Time flies when you are having fun, and we are having more fun and experiencing joy unspeakable as we serve our Saviour as your sent ones. We just passed our one-year anniversary of being on the field full-time, and we continue to see souls saved, converts discipled, churches grounded, and pastors trained. It is a spiritual battle, and the Devil is fighting for sure. There are highs and lows, but thanks to your prayers and the Lord’s faithfulness, we see victory in the midst of these battles.
There are many churches under our influence—some God has used us to birth and some He has brought our way that need guidance. It takes a lot of travel, time, and effort to reach these because they are spread out over many miles in very rural areas of Kenya. We recently traveled to several key locations and brought 67 pastors together for the specific purpose of providing materials to start Bible institutes in their churches and training the pastors on how to implement this process. Here is a quote we received from Pastor Wakesa in Western Kenya: “We are going on with our class. Well, we finished the first level; now we are on Level 2. We have learned two lessons this week. I’m now going through Lesson 3, “Witnessing for Christ,” and it’s really blessing us. It is putting our Christian lives on a foundation of faith.”
In our urban church near Nairobi, we are facing new challenges regularly, as it has growing pains and spiritual battles abounding. Armed with the truth of God’s Word, it is moving forward, and we are rejoicing that the Devil is not happy. I have been teaching on soul winning to the men on Saturday mornings before we go out into the community to share Christ with them. It has brought me great fulfillment to see that several of our church men are taking this time to heart and are now effectively and passionately winning lost souls to Christ!
My visa was due to expire at the end of March, and God blessed in guiding those involved in the process. They have approved my “work permit” as a missionary for another three years. In just two years, it will have been eight years since my first resident permit here in Kenya, and I will be eligible for citizenship at that point. It is still some time away, but it is a long-term prayer request.
Let me close this letter with a soul-winning story that stirs my heart. Fred and I went out on Saturday morning, as we regularly do, and met a mother outside her home as she was washing her family’s laundry in a small tub. She kindly invited us into her home, and we spent about an hour sharing the saving power and love of Christ, after which she called on Jesus as her personal Saviour. We invited her family to church and left. The next day, a visitor named Charles came to church, and he came to our “Chai Time” after the service, which we have for all first-time visitors. He was one of two visitors that Sunday, and they both listened to the Gospel, with a few questions along the way, and called on Christ. Come to find out, Charles was the husband of Mary, who had been saved the day before, and he had come to church to find out why his wife was so happy about the strangers who had come to their house and told her about Jesus.
Thank you to all our supporters who sacrifice, allowing us to be here and share the saving knowledge of Christ Jesus so that precious souls have the opportunity to be saved. You will spend eternity getting to know others who are there in Heaven because of your giving, prayers, and commitment to the Great Commission!
Your missionaries to East Africa,
Andy & Connie Richey