Thursday, February 20, 2014

Exit Benya...Enter The Warrens!

Hello my friends!

Things have changed rapidly over the last few months. I am now a married man, and therefore comes an end to my adventures as single “Benya.” However, I can be assured that Anjela Omondi, along with her father, Dennis, will forever call me Benya. 

This will be my last update on the Benya blog, and Abbie and I will create a new one for our new Warren Family with the double entendre - “The Warren Commission”. The link is there for whenever we will get around to forming said blog. 

God has been so good to us. He has given us a time of rest through travel, as well as a time of rest through getting established into our transitionary home in Argyle. Abbie has done a phenomenal job at setting up our quirky little ‘bungalow’.

I’d like to answer a few questions we get asked about 3-5 times per day ;)

“Are you going back to Kenya?”:

ABSOLUTELY! The Warrens are committed to the work of Serve Kenya and the discipleship of the leadership of the Kenyan church!

“Great! When?”:

That is up in the air right now. For now, we’ve just been saying Fall at the earliest. Could be winter, could be after the missions conference in January 2015. That’s a bit hard to grasp for us as we are in February 2014. In the end, we will do what is best for our new family, our mission, and our team. And besides, all of that belongs in the category of tomorrow, so it doesn’t really matter does it? :)

“Wow, that’s a long time! So what are you going to be doing in the meantime?”:

The Serve Office has three main categories in regards to the goals of home service time. As many of you know I have been overseas through my first term of 4 years. It is the recommended practice of Serve International to spend time home after every term for these three main purposes:

1) Rest - Personal & Spiritual
2) Renewal - Involvement with Denton Bible Church
3) Reconnection with Supporters

Along with these things stateside, we will also maintain our communication with our people in Kenya and serve the field from home in unique ways. 

Thank you very much for all your prayers and of course for everyone who supported us on our wedding day and gave such generous gifts! 


Feel free to stop reading. But for those of you who like the details…carry on!

1) Rest - Personal & Spiritual

We have been getting a fair amount of rest recently, post-wedding of course, and still seeking to spend a generous amount of time together so that a solid foundation for marriage is laid in this first year before heading out to the spiritual battlefield of Kenya. Please pray for us and our marriage that it would be centered on Christ, thriving in the Word and prayer, and grounded in Colossians 3:12 - 
"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, 
compassionate hearts, 
meekness, and 

We also desire to get as much quality time with our families as possible. Pray for us to continue to make that a priority throughout this year. Abbie’s family will have to transition to the idea of seeing her go much more permanently overseas rather than for a specific, short period of time. Pray for them.

2) Renewal in the Denton Bible Church Body

Since Serve is the missions arm of Denton Bible Church (DBC), Serve Missionaries have a unique ministry to the members of DBC. We are tasked to connect the congregation to what Christ is doing in the world, and how we all as a local body of believers are a part of the work of making disciples of all nations. Our desire is to reinforce the importance of missions as well as seek to involve the members in the work that we do in Kenya through information, prayer requests, and other teachings to individuals, small groups, or larger groups from within the church. 

DBC, our sending and home church, also has a unique ministry towards us as well. Personally I have been gone from the states for such a long time that I really have missed the fellowship of the believers in Denton. While I receive lots of fellowship from the Kenyan church, as a missionary you are often looked at as the one who should constantly be pouring out…which is true. However, our time at DBC and in Denton, can allow for the pastors and church members to be pouring into us. Small groups, Bible studies, Church services, One on One meetings with mentors, our renaming of ‘pre-marital counseling’ with ‘on-the-job training supervision,’ and of course the fellowship of the Serve office. 

Abbie will be heavily involved with Janis Seville’s ministries of BTCL, Women Serving God, and Missions Women. Abbie desires to grow as a teacher of women through the “Bible Training for Church Leaders” curriculum, and there is no one better to learn from then Janis who takes the BTCL training to a higher level then most of us men do. I’m looking forward to learning how the Ladies conduct their classes and apply some of those things to our men’s classes!! 

I’m already slated to teach BTCP classes in March where I will be teaching some of the New Testament Epistles. Also, I am starting a Lay Institute Church History class on April Fool’s Day where we will get to learn about both the wise men of the history of the church…as well as the fools ;). This will be an 8 week overview study of the 2000 years of Christian History.

