I will attempt to cover a large time frame with this update and I am going to try and write daily once this update is finished. I think that it will change the tone and nature of the updates so that it will be more like a blog. I hope that it will be better for those who enjoy reading the happenings here. Even weekly at times seems to be a task. We really do appreciate those who take the time to read these updates and take this journey of faith with us here on the coast. God has done amazing things and we anticipate great things in the near future. Well let me attempt again to cover a few weeks of events.
In all reality we spent several days getting finances, reports, and updates written our first week back after the retreat in Israel. I still can not believe that we went to Israel! We have not taken the time yet to process the trip and look through all our pictures and talk through the trip. Lord willing the end of this month we, as a family, will be able to process the trip a little. Anyhow, we did enjoy having Clayton and Lindsey stick around with us for a few days before we had to take them to Mombasa to return to Tanzania. We even got to celebrate Clayton’s and Lindsey’s birthdays before they headed out.
Speaking of Clayton and Lindsey, we really miss them! It was good to go to the retreat with them, but saying good bye for a few months again really stinks although we know it is necessary. We communicate with them while they are in Tanzania, but, of course, it is not the same. Pray for them as they continue with language school until December. Also pray for Lindsey’s dependent's pass from the Kenya government. Just today we were at immigrations and there is still a hold up on it.
The Lord reconnected us with a brother named Isaya who is living in Kipini. Kipini is an area that we have been praying about working in, but we have not had contact with Isaya for over a year. We even had doubts that he was still in Kipini with all the violence up in that area. Unfortunately the circumstance that brought Isaya to Malindi was not the best, Isaya’s son had a motorcycle accident. He broke his jaw and was in Malindi to get treatment. We assisted Isaya with getting the treatment his son needed. They wired his jaw up and told him to return in two months. I talked with Isaya about coming to Kipini to see him in October to see how we could preach the gospel in that area.
On the 14th Mike and I attended the Magangani church for services with Alfonse. Brother Mike and I both taught during the service, it was a good time of worship. After service we had a meeting with the church to talk about starting a work in Mjomboni. It was good to talk openly with the church and give them some advice. Pray for the church and Alfonse as they work through how to start the new work with Alfonse and for the church in Magangani to have a pastor. They have some decisions to make, but it was good to talk with them publicly and to let them know our love for them and excitement about starting the new work.
After the services with Magangani we went to lunch with Juma and his family to talk about his future. He is still looking at an area called JimbaGede. There is a family there that has already agreed to give him an area to meet in. We made plans to meet with the elders in Jimba Gede and the family that has welcomed Juma. Juma has kind of been in a holding pattern helping Magangani, but he needs to move forward and allow God to use his talents and abilities. We will actually be meeting with the folks in Jimba Gede this Sunday after church services in Jimba with Daniel. Pray for this meeting and for God’s direction with starting this new Bible study.
Brother Mike and I met with Alfonse and five other folks in Mjomboni on the 18th to talk about starting a new Bible study in Mjomboni. Alfonse has been living in Mjomboni for over a year now. We have had multiple discussions about starting a new fellowship, but this was our first time to take a step forward. I introduced who we were as missionaries and our connection to Alfonse. I also shared with those that met with us our purpose as missionaries on the coast. I gave a clear presentation of the gospel and explained why we use the name Landmark Baptist, because the Bible is our Landmark. I made a commitment that we would teach the Bible nothing more or less because it gives us the boundaries of our faith. It was a great meeting. They were very excited and are planning to start meeting on Saturdays with Alfonse.
On the 16th Kenya and I went to Mombasa for some doctors visits and an orthodontist visit. After we took Abigail to the orthodontist Kenya dropped me off in town while she went to the doctor. I met with Elli at a little restaurant to talk to him about how things were going at his church, Mnara wa Kweli, the Bible Institute classes in Miritini, a preacher who has moved to Mombasa from Western, and an area he is hoping to start a new Bible study. We had a great time talking about the ministry in the Mombasa/Miritini area.
We discussed the reality of how that it is hard for me to make it down to Miritini a lot because of the distance and Elli completely understands. I shared with him a way that I thought the preachers in Miritini could continue with studies and not be hindered by my absence. Elli was very excited about the ideas that I had and agreed that it would be a way to continue to move forward. We also talk about a brother named Okeno, who was a pastor and student in Western Kenya, but has moved to the Likoni area of Mombasa. Elli has been speaking to him and Brother Okeno is wanting to start a Bible study in the Likoni area which is off Mombasa Island on the south coast. Lord willing, next week we will have the chance to meet brother Okeno when we have Bible Institute classes in Miritini.
