Ongoing Evangelism by our Indigenous Leaders

During the month of June, our main teachers and evangelists, Lazarus and Wafula,  have been actively engaged in sharing the gospel with the lost, leading them to repentance, baptizing those who surrendered, encouraging many of our existing churches, organizing church meetings and laying strategies of planting more churches in different villages of East Africa, especially Kenya and Uganda.

Both Lazarus and Wafula have been attending weekly wazee (church elders) meetings every Tuesday. Following that meeting, they participate in a leadership meeting of a handful of wazee who are being trained as indigenous leaders for our church network. The two men actively oversee our churches, participate in solving problems, and encourage their brethren with the Word of God. Through their weekly Discovery Bible Studies with the wazee, they have been able to identify men who are capable of sharing the Gospel with others and setthem apart for more training on evangelism and church planting.

On their separate missions, Lazarus has been preaching at different places in town and the villages in  our county, as well as West Pokot county here in Kenya. He has also recently started a discipleship program with football players whom he used to coach before he surrendered to Christ; we are looking forward to reaping a harvest from these young people, and we pray that the Lord will strengthen him more in this ministry.

Lazarus and his wife, together, have been sharing the Gospel with different families in different places. During the month of June, they visited more than five families, looking for “men of peace” with the aim of planting new house churches.  They have established strong rapport with the families and will continue to minister to them in coming months.

Lazarus with a young couple in Cherengany

Also brother Lazarus went for a mission trip to Uganda for about a week, to strengthen and encourage the saints in the church plant that has blossomed in recent months. While there, he shared the Gospel with people of a new village near Lake Victoria, where he baptized one man by the name of Patrick. He also visited the saints in two other villages and encouraged them to hold firm to the faith and the cross.

Several people have also been baptized in our local Kenya fellowships as Lazarus has shared the Gospel of the Kingdom and led them to surrender to Christ, repentance, and baptism:

  •  Eunice – Bidii church
  • Peter – Birunda church
  • The couple Gladys and Patrick – Birunda church

 

Baptism at Birunda

On the other hand, brother Wafula has been laboring in training more evangelists by taking them out for field work and showing them how to go through this ministry of evangelism. Among those disciples that he took to the field to train on two-by-two evangelism were Silas and Mzee Maurice (from our local fellowship). We are so glad to report that they, too, have been successful in the ministry and a couple of new saints have been baptized and added to the flock of Christ as a result of their efforts.

Wafula, being a former imam, had resolved to minister to the Islamic community, especially starting with his own household. This month he had been sharing the Gospel with his father and encouraging his mother in the faith (she was recently baptized with permission from his father). Wafula’s father testified at the wazee meeting that he visited, that he is ready to repent and surrender to Christ; however, his is a polygamous man with three wives and understands that repentance involves becoming the husband of his first wife only. He asked for some time to put his household in order: finding places for the other two women and figuring out the logistics for their continued provision. We pray and hope that the Spirit of truth will convict him and lead him in the way he should go. Please pray with us!

Wafula and Silas baptizing a  man into Christ at the local fellowship

Wafula has also been active in organizing and coordinating church meetings and helping in church discipline affairs. Visiting churches and the sick in the fellowships has been part of his routine this month.

Please pray earnestly with us  that the Lord will continue to strengthen and empower His servants for the glory of His kingdom.

What Does Sunday Fellowship Service Look Like?

Sunday is one of the most special days for many Christians all over the world. We commemorate anew that the Lord Jesus Christ overcame  and defeated the power of Hades and conquered the power of death by rising from dead. In this day the entire human race was given great hope and possibility of true immortality and life of eternity; indeed, Sunday is a special day.

Since the infancy of the church, early Christians held this day as a very sacred and unique day of the week. It was the day that all the followers of Christ (the church) would gather together in their homes to be in fellowship with God the father and the son through the presence of the Holy Spirit. It was also the day for the saints to be in communion with one another.

In the early church, Sunday was not the day for powerful sermons from charismatic individuals; rather, it was the day for the powerful teacher, the Holy Spirit, to minister to the church through the ordinary saints. It was not the day for special entertainment and show, rather it was the day of true worshiping of God in truth and spirit. The saints would gather together in humility and sincerity to strengthen one another through interactive, Spirit-led fellowship. It was a special day for remembrance as the Lord Jesus promised his disciples,

” These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” ( John 14:25-26)

According to apostle Paul, the church service was all about edification and listening to the Holy Spirit of God, the sharing of the spiritual gifts imparted to the saints by God. In his epistle to the saints of Corinth, he admonished them saying,

” What is the outcome then, brethren ? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching,  has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by the two or at the most three, and each in turn, and one must interpret; but if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the under pass judgement. But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; for God is a not God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. ( 1 Corinthians 14)

In all of our local Sunday fellowships here in East Africa, with humility and sincerity we strive to adhere to and imitate the ancient practice of church service. We honor those who came before us, we learn from those that taught us the way of church because they  also were taught by the Lord himself through the Holy Spirit.