We are excited both to serve and to be served, both to love and to be loved in our time here in Denton.

3) Reconnecting with Supporters and Supporting Churches

As far as work goes throughout this year, this is the one thing that I would be truly disappointed if we do not accomplish. I desire to see every one of my supporters, some who I have not seen in over 4 years! I want to share the big picture overview of my last 4 years in Kenya as well as a big picture projection of where our ministry is going in Kenya & East Africa. 

Also, Abbie has monthly supporters who have decided to join our team on a more long-term basis. Many of Abbie’s supporters have not met me. Many of my supporters have not met Abbie. So it is essential to get together with each one of them so that not only do they know what they are a part of in the work of Kenya, but who we are as The Warrens in Kenya.

This will require a lot of coordination and travel. I know for certain that we will need to spend a little time on both coasts of the United States. We are really excited and blessed to have the opportunity to come see the people who make our ministry possible through their kingdom mindset of money and missions. 

We will also of course be doing support raising as well throughout the year. We will have a substantial amount of one time needs to establish a new home in Kenya, as well as the possibility of language school fees for Abbie, airfare, and just making sure our support account is healthy. 

Thank you very much for all your prayers and of course for everyone who supported us on our wedding day and gave such generous gifts! 

We will see you soon or see you around!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Ready to go down the rabbit hole!

My last update was about the engaging which took place between Abbie Mitchell and I on Canadian Thanksgiving of 2013. Well, now it is 2014. Abbie and I have come back to the U.S., celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years together, met brothers, sisters, nephews, and nieces, and most importantly...the parents. As far as I know [though I'm willing to be corrected ;)], I have full approval from the Louisianan family, and on my side of the family everyone of course loves Abbie.

As we have been living nomadically, battling reverse culture shock, planning a wedding, and doing new thing after new thing after new thing, we have had conversations about 'home'. What is home? Kenya? America? Louisiana? Texas? Neither of us feel that sense of home. That's what being overseas does to you culturally. The other day we were sitting around with blank stares of being overwhelmed by American culture and Christmas and I pulled up a youtube video of rural Ethiopians dancing and singing. It was so oddly refreshing to us. Also I found that the cure to reverse culture shock is going shopping at Goodwill. Huh? That's right. Goodwill. A bunch of old and abandoned second hand crazy junk that is for sale at cheap prices for those who will appreciate it. It's counter-cultural...but feels right at home for Kenya.
Found this excellent rasta banana at Goodwill!

Home will be something different for us, yet the same as many people. Spouses find their home in each other, but they also have a sense of home in country, state, culture, neighborhood, house, etc. For Abbie and I, we will just have each other. "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother [his home] and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh" - Matthew 19:5-6. Wow. Talk about a loss of identity, a death to self. I am no longer just myself. I am no longer an individual, but instead half an individual. The other half is Abbie. My home.

We are extremely grateful to be so soon reaching our wedding day. It's only about 10 days away now and we have been so blessed by many people who have volunteered their help, given freely their services, 'showered' us with gifts and cash to help set up our home in Kenya. God answered our prayers for a rent-free house in Argyle next door to some dear friends of ours, the Sanders family. God is so good to us, and we are grateful.

What's next?
Well, we are still figuring that out. But we will be staying in Argyle, involved in church ministry, learning to be married, working on a few projects for Serve Kenya, and very soon seeking to meet one another's supporters and personally update each one about how the ministry is doing in Kenya and where we are headed in the near future.

I am excited about many of you getting the chance to meet Abbie and getting to know, love, and appreciate her as I do.

Blessings to you! And pray for us as we are nearing the day of Covenant Making!

My number while in the states is 318-514-9118. Feel free to contact me, but I probably won't hang out until after the wedding :-)

Thursday, October 24, 2013


I'm going to marry the woman in the above photo............Her name is Abbie............crazy.

I left for Nairobi on the 29th of September. It would be the first time Abbie and I were apart over the last three months. We were ready to see how much we would miss each other, and I was ready to get out of the Coast for a while as I usually am.

The week before that on the 21st of September I had looked at rings with Dennis & Victor (our intern). We had gone to a graduation North of Mombasa and we were able to break away to try to design a ring. A couple of days later I put down the deposit, breathing a little heavier before and after ;). 

