Thank you

Grateful thanks are given for the incredibly generous response and kind giving of many friends for the orphaned family, and there is now enough to keep them going for at least a year. They are in the process of moving to the area, and we will try to get some pictures up in the coming weeks.

''He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.''

Orphaned family

Hello all,

We do not normally ask for help, as our help comes from the Lord which made heaven and earth. However, a unique case has been brought into our pathway that we cannot ignore. Last week Joseph Mapema, who we work with here, told me he had to go to the funeral of his sister in-law. The lady passed away after a short illness, leaving her 8 children as orphans. (Her husband died a few years ago). One of them is an 18 year old single mother of two, so that is 10 who need care in total. These children have been given to their Uncle Joseph and his wife, Agnes to bring up. They have 6 children of their own, so it’s a huge burden on them. The children that are coming to him have been brought up under the traditions of their tribe and have never been to school. Joseph lives in a mud house, separated inside into 4 rooms. We are in the process of building them an extra two rooms on the side for the new children, this will probably cost about £1000 altogether, including steel roof sheets. The work has begun as we are collecting the family very soon. However, they will need help with the following costs if we can raise the funds to help/sponsor them;

£15 per week for a home help
£20 per week for food
£60 each child per year for school
£20 per full school uniform

We have plenty of clothing to give them for now. If any feel able to help in any way at all it would be much appreciated. Please pray for these children, they will be traumatised having lost both parents and moving to a new home, but we hope they’ll be comfortable and happy there. Please email me directly if you are able help and we will see the best way forward. Alternatively, if you wish to make a donation specifically to the family, please record this in the comments box on the donation page,

 Many thanks, James & Elsie

News letter October 2017

Dear all,

We are thankful to the Lord for His mercy to us once more. We have now returned to Kenya from the UK and are back in the Mission house in the area of Kiranze.
On 22nd June, the money having been provided for flight tickets, we set off for our first trip home in nearly three years. We left the house the day before the flight as it is a 3 hour drive to the airport, and we have to cross the Likoni ferry onto Mombasa island. Sometimes the crossing can be very lengthy as the ferry operators decide to go on a ‘go slow’ to protest about pay or something causing massive delays. We stayed at a hotel for one night to make sure we could get to the airport on time. We enjoyed a hot shower too! It was good to be able to remove all the filth of rural life! However, we woke in the morning to find that the apartment had been broken into, the laptop had been stolen, but worse than that; the rucksack containing all our documents (passports, flight tickets, marriage and birth certificates and work permit, which had just taken 6 months to get!) Out of all the bags that they could have taken they took the one we most needed to get home. I (James) went to the reception to report the theft, they called the police who came very swiftly. I gave them the details of all that was lost and told them that God has the hearts of all men in His hands. I went back to the family, we prayed together, believing that God who has brought us this far was able to complete our journey. I rang the British embassy to inform them of the missing passports and the lady there told me there was no way we would be flying that day, it would probably take a week to sort emergency passports costing over £800 for us all, and I would have to travel to Nairobi to sort it all out! When I came off the phone the hotel security guard came to the apartment and asked for me to follow him, he took me to the front of the hotel, to a set of steps going down to the beach and asking me to look over the edge, pointed to a neat pile of folders placed next to the bottom step and asked me, “are these yours?” Looking through them I told him they were and that every document was there! Filled with thankfulness I took them back to the apartment where there was great rejoicing as we told the children the Lord had answered prayer and made the thief give the passports back! In fact the whole hotel was in wonder at the great God of heaven who can make a thief bring back something they had stolen. We had to wait for the police to come back and see the things that had been returned. When they came, they stood outside of the apartment and said, “we have never met a white man who believes in God” (these police officers were tourist police dealing with white people all the time, how sad that the nations who took the gospel to these people now reject the God they once served). The three policemen were Christians from different denominations, but we all worship the same God through Christ Jesus, to whom we prayed and parted ways. We flew back that night and arrived in the UK on 24th June. 

