Teleios Ministry

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A Great Day At Bagamoro...

Fishermen at Bagamoro on the Indian Ocean
still use centuries-old methods of the trade.Zech and Bill wade in the Indian Ocean.
Before leaving for the airport, we were able to get some last-minute sightseeing in. We had a great day at Bagamoro on the Indian Ocean. Here, we saw great contrasts between the fishermen fishing as they have for centuries using the same type of boats and the very modern and nice resorts that line the area. Can you imagine 3,000 houses for 34,000 people--statistics for Bagamoro?
We had a great trip to Amsterdam waiting for Chicago. Getting out of DAR was an experience. It took us forever to get our boarding passes and luggage processed, but here we are. See you soon!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

But It Can't Be Time To Go...

Students at the Spring Valley School for Girls
create a colorful banner.

Bonnie bonds with the Spring Valley students.

Today was a day of mixed emotions as we said good-bye to our new friends at the Children’s Home, the Spring Valley Girls School students and the staff and family of Daily Bread Life.

Anne’s girls held an art show to display their work. Bill was serenaded by the singing and dancing talents of the Spring Valley students. Bonnie and Anne “got down” in the courtyard with the girls who tried to teach them to “Shake, Shake, Shake for Jesus.”

The electricity was off for most of the day. The team was able to work in some last sightseeing opportunities by visiting the Isimilia Stone Age and Pillars site. The beauty of the pillars is unbelievable…and so was Anne slipping and sliding her way through with her crocs.

Bonnie and Anne try to find the rhythm

as the Spring Valley students teach them

to 'Shake, Shake Shake for Jesus.'

Today was a long day of journeying from Iringa to Dar. Frank drove the Elephant car with Bonnie, Zech, Anne, and Anna and Wesley (Frank’s wife and son). Mpeli drove the Suzuki two-door SUV with Bill and Floyd who enjoyed an up and down ride. Pictures do not do justice to Floyd unfolding out of the back seat of the Suzuki.

We arrived in Dar safe and sound. We are staying in a “real nice” hotel in the Sinza district of Dar. The team had a celebration dinner at the Barbeque House—home to the hottest chicken that you will ever eat. After destroying a flock of birds, the team retired to their rooms for rest before their last day in Tanzania.

Monday, July 10, 2006

A Time Of Teaching...

Bill enjoys teaching a class on American law
and government and the comparison of it
to the Tanzanian system.

The students are ready for the new school term.

The new term for all students started today. Bill began teaching American law and government comparing it with the Tanzanian system, while Anne resumed her teaching with the girls with Zech assisting her.

Later in the day, Frank, Floyd, Bill and Zech toured the property of the Spring Valley Girls Secondary School—the size of the property surprised the team—over 20 acres. The development of the property would provide for the growth of the school for years to come and a consistent source of income and food products.

Floyd and Bonnie met with Frank to discuss economic development opportunities for the support of the children’s home and training center. They also met with Daimon, school manager, and Frank to go over in detail the operation of the school, legal requirements, school budget and finances, and opportunities for future development of the school and partnerships.

The team purchased hand-made clothing and household items from Elisabeth and Neema to help them support their ministry.

Floyd, Bill and Anne ventured out at night to the Internet café (without Mpeli or Frank for the first time). We were amazed at how empty the streets were in Iringa…only two or three shops were open in the town. We did have the best fried chicken of our journey tonight. The chicken was so good that we asked for more. In 30 minutes, we had another very fresh serving of fried chicken—very fresh.

Teachers and staff at the Girls School

are also ready for the new term.

Frank, Floyd, Bill and Zech took a tour

of the School's property - over 20 acres.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

A Field Of Dreams...

Floyd baptizes a young new Believer.

Forty-five gathered on Sunday to witness
and celebrate new life through Jesus
as 15 young people were baptized.

One year ago, Mpeli Mwaisumbe found a corn field overlooking Iringa. The dream was an orphanage and training center for the orphans where they would find love, hope and a future in Jesus Christ.

On Sunday morning, one year later the dream was a definite reality. Twenty-eight children, five staff members, Mpeli, Neema, Anthony (their Bible and English teacher), the Teleios Team, and four guests surrounded the water holding tank. The tank contained just over one foot of water and one two-meter folding ladder – the makeshift stairs into the baptistery. Joyous singing and dancing with the beat kept by rhythmic clapping celebrate new life in Jesus. Fifteen youth and children were baptized because of their commitment to follow Jesus Christ. Tears of joy streamed down our faces. We stood in awe overwhelmed by the realization that we were a part of a miracle. In one year, this corn field had been transformed. Even more, here we were celebrating through the baptism the transformation of children’s lives from horrific slavery for some to freedom in Jesus Christ.

