McMillan's Prayer News - December 2018

Ian & Hilda McMillan

First of all we would apologise for the long silence – it's been a year since our last letter. This has been mainly because we have been in Kenya so little this year – we have mostly been at home due to some health and family issues. However we are currently in Kosele and will be here over Christmas and until late January. Terry and Judi are also here just now and this is the first time we have all been together for 18 months.

Hilda has had no more problems with her eyes, but when she was in Kenya last December she had some chest pain and came home early to see a specialist in Scotland. Thankfully she was not found to have any significant problem and she has generally been very well since then.

Kids groupHere at Hope and Kindness, the year 2018 has brought a lot of changes and challenges, but the work that Terry and Judi started here in 2002 has continued and grown and we have seen God's blessing in many ways. Most of the teenagers that we have been particularly involved with over the past few years have now grown up, finished school and moved on to new situations. Some of the boys are now staying in a house that Hope and Kindness rents in Kosele village so we still see a bit of them. Others have gone to stay with relatives or gone to further education or training. The children in the Home now are generally younger – mostly from 5 to 11 – and the needs and atmosphere are quite different.

We have been pleased to see the church getting stronger. Attendances are good at all the meetings and many people are growing in character and commitment. The Men's Group has been particularly encouraging as the men are finding ways to reach out and help needy members and people in the community.

We were really blessed by a team from our church in Paisley who visited here last June. They spent a lot of time training and encouraging church leaders but most of their time was spent with students from the High School. For four days, they did a condensed “Encounter” discipleship programme with each of the four Forms. The Holy Spirit used them powerfully and we saw many commitments and recommitments and many young people being helped through prayer. We are hoping for a return visit from the team next year.

We are now in the middle of the long school holiday, and this week Hope and Kindness is holding a Holiday Club for younger children, aged approximately 5 to 10. There will be games, crafts and other activities for the children and, as we look forward to Christmas, the good news story of Jesus' coming into our world (a story that is often neglected here). The children will be getting breakfast and lunch every day during the week and on Friday there will be a very special meal and party for up to 200 children. We are very thankful to Elim Missions for funding this. Please pray that the week will go as well as it did last year and that the children grasp the true meaning of Christmas.

PartyWe are looking forward again to a simple Kenyan Christmas with the small number of children who will be here, together with some visitors from the surrounding community. Soon after that things will get busy again as the schools reopen. We are also looking forward to a visit from Hilda's sister Edith. She is studying photography at University and will be doing work for her project while she is here, taking photos of people and life in Kenya. This will be her first time in Kenya and we hope she will really enjoy it. We will travel back to the UK with her on 23 rd January.

We have now been coming to Kosele for extended visits since we got early retirement in 2011. In some ways this is the end of an era for us, and this will probably be our last longer trip to Kenya, although we would still want to come back and visit our friends here. We would take this opportunity to thank all of you who have shown interest in the work here, prayed for us and supported us in many different ways. We are confident that as we move on, God will lead us and will continue to bless and build his work here in the children's home, church and schools. So many children and adults have been blessed by all that has been done here in the name of Jesus, and we have been privileged to be able to be a part of it.

Prayer Points

  • for this week's Holiday Club for younger children
  • for Dorine as she leads the church, and for her and her husband Dennish and their family
  • or Terry and Judi, who return to the UK from 16 th December until mid- January to spend a much-needed break with their family, and for their leadership of Hope and Kindness throughout 2019, particularly as they seek God's vision for the long-term development of Hope and Kindness
  • for ourselves that we will follow God's plan for us in 2019

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