Saturday, March 23, 2013

BTCP Tanzania (2013) Part 2

Class Picture

Recently Dennis Omondi sent out an update describing our ministry in Tanzania. His post is called BTCP Tanzania (2013).

I'd like to continue that conversation here and update you on how everything went!

Peter Mutemi
We caught the bus from Mombasa in Ukunda on the 9th of March and were blessed with a free upgrade into the VIP class. However, by the time we reached Tanga (1 hour into the Tanzanian border) I was so delirious from the heat that I jumped off the bus as soon as it stopped. Mutemi (our current intern) who was seated behind me grabbed my passport which I had left on the seat and kept it safely in my bag!! Thank you Mutemi! I like Tanzania, but I didn't want to be stuck there!

The rest of the journey went well and we arrived in Dar es Salaam where we were able to meet a Baptist Missionary named Mitch Calmes who was born in raised in Denton, Tx! Small world! He's also interested in training some of his pastors through using BTCP (Bible Training Center for Pastors).

Monday morning when class began, we had a slow start which included a general orientation as well as an introduction to the Old Testament. Each day consisted of 3 sessions, 2 hours of teaching time at a go. By the end of Wednesday morning we were finished with the Pentateuch (Genesis-Deuteronomy). 
Pst Kalinga

Words and phrases like Covenants, Redemptive Plan, Atonement, and of course Law all found their way into the capable hands of Pst Nickson Kalinga, our faithful interpreter (and student): Maagano, Mpango wa Ukombozi, Upatanisho, Sheria.

On Wednesday afternoon, Mutemi taught the students seated in a circle under a tree because it was too warm 'under the hot tin roof' (literally). He spoke to them about Joshua and the conquest of the land which was promised to Israel. Mutemi caught the attention of the students immediately and kept it the entire afternoon session, which is not easy to do after lunch on a hot day. At the end, the chairman of the class, Pastor Emmanuel Mhando, spoke up and said, "If Mutemi's teaching is the product of this curriculum, then I think we are all heading on the right path!" What an incredible compliment not only to Mutemi personally, but also to the work of Serve Kenya. Mutemi after all graduated in 2008 in one of Dennis Omondi's first BTCP class.
Emmanueli Mhando: Chairman

After Mutemi took the class through Judges and Ruth the next day, I continued on in the book of Samuel. And on Friday wrapped up the class with Kings.

In the afternoon we were able to have some time to talk and say our goodbyes, and yes, as what seems to be their consistent custom, they gave us gifts. 

It's truly a joy to teach these 13 men and 4 women. The reason is because of their humility, their hunger and thirst for the Word of God, and their genuine desire for the truth. This desire is evident when we see that they are not seeking to Biblically prove what they already want to believe, but instead open to radical change in their beliefs if it is clear from Scripture. Sadly we do not come across this posture often enough.

A gift!
By Saturday morning we were on another 10 hours bus ride back to Kenya, and the pastors and church leaders were preparing themselves for another Sunday more thoroughly equipped to lead their churches on 17th of March than they were on the 10th.


  • Please pray for us as we continue on this long journey of traveling once a month to Tanzania to teach these pastors. 
  • Pray also for the Leadership Team there to be faithful in coordinating and that God would grant them a special ability to learn and be able to communicate the truths of God's Word so that the second generation of classes can be taught by men like Kalinga and Mhando who are currently on the Leadership Team. 
  • Pray also for each student listed below. That they would be faithful to the course and continue coming month after month with the same attitude they came with in March. Pray that God would protect their health, their finances, their churches, and their families so that they might not be hindered in continuing to be equipped for the work of the ministry of Christ's Church.
Pst Daniel Fisoo: Leadership Team
Zebedayo Genya: Leadership Team


Shabani Onesiforo

Emmanuel Joel & his wife, Abigail Emmanuel

Pst Wabesha - Congolese, TZ Missionary

Pastor Charles Manega

Gema Sibusiso
Steven Mwakilito

Salome Mbelwa

Pst Simon Timotheo Mbunda 
Audas Jacob Hohoye

Sophia Mollel
Paul Dankeni Sinyangwe
Francis Alberto Mwone

Monday, March 4, 2013

Kenya Elections

Voting at Diani Beach
Hello everyone in America! As you wake up this morning it will be around 3:00 or 4:00pm here in Kenya after a long day of voting on Kenya's Election Day. Many Kenyan citizens have waited in line for 3-4 hours in order to cast their vote for the 4th President of the Republic of Kenya.

A little background:
Many of you may know about what happened in the last election in 2007. There was uncertainty about the results between the current President Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga. Kibaki comes from the Kikuyu tribe. Odinga from the Luo tribe. The people of their respective tribes are typically so loyal to their leaders, that immediate racial anger erupted between these two tribes resulting in thousands of people being displaced from their homes (of which many are still in camps of I.D.P's - Internally Displaced Persons - to this day!). 1,200 people died in 2007. A mediator came in, Kofi Annan, to negotiate between Odinga and Kibaki resulting in a coalition government making Odinga the Prime Minister and Kibaki continuing as President.

Today's Election:
President Kibaki has finished his second term therefore he is unable to run again for president. This time there are 8 people on the ballot. One of these will be the 4th President. Though we believe God is in control and can put into power whomever He chooses, many of the polls have placed Raila Odinga in direct competition with Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Kenya's first president, Jomo Kenyatta.

Funny thing is that Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate William Ruto are BOTH on trial at the International Criminal Court for inciting the people towards violence in 2007. Now, of course to clarify. It is good to say that they are not proven guilty of these crimes. However, it is clear that Kenyatta is surrounded by controversy because of this point. Also, a thing to note: Kenyatta is Kikuyu, Odinga is still Luo. Same tribes which conflicted last time.

Is this a recipe for disaster? We don't think so. People are extremely optimistic, including my own Field Director, Dennis Omondi. Just for precautions, I'm spending the night at his place tonight in order to see the results of the elections come in and watch the news as we anticipate peace (but also be prepared for anything).

You might see in the news some sensationalist headlines such as, "Mombasa death toll rises..." In fact, I will post any article I have found so far. Please don't read the news and come to conclusions about the severity of the situation or our team's safety. It's going to be a pretty calm and peaceful Monday. Playing FIFA 13 (soccer) on Playstation (Dennis has won once, and so have I!), going swimming at a friend's house, and eating together.

We will let you know through facebook, twitter, or this website if there is anything important to share or we need specific or urgent prayers.

Otherwise, please join us in prayer for PEACE over the next few days.

See the articles below:
SERVE Kenya Website
Uhuru Kenyatta

Raila Odinga
Mohammed Dida
Paul Muite
Martha Karua
Ole Kiyapi
Peter Kenneth