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Posts Tagged ‘Kenya’

Julie McManus – Let’s Help

julie-tumaianiWant to remind everyone this holiday season of Julie McManus.  She was one of the Project 24 Mary Okeyo travelers and she is from Minnesota.  After her experience on the Mary Okeyo trip Julie decided to be a GEO missionary to Kenya and has been working with Project 24 children and our missionaries there for a year and a half.  GEO means globally engaged in outreach and GEO missionaries go for 2 years.  Julie has 6 months left and as a network supported missionary she has to raise her own support.  Julie’s support is almost gone and she could use a few gifts to help her stay and serve.  The best and fastest way to help Julie is to contribute to her support at

Julie has been an asset to the team in Kenya and we need her there so thanks in advance for what you cam give.








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Project 24 and Eager Intent.

IMG_2422We received pictures of work being done at the Lenkishon site which is on Massai land south of Nairobi and a joint project of the North Dakota and Minnesota North Districts of the LCMS and the Office of International Missions.  This picture shows Maasai men working on the foundation.  It is interesting to see these men away from their herds which is their main way of life.

Shauen Trump, Area Director, for East and Southern Africa sent a note thanking Minnesota North and North Dakota for making this “eager intent and on- the -ground reality”.

Eager intent.  I like that because from 2005 until the present day eager intent describes the work of the original Project 24 guys from Minnesota and North Dakota.  They were Roger Weinlaeder, Ed Bean, Bob Wurl,  Bill Sharpe, and Kurt Daubt and they were later joined by Mark Hatloy.

Their intent was to raise funds for “rescue centers” to care for and educate orphans in connection with a church and a school.  There have been many ups and downs over the years.  Different views of standards for a “boarding school”, changes in the church in Kenya, misunderstandings of “ownership”, meddling by some outsiders and other issues that develop from life in a fallen world have caused some problems that are now being resolved.

The eager intent was to help orphans, and there is still some discussion as to the appropriateness of that word.  Some Pastors in Kenya that I have talked with, say that they will never call a child an orphan because they believe it is pejorative.  Other have said that some tribes in Kenya believe that if one of your parents is dead you are considered a orphan.  The best way to describe what the Project 24 guys are trying to do is build a safe place for at risk Kenyan children so that they can be educated and taught the Gospel.

There is a great push for theological education in our partner churches and that is a wonderful thing.  The problem is that you have to have students that have been educated before they can go to seminary.  Project 24 seeks to deal with that by helping young people get a Christian education.

We are working on updating our website and other aspects of the way we get out information.  You can find a lot of information at the LCMS website – simply put Project 24 in the search box and watch what pops up.

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The Orphan Grain Train and partnerships……………..

OFT volunteers in Bottineau ND

We have a great opportunity here and I hope we can take advantage of it.  I received this from Harold Gessner of the the North Dakota Orphan Grain Train group.

At a recent meeting of our ND-OGT committee we agreeded that it was our wishes to gather a shipment for Kenya if there is still a need.  What we need to know what items is of the greatest needs and we would contact our ND peaple, congregations, LWML  etc. and put  them togther until we have enougth for a container.  If we need to we may need to build up some shipping funds, although we may have enough

    We will also neeb to know the name of the reciever & other info as time goes by.  May our Lord Bless us in our plans and deliberations  ND-OGT District Chairman, Harold Gessner
We have so many people that have gone over and came back with all kinds of ideas for helping our sister church.  Candice Biocondia recently had some ideas and I am sure the the Kenyan task force has ideas as well.  Our travelers from Minnesota North and the DP’s probably have ideas too.  Please let us know what you believe that greatest needs are and let’s see what we can get done together.  Perhaps Gene Pasche (Director of Orphan Grain Train Minnesota North Division) and his group want to be involved as well.
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“Mercy” – What’s in a word? – part 4.

Either the Ghost or the Darkness - Patterson At Tsavo with his kill.

