Archive for the ‘Compassion’ Category

A Song of Thanksgiving

“Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord!”
Psalm 150:6

Guest Post from CCWC & GPCWC Keynoter
Michael Gantt

Just about seven years ago, I stood looking across a weed infested, half flooded plot of land in Western Kenya.  We had purchased the property for some future use for the Immanuel Christian School for the Deaf.  The school had so many real and pressing needs, there were some who considered the purchase with great consternation, thinking that the purchase was a great waste of money.  However, as I stood there gazing out over the little plot of land I saw neither weeds nor water.  Instead, I saw great brick buildings rising up out of the overgrown soil. I saw sleeping quarters and a beautiful dining hall and kitchen.  In my mind’s eye, I saw a meeting room for chapel services and public meetings and most beautiful of all – – a grand educational center towering above everything else; a place where Deaf children could overcome every disadvantage their Deafness had saddled them with.

I turned my gaze to a small room where I would meet with our Headmaster Wes Agengo and members of the school board.  On a table in front of us we had rolled out a large piece of white paper and threw some markers on it.  We prayed before picking up those markers and began  to draw a dream. We asked God to give us a vision greater than us. He gave us a vision for a Center for Deaf Education that would not only train Deaf children in basic academics, but a technical center where they could learn a trade and eventually, a Deaf College and Technical Institute.  We had scarcely a penny with which to begin but God had given us a vision and a kernel of faith and with that we began to dream and with the dream,  to plan.

When I returned home to the US,  I shared our vision with my own church. After one meeting a member of my church approached me with a twenty dollar bill.  She said, “That’s all I have, but I am giving it to you in faith that like the loaves and fishes, Jesus is going to multiply this into all the money you need to finish this work.”  Her faith (along with many others) has been rewarded, for God has indeed multiplied that small offering into a great miracle.

School for Deaf

The New Academic/Administration Center
for the Immanuel Christian School for the Deaf

     This morning, I received some photos that are a testimony to the power of a small faith and the great faithfulness of our God.  They are photos of that grand Educational Center that is within a few weeks and a few dollars of completion.  It is beautiful beyond any words I can share, but I must tell what God has done.  The campus I could only see in my spirit just seven years ago is today, almost complete. We are just $4,000 and a few weeks away from completion. How great is our God!!!

And yet, it is not merely buildings that have been built there; not just brick and mortar.  The Immanuel Christian School for the Deaf is now considered the leading academic center for the Deaf in all of Kenya.  Our students are excelling at a very high academic level.  Recently, we entered into an agreement with a national Teacher’s College that is now holding lectures on the new campus, training teachers to teach the Deaf.  Some of our own students are training at the college level to be teachers of the Deaf.  I could not have imagined just seven years ago that this would be possible in such a short time.

I asked Marlene Bagnull if I might submit this article for publication on her blog because I wanted to express my deepest gratitude to so many who have been associated with Write His Answer and the Colorado and Philadelphia writers conferences who have been instrumental in the fulfillment of this dream.  Each year as I have spoken at these conferences, those in attendance have sent me home with very generous offerings; amounting to many thousands of dollars in support of my kids in Kenya.

As we stand at the precipice of victory, I want to express my gratitude to the many persons associated with the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference and the Colorado Christian Writers Conference for your encouragement and support.  Without your generous giving we would yet be many miles and many dollars away from completion.  You came to the conferences to learn, to hone your craft, but in the midst of it you found it in your hearts to invest in the lives of desperate children who live far away from you.

I expect to see many of you in Colorado in May and then in Philadelphia in July. I plan to bring photos that are different than those I’ve brought in the past. Photos not of what we HOPE to do – but of a work that is DONE!  Thank you Marlene for your generous allotment of time given to me to present the needs of the school and so many of Marlene’s friends who have made such generous contributions to our work. May His peace and blessings be yours.

Michael Gantt

From Marlene: Thank You, Father, for giving us the opportunity to be part of this ministry to the deaf children in Kenya. Thank You for again doing exceedingly, abundantly beyond . . 

