Weekly Mama’s Meetings

The core vision of Kingdom Driven Ministries is the Great Commission: making disciples and teaching them to obey all that Christ 044commanded. A part of that vision is, of course, empowering women through discipleship and mentoring. Our main focus is to see that women in our fellowships and community are not neglected nor left behind in their spiritual development or in the work of Kingdom expansion. As in every community, women play a central role in shaping society, and their impact is no less felt in the church body.

In the initial stages of discipleship, it was not an easy task to gather women for ongoing meetings. Most women are necessarily preoccupied with the everyday tasks that demand their attention: gathering water and firewood, making meals, caring for children, and oftentimes doing the work of a small business. Nevertheless, we thank God for enabling us to mentor those who He brought our way. Despite their small number, we have found consistency in their commitment to weekly Bible study, prayer, and fellowship, and for that we cannot help but praise God.

In these Tuesday Mama’s meetings,  they typically discuss one lesson from the Bible, using our guide book, the Discovery Bible Study. This involves a time of sharing prayer needs and praying corporately for one another and for needs in the community.

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Another thing that they strive to do in these meetings is to meet one another’s needs when possible. They have resolved to walk with something little, in case one of them is in want of daily necessity. In this way everyone is prepared to contribute to solving the need; indeed it is a pleasant to behold this concern for one another.

Recently, two sisters, Judith and Mary Stella, tried to explain to me the wisdom behind their giving and contributions. This is what they told me:

“During our Bible studies, we discovered that in the Kingdom of God, is better to give than to receive, and we found out that the only way we can store our treasures in heaven is by helping one another in time of needs and wants. That is why we choose to practice to do that,” said Mary Stella. Judith added, ” We also believe that, to be in communion with Christ, we must be in oneness with each other. Serving one another is to serve Jesus himself. We have discovered that our compassion and love for another grows strong, and that is why we are strong, although we are few in number.”

These weekly meetings rotate from house to house each week. Among the few mamas who have committed themselves to this band of women are Judith, Mary Stella, Annet, Mary and Maureen.

It’s our prayer that they will grow strong in the way of the Kingdom and bear much fruits. Please think of these Kenyan women in your prayers as they strive to walk in the light and truth of the gospel of Christ Jesus, our Lord and King.

For those women who have not been able to regularly attend weekly meetings due to the burden of daily responsibilities, we have hosted an annual “Mama’s Meeting,” where all the women from our dozen or so satellite fellowships gather at the “mother church” for day-long teaching and, of course, a good lunch. There, they received teachings pertinent to women, wives and mothers as well as a call to take responsibility for their ongoing personal discipleship in Christ. They were also encouraged to meet as often as possible with other Mamas in their area.

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Judith

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Mary

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Mary Stella, who has been faithfully facilitating these weekly studies for almost a year now.

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Maureen

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Annet

 

 

 

 

 

Young People in the Ministry

As we at Kingdom Driven Ministries pursue the Great Commission–making disciples and teaching them to obey Jesus–we have made reaching the young people in our community one of our priorities. Young people have great potential to impact the Kingdom with the energy of youth and gifts that God has given them.

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A weekly youth meeting

For the past few years, we have initiated different programs in an attempt to influence and direct the lives our fellowship’s youth (which here is anyone under age 35!).  It has not been an easy task to disciple this sensitive and vital group of young people. Over the years, the group has fluctuated in size and changed in dynamic, but they continue to press on toward the goal of knowing Christ and serving one another. Monthly teachings, discipleship and evangelism training, Saturday  Bible studies, and Sunday fellowship are all among the core spiritual practices for the young people in our ministry.

Monthly teachings have been utilized for the purpose of shedding deeper light on the teachings of the  kingdom, usually with the goal of uniting members from different churches and localities. Discipleship and evangelism training prepare and equip the young saints for the harvest work, because  the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are scarce.

Our Saturday youth meetings have been perhaps the most consistent means of spiritual growth and fellowship for youth. This is an interactive fellowship  where the focus is on the Scriptures and issues relevant to youth. Lately, we have begun going through our Discovery Bible Study (which you also can download for free here.) The study being an interactive one, it boosts their ability to debate and support their convictions and faith in Jesus, based on their understanding and knowledge of the Bible.

These young people also attend their local home fellowships every Sunday, and have an opportunity share their discoveries with the whole body  of  Christ.

A number of collective youth projects have been initiated over the years, with the aim of uniting the young people and teaching them the power behind cooperation. Digging a fish pond was among the major projects that the youths have invested their time and energy in. KDM assisted with the initial investment, the youth provided the ongoing labor, and the proceeds from the sale of the fish harvest was divided equally among all the young people that were involved in the project.

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Youths working on the fish pond

All the training, all the job opportunities provided, and all the projects initiated, have helped our youth to grow, unite, and expand and share the kingdom of God. We pray that the Lord will strengthen us, and place us in a position to do more and better for the glory of His Holy name.

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Kingdom Driven youth’s fish pond project, year 2

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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.

 

 

 

Testimony of Faith through Deeds

20160216_120122Mzee Erasto, age 56, is the father of eight children and the grandfather of Eliya and Abigail (two of the children in our malnourished program). He is also one among many wazee (“older men”)  in our house church network. How did this man come to the knowledge of God? What prompted him to seek salvation? This man saw faith in deed and believed.

