Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us. We have had a busy few months, and God has been opening many doors, both with the local people here and with government officials, which has given us unique ways to minister in our region.
I have just returned from a village area about eight hours away. I spent a week there with another missionary. The purpose of the trip was to help train and equip the national pastors. We covered a variety of crucial doctrinal topics. Most of these men had not had any training or education, yet they were excited and eager to learn. I had the opportunity to take some of the pastors into the community and teach them how to witness to people. Personally, I had the chance to lead 33 people to the Lord during this training, and many more came to Christ as a result of the pastors’ witnessing.
One of the people I had the opportunity to witness to was an 85-year-old woman who was walking back to her hut from the market. We helped her carry her things, and then I asked her, “How sure are you that you will go to Heaven one day?” She immediately stopped and looked at me—the look she gave me was as if she had been waiting to hear that question for years. She replied, “I don’t know, but I want to know . . . tell me how.” By the end of our conversation, she was crying and called on Christ to be her Saviour. I was then able to connect her with one of the local pastors I was training that day. I am excited to see how God will use these men now that they are excited and confident in their witnessing abilities.
Last month, we had a great Easter. Now that our son Cayden is getting older, he is beginning to understand Who Jesus is and the Resurrection story. I showed him a children’s video about Jesus and was teaching him about the Resurrection. He excitedly yelled out, “Wow! Jesus is a superhero!” Now, when we are out, he will randomly ask people if they have seen the Jesus Video.
While we had a great time on Easter Sunday, because of the significance of the holiday, many extremist groups perform terrorist attacks on that day. If you will, please pray for one of the national pastors we work with. He has planted six house churches, most of which are in restricted areas. Every Sunday, he travels to each of the six churches and holds a service. Unfortunately, the first church was attacked. One of the members was followed by extremist men, and during the service, the men set fire to the church. When all of the members ran out, the men grabbed the pastor and beat him. Praise the Lord that no one was killed! When I asked the pastor what happened after the beating, he said, “I got up and went to my next church. I still had five more to preach in.”
Now that we have been here for almost eight months, we believe God is moving us into the next phase of our ministry. We will be planting our first church here in Nairobi, which has a population of 4 million people. We are planning for the launch day to be either the last Sunday of June or the first Sunday of July. Between now and our launch day, we will be doing a lot of outreach and holding small group discipleship classes. Please pray that God will bless our new church plant. If you would like to give to help with our opening, that would be a great blessing. We are still in the process of looking for a suitable location, but we will need to secure things like rent/deposit, chairs, Bibles, registration fees for the church, etc.
Once again, thank you for partnering with us as we do our part to reach the region of East Africa.
In His service,
The Newton Family