Thursday, 21 May 2015

New Church Plant Midiani and Buggy

April 19- April 28

     There was a lot of activity over the past few weeks. We really have not had a lot of down time and it does not look like we will get any very soon. We are preparing for the survey trip to the North. Our pastor, Brother Chad, Ryan Copico, Aaron Johnson, and Daren Clements are joining Clayton, John and me to take a trip to the north for our first survey of the area. I will report on that later but for now let me hit the highlights of the past few weeks.

     Clayton, Lynn, and I attended services in Singwaya a few weeks back and had a great time. Brother Lynn preached and it was very good. We stayed after services and fellowshiped with Mwangiri, Furaha, and a couple other men. They took us to a little cafe for some beans and chapati. The church paid for our meal to bless us for coming. I love seeing the church do things like that, it shows their heart and really is a huge blessing to us.
     We had a Zoom meeting on April 22 with all the guys going on the trip North. Clayton and I shared what we found out on our trip to Hola and we discussed a tentative itinerary. It was good to have another meeting before the trip and to pray together. I love Zoom! We were meeting from all over the world. Tanzania, Kenya, Texas, Arkansas, and Pennsylvania. Technology is awesome when it works.

     Clayton and I purchased the Buggy we have been mentioning the past few months. All the paper work was in order and we moved on the buggy. It was a big decision to purchase it, but we believe it will help us as we go in and out of the villages. We especially want to use the buggy to go to Singwaya to try and save some wear and tear on our Land Rovers.

     We had a pretty tough weekend 25-27 on the mission compound with no power all weekend. We woke up Saturday morning with live power wires on the ground! It would not be fixed until Monday and even then it still went out on Clayton, Lindsey, Lynn, and Brenda's side of the compound. Thank the Lord we have a generator so we could have lights, fans and refrigerators. The negative side is that the generator was super loud back by Lynn and Brenda's place. We kept calling the power company but it was a weekend and they were in no hurry for two houses without power. The beginning of the rain season is always the worst for power and I am sure for the power company. Once the power was restored Clayton's breaker box nearly burned up...we had to do some rewiring but we got it fixed up pretty quick.
      Brother Lynn and I tried to have Bible Institute classes on Saturday but we were forced to quit after getting only one session on video. There was a big meeting across the street complete with loud speakers and music that was interfering with our videoing of the classes. We thought about moving to another location but in the end we decided to just push until the next week and try again. I was not too broken hearted since we had plans to go to Midiani in the evening.
   Even our plans to go to Midiani for the evening were thwarted by heavy rains in Mombasa.  We had planned to show the Jesus film but there was no way that was going to happen with the weather so we canceled the cinema and prayed that Sunday would be better for the baptisms and church organization service. Clayton, Lynn, and I went to Midiani for the baptisms and organization of a new church. We had originally planned to all go but with the rains and the our Land Rover still being out of commission we feared taking the van into Midiani.
     We headed out early Sunday morning for Miritini to pick up Pastor Eli, his wife and Pastor Fred. Everything was going well until about 5 minutes from Eli’s house Clayton’s Land Rover refused to go into gear. We were forced to push the Land Rover to the side of the road and begin to diagnose the problem. We first thought that it was the clutch fluid because it was low and the clutch was moving so freely. We finally got some clutch fluid and filled up the reservoir but still no shifting. I was pushing on the clutch and Clayton and Lynn saw the real problem… The entire Transmission was coming unbolted from the Engine! That is a big problem!  
     Clayton got some tools out and managed to get the remaining bolt (singular BOLT) tightened enough so we could drive to a gas station and have some pavement to work on rather than sitting in the mud pit we pulled off in. We got to a gas station a few minutes away and decided that we might could still get the Landy running if we could get some bolts to reattach the Transmission to the engine. We found some mechanics and I jumped on a matatu with one of them and we went up the road to a dude on the side  of the road that had nuts and bolts to try and find some replacement bolts. In the meanwhile I had called Eli and told him to come to where we were broke down by motorcycle and we would decide what to do once he arrived. This was way too important of a day to allow a break down to hinder the Lord’s work so we began to come up with a plan B and C.

     When the mechanic and I got to the nuts and bolts guy I showed him a sample bolt and he brought out two 50KG sacks filled with nuts and bolts and we both began the search. We managed to find seven bolts and I headed back to Clayton and Lynn with the Land Rover. By the time I got back Eli, his wife, and Fred were there waiting. I gave Clayton the bolts and he proceeded to tighten everything down and reattach the transmission. I talked with Eli and Fred about the service and we continued to make plans while Clayton worked under the vehicle. After a short delay we were up and going again and headed interior to Midiani with all systems go.

     Tough start to the morning but it was well worth it after the day we had with the folks in Midiani. When we arrived we greeted everyone and immediately headed down to where the water was for baptisms. It was a good mile or two walk to the water and everyone slowly made the trip. Clayton drove the Land Rover part way to get Pastor Eli a little closer to help with the walk since it was so muddy and difficult with Eli’s crutches.  The finial leg of the trip to the water we had to go down a steep hill. Clayton and I caught up to Eli and he was struggling down the steep embankment so we carried him the rest of the way down the hill.

     Once we all got to the waters edge we all prepared to get into the water for the baptisms. Eli had previously asked me to baptize for him because he said he would not be able to get into the water and stand because of his disability. I told him I thought he should do the baptisms since he had been the missionary and had done all the work with the group and that Clayton and I would help be his legs if he would allow us. He agreed to let Clayton and I help him and he was super excited to do the baptisms. I think for his entire ministry his disability had hindered him from baptizing folks so it was a big day for him on multiple levels. Clayton and I carried Eli out into the water and held him up while he baptized 24 people. This single event is and will be on one of the highlights of my entire ministry! Fred led the folks on the shore with scripture readings, singing and calling out names for those to enter the water.

     After the baptisms we had an organization service for the church. The group of believers covenanted together, named their church, called Eli as their missionary pastor, and then selected a treasurer and secretary. It was a beautiful thing to watch this young fellowship bonding together. After the service at the waters edge we went back to where the fellowship has been meeting and had the first worship service for Grace LBC Midiani. After a time of worship brother Lynn preached the first sermon in the church and challenged the new church to move forward with Jesus. It was a great day that ended with an awesome fellowship lunch. Clayton, Lynn, and I left Miritini filled to the brim with joy for Eli and the new church.

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