Greetings! We are happy to report what the Lord has been allowing us to do here in Kenya. In my previous letter, I told you about my weekend night guard whom I was able to lead to the Lord and that I hoped to go to his home and witness to his family once the restrictions were loosened. I was able to do that in June, and I got to lead his wife and two daughters to the Lord. I explained to them about the Foundations of Our Faith discipleship series, and they were very excited. We have been meeting every Sunday as early as 7:00 a.m. to do Bible studies. It is so awesome to see a family learning together about Bible doctrine, memorizing verses, and asking genuine questions about God. All four have completed Level 1. They had been attending church in Kenya for years, and with that came a lot of false teachings. The 23-year-old daughter starts a lot of her questions with, “In my church . . . .” We joke about it together as we go back to the Bible and see what God says about the subject. The lessons take a lot longer, but I can see their understanding growing.
We had a special donation that was specifically for humanitarian efforts to help those affected by the shutdown. We were able to work with a local police chief and get the food to those who are in the most need. The food distribution was the first ministry that Calvary Baptist Church of Kiambu County was able to perform. I have a video of the distribution. If you are interested in seeing it, please email me so I can add you to the Dropbox link. Let me share with you just a few of the highlights. One of the couples that we gave food to was HIV positive. They have three children. One of the areas where we gave out food remarked that no one had ever brought them anything before. One man was blind and very grateful for the help. Scores and scores were just thankful for some help and to have food on the table. With the food that we distributed, we also gave out Gospel tracts in English and Swahili. We are praying to be able to go back to these people and give them the Gospel individually. All in all, we were able to distribute food to 130 families. Each family received 16 pounds of food, making a total of over 2,000 pounds of food given out. We had so much food to distribute that we had to make three separate trips. On the first trip, I took my two oldest girls with me. On the second trip, I took my two boys with me; on the third trip, we all went.
We also were able to take some of the care packages to a number of Sunday school children whom we had previously worked with. The government shutdown has really affected the school-aged children. The Kenyan school year starts in January and ends in November. Schools were shut down here in March and will not reopen until January of 2021. Most of the students have lost an entire school year. If you are wealthy enough, you can do the classes online, but most are not. Now the children are left at home all day as the parents go out to work. They have no one to care for them. We are hoping to do something, even something small, every week to help them.
Recently, the government allowed churches to start meeting again. You must be between 6 and 65 years of age to attend. We had been praying for a location to start the church once we were allowed, and God has given us some direction. To begin Calvary Baptist Church, we are meeting in a hotel conference room. This gives us great flexibility and growth opportunities, as we can go to bigger rooms as we grow. The hotel is in the area of Kiambu County where we’d hoped to start a church. We were able to print flyers and distribute them this past week, and we are continuing to follow up on the visitors who have joined us. I met with Harriet this week, and I was able to lead her 16-year-old niece to the Lord. On Saturday, Corey and I went soul winning, and we were able to lead two men, Harrison and Samuel, to the Lord. Please pray with us about reaching the community of Ruaka for Christ.
I am continuing my language studies daily from 9-12 and have noticed some good improvement. It is exciting to be able to pick up on the conversations going on around me.
Please continue to pray for God’s continual leading and safety. There has been a rise in crime in our area recently. While in traffic, people are being pulled from their vehicles, beaten, and robbed. We trust God for our safety, and most of all, we strive to serve Him by meeting the needs of others as He leads us.
In His service,
Corey McDonald and Family