Richard Ondicho’s Newsletter 2/2023
When we’re little in the small village in Africa, we were scared of the darkness. The dark is the time of nightmares. It is the time of strange and dreadful sounds from birds and animals. It was the time of separation and uncertainty and of aloneness. That was the time when we did not have electricity except lighting fire at the middle of the house.
Later on, we got a little older, we began to lose that fear. We were able to handle it, just as at one point in our lives we believed we could handle anything that came our way! As children we feared that in darkness outside there were animals and fearing of snakes, we were afraid, and we didn’t understand our fear. The darkness of sin, the darkness of evil, and the darkness of death surround us and threaten to engulf us. We have come to realize that this darkness isn’t just outside of us and around us, but also within us. The same sin and evil living in us and corrupting our hearts. It’s not only others – it is me.
The darkness is too much for us and so light in world today and light is provided. A light to lighten the darkness and thus it scatters the darkness. While Good Friday is a service of darkness, as we remember the darkness of our Lord’s crucifixion, there is also light. Amid the darkness, our father has provided us light. (Mt 4:16) It is the light of the cross. The cross, which look small and weak amid such great evil and the deep darkness that surrounds us. The darkness cannot overcome it. (John 1:5) The light wins.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) That light never shone so brightly as it did on the cross.
Good Friday is not the last word – Easter is. And “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4).
Time is passing very fast and so life is. In our family children are going on with studies as usual although we have had challenges of teenagers and time keeping. In our family Amos is turning 18 next month while Eliel is 17 still and Sinuhe 15. Although we moved from Malminkartano five months ago still kids have maintained their friends and so they spend much of the time there. However we have kept gathering at the table for evening prayers as usual. God in His saving grace and mercy has carried out family this far.
In this second newsletter I wish to share with you that we have had our weekly Bible studies which are conducted usually on Tuesdays, Wednesday at Luther-Church while every Thursday we have continued to have our weekly Bible studies at the Church premises where Antero has been active. The Lord God in His saving grace has continued to bless us that Sunday services has continued to be the same. Here I have understood the foundation of commitment is reading the word together and even having many home visitations per week because of those who are going through hard times after asylum rejections. I see that serving the Church is plus mind both Body, soul and mind.
Please pray for me that I am able to convince those who were not baptized to be committed to get baptized. Some catechumens have been told if they don’t commit, they cannot be baptized. It doesn’t feel good on their part not even on my side, but seriousness is a good thing and completing the baptism class is mandatory.