Mr Know-it-All interviews Grant and Loki
15 March 2011 by Grant & Loki
Those of you who receive our regular e-mail updates (contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get on that list) will receive one this week telling you that we are indeed going to relocate to Kurungu.
We realise that it is hard to communicate clearly to those who support us in prayer and in so many ways. This is an attempt to give you a better understanding of what has been happening. We thought to do it in an Interview format, anticipating some of the questions you might have. If you have a burning question we haven’t addressed, feel free to drop us a line
Good morning, listeners! Today we will be interviewing Grant and Loki Swanepoel ( Interview done by the famous radio personality, Mr Know-it-all who for years have worked with well-known radio broadcasting group, called Radio).
QUESTION: Grant, it has come to our knowledge that you guys are moving into a different part of Northern Kenya. Since I am Mr Know-it-all, I am aware that you will be living amongst a totally different people group to before. The Samburu is a Nilotic group, like the Masaai, but the Rendille are Cushitic, more like the Somali. Does this mean you are totally changing your mission assignment?
GRANT: Yes, it is true that we have been approved to move to Kurungu, an area where lots of Samburu are located. But no, we will not be changing our assignment. We were called to Northern Kenya to come and start a Bible school to train leaders for all the different people groups in Northern Kenya. We want to ultimately train leaders for the church in Rendille, Samburu, Boranna, Gabra etc, all the major groups of our vast Church District.
MR KNOW -IT-ALL: Hmmm, I see. Well, why did you go to Korr in the first place and not say to Kurungu?
GRANT: We came to Korr because I had some previous experience with Rendille, having grown up here as a missioary kid. It already had a small established church with some church leaders who wanted more training. It seemed like a good starting place for a bible school.
MR KNOW-IT-ALL: That brings us to the logical question. What made you want to change to another venue?
Here is a bit of the story of how we came to consider a change in location :
Earlier this year, we came back to Kenya and Korr, fully committed to making the Bible School work where we live. This is despite the fact that we had run into a number of obstacles in Korr during our first 6 years. Only one student turned up for the first year residential program (though seven were expected), we lost the site we were allocated to build on and we lost the ponsor who had promised to pay for the first phase of building the Bible school.
Due to delays in the process of adopting our Kenyan daughters, we ended up doing seminars in different locations and not putting the roots for Tirrim School of the Bible deeply down in Korr. Mostly we were reaching only a small portion of our vast area, that is leaders from the Rendille and the Ariaal Rendille district we are part of currently.
In early March this year , while attending Prayer Days for our unit in Northern Kenya, the suggestion was made to us that we should consider moving the location of the Bible School.
At first we just laughed, but the idea got stuck in Grant’s mind. The missionaries from Kurungu (about 3 hours west of Korr, closer to Lake Turkana, 5 km away from South Horr on a map) are moving on to different positions in the Mission. The church in Kurungu is still in need of training and partnership and would therefore appreciate some help in the form of other missionaries.
They have a good 15 acres of ground available on which to build! The area is fairly green and rich in trees and water. It is somewhat cooler than Korr, a huge personal plus for us since I, Grant, have really struggled with the heat in Korr. The location seems much more conducive to study than Korr which many people see as a barren wasteland. In moving there, we would be able to reach out more to west of our area , hopefully increasing our chances to teach leaders from all the different groups, not just the Rendille. It places us closer to others who haven’t attended TSB seminars yet, so with greater accessibility we hope that numbers will increase.
MR KNOW -IT-AL: Yes, but what is the REAL reason you are leaving Korr? Did you have a serious disagreement with the church?
LOKI: No, we did not! We can honestly say that we have built strong relationships here in Korr and have no intention of abandoning those. It was some comfort to see that the local church leadership was not at first opposed to our moving away. At least we know they haven’t been wishing us away. We sincerely hope that the pastors whom Grant have been working alongside, and others from this district could come and from time to time share in our ministry at the TSB in Kurungu.
GRANT: Yes, that is true. The REAL reason we are going to Kurungu is that we think this is a wise decision that will serve the Kingdom and the cause we are here for.
