2011, No. 9 (30/4/11)

Dear Brethren

It is time to update you after a very busy few weeks, during which we have been upheld so that it has been a very profitable time.

Gary Brady

Gary is Pastor of Child’s Hill Baptist Church, London. He was with us from 15th. to 22nd. April and we so much appreciated his ministry and fellowship.

Dine & Listen (Friday 15th.)

This is one evangelistic effort we make when we provide a special meal (at a price!) in the church hall, followed by half an hour’s preaching. Gary spoke on Matthew 11:28-30 to the 70+ who came. The church members did a wonderful job of inviting their contacts so that there were many visitors. I talked with one young working lady who lives just around the corner so has often walked past the premises. It is not difficult to ask the question ‘Are you saved?’ at some point in the talking and this usually leads to something very profitable. May the Lord bring much fruit.

Pastors’ Conference (Monday 18th. to Thursday 21st.)

We had a wonderful Conference on the theme of Regeneration, with more than 50 men present at some time. Different brethren led the morning devotions. There were 2 valuable ‘workshops’ on the subject of Associations of Local Churches. I also gave a paper on the 1689 Baptist Confession. There was an interesting discussion on how to make the Conference more valuable to more men. We concluded with a prayer meeting. We certainly came away knowing the importance of the doctrine of Regeneration, both in our experience and in our preaching. May it be as effective as when Whitefield preached!

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Pwani Safari (Friday 22nd. to Wednesday 27th.)

‘Pwani’ means Coast and this is the part of the country I travelled in immediately after the Pastors’ Conference, together with Chris Gatihi.

(1) Vote is a small church led by Benson Nyamai half way towards the Coast, near Mutomo. We arrived in time at have a Good Friday service in the early afternoon. Afterwards we moved around the centre witnessing to various people. You will see from the photo that their brick building was destroyed by a strong wind, so now they have put up a temporary shade.

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(2) Boyani is near Mombasa, just a few kms from where the first missionary in Kenya, Krapf, settled (Rabai). The area is made up of Christians, Muslims and traditional people (magic is greatly feared). The church is mainly young people and we had lengthy discussions with them about marriage. The main problem has to do with the payment of the dowry. In-laws demand that it be paid in full before the marriage ceremony, something which is impossible for most unless endless years pass by. What should they do? They must not start living together as one couple have done out of frustration. When they are of age they are allowed to marry even without parental consent, whether in the church or before the appropriate government official. They can tell the bride’s father of their respect and willingness to pay dowry over time. Interestingly the couple now living together have not been harassed because of non-payment. It was Easter Sunday and I preached from Luke 24:36-43 about the witnesses to the resurrection.

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(3) Idsowe is more than 200 kms north of Mombasa, near where Kenya’s largest river, the Tana empties into the Indian Ocean. This where Titus Tumaini lives and ministers, seeking to reach the Malakote people first of all. There is a small fellowship that has been established but so far he has seen no converts amongst the unreached around him. There are people nearby from 4 unreached peoples – Malakote, Orma, Sanye, and Wardei. They all follow Islam and are difficult to penetrate. 10 years back there were estimated to be 45,000 Malakote with <0.01% evangelical Christian, 60,000 Orma with <0.01%, 10,000 Sanye (or Watta as they prefer to be called) with <0.07%, and 35,000 Wardei with <0.01%. You will appreciate that 0.01% of 60,000 is 6 only and there are less, i.e. almost no one. I met with Iddi Nahum for the first time, a Christian Sanye who is considering working with Titus. This would be a great encouragement to Titus. I believe we must have a special concern for such unreached.

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(4) Kima is much nearer Nairobi, on the main road from Mombasa about 100 km. before reaching Nairobi. On April 16th. a few of us visited to interview those who wanted to be the founding members of the church. 9 were recommended with 6 to be baptized as believers. We called in on the way back and in true Kenyan style were treated to a lovely meal. The picture shows us under the building they have begun to erect, and of course we are again eating.

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We thank the Lord that the Reformed Baptist Association of Kenya has finally produced its report to be officially sent out to all concerned, relating to the problems of division starting in 2008. They have given their full backing to me and have blamed others for not responding to their invitation for discussions in order to pursue reconciliation. Please pray that no effort will be spared in seeking such reconciliation, for the glory of God and the spread of the gospel.

Future Ministry

Please pray for the following in the next week:

  • Monday – Thursday I shall be travelling to West Kenya with our Intern, George Omondi. I shall be leading 2 fraternals of our Pastors, one in Siaya (Tuesday), the second in Osani (Wednesday). I wish to be a real encouragement to these brethren.

  • Saturday – Some of us will be going to Kima to constitute the church, with 6 being baptized.

  • Sunday – 4 people will be brought into membership of the church here in Nairobi, 2 being baptized. The ministry will be on Baptism from ch. 29 of the 1689 Confession in the adult Sunday school, Ephesians 2:14-16, and then Genesis 22.

We are seeing unusual blessing at this time, and we earnestly pray against the devil sowing seeds of discontent and division. We ask for your prayers.