The ring was ready just before I left so I didn't get a chance to look at it, though I'd seen a picture.

My desire was to figure out a way to propose to Abbie on Thanksgiving Day, possibly on a trip to Muscat to visit some friends. But I kept thinking that it was too far away. I really wanted the significance of Thanksgiving Day though. We have both realized (but more so me) that gratitude is central in our walks with the Lord as well as our relationship. In fact I feel it is so central to my entire well-being that I think the Lord has used my relationship with Abbie to show me how necessary a heart of thanksgiving and praise is in order to live for the Lord well. Thanks Abbie! 

After my trip to the North in the Kenyan desert, I came to visit some friends who work in Nairobi. Their whole family was actually caught in Westgate mall during the terrorist attack and stayed their several hours separated from one another. It was God who protected them and shielded the children's eyes from seeing anything. As I was speaking to them, they were both thinking earlier is better. "He who finds a wife, finds a good thing. So go get her," Jamie Suel said. Then she suddenly had a thought, "When is Canadian Thanksgiving Day?" I didn't even know they had one! I googled it and there it was staring me in the face….next Monday, in one week. But shouldn't Canadian Thanksgiving Day be more like the 26th or 28th of October? Wow! That's so soon!

I started communicating with Dennis to make for a way possible to ask Abbie to marry me on the 14th of October. Remember I'm in Nairobi, the ring is in Mombasa.

Send Dennis to see the ring.
Get it from the Jewelers.
Get a wire transfer to get Dennis the money he needs to pick up the ring.

I was just trying to provide a way for it to happen on the 14th, without having to make a decision right away. Are you sensing any fear yet?

I was still in Nairobi because I was planning on heading to Meru for Daniel Gitonga's first graduation of pastors. I would leave the 11th and not get back to Nairobi until the 13th. On the 9th, I had two ideas:
1) Travel down early and surprise her. Maybe go to the beach and say, "What do you know about Canadian holidays?"
2) Create an emergency reason why Abbie needs to come to Nairobi that would require her to carry her own ring to me! (Thanks to Timm Njuguna for a great idea).

Very quickly Idea #2 won out. I needed a story. We are currently transitioning into a partnership with African Leadership to help oversee all the BTCP classes in Kenya. We will also be handling the manual shipments from now on. Our first shipment is awaiting clearance from the port of Mombasa. So I made up a story about important paperwork which had to be signed by Benson, the previous African Leadership Coordinator, and that it must be signed in person immediately otherwise it will affect future book shipments for a long time. I told the idea to Dennis and he was sold on it.

Ok….I have a plan. I have the money. Dennis is going to the jewelers to see if they can deliver the ring from Mombasa to Ukunda. Today, Thursday, October 10th. It is morning. I'm at the Africa Inland Mission Guest House (Mayfield) in Nairobi, one of my favorite places to rest in Kenya. I just had breakfast and I'm nervously pacing around the grassy basketball court. Am I really going to propose on Monday? That's in 4 days! Heart beating faster, breath shorter. FOUR DAYS! I paced and I paced and I paced. By the way, if you know me well, all this makes perfect sense. The Lord is increasing my ability to live by faith, but it's a slow climb because I tend to insist on living by sight especially before major decisions. Decisions, oh decisions. So very difficult for us melancholy's. 

Do you love Abbie? 
Are you going to ask Abbie to marry you? 
Yes, of course….eventually.
Then why not on Monday? 
Ahhhh! It's just……………….BIG!

I don't adapt to change….quickly….never have (right Mom?).

Two of my friends told me this year that they've never seen someone struggle as much with commitment as I have. Ouch! That stings like a jellyfish! 

The battle in my heart on the 10th of October was not about my love for Abbie, it was not about my desire to marry her. It was a battle with God. 

God give me peace as a gift from you. 
Can I trust you? I mean really? Can I trust you enough to give myself to another person? Can I trust you enough to make a lifelong covenant of commitment? Can I trust you that my life won't end up worse as a result of this? Divorce? Death? Disease? What will happen in my future? 

Father deliver me! Not from the things I fear, but from the fear of them. Deliver me from doubt. Deliver me from distrust in you. Deliver me from the hellish thought that you do not love me enough to give me good things and to protect me from harm.

And then peace came in the evening. Like a warm bath. 