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The church of Saboti that meets at Patrick’s house.

In our Sunday fellowships, baptized men, both old and young who are filled with the Spirit, are allowed to share and contribute their spiritual gifts for the purpose of edifying the church. While women are restricted from teaching men in the church, they are allowed to sing psalms and hymn to the Lord and share their testimonies with the church, just as it was instructed by the great founder of the churches:

Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive as the law also says.” ( 1 Corinthians 14)

For the sake of our conscience and obedience to God, we encourage our women to be silent and submissive during Sunday service and also to cover their heads as their  symbol of God’s authority over their heads, according to the scriptures:

” But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved. For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head.” ( 1Corinthians 14).

In these fellowships saints have struggles, challenges and difficulties which need to be addressed. Here the saints are given a chance to share their struggles and request for prayers. The elders of the church will lay hands on them and pray for them.

” Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing  them with oil in the name of the Lord. And their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make them well. And anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.” ( James 5:14)

The deacons of the churches  collect contributions from the saints which will help to meet the needs of the  churches, and the poor and needy in our midst. This practice helps to cultivate the virtue and spirit of giving and sharing among the saints.

These is how the ancient church did their Sunday services, practices which we hope to exemplify in our churches here in East Africa.

 

 

Kenya Communion Service

Communion service is one of  the most sacred and mysterious practices of the church. It is mysterious in nature because of it inexplicable power to connect the souls of the saints in one common bond of unity and love, and the ability to link Christ (the head) with the church (the body)  in one fellowship and one community.

” And He took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ” This is my body which is given for you; do these in remembrance of Me.” Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying , ” This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.” ( Luke 22:19-20)

foot washing

Our communion here in our village fellowship usually begins with the saints washing one another’s feet in humility as a sign and symbol of service to one another, and a mark of willingness to be a servant. Men will wash men’s feet, while women will wash other women’s feet. We do this according to the instructions that the Lord Jesus gave to the church.

” So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, ” Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your  Lord and Teacher, have washed  your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that  you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” ( John 13:12-17).

Unlike the Sunday general service, which is open fellowship, communion service is usually closed; only the baptized believers attend. Visitors who are not yet part of the spiritual family would find it very difficult to comprehend the mystery behind the sacred fellowship of breaking bread and sharing the cup of Christ. And as the apostle Paul warned, without proper examination and thorough inner listening, careless participation can result in punishment and chastisement.

“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” ( 1 Corinthians 11)

In our communion services, the saints are given few minutes of introspection and inner examination in silence to find where they have erred, either by words, thoughts, or deeds. Then, there is time for sincere confession and repentance before the church. Here, there is no condemnation, no judgement, no criticism; only love, forgiveness and understanding. The elders pray for the restoration of the sinner and beseech the Lord to pardon the church for its errors and transgressions.

After confession and repentance, the church shares e a simple  meal together to symbolize their unity and oneness in Christ. The meal is any meal that is available and healthy for all members. A full meal might be rice with beans, but sometimes it is just tea and bread or maandazi. As  families and the community feast, these meals are always covered with great joy and gratitude of heart, and perfumed with the love of God. This is the meal of thanksgiving.

Enjoying chai and mandazi

Enjoying chai and mandazi

To imitate Christ is the surest way to the kingdom of Heaven. He alone knows the way to the father, and the way to life. In communion with one another, we are at one  with God through Christ, our atonement.

Age-mates at communion with their Moms.

Age-mates at communion with their Moms.

 

Indigenous Leadership in Action

We’ve shared in recent blog posts the desire of Kingdom Driven Ministries to raise up indigenous leaders in our various fellowships. Absent these key leaders, this has the potential to be a one-generation mission rather than a reproducible, sustainable movement of the Kingdom of God. One of our ordained teacher/evangelists is Lazarus Lordia, from our Bidii fellowship. Not only does he oversee the group in Bidii, but you’ll also often find him on his motorbike, traveling between our various other fellowships: teaching, encouraging, mediating conflicts, and baptizing new believers.

Here’s a report from Lazarus about his activity during the month of March. This will give you an idea of how this dedicated servant of God spends much of his time:

            This month, much of my focus was on building up the local fellowship that meets in my home. I spent a lot of time in discipleship with the young man, Daniel, who was recently baptized along with his wife. He has been experiencing issues in his marriage, and has not had a good example in how to deal with those conflicts.

