This year for us has been an exciting one, having gone through the challenges of preparing and moving to Kenya, finding a place to set up our base from which to work, updating our immigration status, re-establishing close contact with national pastors across Kenya, and starting the work of the ministry. This, along with two visits from two future team members and our FBMI coordinator, has kept us very busy.
It was a blessing to have the use of a four-wheel-drive vehicle for the first nine months we have been here, allowing us to travel to remote areas where we would otherwise not have been able to go. We have now established contacts in areas such as North Nyamira and Bungoma, where it would normally be very difficult to access. Unfortunately, that vehicle must be returned before the end of the year. We will return to some of these areas in the next couple of weeks to deliver Bible-institute materials and do some teaching to get maximum use of the vehicle before we lose it. Please pray that the Lord will provide us a similar vehicle so that we can continue to work in these very remote areas.
You cannot realistically finance a vehicle here in Kenya. We do have $5,000 to put toward a vehicle, but to purchase a four-wheel-drive vehicle would cost a multiple of that. Renting vehicles is also very expensive. So, I would ask you to consider helping us purchase a vehicle that would allow us to reach these more remote areas. If all our supporting churches were to give a love offering of $500 or more, then we would have sufficient to buy the vehicle and, most probably, some in reserve to purchase King James Bibles, which are also quite expensive. Please send all donations to FBMI Missionary #36 with a note stating it is for the purchase of a 4WD vehicle. May the Lord greatly bless you for your sacrifice for the cause of Christ in Kenya, East Africa.
Some of the highlights of the year, apart from our visitors, have been:
1. Working with a local pastor here in Nairobi. It has not been easy, as we’ve addressed sensitive areas like music. We are working hard to help them understand the purpose of the church, soul winning, discipleship, and the need to teach correct doctrine and its application to their lives.
2. Our trip to Bungoma, Kisii, Kilgoris, and North Nyamira, which has allowed us to meet with over 70 pastors across the country about 8 hours west and southwest from Nairobi. We are hoping to turn these churches into doctrinally sound churches focused on soul winning, discipleship, and eventually church planting. It has also allowed us to plant the seed for setting up Bible institutes in these local churches.
3. Bro. Andy Richey, a team member, and I have also been blessed with being able to start some one-on-one discipleship Bible studies on a weekly basis. It has been very encouraging to see individuals grow in the Lord and have a thirst to learn more. Two of the young men we teach are refugees from South Sudan.
4. We also have seen firsthand, through a Muslim man, the persecution those who convert from Islam to Christianity face. We have tried to help a particular family, but they had to leave Nairobi under the threat of death and are now in hiding. He is looking to publish a book, which I am trying to help him with. Unfortunately, this is not my area of expertise.
Our major prayer requests are:
1. That we would have knowledge, understanding, and wisdom as we deal with pastors, churches, and individuals who have not heard a clear presentation of the Gospel, have not been taught correct doctrine, and are deeply entrenched in tradition and a works-based salvation.
2. That the Lord would raise up men of integrity we can work with for the furtherance of the Gospel, the teaching of the brethren, and the planting of new churches. We are continually facing the problem of men facing temptations due to their poverty. Money is always an issue for them. A pastor with a family trying to live off $100 a month and pay for food, accommodation, school fees, and medical needs can sometimes seem like a hopeless situation to them.
3. That our families would remain healthy, our finances would be adequate, and our walk with the Lord close.
4. That the Lord would provide us with a good used vehicle suitable for our ministry and that our supporting churches would be led by the Holy Spirit to help us purchase that much-needed vehicle. This will enable us to reach the people of remote Kenya, East Africa, and the other neighboring countries of South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania.
Christmas will be a quiet time of the year for us as we wait for the new year to come when we can start to implement our ministry plans for 2019. This is the year we hope to set up and formalize various Bible institutes across the country and enroll a national pastor to help with the ongoing needs of such a program, with intention being that the operation of such Bible institutes will eventually be in the hands of the Kenyans. We are also looking to be involved in planting new churches later in the year or as the Lord leads. We are expecting to face many challenges. Please pray for us.
Thank you for partnering with us in our endeavors to get the Gospel to the people of Kenya and the neighboring countries of East Africa. We would not be serving our Lord and Saviour here if it were not for faithful churches and brothers and sisters in Christ sharing the burden with us.
May the Lord bless you this Christmas as you celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and as you look forward to a productive 2019 serving Him.
Please pray for us as we pray for you. Thank you and God bless you.
Your fellow servants in Christ,
Peter, Melody, and Lindsay