Mzee Erasto was bitter and sour in heart. His daily life was full of adversities and hard problems; indeed he was in great distress. Being a breadwinner and a father of eight children was a big and unhappy task for him, keeping in mind that he had no job and means to sustain his family. He was in despair and concerned especially about two of his grandchildren, as their health was deteriorating day by day. They were children of his daughter, Robbies, who had been married but returned home in disgrace because of mental health issues. She had obviously struggled to care for the children; they had developmental delays and were severely malnourished. When she returned to her home community, the whole family was ridiculed. Neighbors asked among themselves, “Where will they bury these children? They don’t even have a shamba [farm]!” This only added to Mzee Erasto’s burden. How did he come to see the Kingdom of God through all this?

Eliya and Abigail were first discovered by the Sweazys, the missionary family who sojourned here for a little while before moving to Uganda. When they came across these needy little ones, they took them in their house and shared the love of Christ with them. To Mzee Erasto this was not an ordinary thing; it was something not of this world. Truly to him they were good Samaritans sent by God to answer his deep secret prayer.

”My prayer was that if God would be merciful and remember these little children, and restore their health, then I will serve and love the Lord God with my house,” said Mzee Erasto. Did God listen to this man’s prayer? Was he answered and granted his desire? Of course yes, the Lord granted the request through His servants. Truly this man came to believe that this is a permanent law: ask and you will receive.

After a few weeks of visiting the local fellowship and attending the weekly wazee meetings, Mzee Erasto was moved and greatly touched by the ways and simplicity of the brethren. During one of the fellowship meetings, he stood and declared, “I have met people who are not of the world. I have met people of God, and I want to be one of them.” So our dear brother Silas shared the message of the Kingdom and planted the seed of truth. Mzee Erasto was guided through repentance, and eventually baptism. The Words of Christ resonated with him: “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Mzee Erasto’s life was changed and transformed, his heart softened and sweetened by the love of God. His eternal gratitude is to the brothers and sisters who made this miracle a reality, and above all to the great God and Father who is in Heaven.

“I am so happy every day when I see my grandchildren looking just like other children. I am very grateful to the people who unselfishly helped us. Now we have food at home and the truth of the Gospel. I am a poor man and I cannot repay all the people who helped my grandchildren and other children, but God will repay them. I will always repay them in prayers,” said Mzee Erasto. This man is overjoyed that now his neighbors see the work of God in the lives of his children and grandchildren. Even Robbies has miraculously improved, working at home and helping to care for her children. He looks forward to Abigail and Eliya being able to attend school just like other children, something he had previously not thought possible.

The Kingdom Driven community also thanks all of you brothers and sisters for you great help and donations, for enabling us to serve and help the people around us. Every single dollar donated in the spirit of LOVE is an immortal dollar; every dollar that can be converted into LOVE is eternal treasure.

 

Reagan

 

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

 

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.

A Man You Might Never Notice…

I spent a long time looking through folders of poorly categorized and labeled ministry photos on our laptop, hoping to find one of Mzee Timothy. (Mzee is a term for a respected elder.) I wasn’t particularly surprised to not see him in any of the snapshots, because he’s a man who often fades into the background. He wouldn’t try to find his way into a group shot with the other wazee at the weddings or funerals. He isn’t a gifted teacher, so you won’t see him leading a group discussion. He’s not ordained to baptize. He misses out on a lot of events because he spends much of his time working, just struggling to eat each day. This is the best I could do–our only photo of Mzee Timothy–one not really representative of his quiet and pleasant demeanor, but one taken during a time of severe illness just before he was admitted to our local district hospital:

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I wanted to introduce you to Mzee Timothy, not because of his notable accomplishments or his superior giftings, but because he is representative of so many in our local fellowships: quiet, unassuming, hard-working…and not out there on the front lines of Kingdom expansion, leading Discovery Bible studies or evangelizing any one of many small groups of men who hang out together here in the village. Instead, he is busy each day caring for his family (which now includes many grandchildren), and perhaps visiting with his neighbors. He rarely misses a Sunday fellowship, and although he doesn’t have a gift for exegesis of the Scriptures, he believes in God’s Word and takes it for what it teaches. Marc has encouraged him, as one of the few wazee in our local fellowship, to share something during our interactive services, and Timothy has taken that responsibility seriously. He is one of the first to stand up and speak; not with the force of personality but with the quiet authority of the Word. Most of the time, he simply shares a Scripture from the New Testament that has been meaningful to him during his week. It is enough.

Now that you know a little about Timothy, and can imagine what a sweet old man he is, you can also perhaps share in my joy as I see and relate the fruit of the Kingdom message in his life. This past Sunday, Alexander, a friend and neighbor of Timothy’s, accompanied him to our fellowship gathering. Alexander shared that he has quietly been watching Timothy’s life since he surrendered to Christ. Marc noted that Alexander usually attends the weekly wazee meeting if Timothy is the host. Alexander shared of his lifelong church attendance and his desire to find the “real thing,” but not really being satisfied with denominations. Instead, he has seen something in Timothy and wants to know more. He expressed a desire to hear the same teaching that changed Timothy, and said that he believes he will need to be baptized into new lifeFrom here, I’m sure one of our gifted teachers will be sharing the Gospel of the Kingdom with Alexander eventually, but this would not have happened without the quiet witness of Timothy’s life. So praise God with us for the fruit that is being born for the Kingdom of God, not in the preaching to hundreds, but in the day-to-day example that so many disciples here live out before their families, friends, and neighbors. And pray with us for a continued harvest here on the mission field in Kenya.