A Life Redeemed–Jackson’s Story

When we first found Jackson, he was in rough shape. His leg was literally eaten away to the bone. There was no salvaging his leg; he required an amputation to survive. What began as a pimple eventually resulted in the total destruction of his leg. Retrospect suggests a spider bite, but we can only guess.

 

Jackson -- a depressed man

Jackson — a depressed man

Bad leg

Bad leg

His spiritual life was not much better. He was not a good man before we met him. He was married with children, but had been unfaithful to his wife. When these troubles befell him she left him and he lost the children as well. Since he had never paid dowry, his father-in-law gave his wife to another man. He was now going through these struggles alone.

Well one day he visited the KDM clinic and his life was about to change. His first challenge was simply surviving his ailment. We took him to a regional hospital and inquired as to the amputation procedure. They agreed to take on the task but at a cost of nearly $1,000. Praise the Lord you faithful contributors allowed for a very successful surgery. But this did not solve his greater need: to be reconciled with God.

 

Happy man with one leg

Happy man with one leg

Jackson began visiting one of the KDM home fellowships and was immediately taught. He completely surrendered to the Kingdom, repented, and was immediately baptized. His transformation was incredible.

 

one-legged baptism

one-legged baptism

Baptism

Baptism

Then the team worked to get his life back in order. The disciples through your support helped him start a shoe repair business. It was immediately successful and he now sustains himself comfortably. But his life still had a gaping hole: he wanted his children back.

 

New shoe repair shop

New shoe repair shop

Having become convinced that remarriage was not an option, he wanted to reconcile with his wife. But that did not seem likely under the current circumstances. But at the very least he wanted his children back who were now staying with his in-laws. The disciples coordinated a distant trip to see Jackson’s prayers answered.

 

When they arrived he found both his wife and children present. He proposed to get his children back. And, to his surprise, he was offered his wife as well! His father-in-law explained himself. Since he was an unfaithful husband and had never paid dowry, he felt compelled to take his firstborn daughter back. With his condition appearing terminal, his hopes for dowry payment and a good life with his daughter were untenable. But now that he was a changed man, the father-in-law expressed his joy that the illness had struck and humbled him into submission to God. That now with one leg he will be home and care for his wife and children the way he should. He was happy to reunite them.

 

Well this is all great news, but the going rate for dowry is twelve cows, an impossible feat for a disabled cobbler. But God had something else in mind! Local tradition is that if a man fails to collect dowry for the first daughter, the suitors for subsequent daughters do not have to pay dowry. Therefore, this man held many agreements but no cows for his many daughters. He really really needed to close the deal on this girl to open the floodgates. His offer, 20,000 KSH ($250)! Jackson could have his wife and children back for merely $250. Well, not yet certain where this money would come from, the muzungu (white) disciples decided to pay the bill while the offer stood and everyone signed and witnessed the agreement. Done! Jackson has his entire life back…completely restored. And even more…now he is a Kingdom saint reconciled with his Maker! Glory to God!

Happy family (one child not pictured)

Happy family (one child not pictured)

A MONTH IN REVIEW: FEBRUARY

We are thankful everyday that the Lord lets us continue working in the mission field of Kenya. Praise and glory to the King of Kings!

This past month certainly started with a BANG! We experienced our second emergency snake bite case. A sixteen month-old was rushed to our compound one evening because she was bitten by a snake. She had a fang mark on her leg that was starting to swell, and she was drifting in and out of consciousness. After assessing the patient, Tim, Charlton, and Wanda jumped in the van and rushed the child and her family to a hospital in Eldoret, about two hours away. We are happy to report that she is doing well, and returned home several days later.

Not long after the little girl was brought to us, a two month-old little boy was brought to us as well. His name was Primus, and he was malnourished. We (the Sweazys) had the  beautiful opportunity to take him in and nurse him back to health. Through the generous donations of the body of Christ we were able buy him ample formula, take him to the doctor, and buy him clothes, blankets, and other needed supplies. He is now back home with his grandmother who has been his primary caregiver since birth. She has been trained on how to feed him, but will need further training. Please keep grandma, and baby in your prayers.

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During this two week period of caring for Primus, we had an intense four day Swahili language class scheduled as well. Our brother Glenn came up for the week, as well as our language teacher Jim. Jim has been living in Kenya for 22 years, and is fluent in several local languages. Charlton actually met Jim in Kisumu through mutual brothers and sisters in Christ. He arranged for Jim to make a trip to see us, and the timing could not have been more perfect. The Nafziger family had just arrived, and were able to get a jump start on the language!

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Charlton also made a trip to Uganda with Nashon to assist a brother named Joseph, who is doing work with a group of physically handicapped people. They made several repairs to the building in which everyone lives and works. They also replaced and repaired equipment that they use to make a living. Later on in the month Joseph came to stay with us for a weekend to further his discipleship. He also had to opportunity to see how we do home fellowship and communion.

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Literally, the day that Joseph left to return to Uganda, Tim and Charlton drove down to Kisumu to visit one of our home fellowships. They both did some teachings and spent some good time with the people.

Unfortunately, this month has had some challenging times as well. Our neighbor’s relative died at a very young age, which brought much sadness to the village. Marc, Cindy, and Tim were able to attend the funeral, and it opened up a door for Marc to teach about the Kingdom.