God has providentially arranged a whole series of events- us just coming back from Home Assignment, two families just about to leave, prayer days the weekend before the District and Area Church Council meetings so all could be discussed immediately and a representative from our Eastern Region Office on the ground. All and all we went from being totally ignorant of such a possibility to hearing it has been approved by our Area Council, all in ONE WEEK! All the leaders in our Mission we have spoken to so far seem to be very positive about it, the local church there welcomes it and the conditions for both our ministry and our personal health (speaking of heat) seems favourable.
MR KNOW-IT-ALL Wow! that does sound like a lot has happened in a short time. When will you be moving?
US: We don’t know for sure, but it might be towards the end of June? We are still sorting things out with the missionaries there
MR KNOW-IT-ALL You sound so positive, do you think it is all going to be a slice of paradise?
LOKI: No, we know it won’t be. That is not why we going. Although we are not going to lie and tell you we are sad that it is somewhat cooler there with more trees and greenery and more water;). We are not masochists and enjoy comforts as much (or more than?) the next guy. But, we are sad to leave our friends in Korr. We know that a lot of people there in Kurungu can only speak Samburu. Some can speak Swahili too. While it will be good for us working on our Swahili, we will struggle to communicate and will have to start working on another language.
We have heard of other missionary families who might come to Kurungu which would be wonderful because our kids would appreciate the friends. Kurungu is a mission station (fenced in ) just outside a tiny village, Kurungu with a bigger town South Horr about 5km away. South Horr doesn’t have any Protestant missionaries. In other words there isn’t going to be many Western people around. We don’t know when we will be joined by another family, so for a while we might be the only family around. We will terrribly miss the fellowship we had in Korr with our team here and especially miss the grandparents.
MR KNOW -IT-ALL: So, what will you do in the meantime till June?
GRANT: We will go on with life and be part of the ministry of the church here in Korr. I also hope to be able to make preparations for a Bible course I hope to start soon after we move to Kurungu.
MR KNOW-IT-ALL Thanks for your time. We will be praying that God will help you during this time of transition and that this will indeed prove to be a very fruitful move for TSB
We’re leaving on a Jetplane!
30 January 2011 by Grant & Loki
WE– Yes, the whole family will be leaving! We got passports (temporary and valid for a year) for the boys in their original surnames and we are all set to go.
PRAY FOR US for favour in eyes of all officials as we pass through customs. That we will have no problems with the boys having different surnames to us.
ARE LEAVING – We are indeed! This coming Friday 4th Feb we will fly to Jhb and then on to Nairobi where Nick and Lynne, Grant’s parents will meet us.
PRAY FOR US for safe travel and journey mercies with the 4 little Pools who will see many strange sights.
ON A JETPLANE– We are flying to Nairobi, but once we arrive there we will be stuck. We have sold our old Landy and have to look for a new vehicle on arrival. Needless to say, this is vital to our ministry.
PRAY FOR US for a reliable vehicle, spacious enough for carrying the whole family and all the supplies we need to buy for a couple of months at a time.
U Still Here, I thought you have left for Africa?
14 January 2011 by Grant & Loki
The first time I heard these words I wondered to myself if Cape Town is not actually a part of Africa? It seems in the minds of many that is the case.
Well the simple answer is no. No, we are still in Cape Town. No, we have not returned to ministry in Kenya. At this stage it seems to us that only the Lord himself and maybe home affairs (but I am not sure about them) knows when we will be able to leave the country. I thought perhaps it would be best if I recap for you where we stand as of right now so here goes….
1. Caity and Abby have applied for SA citizenship and passports but this will likely take 8 months to complete. That is not the end of the world as they have Kenyan passports and we can travel with those.
2. Miles and Owen are applying to have their names changed and for passports. This is where the holdup is at the moment. We do have a contact who is able to very quickly process this for us but it will still take a while and we don’t know how long.
3. Accomodation. We are ‘squatting’ in a house in Kommitjie (close to Cape Town) for January. For February and however long we have to stay in the country we do not have accommodation and if you know of a house we could use or rent cheap in the Southern burbs we would be most appreciative.
4. Work. So what are we doing while we wait for Home Affairs? I (Grant is writing this for those who follow the blog or email updates and have noted a change in writing style), I have just been accepted to study my Masters in Missiology at Northwest University (formally Potch) through the Bible Institute of South Africa. I have been reading towards this end in the last year but now I am able to formalize my studies. This time spent in South Africa will allow me to make use of periodicals in Evangelical missions that I would have access to here but perhaps not in Kenya.
