Last week Pastor Johnstone suffered an accident while riding his motorcycle, which he uses when visiting the large number of recovery groups he supports; another motorcyclist struck him from behind.
As well as being badly shaken he has suffered painful injuries to both legs, which bled quite freely; thankfully no other serious injury was sustained, such as a head injury.
He is making a good recovery, but has required the prescription of antibiotics in addition to pain killers.
The distances that he has to cover to visit the groups are considerable; roughly a radius of 125 miles from his home. The roads are very bad with deep ruts and loose surfaces. In the rainy season many of the roads are impassable.
The Highway Code in parts of Kenya is more a matter of a “shared understanding”, than a system of rules to be rigidly observed; and there is often considerable inventiveness, both in terms of right-of-way and what might be reasonably carried on a motorcycle in terms of goods and passengers.
Livestock such as pigs are not uncommon; up to 5 adults and children are unremarkable; a load comprising a sofa, two armchairs and a coffee table is not unseen.
In addition there are many other hazards not commonly encountered on our roads, such as roaming livestock and wild animals.
Please pray for continued growth of the Recovery groups and of the churches.
Also in the light of this accident please remember to include in your prayers Pastor Johnstone’s rapid recovery, and protection for the pastors as they travel on hazardous roads with difficult surfaces, unpredictability of what might be encountered, and with the potential for collisions with other travellers.
Pastor Johnstone continues to strengthen and grow the Recovery groups in Kenya, based around Churches of Christ in Tongaren.
He reports that another new church has formed from one of the groups in a village called Ambichi.
Once a month he brings churches together for a time of fellowship and teaching. This month brought together the new church, together with Machakha and Kakamwe congregations.
On the 13th March it is planned to have a day of Women’s Seminars.
At such events people come together to discuss the problems and fears that they have in common as well as to learn. A common fear is that their partner might continue to drink or use, or may have a slip or relapse, starting their old habit once again with the chaos that may bring. Together as they meet they can draw strength and hope from one another.
“A day at a time” is a commonly used slogan in recovery programs worldwide, especially in early recovery.
May His Spirit lead them, guard them and give them peace.
Despite the pandemic Pastor Stephen and his wife Rebecca continue to visit and strengthen the groups who are following the 12 Step program of recovery form addiction.
Wonderful testimonies of freedom and healing
Chris Wanyakala says in his testimony that he had been a drunkard since 1996, until last month when he felt convicted by the Spirit of Jesus and a calling to proclaim His name.
He speaks of having seen many accidents and deaths in his community during his lifetime. The Spirit showed him people who might die, and he engaged with them, praying for them that they should live.
He has embraced the 12 Step program and obtained sobriety. His wish is to join with Pastor Stephen and engage with the work to spread the message of hope throughout Uganda.
May he remain strong in his conviction and see the fullness of the harvest of rescued souls he has been shown.
Another testimony is that of Veron Katenya. Although he is young, and just left school, he became a captive to addictions.
His life has been transformed by the 12 Steps, and through membership of the “Exodus” group in Mayenze; he makes a living now by making bricks from clay.
Projects created to provide a focus for the groups, to learn new skills and to provide an income continue to flourish.
As well as the manufacture of bricks, there is bee keeping and rabbit breeding. It is important for people to learn not to pick up rabbits by their ears!
Praise the Lord for healing of individuals, families and communities. It is to be hoped that young people in particular will learn from the testimonies provided, and that many will see the transformation obtained in the lives of the “Overcomers”!
May Pastor Stephen and his wife Rebecca be strengthened and blessed in all they are doing, not just among those who are addicted, but also their school and orphanage.