Volume. XXXI, No. 11
Sunday, 11 September 2016

Kenya Trip - Part 1

Each year, the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions (IBPFM) offers people (particularly college students) the opportunity to be part of a short-term missions team over the US summer break. It is an opportunity to get a firsthand experience of what foreign missions is about.  This team is called the Student Overseas Missionary Endeavour (SOME) team. On the 4th July 2016 we left Adelaide to join the IBPFM SOME team in Kenya. This was our second time being part of a SOME team to Kenya (we also went in 2013). 

The team was much bigger this time with 13 members. Once again, Rev Gary and Mrs Pat Johnson, experienced IBPFM missionaries to Kenya, led the team. Their friends, Del Ray and Madeline Nichols, came with their daughter, Michelle Ledford and her family (Mark, Rheanne and Matthew). It was a joy to see three generations of one family serving on the mission field. The other members of the team were Bonnie Leithmann (a teacher with over 20 years of experience on mission teams), Valerie Perry (a friend of Madeline) and Brian Hughes. Brian was from one of the Johnson’s supporting churches and had been wanting to visit Kenya since he had first met them when he was just 9 years of age. It was a special blessing to have Mrs Johnson as part of the team again. Last year she was diagnosed with breast cancer just before the trip and had to pull out in order to undergo treatment. Many people around the world have prayed for her over the past year, and it was a wonderful answer to prayer that she was able to come.

The location of the mission station was a place called Isovya. It is about 5 hours drive from Nairobi with the final hour (heading out from Kitui) being on rather bumpy dirt roads. As we got further from the city, the landscape changed from tall buildings and heavy traffic to bush with occasional little buildings and those very dusty roads. The city there is different to our city, often with heavier, slow moving traffic and people walking between the lines of cars trying to sell things. Even the bush is different to our bush. We stayed on the IBPFM’s Clinics of Care property, in the “Team House” which was built for housing mission teams when they come to visit. It can accommodate up to 20 people (2 bedrooms plus two dorms) and has an open kitchen/dining area as well as an enclosed veranda. There are two bathrooms inside, with showers, but the toilets (long drop style) are in a separate building. Hot water (for showering) was occasionally available, as we depended on the sun to shine brightly and warm up the water tank. Other places on adjoining properties were the Bethel Bible and Technical School and Isovya Independent Presbyterian Church (IPC).

Each day we would get up around 6:30am, maybe earlier, for personal quiet time and to get ready before breakfast. We sang a chorus or short song before giving thanks for each meal. One chorus that we learnt was called “My Lord knows the way through the wilderness”. It seemed quite appropriate for where we were. The words are: “My Lord knows the way through the wilderness, all I have to do is follow (x2). Strength for today is mine all the way, and all I need for tomorrow. My Lord knows the way through the wilderness, all I have to do is follow.”

After breakfast we had a time of group devotions. They were based on a booklet called “Missions Is… Loving, Living, Learning, Leaning, Laboring.” It was written for mission trips. Each team member had been allocated a section to lead. This helped us to start each day thinking about what missions is really about as shown in the New Testament.
Activities varied from day to day. On our first morning out in “the bush” we were given a tour of the Clinics of Care property and also Bethel Bible and Technical School. The Clinics (including medical clinics, a dental room and a laboratory) closed in 2007 and are currently not in use. Maybe if some people are called to go there they could open again. As we toured the school Rev James Mwangangi, the current principal, pointed to one end of the building and told us how there used to be just a bush there, then pointed to the other end and said there was another bush there. He then shared how he and Pastor Philip Ngonde met in the mornings for two years, one at each bush praying for a school to be built there. Now we could see the answers to their prayers. In the Bible School, men are given basic Bible training to prepare them for the ministry. At the moment, there are three men being trained.

