This is another appeal for the opportunities of ministry the Lord has given us. I have made 2 visits to the Malakal area of South Sudan, to the brethren of the Trinity Baptist Church of South Sudan. I last ministered there in January 2012 and I am willing to go there again to encourage them. We are praying that the Lord will move one of you who reads this letter to accompany me there for 10-14 days late January/early February 2014 with a view to developing that ministry, especially the training of leaders. If you want to know more, or are willing to come, please get in contact urgently, as it is only just around the corner!
The forum continues monthly the second Friday from 6 – 8 p.m. In September we spoke on Communion with the Trinity. For this month of October we took God and Evil in view of the events of Westgate still being so fresh in the mind. Many young adults are being exposed to serious Christianity in this way. On November 12th. the subject will be the very relevant one of Worship.
The 8 students came 11th. to 18th. September for Unit L which is studies on Old Testament History and Theology. It was challenging to cover Genesis through Esther, but having to look at the big picture was a great challenge for them. They will come again in November for their last time in 2013. We are working on admitting new students to join with them in 2014 and there are up to 9 possibilities! Some of them will come for interviews in November when the students come, and others will come and serve at the time of the High School Camp when we can see them in action. Please PRAY the Lord will give us wisdom and that these men will be mightily used of the Lord
The Lord continues to be so gracious in adding to our number.
· 8th. September. 3 young men were received into membership at the Lord’s Supper.
Tedd Atsulu Anyanzwa was born in a Christian family but later in life, by the grace of God, came to discover that he was not converted. In December 2007 he came to trust in Christ but struggled to locate a biblical church. When finally introduced to TBC he says it is the church he had all along wanted. He has been an avid listener of Al Martin and Paul Washer on the internet. He has recently graduated from University and is job hunting.
Edwin Kabui Karuga thought he was a Christian since he had responded to an altar call while in High School! He got very troubled one afternoon when he came to see us as the questions asked unsettled him in his ‘faith’. On 9th. June 2013 he was pierced in the heart by the preaching from 1 John 1:5-10 that “God is light”. He was so convicted of sin that he could barely sleep. There was no peace until he repented of his sins. He has also graduated from College and is looking for a job.
Johan Mortensen is a young man from Denmark who is spending some months with us here in Kenya. His father is the Pastor of the only established Reformed and Baptist Church in Denmark and who has had a great interest in the work here in Kenya. We are happy that he takes commitment to the local church so seriously that he wants to be a formal member although he will not be here a whole year.
Sarah Kane has grown up in the church and is now in High School (her mother is a long-standing member, and her father is a regular attender). At the beginning of the year her grandmother died in the Lord and she was greatly challenged asking herself what would happen if she were to die? The Lord used this to save her. She has to wait for baptism and reception into the church as she is at boarding school.
· 13th. October Kennedy Ooko Kitindah. He was converted August 2007 and came to know of the doctrines of grace through the internet. After studies at University and because of his interest in the dissemination of the gospel, he took a year of internship reaching out to students. After his recent relocation to Nairobi, he has continued with his passion for Christ to be known and so he is preaching to the Africa Nazarene University as well Kenyatta University students. He is passionate about missions and is considering theological studies.
On September 6th. & 7th. we held our first Conference especially targeting young adults. We took as our theme: The Five Solas, and it was organized by our own young people. Of course, we were 5 speakers, 3 from TBC (Pastors Underhill & Murungi, Eric Abwao) and 2 from Emmanuel Baptist (Pastor Mbugua, Dan Huffstutler). There were about 50 people in total who attended and there was much appreciation. This is just the beginning as we seek to bring the Doctrines of Grace to an ever widening ordinance, as the Lord enables.
Monday 26th. through Thursday 29th. August, we had very encouraging meetings with delegates who are part of the RBAK in Kenya.
History. Trinity Baptist Church was started in Nairobi in 1978 and the first effort at church planting was in the early 80s in Thimlich in the far south-west corner of Kenya near Lake Victoria. Over the years churches have started in various parts of the country, men have been trained in the course in Nairobi (PTC) and the Association is the desire to stay in meaningful fellowship. The first meeting was in Nairobi in 1998. 23 local churches are in formal membership, which is based on the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith. Many more are interested in the RBAK and still others are in the planting stage (unconstituted). There are still some others that now have their own registration with the Kenya Government and do not wish to keep the fellowship through the RBAK.
Numbers present. Only 9 of the 23 local churches were represented, most of the rest sending apologies because of inability to raise the transport cost to come to Nairobi. 2 delegates were present from churches seeking membership and there was 1 guest from an unconstituted church.
Programme. We saw a real interest in the Association by those present. It has been thought by some that the RBAK is only for churches that have been registered under Trinity Baptist Church, Nairobi. However, 3 of the 9 represented at the meeting have their own registration, and one of them will host the meetings in 2014 and therefore automatically lead the Association into 2014. We are so thankful the Lord that our fellowship is not based on Government registration but upon our joint confession of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. We had sessions on various things presented by various with us in Nairobi taking the lion’s share as we were the hosting church for the year: the central importance of prayer and the ministry of the word in the life of a pastor (David Ngetich & Keith Underhill), the purpose of RBAK (Keith Underhill), giving and church business meetings (Murungi Igweta), church planting (Fred Lodeki), evangelism (Benson Nyamai), church projects (Simon Ochieng).
Decisions. One of the reasons for the existence of the RBAK is to help member churches sort out their problems (cf. Acts 15). One great difficulty in implementing this is the unavailability of funds to move around the country. So we agreed there should be a sum contributed annually according to the number of members in each church, and this would help appointed brethren (2 Cor. 8:19) to travel. We have one such local church where one of the pastors was dismissed but he refuses to accept it and has caused great problems for the past year. One brother offered himself to go to help sort out the situation.
Reports. This is a very important part of the meetings, and we aim to share with you some of the things that were reported in the future on the web site.
For almost one year we have had no trained leader in the church in Korr. The 3 evangelists have kept things going – 2 of them are basically illiterate, the 3rd. only has 6 years of education and no formal Bible training. We have prayed about this and considered who in Kenya we can send but so far we have not found anyone suitable who can go. Please make this a matter of urgent prayer. This community of about 60,000 is still very much unevangelized and through our many contacts the whole area is open to us. Big changes are underway in society with drilling for oil on the eastern border of Rendille. We need a dedicated man, with a passion for the lost, who will take Acts 20:24 seriously, and so tirelessly work to evangelize and build up the existing church together with the present leaders. Brethren, it is the Lord’s harvest and He has promised to raise up the labourers.
For more than a year we have not been able to meet in the church building, as it was taken over by a Pastor who was dismissed. We had to take the case to Court to seek to force him out, but there has been delay after delay. At the beginning of September, on the advice of our lawyer, we sent a security firm to seal the property, so no one was allowed entry for 3 weeks. On 22nd. September we deemed it right to seek to hold the first service in the building, as the dismissed man seemed to have given up. I went there myself and we had an encouraging day with about 40 adults in attendance for the morning service, lunch and afternoon meeting. I preached on Ephesians 2:8-9 to seek to remind them that as a church what we stand for is a salvation which is from God.
We are amazed that so many have remained for all these months just waiting for the church to meet again in its own building. Yes, there is too great an attachment to the building, but it also means that they have not found another church where they have been fed with the word of God in the same way. The next Sunday even more people came. This Sunday, Pastor Murungi is there (Miathene is where he was born and brought up!). I took up Martin Mokoyan, a PTC student of many years ago, to help the 2 Pastors in Miathene to bring stability to the church. Please continue to pray for the witness of the gospel of Jesus Christ in this place.