To Hell’s Gate and back!

It’s kind of a funny name for a National Park in Kenya. But Hell’s Gate National Park has a lot of geothermal activity with hot springs and sulfur jets that spew out of the ground, so you can understand why they named it that. There are companies working in the area to harness the jets to produce electricity.

During the boy’s April vacation we had a really great time camping with the Hazard family, friends from RVA. We got to see some animals, bounce echos off the cliff walls, swim in a sulfur spring pool, hike in a gorge, and probably the highlight was go rock climbing up Fischer’s Tower – a rocky volcanic plug that juts out of the ground some 150 feet up. Jeff Hazard has all his own climbing equipment, and knows how to do it safely, so it was a real treat having him teach and belay us! To climb this tower was one of Josh’s 12 Tasks, and he succeeded! There are some pretty tough spots, and we’re so proud of how he persevered and overcame to reach the top!
Rachel and Drew both gave it a go and made it up part way up. Even Dad scrambled his way up, but the rock hyrax’s make it look a lot easier!

Climbing that tower in Hell’s Gate made me think of some familiar verses from the Bible:

Ephesians 6:10-12 “Finally be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the ruler, against the power, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Climbing that tower sure was a struggle….to get my flabby flesh up over those rocks! But there are very real times in Magambua when we feel we’re right up against the gates of Hell. For our neighbors who are slaves to animistic beliefs, they are very much open targets for the devil’s schemes. People come in to the clinic sometimes possessed by an evil spirit, and it takes a prayer meeting to ‘treat’ those patients, not penicillin.
Please pray for wisdom for us as we care for and witness to patients like these, and try to tease out what is physical, mental, or spiritual illness. Pray that we would stand strong in our faith in Christ. Pray for the church to be a beacon and to equip believers properly, and to preach the gospel well so people may put their faith in Christ and be filled with the Holy Spirit, lest these evil spirits just come back to find a soul just swept a little and bring ten more with them worse than the first.

Standing on the Rock,

Jon

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