There were many happy reunions! It was lovely to be back with family and friends and at our home church Hastings, joining them for worship again. 
About 2 weeks after arriving, Jesse and Daisy became unwell with a high temperature but as others in the extended family were unwell we thought it was the same bug as them, then they seemed to get much better, but overnight they became very poorly so we took them to the GP who said they had some unusual symptoms and because we had come from a high risk malaria zone they should go to the Brighton children's hospital straight away for blood tests. They were weak and could barely walk by the time they arrived with Elsie. Blood results came back showing they both had falciparum malaria (which is the worst type and can kill in a few days if left untreated). They were taken to the high dependency unit and stayed in for 4 days. They responded well to the treatment and were discharged with medication. A few days later, however, Jesse had a high temperature again so we were advised to take him back to Brighton. He was readmitted with very low hemoglobin and an enlarged spleen. Daisy was also readmitted a few days after Jesse with the same symptoms, this time they did not respond so well to the treatment and even seemed to deteriorate. It seems the first course of medication hadn’t been enough. Jesse especially was very weak, not eating and kept being sick. Daisy had to have another blood transfusion. The doctors were puzzled.

 My brother Tom arranged for a prayer meeting to be held at my parents’ house in Eastbourne on Tuesday 18th July. About 25 to 30 came and as many who were able prayed. It was the most wonderful prayer meeting I have ever been to, I and others felt a real outpouring of our hearts to God and a unity one with another. The night of the prayer meeting Elsie had come home from the hospital very upset, she was wondering if Jesse would survive much longer because he looked so ill. In the morning she went to the hospital to swap with her mum and the sight that greeted her was two completely different children, ‘full of beans’! The Lord had answered prayer again and healed them. They were soon discharged and the following week we held a thanksgiving service at my parents’ house in Eastbourne. One text that has stayed in my mind from the prayer meeting is Acts 10:31 ‘Cornelius, thy prayer is heard..’

We then spent a busy but enjoyable two months moving around the country preaching, doing mission presentations, visiting, then a week in Scotland to relax before coming back. The children have enjoyed being taken to different places, making new friends and meeting the cousins again and some for the first time! We are so thankful to all who helped and supported us in so many different ways, from providing vehicles for us to use, to giving us a place to stay. Many also gave money to use for living expenses and even bought food shopping and made us cakes and meals. We are so grateful. We have, however, returned to kenya slightly larger than when we left, and the Kenyan bluntness has made sure we know about it too! (“Wow you have got fat” is normally the comment when we meet one of our friends!) It is supposedly a compliment here as it’s a sign of wealth, (not the image we really want to portray!) Hence the Kenyan diet begins once more!

Thank you to all those who put so much effort into arranging, organising and taking part in the Mayfield sale and mission presentation, also the presentations in Nuneaton, Luton and Lochcarron. We really appreciate all your kindness and generosity. We have been greatly encouraged in the mission work.

We would also like to thank the children and teachers of Framfield and Blackboys C of E schools for asking me to do a talk about the work in Kenya. Thank you so much for all the hard work you put in, selling things in your schools and also giving your pocket money for the work here. It was so nice to meet you all and to see your interest in the photos, especially the bugs!!! 

We returned to Kenya on Monday 18th September. The flight was not without its problems, starting off when we arrived at the airport to find it cancelled and then it turned into a 3 hour delay. We tried to keep in our minds the promises that God has for His people, that all things will work for their good. The airline gave us a free food voucher for dinner, also 2 extra seats for the children to spread out on the plane and 3 seats with extra legroom. Our connecting flight also amazingly waited for us and we got a bus from one plane straight onto the other, arriving safely and on time to a rainy Mombasa (meaning it was nice and cool)!

We have now settled back into life here. As you can imagine it was quite a shock to the system being back in rural Kenya!. The house was in good order, howbeit very dusty and full of bugs (clothing/cups/books/everything full of it!) and it seems as we moved back to the UK, the spiders moved in! Thankfully we had some extra help on arriving back. James and Samantha Jempson came to stay and were a great help in settling us back in and sorting everything out. Their children, Joshua(11), Rosie (10) and George (8) got on very well with ours, enjoying homeschooling together and playing outdoors, though they weren’t too thrilled with the giant bugs and frogs! Elsie is very pleased to have a new washing machine, kindly donated, which uses much less water than hand washing (just one bucket per load!) and does a 40 degree, 35minute cycle, powered by the generator. It’s freed her up to spend more time homeschooling and to hopefully learn Swahili better to communicate more freely with the locals.

