Happy Thanksgiving! Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! We are so grateful that God has allowed us to partner with you. He is continuing to move here in Kenya, as I trust He is showing Himself strong for you as well. Much has happened since the last update about Annabelle. Her diabetes is now being monitored, and we have found great places to buy insulin. Annabelle is happy and energetic, as we are managing her blood sugar. I saw her standing this morning and realized that her belly is not bloated at all since she is no longer eating gluten. We praise the Lord for all He has done for us with Annabelle over the last few months.
At the time of my last update, Calvary Baptist Church of Kiambu was very new. For our first few weeks of services, we had many restrictions from the government due to the virus. As time has passed, the restrictions have relaxed, and now more people feel comfortable coming to church. My whole family is now able to come to church. We have increased our number significantly. Our first Sunday the week churches reopened, we only had 3 in church, including me. As of last week, we have had a high of 35, with 10 first-time visitors. We have been having visitors almost every week, with a number of them returning. I was very excited this week when we had several families that were on time for the start of our service. Kenyans often keep “Kenyan time,” meaning as long as you arrive within the hour, you are considered on time. Nevertheless, we start at 10:30 a.m., even if we are alone.
We are limited to a 1½-hour service; therefore, we are not yet able to have Sunday school. All ages meet in the conference room to start the service. Together we sing two English songs, we take prayer requests, and then the men take turns praying. After the singing is completed, I dismiss the children. Elizabeth takes ages 2-12 to a spot in the outside restaurant area of the hotel. She leads them in some children’s songs and teaches a Bible lesson. We have had great feedback from the parents and children about the children’s class. We have a number of families coming that have several children. Betty, who just moved back to Kenya after living in Germany for 15 years, has faithfully attended for five weeks, along with her son Calvin. She has been encouraging her nieces and nephews to come as well, and at times, three have come.
It is becoming very obvious to me that the majority of men here do not attend church. We have a number of ladies who are attending alone with their children. Some have been abandoned by the father of their children; other men just do not make church a priority. Praise the Lord for Steve! He is a single man who has been attending for about a month. I was able to have coffee with him after the first time he attended to make sure of his salvation. He is a blessing to me every week. Harriet is another faithful attender. She was one of the three our very first week; she received a flyer from us the Saturday before our first service. She has now brought her two children and her niece who lives with her. She has also invited several of her friends to attend. This last Saturday, she even went visiting with us.
God has blessed us with an encourager. A new missionary family arrived in our area about two months ago. They are also attending the online language school and plan to move out west once finished. The husband has joined us visiting on Saturdays and coming to church with his family on Sundays. I praise the Lord for this unexpected encouragement!
Please pray for God to lead us to Kenyan men who will rise up and choose a better future for their families and country. Pray for our follow-up of visitors during the coming weeks and months. Pray that we can find a more permanent location for Calvary Baptist Church of Kiambu.
In His service,
Corey McDonald and Family