Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who faithfully support us through prayer and financial sacrifice. We would not be here doing the work of the Lord if it was not for your commitment to our ministry here in Kenya.
We have been busy with the Pastors’ Practical Training Academy, endeavoring to train key Kenyan pastors, who will then train their associated pastors in correct doctrine and practical aspects of the ministry, such as soul winning and discipleship, while assisting them to organize themselves into independent Baptist churches with goals and objectives, a Covenant, a Statement of Faith, and a Constitution.
Recently, I returned from Migori, which is 9 hours away from Nairobi, Homa Bay, which is another 2 hours from there, Bondo, another 4 hours, and Bungoma, another 2 hours. The return trip to Nairobi was 8½ hours. On the return trip, we were stopped by police or the army 7 times in the first 1½ hours, but I am thankful to say that no tickets or fines were received. Praise the Lord!
The trips upcountry are physically demanding, and it always takes a few days to recover once we have returned. Unfortunately, after the last trip, I had to be put back on blood thinners due to my swollen legs and possible blood clots. I am intending to make the rounds of these towns every 4 to 5 weeks (10-12 days) until the course program is securely put in place. There have been all sorts of challenges, including cultural differences that do not lend themselves to long-term planning, and tribal differences, which don’t tend to cultivate cooperation between pastors and churches. Even with these challenges, the pastors continue to learn and hopefully apply what they may never have been taught before. Last month, Pastor Gilbert started soul winning 4 times a week and saw 24 people saved and baptized; he is excited about seeing his church grow. Others are also reporting blessings as they continue with the PPTA.
Ali, a Muslim, received Jesus Christ as Saviour and is very excited. He has seen a transformation in his family life. His wife is a Christian and used to lead the family in prayer and in bringing up the children. But Ali now testifies that the children have a different daddy, and he has a wonderful family of which he is the head. He said he always felt as though he had nothing worthwhile to say; but recently, while talking to a group of three pastors (one with a collar), he heard a pastor say, “You have to work very hard to get saved,” and Ali responded, “No, that is not right!” The pastor responded by saying “What would you know?” Ali quoted Ephesians 2:8-9, and it wasn’t long before these so-called “pastors” cleared the area. Ali was so excited that he now has something worth speaking—God’s Word. He is a shop owner, who now actively invites people to church.
The small Bible study that I have where I live on Wednesday afternoons has been a real blessing. Both Lydia, who is Ugandan and works for an international accounting company, and Moraine, the wife of a professional working here in Kenya, are growing in the Lord and challenging me with their in-depth questions. It is such a blessing to see them searching for answers and hungering to learn. They have been baptized since our last prayer letter.
Our team is doing well. Charles and Melissa Newton and family are doing a good job, as they are now a few months along with Faith Baptist Church. They are seeing people saved and baptized and are looking to organize the church in the next few weeks. Andy and Connie Richey are also seeing growth at Lighthouse Baptist Church in Kamakis, and Brandon and Ali Heselschwerdt and family have now finished language school, are speaking Swahili quite well, and are looking where best to focus their service for the Lord.
Please pray for our health and the health of the team. We ask you also to pray for the Lord to raise up men of integrity to serve in the ministry. The harvest is truly plenteous, but the laborers are few.
I apologize for the time between prayer letters. I am not sure where the time goes; but there is much to do, and it is often overwhelming. However, through your prayers and your partnership, all things are possible through Christ.
Thank you and God bless you.
Your co-laborers in Christ,
Peter, Melody, and Lindsay Morris