I personally had some difficulties with my wife a while back, and Marc was able to counsel me through them. I applied some of his advice in how I was relating to my wife and son, and I’m seeing a lot of positive changes in our relationships. I am happy to report that I was able to pass along similar advice, and encouragement, to Daniel, because of what the Lord allowed me to go through. I praise God for how He works in our lives, to teach us and help us to use those lessons for the benefit of others.

I also continued facilitating leadership training classes on a weekly basis at the Kingdom Driven Ministries office. The goal is to give a solid foundation to all our disciples, and equip those who may be gifted as teachers to be able to share the message of the gospel effectively. We continue to go through all four of KDM’s teaching booklets in groups of two, to practice how to present teachings on the gospel; surrender, repentance, and baptism; obedience to Christ; and home fellowship.

I’ve been visiting the growing churches in Saboti, Mroki, Kamkuywa, and Nasianda. One of the highlights was visiting the fellowship of a former imam, who shared Christ with his neighbor. That elderly man, Silas, was baptized this month!

For the first time, I also visited the group of young believers in Uganda, where a fellowship was planted by our brother, Nashon Ouma. I spent almost a week there, developing relationships and evaluating how they were doing with the Discovery Bible Study. We also baptized one new believer there.

We rejoice in what God is doing in and through our brother Lazarus, and are excited to see how God will continue to use him to strengthen the fellowships here and lead new people into the Kingdom of God. Please keep Lazarus, his family, and his work in your prayers.

Resurrection Day Celebration

Many people in Kenya celebrate Christmas, but not in quite the same way that Westerners do. No Christmas trees, no Santa Claus, no nativity scenes, and (at least here in the village), not even any presents. But it is a good excuse to buy everyone in the family a new set of clothes, and maybe there will even be kuku (chicken) for supper.

Back in December, the wazee (“old men”) were all asking Marc if we were going to celebrate Christmas as a church. (And nothing is a gift quite like something you can eat…at least, that’s how everyone views it around here!) He had to disappoint them by saying that it wasn’t something he felt comfortable doing, given that the early church (Ante-Nicene) did not affirm the “holiday.” He did say, however, that the AN church did consider Christ’s Resurrection day worthy of celebration. Well. Somehow, that turned into a “promise” of celebrating on Resurrection Sunday, and so the wazee came mid-week last week to remind him of this promise.

sheep

Our deacon, Timothy, was tasked with organizing all the food, laborers, and supplies. Marc gave him a budget of about $100, and by the next day we had a sheep in our yard.

Several of the ladies in our fellowship were commissioned to make chapati, cabbage, rice, and (of course!) ugali. The guy who runs a hotel (restaurant) in the KDM building was put in charge of making the mutton. They would earn a couple hundred shillings each (about $2), and we would all feast. Win-win, especially considering that one of the ladies is disabled, another has been abandoned by her husband, and yet another is a widow.They all struggle, so it’s a real blessing to be able to offer them day labor.

On Saturday, Maurice and Ben showed up at our door and asked for a few implements to assist them in slaughtering the sheep, which was done in our side yard. The carcass hung in the KDM office over night. Only in Africa, folks!

The Sunday service was packed, so we met outside. We had about 50 people (including children), from our village “mother church”  and our sister churches in Matunda/Milele, Birunda, and Naitiri. With the cost of transport being an issue, we didn’t have any visitors from our fellowships farther away. However, the testimonies were very encouraging, and all the brethren enjoyed seeing people from the other fellowships. Our friend, Silas, had a great teaching-turned-dramatization about what a “ransom” is, and why Jesus died on the cross.

The meal was amazing, and plates were piled high with food. An 18 month-old boy ate about as much as I did! Our children (the wazungu kids!) don’t eat quite like their African counterparts, so they came back with lots of leftovers on their plates. It seemed a waste, but we just couldn’t communicate well enough that the servers really needed to downsize A LOT. Marc struggled to find a bucket, thinking it would at least serve a purpose as pig slop, but the woman sitting next to me said, “Just give it to the children outside!” Keep in mind, the KDM building is the site of the village water pump, so there are always people around–mostly children, since Moms usually send them when water is needed for the household.

Of course, in America, most people don’t eat other people’s “seconds,” and I didn’t want to insult anyone, so I said, “You’re sure they will take it?” She said, “Of course!” And sure enough, there were some very happy kids out front who ate what was left on all the plates we brought out.

Praise the Lord, a great time was had by all. We are so blessed to continually celebrate Jesus with our brethren here in Kenya.

