Another week gone by… It was a big week with some big changes. Still trying to process and pray about it all as I prepare to write this update. Let’s visit for a few minutes and go over the week.
Last week I finished out Tuesday working on Finances, some Bible Institute planning, and reading some material on well digging. We are still pursuing the possibility of putting in a bore hole in Singuaya. Mark sent me some information on some manual drilling techniques that could reduce the cost and give us equipment for future projects. The material was good but I still am hesitant because of the cost and time factors. We really do not want to abandon this project but up to this point it has proven to be a lot more work than I can really devote to it not to mention the elevated costs. The Sunday School class at our church who gave to this project have been and are being really patient with me on this but I feel a sense of letting them down as we have been looking at this for almost two years now… I decided Tuesday that on Wednesday I would make a trip to World Vision to talk with them about the possibility of tapping into their existing water pipe or ask their advice on other solutions. I could not find the contact information I had on them so I was going to have to just show up and make an appointment or Lord willing find the right people in the office.
I spoke to Brother Chad, our Pastor on the phone for a few minutes in the afternoon. We had not talked for a little while so I wanted to visit a little with him. He and his family are talking about coming to see us during spring break and we talked a little about that. It was good to talk with him but I had to cut it short to meet with Gertrude for a few minutes before she left from the Ladies Bible study that Kenya has here at the house on Tuesdays. I wanted to talk to Gertrude a little about the situation at First Landmark in Malindi. She has been disconnected a little and I wanted to see where she was and what her plans for the future are. It was a good, encouraging conversation.
In the evening I spoke to Clayton for a while about getting ready for deputation and just a little of everything. He is excited and nervous about taking this step of faith into full time deputation. I am so excited for him and enjoy talking with him about it all. I also spoke to Brother Scott for a little while. It was good to catch up with him after the holidays and to see how he and Missy are doing. We had a few small things to talk about ministry wise but otherwise it was just good to talk with him.
On Wednesday I headed out early and went to the World Vision office in Marafa near Singuaya and Gandini. I was able to talk with two of the water engineers that are working in the Marafa area and who were in charge of the water pipe line and digging other bore holes in the area. They were a great help and were excited about the possibility of partnering with us on the Gandini project. I told them I would send our water surveys to them so they could assess the situation and advise us accordingly. I left the meeting confident that they could help us. Connecting with World Vision in Marafa may open up opportunities to do future projects if this one goes well. World Vision has the contacts and knowledge for how to do these types of projects not to mention the equipment.
I got home in time to have lunch then went back to the office to prepare for Bible Institute classes in the evening. I had the studies ready but wanted to make some copies of notes and get the table and chairs in the vehicle. I headed out for classes at around 4:00. I picked up Juma, Emanuel, and Andrew along the way to Magangani. We had class from 5-7 with seven students present. I am very hopeful that having the classes once a week will be beneficial to the students and will give me access to them regularly to mentor and disciple. This is a big change but I think a positive one. I got home around 8.
Our power was out all night Wednesday so Thursday morning we woke up not too rested but thankfully the water was on. Alphonse called me first thing in the morning to share that his cousin had passed away in the night.
He was in a hospital in Malindi so the family was coming to get the body to take it to Lengo Mbaya where Alfonse is from. He asked me if I could help them carry the body to Lengo Mbaya to which I agreed. I told him to let me know when they had everything in order and I would come.
I had a day of studying ahead of me for Bible Institute classes for the advanced Nyati class. Their studies are all new so there is a lot of work to do to get notes ready and translated. Alfonse called again later in the morning to let me know the family had decided to rent a truck to carry the body because it would allow more to ride with the body than my Land Rover. It was a bit of a relief for me because I had so much studying to do.
I told Alphonse that I would help his family with renting the vehicle. He asked me if I could come to pray for the family before they left to take the body home. I told I would just to call me and I would come immediately.
I returned to my studies until Alfonse called and I went and prayed with the family before they headed out. Standing in the hot sun with a casket in the back of a pickup and twenty people piled in all around it was a different picture than a funeral in the states. I prayed for the family as they traveled and for the funeral that would take place the next day. When I got back to the office I went straight back to study until time for Bible Study in Malindi.
We attended the regular weekly Bible study in Malindi and Godfrey asked me to teach the lesson. I taught on being accepted in Christ. I enjoyed the opportunity but there were very few people in attendance just another reminder of the big meeting on Sunday to select a new pastor.
Friday morning was spent again studying and preparing for Bible Institute classes for the advanced Nyati class. I spoke to Daniel, Godfrey, Ricklynn, and Alfonse during the week about changing their schedule for classes to every Friday from 2:30-5:00 and everyone agreed to give it a shot. The same reasoning being applied as for the new basic class, I will be able to see them weekly and can mentor and disciple theme better.
At 1:30 I headed out for class. I picked up Godfrey and Ricklynn at First Landmark then picked up Daniel in Timboni and we had class at Magangani. Alfonse did not make it back from the funeral but I went ahead and introduced the class and we went over a synopsis of what we would be studying the next few months. It was a great class and I am excited about how it is going to work out. I ran a little late just dreaming out loud with the men. I returned to the house in time for some tacos and family night!
Saturday I took the morning off with the extra evening hours during the week I thought it would be ok. We got a little rest and the kids cooked breakfast and made the coffee. They did a great job and were super excited to do it.
I went into the office and worked on this update a little and spent some much needed time in prayer for the Malindi church, the Bible Institute, and the situation in Jimba with Daniel and the church. I spoke to Daniel on Friday and told him I would come down on Saturday to meet with him about the situation and his future plans. I did not leave to go see Daniel until after 3:00. We met at the church and visited for a few hours. We talked about the churches decline, Emanuel, Juma, Daniel’s family. A big issue was the fact that Daniel’s wife has been attending a Pentecostal Bible School. We were interrupted when Emanuel showed up and started talking with us. It was ok because I really got to know a lot about Emanuel during the conversation.