For me, Floyd, I will never forget the face of a 15-year-old girl who had been a family slave, raped, and starved. She kneeled, closed her eyes, and placed her arms folded across her chest for baptism. As I baptized her, I could only think of new life in Jesus Christ. I realized that she represented all the dreams and hopes of the partners that God brought together. The transformation of life for her was just beginning—what an amazing beginning for her. One of the first to arrive at the orphanage just over three months ago, she had found love, hope and a future in Jesus Christ. Never had she eaten three meals in a day, worn a school uniform, slept soundly and safely, comfortable and warm, or known life in Jesus Christ. Here is the Gospel of Jesus Christ at its best—the whole life of a person transformed—new life.

As a note, the children are told about Jesus Christ in their Bible classes, morning prayers, and English classes. Invitations to follow Jesus as we experience in most of our churches are not offered. Instead, the message is presented through teaching and life examples, and the children voluntarily ask to follow Jesus. They are then discipled for a period of time to make sure they understand their decision. Mpeli was very clear that they did not want the children making a decision just to please the staff or as a way to ensure their staying at the orphanage.

Earlier Sunday morning, the team traveled for the last time to Kideti. Anne with Zech’s assistance, taught the teachers and children a Bible story using felt board applications from materials sent by Jody, Kristi and John William Parker. Bill Jordan was informed about an hour before Sunday School that he would be teaching the morning lesson. The celebration of the Lord’s Supper with the church was a special time of worship for the team. The church asked that we bring back greetings to our churches and partners with thankfulness for your prayers and partnership.

Sunday ended with a meal celebrating our partnership with Daily Bread Life Ministries (Frank, Anna, Neema, Mpeli, Diamon, and Winston) at the Riverside Campsite.

Floyd waits as another young new Believer

makes his way into the baptismal pool.

Bill teaches the Sunday School lesson

as Frank translates for him.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Sharing, Smiling, Singing...

Bonnie became the student as
the children taught her Swahili
by using stuffed animals.

Saturday morning, we returned to our schedule of teaching, Internet café, and meetings. The only problem was erratic electricity throughout the day. On Saturday afternoon and night, the team went to the children’s home for the evening meal and to be with the children. We sang together and played together. The team, led by Anne, taught the children English songs, while the children taught the team a little Swahili. Zech had his guys playing football (soccer).

Bonnie and Bill became the students as the children began to teach them Swahili. Sign language and constant repetition were the order of the day. Bonnie had a group teaching her the names of animals using stuffed toys, while Bill learned numbers and names. Each time he said the Swahili correctly, the “teachers” responded with a chorus of “Yes!” Anne worked with Agnes, the song leader of the children, on the new songs. Floyd heard a voice saying, “baboo!” At first, he wondered if they were calling him, “Baboon,” but, he learned the children were calling Bonnie and him, “Grandmother and Grandfather.”

The team enjoyed a delicious meal with the children and staff prepared by Alex, the cook, with help from the staff. Traditional foods were served (spiced rice, beans, cabbage, beef and fruit).

Because of government regulations, the food served the children is very basic. Once a week, they have a treat of a soda (Fanta or Coke), fruit drink, or some other rare special treat. Breakfast consists of tea and bread. Lunch is rice, potatoes, ugali, or peanuts and beans. Dinner follows the same menu with some fruit, corn, cabbage, or other green vegetable. Mpeli told us that they were allowed to serve the children meat no more than three times a week. While this sounds very limited to us, the children are very happy with their daily feasts.

The quality of the food is excellent. The government regulations allow only food that the children would eat if not in the children’s home. They have three meals a day and can eat as much food as they want at every meal. Some of the fresh greens are grown at the children’s home. The dream is to establish a farm there in order to provide an ongoing source of fresh vegetables, milk and fruits.

Zech and the children are all smiles as they

jump for the Lord!

Anne and one of her new young friends.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Celebrating The Queen's Birthday...

Would you like a little
Birthday Cake for breakfast?

Teleios Team enjoys an ice-cold Coke...aahhh.

