000 people were sheltered in tents. Now the team has returned to join the efforts for peace and reconciliation.
Yesterday Pastor Omondi and I met a young man who is Turkana. I could tell he was lost and hurting. I told him about Maggie's School built in Akatmon. He knew of the village there and he thanked us for building a school there because he never went to school and never learned to read himself. I asked him if he was born again and he said no. I told him of the story of Bishop David going to Akatman and his 3 year prayer for a school for the Turkana people. We told him the school was built because God loves the Turkana people and we love the Turkana people. He said he would accept Christ if he could tell us what he was going through. What he shared was his struggle in not being able to read. We asked him if he had been tested for HIV and he said no. He agreed to test.
I believe Maggie's School helped us reach this man for Christ. I also believe God was showing us how important Maggie's School is. This next generation of Akatman children will be able to read. Praise God.
Praying for healing in Eldoret, Connie
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Thursday, October 9

HIV/AIDS - alarming rates in Kenya

Last Friday night I had dinner with Professor Orego, Director of the National Aids Control Council in Kenya. Professor Orego was in the US along with eight other officials from Kenya to report the findings of the Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey to the Center for Disease Control and to officials in Washington, D.C. Professor Orego gave me a copy of the findings. I have read the report and wanted to share with you the alarming rates of HIV/AIDS and STD.
1. Number infected with HIV/AIDS in Kenya has risen from the last reporting year 2003 from 5.4% to 7.4% and this is only for ages 15-64. It does not include all the children that are infected.
2. Number infected in Nyanza is 15.3%, Nairobi 9.0%
3. Incidence rate (number of new infections) has not changed meaning just as many people are being infected as in 2003
4. More than 1.4 million Kenyans are living with HIV/AIDS in a population of 35 million
5. 1 out of every 10 pregnant women are infected with HIV/AIDS
6. 1/3 of Kenyans are have genital herpes and are at a higher risk of becoming infected with HIV. 81% of those infected with HIV have genital herpes. And 60% of women age 40-44 have genital herpes. There is no cure for genital herpes and many times people have no symptoms so they do not know they are infected
7. 4 out of 5 HIV infected persons do not know they are infected. That means 1.1 million people are infected who do not know they are infected.
8. Only 36% of kenyans have ever tested for HIV and the reason given by 61% of Kenyas for not testing was low perceptions of risk
9. In Kenya HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death for adults 15-49.
I emailed this information to the Bishop and to Pastor Karanja. Bishop David emailed me back that he wants to call an urgent meeting of all Partners for Care staff and GOA leaders to discuss what can be done in response to this new data showing the war against AIDS is not being won. I go to Kenya next week and will work with the Bishop to intensify the Reach-A-Million iniative and to develop other approaches to address this pandemic. Pastor Karanja is also travelling to Kenya next week and I have asked for his help. With his influence in Kenya I know he can make a difference.
I am reminded of what Rick Warren said at the Global Summit on AIDS - in 2005 - until the churches get involved in this pandemic it is not going to go away. Praise God for the leadership of the Bishop and of Pastor Karanja to involve the church in this pandemic. This is the disease that robs little children of their parents leaving over a million orphans in Kenya.. This is the disease that infects innocent children like Rebecca, Dennis, Eunice, Brian (who lives with us in kenya), Faith, Baby Diamond and Little Elizabeth and many more.
Praying for God's direction, Connie
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Good news

I wanted to share some good news about one of our Partners for Care staff in Kenya - Sam Wachira. .He is the younger brother of Moses, a social worker with Partners for Care. When Moses came to work for us in Nairobi Sam came with him to wait out the months before he would report to college. Due to his excellent grades in high school, Sam was recruted to a college about 4 hours away from Nairobi. He planned to study buisness. After a month volunteering with Partners for Care Sam wanted to stay in Nairobi to continue his work with Partners for Care and he wanted to switch his studies to social work. He began what became a long process of applying to the University of Nairobi. After much persistence, continuall follow-up and prayer Sam received his acceptance letter today - four days before classes start at the University! We are very happy that God has provided this opportunity for Sam to stay with Partners for Care (he has become an invaluable asset to this ministry) and for him to be able to pursue his studies at the University of Nairobi.
Grateful for this blessing, Connie
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Wednesday, October 8