We have finished building a driveway to allow vehicles to pass without getting stuck in the rainy season. God willing we will now begin the other part of the mission house, then put up a perimeter fence to mark out and add security to the plot.
We have also begun holding Sunday services here, with about 20 to 25 attending each week. Some of the male workers have been coming to the service which is a real blessing as they have not attended a Church before. Their motive may be to get more work, but we know God’s Word is powerful and able to change the hardest heart. Pastor Mapema takes the morning Bible study and I take the preaching service afterwards. We hope to swap at the end of each month.

We give thanks unto the Lord for His mercy and kindness in bringing us safely back and helping us to continue His work here. Thank you all once again for your support. Please remember us in your prayers as in the coming days the elections are due and there has already been a lot of trouble in the cities of Nairobi and Mombasa.

Christian love,

James & Elsie Gudgeon 

Ps. We apologise for delays in replying to emails etc, things have been very hectic since arriving back and we had some internet issues to begin with.

James & Elsie's Itinerary for UK visit 2017, God willing

June 24th- Arrive. Stay with Elsie's parents in Scaynes Hill.

June 25th- James preaching @ Eastbourne chapel eve.

June 28th - James preaching @ Hastings chapel eve.

July 6th- Framfield & Blackboys school visits & Mombasa Mission talks.

July 8th- Mombasa Mission talk @ Harlington village hall, Luton,

July 9th- James preaching @ Colnbrook chapel.

July 10th- Stay with James' parents in Eastbourne.

July 21st-To stay with family in Salisbury.

July 24th- To stay with Elsie's parents.

July 28th- To stay with James' parents.

July 30th- James preaching Uckfield chapel eve.

August 1st- Elsie's 'Kenyan life' presentation for children @ the Gudgeon's.

August 5th- Mombasa Mission talk & sale @ Mayfield village hall, Sussex.

August 6th- James preaching @ Heathfield chapel.

August 10th- To stay with family in Nuneaton.

August 12th- Mombasa Mission talk, Nuneaton.

August 13th- James preaching @ Attleborough chapel.

August 14th- James preaching @ Leicester chapel, eve.

August 16th- To stay with James' parents.

August 19th- James preaching @ Hastings chapel 200th Anniversary.

August 20th- James preaching @ Hastings chapel.

August 23rd- James preaching @ Hastings chapel, eve.

August 24th- James preaching @ a family wedding.

August 27th- James preaching @ Uckfield chapel, eve.

August 28th- To stay with family in Nuneaton.

August 31st- To stay with family in Cumbria.

September 1st- To Lochcarron, Scotland for 2 week holiday & Mombasa Mission


September 15th- To stay with Elsie's parents.

September 18th- Leave for Kenya.

Most recent newsletter

Dear Friends.