Marc has also been dealing with some church discipline issues in Saboti and Naitiri. We are happy to report that the Naitiri church has completely confessed and repented. We have also had major breakthroughs in the Saboti church. God is doing amazing things!

Thank you for the continued prayers and support. We are excited to see what God is going to do next.

So what does church discipline look like in Kenya?

The Lord has been doing a big work here in Kenya cleaning up the churches. You know when something gets cleaned you feel a great sense of reward afterwards, but the process of cleaning is hard work and can be quite demoralizing. When you move the furniture around and pull up the rugs, you find all kinds of disturbing stuff under there. Well, the same goes with “church cleaning.”
In the last few weeks several issues have emerged requiring intervention and disciplinary action. Meetings after meetings, fact-finding missions, and lots and lots of prayer. Well we have experienced some serious breakthroughs. I will not go through the details of all the events but want to share one in particular that has the makings of a great suspense thriller or a poorly done comedy. I will change the names of the actors and the church just to prevent any potential embarrassment.
One day I was invited to share the Gospel of the Kingdom with several folks gathered in a new location we will call “Kanisa.” The meeting was organized by a disciple who was a former Catholic drunkard and failed politician who had repented and was a promising disciple in training (he has since been experiencing challenges of his own unrelated to this soap opera). The meeting was organized at his brother Mzee’s house, who is a widowed father of eleven, backsliden former pastor, and senior elder of the village of Kanisa.
Mzee gathered several men and young women to hear the message of the Kingdom. The message was wholeheartedly accepted and we organized to return within days to baptize those who repented. Six people were baptized including Mzee, Walimu, Wawalimu, Bibi, and Dada. It was a great start and the birth of a new fellowship in Kanisa. The next week we returned to Kanisa and taught again and even baptized additional disciples. However, Mzee shocked us with his confession that Bibi was more than just house help, assisting him with the care of his numerous children, but they were also “friends.” This came as a shock to me since confession was something to occur BEFORE repentance, not after. I demanded that she not stay at his home and that he organize a proper marriage if the relationship was to continue. We continued to send teams of teachers to Kanisa for months, strengthening the church there and added several more disciples.
Several months after planting the fellowship in Kanisa, Mzee had visitors…his older boys were in from Nairobi. One of his boys hitched a ride with me and I slyly asked him who was staying in the home at night. He told me Bibi was sleeping there (as I suspected). I was quite disappointed to learn this. I immediately called Walimu and he admitted that Bibi had been staying with Mzee for weeks. I explained to him what fornication was and told him to get together with Wawalimu and sit Mzee down immediately and correct this matter. I told him if this was not corrected then the entire church would face disciplinary action. He responded immediately and Bibi moved back to her parents’ home.
The fellowship in Kanisa proceeded to organize for Mzee and Bibi to marry. They sent a delegation to me with the wedding agreement (dowry package) which was a sheep, thirteen cows, and lots of cash, assuming that I would pay (their foolishness amazes me!). I just shrugged it off and ignored their request. I sent teachers a couple weeks later and one noted that Bibi’s belly was getting quite large. Hmmm. I had noted a little pot belly the last time I was there but Sam was confident there was something in there. Oh dear! Now I have to address this one!
I organized for Mzee, Walimu and Wawalimu to visit our fellowship so that we could discuss this matter and others after fellowship. They assumed that I was calling them in to give them great news about my funding of their proposed wedding. But our plan was to get to the bottom of Bibi’s apparent pregnancy. I also wanted to address the issue of Mzee’s having self-appointed himself as leader of the Kanisa fellowship. It was clear that he, as per African culture, having been the person responsible for bringing the visitor (“blessing”) and being the oldest man and being a former pastor, was automatically the de facto leader of the fellowship. However, we appoint elders as per the Scriptures and not African custom. So we likewise took the opportunity of this meeting to clarify that leadership is appointed by the church planters and is not self-appointed according to local traditions. The meeting was tense. Mzee was deeply offended by the tone and message of the meeting. His own testimony and words validated our concerns. During the entire meeting, Walimu and Wawalimu were very coy and would not directly incriminate Mzee, as it is African custom to never reveal another’s secrets. But near the end of the discussion, Walimu finally broke his silence and laid it out: Mzee was overbearing and controlling in the fellowship and would not tolerate any correction from others he deemed subordinates. Finally some honesty….a total break from tradition. Mzee was shocked for sure. But we still were only discussing the leadership issue and were yet to address the pregnancy issue.
Then, the bombshell! Is Bibi pregnant? He seemed very surprised and denied he had anything to do with her getting pregnant. He insisted on his innocence. He was steadfast. But the facts were undeniable. Unless Bibi had some strange sickness, this girl clearly was carrying. Mzee was not short on words. He talked at great length, insisting his innocence and sulking in his betrayal. We closed with Mzee’s insistence that he would inquire into the accusations and get to the bottom of things. Inside we wondered what he could possibly mean. We closed the meeting with the plan to announce to the church that Mzee was not an appointed leader and that those appointments would come from the church planters in due time. Mzee was feeling very bad but at least publicly accepted our decision. Privately, however, he still had some fight left in him.
On his way out he pulled Sam aside and initiated a long conversation. He said that he had not impregnated Bibi, but rather it must have been Walimu, a married man! He said both Walimu and Wawalimu had multiple wives. That as a village elder, he was privy to their numerous legal cases and that they were generally people of ill-repute. He was not going down alone. It appeared as though he was intent on destroying the fellowship if he could not resume his self-appointed leadership role. Oh dear!
