“Quarantining” in Kijabe

The last two months have flown by and we’ve been busier than normal. One might have thought “quarantining” in Kenya would have been more relaxing! 🙂

Actually, we are not technically quarantining. We are social distancing and staying at home . . . mostly. Covid-19 numbers in Kenya are steadily rising but testing has been mainly limited to those with symptoms.

On the 15th of March, the government of Kenya announcement that all schools would close the following week. As a college, Moffat was directed to close by the 20th. Luke’s and Kate’s school (Rift Valley Academy) had actually begun the closing process even before the government mandated closure. RVA needed to send all of their boarding students home and made the decision to close two weeks early due to increasing travel restrictions throughout Africa. Moffat’s closure was only 4 days early which mainly meant that we did exams early.

Along with school closures, travel restrictions were announced. The “last” flight out of Kenya was on March 25th. Actually, there have been a few “evacuation flights” organized by different countries since then. Kenya instituted a curfew from 7pm to 5am to minimize evening/night activities and the spread of Covid-19. Travel restrictions and the curfew were followed soon by closures of markets (including the veggie market in Kijabe) and eventually a lockdown of Nairobi and areas along the eastern coast. Most of the markets have opened up now but with restrictions in place – washing hands, wearing masks, and keeping distance.

As things developed, we continually took stock of the situation. Getting supplies was at the top of our list as shopping in Nairobi was now out of the question. We can still go to Naivasha but other options began to appear. A new vegetable supplier, who was having issues exporting, started delivering to Kijabe. RVA also opened up the option for purchasing produce and staples through their suppliers and has continued the German butcher and Brown’s Cheese deliveries. It became apparent relatively quickly that food would likely not be an issue for the foreseeable future. Also, we have enough TP! 🙂 We were also able to stock up on some medications we use. Thank God!

With the kid’s school ending two weeks early, we shifted to some at-home work to try to wrap up their term well. By early April, it was clear that RVA would not start back as normal at the end of April. There was talk of RVA going online for term three for just the first two weeks, but by mid-April RVA had committed to the entire third term (late April to mid-July) online. The kids started on April 27th with “online” school. Since they are in the 2nd and 5th grades, it’s really more like home schooling with a set curriculum. Basically, it takes up most of Maureen’s day.

Both kids have been zooming with their teachers and classmates.

They do miss school and the library is still open a few hours each week. Kate’s teacher printed some work for her and the kids went with Maureen to RVA to pick up the items. They had to wear masks but still wanted to walk around their school.

Moffat has also shifted to an online platform. When the government announced school closures in mid-March, I began looking at options. I have become the “IT” guy at Moffat. I oversee the website, email accounts through G-Suite, as well as the internet connection and firewall. All of this fell into my lap during the second half of 2019, although I had already been helping with the internet and firewall for a few years.

I tried several times to get G-Suite for Education from Google for Moffat but Google didn’t respond. Finally, last April/May things started to move and Moffat was able to add this free email service to a recently revamped website which was now being hosted for free. Little did we know at the time that we would also use Google Classroom which comes with G-Suite.

Once the school closure was announce in March, I quickly looked over Google Classroom and determined that it could be used to move Moffat online. I spent the latter part of March setting up a course template, working through some glitches with quizzes, and creating a tutorial for students. At the beginning of April, I showed the principal what could be done and we scheduled training for faculty. I also added a login portal and page to the Moffat website with information about Google Classroom. Classroom is somewhat basic but the phone app works well and is helpful for our students.

I also began communicating with students through email and WhatsApp groups. Before the students left in March, I made sure to get everyone’s email address. After some training sessions and creating a turtorial for making quizzes/exams, the faculty set up their courses. I am also serving as the Finance Manager this academic year which meant that I also oversaw student registration for the term. As students registered (and had issues logging in), I also served as the tech support person. The last month has been really busy with phone calls from faculty asking for help setting up their courses and students seeking help with their classes and/or “negotiating” their registration. We let students register with a half term payment and sometimes with a promise of payment of school fees within the coming week.

There were rough spots along the way but Moffat started online on April 29th. Out of our 75 students, we have 74 enrolled this term. The main issue for students is always school fees and with the economic hit Kenya has taken, it is a miracle that almost all of our students are with us this term. Many just use their phones and visit cyber cafés when they need to submit a long written assignment. The school is quite empty but our students who are set to graduate in July can continue and we can pay our employees.

While I was working on the Moffat Online Program, Maureen and the kids volunteered the first weeks of April with a cloth mask and face shield making project to help Kijabe hospital. PPEs are not easy to come by in Kenya and a non-profit that supports the hospital purchased supplies but needed volunteers to make masks and face shields. Overall, the volunteers made 2000 face shields and 750 cloth masks.

With all of this going on, a virtual plague of Nairobi flies, grasshoppers (green and brown), and some locusts descended upon Kijabe. The grasshoppers are still around but thankfully the Nairobi flies are mostly gone . . . a few still show up in our house. The Nairobi fly is actually a beetle with a substance inside that can “burn” skin when crushed.

The burning is more like an allergic reaction. Thankfully, hydrocortisone cream works well. This rash dried up in about a day and took several more days to completely heal.

Nairobi flies and grasshoppers are attracted to light, so we ate by candlelight several nights as our windows and doors are not well sealed.

These plagues came along with much rain over the past six weeks. So much so, that a dam north of us gave way on May 3rd. The Matches dam is along the valley wall beyond Old Kijabe Town. We were not in the path of the water and amazingly, no one was injured. The photos below show the washed out dirt under a railroad track just beyond Old Kijabe Town.