On Thursday, we began our day by celebrating Anne’s birthday – the earliest that she has ever received a birthday cake—8:30 a.m. We packed and started out for our celebrating and a day of rest at Ruaha. Floyd and Mpeli road in the seatless back of a Nissan Patrol as Bonnie, Zech and Bill shared the second set of seats. Anne “I’m gonna be sick” Davis retained the front seat for the journey (safari) to Ruaha. We settled in at the Mwangsi Camp for a late lunch.

At 4:30 p.m. we started our safari for animals. We saw elephants, giraffes, baboons, kudus, zebra, impala, gazelle, mongoose (is more than one mongeese?), dig-digs, warthogs, all types of birds, and lions. The great thrill was when we came upon a lion kill of a giraffe. Our thrill also came with sorrow when we discovered the giraffe was giving birth when the lions attacked. The unusual part of this eleven-lion group was the number of male lions—four.

We watched as they feasted on giraffe and rested from their feast. The guide said that the lions could each eat close to 50 kg. (or over 100 lbs.) The smell of fresh meat filled the air. We watched with a strange fascination at the mixture of feasting predator and playful, comical cat. After leaving the lion feast, we were treated to two young elephants in a test of strength—butting heads. The baboons put on a display of grooming and “king of the hill.” The air was filled with loud shrieks, growls, and grunts.

The sunset was absolutely breathtaking. The majesty and beauty of God’s creations filled our eyes, minds and hearts. No picture or painting could do justice to the awesome display of color by Our Creator. We arrived back at the camp in the twilight greeted by torch-carrying hosts who led us to our rooms. The day of rest and celebration ended with an elegant and delicious meal served in a dry river bed lit by torches. The team met a missionary couple and family. We shared our faith and common fellowship as brothers and sisters in Christ.

The night was filled with the sounds of wind in the palms and animals roaming the camp and dry river bed. Elephants walked by our tents in the darkness. We saw black-back jackals running down the river bed. The growls of lions and the barks of hyenas filled the very early morning. We woke to the smell of fresh coffee brought to us by one of our hosts.
As the team left Ruaha, we stopped to see hippos and crocodiles. In one area, we saw 16 crocs and 11 hippos. The trip to Ruaha ended in Iringa with a feast of roast goat, fries, and ice-cold Coke (our first ice-cold Coke of the entire trip).

This lion must have enjoyed his latest meal.

A Ruaha Cowboy at work.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Special Times, Special Children...

Anne lifts up her group of children
to the Lord in a prayer of dedication.

Bonnie kneels with her group of younger children

in a prayer dedicating them to the Lord.

Wednesday: When will Bill and Zech quit using the excuse of the alarm not going off? Every morning at 5-:5:30, the local Muslim Iman begins the morning prayers on the loud speaker at a near by mosque.

Can the days keep getting more and more special to us? This morning, the team went the children’s home early. We worshipped through singing and prayers with the children. Then, each member of the team was placed with a group of children and a worker. We prayed together in small group. The team members prayed for the children in the group dedicating them to the Lord. Our prayers were mixed with tears as we held the children’s hands and prayed. They were so happy. Again, we heard their stories and their songs. They asked if Zech could stay with them today. He returned in the afternoon.

The team returned to Kideti for Anne and Bonnie to continue their teaching with the children. Zech provided recreation. He is a great loveable giant to the children. Many times his head was all that could be seen above the dusk cloud created by kicking feet and a soccer ball. Bill and Floyd joined Mpeli and Thaddeus sharing the Gospel in the village—four young men prayed to receive Christ. Mpeli said that the church will follow up with the young men over and over. On the road, we met two of the men from the day before—they told Mpeli that they would come on Sunday.

The afternoon was somewhat lazy—more budget meetings for Floyd with Frank and Mpeli. Bonnie “this is so cool” Parker started her biology lessons again – teaching how to use the new microscope while showing blood, bacteria, and other biological techniques and terms. Anne is working toward her students’ great art show on next Wednesday.

Thursday, we have a special surprise for Anne – it is her birthday. We will leave Iringa for a special time together celebrating Queen Anne’s birthday. (Actually, we have two queens—Queen Anne, better known as QA, and the Queen of Cho, a.k.a. Bunnie).

Zech shares his testimony.

Children at Kideti enjoy outdoor games.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Eyelashes Of An Elephant...