Before our planned Sunday meeting, I thought it wise to meet with Walimu and Wawalimu to learn more. Wawalimu visited us but Walimu missed the meeting due to a conflict in schedule. We shared everything Mzee had said. Wawalimu was heartbroken over the accusations. He clearly appeared innocent of Mzee’s charges based on his demeanor and body language. Our plan, to proceed with the Sunday meeting and lay everything out in the open.
Sunday came. I shared an exhaustive teaching on church discipline, church leadership, and about church lampstands being removed based on 1 Corinthians 5, Revelation 2-4, Matthew 18:15-18, and Galatians 6:1. It was well received. Then we sent away those not involved in the scandal and began the difficult meeting. Our leadership delegation included Sam, Tim, Samwell, Cosmos and me. From Kanisa, Mzee, Walimi, Wawalimu and another older brother were present. I introduced the meeting with what I had heard from all their respective reports. Then we let them say their parts one by one.
Mzee started. He repeated everything he had stated to Sam in private. He added specifics about the legal cases: Walimu stole maize from Wawalimu resulting in much conflict. He finally conceded that Bibi was pregnant. But he still insisted that Walimu was the father! He said that both the brothers had multiple wives in secret. He was not budging and he exuded confidence in what he was saying. The leadership delegation was shocked to hear him repeat these mind-bending allegations. He ended with the statement that if he was lying may God strike him dead immediately. We were speechless.
Then Wawalimu. He, nearly in tears, said everything that Mzee said concerning him was indeed true. Before he was a Christian, he impregnated a girl and fathered a child. He never married her, but in African culture she would be called a wife though not legally or culturally considered a wife. But he said he had changed when he repented and has never since been unfaithful to his first and current wife. Pheewww! I wiped beads of sweat off my brow.
Now Walimu’s turn. He speaks at great length. He is more adversarial and denies the allegations. He admits only to the maize stealing incident but denies any sexual liaisons with Bibi. Stalemate!
Finally, the other mature brother. He refuses to pass judgment and will not say anything since he is unsure of the truth of the matters. I commend him.
Now my turn. I reiterate that this meeting had two possible conclusions: 1.) one story everyone agrees with, confession, repentance, forgiveness, and complete restoration, or 2.) they stick to their disparate stories accusing each other and the leadership surrenders Kanisa fellowship relegating it a false-start. Now, ball in their court. I concur with the tight-lipped mature brother that it is time to stop talking about what their brothers did wrong and now time to confess their own errors before God and ask for forgiveness. Stakes are high. First up, Wawalimu.
In tears, he admits he was wrong in impregnating a girl who was not his wife before baptism (what Mzee called a second wife) and confesses he was bitter with his brothers for the accusations and asks all for forgiveness. Great start. Next, mature brother comes clean that he was feeling bad because of all this drama around him and nearly gave up on the church and asks for forgiveness (I certainly did not fault him and as a new believer would have dropped these guys as well).
Now the tough ones. Mzee is on deck. He confessed getting angry at his brothers but would not move on any of the other juicy accusations. He still insisted his innocence of impregnating Bibi, implying Walimu is the father of the baby carried by his fiancée. Oh dear. Heartburn.
Now, the climax and end of this whole ordeal, right? Nope. Walimu, clearly distraught, says he needs some time alone with his God before he can say anything. What? No comment on being accused of fathering Bibi’s baby!?!?! His guilt is now obvious to all.
I grant him his time and reiterate the terms: complete confession and repentance ending with one story, or Kanisa’s doors are shut permanently. I also one-up the ante by insisting Bibi be present to explain the situation herself. Next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday.
Wednesday comes. Tim, Sam and I are tense but with high expectations. I called ahead to see if Walimu would be present and to my surprise he fully intended on attending. What fireworks were we in for today?
We arrive and people begin coming. Mzee and Walimu are there. The mature brother is there. Then Walimu’s wife even arrives. Oh dear…what does she know? Wawalimu arrives, and finally Bibi and her mother (also a disciple).
I opened with the ground rules. No one discusses the actions of others but instead simply confesses their own wrongdoing. Then each go in turn. Mzee, Wawalimu, mature brother…no new developments. Then Walimu. He says he was bitter at his brothers and wanted forgiveness, but total silence on any sexual sin. Then Bibi. She apologizes to Enoch for wronging him and offers no specifics but it is understood…she had now made it clear there was wrongdoing there, right?!?
Then Walimu’s wife contributes. She speaks at length that she knew there were problems with the marriage plans of Bibi and Mzee and that she had information about their situation. Again, implied sexual liaison but no one would say it.
Finally, I add that people are apologizing to one another but no one is apologizing to Walimu’s wife, the innocent victim in all this. A church member engaged to be married to another brother is having sex with her husband and still silence. They offer little to satisfy my leading so I get direct (which is against cultural norms here).
I say, “There is an elephant in the room and no none will acknowledge her presence.” I look to Bibi’s belly and ask her, “Is there a baby in there?” She says yes. I ask her, “Who is the father?” She gives a long answer about how when we found them she had been with Mzee but that when they repented she went home. I confront her again: “Who is the father of your baby?” Answer, “Mzee!”
A look of shock on everyone’s face was priceless. Then I looked into Mzee’s eyes and said, “SURPRISE!!!” Everyone burst out in laughter, except Mzee, of course. He was still in shock. We discussed the date when they were baptized and her estimated due date based on the size of the bulge. It all added up. She was impregnated before she was baptized over eight months ago.
I guided everyone through the final steps of confession, repentance and forgiveness. I then advised Mzee to follow through with his plans to marry Bibi (he had sent her away after he discovered she was pregnant). And now the fellowship in Kanisa is starting over with a clean slate. All in a day’s work in the Africa mission! Lord help me!

