Volume. XXVIII, No. 22
Sunday, 01 December 2013


Kenya Mission Trip 2013 - Part 2


 

There is more to missions than preaching God’s Word and the Gospel. By spending time with the Johnsons we could see that it is also about building relationships with people and showing them God’s love. There are many everyday things which need to be done as well, such as taking care of finances, visitation, purchasing food and supplies and managing building projects.

We were greeted at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport (Nairobi) by a staff member from the Christian guest house where we stayed and he drove us to the guest house. Sarah had her first taste of Kenyan driving and traffic. We were thankful for seatbelts, praying and trusting God as we travelled. This guest house is for missionaries to rest when they need a break or as a stopover when travelling to and from their mission fields. During our stays there (before and after our time in “the bush”) we met people from different countries with different ministries. It was good to have meals together and to hear about their experiences. Another blessing was to be able to have morning devotions together. Before breakfast, a South African missionary to the Rendille people shared with us from the book of Jude, verses 24 and 25. He explained how God is able to keep us from falling or even stumbling in this life. He is ready to catch us like a parent watching a toddler just learning to walk. Also, God can present us faultless, not because we are faultless in ourselves but because of what He has done. His final point was that God has glory, majesty, dominion and power, not because we ascribe it to Him but purely because He is God. These were good things to think on as we began our day and our journey into “the bush.”

The place we headed to was called Isovya. It was about 4 hours drive from Nairobi, the first three, to Kitui, on bitumen road with the last hour being on a bumpy and dusty dirt road. On arrival, we were warmly greeted by Mrs Johnson and later by Rev Johnson. Mrs Johnson prepared us lunch to refresh us after our journey.

While in Isovya we stayed in the team house at the Clinics of Care. These were set up in 1995 by the Johnsons and included a medical clinic, dental room and laboratory. While they were open they treated many patients and held Well Baby Clinics on Fridays. They had two pastors who preached to waiting patients.  Sadly the clinics had to close in 2007.

One afternoon we went to Isovya IPC (Independent Presbyterian Church) and met with a man called Philip Wambua and a group of local pastors for a meeting of a fellowship group called “Tumaini” which means hope. Mr Wambua is a banker in charge of exchange at the Bank of Kenya. He is the son of a pastor, the second of 11 children, so he knows what it is like to grow up in a pastor’s family and he understands the difficulties pastors face to educate, clothe and provide for their children. Mr Wambua has, with the help of some seed funding from a friend of the Johnsons in the US, taught these pastors about investment. It’s like the parable of the talents. They were each given a portion of the seed funding and asked to invest it and bring back their earnings in two weeks. At the end of two weeks they had all gained 200 KSH. (Kenyan Shillings). Then they agreed to do the same and return in a month’s time. Some invested in buying and selling mangoes, some in green grams. Their group verse is Psalm 133:1-3 which they read at the beginning of each meeting. They also pray and sing a hymn at the beginning of each meeting. If a pastor has a need he can borrow 1000 KSH but at the end of the month he needs to return it with an extra 100 KSH. During the meeting Mr Wambua reminded the pastors that their ministry and service to God is their first priority. Rev Johnson encouraged them to be there to support one another and help as they are able in times of difficulty.

A highlight of the trip was going on a Gideon run where we helped to hand out scripture portions. The Gideons is a worldwide organisation of men who are committed to personal evangelism and distribution of Bibles. Rev Johnson organised a Gideon run for us with Jackson, a local Gideon. That day we went to seven schools and handed out over 2000 scripture portions, in Swahili for the younger children and English for the older ones. We were amazed to see the good reception that we received at each school. At one, when we first arrived the children were having exams but the principal said, “This is too good an opportunity to miss.” We visited a neighbouring school first and then returned to find them waiting. God is powerful, His word is powerful (Heb 4:12). At each school before giving out the scripture portions, Jackson would share about the Bible and encourage the students to read it and treasure it. We were also given the opportunity to speak. We pray that God would use these scripture portions to bring them to salvation (Rom 10:17).

While there we were able to teach a Sunday School lesson at Kanguu IPC. Pastor Daniel Mwinzi interpreted for us. We also shared the gospel using the Wordless Book and handed out gospel caterpillars that the Sparks made. Rev Johnson shared a story showing how God provides for our needs then we quizzed the children to check their understanding of the Wordless Book.

The building for this church was crooked but it was a sign of how it had grown. Outside we were able to see the stick church where they originally met and now they were in a nice building which had even needed an extension to accommodate the growing congregation. Due to the position of a boundary line the extension was built at an angle earning the church the nickname of “The Crooked Church.”

One day we visited Mulango Children’s Home and Kitui Baby Home. Both of these institutions take care of orphans and had been threatened by closure in the past few years due to lack of funding. However God intervened and the staff were faithful. God provided the means to continue these ministries. At the time of our visit Mulango Children’s Home had 151 children and there were 47 in the Baby Home. We used money collected by the church to buy some food for the Baby Home.

