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.

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.

 

Medical Missions Report–March 2016

The month of March was an interesting one for Mzee Timothy, our church’s deacon who oversees our medical program. Timothy typically goes shopping on Wednesday for the malnourished children that we serve, then packages up their weekly food supplements on Thursday, and distributes them on Friday. All of these steps are more time-consuming than you might think, so he appreciates the help of two of our church’s wazee (“old men”), Cosmos and Samwell, who escort patients to various hospitals or appointments as necessary. However, on one Thursday this month, Timothy’s work of bundling foodstuffs was interrupted by an emergency: a 20 year-old woman with a hand injury. Apparently, she and her husband were visiting Kenya from Uganda and had found day labor; however, they had gotten into an argument and he attacked her with a panga (machete). Timothy reported that the husband had intended to slice his wife’s throat, but “thankfully, she diverted, and he only cut her hand, but very deep!” He added, “It’s very important that we help the foreigner. The Bible says so. But there are no wazee to take her, and I am busy. What can I do?”

I sat and thought about who might be available to bring her to the District Hospital, as our local clinic does not generally do stitching. I offered a couple of suggestions, but it looked like everyone was already busy with patients, or other day-to-day personal tasks. Abruptly, Timothy said, “I will go! I can finish my bundling tonight. I will work late.” (You must understand that when one visits the hospital, there are no appointments, and the wait is long. It was already about 11 AM, so between transport, waiting, and receiving the necessary care, we both knew he’d return late in the evening.) Such is the dedication of our Mzee Timothy! Off they went, and the stitching was gratefully accomplished.

IMG_0982One Saturday, another of our church’s deacons, Silas, approached us with a unique problem: a 5 year-old boy and his age mates were horsing around and decided to see what would happen if they put some of the milky excretion from a local plant on each other…and it ended up on the boy’s private parts, which almost immediately swelled and became painful. We brought him to a local health center, which referred him to the District Hospital. Silas took the boy (with his mother) for treatment, and by the next day, with some anti-histamine and other drugs, the boy was thankfully feeling better.

We are blessed to see how God has worked through our medical missions team here, to serve the needs in our community and our fellowships. Just this month, our regular budget for medical was doubled through the generous gift of one of our partners; this means that we can do even more! We are happy to report that this month, our regular medical expenses amounted to almost $400, and despite a couple months’ shortfalls for medical, we had earmarked money for all these needs! We praise God and are so thankful for all who make this possible.

We also had some special medical expenses, including ongoing cancer treatment for our brother, Victor, who visited Uganda again for a follow-up with the oncologist.The boy, Esau, with the enlarged spleen, returned to the hospital for blood tests to evaluate for sickle-cell, and received more medicine to treat for malaria, “just in case.” We’re still without a firm diagnosis for this poor boy! Our team also organized treatment for Metrine, a young mother with severe pain and disability and one of her hands. After several scans and a consult at a private hospital, she was diagnosed with a rather generic “arthralgia” an d given several medications as well as some suggestions for ongoing physical therapy that might improve both the pain and her range of motion.We’re still waiting to be able to treat Micah Juma’s badly broken leg. Despite two trips this month to the hospital and being on an antibiotic regimen for several weeks, they still have not cleared him for surgery, due to an ongoing infection. Please keep him in your prayers. These special medical expenses amounted to just over $500, and again, we are thankful that God is meeting these ongoing needs with provision through His people!

 

 

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.

 

 

A Church Servant

Unfortunately, some people believe that their standing before the Lord is determined by their power and influence, that their worthiness in the Kingdom of God is a result of their titles and positions, or that their greatness in the Kingdom of God is determined by their huge estates and wealth. They must perish the thought, that is not true. Our Mzee Timothy Sitati, a deacon and an elder in the church, understands the concept of greatness from a very different angle. Indeed, he understands it based on Jesus’ point of view.

An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest, Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand by his side. Then he said to them, ” Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all-he is the GREATEST.” (Luke 9:46)

016Mzee Timothy is not a perfect man, but he is a blameless soul: sober-minded, a man of one wife and household that fears and loves the Lord, a man to hang around with and learn from. His mode of life and simplicity is unequaled and unattainable by many elders  in our circle of local churches and community in general. His love and adoration of God is very evident in his commitment and service to the church and the needy.

