In August, we held our 1st Annual Youth Rally. It was a three-day event for youth ages 12–20. Several local churches joined us, and we were very happy with the turnout. One of the best parts of the rally was having a group from Calvary Baptist Church in Turner, Maine, join us to put on the event. This is the church that Elizabeth grew up in, where we were married, where we served for five years, and where I was ordained into the ministry. It was such a blessing and encouragement to have them visit and minister with us. We look forward to hosting many more groups in the future. Let us know if you and your church would like to be next!
On Wednesday, we went out as a group to canvass and invite teens to the rally. We went to a local soccer field where teens spend a lot of time. Sitting around the field watching are always other teens and adults. We split up into groups of two or three and focused on witnessing, if the Lord allowed. I had the pleasure of partnering with Jared Billings and my son Corey. We invited one young man and tried witnessing to him, but he was not interested. Just a few feet away was another university student named Evans, who was very happy to hear the Gospel, and he called on Christ. He said he would attend the rally if his schedule allowed. Evans came on Thursday and to church on Sunday.
On Wednesday night, we had our weekly men’s Bible study. During the study, the ladies and teenage girls were upstairs decorating for the rally. Both groups were well attended, with everyone excited for our visitors. Pastor Christner taught a great lesson to the men, who were eager to glean from his years of ministry experience.
One of the main purposes of the Youth Rally was to encourage the teenagers in our church and to be a blessing to other like-minded churches in the area. We had several other churches bring their teens. Each day of the rally, we had team games, skits, special music, and two preaching services. One of the highlights for the rally was the Bible-memory time. Each day, we set aside 20 minutes, where each team gathered around memorizing verses and telling them to their designated team leader. Everyone was able to recite at least one verse, with many saying 10 or more. On the last day, one young man called on Christ for salvation.
It was also a blessing to have the group with us for the three-year anniversary of our church, Calvary Baptist Church of Ruaka. We enjoyed having Pastor Christner preach to us, along with special music from the young people of the group. After the morning service, we had a meal, followed by Pastor Christner preaching again.
We were able to show our visitors around Nairobi and share some fun experiences with them while they were here. One of those was a safari at Nairobi National Park. The group said they would be happy just to see a lion. God answered that request in the first five minutes, as three adult females were running down the road right past us.
Just before we brought the group to the airport, I put tracts in almost every drawer of the Airbnb where they stayed. God really blessed those invitations. The following Sunday, Elias, the property manager of
the Airbnb, showed up at church. Since that Sunday, he has attended church each week. He has now brought his wife, adult daughter, and son. He has met with me for Bible study for the past six weeks and attends the men’s Bible study! I’m very excited with the possibilities of what God has for this relationship in the future.
We would like to express our sincere thanks to all who pray for and support our ministry here in Kenya. Your love and faithfulness to the Lord are what make what we do here possible. Please remember our church registration process in your prayers. As the end of the year approaches, we have several annual ministry opportunities coming up as well. In just three weeks, we are scheduled to welcome our seventh child, and we pray that our child will arrive safely and healthy.
Corey & Elizabeth McDonald & Family