I have chosen to study in the field of oarality, or more specifically the oral Bible teaching methods made famous by the Firm Foundations course. As I investigate oral Bible teaching methods I will be applying that knowledge to our area of work in northern Kenya among preliterate nomads. As one who takes the Scriptures seriously as the authoritative, inspired and inerrant Word of God himself I highly value the reading of the Word. After all, God gave it to us in a written form and has preserved it through the centuries in that form despite all who have looked to oppose it. So the question is this; how does one best teach the Bible to adults who cannot read? Is Chronological Bible storying sufficient or do we have a Biblical mandate to also teach people to read so that they can examine the Scripture for themselves? I desire to be able to stand before my Lord one day and say with Timothy and countless others through the ages that I have rightly handled the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15). After all Paul says that it is these sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus! (2 Timothy 3:15).
Dear friends, we thank you again for your faithful prayers for us and we hope that you will soon manage to ‘get rid of us’. We in turn pray for Gods rich blessings for all of you in the new year, (and by blessings I mean that we desire for you-as for ourselves- to grow in the likeness of Christ to his Glory).
MOUNTAIN NUMBER …?
21 November 2010 by Grant & Loki
Just when we have thought the adoption mountains have all been scaled, we are facing another one.
Last week we were told that that we can’t assume that our girls are now SA citizens. Even though they have been legally adopted in SA we will need to APPLY for South African citizenship for them. What is going to make this tricky is the fact that such an application requires a Kenyan birth certificate. We were never given birth certificates for the girls, but only passports!
Also, after multiple phone calls, Miles’s papers are back at the Registrar of Adoptions, but they have still not been signed. So without his adoption registered, we can’t apply for him and Owen for a name change and a passport.
We are talking to someone at the Department who knows how to speed up documents in an emergency, so hopefully that will help.
PRAY URGENTLY PLEASE
That God would lead us to the right officials who will help us get things done quickly. Pray for God’s good hand to be upon us! We are eager to get back to Northern Kenya and get stuck into the ministry again. (Our ministry)
The hand of our God is
for good on all who seek him
and the power of his wrath
is against all who forsake
PRAISE GOD FOR
Some extra pledges for monthly support that have come in. We are not there yet, but it is looking more likely that we can aim to get away in December (documents permitting).
Proudly South African
11 November 2010 by Grant & Loki
May 2005 :Loki walks into the office of the adoption agency in Kenya for the first time.
Aug 2006: Grant and Loki are approved as adoptive parents
Feb 2007: We meet Abby and Caity for the first time in Nairobi.
1 March 2007 : Abby and Caity come home!
1 March – 1 July 2007 : We foster Abby and Caity for the required three months.
1 July 2007- 29 September 2009: We engage a lawyer and the long saga with the Kenyan courts start
30 September 2009: Our last day in court in Kenya! The girls are officially adopted in Kenya
19 February 2010: We start the process with a SA adoption agency to adopt Abby and Caity again, so that they can become SA citizens
10 November 2010: The girls are officially registered as adopted children in SA!
WE PRAISE JESUS FOR HIS FAITHFULNESS! THANKS ALSO TO ALL OUR FAMILY, FRIENDS AND SUPPORTERS WHO HAVE STOOD BEHIND US THROUGH THIS PROCESS OF FIVE AND A HALF YEARS!!!
18 October 2010 by Grant & Loki
We ‘ve just spent a great week being part of St James church Kennilworth’s Missions week.
Or I should say, Grant did, since Mommy and the boys and girls spent most of the time at home recovering from all and sundry ailments.
1. For the many opportunities Grant had this week to share the vision for ministry in Northern Kenya .
2. Our first SA adoption has been registered! Owen Sam Swanepoel has beaten even the girls to it.
3. We have had some encouraging news re our monthly support target, for which we are very grateful.
1. The next few weeks are pretty full with speaking engagements. Pray that God would enable us to finish well and that we would be released to return to Kenya in December.
2. Pray for health for us as a family.
3. Pray for provision for the rest of our support target in time for us to leave for Kenya in December.
Our dream destination for Christmas?
6 October 2010 by Grant & Loki
We love living in Cape Town and think (in a very unbiased way) it is the most beautiful city in the world. But, our dream destination this Christmas is Korr. That little town in the middle of the desert with the dust, the flies, the heat and the endless stream of people? Indeed!