A GREAT START TO 2015

“He, therefore, is the devout man who lives no longer to his own will, or the way and spirit of the world, but to the sole will of God; who considers God in everything, who serves God in everything, who makes all the parts of his common life parts of piety, by doing everything in the Name of God and under such rules as are conformable to His glory.” -William Law

We strive daily to work for the Lord with all of our heart, soul, and mind. Doing everything in the Name of Jesus, desperately trying to conform to His image. Glory to God in the Highest. What an honor and privilege it is, to be the ambassadors of Christ.
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This new year has certainly started out with a bang. Since the beginning of the year, ten people have surrendered, repented, and have been baptized! Six out of those ten people live in Saboti, where a new home fellowship has been established. Last week alone, this brand new home fellowship had 23 people in attendance, with several people who wanted to know more about the Kingdom of God, and are receiving further teachings. The home fellowship in Bidii baptized three people, and our last baptism was a newly converted Imam (http://kingdomdriven.org/every-tongue-will-confess) who we are now working on relocating.

After people are baptized, they are strongly encouraged to walk closely with the brethren. One-on-one discipleship is key, but we also have various mid-week meetings: the mama’s meeting, youth meeting, and wazee (Wa-zay) meeting. Let’s start with the wazee meeting. You may be asking yourself, what is a wazee!? Basically, a wazee is just an elderly man. But around here, age is relative; once you hit your forties you can be a part of the wazees. The wazee meeting is like a very interactive home fellowship. They come together to pray, sing, and encourage one another. Currently, the wazees have been keeping busy with various livestock ministries. With the money received from an outside charity, cows, chickens, and a pig have been purchased. The livestock have been a tool in teaching the wazee about kingdom finances, through what we would call a “merry-go-round.” Basically, its a way of everyone chipping in some money so when there is a need or issue with one of the animals, the funds are there to lend a helping hand to anyone that may need it.

On average the youth meeting has about 15-20 people, ranging in age from 15 years old to about 35 years old. These guys are hard workers, and a number of them are employed by KDM. Recently they have been working on building the KDM discipleship housing. One of our youth named Sam, his wife Sarah, and their three month old son just moved into this building this past week. Sam just started translating books for us, and he is also a gifted teacher. Another project the youth are working on is a fish pond. They are hoping to use the fish pond to generate some income to not only assist one another, but the needy.

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Last but not least, the mamas in our fellowship have been growing not just in numbers, but in spiritual maturity. We are hoping to get another mamas meeting started in Maroki, where another one of our home fellowships is located, in the near future.

Not only have we been teaching and discipling people locally, but we recently had a Women’s Conference where 52 mamas came together from various home fellowships and were taught about biblical womanhood. Also, a group of four men from Nabiswa, Kiungani, Toll Station, and Saboti are being trained as field evangelists.

In other news, we have some updates on the various Great Commandment work that is going on. The jigger clinic has been a huge success. To date we have treated roughly 700 people, and handed out over 500 pairs of shoes to people who have desperately needed them. This past month we have really been trying to get these shoes moving, sometimes going out several times per week. We’ve also been distributing SAW (Support A Widow) parcels. These parcels are a one-time gift that contain food and household supplies, as well as a little money. This is a CAM (Christian Aid Ministries) program that is administered through some of our dear brothers and sisters in Kisumu. This year we have already distributed about 40 parcels. Here is a short testimony from one of the recent recipients:

“I had been without food, caring for a few of my grandchildren. I woke up one morning, not having any idea how we would feed ourselves. I prayed to God, and that same day you came with the SAW parcel. I was so happy, and I continuously thank God for this help.”
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Some of you may be familiar with the story of our local brother named Victor. He has received various cancer treatments, but we are sad to report that treatment has not helped his condition. He is a very sick man, and only God knows how much time he has left. For quite some time, Victor has been wanting to get his driver’s license. Because of his cancer, he is limited on job options. So, we have put him through driving school, and he has joyously received his driver’s license. But, just because someone goes through driving school, does not mean that they know how to drive. So, we will be giving him one-on-one driving lessons starting this weekend. Please remember to keep Victor in your prayers.
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In January, our fellowship also hosted a marriage ceremony. A disciple named Patrice got married to Joan. Patrice had been previously baptized but was re-baptized into the Kingdom along with Joan about a month before their wedding. Thanks to everyone who financially supported Patrice and Joan in making this joyous day happen!

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We are very happy to announce that Tim and Rebekah Nafziger and their three (plus one on the way) children have finally joined us here on the ground in Kenya. Karibu!

Looking ahead, we have some great missions planned for February. Next week we will be hosting a week-long Swahili language class.  A man who has lived in Kenya for 30 years has made it his mission to help missionaries learn the local language. Glenn Roseberry will also be joining us from Tanzania for this event.

Charlton and Nashon (a local disciple) will be making a trip to Uganda to do some follow-up discipleship, as well as following up with a Christian disabled group, who they have taught the Gospel of the Kingdom to. They plan on assisting with equipment repair, such as paraplegic cycles and sewing machines. They will also be working on the building that they meet in, since it is falling apart around them.