Bonnie teaches students at the Spring
Valley School how to use their
new microscope.

Anne has discovered quite a few budding artists
among students at the Spring Valley School.
Monday: 5:00 a.m. - Leave the guest house in Nairobi for the airport. Floyd was convincing in persuading the Kenya Airways supervisor not to charge for extra baggage. The trip to Tanzania was highlighted by a beautiful snow-covered top to tropical bottom view of Mt. Kilimanjaro. We arrived in Tanzania greeted by the laughing faces and warm hugs of Mpeli and Frank Mwaisumbe. Everything went smoothly. Thank all of you for your prayers. We had so much to bring that two vehicles were needed to carry the nine suitcases, two containers, four backpacks, two briefcases, and one large tote.

We had a great but long eight-hour trip from Dar Es Salaam to Iringa, complete with sightings of elephants, zebra, gazelles, baboons, giraffes, and monkeys. One elephant was eating right on the side of the road—only 20 feet away. The drivers behind us kept dodging the banana peels and tangerine peels flying out the windows. The baboons loved us. For supper, Bill discovered Chili Sauce is really hot.

Tuesday morning: New discovery – no electricity. Second discovery – Stoney sodas which are a really strong ginger ale—Blenhiem Ginger Ale in East Africa. Due to the lack of rain—drought—the government has mandated alternating days of electricity. (Supposedly, that is the reason for the weird hair in the pictures). The team traveled to Kideti where Anne and Bonnie worked with the Nursery School teachers and children. Zech experienced the soccer skills of the boys. Floyd, Bill, and Zech went witnessing and visiting in the community with Thaddeus and Neema. First stop, local pub and “moonshine” merchant for spirited dialogue—God was at work as we were able to get serious with some of the men about Jesus.

The afternoon was filled with work at the orphanage for Bill, Zech, and Floyd and the Spring Valley School for Bonnie and Anne. The teachers and students were so excited to receive the science equipment and the art supplies. Anne discovered some real artists. Bonnie began her biology lessons, which meant supper was filled with “gross” biology discussions of dissections, diseases, and monkey brains—yes, monkey brains. Was it mentioned that Bill does not have the stomach for such interesting table discussions. Frank and Anne Mwaisumbe prepared a delicious meal for us of pork ribs, sausage gravy and rice, eggplant and okra (fried), rice, potatoes, fried onions, salad, and avocado. Dessert was the best vanilla ice cream. Also, we had coffee that the Mwaisumbes picked, processed, roasted, and ground themselves—who needs Juan Valdez. Can you say stuffed?!

Words cannot express the joy in the faces of the children at the Daily Bread Life Children’s Home and Day Care Center. Mpeli told us that this is not an institution. This is these children’s home. They changed the name to reflect that the children now have a home. The children greeted us with a glorious English song, “We Welcome You” followed by the Spiritual, “We Are Walking.” They introduced themselves in English. The real joy on their faces was unbelievable. Then, several of the children shared their story with us. The facilities are almost complete. The government has embraced the children’s home, and a great partnership has developed.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Teleios Team with the Mwangi family.

Participants in the Leadership Conference.

Say It With Tea…
Question: When does the Friday night disco at the Blue Post Hotel close?
Answer: Saturday morning at 5:30 a.m.

Saturday morning, the team traveled back to Mu’ranga for the final conference session. We woke up to the rain and another “rock and roll” drive. The closing session was very special to us. Zech and Floyd received special gifts of umbrellas (every Kikuyu man has one), and Bonnie and Anne received beautiful all-purpose shawls (for cleaning, keeping warm, when birthing a child, carrying a child, etc.) As final expressions of love and thanksgiving, we all received generous packets of local tea. Zech bid farewell to his new-found friends—they came to say good-bye even in the rain. The team was reminded again that this was the first leader training conference that they had held. They had never had a children’s leader conference. The pastors began organizing small groups to encourage one another and meet on a regular basis. The team was invited to return and asked to do traveling training next year.

