Category Archives: By Andrew

Living Water

In the book of John there is a popular account of a conversation between Jesus and a Samaritan woman at a well. In it Jesus makes introduces himself as the one who provides living water, water that can quench ones thirst forever.

Last week I was given a new perspective on water. You see, growing up in America getting a glass of water was as simple as a short walk to the tap. Sure I have felt thirsty, but that was only because I was too preoccupied with other things to remember to drink a little water. As far as water quality, my biggest concern was whether or not it had a funny taste. I never worried about getting sick. I grew up in the minority.

For many people all over the world, finding water and food for the day is their biggest concern. You have probably heard the stories, seen the pictures, and read the statistics, but have you ever let the reality change you?

On Wednesday, I traveled to the town of Laisamis with a couple friends to survey a site for drilling a borehole. I am helping a friend in the U.S. with the fieldwork. Laisamis is in the middle of the desert, and from the town we drove out to the village of Trikamo (tree-ka-moe) to a site designated by a local pastor and the town water engineer.



We listened to how there had only been 2 rain storms so far this year and both were back in February (It is now August). The first rainy season is just wrapping up for the rest of the country and here they can show you on one hand how many times it has rained. They said maybe they will get a little more in November.

Let that sink in for a moment. 2 tiny rains all year, temperatures are constantly over a hundred degrees, and you have a family who needs water every day with no exceptions. Where are you going to get it? In modern times we are digging more and more wells, but from reports, many of the wells in the area are too high in salt content for human consumption.


If you are not near one of the good wells, like the people of Trikamo, you have to walk to the dry riverbed and look for a certain plant that shows the presence of underground moisture. Then you dig. How long do you dig for? It doesn’t really matter. You have no choice but to find water or your family dies. During good times water may only be a few feet below the surface, but when times are dry you may have to dig down 5, 6, even more than 10 feet just for a few cups of filthy water.


You will do this every day for the rest of your life. When the water is exhausted in one area you move on to the next. As more and more areas dry up, you have to travel farther and dig deeper and deeper. You also start praying harder and harder that the rains will come. It is hard but it is the only life you know and what you know is that water is everything. IMG_5369

So let’s go back to the Samaritan woman and Jesus. Imagine being that woman, walking who knows how far to that well every day to collect water. I am sure she is unimaginably grateful for the well, because she knows how difficult water would be to get without it. Even with the well, water is heavy and backbreaking work to carry home. I can imagine that the well would have gone dry at times during periods of drought and I am sure she has experienced great struggles to find water on long journeys, just as Jesus needed water that day from his journey.

So here you are, the Samaritan woman, struggling every day for water and a stranger walks up to you and asks for help with a drink. Then he tells you that he can give you living water where you will never be thirsty ever again. It may sound as mythical as the fountain of youth but you have to know more. If he is telling the truth then he knows one of the greatest secrets ever known.

Jesus’s words were like telling the woman she will never have to work another second again. One of her greatest sources of worry would be eliminated in a moment. Think about how these get rich quick schemes tug out our thoughts. Think about how much the idea of freedom from work persists in modern society in advertisements, movie plots, the lottery. It is everywhere, and this is what Jesus is claiming in his statement.

The amazing thing is that Jesus can actually provide what he promised. Not some magical elixir, but eternal, spiritual satisfaction. You see if we are truly honest with ourselves, everyone longs for something more than this life. Our souls groan within us for the truth and purpose in life.

Just like the people of Trikamo and their never ending quest for water, we all are on a journey to satisfy our souls. Some turn to relationships. Others seek adrenaline. Many today are leaning on science for purpose, but in these things there is always heartache, always a need for the next high, or always an unanswered question. They  leave you digging deeper and deeper in search of just a little relief.

God as our creator is the only one with all the answers, and as a solution to our thirsty souls he gave his son, Jesus. Jesus will never let us down, he always satisfies, and he teaches us what we need to know. Jesus, the provider of living water, is the only one who can provide a lasting solution, and he offers salvation freely to anyone who will believe.


Check out this video from our trip.


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A Great Morning

I am wanting to get better at writing short, more regular blurbs about daily life. No promises though…

I woke up this morning knowing I had too many things to do. I have done a lot so far, and accomplished very little of what I actually had planned. The important things are getting done like ordering buildings for our childrens home, but my office may never get cleaned and organized.