While we were in Isovya, a missionary couple, the Andersons, visited with their daughter and her children. The Andersons have been missionaries in Kenya for many years. They are officially retired from AIMINT (Africa Inland Mission International) but not from the work of spreading the Gospel. For over 45 years they have worked in church planting in the northern areas of Kenya, amongst several people groups. Mr Anderson has a gift with water and practical needs. He gives advice on suitable places to drill for water, enabling Christians to reach new areas to spread the gospel. They also visit and encourage missionaries in isolated places. The Johnsons have treasured their friendship with the Andersons. The Andersons and their family stayed for two nights. On the morning they were leaving we found out that they needed new tyres.  We decided to use some of the money collected by the church to help them and they were very grateful.

Another ministry of the Johnsons is to the ebony carvers. Ebony is a dark coloured, hard wood. The carvers spend time shaping the wood to make articles which can be sold to tourists or visitors like us. They came to visit every day to show us their wares in the hope that we would buy some. Some demonstrated great skill in their carvings. One afternoon, Rev Johnson asked all the carvers to come at the same time so that we could have a Bible study and they could show us their goods. We sat around in a circle and each of us had an opportunity to share our testimony with them.  It was a joy to hear the good news that one of the ebony carvers had received Christ during our time there.

Next to the Clinics of Care is the Bethel Bible and Technical School. We helped to paint a room there, including the blackboard and some furniture. We used gifts from the church to buy a can of paint and some plastic chairs for the school. We also painted a pulpit for Yaathi IPC which was graduating from being a stick church to being a brick building. The building of this church was one of the projects for this trip. A large portion of the funds came from gifts given in memory of Rev Johnson’s mother who went to be with the Lord earlier this year. Our church also contributed to help them complete it.

On the weekend before leaving, we visited the Bible College of East Africa and worshipped at the chapel there. In the course of the trip we met other missionaries from IBPFM and other organisations. We learnt a lot by listening to the stories of these missionaries but also from talking with the locals. A video we watched there, called “The Wait of the World”, showed how people who go on missions cannot help being touched and changed. We found this to be true.

The mission trip has given us a greater understanding of what missionaries do but also brought people and places to life that otherwise might just be words on paper. We thank God for the opportunity to go to Kenya and to see His work there. We would encourage everybody to support missions in whatever way they can - whether it be by prayer, giving or going to help.


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster: Today: Volunteer. Next Lord’s Day: Bro Boong Atijatuporn.

*Hope Bookstore: Open today: 12:30 - 1:45 pm. Christmas cards available at reasonable prices.

*2013 Christmas Concert: Please invite your loved ones, family, colleagues and friends. Extra flyers are available at the foyer table.

*Helpers needed for Concert in particular refreshments and ushering. For those who are able to help, please contact Dn Wai Kin Wong or Sis Sally Teng.

*Neighbourhood Bible Study: There will be no Bible Study until mid-February next year.

 

 

 Praise & Thanksgiving

 

1. Journey mercies: Bro Joseph Selvanayagam (Adl); Sisters Natalie Cheng, Jillian Chia (S’pore), Yashu Qin (Shanghai), Catherine Teng (Vietnam) & Mary Ting (Sabah); & others who are travelling. 

2. Church Activities, in the past week.

3. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.

4. Visitors & new worshippers.

5. Job - Sis Xiao Hui Chye.

6. God’s help & strength for Yr 12 & Uni students in their exams.

7. Working Bees - yesterday.

 

Prayer Items

 

1. Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Pastor Okman & Sis Myung Ki; Rev Edward (post-op recovery) & Sis Lehia Paauwe; Rev George van Buuren; Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Bros Surish Dharmalingam (Laos), Elton Law & Kang Fun Tan (S’pore); Sisters Lai Kheng Chiong, Margaret Hooper, Grace Gan’s father (healing), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Corinne Teng, Susan Varadi, Sylvia White & Sis Mavis Wong’s mother (salvation & healing); Mr Swee Liang Ng; Mr Mang Soo Ong; Bro Peng Cheong Wong (Dn Wai Kin Wong’s father); Mrs Maggie D’Mello; Mr Tony Zhang; & others in affliction.

2. Special Prayer: Bro Yaw Chiew (Palliative) & Sis Julie (strength) Tan; Sis Nita Chong’s cousin (Mr Seck Aik Foo - salvation & healing) & Sis Iris Surman’s brother (healing).

3. Children’s Ministry: Rev Kevin Currell (Vic).

4. iSketch & Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry & preparation for Ordination: Ps Hai Seng Lim.

5. Cambodia Missions - Bro Sun Sokha & Ministry (Phnom Penh); Khmer pastors & families.

6. Batam Missions: Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry.

7. New Life BPC (London) - God’s guidance.

8. Ministry in Hope BPC - God’s guidance for future - Preacher David & Sis Susan Weng. 

9. Journey mercies: Bro Raymond Chia; Sisters Nichole & Ashley Chia, & Yan Mae Kang (S’pore); & others travelling.

10. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.

11. Job - Bro Jonathan Liao (Syd); Sisters Yashu Qin & Sharon Ying (Per); & others looking for  stable jobs.

12. Health in pregnancy: Sisters Kerrie Lam, Monica Tan & Susan Weng (BP control).

13. Exams this week - Sis Yan Mae Kang

14. Typhoon Haiyan (Philippines): God’s comfort for those who lost loved ones & property, & their salvation in our Lord Jesus.

15. Christmas Concert preparation: organizing committee, Sis Sally Teng, choirs & instrumental groups.

16. Godly Wisdom - those in authority in Government.

 

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063