I will close by sharing some photos of a recent Carrier/Sweazy Family Day trip to Mount Elgon. Thank you for all the love and support. Enjoy!

 

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The War On Jiggers

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Every week, for the last few months, we have been going out to alleviate suffering by removing jiggers, spraying homes, and giving out shoes. All of this has been made possible by the generosity of Heavens Family, and some wonderful kingdom saints from America. Many women, children, and men have been helped, and this is forever going to change their lives. All glory and praise to our heavenly Father.
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The chigoe flea or jigger (Tunga penetrans) is a parasitic arthropod found in most tropical and sub-tropical climates, not to be confused with the larval form of Trombiculidae (called chiggers) found in more temperate climates. It is native to Central and South America, and has been inadvertently introduced by humans to sub-Saharan Africa. At 1 mm long, the chigoe flea is the smallest known flea. Breeding female chigoes burrow into exposed skin on the feet of mammals and remain there for two weeks while developing eggs, during which time they swell dramatically, sometimes causing intense irritation (condition called tungiasis). After this point, the skin lesion looks like a 5- to 10-mm blister with a central black dot, which are the flea’s exposed hind legs, respiratory spiracles and reproductive organs. If the flea is left within the skin, dangerous complications can occur including secondary infections, loss of nails, and toe deformation. These are relatively rare, but heavy infestations combined with unsanitary conditions greatly increases the likelihood of complications. (Source Wikipedia)
These sand fleas are absolutely debilitating if not properly cared for, and the removal process is painful. I actually got a jigger in my foot the day I helped distribute shoes. Let me tell you, it felt like a severe ingrown toenail, and it was not easy to remove. So, with the help of local brothers here on the ground, and visitors who have come to stay with us, we have been working to KICK JIGGERS OUT!
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 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land. Deuteronomy 15:11
 
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Be Still & Know

Wow, the distractions that come. I’m so distracted right now. Ebola, work, selling stuff, new job, house projects, packing,…oh, that’s right, family, children, wife.

I have been consumed with Facebook lately. I am realizing that this has been a great distraction from that which is truly important! We read in Luke 12:22 that we are not to be distracted by the cares of this world. If we love the things of this world, the love of the Father isn’t in us. (1 John 2:15)

But the confusion comes to “the love of this world.” Really…do I love this world more than Him? I do spend a few hours (off and on) throughout my day with my face in Facebook. I am on a computer all day—as I do computer and server/networking repair—so it’s easy to stay on it. The news is another big one. I feel the need to stay up with the times; be as wise as a serpent but as gentle as a dove. Oh, the balance of life! But do I really love it more than Him?

When do we stop? I’m not talking about the Nafziger’s—I’m talking about believers in Christ. When do we sit still…and know…that He is God? I find I don’t have time. WHAT?! Don’t have time for my Maker!? Sadly, it’s such an easy thing to say. This is why we must sacrifice our lives, crucify them for Him!

Well, I’m making time! Facebook is going to have to be set on the back burner. The news is going to have to be told without me. The world is going to have to end around me taking time to be with my Lord, to worship Him, and to listen to His voice. I see myself in this “fog-of-war” mentality—the world might be falling apart all around me, but my mind is quieted, my ear is listening, and my focus is not here…it’s there, on Him.

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10

“Be still.” NASB says to “Cease.” When I look into my concordance, I like this word used as a definition: to sink down. Ah…sink back, relax, stop thinking and clear your mind of the noise.

“And know.” To perceive, to know by experience, to recognize, admit. I want to KNOW my God by perceiving and knowing Him from experience! I can’t experience Him without…uh…experiencing Him!

“That I am God”. I love the concordance definition that says “the (true) God”.

Let’s look at this again: “Cease, know by your experience with God, that He is the true God.” – TNT (Tim Nafziger’s Translation)

I want to know my God, in such a way, that I know from experiencing Him, that He is the true God. I mean, I know this already from the Word, but to know something from experiencing it only solidifies the truth.

This verse ends by saying, “I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” This is the Lord speaking to us. He WILL be exalted in the nations. He WILL be exalted in the earth. This isn’t optional—our God, which we know from our experience with Him, WILL be exalted throughout the earth, in all nations! This is a fact that we can stand on. If this is truth, why don’t we take time to rest, rest in Him, stop and spend time with our God?

You know, even more, as I reread this entire chapter, it’s amazing to see how our worlds might be turned upside down, wars and rumors of war, Christians being killed, sickness and famine…yet, through it all, HE IS GOD!

I believe that we are living in the end times, yet, only time will truly tell. Our world seems to be in such turmoil so, take a moment, through the craziness of your day, sit back, take a deep breath (yes, even now as you read), stop to read this entire chapter. It flows from worship of our Lord, seeing the craziness of our world, and how He will come and reign again.

 

God is our refuge and strength,

   a very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,

   though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,

though its waters roar and foam,

   though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

   the holy habitation of the Most High.

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;

   God will help her when morning dawns.

The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;

   he utters his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord of hosts is with us;

   the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord,

   how he has brought desolations on the earth.

He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;

   he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;

   he burns the chariots with fire.

“Be still, and know that I am God.

   I will be exalted among the nations,

   I will be exalted in the earth!”

