What’s Up With Den & Ren?

Dennis and Renda have had 9 months of studying Swahili, learning about the various CMF ministries in Turkana, and becoming familiar with the people and town of Lodwar. To make our first year of Language and Culture learning complete, we will be moving to a little village “out in the bush”,  about a two hour drive from Lodwar,  for the next several months,  to immerse in Turkana culture and begin learning the Turkana language. We will return to Lodwar for a couple of days every two weeks or so to resupply. Our time in the village of Napusimoru will begin around March 1st. There are a few things that need to be prepared first; the outdoor bathroom needs a little work, solar panels mounted on the roof for electricity, screens for windows, some type of water supply secured, and the outdoor shower needs a little work. Lazarus, our friend and “fundi” (a skilled carpenter, electrician, plumber, etc.) is staying out there right now, working hard to get the place ready. One tremendous benefit to having an outdoor shower without a roof: the sky above Napusimoru has a gazillion stars in it and we can’t begin to tell you how beautiful it is or understand how God might know their number and have a name for each one! Psalm 147:4

Napisomoru, "The Blue Mountain" that the village is named after, as seen through the front gate of our new temporary home!

              Napusimoru, “The Blue Mountain” for which the village is named,
as seen from the front gate of our new, temporary home!

An added bonus of this move for us is that the little house we are moving into is sort of like a museum and Hall of Fame from the missionaries that lived there before! Dr. Bob and Karon Chapman lived and served and loved the people of Turkana for many years from this little home. They retired back to the states about 10 years ago and the house has collected dust ever since, and in Turkana, that’s a lot of dust! We have had a blast learning about Dr. Bob and Karon in the process of cleaning and fixing up the house!   We don’t want to disturb any hook or nail or anything, because we know that EVERYTHING has a specific purpose and at some point we will certainly appreciate it. For example, the bar next to the toilet looks like it would only be there to help you stand up…but, if you look closely, as Ren did when she wanted somewhere to hang the toilet paper, you can see the bar has a tiny hole in one end that sits on a nail so that it can be lifted and the TP has a place to hang. We will have quite an adventure discovering the many ways “appropriate technology” was used before the phrase was even coined!

Dr. Bob is somewhat of a legend, and was quite loved by all.  Those are big shoes to fill, and we know Den’s “chucks” won’t quite suffice, but with God’s help we hope to do our very best! We are blessed to have this opportunity to live with and learn from the traditional Turkana people, but communication won’t be easy.  Some people in the village know Swahili,  a few know English, and the sounds of the Turkana language are very unfamiliar to us, so please pray that we can learn enough Turkana language and culture to be accepted and understood.


The Napusimoru Community Christian Church Choir!

Click here to  watch video!

The following dates in the “Jesus Calling” devotional,  aptly reflect our spiritual location at this time:

February 9… “Seek my face more and more. You are really just beginning your journey of intimacy with Me. It is not an easy road, but it is a delightful and privileged way: a treasure hunt. I am the Treasure, and the Glory of My Presence glistens and shimmers along the way. Hardships are part of the journey too.”

AND February 10… “TRUST ME ENOUGH to spend ample time with Me, pushing back the demands of the day. Refuse to feel guilty about something that is so pleasing to Me, the King of the universe. Because I am omnipotent, I am able to bend time and events in your favor. You will find that you can accomplish more in less time, after you have given yourself to Me in rich communion. Also, as you align yourself with My perspective, you can sort out what is important and what is not.”

Right now, we are learning to “Be still and know that I am God!” and to trust that He really is in control of everything!

Please, when you can, send us a private email message through the Prayer button located at the top of this page, or post a blog comment below! We love to hear from you, it ALWAYS brings a smile to our face and warms our hearts.   Although the cell service is unreliable,  eventually it works and we can read and respond.  We thank you for your prayers and for reading our blog!

We love you and thank God for you,
Den and Ren

13 Responses to “What’s Up With Den & Ren?”

  1. Sandy Stelljes

    Dear Dennis and Renda,
    I am so glad to hear that you are embracing the move ‘out in to the bush’. You both have been an example of the mission motto ” be prepared but be flexible’! I’ll let Barbara know that you are moving into Dr. Chapman’s house. Wish I was there to help you with the move-in cleaning 🙂 I know Renda will have that place feeling like home in no time.
    Miss you both and would love to see photos of Den & Ren in Kenya; start posting some selfies!!
    With love and prayers,

  2. Joni Haran

    Dear Heavenly Father please take care of Den and Renda on this journey that they’re about to do. You have two beautiful servants who are so loving and caring and so excited to helped people and learn their culture and really be part of them. I know that they are going to do such a wonderful job of teaching and learning and giving so much of themselves. How I loved watching both of them with the children in Turkana and the big smiles they brought to them you can’t help but to look at Den and Renda and just know that this is where they belong and they are going to do unbelievable things for you. Den you with your big smile and sense of humor and Renda with your warmth and care I just love you guys. God bless you both and you know were all going to be praying for you.

  3. Den and Renda,
    I love hearing about your lives in Kenya and miss you guys. Who knows, we are on the same continent so maybe one day our paths will cross again, God willing. I understand what rural means in Africa; I will keep you in my prayers. I love the simplicity of life here even if it is harder. Take care and God be with you and bless you richly. Ellie

  4. Karen Fritz

    Hi Dennis and Renda:

    Joe and I think of you often. We enjoy reading about your life in Kenya. How rewarding for you to see the fruits of your labor. We miss you and send prayers for continued blessings.

  5. Deborah and Gordo

    Hi dear friends. We miss you dearly but oh my goodness you have got to be excited. We pray for you two and your work everyday. We know that anyone you come in contact with is blessed. Your smiles alone are filled with so much love and joy. And once you two communicate Jesus is there. Our grandkids keep you close to their hearts. One can not forget you two.

  6. Michele Wimmers

    Praying for you both, and know that you are being covered with prayers of Peace, Joy and safety, and LOVE from the Wimmers. ps Michael has been living on his own in the town of Havre de Grace since October! Big step as you know for him. Miss you. Bernie, Michele, Michael and EJ

  7. Linda Leturgez

    How exciting and scary at the same time! Knowing you both, I’m sure you just want to jump in and start DOING. Praying that the Lord will give you patience during this learning time; learning a new language, a new culture, a new way of being……… May God continue to bless you in the place He has so clearly called you to. I’m with Sandy about the photos!! Love to you both.

  8. Fred and Julie Parker

    Dear D&R,
    Sounds like an adventure! How’s the aquaponics going?God bless.
    Miss you,
    F&J Parker

    • Hey F & J! The aquaponics was an experiment by a previous missionary that was pretty cool, but not duplicatable by our local friends. Thanks so much for thinking of us. Miss you guys. Den and Ren

  9. Den & Ren, This is my first message to you, but Bob and I have enjoyed reading your messages. We pray for you, and hope that this new part of your adventure proves to be as exciting and fulfilling as all the others. Stay safe, and know that you are in our prayers.

  10. Tom Coats

    The four years before you return to the states has got to be up. The weather is great here: if your a polar bear. Five and ten the next two days. Five degrees and ten inches of snow. I hope its a little warmer for you.
    I miss you so much
    Love Tom and Merrily

  11. Carla Criss

    God bless and keep you both safe and healthy…we pray for your mission and know you are making a difference!!
    Keep the wonderful videos and photos and updates coming…


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