Elli has been talking with a group in a village called Mreroni about starting a new Bible study with them. We talked a little about the opportunity and how we could help. The village is in the midst of the Rabai which is one of the costal tribes called the Mijikenda. At one time Juma was working among the Rabai sub tribe but then he moved back to the Gede area so we were never able to establish a work. Lord willing Elli will be able to get a work started. We plan to discuss this area more once we meet for Bible Institute in Miritini next week.
It was an exciting meeting with Elli. He is a good man and I know that God is and will continue to use him in a great way in the Miritini/Mombasa area. Pray for Elli and for us as we move forward. We need wisdom and discernment to accomplish the Lord’s will.
Also on the 16th, in the evening when we returned back to Malindi I had a “face to face” Zoom meeting with Ryan Copico, our associate pastor and head of 516 missions. We discussed plans for a trip for a special group of men to go up and preach among the unreached people groups north of Malindi. We have been talking about this for a few months now. This was an opportunity to talk about some details and to start taking steps forward. Pray for the team the Lord is putting together and for the planning that is involved for this trip. We need the Lord’s wisdom as we step out in faith to areas that over the past two years have seen much violence. There are three tribal groups to pray specifically for, the Orma, Pokomo, and the Warde. This is a big trip with great potential and we need God to make his will clear and to open doors. Over the next few months I will be making several trips north to do some survey work and make contacts. It was great to talk with Ryan, I am so excited about this team and trip!
On the 20-21 we had teaching and services with the Singuaya church. On Saturday Mike, Ashley, Kenya, and I went to Singuaya for a day of teaching. I continued lessons on the Pauline Cycle with the men, Brother Mike took the teenagers and taught them, while Kenya and Ashley taught the ladies. It was a great day of teaching with lots of questions and good fellowship. One of the ladies from Gandini came for the teachings and shared that the church in Gandini was in need of assistance. She told us their pastor Jonathan had left to go to Malindi and had not returned nor given them any direction so they had no one on Sundays to teach or preach. I spoke with Mwangiri the pastor of Singuaya and asked him if he could send a couple of the young men to Gandini to help them. He agreed to prepare and send them on Sunday, but he requested that I come to church there on Sunday to talk the church about Gandini and about an area called Bate where they want to start a new Bible study.
Mike and I returned on Sunday 21 for services with the Singwaya church. Brother Mike preached the morning message and we had a great time of worship. After the worship service I led a meeting with the church to discuss helping Gandini and starting a new Bible study in Bate. The meeting was great and the church seemed to have unity in helping Gandini and starting the new Bible study. We left them with some Bible studies for the new fellowship and shared some advice.
Before we ended our meeting the young men that had gone to Gandini returned and gave us a report about how the day had gone. It was sad to hear of the condition of the church but encouraging to hear how the young men were received. The Gandini church requested that I come to visit them to discuss calling another pastor and they requested the Singuaya church to continue to help them with teachers and prayers. The Singwaya church is growing and maturing as a result of them saying yes to the Lord in missions and assisting Gandini. Pray for the young men, Simon, Chai, and Safari that are going to Gandini and for William, Furaha, and Pastor Mwangiri as they lead out in the new fellowship.
This week on the 22 Ashley’s pastor Brother Monroe Mercer from Green Acres BC, Louisiana arrived to spend two weeks with us. We are glad that Brother Mercer made it in safely although his luggage arrived today 25th only two days behind him. We have already had Brother Mercer preach for us, put him through some Swahili, and took him to Hell’s Kitchen and back in the three days he has been with us. We are preparing now to run to the church for evening Bible study here in Malindi. Pray for brother Mercer’s trip as we have a lot going while he with us and we are praying the Lord will use him in a great way.
There really is a lot going on right now in the work and we need wisdom and discernment. I sincerely would ask that you pray for our family and those that are joining this work that God will use us for his honor and Glory to preach the gospel and to empower indigenous leadership. There is potential over the next six months to see multiple Bible studies started in several areas. These Bible studies are the seeds for establishing churches. It also represents the work here going into a second generation of churches. All of the current churches and pastors still need our prayers and have much maturing to do but we are convinced this is part of the maturing process for them to take steps to reproduce. Pray for all the churches that they will realize their potential as seed houses of the gospel and will stretch their faith to plant those seeds everywhere the Lord opens the door.