The Lord of hosts is with us;

   the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

                                   Psalm 46 (ESV)

 

 

Farming God’s Way Demonstration Plot

I (Marc) was invited to a one-day sustainable farming seminar by Heaven’s Family in the Fall of 2012.  Being a degreed scientist, a homesteader (even back in the US), a teacher and missionary, I latched onto the concept immediately. Now our family had adjusted to growing much of our own food even when living in the US. We already knew how to farm and preserve foods. However, adjusting to a maize and beans economy and dry storing rather than canning was a big adjustment. Also, we were used to going to the local farm supply store in the US and getting whatever we needed. Here, there is no such thing as a general all-purpose fertilizer (12-12-12). We just have nitrogen-rich DAP and CAN locally, which are not ideal for beans and vegetables. They use a foliar spray (like MiracleGro®) for crops other than maize. The other big change was the seasons. Here it is long rains, short rains, and dry. In the mid-west we simply had the actual four seasons. Not here.

 

The seminar was taught by Craig Sorley who leads an initiative to empower Africa with practical and sustainable agriculture. His teachings were nearly entirely based on “Farming God’s Way” FGW (see www.farming-gods-way.com). He taught a lot of biblical concepts concerning sustainable agriculture but I will emphasize the science here. The thesis is that God made things to work a certain way in the wild and if we leverage His methods in our cultivation of crops we can greatly increase yield and  restore our land. I will give you my best description in as few words as possible. In the wild, trees are interspersed with other plants and provide a blanket of cover or mulch on the earth.  Trees pull nutrient from depth and reintroduce that nutrient to the topsoil. The organic matter protects the earth from erosion, provides a habitat for worms, bacteria, and other beneficial organisms that create a very healthy, rich soil structure. The ground cover prevents evaporation and runoff and ensures that all the precipitation  is absorbed and remains available for the plant roots. Other benefits of ground cover include inhibiting weed germination and propagation.

 

The other concept introduced was precision. Precise inputs and methods will lead to predictable outputs. Measuring plant spacing, seed and fertilizer depth and amounts precisely will lead to maximized yields. We are talking about engineering the field. Optimal spacing means inhibiting sunlight availability for weeds and maximum outputs per farming area. Crop rotation for pest reduction and to prevent nutrient depletion is also recommended (beans also fix nitrogen for future maize crops).

 

Our garden is huge by US standards but a standard small shamba (farm) by African standards. It is the perfect size to test this methodology. Our field is approximately 100 feet by 40 feet. I divided the shamba into five 40 feet by 20 feet parcels for crop rotation purposed. We started by adding mulch in the form of maize stalks and river grass and resting the field for the Fall of 2012. We consistently weeded and/or sprayed with a RoundUp® equivalent during the dry season  to minimize weeds in the future. We were amazed that what little rain the dry season gave us kept the soil moist even during the dry season where the mulch depth was sufficient. Now only one of our five sections had full coverage of a few inches of mulch. The other sections had variable coverage. We learned that grasses are much better than corn stalks for mulching. We only had enough grass for one section. Any seedless, non-poison leafy material will work for cover but the smaller the materials the better it holds back weeds and holds in moisture. We also have trees interspersed in our shamba, primarily a fast-growing variety that does not make much shade.

 

For the first crop we planted two sections of beans and two of maize. One of the bean sections also contained four rows of open-polinated maize seeds just to create seed for next year. The remaining section was for vegetables. We used just a mixed bean bag we eat from for bean seeds and Kenya Seed Company 6213 hybrid for the maize plots. We selected this variety because that is what everyone else around us is using and we want to compare apples with apples.

 

Now we planted a month after the rains because I suffered a serious leg injury in a motorbike accident. Therefore, when I compare my neighbor’s maize to mine they still had a month head start. Now I followed the FGW guidance to the best of my ability. In the end it was African volunteers and my family doing the labor and there are limits to how perfect they can follow instructions. Maize was spaced at 60 cm plant to plant with three seeds per hole with rows 75 cm apart. Now in actuality the holes were not 60 cm on center but rather 60 cm edge to edge meaning the spacing was a little wider than specified. As a result, I did not thin to two plants per hole but left all strong plants. The holes were dug about 8 to 10 cm deep and a mixture of lime/DAP was added per FGW specification. A little soil was returned and the seeds were planted at 5 cm depth. At a foot height, maize was top-dressed with CAN as specified.

 

For beans, furrows were dug about 8 to 10 cm deep and a lime/fertilizer mixture was applied and the furrow was backfilled and seeds were supposed to be planted at 3 cm depth. However, I lost control of the team at the bean plot. The rows were supposed to be 37.5 cm on center and seeds planted at 10 cm spacing. However, they DID NOT use strings to mark lines and just winged it by the fifth row. I can’t complain as they were all volunteers. Germination was not very good. Next time I will just plant many and thin the weaker plants. I will also do it myself for the sake of precision. They also rushed through the job and worked it with tools rather than by hand. In some places they placed the seeds in a different place than the fertilizer furrows and even placed the mulch over the plants. It was a bit messy. The moral of the story is that it is a difficult thing to get Africans to slow down for the sake of precision in lieu of just getting the job done as quickly as possible. Beans were later sprayed with a foliar spray a few times.

 

Weeding was done every couple weeks by the children or others while the weeds were small BEFORE they flower. Where the cover was thick and consisted of grasses, weeds were sparse. Wherever cover was light, we had more weeds. However, the weed density was far less than the community fields around us with zero mulch cover.