Lastly, we have a home assignment scheduled for July to December . . . not sure how that will work out! 😊

In Christ,

Tim for Maureen, Luke, & Kate


East Pokot Outreach – Antioch Mission Fellowship

Term 1 at Moffat is over and we are into the December break. Just after the termed ended, Antioch Mission Fellowship went on a week-long outreach to East Pokot. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I am the patron of this group and it is one of my joys to see students actively participate in ministry. This outreach was like others in that we always look for a least-reached or difficult area and partner with a pastor or church in that region. Follow-up after we leave is very important. We worked with Rev. Satia and the bishop at AIC Chemolingot.

We typically have outdoor events in the community where we have music and some preaching to make our presence known. There are also movie nights which the kids love. This all leads up to a revival meeting where the gospel is shared, although we share the gospel the entire week when opportunities arise. Throughout the week we also go door to door.

In all, 232 people professed faith in Christ. Praise God!

Pictures speak much louder than words, so enjoy some photos of Pokot . . .

The trip there was typical . . . meaning that we had mechanical issues! This time the radiator blew . . .


The team arrived at AIC Chemolingot without any other issues but . . . . could not make it further interior to our ministry site due to a swollen river.

Kenya has been dealing with too much rain which has caused a great deal of flooding while other areas of Africa are suffering from drought. The West Pokot region has also suffered from several mud slides with significant loss of life. I am thankful that the team from Moffat remained safe during the entire trip.

The following day, the river had subsided . . .

From here on out, ministry continued with singing, preaching, door-to-door, movie nights, etc. . .




There are always interesting sites along the way . . . like this termite mound.

And there are always interesting places to get water . . .

When all was said and done, lives were changed and God’s Kingdom continues to expand!

This includes a new church building . . .

In Christ,

Tim for Maureen, Luke, & Kate

Antioch Mission Fellowship Recent Outreaches

One of the joys I have serving at Moffat Bible College are my students. In particular, I am the faculty patron of a student group called Antioch Mission Fellowship. We meet weekly for fellowship, bible study, and prayer. But, our main agenda is to reach the lost. So, several times each year we head out for week-long outreaches just as the school term ends. I help facilitate some things but these are mainly student-run outreaches. It is humbling to see my students in active ministry.

We have gone down to the Kilimangodo area a few times in the past years and took another trip there at the end of November, 2018. This trip we worked again with the pastor of AIC Kilimangodo but we focused on a new area in the hopes of bolstering a new church plant – AIC Muungano. During this outreach, 109 people gave their lives to Christ.

Each day we set out to walk door to door . . . with a few guides.

We met people along the way at their homes . . .

or out in the field working.

We took every opportunity to share Christ . . .







In the evenings we also showed a biblical movie interspersed with a brief evangelical message. We capped off the week with a revival meeting.

At the end of March, we took a trip to western Kenya to work in a new area. We partnered with a Moffat alumnus at AIC Bondo to reach into an area called Ngunya. This region has a curious history of infestation of the Tsetse fly. I never got a clear timeline but at some point the fly caused so much death that the area was abandoned. The Kenyan government eventually sprayed the region with a poison to reduce the Tsetse fly population and then encouraged settlers to move in. People from various tribes answered the call and brought with them their religion. Most established a home church and chose to remain isolated from their neighbors.

The pastor of AIC Bondo had located one of these home churches and was working to establish it as a community church called AIC Ngunya. There were some Christians in the region but we came across numerous cults and pseudo-Christian denominations. At the end of the week, 135 people came to Christ. We handed over follow-up to the newly arrived pastor of AIC Ngunya.


No outreach is complete without a roadside mechanic repair!


Here we also went door to door each day.


We talked, shared Christ, and prayed . . .




We also visited the Nyamonye Mustard Primary School one afternoon. We showed a movie and shared the gospel.


This is Isaac, pastor of AIC Bondo. He’s the Moffat graduate I mentioned above.


How many kids can you pack in one classroom? Sorry, I didn’t count them . . .


We also visited Lake Victoria and a few students decided to pay a small fee to take a quick ride in a boat.


As you can see, Lake Victoria is large . . . and we were nearly in Uganda.


So, the Tsetse fly is not totally wiped out in the area! 😊


Oh yeah, I bought some fish on the way home as we passed Lake Naivasha. They hang the fish on the windshield wiper . . . of course!

In Christ,

Tim for Maureen, Luke & Kate

Water, water everywhere . . .

We are often asked about our living conditions in Kijabe. What’s your house like? Do you have water? Do you have electricity? Is there internet? Is it cold? Is it hot? So, I thought I’d dedicate a blog posting to water and electricity with some random comments about our living conditions.

We have a relatively nice house. Of course, there is no insulation or central heat/air conditioning and the windows don’t exactly seal. The temperature in Kijabe ranges from the mid-60s to mid-80s Fahrenheit during the day and upper 30s to 60s at night. We live in the southern hemisphere, so winter is June to August and summer January to February. For the most part, the temperature outside is reflected in the house. Kijabe is a Maasai word which means place of wind, so it can be very windy – especially at night.

