Update from Jason & Jolene July 2011

Well it’s been another great season of growth of the work in the sanctuary and we are thrilled at what God has done

 over the few months since our return from N.I. We would like to thank everyone who showed us such kindness, support and love when we were back home. It was actually overwhelming and it does our hearts good to know we have your prayers and support. The boys settled back in to Kenya life really well, and equipped with our supplies of Toffee Chrisp’s, we came back blessed and happy.

 

Church Opening

 

We were delighted to start having our first Sunday Services at the Sanctuary. Up to now we have daily devotion meetings Monday to Friday, and as we have had many new convert’s, people have been seeking advice on where to attend places of worship. This is something we could not help in up to now - there is a great need for sound teaching in Kenya. While there are many churches, the land is filled with false doctrines of prosperity and it leaves behind a people in disarray and a trail of disillusioned people, like sheep without a shepherd. We count it a great privilege and responsibility to plant a church here in Nyeri under the leading of the Holy Spirit and guidance of Pastor McConnell. We have started bible study classes all day Wednesday, new converts are coming and completing a short course to receive a bible. Our prayer meetings are on Thursdays between 5 and 6pm as it is unsafe to meet after dark. Our church registration is due to come through later this month and after that we can start to publicise the church and do outreach and missions.

 

Our first service was on 01st May. We were praising God for 180 people in attendance and 6 adults and 15 children coming to Christ. We had a wonderful day in His presence and celebrated with Kenyan food after. Jason has been bringing the word each week and the Lord has been so faithful and given him much fruit for his labour. Do continue to pray for the work that it is built up and protected from the enemy, speaking against such doctrines here may not be popular, but we are committed to bringing the truth to the people. We are seeking for a band of faithful men and women whose hearts the Lord has touched. We feel heavily upon us that the Lord is seeking a people who are committed to humbling themselves, turning from their sin, and seeking His face, and we believe that God will move.

 

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, [and] rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43 v 19

 

We are pleased that also many of the unsaved Sanctuary staff and guards have received Christ as their savior over the last number of weeks and we are starting to see lives really being changed and God moving in their lives. To god be the glory!

 

Clinical Development

 

The clinical side of the Sanctuary is continuing to flourish. Moses, the orthopaedic who volunteered with us, has now been given a permanent place on the team. This will facilitate regular fabrication of a range of orthotic items such as leg braces, calipers, splints and spinal jackets. This will increase the quality of life of the disabled children, and in many cases, enable them to learn to walk for the first time - most parents cannot afford to pay for such items privately. Can you imagine what way this changes that child’s life - WHAT a privilege to minister in such a practical way! These feet are typical of teens who HAVE BEEN given braces which they could never afford to replace or maintain – the ankles have become so twisted as he has outgrown them but kept them on so to keep walking to get food and survive.

 

The last 4 weeks we have been involved in prescribing wheelchairs for many patients from villages near and far to apply via the Kenyan fund APDK for possible eligibility for wheelchair via the government. Our wheelchair stocks are virtually gone now and we are keen to try and meet the needs wherever possible. Do pray that the Lord will enable Terry and ourselves to bring another container into Kenya over the coming year as we are seeing many new needs for equipment and wheelchairs. We are excited about the Everest Basecamp Fundraising and are praying their training goes well – Jason will be joining them in London and climbing with them. We are looking forward to Irwin Rea coming to preach in his absence. There are so many needs, which can be met with what is raised FROM the climb, and we thank God for a church that gives and for young people dedicated to the cause in Kenya.

 

Cardboard and Papermaking Workshops

 

Manufacturing is continuing well and we have employed another new mother of a disabled child since our return to keep up the pace. The waiting lists for ACE equipment continues to remain high as new patients come for chairs, but we are delighted at the progress and seeing so many kids get their chairs is great. Papermaking is also going well and we are now preparing for the visit of the 4 UK based and 4 Kenyan professional artists with Annabelle Murray in July. They are coming to work on a collaborative piece of work in a residency here in Nyeri for two weeks, for exhibition along with their own individual art in Nairobi National Museum this summer. See www.sanctuaryartists.org for full details on the exhibition and advice on where to buy your own cards and paper art.

 

Building Work

 

The finishing works have almost completed on the new outbuilding and front extensions to the main building, and we are pleased that both are now in use. At present the building team are preparing new ramped access to the new front and down to the outbuilding and we are also having the new kitchen units installed and all the storage rooms kitted with shelves.