I was in a town called Voi.  Voi sits in the midst of the Tsavo National Game preserve in Kenya and is the area around which one of the great stories that has haunted big game hunters and tourists alike took place.  Tsavo means “place of slaughter” and was in this area that two lions killed and ate 135 porters, workers and assorted hangers on who were trying to complete the Uganda Railway in the 1800’s.  Needless to say their activity brought the work pretty much to a halt until the engineer in charge, John Patterson, finally killed both of the lions.  The story has been turned into many a Hollywood movie the latest of which is “The Ghost and the Darkness”.  Anyway these were the thoughts on my mind as we visited a Norwegian Mission outpost and the man in charge told me of an incident in which a lion had recently came into the compound by jumping a twelve foot electric fence, chewed through another chain link fence and took off with a goat that had been penned inside.  Witnesses said that the lion leaped back over the electric fence with a full grown goat in it’s mouth with hardly any discernible effort.  The fear was that since it had chewed through the chain link fence it would have ruined it’s teeth and now would start hunting humans because they are easy prey.  So these were my thoughts when we passed a little boy standing on a mound of garbage with his goat.  He shouted something at us that I took to be some kind of derisive remark.  I asked my friend what the boy had said and he told me that he thought our vehicle was “cool” or something to that effect.   That started another train of thought and once I start down the tracks it is hard to derail me unless there is a siding somewhere and I will probably take that.  “What is the worst thing that you can call someone?” I asked.  He asked if I meant for a local or a visitor and I said for a visitor “like me”.  He answered without much thought – “Colonizer”.

As the discussion continued I took some insights away from that conversation.  Kenyans love their country and they want you to love it as well.  The folks that I visited with had no problem when I said I would love to buy some land and come and live there.  They have no problem with suggestions or questions about why they do certain things the way they do them.  They love partnerships and the give and take that a true partnership entails, but a colonizer is something they cannot tolerate and what it means as near as I can tell is someone who believes that they know better than the indigenous people how to live and work and function.  That is a pretty mild form of colonialism but it is still odious. 

We have been having a discussion based upon some questions raised by Prof Erik Hermann at Concordia Seminary on “mercy” and if it is  the best word that we can use when describing what institutions do when they do human care among those that they deem “less fortunate”.  It is a good question and the discussion needs to take place because we have all sorts of organizations affiliated with the LCMS, some that have RSO status and some that are just “Lutheran”, doing all kinds of work in all kinds of places that I would classify as “colonizers”.  Some are wonderful Christian folk just trying to do good who have no idea that they are being hurtful to church relations and the work of the church at large.  Some have a mindset that whatever they do is right and anyone including Lutheran churches in the areas that they choose to go that disagree with them are by definition “heterodox and in need of reform”.  Some are individuals who simply assume because they are white and from the USA that whatever they do will be appreciated and will be helpful to the poor benighted souls that bow down to wood and stone, (From Greenland’s Icy Mountains by Reginald Heber).  I used to sing that song with gusto and now it just makes me nervous.  Prof. Herrmann is right to worry about that colonialist instinct unchecked by a theologically informed discussion of who we are as the body of Christ. 

There is another song that I have been singing with gusto.  I heard it and asked the folks that I was with if anyone knew what it was about.  Some thought it had to do with George Bush and the war on terror.  Some thought it had to do with drugs.  The give away to me was the inclusion of Ladysmith Black Mombazo and a Zulu slogan that means “man can only do so much”.  The black singing group that was included on the song were children that grew up in the “Ladysmith” township much like Soweto in South Africa.  This is a protest song against the ultimate colonization – the technical enslavement of a majority of a population by a small minority justified by peace and order and “controling a threat”.  For those too young to remember the strange days of “apartheid”, this song might be a stepping stone to some study of what an even mild form of colonizing can lead to. 

by Bright Blue
Recorded by Bright Blue (1987), by Vusi Mahlasela (1994), Soweto String Quartet (1999), Soweto Gospel Choir (2005), Josh Groban (2006) – these are the most well known version (a full list available at the official song website:  This is my humble cover of a great protest song.

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