We miss our home. We miss the people God has given us to serve. We are almost starting to miss the dust and the flies, but not quite yet:)
We ask that you EARNESTLY PRAY with us..
1. That God would open the doors for us to return. Before we are cleared to leave, we need to get our support up to the required level set by our mission. Please pray that God will raise up more partners for us in this work.
2. We are still wading through paperwork for the SA adoptions. Please pray for a speedy registration of our 4 kids’ adoption.
3. We were told recently that 55 % of the missionaries working for Aim in our area will retire in the next 10 years! The work is still huge and the labourers are getting fewer all the time. Please pray that the Lord of the harvest will send out workers to Northern Kenya. Pray especially for co-workers to come and join the team at Tirrim School of the Bible.
We don’t want to forget to PRAISE GOD for..
1. A lovely visit with Nick and Lynne, Grant’s parents recently in Cape Town
2. Celebrating our girls’ fourth birthdays recently!
PLEASE NOTE- we posted a new page called Projects to indicate what help we will need. Check it out at this link http://nomadspulpit.aimsites.org/projects/
We realise that our supporters are already giving sacrificially and don’t want to burden you with more. In fact we wanted to use the opportunity to thank you for all your generous support. In terms of the additional support we need we would just like to ask you to pray and also where appropriate to share the need with others.
6 September 2010 by Grant & Loki
This is just a quick update to all of you to let you know that we are alive:) Here are a few pics and a few prayer points…
We still praise God for the day we got our boys! Owen and Miles already feel like they have been always part of our family. We have been enormously blessed of the Lord. They are two precious gifts from God, full of fun and laughter and personality.
Thanks for all who have been praying for our girls. They have wonderfully surprised us with their ability to cheer up a crying baby, their willingness to fetch and carry and their great love for their baby brothers. Off course it has been an adjustment for them and we do ask that you pray for us to continue to minister to Abby and Caity as parents in just the way that God knows is right and best for them.
Miles (left) and Owen (right) are both a delight. We have had off course lots of hard work and not so much sleep lately, but by God’s grace we seem to be moving out of the “boot camp”- phase a bit.
When we got them, one was sleeping through the night and the other one not. One had started eating solids and the other one not. Now, they are both sort of “synchronised”:) They are not watches and parenthood is not an exact science, but we are very thankful for a routine that has emerged that seem to suit us all quite well.
On the very first Sunday just after we had had them for a few days, we had to be in St Stephen’s church for an interview the Pastor wanted to do with us. Miles and Owen were pushed to the front in their spanking new wonderful pram (courtesy of a kind friend) and they sat there holding hands and looking cute. Since then we have also visited Holy Trinity in Gardens and even had a supporters Breakfast at St James on Sat 28 Aug which we were all able to attend.
God has been giving us grace and much joy with these two wonderful little people. We give Him all the glory and praise for what He has done.
We wanted to thank you again for all who have showered us with gifts, meals and so many other tokens of love. We deeply appreciated each kind gesture.
Pray for us for the next couple of months as we try and spend time with family and also work on raising our support level before we can be allowed to return to the field.
Our hearts are full!
13 August 2010 by Grant & Loki
I am now officially in the phase again where one doesn’t “seize the day”, you just “grab the moment”. So that is what I am doing now…
ALL PRAISE TO GOD for how He has lead us to this point, where we have had our two precious boys in our home for the first night (and yes, we did get some sleep!). We had to go to the court and signed papers at noon. While there, we met another couple who were adopting with our agency. They were also Christians, and adopting their first child. It made for a lovely time of fellowship in the line.
The girls were so good and had such an exciting day! They got to meet the brothers first! We met the lovely two Christian ladies (called kangaroo moms because they give around-the-clock care to these children waiting for adoption) who had been looking after our boys in one room while the girls went with the social worker and saw the boys so long. We were so amazed at the blessing of being with a Christian organisation. What kindness! These two women, who live in different towns, had actually made time for the brothers to meet each other, even though they live hours apart. These dear women brought gifts for our girls, beautiful photos of the boys in the first few months of their lives, loads of useful tips re eating and sleeping patterns and so much love. What a ministry!
