Charles and Melissa Newton Prayer Letter: God Has Shown Himself Faithful
Happy New Year from the Newton family. I pray you were blessed during this holiday season. We have been quite busy the past couple of months. We held a Baby Dedication service for three of our young families. One of these families is currently a religiously “blended” family, meaning they each practice a different religion. The husband converted to Islam when he was 15, and the wife was raised in the religion. I met him months ago when out witnessing. He and I would regularly sit over chia and talk about salvation and religion. One day I watched him bow his head and receive Christ as his Saviour. As exciting as this moment was, this event began many more problems in his life. It brought marriage problems, as his wife was still a practicing Muslim. Soon after, he lost his good-paying job and had to live in a small shack. His wife believed Allah was punishing them because he converted.
He was very inconsistent and struggled in his newfound faith. He struggled to show his wife that Christianity was the truth. During our meetings, I asked him, “Why was it so hard for you to convert? Why would you never think of becoming a Christian?” His response was one that I often hear, “The majority of Christians do not take their religion seriously.” I then told him that if he ever wanted to see his family convert, he needed to take Christianity seriously.
Two weeks later, he showed up for the Baby Dedication service. Even though his wife was with him, she was only there out of the duty of being a submissive wife. He brought his newborn daughter forward to dedicate her to the one true God. Since then, they have grown spiritually, and he has even begun serving in the church. Please pray for his wife; she comes faithfully every week to church, and it is only a matter of time before she, too, will convert.
In addition to the dedication service, we also had an outstanding Christmas service. We had many first-time visitors, and three received Christ as Saviour. Our church was also able to be a blessing in a physical way. Many Kenyan families struggle to put even a small meal on their table, so a big Christmas meal is often out of the question. We were able to provide a Christmas meal for many of the families in our area. Some of these families had never received so much food at one time. Some families began to cry, while others excitedly began preparing the food so that all of their neighbors could also participate in a feast.
As we have closed the year, I would like to share a list of accomplishments from our ministry. In total, we had 781 people saved, and 312 of those converted from Islam. We were able to baptize 72 of our converts. We distributed 1,200 Bibles; out of that, 1,000 were digital Bibles smuggled into “Closed Access” countries. We had the blessing to organize and facilitate the release of a local pastor from prison in an extremist country. We broadcasted a Gospel film that we made in 7 countries in 6 different languages. Our ministry provided 1.5 tons of food to those in need, as well as distributed 8 water-sanitation devices to various schools and orphanages. And last, we started our first church in Nairobi, and within 5 months, the church was formed underneath a Statement of Faith and Bylaws.
This past year has been filled with many ups and downs, but God has shown Himself faithful in the work here in East Africa. Thank you for partnering with us in our ministry. This is all fruit to your account in Heaven.