 

 

Financial Resources and the Work of the Ministry

Working within an organization such as Kingdom Driven Ministries has posed some challenges as we walk out the commands of Jesus on the ground. He said to “Go and make disciples,” and “teach them to obey all that [Jesus] commanded.” Well, Jesus asks us to store up treasures in Heaven, not on Earth. He challenged the rich young man to sell his possessions and give to the poor. We read in Acts of the early believers selling what they had and re-distributing the resources to meet existing needs. Jesus said that man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions (Luke 12:15). Yet, as Nik Ripken aptly notes in The Insanity of Obedience,

“We [Westerners] tend to rely on the power of financial resources to accomplish the highest goals and aims of both individual believers and mission organizations.”

It is true that we, in the West, overwhelmingly think of meeting needs in terms of allocating our financial resources. But here at KDM, we have always believed as Ripken implies: an injection of money into a Kingdom mission that is designed to make disciples is actually detrimental to the health of that mission. The Scriptures are clear that many are led astray by their desire for money (1 Timothy 6:10); unfortunately (because of both colonial and missionary history), East Africa has already been corrupted by the influence of outside money and the power that is exerted with its contribution.

Our primary mission is, and always has been, to introduce the authentic Kingdom Gospel and see resulting life transformation in the form of obedience to Jesus. This should naturally result in faithful disciples who make disciples, thereby forming new fellowships of Christ-followers. But because of the color of the missionary’s skin and the association it has with money, many come just seeking assistance. So, as much as possible, we try to separate the mission (which is The Great Commission) from financial assistance.

Jesus said to “let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and they should glorify your Father in the heavens” (Matthew 5:16). The Apostle Paul also exhorts in Galatians 6:10, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” We cannot proliferate a Kingdom mission without also modeling the commands the Scriptures in this regard. Yet, it does create a quandary when such assistance is contrary to disciple-making.

Now that we’ve been on the ground in Kenya for four years, we have settled on a plan of action which seems to facilitate meeting both goals: the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. First, we (Western missionaries) model the teachings of Jesus by personally helping our brothers and sisters in the church and our neighbors in the village. We bandage cuts, give medication off our shelf, and give financially when asked. However, we are careful to articulate that financial gifts are from us personally, in obedience to Jesus’ teaching to “give to those who ask”–it is NOT associated with our church fellowships or the organization of KDM. Sure, there can be some wrong assumptions about that, but we do our best to be clear and to be a good witness in that regard.

When assistance is provided through KDM, we leverage our indigenous discipleship and leaders to actually do the work and stand out front, to minimize the association between the mzungu (white person) and money. We also do not “advertise” Kingdom Driven Ministries as an organization when we do any projects or medical missions work. This is in an attempt to keep people from affiliating with our fellowships out of obligation, or in an attempt to find personal benefit. We are also very careful about the types of projects we take on and the work we commit to in the community. Some of this has been learned the hard way, by trying to assist (particularly with microloan/gifts for businesses) and seeing the negative outcomes that have resulted in pretty much every case.

We at KDM appreciate the partnership of our donors, and we hope that you appreciate that we try to be good stewards not only of your financial gifts, but also of the health and growth of the Kingdom mission here. In addition to your giving for “the least of these,” please also pray for the medical needs, for the poor, for the malnourished, for those suffering with HIV, and especially for the discipleship and emerging leadership who will soon be responsible for the next generation of believers in East Africa. We praise God for all he has done and will continue to do through our partnership with faraway brothers and sisters in Christ who care deeply about the mission here on the other side of the world.

Leadership Development

One of the greatest achievements of any leader is the ability to impart successfully the gifts that God has given to them, to other people. A good leader also has a desire to share the accumulated knowledge they have gathered over many years of learning. It is not just enough to have men and women following after you, but to make many men and women capable of continuing on in your work–this is a mark of a true leadership. This is what Jesus Christ did many year ago with his disciples: he created men who would carry on his mission. He imparted his spiritual gifts and knowledge to the twelve men he walked with.

From the onset, the greatest mission of Kingdom Driven Ministries had been to produce and create men and women who can lead themselves, their families, and their communities in living and manifesting Kingdom life. Our goal was, and still is, to equip and prepare men and women for the roles of leadership. Though the Carriers and Glenn Roseberry have done the initial work of bringing the message of the Kingdom to East Africa, the goal has always been to raise up  indigenous leaders who will be even more effective in sharing that message with their own people.

In our local fellowships we have been abundantly blessed with many wise and good old and young men. Men of strong integrity and solid faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. But does it mean that any good man can be a leader? Or does it imply that every wise man can take the role of leadership?  We learn from Paul’s letter to Titus that there are attributes and special qualification to be considered before we appoint elders who are the future leaders of the church. Leadership is a gift from God, and it is only He who appoints and anoints leaders.

