The Lord gave us an encouraging 10 days away from Nairobi in Pokot North, 20-29 November. The new car performed well. I went with Vincent Kajuma who is now doing a year’s internship in the church and who is set to start the Pastoral training January 2013, God willing. The following are the highlights:
1. We had more than 20 opportunities to preach the Word, in formal meetings, evening devotions, youth, and students doing their final primary exams (standard 8).
2. Our first stop was Chepkinagh where the church sponsors a primary school with more than 300 registered pupils and where students have just completed their standard 8 exams for the first time. The Government has provided funds to construct a dormitory as the area of Pokot North is regarded as semi-arid where families migrate during the dry seasons to look after their cattle. In this way the children do not miss out on schooling. What an opportunity this is to impact the lives of so many children with the gospel!
3. We went to Wasat for the first time 4 years ago when it was just dense bush. A year ago a church was constituted here with 18 members. Andrew told us that another 15 have applied for baptism, and we were sceptical. We went started interviewing expecting that they would have little understanding. ‘Why do you want to be baptized?’ ‘Because Jesus Christ is my Saviour’ came the invariable response! In answer to the question, ‘What has been the greatest difficulty in your Christian life?’ almost all said it is opposition from former friends who have sought to drag them back into the former sinful lifestyle, such as into drunkenness and resulting family strife and into cattle raiding. We asked ourselves whether they had been coached to give these answers, but rather we saw it as a testimony as to how well they had been taught. If there are now more than 30 converts in this small community what an influence they must be having by their changed lifestyle!
4. Dreaded Saturday came and the climb up to Tarakit.There are 3 churches high up on the ridges of the mountains – Kapkaghun, Tarakit and Kapyomot, and brethren also came from the 2 churches down – Apur and Chepkinagh. There were so many people (at least 150) they could not fit in the small church building. It is such an experience at the end of a meeting that a circle is slowly formed while singing as everyone greets everyone else. We preached on the Rich Fool, Romans 8:31-39 and Ephesians 5:1-2.
5. At Kasei the brethren are working towards constructing a permanent church building. Although the membership is small, they have a vital ministry to the 40+ secondary school students (another class will be added in 2013) and they all come to the church. They are planning for a building to accommodate 200 and are committed to raising one-quarter of the 1.3 million shillings ($16,000). It is so encouraging to see all the effort the brethren of the various churches are putting into it, owning the project themselves. They would of course be thankful for any help you can give towards this.
There is pressure to start a girls’ secondary school at nearby Kamketo where there is a well-established church and a full boarding primary school.
More leaders for the churches is the great need. We have 5 men who have gone through the PTC, 3 from the area, and 2 ‘missionaries’ who are not native Pokot speakers. The latter are primarily involved in the school work as education is in English after the first 3 years of primary school. There are 11 churches! The brethren are considering starting their own training programme for evangelists that can reach the people on the ground who only know the Pokot language.
Left to right:
Isaiah Juma – Kasei (secondary school)
Andrew Chemolok – Chepkinagh (6 local churches)
Amos Wamukota – Kamketo (primary school)
Joshua Sitet – Kasei (3 local churches)
Thomas Lokerisa – Kamketo (2 local churches)
For the last 3 years we have had a family in Korr that we had sent to minister there from another part of Kenya. That ministry has been abruptly terminated after we asked him to resign. That leaves the 3 evangelists, 2 of whom are almost illiterate, and the other with just a few years of basic education. We are in urgent need of someone to help with this ministry, either a Kenyan of great maturity, or an outsider who will not be subject to temptation. We do not understand the Lord’s dealings as this is a vital ministry to a people largely unreached with the gospel. To the human eye it might appear that the work is in great danger of collapse, yet it may also be the stimulus for rejuvenation. Please PRAY the Lord will send a suitable labourer(s) to preach the gospel. PRAY also for Pastor Murungi as he makes another impromptu visit there this week to find out what has been going on. Rain has greatly hampered his arrival. He had to go to Marsabit, arriving Tuesday morning, and is hoping to leave for Korr this afternoon (Thursday).
Camps & Concert
We have a busy week ahead of us.
1. Today (Thursday) we are expecting about 20 young people who are in Secondary School for a week’s Camp here in Nairobi. It is going to be run by our young people who are in their 20s. This is the first as we have seen the need for young people in churches under TBC to get to know a wider community than just their own. This time we are targeting children of church leaders. We are encountering 2 problems, a selected public sector transport strike in protest against harsh new traffic rules, and heavy rain in Rendille so that even Pastor Murungi has not yet got transport to Korr and obviously none can come out (we expected 4 from Korr). Please PRAY this next week will have a lasting impact.
2. Saturday (8th.) the young people are putting on a concert with the aim of reaching other young people in Nairobi.
3. Next Tuesday & Wednesday we are also involved in a Youth Camp at Solidarity Children’s Rescue Home in Kasarani (Nairobi). Christina from Australia, who runs the home wants the spiritual ministry to be under Trinity Baptist and we have agreed to speak to the 50+ youngsters gathered for these 2 days.
We would like to thank those of you who helped with school fees for secondary school children in 2012 which helped around 20 to attend schools. This is an on-going need annually and many of the students at the Camp have been the beneficiaries. Please consider helping for this coming year as students go back to school in January 2013.
In Christ’s service,
P.S. Priscilla arrived back from her time away in the States and England with the grandchildren.