We do have water – most of the time. Water pressure and cleanliness vary greatly and you definitely shouldn’t drink it out of the tap unless you enjoy gastrointestinal issues. The water system in Kijabe is quite complicated with springs and water storage tanks. Suffice it to say that water comes from various springs into Kijabe and is shared among the institutions and houses. I use the word “springs” loosely – picture something more like a collection of rain water in a pond. These springs often run dry during the dry seasons. Therefore, all institutions have large holding tanks to provide several days of water for those times when none is coming. We live in Moffat Bible College housing and Moffat has five large plastics tanks (two recently added) and one large concrete tank up the hill a bit to provide adequate pressure.

The five large tanks in this photo are the Moffat reserve tanks.

This is the Moffat concrete tank – the majority of the tanks is underground.

Many houses and building also have gutters and tanks to collect rain water. This is our rain water tank. It’s good for backup water if necessary and for watering our shamba (garden).

Many houses have smaller tanks which also provide a few days of backup. We have a smaller tank (pictured above on the far right) and can stretch it out to about three days if necessary. Stretching means quick showers and flushing only when necessary.

Kenya has two rainy seasons – October/November and March/April – although the rains typically come when they come . . . not exactly adhering to the calendar expectations. Over the last few years we’ve often found ourselves in drought and have simply had to conserve. During rainy season, the famous phrase “Water, water everywhere, Nor any drop to drink” from “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge often comes to mind. No, we’re not stranded in the middle of the ocean with only salt water in sight, but we often find ourselves inundated with rain but no water in the pipes. Typically, the issue comes from dirt in the pipes from the springs which cause blockages and then broken pipes. During the dry seasons or drought, pipes from the springs are often cut and the pipes/water stolen. In other words, water is always an issue in Kijabe.

As I noted before, you can’t drink the water out of the tap. Our Katadyn filter is a lifeline for clean water and well worth the $300 investment.

The pitcher on the left is out of the tap and the one on the right is water run through the Katadyn.

We simply pour water in the top compartment of the filter and gravity does the rest. You just need to make sure that there is adequate space in the bottom clean water compartment when adding dirty water to the top compartment when leaving overnight (i.e. it can overflow). In the morning my routine is to fill the top compartment so that we have water in the morning. We also add water as needed throughout the day. As you can see in the background, we also keep numerous 1 liter bottles in reserve.

The Katadyn has three ceradyn filters which are porous. The water slowly seeps into the filters and drips into the clean water compartment at the bottom. It’s not instantaneous but very functional. It filters out bacteria, protozoa, and most viruses.

When we moved into this house in July of 2014 there was an electric water heater. However, it sprung a leak about a year later and we had it removed. It had been piped into the bathrooms but never the kitchen. We did have a fall back for showering, though – what many of us affectionately call the widow maker (the photo below is similar to what we use). Just imagine 220 volts just above your head – hence the nickname. When we first moved into the house, I (Tim) accidently touched the instant shower head while taking a shower. The tingle I felt in my feet told me something was wrong! I called my trusty electrician and he double grounded the shower head.

Eventually, we opted to install a solar water heater (pictured below) and piped the hot water into the kitchen as well . . . but we still use the widow maker when needed. Yes, that is our roof and our solar heater. Yes, that is a TV antennae but we don’t pick up anything! The solar heater was a small investment but the electricity saved sold us on the technology. Basically, water flows into the glass tubes, heats under the sun, and then flows into the tank. The tank also has a heating element if necessary – something we do use during winter when the sun is less intense.

Currently, Kenya is in the middle of the long rains which began in March. Typically, these rains would last about a month but are still going on. A friend in Kijabe posted on FB that from Feb 28th to May 14th, a total of 76 days that it had rained 63 days. And the rains continue. This has caused a great deal of flooding, mudslides, and loss of life, crops, livestock, and property. Below is a photo of a professor from Scott University as he attempted to cross a flooded street. I’m told he and his driver got out safely.

Electricity is very inconsistent throughout the country. Cities like Nairobi are much better but you could still expect to be without power often. We are blessed in Kijabe to be near two hospitals which need electricity and have large generators to supply power when needed. Moffat is tied into the Cure Hospital generator (generator building pictured below) and we have power 90 to 95 percent of the time. If national power goes out, we wait about seven seconds and the generator kicks in. When national power comes back, the lights blink as the generator shuts down. On occasion we get cut off for a day or so for some sort of maintenance or if the hospital is low in fuel.

At the beginning of April we were in upstate South Carolina visiting some good friends who had served in Kijabe. As we ate the continental breakfast at the hotel one morning, the power went out and none of us blinked. We just kept eating and talking. Other hotel guests started to become a bit agitated . . . as did the hotel employees. One of us eventually commented on the fact that we had clearly been conditioned by our time in Kijabe. It’s amazing what you simply get used to.

You might find it a bit odd, but we have both 110 and 220 wired in our house. This is somewhat common in Kijabe houses and speaks to the heritage of American missionaries in the region. There is a large step-down converter tied into the circuit breaker box which regulates the 110. It’s more of a convenience given that we have very few items which need 110.

Like many African nations, Kenya relies heavily upon cell phones for communication. Land lines do exists but are not really that common in the rural regions. But, everyone can get a cell phone. There is no monthly bill or service charge. You just buy a sim card (100 ksh – about $1), add airtime and go. If you run out of airtime, you can receive calls but not make calls. Cell data is also available, with speeds ranging from 2g to 4g depending on location. Of course, there are also many dead spots throughout the country. We have used 3g for our home internet in the past but about a year ago the Moffat campus was wired for wireless internet with Access Kenya. We live so close to the campus that we tap into the signal with a wifi range extender. The speed is a fairly slow 6 megabits per second but functional. You just have to get used to the fact that student use drags down the bandwidth in the evenings and weekends.