 

The vegetable plot is a mix of spinach, carrots, onions, collards, and garlic. It is where my children have their little beds of crops. Therefore, it is not FGW, but rather “farming Micah’s way, farming Isaiah’s way, and farming Jonah’s way.” That plot has the thinnest mulch cover as well. But the crops look pretty good.

 

Now there are three genres of crops around us: the average African field where inputs were deficient and crops are intermixed, a good commercial African field, and FGW. The fields with deficient inputs are pathetic. The maize is yellow and yield will not be worth the cost and effort. They typically mix their maize and beans (or millet) and get just a few bean pods per bean plant and small or even underdeveloped maize, if any at all.

 

The commercial fields have the inputs necessary, and do pretty good if the rains are there. However, it is a lot more work weeding and extra cost tilling the land. They also suffer from erosion loss, evaporation, and a dense impenetrable cake layer on the surface. No worms or beneficial critters amending the soil either. They do not apply lime. Also, much of the fertilizer applied gets washed away with rain or spreads to feed the weeds rather than the maize. The little hole in the mulch when FGW ensures that ALL inputs go to the maize.

 

Our neighbor Henry is a great African commercial farmer. He does everything “right” and gets a good yield. He planted a month before we did and his maize stayed ahead of ours for a while. However, when rains were intermittent our maize outperformed his. With the same volume of inputs and same variety of seed, even though he planted a month before us, our FGW maize is two feet taller than his and is a deep green rather than a yellow green. And his beans yielded about 12-15 pods per plant whereas ours yielded 25-30 pods per plant. And that is with a healthy rainy season. If drought came, the difference would have been even more remarkable.

 

As a result of our exceptional crop performance we are the talk of the town. This was our intention. This demonstration plot will lead into teaching multiple short seminars on the benefit of both project management and planning principles and FGW techniques. Pray with us that the Lord will use these principles to thrust these folks from poverty.

Lodwar Mission Report

The team returned to Turkana country for a follow-up mission this week. The mission team (see photo) included Silas, Henry, Tonny, me, and the coordinator John, who made the initial connections with the people in Lodwar. It was another long, hot and bumpy journey (photos). We experienced a broken rim on the bus in a bad area (photo). An official on the bus said the nearby herd of cows made him nervous because the Pokot shepherds are known to carry machine guns. He stated earlier armed locals robbed stranded folks of everything they had including their clothing. They would have seen some blinding whiteness if that happened to our bus! Well we arrived in Lodwar at about 10 PM and then ate dinner. I learned that our guest house is really a brothel. Praise God they change the bedding daily. Silas was teaching the working girls and convinced one to pack up and go home and she did. Praise God.

After dinner there was a terrible incident I hate to even describe. But things are different in the remote areas of the desert. A crowd had gathered around an unconscious man laying in the street. Bystanders said he was hit by a motorbike. No one lifted a finger to help him. Silas and Henry investigated first and then joined the rest of the team. They told me about the injured man and I went to see if we could get him to a hospital. Silas is the only one who tried to help me. We could not get a car and Silas wanted to put him on a motorbike. Then the crowd started changing their story and saying he was a robber who was injured by vigilantes for stealing a phone. Even my team discouraged any action. So we just let the man lay there. All I could think of was the parable of the good Samaritan. Even if he was a robber, I did not feel right but was powerless without their cooperation as I do not speak the languages necessary to get anything done. And assisting a robber is considered very wrong in Africa. I needed cooperation.

We returned to our room and called it a night. I pondered his injuries and concluded that whether he lived or died, local medical capabilities would not make the difference. He suffered blunt head trauma and was unconscious with occasional seizures. Not good. But Silas could not rest. He returned to the scene alone hours later and the man was alone in the street, the crown having disbursed. He had no money and it was the middle of the night. He just stayed there and the man eventually died. You see, Silas knew the crowd was lying. The person who instigated the stories was the murderer who fought him over a girl. I learned all this the next morning. This is a sad testimony of the severity of life in Africa and total disregard for our fellow man. Only Christ can change these people.

The next day we met in our guest house (brothel by night) to teach agricultural methods effective in their area. It was a modified version of Farming God’s Way. But their issues run deeper. No soil and no rain! That is a big problem for agriculture. But I taught them in the classroom and hands-on in the field to dig out a small area about 10 inches deep and import soil from ant hills, rich muck from the river flood plain, and compost. Then we applied about six inches of mulch over the new soil. Add water and voila! Wait for God to do the rest. We planted a bed of tomatoes (see photo) to test this at a pilot scale. If it works, they will be encouraged to take it to commercial scale. To do the project we purchased them a wheel burrow, shovel, jembe (heavy hoe), machete, and file to sharpen the tools.

The second agricultural project was evaluating a cooperative farm for irrigation. It is a farm managed by about 100 local Turkana people (photo) consisting of 100 acres (photo). It is located on a flood plain and is adjacent to the river, which is a dry bed much of the year. Now they wanted someone to come in and install a well and set them up. However, their water demands and the lack of power inhibit this as being practicable. I put my hydrogeologist hat on (I am a degreed geologist, geophysicist, and hydrogeologist) and scoped out their situation. They reside on a flood plain with water is less than 10 meters deep with loose fluvial sediments. Think big water demands. Think no power and no heavy equipment. Solution: irrigation pond. They need to get some cattle and dredge/scrape/plow a large pond and install a diesel pump. Think America before the invention of the excavator. Most of the ponds and lakes built in America were built this way. They really have everything they need to do the job. They just needed a push in the right direction. Besides that, if they really want a well, at 10 meters, they just need a shovel and a bucket. Their next assignment is to dig a hole and definitively determine depth to water and ensure bedrock is not encountered.