It is a privilege to write to you all again and to share with you some of the Lord's dealings with us here in Kenya. The year is moving on fast, life seems very busy and very hot. The temperature is often in the mid 30’s, and because of the humidity it feels like over 40 degrees. Even at night the temperature does not go below 28 in the house! It is very draining, especially doing any manual work and preaching; even walking anywhere brings out a sweat. Thankfully as I write this the rains have come, making it more bearable, or ‘cold’ according to the children!! We have had some visitors from the UK since January; Sam Kingham and James Jempson then my (James’) parents, then Lois Gudgeon and David Cottington, our last, left on March 29th. On March 28th David took an opening service at the mission house, dedicating the place to the Lord, thanking Him for His provision, care and protection. About 40 local people came to the service. It was a blessed time of rejoicing and thanksgiving. On Friday 31st March we moved from our flat in Ukunda to the Mission house. Although unfinished, we both felt the Lord had called us to that area and to delay moving was wasting money on rent and traveling costs. We felt we should move as soon as the house was in a liveable condition. However, getting the house in a liveable condition has been harder than we had expected, but not without its blessings. We have been through a time of great teaching and have proved the Lord's faithfulness once more. We have come to see that we must often be emptied before being filled again, like Jacob when he said ‘all these things are against me;’ he was first brought to nothing, before the Lord brought him to Egypt to see Joseph in all his splender. The Lord's hand is always working for the good of His people and often we seem to find, the bigger the blessing, the greater the trial before and after it. On 5th January I wrote to my brother Tom asking if there was enough money in the account for the roof sheets for the house. I needed £3000, there was £2700. I replied, saying I would write to the church and request £3000 and that we would pray that the Lord would provide before the church meeting was held. That evening we held a family prayer meeting, we all took turns in asking the Lord for the provision of money for the sheets. After praying my brother contacted me, saying, “Your prayers have been answered”. £1460 was given to him for the mission and an extra £250 was given for our own use that same day. ‘And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.’ Isaiah 65:24. What a privilege it is to fall into the hands of the living God and to be able to live by faith, to see His hand guiding and providing for us and the people here. This has happened three times this year already. On 14th February, due to an extra expense we ran out of money in our own account. Again, we held a family prayer meeting. After praying I got a message from my mum (who, with my dad, was traveling that night to visit us), saying she had received a message from my bank that I was overdrawn by £2! (we didn’t know she received texts from the bank!) She wanted to pay some in for us, so again the Lord had appeared. My Mum and Dad, unknown to us, had with them gifts of money from various people and they arrived the next day. All this has been done so we may testify of the Lord's goodness and faithfulness, that even today in this modern world of self sufficient, independent people, God is the same and His love to His people in unchanable. The house is now almost finished and we hope it will stand as a testimony to us all that ‘God is able’. What has made things seem harder to us is that the muslims are now building another mosque in the main village of Mwangulu, a few miles from us, with a school attached. This is the 3rd mosque they have built in two years, but we are thankful for the words of Jesus to Peter, Matt 16:18 ..’I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’. My class in the pentecostal church is still going well. Every time I teach there I feel really helped by the Lord, especially in answering their questions, many of them relating to the wealth and health teachings of the pentecostal church, also trying to mix the ceremonial law with the New testament. There is also a new class this year at the mission with 13 men and 2 women. Already I am seeing the same problems of trying to mix the law and the gospel. One question last week went like this. “Our pastors say when we bring a baby to church the first time we have to bring an offering of two chicken or two goats or two cows, is this right”? There is such confusion relating to the work of Christ, His one sacrifice for sin, the cleansing of His Church, even down to the eating of pork. They say that women should not go to church during their monthly cycle and after the birth of a baby are then unclean for 40 days! One or two people said to me before I came here, “the Gospel has been preached around the world, we do not need to go any more and preach elsewhere, it has been done”. I think that attitude has caused the problems we see here in Kenya, those of the reformed churches have (generally) closed their eyes to the rest of the world, which has left the door open for many false teachers to go out into the world and preach the false gospel. Now, with the Lord’s help, we must set it in order. These rural Kenyan people have a love to the Lord. They want to learn. They give up one day a week (9am until 2pm) so that I can teach them. One was heard to say after the class, “we are really learning now”. Please pray for these dear people that the true gospel may be sown in their hearts; that they may know the truth, and the truth may set them free. Titus 1:5 ‘’For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee’’ All the children are keeping well, but because of the heat they have been getting small boils, this happened last year at this time, we think it is because of the dust and sweat when they play out in the garden. They are really enjoying their new home, getting filthy daily, making new friends, going on 'exploring' walks, and they hope to begin Sunday School next week. Home-school is back on now after a break before moving. We hope to teach them a few more ‘hands-on’, practical