There is certainly more that we could write but this should give you some insight into our living conditions with regard to “basic” utilities. While there are inconveniences, life in Kijabe is not all that bad!

In Christ,

Tim for Maureen, Luke & Kate

Antioch Mission Fellowship Outreach to Songoloi

We are just over three weeks into our 2018 Home Assignment and are beginning to settle into some routines. We have some travel plans set and other plans still in process. Our desire is to see and talk with as many of our supporters as possible but we also sense a clear direction from God to use this home assignment as a time of rest. Realizing that we may not have an opportunity to meet with all of our supporters, we have decided to send out numerous blogs over the coming months to highlight ministry and life in Kenya. We pray that these posts will give you insight into the last two years.

I (Tim) have many roles at Moffat Bible College and one I enjoy greatly is serving as patron of a student group called Antioch Mission Fellowship (AMF). AMF has a clear mandate to reach the unreached and underreached in Kenya – specifically the Maasai, S*m*l*, and Dorobo people groups. AMF meets weekly to fellowship and pray for the lost and also seeks opportunities to go on outreaches. I would like to share about an outreach we took to Songoloi on February 10-12, 2017.

The people of Songoloi are considered to be Dorobo. The Dorobo are considered engaged but not reached with about 1% Evangelical Christian. The Dorobo (“those who have no cattle”) are outcasts largely from the Maasai who prize cattle. In this particular community we found not only Maasai but also many Kikuyu who had been displaced for a variety of reasons. We partnered with a local AIC (Africa Inland Church) pastor so that there would be follow-up once we left.

The trip to Songoloi took about 6 hours. Once we left the main highway the road was somewhat rough but passable and the closer we got to Songoloi the more beautiful the scenery.

I’ve include many photos in this blog so that you can get a good feel for Songoloi.

We arrived in Songoloi early Friday evening and were met at the church by the pastor. I realized after arriving that the elevation was higher than Kijabe which sits at about 7500 feet. This provided for some fairly chilly nights!

This is our team at the church just after we arrived. In the background is the AIC church building.

Three of our team members – Colins, Titus, and Timothy

Not a great photo but this is our team in the church building huddling around a fire to warm ourselves the night we arrived.

The night we arrived the pastor arranged for an evening meal and led us to the nearby school where we would sleep, shower, take our meals, etc.


After breakfast on Saturday morning, we split into groups for door-to-door evangelism. The pastor arranged for a church member to guide each group.

We spent time sharing with this gentleman about God and salvation. We found that many along our route were Kikuyu and spoke little Swahili. There were three students in my group – John, Colins, and Timothy. John (pictured above on the left) became our main communicator as he is Kikuyu. Colins (middle) is Luo and Timothy (left) is from South Sudan. It was good to encourage this mzee (elderly) Christian man as he lives alone and does not get around well anymore. We also helped him cut a tree and build part of a fence.

We came across these children who were home alone – their parents were out working.

Such an amazing view of God’s creation!

This man is also a Kikuyu. His background is Catholic but he allowed us to talk and share about Christ. He had not attended church in a long while and asked us to pray with him to be restored to fellowship with God.

All along our path, we connected with people as God allowed. John decided to give a hand with clearing this gentleman’s field.

We ran across two ladies working in their field and took time to share and pray.

Our guide led us to her home where we met her daughter and grandchild. We also shared with her son (pictured below) as he had walked away from church. We encouraged him to commit himself to Christ and the church. He seemed receptive.

We later came across this family and shared Christ with them. The father considers himself an SDA (Seventh Day Adventist) but we shared and prayed and they agreed to come down the hill on Sunday morning for church at the AIC Church.

On our way “home” we came across a water reclamation device. Actually, the hills are covered with these contraptions. There are steam vents throughout the region and the locals tap these vents to collect water through condensation. Steam comes up from the pipe at the base of the tank and travels up and through the long pipes that extend out of the tank. Before the steam reaches the end, it condenses into water and then flows back into the tank where it is collected.

The town of Songoloi . . .

This a water tank that has been constructed to collect water for use in the small town below as well as the school.

On Saturday evening we held a crusade in the small town (sorry, no photos – too dark) where we showed the Jesus Film and shared testimonies. The following morning (Sunday) we held an extended worship service in the AIC Church (above).

This is Timothy, the chairman of AMF (2016-2017 academic year), greeting the community and introducing the speaker (Francis – seated in the background).

Abigail did a great job leading Sunday School for the kids!

After the service we circled up outside the church and prayed for the community.

In the end, 17 people gave their lives to Christ and 1 was restored to the church. Praise God!

John Kahugu, who is now the vice chairman of AMF, has returned to Songoloi after our outreach to encourage the pastor and will go there in July 2018 for a two-week internship. Please pray for him and for God to continue working in the hearts of the Dorobo of Songoloi. They may be outcasts in their own country, but they are loved by God.

In Christ,

Tim, Maureen, Luke, & Kate

Safely Home in Kijabe

We would like to thank all of you who have prayed and supported us in various ways during our Home Assignment. There is truly no way that we could serve without you!

We arrived safely in Kenya late on the 20th and made our way to Kijabe that evening . . . arriving around midnight local time.