For two to three years we have been seeking the will of God through prayers to reveal to us who are the men He has prepared for this great responsibility of leading and feeding His flock here in East Africa. It has not been an easy task to identify these men, considering the great numbers of wazee (“old men”) who are continually added to our fellowships. It is wisdom to be patient and wait for God’s time. His time is always the best and His ways are not our ways, nor His thought our thoughts.

Missionary Marc Carrier has not only been a teacher of the Kingdom Gospel and a discipleship trainer, but has also been identifying men with leadership qualities who have the ability and the gifting to carry on the work of the Kingdom. Despite all the challenges and difficulties encountered in this endeavor, the Lord has been faithful and our strong support along the whole journey. Now the sweet fruits of the hard and bitter toil is emerging slowly like a corn seed will sprout from the dark ground after many days of struggling under the soil.

For any effective preparation and development of leaders to occur, there must be an extensive work on teaching and disciplining to be undertaken. For months and years, Marc has been leading various weekly and monthly leadership training and discipleship meetings and classes, especially for teachers and evangelists. The efforts invested were not in vain. Recently we have witnessed rising and emerging of leaders in different fields: teachers of the Word, evangelists and deacons. Some of these leaders have been recognized by the church and officially ordained.

Identifying and training first generation leaders was challenging due to cultural and language barriers. There were seminars and classes, yes, however, the real discipleship occurred in the field while doing the work of ministry. The prevailing method of Model, Assist, Watch and Let do (MAWL) was limited by the need for translation. Yet, this impediment to organic indigenous leadership development has now been removed as the first generation of leaders has taken on the responsibility of training subsequent generations of leaders.

Among them is Lazarus Lordia, a teacher, evangelist, and the leader of Bidii house church (learn more about him from our previous article, Father to the Fatherless), and Nashon Ouma, teacher, evangelist and pioneering missionary in Uganda  (learn more about him from our previous article, Young Evengelists in Uganda). Also, Silas Khaemba, a teacher, evangelist and deacon, (learn more about him from our previous article, Putting a Face on the HIV/AIDS Tragedy in Rural Africa) and Mzee Timothy, an elder and deacon (learn more about his ministry our previous article, The Lord’s Treasures). These men and indigenous leaders have been fully trained and equipped in the great work of service. Currently they are the ones who are training and preparing others for the roles of leadership and responsibility for the church through weekly classes including drill and practice, providing a consistent life example and on the job training. We praise the Lord that numerous prospective leaders are now in queue.

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Nashon and Lazarus,
baptizing a former Muslim man.

 

 

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Lazarus and Wafula,
baptizing together after teaching

 

 

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Mzee Timothy with Micah Juma
at Eldoret Hospital for medical procedures

 

 

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Young Silas (right) leading wazee in weekly evangelism training

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Wazee practicing their presentation of “The Two Kingdoms,” two by two

 

 

 

There is also an ongoing discipleship and training with wazee during their weekly Tuesdays meetings and fellowship, where they are guided through Bible Study lessons and discoveries of the Kingdom. These meetings also provide a solid ground for unification and oneness among the brothers. Here also, disputes and church discipline issues are brought up and discussed as needed. We praise God for His continual guidance in the slow and steady process of discipleship, and for those He has clearly gifted for the tasks of evangelism, teaching, and oversight of our existing fellowships. We ask for your prayers as we continue to invest in leadership development and look forward to transitioning our local fellowships to indigenous leadership and self-governance.

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Wazee weekly meeting

Young evangelists in Uganda

042It might sound like a fairy tale or perhaps an ancient tale of the apostles dividing the world among themselves,028 and conquering them for the Lord. You may wonder and say to yourself, “Am I reading an account of St. Thomas evangelizing the villages of Asia, or is it St. Peter preaching in the city of Rome?” Believe me, this is far away from a fairy tale, though many centuries away from the ancient accounts of the Lord’s apostles. This is a story to tell, a tale of two young, devoted evangelists, full of zeal and enthusiasm for the Kingdom of God. A marvelous tale of Nashon Ouma and Isaiah Carrier, the carriers and pioneers of the gospel to the rural villagers of the nation of Uganda.

  And Jesus came and spoke to them saying”All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” Mathew 28:18-20

 

This is a story about Isaiah Carrier age 17, the eldest son of Marc and Cindy Carrier, the missionaries from America sojourning in the land of Ham, and Nashon Ouma, age 25, the eldest son of Wilson, both disciples and natives of Kenya. In one way or the other their souls are deeply entwined like David the son of Jesse and Jonathan the son of King Saul. Surely these must be the doings of the Lord. How could it be otherwise in this world of conflict and hatred and racial discrimination?