To learn more about this life-changing work go to http://www.kenyadevfund.org.




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Terry Brynan RN - CopyIf you were at the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference and attended the Wednesday evening general session, you heard my dear friend, Terry Bryan, share her burden about the upcoming elections in Kenya. Terry has spent a number of years sharing the Gospel and caring for the physical needs of “her people in the Far Places.” (Terry is a nurse and one of the most dynamic Christians I know.)

Please read Terry’s prayer request below and join us in asking Father to cover the elections in Kenya with His presence and peace.


Hi all, it’s Terry,

It has been quite some time since I have written.  I love you all, but since I have been waiting on the Lord, I have been quiet.  It has been a time of reflection and restoration of which I am grateful for. I am in US, however I have an urgent request for prayer for Kenya.

Please pray for peace before, during, and after the elections in Kenya. Although Tuesday, Aug 8 is their elections, the time difference makes it our Monday night that people will be lining up to vote. These are our brothers and sisters, and they need our fervent prayers in love.

Please pray for peace in every part of Kenya, among every tribe and every people group.

Even when the ballots are cast, there are petitions to the court contesting the results and that time can be volatile also so please continue to pray for peace.

Remember we do not fight against flesh and blood (people) but against principalities and powers of darkness (the enemy).

“In the name of Jesus, the enemy is bound, the angels are there. There will be peace on all sides.  Pour the blood of Jesus on it, the entire area and the people.  There would be no attacks on the police or people or by the police, army, home guard, terrorists, or people.  Send in your angels Lord to take care of the enemy.  There would be no trouble, no vengeance lived out.  Bind up the enemy. Release the Holy Spirit. Open the flood gates of heaven.  Let there be peace.  Let it spread like a consuming fire.  Let it bring life.  Rise up and live. Let there be no more deaths.  No more injuries.  No more crimes.”

Thank you for your continued prayer, praying for you too.

Love you,

Terry Brynan

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Thanksgiving has ushered in
the Christmas season.
I am sobered
not so much by the calories
I have consumed
or the prices in the mall
(although both are too high),
as by the contrasts I see.

There is plenty and want,
joy and grief,
love and hatred,
hope and despair,
the real and artificial.

Father, help me to see You
and to share Your love.
Move me to give as Your Son gave
when He willingly went
from the manger to the Cross.
Let there be a difference in me
that is visible and credible –
that points others to Jesus Christ,
the only Hope and Savior of mankind.

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Compassion rocks fixedI’ve  been and am so focused on preparations for the August 3-6  Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference that I almost missed the email from Operation Blessing that today is World Day against Trafficking in Persons.  I hope you’ll take a couple of minutes to visit their website. Click here.
Scholarship help and time payments are available. It’s not too late to register and join us for what I know will be a life-changing conference.

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Faith rockDo you put off doing things because you don’t believe you can do them? Do you have half-written manuscripts waiting to be finished? What about ideas that you’ve tucked away – somewhere?

Yes, procrastination is a very real foe, but I am convinced the real reason we procrastinate is because we don’t believe we can do something. And actually, that’s true! We need God’s enabling to do the work He calls us to do. The key is knowing what He is calling us to do. The Living Bible paraphrase of Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do everything God asks me to do with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power.”

It comes down to faith – to believing in the One who calls us and choosing to say “yes, Lord, here am I.”

I wantDream%20With%20Me_album%20cover to encourage you to read aloud the “Writer’s Statement of Faith” below. You may need to read it aloud several times a day. I know I do! I also want to encourage you to watch this video of pre-teen Jackie Evancho singing “To Believe.” Yes, Father, help us to believe that we really can make a difference and bring peace – Your peace – to our troubled world.