"My heart is not proud, O Lord,
my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.
But I have stilled and quieted my soul;
like a weaned child with its mother
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, put your hope in the Lord
both now and forevermore."

- Psalm 131

My anxiety is so centered around pride and seeking control over my life. Using God for his benefits rather than appreciating and enjoying His presence.

The decision was made.

The night of the engagement.
Dennis, "Operation Uriah" is a GO. [Dennis made up that name for it because David made Uriah deliver the letter with his own death sentence…I guess the ring is more of a life sentence :)].

Then I left the following morning for Meru where I got to be a part of Daniel Gitonga's first graduation of 16 pastors in a place so deep in the village that there are no other opportunities for theological training in that location.

By Saturday, Dennis mentioned that someone had to go to Nairobi to deliver an important package…Abbie volunteered falling directly into our trap! Dennis did it so well that Abbie thought it was her idea to go to Nairobi! 

I told Abbie that I would be leaving Meru Sunday morning and spending the night at James Muthee's place where he grew up in Kagio and then heading out to Mombasa Monday morning. When I spoke to her on the phone on Saturday night she mentioned, 

"Or you can just come back to Nairobi and we can travel together?"
"Nairobi? You're coming up? Oh the port thing, I didn't realize you were the one being sent." I said. I lied. 

"Too bad, we've already booked our bus tickets to Mombasa." I lied. 

Meanwhile Dennis had picked up and payed for the ring and was now trying to figure out a way to package it so that it looked like paperwork. Plane ticket purchased, everything is underway. I was excited. Abbie bought in to it fully. It was nice to focus on the next few days rather than the next 40 years. Much less overwhelming ;).

I had lunch in Kagio with James, Fred Munyithya (a new elder of Word of Life Church who came with us to the graduation), and James' parents. And by 3pm I was on a small bus to Nairobi. I sent Abbie a text message saying that my battery was dying and the charger was not working and that I'd just have to see her when she gets back to Ukunda. Then I turned off my phone in case she called. Ahhhh…good. The last lie.

I got checked into Mayfield, plugged in my phone which was dead but had Jim Mitchell's phone number saved. Jotted down a few notes. Exhaled a few times like a pregnant woman and dialed the number.

"Hi this is Ben Warren from Kenya."
(nervous voice nervous voice)
"How's everything in Ruston?"
(Gosh this is awkward. I wish we would have met before or talked at least once before. Hi, hi, my name is Ben….can I marry your daughter? Geez!)

"Is everyth….is everything alright with Abbie?"
(Oh crap, I sound so nervous he thinks Abbie's hurt!)

And the conversation went on, and shifted to its purpose. Blessing was given not only to marry Abbie, but to take her back to the mission field with me. Thanks Mr. Mitchell. 

7 minutes and 48 seconds later, the last piece was ready before asking Abbie to be my wife. 

I was restless in the morning but managed to do a little reading and praying. I left Mayfield in the car I hired for the day a couple hours before Abbie's plane would get in. Went to the mall. Bookshop. Oooh, Bear Grylls has an autobiography "Mud, Sweat, & Tears" (was I unconsciously saying something to myself?). Something for Abbie….hmmm. How about "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking"? This will be helpful for being married to me!

Dennis calls. Uriah is on her way. Everything is set. "Don't screw it up," Dennis says.

I pick up a rose. One single red rose. I bought her one on the corner of Valley Road & Argwings Kodhek when we were just friends. Made her turn as red in the face as the rose itself - July 2012. 

I'm at Wilson Airport, 45 minutes early. It's a small airport for local flights. Waiting. Reading Bear Grylls to keep my mind off of it.  

Her flight arrives. I stand to the side and see her come out of the gate looking for a taxi driver or someone who is supposed to be meeting her. I come close from behind and say, "Taxi?" Full surprise! She didn't expect it at all. Now I'm feeling relief because some of the surprise is laid out and I can play off all that I've been doing as being for this purpose. I tell her that I forfeited my bus ticket and decided to come hang out with her. All we have to do is get the business with Benson done and then we have the day together. The car, the rose, the surprise. Everything points to this and this alone. Yes! Success. I confess my lies with the lie that all of it was pointing to this initial surprise. 