Before he discovered the secret of the Kingdom he was a committed and faithful member of the Salvation Army church. Two years ago, he met with a disciple-maker and teacher of the Kingdom gospel, Marc Carrier, who shared with him the gospel of Christ. He yielded to the message and accepted to be baptized in many waters after the process of confession and repentance. This was a very new and unique experience for him. In his old church, baptism was nothing but passing under a special church flag. But that was not what Christ taught, rather he was conforming to the teaching and traditions of men.

Jesus answered, ” Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” ( John 3:5)

Years have gone by since he entered the Kingdom, and the fruits of the Kingdom have steadily emerged in abundance for all to see and partake. Mzee Timothy is a man with many responsibilities and duties both at his home, church and community as a whole. Being a retired school master, many people regularly seek his advice and counsel, but these days his total focus, allegiance, and commitment is to the Kingdom of God and service to the church.

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Mzee Timothy shopping for malnourished children

 

 

 

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At Eldoret Hospital with Micah

 

 

 

After many days of preparation and discipleship, Mzee Timothy was officially ordained and appointed to take the position of a deacon. This ordination was organized and approved by elders and leaders of the church. Surely none could ever imagine that Mzee Timothy was capable enough to take the office of deacon considering his age and the demands and responsibilities attached with the office. But as the ancients taught, “wisdom is with the gray hair.” He has not only met the expectations but has performed all his tasks excellently and perfectly.

Here’s what you will find Mzee Timothy doing on any given day:

  • Supervising and taking care of premises where the Kingdom Driven Ministries office is located. This includes collecting monthly rent for those who pay it, noting repairs that need to be made and organizing for the work to be done, and generally keeping peace.
  • Maintaining and supervising the community water pump, which is located right outside the KDM building.
  • Managing KDM’s publicly available library of materials, and ensuring that the evangelists and teachers have access to teachings materials and literature.
  • Maintaining the prayer and meeting room, to ensure that the room is clean and in order before any meeting.
  • Overseeing the entire malnourished food program: purchasing food, packing and distributing, and taking all the children and their caregivers to the hospital’s nutritionist on a monthly basis.
  • Distributing food (typically maize) to the widows and the poor and keeping proper records. (Being a local, he is very familiar with the struggling families.)
  • To the patients with minor sickness, malaria, flu and headache, he is always ready to give pain killer and other medicines that we keep on the shelf. For those with more serious problems, he organizes with local medical health centers for their treatment.
  • He manages funds for malnourished, medical patients, and mission needs.
  • He helps in dealing with church discipline issues and solving disputes among brethren, along with our group of wazee.
  • As a church deacon, he initiates special collections for needs among the brethren that are brought to his attention.
  • Currently he helps Victor Simiyu (a brother with cancer) to manage and budget his food funds and take his medicines properly, and offers him fatherly guidance and support.
  • He visits the HIV/AIDS patients and ensures they don’t fail to collect their transport to go to the government health center for medicines.

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Mzee Timothy with malnourished family at Matunda Hospital

 

 

 

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Distributing food to the widows and poor

 

 

 

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Washing the saints’ feet

 

 

 

Mzee Timothy has been a great blessing to the ministry and the Kingdom of God. He has been a great help to the missionary Marc Carrier, as he has relieved him from all these labors, which initially were all performed by Marc or others in the ministry. He is a great blessing to those that he ministers to and serves everyday. He is truly a light to the community. Let us always remember Mzee Timothy and other faithful servants in their work of service to God and men; remember them in you prayers and supplications.

 Mzee Timothy was faithfully serving in many of these areas before his ordination in our fellowship. Because, as a deacon, he has taken on many tasks related to the administration of KDM’s service programs, he is receiving a small salary for his full-time labor  from the KDM general fund. This is just one example of how your financial gifts are used within the ministry. God bless you!

 

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.

 

 

 

Putting a Face on the HIV/AIDS Tragedy in Rural Africa

001According to many statistics, approximately 69% of all people living with HIV/AIDS  are found in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is a serious crisis to many developing nations. Because of the magnitude of HIV-related sickness and death, pain and sorrow is often a part of daily life for those affected and for their relatives. The number of patients admitted to HIV/AIDS wards in hospitals continues to rise, and the number of widows and orphans as a result of AIDS deaths also increases day by day.

Challenges faced

In general, for village communities, the AIDS crisis of downward-spiraling health, death, and creating orphaned or disadvantaged children, is compounded by several issues: the insufficiency of healthcare facilities to deal with with the number of affected individuals;  the inability of people to pay not only for healthcare but even transportation to and from healthcare facilities; and the stigma of HIV/AIDS, which often keeps those infected from seeking treatment. The lack of education in general is another contributing factor for the increasing numbers of HIV-infected individuals in village communities such as ours.