Nashon and Isaiah are normal and ordinary young men just like any other young men. What distinguishes them is that they are here on a greater mission, with a greater set of responsibilities and a greater accountability to the one who sent them to all nations. Their lives are demanding though they are still youths. Their lives are trials. Their journey is rough and tough. It is not a journey for the faint hearts or for those seeking pleasure and repose here on Earth. Do you think is an easy occupation to be an evangelist? No, it is not easy and it had never been easy, even the accounts of the apostles concur with this truth.

In the Acts of the Saint Thomas the apostles are shown dividing the nations among themselves for the evangelistic activity. When Thomas was assigned India, he protested, ”I cannot go there because of the fatigue of the body on the journey, for I am a Hebrew.” Jesus then appeared to Thomas, urging him to go to India, but he continued to resist, saying , ”I would that thou wouldst send me into another country, for unto the country of India I cannot go.” It was not until our Lord appeared himself to Abbanes a merchant from India, and sold Thomas to him as a slave. Thomas recognized himself as Jesus’ slave, yielded, and thus went to India as a slave of Abbanes the merchant. The result was he baptized many many people and until today he is recognized as the father of the Asian church.

( Excerpts from Search for the Twelve Apostles, by William S. McBirne)

It was the same story, too, with Nashon and Isaiah, genuine hesitations: “We don’t know their native language….what about the fatigue of riding a motor bike to a foreign nation?…but we are not mature enough, we are still young.” To them these were among their great cloud of fears which they had to face and conquer. It is true that an evangelist’s resolve will be determined with the quality and quantity of preparation and disciplining for their mission. Isaiah being the son of Marc, a servant and disciple of Christ, had a higher advantage; he was disciple since the day he was born and in his young age he is very well versed in the ways of the Kingdom and the teaching of the LORD. His only dilemma was the challenged posed by his skin color, the color that many African consider to be the true color of the dollar. Perhaps you are not aware  that white skin has a greater potential to do permanent damage than good in the evangelism field.

Nashon was not also disadvantaged in his training and discipleship. Since the time he finished his High School education in November 2013 and was baptized at the same time by brother Marc, he had been walking very closely with Marc until on November 2015, when he was ordained by the church as an evangelist. Was this ordination a vain and fruitless thing? For the answer let us follow them to one village in the nation of Uganda.

First apostolic mission for Nashon and Isaiah

On their first trip to Uganda, these young and  inexperienced evangelists were led by Marc himself. Their mission was to find their manman o peace ug 6 of peace. It was not long before they met one shoemaker and established a relationship with him. After few days of teachings it was obvious he was not their man of peace; the shoemaker was not ready to count the cost and surrender to the kingdom. Their mission ended there. They returned back to Kenya. After one week Marc sent them again with more instructions and blessings. And on their second mission trip the Holy Spirit was guiding them. Isaiah noticed a man walking alone and silently as he passed them, then he whispered to Nashon, ” That must be our man of peace, let us follow him.” They immediately arose and followed him. After they caught up with him, Nashon didn’t  believe  what he discovered, his great fear of the language barrier melted away like a wax passing close to the fire, believe it or not he was able to speak the native language of the village, very fluently,  just like the natives of the land. For sure the Lord was with them just as He promised His apostles. If it was not a miracle then it was a divine preparation.

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Nashon asked the man if he was willing to open his house for them and allow them to share the gospel with him and his family. The man was very much pleased with the words and also with the young men. He welcomed them and invited his neighbors who numbered to more than twenty four men and women. Nashon and Isaiah planted the seed of the kingdom using one of our most powerful field tracts, Two Kingdoms, to lay the foundation of the kingdom. The message threw them off their balance; it was such a powerful and unique message to them, not forgetting it came from young and simple men. The day ended, and they were welcomed the following day to hear more from them. On their second day they shared with them the second field tract, Repent, Surrender and be Baptized, which led five people to repentance and surrender and Nashon baptized them. The Church was established immediately in the house of Humfrey, a former Muslim, their man of peace. And they continued in teaching them more about the kingdom in obedience to what Jesus said to do with the newly baptized, using the third field tract ...and Teach to Obey ALL that Christ COMMANDED. Two more young  men surrendered and were baptized and the  number of the saints numbered to seven. Now they are leading them  slowly through the teachings  of what New Testament church is all about in the fourth tract,  What does the Bible Say about  CHURCH? as they  lead them on their journey of Kingdom discovery. In this journey they were not left empty handed….they left them with two powerful tools to illuminates their understanding as they begin their royal journey and greater adventure of mankind towards the discovery of the ancient treasure, the kingdom of God, in His parable of the Hidden Treasure he said, “Again, the kingdom of God is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.“(Mathew 13:44). They received the Bible in their native tongue, the likes they had never ever seen before, and Kingdom Discovery Bible Study guide book. It is their first time to own a Bible and I believe it is an incredibly miraculous gift to them. ( All the field tracts mentioned above are very helpful and freely available on this website.)