We go to Mayfield Guest House and check in just in time to eat lunch there. As we are eating Abbie's phone is blowing up with text messages. Allison, Dennis, "Mom". Suddenly her demeanor changes. Oh no. Someone's said the wrong thing! Spilled the beans! She knows what's coming…worse, she looks a little rattled. Uh oh. This does not bode well for my confidence. After finishing lunch, I tell her Benson will be meeting us soon, so we should go sit outside and hang out as we wait. So I go to my favorite spot in Mayfield, a table outside with grass, bushes, flowers, and sunlight. This is the very spot which I spent hours pouring over Philippians and being renewed in my spirit in June of 2011 just before my 30th birthday and during the biggest depression I've ever had. Coincidentally, she was in Room #6, the very room I stayed in during that trial, and the place God gave me so much comfort. 

I was waiting for her to come out. Mosquitoes started biting. I'm anxious. Where is she? I get up to go look for her and knock on her door. She's reading. She's reading the Bible? Oh man, something's wrong! 

"Are you ok?"
"Yeah fine. I'm fine."

That means something's wrong. 

"I'll be out in a minute."

I go wait again, but she comes quickly. We small talk. I'm trying to get a feel for whether or not she knows what I'm about to do. Mosquito attack. Move the chairs into the sun. Small talk. Who knows what is coming out of my mouth. All I'm thinking about is the package I so nonchalantly threw on the grass beside me.

"Well, Benson will be here soon so let me make sure everything is here."

I start going to work on Dennis's 15 staples he secured the envelope with. I pull it out. Newspaper. I look at it, look at Abbie and say, "What is this?"

The first portion contains nothing. And I see the second portion has duct tape in the middle. I pull back the tape and a flash of white gold behind a small plastic bag hits the sun. I'm too scared to look up at Abbie. I pull out the ring. It's the first time I've seen it as well as Abbie's. I show it to her. She says, "Shut up!" And I say, "Abbie, I love you. Will you be my wife?"


Please pray for us! It is a long and incredible journey that we are going on, and I personally could use some more faith. And I'm sure I can speak for Abbie as well that we desire to bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in our marriage. Pray for Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control.

Thank you for celebrating with us! God is good!


Friday, July 26, 2013

BTCP Graduation 2013

Hello everyone! I'd like to take this opportunity to boast in the Lord a bit about our two classes which just graduated last Saturday. As many of you know, since October 2011 we have been teaching a Bible Training Center for Pastors / Leaders class in a village called Ujamaa. Around the same time we started another church based class where we teach them half of the BTCP curriculum: Bible Study Methods, OT Survey, NT Survey, Bible Doctrine, & Personal Spiritual Life.

The Ujamaa class took us 1 year and 4 months to complete. 

The Ukunda class which meets only at nights took us 1 year and 9 months to complete with a 3 month or so break in there because of the Presidential Elections in March.

I would love for you to praise the Lord together with us for these men and women who have worked and studied so hard to know the truth of the Word of God. Pray for their ministries, their families, and their futures as they seek to faithfully serve our God wherever they are. They are now equipped, not fully, but equipped enough to continue to equip themselves as they apply what they have learned in their hearts, homes, and ministries.

Thank you for praying for us as we taught them, and for praying for them as they learned. Please take a moment to get to know these students and pray for them as they continue their journey in their own personal Christian lives.

Let's begin with our BTCP/L class in Ujamaa. 

Pastor James Shariff came from the farthest in this class from a town called Voi about 2 hours north of Mombasa along the road to Nairobi. He is a part of an evangelical denomination called Lighthouse Ministries. We are friends with the missionaries who run the ministry and they continue to send us pastors for BTCP. Pray for Shariff to stand firm in the truth without wavering or considering any teachings that go against the sober interpretation of Scripture.

Pastor Oscar Thoya also is from Lighthouse Ministries. He comes from a coastal town called Kilifi about an hour north of Mombasa. Pst. Thoya has a natural love for knowledge and is quite intelligent. When God has gifted someone in this way, the best thing to pray for is continued growth in that person's love of God and love of people. Please pray for Thoya in that regard.

Bishop Lucas Makunzo has a church just north of Mombasa town. Please pray for Lucas to continue in faithfulness in his studies and in his love and care for his people in his church as well as the pastors he oversees as Bishop.

