Not My Day to Drink

The Samburu Area of Northern Kenya was gripped by an intense drought. The Samburu region is normally a dry, arid place, but an extended period with no rain had reached a crisis. The Samburu people, who usually eke out a subsistence living as nomadic herdsmen, were desperate. Their camels and goats were dying, leaving them with little or no hope.  

My wife and I were in Samburu working on a mission project to drill deep wells that could reach the water table at 700 to 800 feet deep or more. We loaded our SUV with bottles of water tucked into every possible space. We started out across the bush looking for a possible site to drill a well. Michael, our partner and a Samburu tribesman, was driving. Miles from any village, Michael stopped the vehicle. A short distance away was a slender teenage girl standing in the meager shade of small bush. She was watching her few famished goats searching for food.

Michael called out to the girl, “Do you have any water?” The girl did not understand that Michael was offering her water. She thought Michael was asking her to give him water. Her response still haunts me, “Sir, it is not my day to drink.” Her family was dying of thirst and had to alternate days to drink in order to preserve the small amount of water they had. People can generally only survive about three days without water. It’s a scene I will never forget.

As we worked to help relieve this life-threatening calamity in Samburu land, we were painfully aware of its spiritual corollary. Failure to avail oneself to the ‘Water of Life’ is a threat to a person’s eternal welfare. If we were helping bring physical water to these precious people and not the ‘living water’ of Jesus Christ, it would be a mere band-aid. Our mission, in the name of Jesus, was to not only to give water to quench their physical thirst, but to also introduce them to the One who is the ‘Living Water’ and gives eternal life.

A great blessing in helping bring wells to Samburu was sharing the ‘good news’ that no one had to perish without the Living Water. It was their day to drink! God’s promise is to all people:

  • “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost”  (Isaiah 55:1).
  • The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost” (Revelation 22:17).

Reliving those days in Samburu still stirs my heart. It prompts me to ask all who read this post, “Have you received this Living Water?” Jesus said, “but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14, NIV). It’s your day to drink!

Prayer: “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1).

~ Brother Roy

Samburu Update

kenya flagLast week I heard from Michael Lolwerikoi in Samburu, Kenya. There had been a recent robbery attempt on him as he traveled north into the region where we have drilled wells. Highwaymen shot the rear tires on his Land Cruiser. He kept driving on shredded rubber and the rims reaching safety when a group of vehicles headed south came to his aid. Michael is safe, but suffered the loss of very expensive tires. Since NHIM helped with the first water well in the area, Michael reports that there are 16 wells now in operation. We are thankful that a couple of other like-minded missions have taken up the cause.

The Minister of Parliament in the Samburu region was shot recently. He was a friend of NHIM’s work in that region. I met with him the last time I was it the area. I do not have an update on his condition.  Pray for the Lord’s protection as Michael ministers in this unstable and dangerous area.

With the help of Sam Powdrill and Tenwek Hospital, NHIM sponsored the first eye clinic in the region. Sixty-five people who were blind due to cataracts and/or trachoma received their sight. Now more than a year later, the Tenwek team has taken two more clinics to Samburu. Approximately two hundred and fifty people can now see. Praise the Lord!

Catherine, Michael’s niece who graduated from Asbury University in 2012, will receive her Master’s Degree in May. Her degree in the area of Community Development in Third World Countries will be invaluable as she works among her  people in Samburu.

~ Brother Roy

Our Samburu Daughter

samburu catherine At 6:17 a.m., I watched the big Delta jet land at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport. Within minutes, I would see Catherine for the first time in a year. Our Samburu ‘daughter’ has been in Seattle, Washington, working on her Master’s Degree since last summer. On May 13th, 2012, with great pride and admiration, we watched Catherine walk across the platform and receive her B.A. from Asbury University. Her graduation marked a major milestone in her preparation to return to Kenya and work among the women in her tribe. We are fortunate to have Catherine as a part of our New Hope International Ministries family.

Catherine is now halfway through her Master’s Degree in Community Development for Third World Countries. This degree will be another step in her preparation here in the States. She can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Catherine is eager to return home to the area in the desert communities of Samburu in Northern Kenya.

A Samburu woman and her children dig for water in a dry riverbed 7 miles from their home.
A Samburu woman and her children dig for water in a dry riverbed 7 miles from their home.

It seems only yesterday that Catherine was a young girl walking barefoot through the arid bush. She, like most of the other children of her tribe, was on a never-ending search for water and graze for her father’s goats and camels. She never dreamed of anything other than a desperate struggle each day to survive. But the Lord had another plan for her. In the spirit, the Lord spoke to her, “ For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”(Jeremiah 29:11).

Catherine is no longer a child physically or spiritually. She is a beautiful young woman who is mature in the Lord and highly trained to work among her people. She longs for the day when she can return home to share “hope and a future”.

A Word from Catherine:

I am called to be His hands and feet, to represent the God of justice and grace in action and in spoken words among the Samburu people. I am fortunate to be loved by a God who is mighty, and I am overwhelmed by His neverending blessings and provision. He has provided throughout my life, and He does so by putting people in my life, people who are supportive, encouraging, and, more so, people who inspire me in so many ways. One of the gifts He has put in my heart is to love people, to see them the way He does. This desire to love and serve the Samburu community, my people, is God’s gracious gift to me. It comes from no inherent goodness or cleverness of my own.  I live only by the grace of the one true, sovereign and merciful God, whom I rejoice to call my Father. I seek to please Him and only Him in all that I do.

samburu catherine globePlease pray for Catherine and for New Hope as we continue with this journey of bringing life – physical and spiritual – to the Samburu people.  Prayers and any financial support you may be able to provide can help us help her finish her preparation debt free.

