Friday, July 26, 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!!