Wrapping Things Up in Kenya for Furlough

Nathan and Carrie Radford serve the Lord in Kitale, Kenya. Their main ministries include indigenous church planting, a prison ministry, and a hospital ministry for mothers with premature babies.

July 1, 2016

Dear praying friends,

Another month has come and gone and there is much to update. As I write this, I (Nathan) am in the process of closing down and coming home for furlough. As I wrote earlier, our furlough has been moved up a few months early given some unrest in Kitale. I will update more about this in the current prayer letter.

Shutting down to come for furlough is a huge process. I did not realize how big of a process until recently. My family returned to America early, as there was unrest on our compound. There was nothing we could do about it, and our mission leaders were all in agreement that they should come early to be out of any potential danger. Closing down has been a big process to go through. It seems like once I get one thing done, ten other things come up. It has taken me over four weeks, and I am still not finished. I have yet to work on government items in Nairobi before I leave. Things such as paying insurances while away, paying food for all the animals, repairs, storing things, and the list goes on and on. I have a newfound appreciation for each missionary who closes down, as it is a huge job.

Thanks to each one who has written to let us know that you are praying for us in regards to our safety. Kitale is usually a very safe, quiet town. What has been going on for the past two to three months is very unusual. Our compound where we stay has been targeted repeatedly. The thugs have not managed to get in, but they have tried several times. They have broken boards on the back fence, cut down part of the hedge in the front, stepped on wire, etc. Our day guard has done a great job of making the compound more secure, by putting several layers of barb wire, extra security lights, mabati (a form of iron sheeting that covers the fence in exposed areas), and so much more.

We have recently planted a thornbush that is called “ngoja ngoja.” This is Swahili for “wait, wait.” The thieves detest this thornbush, as when they try to break in, it not only cuts them with the thorns, but also holds/grabs them so they cannot escape. I was told by a wise person to plant this all over the compound, as this would be a huge deterrent to the thieves. We have now planted the seeds all over and some of them have started to come up. Please pray with us that it would rain hard in the next weeks, so they bushes will grow quickly. I understand they will grow over six feet high, covering the whole hedge so no one can be looking in from the road. It is a very thick bush that is very difficult to cut through. My neighbor has planted it, with good results. This is exactly what we want. The police are patrolling at night but have not been successful as of late to catch these groups of thieves. People are coming in early and staying on their compounds until morning. I personally try my best not to be out past 7 pm. God is in control of all these matters and we trust Him to take care of it and to watch over those who serve Him. It has been difficult as of late, but He uses even the trials to our benefit. I like Psalm 27:1, which says “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

Please pray for our family and our upcoming needs for furlough. One of our big needs right now is transportation. If anyone has or knows of a minivan for sale at a reasonable price, we would be interested. You can contact me (Nathan) at naterad@yahoo.com. We trust the Lord for all our needs.

Lord willing, next month will be an update from America. I am looking forward to rejoining my family soon. Please pray for me as I seek to finish with all I have to do and get to America for furlough. I am hopeful and confident that these security issues will subside while we are away. A good friend of mine who lives in Kitale called a big security meeting with the leaders of Kitale, informing them of what has been going on, as well as planning how to make Kitale safer in the future. This is much appreciated. Please pray for the Kitale police, the security companies, and all involved in the safety/security in Kitale. We will be keeping all these security issues in prayer while we are away. We are definitely planning to go back to Kenya to serve God next year after our furlough time is over, but looking forward to getting a much needed break, and spending time with family, friends, and supporters.

God bless you all and thanks to each of you for your prayers, sacrificial giving, and interest in what God is doing in Kitale, Kenya. You each are a big blessing and encouragement to us.

Until next month,
Nathan & Carrie Radford

Nathan and Carrie Radford
P.O. Box 4150
Kitale, Kenya
East Africa, 30200

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