 

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 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” Mathew 24:14

We glorify Our Lord and King for imparting His divine grace in the life of this two young faithful witnesses of the kingdom gospel. It may take us eternity to fully comprehend the greatness and achievement of these young evangelists, but I do believe God and His angelic assembly, and Satan and his demonic assembly, fully understand the impact to their respective kingdoms. Now we must fully understand that a father will be known through his sons, and a teacher through his disciples. As we speak peace and blessing to Nashon and Isaiah, let us speak great blessing and peace to their teacher, Marc Carrier. Above all pray for the young and new house church in Uganda. Pray for Nashon as he continues to labor in translating the literature to the local vernacular. Pray for Kingdom Driven Ministry! We need your prayers. They are vital.

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Greetings from  the Horn of Africa. Peace, be still.

 

 

 

Evangelism Training

Then Jesus came to them and said, “ All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Being part of the Lord’s disciples, especially  during our time, is exciting for the Kingdom Driven community. We are very much committed to training and equipping the saints in the great task of preaching the gospel, making disciples, baptizing those who surrender to Christ’s Lordship and Commands, and above all teaching them to obey what our Lord commanded. Initially this was the work exclusively of the foreign missionaries who transplanted to East Africa, but now it is the work of the indigenous folks themselves. Exciting, indeed!

For some time now, our young teachers-in-training have met with disciples from different fellowships every Thursday and Friday, equipping and preparing them for the Great Commission: to reach out to the lost and proclaim the good news to the poor. We follow the basic missions/discipleship practice of Model, Assist, Watch and Let go. This can take from one to three months depending on aptitude of the student.

Last week the training was led by a young evangelist, Silas, at the KDM office. Four brothers sat for the teaching of the Kingdom, to hear Silas go model the teaching so that they could repeat it. Silas shared with them our four field tracts: (i) Two Kingdoms,(ii) Surrender, Repent, be Baptized and Receive the Holy Spirit, (iii) …and Teach to Obey ALL that Christ COMMANDED!, and (iv) What the Bible Teaches about the CHURCH. (These are all available for free download here.)

149Among those present were brother Wafula from Western, brother Simon (visiting from Kenya’s Maasai land), and our brother Gabriel, from Saboti house church. Is our prayer that the Lord will strengthen these men as they prepare to go out as sheep among the wolves, to shine the light of Christ to the nations and all people.

 

 

Reagan

 

Kingdom Driven Ministries welcomes Reagan Simiyu as a contributing author to the blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Father to the Fatherless…in Bidii

Bidii is a Swahili name that means effort. It’s a good name for the fellowship in Bidii, since it is a small community of believers that has been bonded together through great effort by our brother, Lazarus Lordia. As they live and work together, it is also with great effort that they are seeking to live out the teachings of Jesus and be a supportive community of brothers, each helping the other to succeed and to earn their “daily bread” as they follow Jesus together. The church in Bidii is a group of poor and needy folks, but they have a burning zeal and unquenchable thirst for the kingdom of God and righteousness.

In their beginnings, they encountered much pain and sorrow under a false shepherd and self-seeking man, but  the Lord helped them to stand firm and strong in the narrow path, remembering what the Chief Shepherd said about the narrow road to the kingdom: it is not easy and it was not meant to be easy; rather, it is by much travail and tribulation that the gates of the kingdom can be entered. We thank God for the man Lazarus,  who has been a strong anchor and support to the brethren of Bidii.

IMG_0162Lazarus is a strong brother in the LORD, an evangelist with zeal and passion for God’s kingdom. This man’s life story is a fascinating and captivating one, a story that reads like a movie script. His father divorced his mother when he was six, and he was raised by his alcoholic father. He felt alone and struggled through the many ups and downs of his young life, feeling largely unsupported and without guidance. Yet, God used this for good, as  a preparation for his future mission in the kingdom of Christ. How could this man know this from the onset? In fact he felt the opposite, he felt neglected and forsaken by the Lord.Twice he contemplated suicide and termination of his life. It is amazing what man can hold in his mind when he is ignorant of God’s will and love for him; indeed, His thoughts are different from our thoughts and His ways different from our ways.