Daniel and I were not quite finished but we had talked enough for him to know and for me to know the problem at the church in Jimba. It started to get dark and I told the men I needed to head home.
I dropped off Daniel and we agreed to meet again the next week to talk more and discuss what we needed to do. I passed by and greeted Juma on my way home. We talked a little about the situation in Jimba and Malindi and I asked him to pray for both situations. I also asked him to attend Jimba to encourage Emanuel and to try and help the church. I got home around 8 again.
Sunday was a big day. We attended services in Malindi to help in the meeting that was to follow services. Godfrey did not show up for services until after Sunday School and well into the worship services. This has happened the past few weeks and is another contributor to the decline in Malindi. Godfrey brought a short message after the worship service then we went straight into the business meeting. Godfrey asked me to come up to lead the meeting after he opened in prayer. Godfrey once again shared with the congregation that he wanted them to call another pastor because he did not feel he was able to lead the church where they needed to go.
The church ultimately called me to serve as their pastor again until another could be raised up. The church is not in good shape financially or numerically. I asked the church to take this week to pray and next week we would discuss some thoughts about the future. I tried to call on Ricklynn to be my assistant but he said he would have to pray about it. There is a lot wrong with the situation in Malindi and I was really discouraged by Ricklynn’s response in the meeting. I spoke to Ricklynn after services about what happened.
So I am the Pastor again in Malindi… this certainly affects everything but I have been praying about it for few weeks now and have sought council. I think that if Malindi church falls it will send a ripple into all the churches that is not good, not to mention there is a still a good core group in the Malindi church. It is a city church with multiple tribes represented with various levels of education and they need strong leadership. I believe this is what God would have me do even though in some ways I feel in my heart it is a step backwards. Also in some ways I do no want to pastor but I am certain that it is the Lord’s will and important to the future of the work.
Sunday evening we had a good service as a family. After our evening services I was on the phone with Daniel and Juma for a couple hours.
Apparently Daniel announced in services that the church would be attending a meeting at the school his wife has been attending and that they would be taking up money for his wife’s graduation from the school. We had just discussed the day before that the school she was attending is a Pentecostal school and believes very different from what the Bible teaches. Juma called to share what happened in the service and was asking me what to do. He knew that what Daniel announced and was planning was not good and was taking the church away from the truth. He said he would not return if that is what Daniel was doing and Emanuel was caught in the middle of it all not knowing what to do. I called Daniel to talk to him about it. I was in a bit of shock considering we had just talked about it and there was no confusion.
Daniel and I talked at length on the phone but agreed we needed to speak face to face so I planned a meeting the next morning with him. Even though it was Monday and my normal day off with my family I planned the meeting somewhat reluctant but we needed to have the meeting. I told him I would come early so I could have the rest of the day with Kenya and the kids.
Yesterday I met with Daniel at 8:30 until about 11. It was a hard conversation but really brought a lot out and ended very well. Daniel admitted he had made a mistake and that this Sunday he would announce that they would not attend the meeting because the school was a school that did not teach the truth according to the scriptures and our faith. He also said that he would be stepping down as pastor and allow Emanuel or Juma or both to take over leadership at Jimba while he worked on his family. I assured Daniel of my love for him and desire to see him succeed. He is in a very hard situation. He loves the Lord and I am confident that the Lord will use him but in what capacity that is yet to be seen. We plan to meet next week on Wednesday with Emanuel and Juma to discuss the transition of leadership and the future. The Jimba church at this point is just a handful of folks as a result of Daniel’s leadership and other spiritual issues. Pray for Daniel he is not a bad man at all just in a bad situation and I am not sure what the outcome will be. I know this that he is solid in his faith and will help the churches any way he can.
I managed to get home in time for brunch with Kenya and the kids.
After we ate we headed down for an afternoon at the beach. It was a lot of fun together. We spent the evening watching some movies and discussing end time events. We started watching the movie Left Behind and it lead to some good conversation about the Bible. I made it clear to all the kids that the movie is just that, a movie and an interpretation of scripture from one vantage point. It lead to some great discussion about the rapture, judgment, and the antichrist. I love how real the Bible is to our kids and discussing it with them as they are getting older is a lot of fun, yet challenging at the same time.
Well today is my office day. I have spent most of it on this update so far. I also squeezed in a chapter of a book I am reading after prayer and Bible time earlier. Please pray for us with all the new developments in the ministry here and the changes. We are seeking the Lord at every turn and we want to be sure that we are in the center of his will. Now that I am teaching Bible Institute two days a week in Magangani and pastoring here in Malindi I really need wisdom as to how I can help in Bokole, Miritini, Singuaya, and Gandini. Right now my plan is to have Bible institute classes one Saturday a month in Miritini and one Saturday a month in Gandini. It is not a lot of time but it will allow me to teach the students in these areas.
I can also see them possibly during the week some times and communicate with them via phone. Please pray for the Lord’s leadership…
Our family is doing well over all. The kids and Kenya are fully engaged in school. They are in school many days past 4:30 doing homework and grading papers. Please pray for Kenya’s sister, Angel, she is in the middle of Chemo therapy for Leukemia. Kenya tries to call her almost everyday and I know this is heavy on Kenya being so far away while her sister goes through the treatments. The kids are all healthy praise the Lord with the exception of Abigail’s wart on her foot and some type of skin infection on Sarah that we are treating.
I am feeling stressed with everything and I desperately need the Lord’s wisdom and guidance. I dare not stand in my own strength or wisdom. I praise God for the privilege to serve him and I recognize it is His work.
East Kenya Missions