Our flights were good, although checking in at DFW was a test of our patience. We were fairly tired from packing but the nearly one and a half hours it took to check in was taxing . . . and we didn’t have that many bags. The ticket agent was just veeery slow, etc. We had arrived early but began to wonder if our bags would make the flight. Once on the plane, the pilot announced that there was some sort of mechanical issue and that there would be a slight delay. Strangely enough, we thanked God for the delay so that our bags would likely make the flight. Upon arrival in Kenya, we were pleased to find that all of our bags had come along with us. 🙂



Needless to say, we were glad to arrive in Kijabe, even at such a late hour. We had organized with a friend to have our house cleaned before our arrival and were grateful to come home to clean sheets on the beds and few cobwebs – the spiders are still here but it was nice not to have the constant reminder.


Of course, we’ve been working through the jet lag. There seems to be a gender division. Luke and Tim have been waking up early while Kate and Maureen have been prone to sleeping in. We are starting to see the end of this pattern, but all get a little tired at various points during the day. Hopefully by next week we’ll be back to our normal selves.

This past Monday Luke began his last term of 1st grade. Kate has been having fun rediscovering toys that she left here. Tim started classes yesterday and has begun organizing the spiritual life events for the term. Maureen has been busy keeping all of us fed and working to organize the house a bit. She will begin back at the hospital this coming week. Luke and Kate have also enjoyed playing at RVA and walking in the rain!


We took a drive into Nairobi this past Saturday to restock our pantry and fridge, get supplies, and to let the kids enjoy a nice meal at their favorite restaurant. We were also very thankful for friends who fed us the first three nights. Now we’ve stocked up for the next month or so and probably won’t go back into Nairobi for some time. The roads getting out of Kijabe are in terrible condition. The main road going up the hill is being paved but is mostly a muddy mess due to the long rains that have arrived. We were prayerfully thankful to make it home on Saturday as we slid and swerved down the steep curvy road. Seriously, most two-wheel drive cars had stopped alongside the road but we pushed forward trusting God and prayed that our four-wheel drive would be adequate. If you’ve driven on an icy/snowy road downhill then you know what we experienced. There was more than a sigh of relief when our tires caught traction!


Continue to lift us up in prayer as we transition back to life here. Pray specifically for the following:

  • Health, motivation, and concentration as we adjust to the time change
  • Homesickness – we’re honestly torn at times between our two earthly homes (US and Kenya)
  • Cultural transition as we adjust back to the Kenyan way of life
  • Driving Safety
  • Financial Support – we’re still $490 a month shy of full support
  • Renewed friendships and meaningful relationships here in Kenya
  • For God to show us how and where to plug in for our family to thrive and grow in Christ this term
  • Peace and strength as we go about our ministry

In Christ,

Tim, Maureen, Luke & Kate

Graduation Transitions

There are days that bring both joy and sadness . . . graduation day is one of those days.

For the graduates, it marks the end of one season of life and the beginning of another. This day is met with anticipation for the future but also with a bit of trepidation for the uncertainty of the coming transition.

For those of us who teach, it is can sometimes feel like just another day in an endless cycle . . . we send out those graduating with the expectation that these graduates will soon be replaced with new students. Yet we all trust that God has guided the past and prepared the future.

Allow me a few moments to introduce you to a few of our graduates. Third year students graduate with a diploma – this meets the government requirements – but most of them will return for a fourth year of training. This fourth year prepares students for licensing and ordination in the African Inland Church.

Charles Ochuka is a third year graduate who answered the call to the ministry later in life. He is married and his eldest is just starting university. Charles was the chairman of the Antioch Missions Fellowship this past year so I worked closely with him. He has a heart for local church ministry and is developing his leadership ability. He has been elected the student body chairman for this coming academic year.

Festus Munyao is also a third year graduate. Like Charles, he is a family man who answered the call to ministry later in life. Festus was my student small group leader this past year. He is wise, like a father, and cautious when he speaks. He also has a heart for ministry in the local church.

Daniel Kingori is a fourth year graduate. He will be joining a local church ministry but I can see much more in his future. Daniel has a real passion for missions. He has been an active member in Antioch Missions Fellowship. Daniel took my elective Acts course this past term and his heart for the lost was evident as we studied the early church. I’ve also heard him preach and know that he is a man who allows God to use him. He has the heart of an evangelist and the gifts to match.

Martin Wanjiku is also one of our fourth year graduates. Martin has served as the chairman of Antioch Missions Fellowship, student chaplain, and this past year as the student body chairman. I had the privilege of spending some time with Martin this past year talking through his plans for the future. His desire is to reach university students and he’s had to create a way to pursue this ministry. Over the past year he worked out an agreement with a church near a university campus to hire him as a part-time pastor after graduation. This will grant him free time during the week to engage in campus ministry. He has partnered with an organization for some additional training but will be raising financial support to balance out his needs and to fund his ministry to university students.

Moffat has been training men and women for ministry for over eighty five years and it is an honor to be a part of what God is doing here in Kenya. Please pray for our graduates as they step out in faith to serve. Pray that they will have all they need and that their desire to reach the lost will not diminish. Pray also for the church in Kenya to stand firm in the face of both persecution and apathy. There are still unreached people groups in the north and almost a daily influx of S*m*li people into Kenya. The opportunities are many and my prayer is that the church in Kenya will rise up and push into North Africa.


Tim for Maureen, Luke & Kate

Missions Day – M*sl*m Evangelism

We’re fast approaching graduation here at Moffat Bible College. It’s hard to believe term three is nearly complete. We pray that you are all well and thank you for your continued support. We are doing well. There was a round of sickness that ran through our home several weeks back which took Luke to the hospital for two nights but he is back to his normal self. I (Tim) also had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in my left knee just over a week ago but am recovering.