The HIV/AIDS epidemic isn’t pertinent only to the affected individuals; this is a tragedy that effects all of us on the level of our basic humanity.  Untold amounts of money have been invested by governments and non-governmental organizations, with the goal of  equipping health workers and educating the masses. Through this cooperation much has been achieved, but much remains to be accomplished. But let’s back away from the global and even national consequences and look at the individuals and their families.  What happens when families lose their loved ones? What about teen or young adult children that have to nurse and bury their parents?

When parents become too ill to work, to care for the household and even for themselves, it is often children who take on the role of nursing and care giving. Unprepared and untrained, some are forced to drop out of school and seek employment to support their families. Yet, what job will an unsophisticated child  secure? Without education, what opportunities are there for them? Such children are often taken advantage of and even abused; yet, they struggle to care for a family that is falling apart. When the parent dies, these young ones are left orphans and hopeless, often grudgingly taken in by aging or impoverished grandparents, who themselves struggle with the challenges of life. The financial burden of additional mouths to feed, as well as school fees and other expenses, is often too much for the elderly, who typically cannot work themselves. Though in the family-oriented village culture very few would refuse this burden, it is a heavy one to bear.

Perhaps it is not the parents who suffer, but the youth themselves. Like an out-0f-control brush fire, HIV infection is swiftly spreading from the older generation to the younger generation of people age 16 to 35. Because of the stigma of HIV/AIDS, people who suspect they are infected never go for testing, perpetuating the cycle of infection. Education on HIV prevention and treatment are often neglected. Innocent children are born infected from mothers who are sick. Because of their vulnerable position in society, the suffering of children particularly resonates with us when we hear of the ravages of HIV touching them.

Most affected

According to some statistics, of the 23.5 million people living HIV/AIDS  in Sub-Saharan Africa, 3.1 million are children. As we have seen, children suffer both directly and indirectly from the HIV/AIDS epidemic.  They may suffer directly by being infected by a parent. Others suffer indirectly as orphaned and abandoned children; many end up in the streets. Even if family members take them in, oftentimes resources are scarce and they are the first neglected. Or, the stigma of AIDS leads to maltreatment and the streets look more attractive than the current situation.

Let’s put a face to these statistics: just one young girl in our village, Loise Anita (pictured). Her parents both died due to HIV and left her under the care of the grandmother, who is a widow. Although the government provides Antiretroviral (ARV) treatments and some other services free of charge to try to alleviate the effects of AIDS, patients must travel to the District hospital on specified distribution dates in order to receive the benefits. In the case of Loise, her grandmother simply lacks the financial means to do this, therefore compounding the problem.

IMG_0635 Dickson Simiyu (40 years) and his wife Brigit (38 years) are among many couples in this village who are living with HIV/AIDS. They have three young children: Gyan, Densil, and Griffin. So far as testing has revealed to this point, Griffin (4 years) is the only child also living with the virus. It was not until earlier this year, when visiting Kingdom Driven premises for medical and food assistance, that they came to learn of their status. Dickson is a manual laborer and currently able to work, but there is no extra money to take himself, his wife, and his young son into the District hospital on a monthly basis. When an average daily wage is 300 shillings and you’re lucky to feed your family on that, there is no extra 300 shillings once a month for transport. Yet without the medication to maintain his health, Dickson will more quickly lose the ability to work and provide for his family. Certainly, this is a conundrum.

 

What is the Role of KDM?

Though KDM does not have a formally recognized HIV/AIDS program, we have been moved to assist many HIV-infected folks whose paths we have crossed.  Some of these people have surrendered to Christ and been baptized in our fellowships. Within the last year or so, we’ve lost two sisters in the Lord: Violet, wife to David,  and Irene, a young girl of 20 years who we suspect was infected of unknown origin at a young age. One of our small house churches currently has several infected disciples: a widow with numerous children, two widowers with children, and a 14 year-old boy, Daniel. Others have been brought to our attention through community interactions. What do we do to help them?

