Visit to Turkana
In December Pastor Johnstone made an eight hour journey, travelling 260 miles to Lodwar, Turkana, where his sons Michael and Emanuel have been experiencing some challenges as they serve in church mission.
Turkana is a very hot semi-desert region in North-West Kenya, where there is a great deal of poverty, although it is very rich in minerals, including gold; and also oil reserves.
Johnstone found that the culture of the region had changed since he had left 47 years ago, and that the advice which he had given to his sons, with respect to the approach to adopt, was no longer appropriate.
Alcohol abuse proved to be just as much a problem here as elsewhere in the world, perhaps even more so due to the high temperatures (37*C). Johnstone reported that the women were in general receptive to what was being taught, but that the men were more reserved.
A traditional god called Aguchi continues to be a focus for worship.
It is hoped to visit this area on a return trip to Kenya.
Annual Conference of Kenya Church of Christ in Nairobi, December 2020
Pastor Johnstone was able to travel to attend this annual meeting of the network, of which his church is a member.
One of the main agenda items at the conference was the problem of drug and alcohol abuse, in particular how it affects the youth. This is acknowledged as being a huge problem throughout Kenya.
The best solution to the problem was recognised to be the Twelve Step program with reference to scripture.
There was no opportunity for Johnstone to share his experience, as no time had been allocated for delegate discussion; but he was able to speak to many of the pastors present, who had never heard of a recovery program such as the one we are operating.
Clearly there is great opportunity for wider out-reach, and much work which needs to be done.