Bethel Technical school teaches girls how to sew so that they can start a business and earn a living. They are also taught from the Bible. The last time we came there were only two girls there but this time there were 32! We do praise and thank God for helping to bring more students. Some churches and individuals in the US paid for 10 more sewing machines for the girls to learn and practice on.
Another need that we were shown was for a new toilet block. The old one had collapsed. There was just a big hole in the ground. We decided to use mission funds from Hope to help with this project. Since returning we were told that he toilet block has been completed  (see photo).

For our first Lord’s Day in Kenya, we all attended Independent Presbyterian Churches (IPCs). There are currently 14 IPCs in the Kisasi District. They range in size from about 10 people up to about 320. Most churches have buildings but the newest one is currently meeting in a big green tent. We were split up across four different churches. Due to limited vehicle space seven went out and the rest of the team attended Isovya. The men preached and the women taught Sunday School. Thankfully we all had translators who translated what we said into the local language of Kikamba. Many people in the churches did not have Bibles so it was good that YAF designated that some of the funds we’d collected be used to purchase Bibles. Those who received them were very thankful. We also gave some of the stationery sets (from YAF) to some of the Sunday School Children.

In the afternoon, part of the team started work on repairing desks for the local public school while the rest went to a market in a nearby town to hand out tracts. Tracting in Kenya was quite a different experience to any street Evangelism we have ever participated in. People were approaching us to receive the tracts! It was good to see the whole group participating – including Matthew who was only 8.
To be continued...
By Sis Purdee Yeo

Letter of thanks from Bethel Bible and
Technical School
Dear Purdee,  

How are you doing?

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and the Christians of Hope Bible Presbyterian Church, Adelaide for the support that you gave for the Choo project for Bethel Bible and Technical School.  

With those funds, we were able to complete the Choo and our students now have nice facilities to use.  Please do thank all the Christians who gave their money for this project.  

Finally, find attached the Choo after completion.  

Thank you & God bless you.  

Philip Wambua
General Manager

More Lively Hope



Kitchen Roster - Helpers this week: Bros Phil Surman & Lucas Yiew; & Sis Natalie Cheng. Helpers next week: Dn Sung Hyun Ma; Bro William Song; & Sis Seong Yeng Chu.
*Helpers needed for Holiday Bible Club. Please see Dn John Wong if you can help.
*All worshippers encouraged to attend Adult Sunday School, join Wednesday Bible Study & Neighbourhood Bible Study groups & be involved with fellowship groups.

Praise & Thanksgiving
Journey mercies: Elder David & Sis Giok Yeo (Melb/Adl); Bro Edwin D’Mello (Bris); Sis Peng Ha Yeo (Melb); & others arriving safely at their destinations.
Visitors & new worshippers.
God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.
Church activities in the past week.
Sharon B-P Church (Singapore) - 45th Anniversary.
God’s protection during the heavy storms on Fri. 

Prayer items
Health & God’s healing - Pastor Ki; Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev Patrick Tan (S’pore) & Rev George van Buuren; Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe; & others in affliction.
Special Prayer: Bro Grant Munchenberg; Mr Ballan Sanders (Hampstead).
iSketch & Tell Ministry: Pr Hai Seng Lim’s ministry in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Other missions: Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry (Batam). 
New Life BPC (London) - Dr Carl Martin; God’s guidance & encouragement for congregation.
God’s blessing on Rev Alfred Ngoma’s chaplaincy in Wagga Wagga.
Theological studies for Dn Sung Hyun Ma & Bro Kevin Low & families.
Youth & Assistant Pastor for Hope B-P Church.
God’s guidance for Covenant, Ebenezer, Hope & Providence BPCs to form an Australian B-P Presbytery.
Journey mercies:& others who are travelling.
Safety in final weeks of pregnancy: Sis Maritas Mangco (HoH, Cebu).
Postnatal health & recovery from surgery of Sis Emily Zhang.
Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.
Year 12 students preparing for exams: Bros Timothy Gan & Benjamin Wong; & Sis Emilie Kour.
God’s guidance for settlement of new church on 20 Jan 2017.
Australia - Salvation of Australians & for our politicians not to pass any legislation that is against God’s Law.



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