In Christ’s service,

Keith & Priscilla Underhill

2011, No. 8 (11/4/11)

Dear Brethren,

God continues to be so gracious to us in every way. I remarked in No. 7 that I felt tired after Sunday. Well two days later I was told I was suffering from amoeba and bilharzia! Both Priscilla and I have now gone for thorough physical check-ups and we thank the Lord that everything seems normal. We are seeking to get everything arranged for our time away from Kenya beginning 24th. May, until early September.

New Members

The Lord graciously continues to add members. The group of 3 were welcomed at the Lord’s Supper on 10th. April. David was baptized and welcomed in March.

  • Chris Gatihi. Chris was born and raised of Kenyan parents in the States. He comes from West Hills Community Church in San Jose, California. We have received him into TBC with a view eventually to plant another church in Nairobi.
  • Charles Ndung’u. He was saved about 10 years ago from a totally dissolute life. He came to see the unbiblical nature of the teaching in the church that he joined, including the ungodly life of leaders, then tried many churches, and for a while even stopped going wondering if any preach the Bible. Ever since his first Sunday a few months back he has been excited to be with us and keeps bringing others. He has his own small recording studio and is concerned only to record songs that are true to the Scriptures as he is now understanding them. He is also working on a DVD film.
  • Domnick Ogwago. A few years ago Domnick went to study Bible in South Africa, and ended up in a College that teaches reformed doctrine. On completion he was put in contact with me by Wayne Mack, who used to be the pastor of the church I joined when at Seminary in the early 1970s! Wayne Mack is now ministering in South Africa, and we thank God for a brother who is so zealous to serve well into his 70s.

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  • David Kuria. David & Huston were the first 2 young people to come seeking a reformed church in November 2010. He told me on Sunday that he recently visited the nearby church where he had been for 16 years. Although professing to be evangelical, it is ‘seeker sensitive’ and the gospel is hardly preached. He is a graphics designer, especially with logos on T-shirts. He has done such a wonderful poster for Dine & Listen and is also working on our church website. You will be able to see the finished product!

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Last Saturday Priscilla and I spent the day at a wedding. Charity is the daughter of Paul Kianji, now one of our pastors in the Miathene church. He was one of the first persons I met when I came to Kenya in 1968, as we taught together in the same school. I again met 2 of my former students and many who came from the Miathene area. The ceremony was led by a Methodist pastor. What saddened me most was that it was a wonderful opportunity to preach the gospel to 500+ people, some of them at the very top of Kenyan society. He asked the question, ‘Why are marriages becoming so difficult?’ I thought he would take us from Genesis 2 to Genesis 3 and lay the blame at the door of sin. But no, the answer was ‘Spouses do not spend enough time with each other.’ Obviously there is much truth in this, but an atheist could have said the same thing. Interestingly he told us Jesus is his Saviour and Lord, and punctuated his speech with ‘Hallelujah!’ and ‘Praise the Lord!’ Then in his closing prayer I was shocked when he prayed, amongst other things, that no ‘generational curse’ would be inflicted on the newly weds. It shows how much this deliverance teaching has infected all Kenyan churches. It was a lovely wedding, and hour plus late as usual, and a lovely meal. It was held at one of the top tourist hotels in very beautiful surroundings. I pray to have some contact with the couple as Charity’s sister in a church member and they are coming to live quite nearby.

Future Ministry

Please PRAY for the following:

  1. Gary Brady, Pastor of Child’s Hill Baptist Church, London, will be spending 8 days with us and will be closely involved in nos. 2-5.
  2. Dine & Listen, Friday evening 15th. This is an evangelistic occasion where we encourage the brethren to invite at least one unconverted contact. We first eat and then there is about half an hour’s preaching from Gary. The one difficulty is getting through the traffic jams to make it for 7 p.m.
  3. Kima, Saturday 16th. At the end of October 2010 I made my first visit to Kima, a settlement on the main road to the Coast, about 100 kms. south-east of Nairobi. One of our long-standing PTC students, Donald Kivungi, has started this work, and we are going to interview prospective church members, with a view to constituting the church.
  4. TBC, Nairobi, Sunday 17th. Gary will be preaching in the morning service. I will be taking the Adult Bible Class on the 1689 Confession, chapter 28, and the evening service on Genesis 21. Gary will also speak to the 15 or so at the Women’s Fellowship in the earlier afternoon.
  5. Pastors’ Conference, Monday 18th. to Thursday 21st. The theme of the Conference is Regeneration. Gary will speak 8 times, and I will add 2 sessions on the theme. We expect 50+ men to come from all over Kenya, abut half being from churches linked with Trinity Baptist Church, Nairobi.
  6. Visit to south-east Kenya, Friday 22nd. to Wednesday 27th. This is still to be confirmed as my car is again in the garage, this time for an engine overhaul. It has done 200,000 kms. and one cylinder was misfiring. In addition one of the pistons was found to be cracked. One of the reasons for going immediately after the Conference is that I will be able to take back the 3 brethren whose ministries I want to visit to encourage.

As always, in Christ’s service,

Keith & Priscilla Underhill