After leaving Mu’ranga we enjoyed a great tour of a coffee estate. The manager had been in North Carolina visiting friends and was returning after the coffee season. The team was amazed at the “weapons of the guards”—genuine bows and arrows (with serious tips). We then traveled to see the local market in Limuru, the Great Rift Valley from its 8,000-foot rim—a beautiful site, and enjoy a beautiful ride through downtown Nairobi. We were able to shop with our friend, Judith, for special prices on our special gifts. Judith’s mother has been very sick in the hospital. We prayed with her and encouraged her. She has the best prices ever! They know Floyd every where the team goes. Judith said, “Oh, you’re back, and you brought friends.” While standing on the rim of the Great Rift Valley, Bernard said to Floyd, “Your brother is on the phone.” We live in a small world.

Sunday was a special day for the team with Bernard, Mary, and Carolyn Mwangi. First, we worshipped together at Koinonia Baptist Fellowship (which is now one year old). Zech and Anne participated with the children’s leaders. During the worship, Anne and Zech gave their greetings and testimonies. Floyd preached. The three-hour Bible study and worship service was a special time of joyful singing, dancing, testimonies, preaching, and praying. The church was excited to hear the greetings from the U.S. and Romanian churches. Also, they were excited to learn that people around the world were praying for them and the worship service.

Zech and Anne were introduced to the Kentmere Club for lunch in the Highlands (We arranged for the Teleios Team to stay here for the December partnership with Koinonia). How many large fruit punch drinks can Zech drink? Bonnie gave her usual botany lesson as we walked the grounds covered in flowers—even a pineapple plant. Our three-hour worship was followed by a two-and-a-half hour lunch. Zech, Anne, Bonnie, Bernard, Mary, and Carol shopped at the Masai Market for last-minute souvenirs.

Sunday night, Bill Jordan joined our team in Nairobi. Now, it’s time to say good-bye to the Mwangis and Kenya. Anne and Mary spent the evening coloring alphabet books. Everyone is looking forward to being back in December. All pray to return. Anne left “a whole bunch of stuff,” including a part of her heart.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Central Highlands of Kenya are Beautiful !

Zech plays soccer with children.

Anne works with area teachers.

Teleios team at hotel.

Preparing a typical African meal.

The central highlands of Kenya are beautiful! The green of the fields, the morning mists and the smiling faces of the people give a sense of wonder to us. There are streams of children—all sizes—walking to school each morning waving as we bounce along in our vehicle. By afternoon, they are gathering outside the church to play ball with Zechariah.

Anne has the rhythm. She is one of them with dancing and singing. I’m still struggling to clap at the right time! Both my team and the Kenyans have had many laughs at my expense!

We are eating well. Beans, maize, and cabbage are plentiful, and we are full of tea. Our brothers and sisters in Christ have welcomed us in love. Bernard is a wonderful host. He has shared Kenyan culture and history.

The conference is going well. The leadership of the Fellowship of Baptists of Central Kenya (FOBOK) is eager to learn how to disciple believers and minister to the lost and hurting around them. The different churches of this area are seeking to encourage one another in the work of the Kingdom. It is a joy being among them.

On Wednesday, we rose early to begin our longest day. After breakfast, we left to see Mary Mwangi’s Nursery School near Limuru (Mary is Bernard’s wife). We were greeted by three-year-olds learning their ABC’s. Mary now has 50 children in her three-room school. She continues after two years to wait for local government approval for a proposed building for her school.

After leaving Limuru, we stopped to purchase water, exchange money and look for some special items. Zech found a soccer ball for using with children. Anne found some pre-school books for Mary to use in her school. We arrived at the Blue Post Hotel in Thika about an hour from Nairobi. The Blue Post has two beautiful waterfalls on its grounds along with ostrich, monkeys, and numerous species of birds. After lunch, we left for the conference. The drive gave new meaning to “Rock and Roll”—we rode as much on the side of the road as on the road. Bernard was working hard to avoid the holes. Anne and Zech were introduced to the traditional diet of beans, cabbage, and rice/ugali. Ugali is like cold, hard grits.

Thursday found us more at home and relaxed with our surroundings and our hosts. Anne is still trying to come to grips with “yellow clouds” that one children’s leader made. Bonnie’s group continued their pattern of having the ladies complain that they did not have enough time for the teaching. Zech was joined by about 30 children in a fast-paced game that seemed to be a combination of soccer-volleyball-rugby. A few of them left with “jolly ranchers” and soon a few more joined the jolly rancher crowd. The teachings were well received with a great deal of discussion and questions. The weather was cold—everyone one is wearing sweaters, long-sleeve shirts, and jackets.

Rushing back to the hotel in Thika to use the Internet café, the group found the café closed—network was down.