We have decided to call our boys Owen Sam and Miles Nick. The second names belong to Loki and Grant’s Dad respectively.
Grant has Owen on his lap and Loki has Miles.
Owen- Welsh in origin and means young warrior.
Miles- in English means gracious or merciful. Greek original meaning is soldier, the Irish meaning servant and Hebrew renders it as “Who is like God?”, all of whom we really like!
If you want to see some pictures, please check this link…http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=67954&id=1033282543&saved#!/album.php?aid=67954&id=1033282543
We feel a bit like Mrs Bates in the Jane Austen book/movie “Emma” who was rendered speechless by someone’s kindness “and hasn’t stop talking about it since”. We praise God :
! This is the first time in the 12 years of the agency’s existence that they have placed two biologically unrelated children with the same couple on the same day. When we started talking to them about this, they told us “It can’t be done” But, praise God, they have been so open to discuss things and God in His grace has worked that these two boys were available at just about the same time.
! For providing all the money for us to be able to pay the adoption agency. We are seriously humbled by the generosity of people.
THANKS SO MUCH FOR ALL THE INTEREST, THE PRAYERS, THE GIFTS, THE BABY SHOWER, THE LOVE. We are so blessed. May God bless you too.
Please join us as we pray that in the same wonderful way that God has added these boys to our family, God will also work so that they would one day belong to Him.
25 July 2010 by Grant & Loki
It was last Tuesday (20 July). We were having coffee and enjoying our week-long break in Hermanus. Then the sms came through.
It read: “ Nothing!” That was great news to us. It meant that the deadline for the parents to change their minds had passed without any queries from them. We knew then that the boys would be ours.
Thanks very much for all who have been praying and carrying this burden with us. Please read below to see how you can keep praying for our ministry and our family.
Off course everyone is asking us “What next?” . This week we will go for a meeting with the adoption agency, ironing out last details. We are not allowed to meet the boys until the day they are placed with us. We are praying that will be soon.
In the meantime, life goes on and we are still missionaries on furlough who want the gospel to be advanced amongst the Nomads of Northern Kenya. To that end, we will still be speaking at places and meeting folks as time allows. Needless to say, the whole clan might not turn up at all of the events this month.
We are starting to run out of time, so we need to keep things rolling. Some of what we are looking forward to this month: Bergvliet Methodist church (8 Aug );DRC Plumstead (ladies meeting, 11 Aug); St Stephen’s Church (15 Aug); St James Church, supporters’ Breakfast (Sat 28 Aug).
WHEN DO WE GET THE BOYS?
26 July- We meet with the Adoption Agency and get more details
27 July- there is a meeting with Magistrates. We hope that this will result in us being able to get both the adoption cases heard at one court here in Cape Town. If this doesn’t work, we are going to have to travel far and wide to get our boys
29 July- the Adoption Agency attends a Panel Meeting with the Department of Social Welfare to present the paper work for our boys. This meeting will declare the boys legally free for adoption, God willing.
29 July till ????? A week, 10 days or 14 days later? The adoption agency will receive a letter from the Department that will officially declare the boys legally free for adoption.
Mid-Aug? We go to court for both adoption cases and then the boys are handed to us on that day.
MINISTRY– Our main ministry is still to raise awareness of the needs for ministry in Northern Kenya. To that end, we hope to get people to think about
GOING- Are you the one to come and help us??? For a week? A month? Long-term ? Sign here:)
PRAYING-Do you want to commit to pray for us every day? week? Month? Year? Decade? If you want to receive our updates, write to email@example.com If you want to pray for a Nomadic Pastor or Christian by name write to the same address for more details.
GIVING- We still need to make up a deficit in our monthly support before we will be allowed to go back on the field. If you want to know more, please speak to Jill at our office (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A LITTLE THING CALLED LAUSANNE
Well, actually it is not a little thing at all. It is going to be huge. We trust that most of you know that the next congress for World Evangelisation is happening here in Cape Town come 16 Oct. The theme is “God reconciling the World with Himself through Christ” and many of the world’s leading Evangelicals will be there. Grant has been volunteering a bit at the organising office in Cape Town and has been bringing home some exciting news of what this is going to look like.
If you can help by hosting a Congress participant or want to serve as a steward or are just interested to check it out, follow this link http://www.lausanne.org/cape-town-2010