Pastor Nicodemus Ngei has a church in Tiwi just a few kilometers north of Ukunda where we live. Pst. Nicodemus proved his faithfulness to his church during his training. There are not many churches in Tiwi. Mostly mosques. The people there do not want churches. I believe this is the reason why the devil used the denominational officers against Nicodemus. The bishops and other influential people of his denomination tried to take away his church from him. The reason ultimately was that they were unhappy with his choice to be trained in the Scriptures. Nicodemus built up his church personally and later on joined together with the denomination to get legal cover and register his church with the government. These men were trying to steal the church away from him viewing it as a means of financial income. God used James Muthee tremendously to pray with him during this time and God was faithful to restore him to his church. Pray specifically for Nicodemus for protection from the attacks of the devil and for an influential church ministry in a very Muslim area.

Oscar Munyasia is a police officer. He was given special permission from his bosses to be able to join the class. He is an elder in African Inland Church in Likoni just south of the ferry from Mombasa. Reverend Kigori, the pastor at his church, graduated from BTCP in the last class, and Kigori's wife graduated with this class. Now Oscar has a huge audience both in his church ministry and in his co-workers in the 'unreached group' of the Kenyan Police Force. Pray he can be faithful to use his education for God's glory and be a godly influence among policemen who are known to be the most corrupt in all of E. Africa. Pray for his leadership and oversight as an Elder in AIC Likoni.

Victor Omollo is a 23 year old with the maturity of a 30 year old. He is genuinely called and Spiritually gifted for the ministry. Dennis and I wanted to send him to Tom Nelson's program for 2013-14, but his Visa was denied by the U.S. Embassy. We have offered him an internship beginning in September with Serve Kenya Ministries and he has agreed. Pray for his continued growth in the Word of God and for a teachable spirit to learn not only the content of the Bible but how to wisely apply it in his character, his relationships, and in ministry. Pray for Christy his fiancee and for wisdom as to when to get married and the finances to bring it to fruition. Pray for the financial support that Serve Kenya needs in order to provide for him during the year of his internship [please contact me if you have a desire to meet this pressing need for Victor's internship].

Tabitha Kigori, the wife of the Pastor at AIC Likoni, also graduated from BTCL. Currently Mrs. Kigori is seeking to build up the women's ministry in her church as well as 4 other churches. She is already consulting with Betty Anyango in how to go about developing the women of these churches. Pray for Tabitha to receive help from the Spirit in regards to leadership of these women and the women's leaders of all the churches she has influence in. 

Judith Kyalo is the wife of a former graduate of BTCP, Pst. / Dr. Kyalo who divides his time between the church and Mombasa hospital. Betty has invested heavily in the women of their church and Judith is ready for the next step in the women's ministry there. Pray for Judith to have bold leadership among the women and to mobilize the women of her church in many various ministries both within the church and the community of Likoni.

Betty Anyango has been working with Serve Kenya Ministries for 2 years now seeking to pioneer a women's outreach ministry for us. Throughout that time she's been attending several BTCL classes and has pieced together the whole curriculum enough to graduate with this year's class. We praise God for what He is doing in Betty's life and for the future He has for Women's Ministry through Serve. Pray for Betty to have wisdom and guidance. Pray for Abbie Mitchell who is working alongside Betty to further help pioneer this ministry. Pray for a strong walk with the Lord and a humble spirit of dependence on the Lord as she continues forward.

Ukunda Bible Training Center (BTC) Class:

Pastor Moses Lokorio pastors a church in Dima, a village in the hills near Ukunda. He is a night watchman also and would come to class from 6pm-8pm, then go straight to work, then from there ride his bike one hour uphill to his home where he'd rest a bit and then do farming for his family. He has been incredibly faithful and desires to continue doing the full curriculum through our BTCP class in Ukunda which meets one week out of every month. Pray for God's financial provision for him and his family. Pray for Dima the area where he lives and pastors and for his church. Pray that God would be gracious to him to continue faithfully serving in ministry.

Mary Wangari is a very sweet and intelligent woman. She always had the most questions in class and was the quickest to stump the teachers! Mary was extremely faithful in class and knows many of the people at Word of Life Fellowship Church. She has been asked several times to consider joining our fellowship but she remains faithful to her church. Pray that she would have room to respectfully and gracefully implement any changes that need to be made in her church and use her knowledge with wisdom and tactfulness to help bring the truth of God's word further into her church.