~ Brother Roy

I Love God’s Word

BibleThe morning air was filled with sounds of the Maasi Community of Olderkesi in Kenya. The loud whistles of the herdsmen, the tinkle of livestock bells, and the laughter of children could be heard as we walked across the plain. The friendly conversations of men and women moving toward the Africa Gospel Church mixed with the other rhythms of Sunday morning in Maasi Land.

Jon and Vera Steury, our WGM missionaries in Olderkesi, led us toward the church amid warm greetings and salutations from the Maasi people.  I was impressed with the friendly acceptance we experienced. The pastor extended the hand of Christian fellowship as we entered the church. We felt at home with these wonderful people.

This was a special day for Jon and Vera. Under their instruction, several women had learned to read. This called for a time of celebration and special recognition. As Jon called the names of the women, they stepped to the front of the church to the applause of the congregation.  Vera presented each lady a new Bible in the Ma language. The proceedings were interrupted by an older lady. She stood before the group clutching her Bible close to her chest. In her mother tongue, she spoke, “Kanyor orori le ngai – Kanyor orori le ngai!” Translated it means, “I love God’s word.” As she continued, the translator told us what she was saying. “This book is my most precious possession. I sleep with it by my side for safety. I carry it as my shield for protection. I keep it close to me all the time… And someday I hope I’ll be able to read it. Kanyor orori le ngai.” 

I could not hold back the tears or the goose bumps. I felt a sense of shame as I thought how many of us do not read God’s word when we have every opportunity. Our Bibles often lay on an end table or shelf and gather dust. At times, other books or magazines cover it up in careless disregard. Oh, God, please give us the love for your word like this beautiful lady! Help us to read it daily and treasure its divinely inspired message. Teach us to use it as a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. May we truly say, “ I love God’s word.”

~ Brother Roy

Samburu Eye Clinic

Greetings from Samburu Kenya!Thank you for your partnership in the Body of Christ. I am glad to share with you that we had a very successful eye clinic in Samburu, North Kenya.

I invited the Eye Unit from Tenwek Hospital.There were five from Tenwek and three nurses from Samburu.  We held the clinic from August 27th-31st at Kisima Government Hospital.

There were 200 patients who were screened. Of these, 75 patients received successful operations and were able to see again.  One hundred patients were given glasses.

The whole mission was a miracle. It was so touching hearing testimonies from the patients that they now have new sight. Some were shedding tears of joy. Relatives came in big numbers saying thank you so much for the doctors from Tenwek Hospital. This is the ministry of New Hope International Ministries along with Shalom Nomadic Water Ministry. This is part of creating hope and sustainable livelihood to the pastoral Samburu people.

~ Michael Lolwerikoi

Answer to Prayer for Samburu Well Project

For several months, we at NHIM have been praying that the Lord would provide funds for a reliable vehicle for Michael Lolwerikoi in Kenya.  Michael’s presence is crucial to the success of the eight well sites (and counting!), and it has been very difficult for him to arrange transportation back and forth among the wells.  Yesterday we received word that a check was on the way to provide Michael with reliable transportation.  We thank God for this answer to prayer.  Please continue to be in prayer for Michael as he seeks to bring much-needed water, both physical and spiritual, to the Samburu people of northern Kenya.

Samburu Well Update

Dear friends,

Thanks for your prayers and support. On Monday this week, I travelled by public means 160km on dirt and dusty road to go and meet with the driller who was coming from Nairobi. We agreed to meet half-way, since he wanted to visit the proposed eighth water well site.  Because of the condition of the dirt road it took us 12 hours to arrive at the proposed water site. We were welcomed by the community who are thirsty and very hopeful for the clean water from the well. The driller made an assurance that in two weeks time the drilling process will start. Please pray that the drilling process begins well.

Pray also for a reliable 4-wheel Land Cruiser for our Shalom water ministry. It is very difficult to depend on public transport which is not always available at the scheduled time. Please pray also for our next eye clinic operation which will be in August. We have received a lot of requests from many patients with eyes problems, mainly with trachoma cases. The Tenwek Eye Unit have agreed to come to Samburu for a four-day eye clinic. Please pray for their transportation, accommodation and allowances for nurses/patient assistants during the eye clinic services.


Michael Lolwerikoi

Eighth Well Underway in Samburu

Today NHIM was able to transfer enough funds to begin digging our eighth well in the Samburu area of northern Kenya.  Barring any difficulty in drilling, the funding is now in place to complete the drilling process, but more funds will be needed to purchase and install a pump and generator for the site.  Please pray with us that this project will come to quick fruition, bringing water – physical and spiritual – to a thirsty people.

A Samburu Update

Peace and grace.  In Samburu land, we have just held a women’s conference with 380 participants.  The speaker was Claudia Moore from Kentucky, a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary.  The Samburu Well Project is doing well.  We have seven wells – five with diesel generators and two with solar power pumps.  The pastoral Samburu people are rejoicing with gratitude to our mission partners, because  they have clean, safe drinking water.

Please pray for reliable transport for the water well ministry.  I am finding it very difficult to travel to different regions to plant churches and drill wells without reliable transport.  Some areas are very insecure to travel by public transport. Pray for a 4-wheel-drive Toyota Land Cruiser that is reliable and useful for the wells project.

The camel project is also doing well. We have assisted 5 families with milking camels. These families are grateful and say thank you to the mission partners.


~ Michael Lolwerikoi