lessons here. Jesse would like to try some woodwork, Daisy, Alf and John want to plant the seeds Grandad gave them so they can have a vegetable garden. So we hope they will really benefit from living on ground level with a bit more space and freedom. Jesse and Isaac are much happier now they haven't all the stairs to climb, and Jesse has been getting around the plot on his quad bike (kindly sent over by friends in the UK). It has really helped because the uneven ground isn’t very easy for him and he falls easily. He gives the local children rides too and helps me (James) by collecting tools I need from the store room. Moving to a rural area has been a big change for Elsie and I, with many challenges. We don’t have electricity yet so there are no fans. The house has been built so that there will be a good throughdraught, and the sun will go over the house, not shining in the windows. That has helped make it a bit cooler. There is also no fridge/freezer, so Elsie is having to plan meals with local food, stocking up at the supermarket once every 2 weeks with things like boxes of long-life milk/tinned and dry food/toilet roll etc that you can’t buy here. We are not having meat because the local butchers are not very hygienic and meat is not fresh everyday. We eat more meals with beans/pulses/vegetables. Breakfast is not cereal because there’s no cold milk! We make mandazi, a bit like a doughnut without the sugar and jam, or have bread and milky kenyan tea. There are markets nearby which sell good fresh fruit (mangoes/bananas/oranges etc) and vegetables (spinach/ cabbage/ carrots/onions/ garlic etc), beans, rice, maize flour, tea. We are having to find different ways to do things! Elsie irons some of the essentials, shirts etc by heating the iron on the small gas ring as she goes. She is learning how to make a cake using the charcoal stove. Another challenge here is dust, and there is a lot of it! Keeping children, home and everything in it clean is very trying. When it rains the dust turns into mud! So, there is a washing plan. 3 sets of dark clothes for each child, 1 set worn for 2/3 days, every 3rd day she washes the clothes, to save water and time. (The smarter clothes are kept separate for Church and trips to town.) The children still have a bath in a tub every night and clean pyjamas! We are trying to save water, so any shower/bath and washing water is used to flush toilets too. So, there is lots to get used to, but we have really felt the Lord’s helping hand in it all and we are slowly settling in. The house has an open plan kitchen/dining room/big multi-purpose room which will hopefully be used for a Sunday school, Bible Classes, conferences and any other function, as the need arises. It will hopefully be a very useful room. Also, there are 4 other rooms in an L shape, the children’s bedroom on the end, then a home-school room, 2nd bedroom, guest room and bathroom. There is still lots of painting to be done and some of the floors etc to finish, but we hope to do that in the evenings when little hands are not there to ‘help’! Just before we moved to the house Florence (our youngest) had an abscess drained on her head. All went well and it healed nicely, however, two days after we moved she became very sleepy and had a very high temperature. Afraid it was malaria, Elsie took her to the nearest good hospital back in Ukunda (over an hour's drive away). After some tests it was found to be septicaemia. She was given iv antibiotics and kept in overnight, but thankfully perked up and was discharged the following day. We thank the Lord she is making a good recovery and as I write to you she is outside playing with the others. We are also very happy to announce the Lord has made a way for us to come back to England for a visit. March 30th was a very special day for us. I arrived back from staying at the land in the morning and, checking my emails, I found one from the Kenyan immigration to say they had approved me another 3 year work permit (I applied for 2 years!). Then Elsie had a phone call from the British embassy, Nairobi, to say they had Florence's passport (7 months in coming!) and that they would be able to send it to our town, having before said they could not send it and we would have to drive to Nairobi to pick it up (15 hours away). After receiving the news of the passport arriving we checked our account, only to find that the Lord had provided the flight money for the trip home. The money had been given anonymously and was more than enough to cover the flights. We, as a family, had been praying for these 3 things for many months and in one day the Lord saw fit to open the windows of heaven for us and to let down these great blessings. God willing, we hope to come back on 24th June, returning 18th September. It’s a bit sooner than we had planned to come, but flights were a lot cheaper in the month of June. It covers the time of the Kenyan elections in August, which can bring unrest. As well as reunions with family and friends which we are really looking forward to, some arrangements have been made for preaching and Mission meetings/presentations about the work here. I will send out an itinerary of our stay, nearer the time God willing. 2 kings 7 v 9 Then they said one to another, We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace: if we tarry till the morning light, some mischief will come upon us: now therefore come, that we may go and tell the King's household.

We are also pleased to say that the ‘Mombasa Mission’ has been set up as a registered UK charity. To visit the website please follow this link. Thank you very much for your continued prayerful support and interest,

James & Elsie Gudgeon

Move in

We are thankful that finally James and Elsie have been able to move to the land. They are currently without electricity and there has been little rain so they require your prayers. The work is continuing with them now able to be there. Pictures of the house are located on the gallery page.

Roof complete!

We are delighted to announce that the roof for the main house has now been completed, and we thank God for providing the means to finally get the house complete. It is hoped that James, Elsie and family will be able to move permanently to the land shortly.