Jerim Nyakiti is an excellent carpenter. He has made the windows in TNC and many shelves and cabinets for Dennis. Pray for God to continue to bless his business but more importantly to bless his spirit as he seeks to apply the knowledge he has gained through BTC and to faithfully live as a man of God in a place like Ukunda.

Fred Munyithya is a businessman who has been here in South Coast for over 20 years. Fred knows everyone here in Ukunda and has been a faithful part of our church for a long time. He was originally in the last class, but the life of a businessman can make attendance difficult. So he came back and made up for the classes he missed and repeated many classes just for the sake of more learning. In a little over a month, Fred will be ordained as an elder at Word of Life Fellowship. Please pray for Fred to be guided and filled by the Holy Spirit to lead with wisdom, sincerity, and not under compulsion. Pray that he would have a strong influence in the church and a safe-guarded testimony. Pray for him as he seeks to live up to the standards that God requires of Elders.

Fred Makau is an accountant at the Word of Life Academy. He is a faithful young man in our church and is always willing to serve with a joyful heart. Pray for Makau to make wise decisions in his youth, to protect him from the way of the world, to prepare him for marriage, and to continue in faithful service to our God throughout the rest of his life.

Frank Onjor has been a part of the church for almost 2 years now. He is a businessman, Tour Agent, and Taxi Driver. He helps us with the sound equipment at the church and continues to be a blessing to our church family. Business in Ukunda can be a difficult thing to do as a Christian. The whole system is built on corruption. Pray for God's protection in every area of his life - his business, his family, his marriage, his parenting, etc. Pray that he may be seen as a unique businessman in this town, one who truly lives out his faith.

Thank you for praying for our Graduates! I am struck with an awareness that if the Word of God alone does not lead people towards a more holy and worshipful lifestyle, then we have no hope for change. PRAISE GOD THAT IT IS EFFECTIVE!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

How to keep up with Missionaries

When I was in the states I asked a few of my supporters a question to help gauge where they were at.

"Do you feel like you are truly a part of the work in Kenya?"

Most of the time if they were honest, they would say, "No, not really." So I asked many of them and myself, "What can I do to help them feel like they understand the world that I live in?" Most of the time there is just too much back story to cover. 

It's like this. You have a dear friend, but you've lost touch and haven't spoken for two years. When you finally do see each other, you only have about 5 minutes to catch up. What will you say? What will they tell you? At that point, you just gotta hit the highlights. Did you move? Change jobs? Married? New kids? How old are each of your children? Right. Too much back story.

We have that here because life in Kenya is SO different. It's impossible to describe all the sounds and smells and sights. Cultural things don't make sense even if I tried to describe them, and what's even stranger is that some of those things have become my own patchworked culture of Kenya and America. 

So my question now is, "How can I help?" 

In the end it is up to each individual who is contributing financially to simply believe that they have enabled the work of Serve Kenya to continue and therefore the reach and influence of the donor is here. It is up to each individual who prays for our team, our personal lives, our ministry, and the lives of the people we touch to BELIEVE that God hears prayer and acts as a result.

The truth is. People are busy. That's why we like automatic bank drafts and SHORT updates. I've never been good at keeping updates that short, but for those who have a hard time reading my long-winded rants, I have another solution.

God help us: it's Facebook.

The idea is to create a page in your Facebook tabs that will have a separate news feed only for the missionaries you support or want to diligently pray for. Now, the idea won't work very well if the missionaries are not posting anything. But for me, one thing I'm trying to do is to take more pictures of life and ministry here and post them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram so you can follow what life is like here in Kenya. And hopefully you will be able to get more of that back story I was talking about and feel more part of the work that we do here.

Here is a selection of photos that I uploaded in March.
Just before the elections on March 4th
B.J. Omondi
Tommy Nelson Center at Serve Kenya Ministries
James & Daniel
Post Office in Mombasa
Good Friday Service

For Twitter or Instagram, it's easy - just follow me :).

For Facebook:

Step 1: Go to your Facebook page where it says "Friends" on the left hand column. Select "MORE"

Step 2: Select "CREATE LIST"

Step 3:Title it "Missionaries" or "Missionaries I Support" or whatever you like!

Step 4: You got it! All you need to do is click on the tab under Friends to read the updates of your missionaries.