Not on the list was meeting with Pastor Daniels and the tax consultant over the progress of tax exempt status for our school. The consultant came at a great time because I was suppose to pay my quarterly Kenyan taxes 3 days ago, oops.

I rushed out to the bank to get a bankers check to send back to Nairobi to pay our taxes. I withdrew from the Barclays ATM like I always do (no fees), and then went inside to convert the money into a bankers check. It was going to cost a hefty 1,250 shillings ($15).

When the teller asked for my passport, I told him I did not have it but I have my resident ID card. He said without a passport he would need a Kenya government issued ID (which my residence card is!). After going around in circles:

Teller: I need a Kenyan National ID.

Me: This is a Kenyan National ID.

Teller: No, that is an alien certificate.

Me: Yes, they do not give residents “National ID’s.” They give them alien certificates which is equivalent to a National ID.

Teller: No, I need a valid Kenyan ID.

Me: This is a valid Kenyan ID. I use it all the time it was issued by the government as my official identification card. I cannot get anything else.

Repeat x6

2012-04-24 15.45.50

He eventually told me to go get my passport. I was extremely frustrated because I was trying to hurry and get back so the tax guy could return to Nairobi, but I was glad to go. I drove to Co-Op Bank where our ministry accounts are. I had the check in 5 minutes and it only cost me 200 shillings ($2.40).

I thank God for sending me to a teller more stubborn than I am. He saved me over $10, and the story gets better.

While I was arguing with the teller, Pastor Daniels was waiting with the tax consultant. They have known each other for years, but normally they finish business and then he goes. Pastor Daniels took the opportunity to tell Shadrach the gospel.

I arrived back to them reading verses together. Shadrach attends a Salvation Army church in his hometown and has always said he was saved, because he wanted to be, but no one had ever explained how to be saved.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:10   

Shadrach asked Jesus to take away the penalty for his sins this morning, and I was reminded how much God loves me and watches out for me 🙂

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Travels: Learning in the Chaos

Abby and I have been blessed to see more of Kenya in a year than the average Kenyan sees all his life. It seems like we are always on the road, and sometimes it can feel tiring and chaotic. Most recently we visited the coastal town of Mombasa with my best friend, Jonathan, and his wife, Kelsey,  who came to visit. 

As the manager of a scuba diving shop in Florida, Jonathan was eager to spend some time in the Indian Ocean. For Abby and I, the trip wasn’t just about fun and relaxation, although we did that too, but it provided an opportunity to see the ministry of Chris and Lisa Moore (who we are extremely grateful towards for opening their home for us to sleep at).

The Moore’s are developing community centers focused around a church and evangelism with the goal of providing access to good medical care, quality education, and clean water ( They are doing a phenomenal job reaching out to villages that have been largely overlooked and forgotten about, and I learned a lot, especially in the area of project management in a foreign country.

In December, we visited Vernon and Mary Smith in Tanzania for Christmas, another opportunity to see another great ministry. They also have a church, school, and medical facilities, but in a suburb of a large town. It was encouraging to see their love for the Tanzanians and how they lead people to grow in Christ through care and relationships.

We also have a church and school here in Nanyuki with the Daniels. In many ways, these other ministries are modeled after what the Daniels have done, but each one has made improvements and changed things to fit their gifting and the needs of the area, allowing me to compare and contrast.

The above mentioned trips are just a glimpse of our travels. There are countless other ministries we have had the blessing to see, including many within our own fellowship of churches. From leading American teams to working with groups of Kenyan pastors/evangelists, we have also led many trips.

At the end of each one, I am always happy to return to our home in Nanyuki. Travelling is exhausting. Sometimes I struggle to stay organized because by the time I settle back in it is time to go again. Sometimes my bag is never unpacked from the last trip as I begin a new one (although that is partially my personality as Abby always manages to unpack Smile). I feel like I have a perpetual to-do list since I am never home long enough to finish everything, but I am thankful for the craziness.

Abby and I have both learned so much in the chaos. These first two years are about discovering our future of missions. I am thankful for this time of learning, but looking forward to settling down more. Until then I know that God will continue to give us the grace to push on in His will.

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