A Writer’s Statement of Faith

I have strength for all things in Christ Who Empowers me – I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength in me, [that is, I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]. Phil. 4:13 AMP

Are you called to help others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies, so that God will be glorified. 1 Pet. 4:11 TLB

[Not in my own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in me – energizing and creating in me the power and desire – both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. Phil. 2:13 AMP

My strength must come from the Lord’s mighty power at work within me. Eph. 6:10 TLB

In Him in every respect I am enriched, in full power and readiness of speech (to speak of my faith), and complete knowledge and illumination (to give me full insight into its meaning). 1 Cor. 1:5 AMP

Now I have every grace and blessing; every spiritual gift and power for doing His will are mine during this time of waiting for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. 1:7 TLB

I actually do have within me a portion of the very thoughts and mind of Christ. 1 Cor. 2:16 TLB

I can be a mirror that brightly reflects the glory of the Lord. 2 Cor. 3:18 TLB

I will commit everything I do to the Lord. I will trust Him to help me do it and He will. Ps. 37:5 TLB

I will lean on, trust and be confident in the Lord with all my heart and mind, and choose not to rely on my own insight or understanding. Prov. 3:5 AMP

I will commit my work to the Lord, then it will succeed. Prov. 16:3 TLB

Sharing Christ is my work, and I can do it only because Christ’s mighty energy is at work within me. Col. 1:29 TLB

I will be strong and courageous and get to work. I will not be frightened by the size of the task, for the Lord my God is with me; He will not forsake me. He will see to it that everything is finished correctly. 1 Chron. 28:20 TLB

I need to keep on patiently doing God’s will if I want Him to do for me all He promised. Heb. 10:36 TLB

I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in me will continue until the day of Jesus Christ – right up to the time of His return – developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in me. Phil. 1:6 AMP

His mighty power at work within me is able to do far more than I would every dare to ask or even dream of – infinitely beyond my highest prayers, desires, thoughts or hopes. Eph. 3:20 TLB

From Write His Answer – A Bible Study for Christian Writers. For more excerpts, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.

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News from Terry Brynan in Kenya

Terry Brynan RN

The challenges Terry Brynan faces daily in Kenya are a sharp contrast to my struggles with computer issues and HTML (in the comfort of my office recliner).

Father, thank You for Terry’s faith and courage and tenacious efforts to help her people in the “far places.” Keep her safe and healthy. Continue to use her holy boldness to bring many to Jesus.


Hi my beloved family, friends and prayer warriors,

I hope all of you are well and blessed. As always, I love and miss you so much. Thank you for your continued prayers. I was sick with typhoid and pneumonia again, and then malaria but, I am ok. Keep praying God continues to strengthen me to accomplish His purposes and plans.

I finished the 14 meetings around all of the mountains and different areas. I met with about 1200 people. There was 100% support for closing the mountains.  Now, they are waiting for the rain.  Please pray it will rain. Pray God will bless it and make the grass grow and bring the water they need and supply all of their needs.

The meetings were filled with the young men who are usually far away in the mountains taking care of the cows. They returned to their areas when the rains came and the grass grew.  Their presence was a crucial element of proceeding forward with closing the mountains because they are the ones who move with the animals.  They were in complete agreement for the elders to close the mountains and the rules they would need to abide by. 

The young men and boys heard the good news of Jesus, and many trusted in Jesus as their Savior.

There was no time between the end of the meetings to close the mountains and the entire generation of boys going off to get circumcised and live in the bush for the next three months. If I had waited there would have been no way to reach any of them.

In just three new areas God has called me to go, in only three days, about 400 people trusted Jesus.

At one place there were about 220 people gathered on the banks of a dry river bed.  They had watched the Jesus movie and all had trusted JesusWe prayed and praised God together.  We ate together and discussed closing the mountains. It was an amazing day. I was getting ready to leave and the women started to sing.  I thought they wanted something from me but, instead they wanted to give me a gift.  It is a rare thing here for people to give me a gift for no reason.  I had nothing to give them.  They came singing and dancing, and dangling in front of them was a big paint sized can of fresh honey to thank me. They didn’t expect anything in return. The Lord impressed on me, that when we praise and thank Him, and let Him know we love Him.  It is as sweet as honey to Him. 

During the meetings, I distributed eye drops because so many have eye infections from dry dusty conditions, with little water and if left untreated, can lead to blindness. To combat nutritional anemia and anemia caused by malaria about 1000 families were given essential micronutrients and about 25,000 chlorine tablets were distributed to help reduce typhoid and water borne diseases.