We are delighted to announce that a gentleman with a keen interest in disability, has donated money to allow us start building a new workshop. This will enable better space for the ACE equipment workshop and papermaking and also as workspace for Moses to fabricate his orthotics. You know who you are - thank you so much for what you have done!

The new outbuilding main room is where the church services are being held at present, which is currently being filled. We trust the Lord will direct us on the new piece of land that has been purchased next door on what to build and how to expand the work in the future.

 

Community Outreach

 

We were able to distribute 3 cases of clothes Terry had gathered, which we took back with us, to the street children and adults in Kiwara slums. We had a great time of outreach and 2 got saved that day. Community village outreaches were done in both Maragwa and Othyia, assessing medical and therapy needs and sharing the gospel. The orphan kids schooling is continuing to do well and we are pleased that Elijah who just started his new boarding school just this year, is now second in his class. We had an awesome experience last week, some of the clinical team visited an orphanage with a young girl who was bedridden for 26 years. She had developed severe deformities as her condition was not treated, and therefore could not even sit upright in a wheelchair even if she had one. She stays in an orphanage with 63 children and only 4 staff who take turns on shifts - so she was literally left in bed for most of her life from she got too big to BE CARRIED. We were privileged to provide her with a special canvas sling wheelchair that we had left over from a previous container - I can honestly say I will never forget her being took outside in that wheelchair. Thank God we could leave it with them and trust they will use it to being her out.

 

We are thankful to you all for your support. Please keep us in your prayers as we continue to pray for you. The longer we are here, the more we feel our need of the Holy Spirit to move, it is nothing that we can ever do of ourselves. While we can help meet some material needs, the flour inevitably runs out and the shoes get worn out again.. we need the Lord to give them water that will cause them to never thirst again.. satisfied with the bread of life, and to know that he is their portion and in that alone, they are more than blessed. Trusting Him to come and to lead us on with Himself.

 

 

Previously in January 2011 Jolene made this report What a fantastic end to a year of new beginnings in the Sanctuary! The Lord has been doing wonderful things in Kenya - we are so excited to be here for such a time as this!

It has been a very busy couple of months that have passed. The Sanctuary is of course continuing in doing its daily duties in serving the sick and disabled children that come. We are seeing new faces every week and many are blessed with support, food, medications and physical therapy that is so precious and life changing to the children and parents.

We are now seeing the effects of the new cardboard postural control chairs from the workshop being handed out, which has been lovely. Providing specialised custom-made seating for the disabled out of scrap cardboard, while creating jobs for local women is just fantastic and we are still in awe of what the Lord has done here. We converted the old container shell into a new workshop and this has enhanced workspace and production. The paper making has also been going well and we shipped our first batch home for Annabelle to work on marketing and merchandising at home. Building work has been progressing at a good rate also. We received full planning permission for the new out building and the foundations are completed and concrete floor now in. This work is going to provide more space for much needed treatment areas and storage. The main sanctuary building extensions are going well also. The new kitchen shell is finished and and just before Christmas.

James the OT got moving into the big back room as his new therapy room. We were blessed with Adrian Philpott from the Metropolitan Tabernacle and 4 of his friends joining Jason on site in November and Tommy Haynes also in December - brilliant help from willing hands is so encouraging!

 

November team visit

We are treasuring still, the wonderful week of ministry when the team were out at the beginning of November! For those of you who did not manage to attend the Befrienders / Kenya night in church, we would encourage you to get the hold of a DVD of the night from the tape desk. We had a brilliant week, 29 people from home made their way across to us and what a great team they were – honestly, the unity, love and drive was fantastic and we believe all who came were blessed themselves in blessing the community here.

 

We had three separate food and clothing distributions, a food camp in Naibor for displaced tribal families, the children's ward at local hospital was painted, we had a visit to adults and children on the burns and paediatric wards with sweets and toys, also a visit to Kenwa Orphanage with toys and sweets. We also had a BBQ and party held for our Saturday Club kids, we had home visits.. and on top of all that, we had a paper making training workshop ongoing, walls being plastered, building work going on, and even a baby delivered!

Throughout every event the gospel was not only delivered in deed and action, but the word was always preached to the multitudes and precious souls were saved. People were prayed for at every event and the Lord drew so near, seeing the tears flow from such a needy people as they were ministered to and prayed with was something beautiful. It was an absolute privilege to help and work with such a great team and we were sorry to bid them farewell but in fairness, the Toffee Crisps and Soda farls helped soften the blow!

