Our family is beginning to adjust to and get into a routine of life here in Nairobi, Kenya! The kids are really starting to adjust to the change of life, as we went from location to location living out of our van and hotels on deputation to being in one place most of the time now. Thank you for your prayers as our family settles into this new pace of life.
One of the blessings for our family has been being able to help and be a part of the ministry that Andy Richey has at Lighthouse Baptist Church. It’s been an honor and a help to follow along with Andy and learn all that I can as we get ready to learn Swahili and pray about where to begin ministry work ourselves. We have been learning a lot, and the ministry experience has been great. Jeffrey, Hannah, and Esther have enjoyed Sunday school time with many of the other children from the church, as well and making many new friends!
At the end of this month, I was privileged to go with Missionary Peter Morris and his driver Kelvin out to Rongo and Bungoma, Kenya. From Nairobi, we drove roughly four and a half hours to the town of Rongo. There we held a three-day training seminary with about eight national pastors in or around that area. In this first meeting, I mostly observed and took many notes. My eyes were greatly opened to the many false doctrines that these pastors unfortunately get twisted up in.
Some of the issues we battle here—and it is a spiritual battle—are speaking in tongues, healing, women pastors, and baptism as a requirement for salvation; the biggest issue we battle here, though, is loss of salvation. For about an hour and a half each day of the three days, we covered eternal security, and after going over it for several hours, Bro. Morris asked them one last time, “Do you still feel that you can lose your salvation?” All of the men there, other than one pastor, said that they still believed that one can lose their salvation. It was so heartbreaking, but I praise God for the one young pastor who allowed the Lord to open his eyes and to take a stand for truth. Amen!
From Rongo we headed northward about four and a half hours to the city of Bungoma. From there, each day for four days, we drove about another hour back and forth to Pastor Dennis’s church out in the bush. On Sunday I was very encouraged to see how the Lord is using this national pastor and his church to reach his area for Christ! From Monday to Wednesday, we had our three-day training and had over 20 pastors come out. The difference from the first meeting to this one was night and day. We found that most of these pastors were doctrinally sound and hungry for more lessons from the Word of God. Bro. Morris also had me jump in this time and do several lessons from the Foundations of My Faith discipleship booklets. I was able to cover each topic and show them how to lead someone else who has recently been saved through the material.
As we came to a close, we had about 10 pastors come forward in commitment to teaching their churches sound doctrine and to go through a doctrinal statement lesson by lesson for about the next 14-18 months. Our goal is to see a handful of these pastors make it all the way through and have a true New Testament church that knows what they believe and why they believe it from the very Word of God. Please pray with us as we move forward with these pastors and churches; pray that they will stay committed, as we aim to go out every five weeks to follow up with them and help them.
We’re excited for what the Lord is doing in these little country churches in Western Kenya, and we greatly appreciate your prayers for the Lord’s work as we move forward for the cause of Christ. Thank you all, and may God bless you.
Your co-laborers for lost souls across East Africa,
Brandon, Ali, Jeffrey, Hannah, & Esther Heselschwerdt