The blind, the crippled, the elderly, the disabled and families especially appreciated the 100+ blankets and plastic sheeting for hut roofs and nursery schools (made of woven sticks).

The next plan for closing the mountains includes creating supplemental pasture in the lowlands.  The plan is to enclose and prepare 100 acres, 10 acres of pasture in 10 different locations, by fencing it with the cut branches of thorny bushes and trees, bush clearing, putting cut trees in gullies, and scratching the ground surface for seed preparation. These pastures will be used to produce seeds for reseeding, grass for harvest, and when the roots are more established, grazing.  I am waiting on the agreement for the seeds to begin community meetings.  Please pray for tremendous community support and that God will make a way for everything we need.  Pray it would be ready before the rains come and pray the rains come.

I finished delivering the mattresses and blankets for the children to begin sleeping at four of the schools in the bush. Each of those schools also received (1) 90 kg bag of posho, flour made from corn and sorghum, so the children who sleep there can have uji (porridge) for breakfast and ugali (like grits) for dinner.

Then, I found out the World Food Program (WFP) that has been delivering food (posho) for nursery school students all across Kenya stopped providing food for the nursery school students.  The responsibility was handed over to the counties but, my county did not accept the burden. There is not enough food at the schools to also feed the nursery students so I am guessing if nothing is done, the school will feed them and although they started late because the food for grades 1 and above came late, they will also want to close early because they will run out of food.   The nursery school children rely on the lunch they receive at schoolFor some of the children, it is the only meal they may have that day.  There is about one month left in this term. Please pray the children will have enough food.

God has provided the opportunity for me to present to the government offices and representatives of international organizations in my county in the last two weeks.  I have been able to share clearly and distinctly what is needed in the far areas of the bushThey are doing their steering for the coming year.  Pray God will bring the help that is needed. 

It was after midnight, one night, I had had a long day and was returning home.  I stopped to spend the night, far in the bush, at I place I had had a meeting the day before. Where my truck was parked there were two young men arguing about something for a long time. I was in my truck praying and had enough of the disturbance.  I tried to break up the argument and that didn’t work.  I reached into my truck and laid on my horn for about a minute, hoping to distract them. They didn’t even miss a beat. I changed my approach, and kindly asked one of the boys to come with me and led him away from the argument where he could be reasoned with. He left. Everything quieted down immediately. I returned to prayingRuth, my helper, opened the door laughing.

Standing next to me were three old women, dressed in animal skin skirts, no shirts, traditional beads and shangas.  They had crept up to camp, each with two sticks, one in each hand.

Where is Chepurai? Who is disturbing her? Who is attacking her?” They had exclaimed to Ruth,” We heard the sound of her truck and we have come to beat off her attackers! We each found two good sticks and we have come. We decided, if she dies, we die together!”

I am Chepurai. It is my Pokot name. I was so moved by their decision to come to my rescue, no matter what the cost. I flung my arms around them.  I thought to myself, that’s love!  It’s not every day someone is willing to die for me!  But as the words resonated through my thoughts, I remembered Jesus. Jesus died for me! It cost Him everything. That is love!!!

If you would like to give a gift to help the children and families of Pokot, please visit our website at www.JesusIsOurAll.org or send a check made out to

Jesus Is Our All
P.O. Box 111
Frederick, Pa. 19435

Thank you for your love and prayer,
Thank you for your encouragement and care,
Everything you do in love,
Is written in His book above.
May you hear well done good and faithful servant.

With love and prayers,

Terry Brynan

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Eagerly we awaited
our first grandbaby’s birth.
We praised God
as we held her in our arms
less than an hour after she arrived.
So tiny, so helpless, so dependent –
and so immediately loved.

How difficult it must have been
for Joseph and Mary’s parents
to wait several years
to hold Jesus in their arms
and not to even know
if Joseph and Mary
and their grandchild were safe.

