Sunday, December 23, 2018

Kangundo, Kenya, Hoyt and Lois Osborne

Imagine adopting 26 boys!  Not babies, big ol' boys, teens and young men.  Hoyt and Lois Osborne did that.  They only had seven is the most they had at one time living with them, but 26 call them Mom and Dad. They also started a mission, planted churches, are involved in a children's home,  and many other ministries including Bible colleges.     

Lois Osborne is now a widow, who is in her 30th year in Kenya.  She and her husband Hoyt came when they were 43, as tent maker missionaries to start with.  They taught in private schools in Nairobi for three years, before they were ready to venture out to begin church planting.  Hoyt was not timid about picking up needy boys to bring home.  He took in alcoholics too.  He was brave and bold and felt compassion on these needy boys! 

The fruit of their generosity is sweet!  The youngest of those boys is now 23.  The oldest is about 50.  Several of them are pastors.  One runs the children's home.  Lois is grandmother or "Susu" to  dozens of her boys' kids.  While we've been here I've see Pastor Gideon help with driving and maintaining the mission van.  Shadrach is another wonderful help.  He came to the rescue when Lois' house had a plumbing problem while we were here, and he traveled with Paul.  Fitzpatrick  is a pastor, but he also helps with driving.  He took the boys and me to our last week of camp, and was a fun driver.  We discovered we have a mutual wish for a donkey.   Robert was Hoyt's last care-giver before he died.  He was gone to take a job, but came home when that hotel closed,  until he gets another outside job. Nathan is a dynamic worship leader in his church, and engaged to be married in August .  David lives further away with a wife who is a magistrate, but he came home for a sweet visit while we were here.  He was the youngest they ever took in.  Oscar helped dig a grave-sized hole to find a clogged pipe.  Yesterday our Josh help and photographed as Oscar killed and dressed a rooster.    Robert, Nathan, and Oscar have been Josh's game playing buddies in the evenings while we've been here. 

Jackson is now head of Grace Children's Home, and he teases me by telling me how lucky I am to see him, each time I see him.  His wife Evelyn translated for us at the children's home.  She's a gracious, hospitable help to him, leading that children's home.  

Hoyt and Lois Osborne with some of their "boys", and a wife and grandchild. 

That's a sharp looking bunch of guys!  Most of them are pastors now.
Lois and Hoyt after he was sick. 
 
Lois shared her testimony with us, telling how as a little, little girl, she prayed to be saved.  Her mother told her repeatedly that she was already saved, and it bothered her that she didn't remember it.  She wanted to get saved, but people kept telling her she already was saved.  In second grade, an evangelist came, and she prayed with her Dad to be saved.  In 7th grade, she submitted to the Lord to go into missions. 

Everything I've heard about Hoyt has been good!  He was bold, patient, calm, fervent, focused.  He took in many people, and was generous in what he gave out too.  Some of the pastors paid Paul a big compliment when they told Lois, "He just like Osborne, Mom."  She was pleased to tears that they were remembering Hoyt, and I was pleased that they were admiring my beloved. 

Through them, and the mission they started, there are now 30 churches planted, and growing!  Other churches are planned to be planted.  There's also Bible schools, and the children's home.  Camps meet in the summer (that's where we came in!  We're invited to help with the camps.) 

Isn't that amazing what can be done in 30 years, starting at 43 years old, and going at it heartily?  I'm thankful we got to be a little part of it.   I know they would appreciate your prayers as they go forward, expanding into Uganda, as well as western Kenya.

O taste and see that the Lord is good!  Blessed is the man who trusts in Him. 

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