They will remember

When we first went to Turkana the men sat on one side and the women on the other in very traditional ways. They did not trust these white people who had come and would not let us take any photos. When Laban told them we were there to help them and not hurt them they say we could take photos. As we were leaving they brought to us an old man and said if we really wanted to help we could help him. I didn't need by nursing skills to know the old man had cataracts and they were "ripe" - ready for surgery. He was nearly blind at that point. Through Laban interpreting for me I told them that.
We left and God challenged me to do something. We visited the hospital in Lodwar and found they could remove the cataracts for him - they had an eye surgery department.
We gave funds to GOA and they wired them for his surgery. Dr. James helped to facilitate his surgery. I just received this email from Laban about this old man who is now a Christian!
Dear Connie Old man Akutan, he of the cataract removal at Sopel, is now well and seeing again without problems, thanks to your extended mercy and comfort to him.  He and his wife were at the Sopel church to meet the visitors (Joy and Richard) coming and, I believe, they had been told there was a lady missionary from America coming and he instantly imagined it was his dear Connie.
With his wife, they were in place at the church very early not to miss on the friend who helped to have his failing eyesight corrected.  He did not see you and that was somehow disappointing for him.  He summoned me at the end of the sermon and talk by Richard, Joy and myself.  He demanded to know where you were and I had to look for an interpreter to get the gist of his many words to me.
When we got on the same linguistic level, I was able to hear him asking about the lady who helped him see; the wife was there to put in a word or two when the husband hesitated in his expressions.  They said they had brought a goat as a gift and wanted me to take a picture with them with the goat of thanksgiving.  The constant reference to you was enough for me to know they had intended it for you.
We left with the goat initially intending to enjoy a barbeque with the pastors, but on remembering Pastor John Edung of Nayanae who is sick in Lodwar, we decided to donate the goat so that the mutton may add onto his lean nutritional base.  He needs a lot of proper feeding as he recuperates.   We continue to pray for him and he called me on my way back from Lodwar to tell me that he was feeling the effect of the prayers and that he was getting stronger.  Praise God.
My response to Laban - Laban thank you my special brother in Christ for taking the time to share the story of Akutan with me. How very special and how it touched my heart to know that God used me in this simple, humble way to do what He does for us everyday - just love us. I remember so clearly how the old man challenged us that day as if to say if you are Christian - show us - spread the gospel use words only when necessary. Without your guidance and God's clear direction I would have never paid for his cataracts to be removed. And I remember he has several very young wives who love him very much. May they know God and may all their children know our God of love.
They will remember our acts of kindness, Connie

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Tuesday, October 7

Prayer requests

All of you know Nick and Charles from the many updates I send about their work in Mathare Slum. Today Njokie (Partners for Care Manager) went to check on them and the children in the Rescue Center. She found both Nick and Charles sick. Both have malaria and Charles also has thyroid. Njokie has been sent money for medication and food for them and the children. She will return tomorrow to help and I have asked Paul (Partners for Care nurse) to see them. I texted both of nick and Charles asking how we could help and what they needed and Charles texted me back - he replied prayers. They are both young men of great faith. They are also "father" to many children and "comforter" to hundreds of sick people in Mathare. Please join in prayer for their rapid recovery. And as I pray I thank God for Njokie who cares for the sick as Jesus commanded us..
Praying for Nick and Charles, Connie
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Friday, October 3

PLAY with AFRICA - FALL Family Soccer Event

Greetings friends, as we enjoy the nicer and cooler FALL weather remember to SAVE THIS DATE – November 15th 2008 for the PLAY WITH AFRICA Family Soccer Event at the J.J. Biello Sports Complex in Woodstock, GA


This will be a great event so please bring your family and friends ready to have a truly unique & fun filled day.


WEAR your PATRIOTIC COLORS as you represent your teams and country.


ü       Remember we will be forming 7–a-side Soccer teams – visit for more information.


ü       Register EARLY either as a team or individuals as we form the TEAMS.


ü       Soccer Shirts for the Little Kickers Team (4 – 7yrs old) will be providedGet them black soccer shorts and stockings.


Please PASS this on to your friends too & invite them to come Play with Africa.


THANK YOU - (Please see the attached FLYER)


Eric Mwangi

770 256 2280