Today countless little ones
will never be held in the arms
of their grandparents.
Separated by the ravages of war,
they will struggle to survive
in refugee camps or on the streets
or as child slaves, prostitutes, or soldiers.

 How can we best celebrate Jesus’ birth?
By remembering how He held children
in His arms and blessed them.
By not forgetting the plight
of children in crisis around the world,
and by giving sacrificially
even as He gave Himself for us all.

Marlene Bagnull

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As I anticpate sitting with family and friends around a table overflowing with food this Thanksgiving, I think of the



Thanksgiving has ushered in
the Christmas season.
I am sobered
not so much by the calories I have
or the prices in the mall
(although both are too high),
as by the contrasts I see.
There is plenty and want,
joy and grief,
love and hatred,
hope and despair,
the real and artificial.
Father, help me to see You and to share
Your love.
Move me to give as Your Son gave
when He willingly went
from the manger to the Cross.

And I think of my friend, Terry Bryan, serving the Lord in Kenya, and I pray for her. In the second picture below, Terry is showing the Jesus film.
Father, thank You for Terry’s love for the people of Kenya, for her courage, and for her faith. Continue to surround her with Your hedge of protection and provide the funds to enable her to provide needed medical care, clean water, education, and so much more.
Terry Brynan RN
Theresa Brynan, RN, is President and founder of JIOA. She has worked with the Pokot people in East Pokot, Kenya since 2008.  She travels to the most remote, marginalized regions of East Pokot. She oversees the program activities and develops and facilitatesthese activities personally.  http://www.jesusisourall.org
Happy Thanksgiving! We have so much to be thankful for.

Thank you for your prayers, words of encouragement and support. When I am in the bush, I have no internet and can only text if I have network and charge on my phone. So last week, a few people received a radical text message on their phone, from me, asking for prayer for peace and that it was being threatened on every side. Thank you for praying. Although I was safe, it was serious and I didn’t have enough battery to explain. In one day, I heard of a number of incidences that occurred involving 2 or 3 young Pokot men stealing animals from two other tribes and killed one person. Then, I received a text warning there was to be a huge raid against the Pokot, by another area of another tribe, the following week in my far places. The Lord told me to pray. I am thankful for cell phones in the bush, people praying, and God.

Jesus film KenyaThursday, as I was heading to the bush the road was pretty bad. Parts of it had washed out and I had to find ways around the difficult spots. At one point it rained somewhere and the water had risen in the road and was coming pretty swiftly. I didn’t realize the road diverted the other way now because the old pathway had been washed away. My truck sunk like a rock up to the frame on the left side. I guess it didn’t help that I was carrying a half a ton of water in the tank on the back of my truck. I really didn’t want to part with that water. The soccer team heard I was in trouble and came to dig me out. It didn’t look too bad early on but then, it began to rain somewhere again and the water began to rise again and the truck sunk deeper. It took many hours. Those who were left at the end, ran ahead of me in the dark, to show me the rest of the way to safety. I presented them with their new football. I felt really cared for. I am thankful for people who care.

The river had also risen and could not be crossed so I slept in my truck. Friday, I came across the some army and peace makers from the neighboring county where the animals were taken. They were responsible to retrieve the animals from the family of one the accused. I had a school closing to attend but decided to have a peace meeting the following day. I am thankful for those who help to keep our countries safe and for those who help to bring reconciliation and peace to our hearts, homes, communities, nation and world.

Education KenyaThat day I attended a school closing 30 km in the bush. It is one of the schools that the gutters and tank are to be installed and the mattresses and blankets are to be given. The children sang and those who were top in the classes given special prizes. I was able to distribute micronutrients and chlorine tablets to the parents, encourage them, distribute clothes and underwear to some of the students, and give them a soccer ball. It was wonderful to see the joy on their faces as they watched the Jesus movie. I am thankful for children learning and growing, mentally, physically and spiritually and for all of you who have prayed and helped to provide for these most basic needs. Thank you. God loves all of His children.