Each day we are reminded in numerous ways how blessed we are to serve our Lord and Savior here in Kijabe, Kenya.

As many of you know, we have a day every term at Moffat set aside for Missions. We invite a speaker to share about their ministry and to encourage our students as they seek opportunities to serve now and look toward the future.image009

image010This term we were truly blessed to have Mr. Jared Oginga share his ministry among M*sl*ms. He is a Kenyan who serves as a missionary within SIM. He can best be described as an apologist-evangelist. His ministry brings him into direct contact and often debate with M*sl*ms here in Kenya and the surrounding countries. There are numerous misconceptions which M*sl*ms have regarding Christianity that must be explained in the process of sharing the Gospel. He is sometimes faced with ridicule for his beliefs as they are contrary to M*sl*m teachings.

Jared shared with us very practical information regarding I*l*m as both a challenge and an opportunity. He spoke about the similarities between the two religions (monotheistic, missional, etc.) and also noted that I*l*m is Christianity’s greatest and oldest competitor. He broke down the theological, cultural, and social barriers so that our students could clearly see that the field is ripe for harvest. In response to fear, ignorance, and deceit . . . Christians should offer love, prayer, and understanding. In the end, we are assured of victory.

He told us that M*sl*ms are taught that Christians are people of mercy and compassion. If we are to reach these people with the truth of the Gospel, then we must show them mercy and compassion. If we respond in an unkind manner then an opportunity is lost. He encouraged us that we must earn the right to share the Gospel.

We were truly blessed to have the opportunity to learn from someone engaged in this type of ministry. I have received great feedback from students very interested in understanding how to engage this group of people. My hope and prayer is that God will call many students from Moffat to engage in outreach to M*sl*ms.


Tim, Maureen, Luke & Kate

Culture, Missions, Car Repairs and Volleyball

Well, mid-term break is upon us here in Kijabe. That means that Moffat is off until Wednesday and Luke (RVA) until Tuesday. It’s a momentary lapse in the hectic schedule that we seem to keep. It’s also a time to reflect on the past six weeks.

So much happens in such a short time that it is difficult to convey via a newsletter or blog posting. But, I’d like to pull together four somewhat random topics in this blog post – Culture, Missions, Car Repairs and Volleyball.

We’ve been in Kenya now for one year and six months. We are still learning the culture and I’ve been reminded recently how different we westerners think.

Each term at Moffat Bible College we set aside a day to focus on Missions. We generally invite a guest speaker for chapel who shares about their work – we do our best to have both Kenyans and westerners. This academic term I invited a former member of the Moffat family to speak. Rev. Moses Njenga served as our VP of Academics but decided last year to go back to fulltime church work. His church is in the middle of a seven year project to reach the Pokot, a semi-nomadic tribe in northwestern Kenya. He spoke about the biblical basis for missions – taking the students back to the Old Testament and God’s covenant with Abram and brought them full circle to the work that his church is doing among the Pokot. Their end goal is to plant a viable Evangelical movement among the Pokot and empower Christians among the Pokot to reach their own. Please pray with me that God will continue to bless their work. They are ahead of their expected schedule and are already planting the first church.

One interesting aspect to Moses’ presentation was that there are cultural barriers to cross – even for a Kenyan ministering in Kenya. We are still learning Kenyan culture and I recently “endured” the process of having our car repaired. Talk about feeling culturally inadequate! I knew that I would need help, so I asked a Kenyan friend for advice. He connected me with a mechanic in Nairobi who works on Nissans and he and I took several trips into town to work through the process of having the repairs done. There are traditional mechanic shops in Nairobi (much like what one would find in the US) but that’s not where we went. We spent time among the jua kali (literally – hot sun). This is a reference to people who make their living out in the hot sun. We went to an area of Nairobi which is not often visited by wazungu (westerners/white people). My friend helped me convey the need and eventually the car was repaired. Without his guidance, I would not have been able to find the right jua kali. I needed his cultural knowledge and guidance to reach my objective.

The Mechanic’s Shop

Taking a Test Drive in Nairobi

After the repairs had been completed, my friend and I proceeded to another area of town to purchase new tires. He led me to an area near downtown and we stopped in front of a little shop. In fact, the entire street was filled with shop after shop – selling tires or other car parts. I learned later that almost all the tire shops I saw were owned by the same person – it was a marketing strategy – if you didn’t like the looks of one shop or the people working there you would just go to the one next door . . . not knowing that you were buying from the same owner. We sat for some time while various selections were acquired for me to review (all coming from the different shops on the street). Eventually the guys working there got a little tired of this mzungu delaying the process and conveyed this to my friend. He politely explained to them that we wazungu don’t think like Africans – we often like to think through things carefully before making a decision. I had no idea I was getting on the nerves of the shop guys – I was just being myself. Thanks to my friend’s knowledge of Kenyan and western cultures, he was able to smooth out the situation.

The Tire Shop

Installation of Tires

Some Perspective

I am cognizant on a daily basis of the cultural differences that separate me from Africans but was reminded by Moses (our Missions Day speaker) that even among Kenyans there are cultural distinctives. Tribal traditions vary and even a Kenyan missionary serving in Kenya needs to learn and adapt to culture. Moses’ church has had to learn some distinctives of the Pokot so as not to cause tension and at the same time seek open doors to connect the Gospel.