 

 

We were busy in follow up work from the team visit in the following weeks. We were able to return to the group of displaced families in Naibor once again mid-November to distribute the remaining clothes from the container. Around 500 people attended this time and we were able to bless them with more flour and fat and rice in the name of Jesus. We joined with the pastors of the group and prayed with them in their church, was a brilliant day and the name of the Lord was glorified.

Following the team visit to the PGH burns ward and connections made there, we have started visiting the sick there on a weekly basis now, in particular those whom many of the team will remember - Jane, Peris and Leah. Both Peris and Leah have been doing very well following their surgery and Peris hopes to be discharged in 3 weeks now. Jane has been quite low lately and often refuses to eat, her most recent skin graft has not took very well and doctors feel this is due to poor nutrition. She has been having difficulty coming to terms with her trauma, so we would appreciate all of your prayers for her at this time. Through support form home, we have been able to buy them all medications for their pain and to prevent infections and also fund their skingraft surgeries, we even have to go as far as as to buy the very graft knives and bring them to the hospitals, such is the great lack of resources in the health care system here.

We are encouraged by the love and concern from any who met these lovely women on the ward.. and isn't it amazing that the Lord is hearing and answering their prayers from 4,500 miles away. Such is the work going on over here. The Metropolitan church heartbeat in Kenya. Thank you once again to all the team who came!

 

Christmas Outreach

We had a busy week of Christmas outreach. THe Metropolitan church, families and friends have been so thoughtful and generous in sending help for this community, it has actually been overwhelming. We were enabled to have a distribution of 3000 bags of flour at the Sanctuary for local people in the village of Kamakwa just a few days before Christmas. Over 1000 needy people came and after worshipping together and the preaching of the word, all received enough flour to feed them for a week. Six adults responded to the gospel and were born again and many sick were prayed for during and after the outreach.

 

We then had a Christmas BBQ for our Saturday club kids - we had 500 Sausage baps, 500 cups of porridge and tonnes sweets and lollies absolutely devoured! And after the bible study, 24 kids came to the Lord and were born again! Was a joy to see the kids in their humility come to Jesus. The praise of 500 kids singing in Swahili was something we will treasure, the Lord was magnified from a multitude of children in rags but with hearts full of joy!

 

We enjoyed throwing a Christmas party in KENYA the local orphanage we are connected with here, on behalf of Tommy and Lorraine Haynes. 54 kids were blessed with good grub and their first ever Christmas present. We brought the word and 8 kids asked Jesus into their hearts. Again thank you to those at home whose hearts have been touched to enable all of this extra Christmas outreach, it was beautiful.

 

 

Community Outreach

We are praying for the Lord to open doors to enable gospel outreach for the street children in Nyeri (below). We have been feeding them on and off in town when an opportunity arises, and on Christmas eve we were able to take as many as we could find to a cafe and got them all chicken suppers and sodas. Most of the boys are addicted to sniffing glue and people simply disregard them, they are surely ‘the least of these’ in this town. Please pray that we can do more to reach their hearts as it would be an extremely difficult task.

 

Good News

The Sanctuary continues to be very busy reaching out to the community in other opportunities we come across. There was a large group of houses burned down in the local slum in Kiawara in November and we invited the 16 families up and were able to give them food, clothes and financial support and share the gospel and pray with them (the kids all got a wee pack of toys - see right). We received a lovely letter of thanks form them just last week. We then learned also that there was a large number of houses raided during the the evacuation of the slum area during fire. We were able to gather this group up to the Sanctuary in the middle of December and minister unto them with the Word and in prayer and with food supplies. Praise God 6 precious souls gave their lives to the Lord! We also seen 3 young kids at last Saturday Club in November surrender their lives to Christ. The Lord is faithful! Jason has had the privilege of preaching at a few churches this last number of months both in Nyeri town and in the local slums. To worship with the needy people in the slums is a beautiful experience. Seeing a people who live literally from hand to mouth cast aside their cares and worship with all that is within them and beating wooden drums is truly humbling and challenging.

 

In December, Jason has spoken several times in a church in the slums specifically for the homeless and also street children and the Lord has been precious there. Just just this morning four precious souls came to Christ. We are excited and very challenged by these opportunites to witness Christ and again, we would request your prayers for the Lord to guide and direct our paths in this area of outreach. Its been a really brilliant couple of months as we continue to settle down in the community. We want to say that we sincerely appreciate all of your prayers and love and support. We are excited about the next coming months and will keep you all posted.

 

 

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, howcan the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John ch 3 v 16-18

 

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Yours in Christ.

Jason, Jolene, Jude and Jaden

Sanctuary Artists - www.sanctuaryartists.org