The Kenya University Attack - Dear friends,
Many of you probably have seen news reports of the attack in Kenya by al-Shabab which killed 150 students at a university campus in Garissa. Al-Shabab is a terror group from Somalia which is angry with Kenya because Kenya's military removed them from power in Somalia in 2011. They were responsible for the Mall attack in 2013 and other less reported attacks.
Garissa is several hours away from us in a remote part of Kenya populated mostly by Somali people. A few years ago, we visited friends...
March News - I've been reading the New Testament book of John during this Lenten season, and today I was struck by something that infuses John's writing. John saw himself as "beloved", and today I have seen myself that way too. As I let the other titles and roles (Counselor-in-Residence, wife, mom, missionary, daughter, sister, mentor, sponsor, hostess, etc.) fall to the side, I realized that my true identity – the bedrock from which all else flows – is "beloved child". My hope and desire now is to start every day wi...
Happy New Year 2015 - Happy New Year!
From Jon and Susan Stocksdale and Family
Rift Valley Academy, Kijabe, Kenya
Among my favorite gifts this Christmas were pottery mugs hand-made by my daughter. Fragile, yet at the same time sturdy, the product of her hours in the Pottery classroom now grace our table. This morning I read the following from 2 Corinthians 4:6-7:
For God, who said, ‘Let there be light in the darkne...
Keeping Kids Safe and More - Keeping Kids Safe - Susan
If there's one theme that seems to be overriding what I've been doing since I returned, it's Keeping Kids Safe. Sadly, its NOT an easy thing in the world we live in, and here's what my efforts toward that have looked like in the last few months:
· Teaching abuse prevention classes at the elementary school
· Researching and then presenting to staff and students (separately) about pornography use and addiction among girls (lots of speaking events!)
To Do List - Dear Friends,
We're down to two weeks until we leave Kenya for our home assignment. Missionaries used to call this "furlough" until they realized that even though it was a nice and needed break from life in a developing country, it was hardly an extended vacation.
We have a substantial "to-do list" for our 5 months in the US, but we've also got a to-do list here before we leave. We thought we'd share our lists so you can pray and maybe there are things you can help us with as well (especially no...
Hello from Kenya - Dear Friends at Pleasant Hill,
Hello from Kenya! Thanks so much, once again, for remembering us in far-off Africa with your generous giving. You and your gifts mean so much to us and are such a vital part of our ministry.
We're thankful for the peaceful election and appeal process over the last month. After the events of 2008, we didn't know what to expect, and everyone was kinda holding their breath and most were talking peace above political party or candidate. I gues...
Serving and Suffering - Jon and Susan Stocksdale
Serving missionaries by serving their kids at
Rift Valley Academy
"For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for Him." Philippians 1:29
As I was reading in Philippians last week, I was struck with the paradox of this verse – "privileged to trust" yes, but "privileged to suffer"????? I have to admit that I often don't look on suffering as a p...
Caps and Gowns - Jon and Susan Stocksdale
Serving Missionary Kids and their families at Rift Valley Academy
Dressed in black caps and gowns, the honors' musicians took their places on the platform. The black and red stoles (a nod to their school colors and the Masai who made the fabric) hung around the necks, and a variety of high heels and holey blue jeans peeked out from under the hem of their gowns. The fruit of their pract...
Stocksdales. August 2012 - "Please keep doing what you're doing. You're really making a difference in people's lives – you made a difference in mine."
They were words I never expected to hear from this college-age alumna who struggled so much during her years at RVA. I often felt at a loss to help, feeling that no matter what I did, things never seemed to get better and she kept making bad choices. Leaving school and returning home was the only option left, so that's what she did. The family returned to the US, and I figure...
A Big Thank You - (adapted from a recent card to PHC from Susan) Greetings from Kenya! Thank you for your continued faithfulness and support. We can't begin to tell you how much it means to us. Knowing that our support team across the globe is atanding with us is part of what enables us to continue through times of extreme stretching.
Jon has been helping the school recover from a costly lightning strike. I have been dealing with more than the usual number of tricky counseling issues.
God has clearly guides and str...