  • Transport assistance. This is the primary support that we consistently provide. Though it is KDM policy not to give money directly for expressed needs, we call on several of our church’s wazee (“old men”) or our ordained deacons to travel with patients to the hospital on the day given for them to pick up their medications.
  • Food assistance. Though we don’t have an established food program for families of HIV patients (as we do for the malnourished children), we do what we can to provide supplemental nutritious food to those suffering with HIV.
  • Spiritual guidance and discipleship are a high priority. Giving them hope for each day, and true hope for the future, is where they can find peace.
  • Raising awareness to prevent infection and spreading. One of our longest-running disciples and one of our local fellowship’s deacons, Silas, has recently been working with KDM to develop an HIV awareness program that he would like to implement in our community.   He  has begun connecting with government and other organizations to make this possible. His goal, along with KDM, is to raise approximately $1000 to develop a DVD-based curriculum to present to secondary school students, which is a growing, at-risk group. This training will provide HIV education in combination with Kingdom-based spiritual teachings and and an emphasis on abstinence. We are so excited as we look forward to working with Silas and other members of his group, known as Youth Light Group, to give light and hope to our community.

In a recent interview with Silas, he expressed his deep and sincere concern  for the future generation. This is what he shared:

“My vision and mission is to save the future generation. We must teach and educate the young people; they need to be aware of the disease because it is killing our people every day. People must understand the danger and tragedy caused by HIV. We cannot sit aside and look, we need to do something.”

We need to do something. The time is now. KDM is playing only a small part, and we hope to increase that impact into the future. Please keep all these efforts in your prayers. Pray for the many individuals and families affected by the AIDS crisis here. If you wish to donate financially toward this effort, visit www.KingdomDriven.org/donate.

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Brigit, our Mzee Samwell, brother Silas, and Dickson

 

 

The Lord’s Treasures

Currently Kingdom Driven Ministries (KDM) is providing weekly food packages for seven malnourished children. When we first encountered these  children and the opportunity to invest in heaven through them, it also came with its own trepidation and some questions that needed to be answered. Among them, “Is this our responsibility? Should we get involved? Is there hope for restoration for these children?” All these were genuine and sincere questions to be taken seriously and with great humility. By this teaching of Christ we were confident: “Everything is possible to the one who believes, if you ask in prayer and have faith.” Therefore we embarked on the journey with prayers of faith, knowing that with faith mountains can be moved.

Many have been involved in the care of these children, and it has certainly been a case of “seed time and harvest.” After much investment in the lives of these little ones and their families, the majority of the children in our feeding program are getting better and better every day. They can stand, walk, and even run just like any other kids around them! They are gaining weight and developmentally thriving. This is a miracle to their parents, many of whom had given up hope.  Some of them thought their children’s struggles were the result of some kind of witchcraft or dark spell.

In addition to providing these children with weekly food packages, we also take them to the the local district hospital each month, where they are evaluated by a nutritionist and often provided with other vitamins and supplements or medications (such as de-worming). It is quite an organizational feat to get 7 children and their caregivers to the hospital by motorbike, all somewhat on time! Here are some recent photos from a visit to the nutritionist:

056This is Caro, a widow and mother to Garrison (age 4) and Wilson (age 3)

049Robbies Nasimiyu is the young  mother of Abigail (4) and Eliya (3). She was abandoned by her husband due to mental health challenges, and she has since returned to the home of her parents.

059Mzee Charles is a faithful member of our local fellowship. His grandson, Murawa, was abandoned by his parents and is now being taken care of by this sweet, elderly man.

050Caren (6) and Betty (4) are the children of Rose, who was also abandoned by her husband because of mental health challenges.

 

053   Mzee Timothy with families at the hospital

We are so grateful for the partnership between KDM and our beloved brethren and donors who make this program possible. May the Lord bless you all–without your donations and prayers these lives would not have been changed. And above all we have learned a very important lesson: “Cooperation in love, is power in deeds.”

Our Mzee Timothy (pictured above; he is our church’s deacon and he administers our medical and malnourished programs) has been faithful in overseeing these children and their families for about the last six months. He has kept the program on-budget, stayed in contact with the families, and made sure that there is family education to reduce the risk of relapse in the children. He ensures that every family receives a portion of nutritious foods every week. The food package includes:

  • 1 kg sugar
  • 1 kg rice
  • 4 packets of milk (2L total)
  • 2 bags of porridge flour
  • 10  oranges or other fruit
  • 2 kg of maize flour
  • 3 kg of beans
  • 5 ml cooking oil

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Here is Mzee Timothy doing his weekly shopping

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Next time, we’ll share the testimony of Abigail and Eliya’s grandfather–a testimony that would not be told except for the outreach of faith through deeds.

 

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