One of my roles at Moffat is serving as the faculty patron (sponsor) for the Antioch Mission Fellowship. We have students from a variety of tribes and seek to encourage their leadership development so that we can have pastors who lead their churches to be involved in local missions as well as Kenyans who seek to be missionaries in Kenya and beyond. The lesson that Moses gave us in cross-cultural missions was very timely and struck a chord with me as I reflected on my limitations as a missionary. My experience having my car repaired again highlighted my limitations. Please pray with me for our Moffat students – they are all gifted by God and it is my heartfelt desire that God will use them to strengthen the church and to spread truth throughout Kenya and beyond. They can only do this if they recognize their limitations and trust God to be their strength and guide.

As Christians, we are all called to share the Gospel. We do this through words and actions. We are all missionaries of one sort or another. Cultural barriers often get in the way but God is able to overcome those barriers even when we have no clue what we’re doing. Sometimes he puts the right person in our path to offer wise advice and sometimes we just stumble through while he sands off the rough edges. Praise God that He can use us here in Kenya to encourage and empower the church!

Lastly, I just had to include a story about volleyball here in Kenya. I’m not sure if this applies to Kenya in general but this is how we play at Moffat. We are in the middle of a tournament that involves students, teachers, and staff. I thought I knew the rules of the game but there are different rules here at Moffat. Hitting the ball three times is still the norm but one is not limited to the use of hands – feet and heads are also legal! For proof, I offer the following:

Yes, he is kicking the ball!

This particular shot went wide but on a number of occasions the ball stayed in play after a foot shot. One student playing in the second row center hit a winning head shot – caught the line!

Talk about cultural differences! 🙂


Tim for Maureen, Luke and Kate

What have the McAlhaneys been up to?

Dear friends and family,

It has been a while since we’ve updated you on our daily happenings – since we returned from the US for Maureen’s brother’s wedding. It has been a very busy but good time. I will try to give you a summary of what our life has been like for the last three months.

First of all, our time in the US was great! We had a wonderful time reuniting with family and friends and making new ones. My brother’s wedding brought family and friends from all over allowing us to meet up with close friends and relatives we haven’t seen in a while. Being able to spend some time with grandparents was a blast and a blessing to the kids. We got to visit some of our favorite restaurants and had our share of our favorite foods. 🙂

Luke and Kate with Aunt Lorraine, they swam as often as possible!

Kate tired out at the end of the wedding…

Saying goodbye to a new friend…

Kate finally met Kaidy!

Luke and Kate ready for the wedding…

Generoso & Vicky’s wedding…our family

Our trip back to Kenya was smooth sailing except for a missing luggage.

Still smiling after 20 hours of traveling…

Kate climbed up by herself!

So Luke had to do it too…

We made our 1 ½ hour drive to Kijabe after arriving around 10pm on a Friday night. It was a cold, drizzling night as we sat in a van with our luggage around us with the windows fogging up. We were tired but glad to be on our way home. However, remember we had moved before we left and had not unpacked anything, so we arrived at a house half painted and with everything we own in the middle of various rooms either in boxes or in bags. Thankfully, we had two beds set up and had asked our house helper to get it ready before we arrived. It was about 1am when we arrived home. We were so tired that all we had energy for was to change and get in bed. The house still smelled strongly of paint since our painter painted some while we were gone but had not finished.

The next morning, we woke up around noon (jetlag) and wandered around the house trying to find a cooking pan, a spatula and something to cook. We managed to fix lunch and did some more unpacking to survive the weekend. Tim and Luke were to start back in school on Monday, so we were trying to get ready for that. We were taking naps in the afternoon and waking up at 2am. This went on for the first two weeks before we finally got over jetlag. We were also having headaches and fatigue that was worse than we expected so we googled “effects of paint fumes.” Then we realized that not only were we battling jet lag, we were also feeling the effects of paint fumes! The painter came back to paint for another week, so we couldn’t really start setting up our new home until he was done. There were people in and out the first week or so, painters, repairmen, electrician, etc. that there was no privacy at all from 8-7pm. Our painter had left something unfinished in every room so it was so frustrating that we couldn’t even start cleaning up, let alone find a place without the smell of paint. So began our time back in Kenya. But by the grace of God, Tim started teaching and Luke started Kindergarten in spite of all that.

Luke pointing at his name…

Titchie Swot is the Elementary school.

“Titchie” is a British word for little or brat. “Swot” means study.

So Titchie Swot is the place where little brats go to study!

Rift Valley Academy…view of Mt. Longonot

Fast forward a month later, Tim had stepped into his new role as Spiritual Life Director at Moffat as well as teaching three classes. He had a busy schedule with meetings, classes, mentoring time with students, and preparing for class in the background. Maureen had started back to working 3 days a week in addition to unpacking and setting up our new home. Luke was loving school so much that he would ask on a Friday when he could go back to school! Thankfully, RVA is a boarding school and had scheduled activities for the students even through the weekends. This is great for Luke since it develops more of his social skills, but it does eat up our weekend and nights shuttling him back and forth to these activities. Kate is happy to be home with Mommy or Daddy and just loves to play, go out for walks, sing songs from Annie, Frozen and Jesus Loves the Little Children, and watch Annie, Frozen and Anastasia. We made a trip back to Nairobi to restock our supplies three weeks after we arrived (now that we had a place to store them). 🙂

Luke’s last day of school

Our little Kate loves to sing, and one day just created her own stage…

In the last week of September, the Maternal and Newborn Community Health Project of Kijabe Hospital, of which Maureen is a part, was invited by Moffat to speak at their Missions Day conference. Five members of our team spoke to the students, faculty, and staff about how God is allowing us to use community health as a platform for missions. Moffat has started a diploma program in community development this term and community health is an important aspect of it so we were invited. We spoke about how God is a missions-minded God, how he has a plan for bringing the nations to Himself, and that we as believers should join Him in His work. Members of our team shared their own experiences of how God gave them a burden for a certain people group after seeing their oppression and how blinded they were to the truth. We also talked about the training courses available to teach a community worker to do their job effectively. It was an encouragement and an eye opener to the students, but it was also a good exercise for the Community Health team since they don’t usually think of themselves as missionaries. This encouraged them and it made them realized that they are actually working to expand God’s kingdom even as they try to improve health in the communities.