Peace Initiative KenyaSaturday, it was market day but, about 30 men came to the peace meeting. To my surprise, it was mostly young men. We discussed many things, including the penalty for stealing animals which they were witnessing that day. They want peace and expressed their concerns and challenges as well. It was confirmed those who live in the farthest area were responding to the threat of raid by bringing their cows down from the far mountains where they were attacked last May. The blessing of rain we are getting will also help to promote peace by providing grass and water for the cows to live on. It rained during the meeting and the river rose with a fury like I had never seen there. It was cutting away the steep river bank. A goat was swept by. Later that night, a person was also lost to the swift water. I am thankful for rain, grass, prevention, provision, and peace. I am grateful for comfort in times of sorrow.

Truck KenyaI slept a restless sleep in center again in my truck. The next day, I could not reach the church under the trees. Even though I could cross the river, the water had cut away the pathway to get to that place. I traveled 30 km back through the mountains to the cement hut (the one with the cat) and made it in good time. It did not rain that night so, the next day, I was finally able to get a truck to transport the gutters, tanks, mattresses and blankets to two schools, one 30 km and the other 50 km out. The 10,000 L tank didn’t fit in the truck so they tied it on the tail gate and the frame with some straps I had. I sent them off and I still had time to go a school near the cement hut to deworm about 400 children and give them cookies and a soccer ball. Just for reference. The cement hut is the starting point when I say I traveled 30 km out or 50 km out into the bush. The bush is about 100 km deep. I am grateful for safe journeys and God’s care.

I was able to purchase the gutters and attachments for all four schools, the 10,000 L tank, 40 mattresses and 40 blankets when I was in town the week before. The hardware store donated a 5000L tank to help the children and also the cookies. I was surprised. That had never happened here before. The truck, when transporting the goods from town to the cement hut, was delayed and the rain came first and everything got wet. The next two days were spent drying everything out. Everything dried well, it was just a little extra work. I will try to have the gutters installed in the next two weeks. I am grateful for generous hearts.

Hut KenyaThere is another problem I didn’t realize the people had. Their traditional round homes are made of mud and sticks with a grass roof. It has been so dry, the homes were in disrepair. Now, it rained, so there is mud to fix the walls but, there has been no grass to repair the roof. The roof is full of leaks, rain is coming in, leaving the children cold, wet and sick. I would like to buy plastic sheeting for the roof and blankets for 100 families. The blankets are $2.70 each. These are nice heavy blankets. They don’t have access to these blankets or plastic sheeting out in the bush. Would anyone like to help? I am grateful God sees our suffering and hears the smallest voice.

My heart and prayers go out to the people of all of the bombings in all of the different countries that took place while I was in the bush. We need to pray. We do not fight against flesh and blood but, against principalities and powers of darkness. I have seen in the bush how effective prayer has been to bind the enemy. That is why I pray diligently and cry out for prayer still. If you would like to pray like a warrior but don’t know where to begin, I am willing to share the first 7 pages of my daily prayer book with you to help you. I am grateful for healing, grace, comfort, and hope that comes from God and for compassionate hearts that overflow with love to those whose hearts are broken. I am thankful for the many prayers that have risen on behalf of those who have suffered and are living in fear. I am thankful for the mighty weapons of rejoicing, thankfulness and prayer to help us overcome. I am thankful to God for being everything to me. Jesus Is My All. He is able. He makes a way when there is no way and all things are possible with Him. He is my love and my life.

What are you thankful for?

If you get an opportunity, like Jesus Is Our All facebook page and I will try to update it when I can.

If you use Good shop or Good search for your online purchases for the holidays, please consider putting Jesus Is Our All as the charitable organization you would like to help. It is free yet, many stores will donate a portion of your purchase to Jesus Is Our All and it will cost you nothing. They have coupons that are available for your shopping discount too. It’s a win win. Google Good Shop and Good Search today!

If you would like to give a gift to directly help the children and families of Pokot, please visit our website www.JesusIsOurAll.org or you can send a check to

Jesus Is Our All
P.O. Box 111
Frederick, Pa. 19435

Thank you for your prayers!

Blessings to you, with love and prayers, I am thankful for you!

Terry Brynan

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