Yet his background gave Lazarus a great empathy for those young people who were growing up vulnerable and disadvantaged. He turned his attention to the youth in his community, serving as a football coach and mentor. His life found some purpose and meaning, but he still felt something missing. Before he meet with Marc Carrier, a missionary in East Africa, who unveiled the hidden truth of the Kingdom to him, Lazarus sold drugs and trained in martial arts, even while he invested in the local youth as a coach. Yet in his sincere seeking of the Kingdom, he has found freedom from his past and experienced death of the old man of sin. A new man has been born again by the power of God.  The truth was given unto him, and now he is on fire, fighting a noble and royal fight of the Kingdom, a spiritual warfare, the battle between good and evil. Using his worldly experiences as a football coach, now he is coaching the little community of Christ of Bidii. He is leading many souls to the Lord, both old and young. Among his personal disciples are those of his own household: wife, children, and father.

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Lazarus has found many challenges as a follower of Christ in his village community. He has been scorned and ridiculed, and church leaders have directly threatened him because their traditions are being challenged. As the leader of a growing church with many struggling for their “daily bread,” he is looked to for support when he has his own household to keep in order. Yet, he accepts this challenge with strength and views it as an opportunity to live the Kingdom of God in a community of brethren who can support each other through their times of need.

Daniel Miteti, another disciple in Bidii,  grew up as a fatherless young boy. Raised by his single mother until the young age of four, when the mother also passed away, he was left under the care of the family relatives. Did his relatives viewed him as a poor orphan who needed attention and love like other children? Of course not, they viewed him as a source of cheap labor, someone who will look after their cows, goats, and sheep while other children were in school seeking a better future. This is a normal case with many unbelieving families here in Africa. Do we still remember what the Psalmist said?, “Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked.They do not know, nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are unstable.”(Psalm 82).

Daniel being weak and having no one to protect him, was frequently mistreated. One of his relatives ended up beating him badly and even threatened to cut off his hands after he lost the rope which was used to tie the cow. Eventually he was pushed out of the family and ended up in the street. Without any form of  education, the only work he could secure was that of a herdsman; he was employed to look after the animals, and there is where he met his wife-to-be, Sandra Nelima, and they wedded.

Our evangelist Lazarus met with them and shared the gospel with them, and both of them repented and were baptized two months ago. Now they are among the body of Christ, those who are called by the holy name of the Lord. Brother Lazarus did not just baptize them and abandon them but instead he gave them his little barber shop, which he also was given by the one who baptized him. Daniel and his wife now earn a little money to sustain them. (Their daily earning is approximately Ksh 200 [$2 per day]). And still life is a big challenge to him, being a husband and a father, a young disciple. His faith and love for Our Lord are very strong and the only reason to keep on moving.

Brother Charles and his wife Lydia are among the brethren who meet in Bidii, the fruits of Lazarus. He also had a background like that of Lazarus and Daniel. His mother died when he was still an infant of two weeks old and he was raised with other family members. His father became negligent of the young Charles after he remarried. He never got any education, just like his other siblings. Being orphaned and poor he was an object of oppression and abused. He was falsely accused of stealing and was jailed fora  few months. Though he was eventually released, his freedom was not long lasting. He was once again accused with another false accusation of rape. Thank God for His divine intervention; Charles was released due to lack of sufficient evidence against him.

How did this  man came to the knowledge of God? How did he came to learn about the message of the Kingdom of God? Praise God for the work and obedience of Lazarus, who shared with him the gospel and led him in repentance and baptism. Now he, too, has a Father in Heaven who cares for him.

 

What is so  impressive about these little ones, the brethren of Bidii, is their obedience to the teachings and commandments of Jesus. Yes,  The two newest disciples are  are poor and needy and they cannot yet speak loudly and boldly about their faith. Yes, they are illiterate and unenlightened and they cannot preach a beautiful and colorful sermons. Yet,  they can live and practice the Kingdom. Their true love and obedience to Christ is their sermon to the world. The world marvels and wonders, “What makes these poor and uneducated folks so happy? What is the secret of their happiness?” It is their obedience to the great law of the Kingdom; they love the Lord their God with their whole hearts, souls and minds, and then they love one another as the LORD loves them.

The secret of their strength is their similar life experience, their common background, and their love for God. The Lord himself declared that the world will know we are His disciples by our love for one another. We pray that their love will grow stronger and stronger, and that more will join this faithful little group as they follow Christ in true unity.

 

Reagan

Kingdom Driven Ministries welcomes Reagan Simiyu as a contributing author to the blog.