This little girl loves to dress up…in anything!

Kate loves to wear dresses and look pretty

In October, we were still sorting through things and unpacking, but getting to the point where we could sit down and relax. The term was busy as there were usually activities during the weekends and some week nights for Luke at RVA. We also had the opportunity to connect with other families in Lower Station (Hospital and Moffat) by having them over for dinner. This is always a great time for us, even the kids, they love guests! It is so good to get to know the story of each family and how God led them to Kijabe to serve Him in missions. Luke got to go to a friend’s birthday party. These don’t come by very often and he always has a great time. We also celebrated Maureen’s birthday by having lunch at a nearby retreat and conference center 45 minute drive away – and we played soccer and Frisbee with the kids then ended with a picnic of their favorite snacks. We drove home tired but relaxed and happy. 🙂

Kate learning to ride a bike

Luke finally biking on two wheels!

Luke and Kate with home-made playdough

Luke trying out his skates for Titchie Skating Party…first time on skates!

Luke also was paired up with a Big Brother at RVA and they have had several “Coke dates” together on a school night either watching a movie, playing some games, or kicking a soccer ball. His Big Brother is a 9th grade Korean boy named David. It’s funny how they are both quiet and reserved but they love to have fun together. We are also secondary guardians to another missionary’s child who attends RVA and we had the privilege of meeting him and getting to know him better during the last few months.

Luke with Big Brother David on Multicultural Day at RVA

By November, we were pretty much settled in, and had started thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas. Here in Kenya people don’t have the luxury of spending money on Christmas trees and lights, but they do celebrate it by taking their annual leaves. The country pretty much shuts down in December as most people take leave and go visit parents and grandparents and travel long distances. Prices of fuel and food also go up as the demand increases. Most missionaries make their home as Christmassy as possible putting up a tree and lights. It’s also a time to invite friends over to celebrate and fellowship together. We still get homesick, but there are activities for the kids and it is really what you want to make out of it. In Kijabe, the lower station families have organized a rotation Advent activity, where families sign up for a day in December to open their home to other families to do a Christmas activity, whether it be singing carols, craft making, decorating cookies, or enjoying Christmas goodies. This is the second year they are doing this, and we hope to participate more this year. Last year we were busy packing and unpacking and had just moved to another house. Most Christmas trees were up in homes even before Thanksgiving, us included, due to pleas from Luke and Kate. Tim said his birthday (Thanksgiving Day) should come first before Christmas, but he lost this round 🙂 . We were able to get a full sized tree from a missionary leaving the field, so our kids are happy.

Kids decorating the tree!

Luke by the fire on a cold night…

Luke made a Christmas tree from cookies at the Orners (Sunday school teachers)

The weekend before Thanksgiving, there is an annual event at RVA that brings kids, old and young together – Pinewood Derby! A month before race day, you can register to race a car you will build in the next month alongside you classmates. There is a woodworking shop at RVA that all high school students, yes, all, use as part of their class work. The students graduate from RVA knowing the basics of woodworking and sewing, whether you are male or female. Isn’t that neat? Well, everyone is welcome to work on their cars at the woodshop during the afternoon after school hours. There were strict rules and guidelines for the car and there are awards given in different categories. You are given a specific size of wood block, axles, and wheels and you design, cut, sand, paint, decorate, add weights and then turn in your car the day before the race. RVA has a track that is setup the day before the race and to qualify, your car has to be able to reach the finish line. Tim and Luke entered as a team in the adult men’s category. Students third grade and younger can’t enter the race by themselves, so they usually pair up with a parent. Tim and Luke started looking at designs online and finally settled on a sleek, thin car. It was Tim’s first time building a car so he had to learn how to use different equipments in the woodshop. It was a learning and interesting experience, especially when the car was dropped three days before the cars are to be turned in. The axle cracked right where the wheels were supposed to be attached. They were able to repair the car and still enter the race. They didn’t win but made it to the semi-finals!

Tim teaching Luke to paint their car…

Luke painting…

Luke with his first Pinewood Derby car!

View from the back

Tim and Luke lined up on race day

November came to a close with a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with friends. We ate, talked, and celebrated our Lord and Savior. We will miss being with family for Christmas but are so very thankful for the many blessings God has given us here in Kijabe!

We hope you enjoyed the long update and wish we could talk to you about it face to face. There are still a lot of things we could share, and we will try to do that in the next month. We hope you are all enjoying the preparation to celebrate the birth of the King we serve. You are in our thoughts and prayers and know that we are so thankful for having you as part of our lives. Your prayers and support is what makes all that we do possible in Kenya. May God continue to bless you as you invest in our lives and ministry. Keep in touch! We would love to get a letter, anything in the mail, from friends and family back home!


Maureen for Tim, Luke and Kate