Next day was a trip to Lake Turkana. This was a two hour rough ride through the desert (photo). Occasional goats, camels, and Turkana villages are all that break up the barrenness. Once lakeside, we were greeted by the Chief who is also a pastor. He hosted the meeting. We then had to board a boat to access the peninsula where we would be teaching. For most of us, this was no big deal; but for Tonny and John: major problem. These guys feared the idea of traversing the one-mile harbor in a boat tremendously. After a half hour of cajoling them, we finally gave up and left them on shore. However, shortly after we left we saw them board another boat and follow us to the other side.

At the other side we watched the locals gather in their catch by net on shore (photo). It was incredible. Reminds me exactly of what James, John, Peter and Andrew experienced in Lake Galilee. Lake Turkana is an awesome fishing spot. It is so remote, and roads so bad, there are only boats on the lake that are locally made. Therefore, this enormous lake is barely fished. Results: some incredible fishing! I would love to take my boys here but the risks are too numerous.

I then taught a group of seven pastors and about 40 church members (photo) the Gospel of the Kingdom, house church planting, Luke 10 evangelism, and multigenerational discipleship. It was very well received. They said this was exactly what they needed to reach the unreached deep into the interior places.

During a break we wandered back to the lakeside. On shore someone just pulled in a 15-20 pound fish that looks like a bass (see photo). We bought several huge tilapia right there and ate good the next couple of days.

After the teaching the Chief insisted I come back. I want to, really, but my schedule and budget prohibit it. Now these folks are desperate for Bibles and I only wish I had carried more. I only brought five with me but had a few more at home but lacked room in my luggage. I will have to send them some somehow.

I just marvel at our God who put this vast resource in the middle of a desert. What a blessing for the local people. Without the lake, they would have nothing. Pray for the people Ferguson Gulf, Lake Turkana.

We them traveled back to Lodwar in preparation for the next meeting in Lokichar, about three hours from Lodwar. The next day we boarded a small van for Lokichar (photos of camels on the way). When we arrived at noon, we found five pastors who had been waiting for two days for us to arrive. Two pastors walked day and night 70 kilometers to attend the meeting. Another traveled 40 kilometers. Try to get an American who is that committed to learn from God!

I taught all day and they were blessed. These are serious folks and now they have been given knowledge and tools to reach deep into the interior places of Turkana land. We will marvel one day at the impact that the teachings and literature will have at reaching the unreached in this harsh area. These are literally unreached peoples we are talking about who do not even know about the Bible, God, and Jesus Christ. I praise God for the opportunity to mobilize the people who will reach them

So I want to thank all of you who have been praying with us and supporting this work financially. When this mission was launched, there remained only $792 in the mission bank account. Well, reaching the interior places is not cheap. We used a total of $752 to fund this mission. It is not easy work; the team endures many hardships to embark on missions to these remote areas. But we are willing, for the God we serve and the people we reach. However, we can’t do it without your help…both prayers and financial support.

God bless you.

Marc Carrier

House Church Planting Dialogue

Two missionaries named Michael and Robert were packing to go overseas to plant churches. They wanted to put everything in the bag that they would need to plant churches (symbolically, that is). So they proceeded to pack for the adventure.

Michael said to Robert: “A Bible, we will need a Bible to plant churches.”

Robert answered: “Yes, put it in the bag.”

Michael pulled a plan for a church building from a folder and showed Robert. Then he said: “We will need a church building to plant a church. It will take purchasing property, getting permits, and getting a contractor to build the structure.”

Robert replied: “Yes, of course. We can’t plant churches without a ‘church.’ Put it in the bag.”

Michael then showed him a brochure of a bunch of fancy audiovisual equipment. He said: “We will want to show the Jesus film and do crusades to save people and get many members for our new church. We will need much expensive equipment to attract large crowds.”

Robert responded: “Yes, I love these speakers—and what a great projector. Put it in the bag.”

Michael then pulled out a couple resumes for prospective pastors. “We will need a strong pastor to launch this church. Look at this guy. He has a degree from a great Bible college. We will have to pay him a good salary to move out there, but he will be worth it.”

“He is perfect!” exclaimed Robert. “Put it in the bag.”

“We will need some powerful preaching to draw a good crowd,” said Michael

“And we certainly want a crowd,” said Robert.

Michael then motioned to a plan for a Bible college. “Look at this,” he said.

“Wow! I love it. That is how we will train up indigenous pastors. Put it in the bag” said Robert.

Michael opened his wallet and said, “This will cost a lot of money. But we will get the Westerners to give. They always want to support missions.”

“Put it in the bag,” said Robert.

Michael zipped up the bag and lifted it, firmly bracing himself, so as not to fall. He handed it over to Robert and he nearly fell due to the great weight of the bag.

Robert commented, “This bag is real heavy. Do you think it will work?”

Michael replied, “This is how we do it, and it works for us.”

Weeks later they boarded a plane for East Nowhere and set off to the field. In the field, they encountered Wanyonyi on the side of the road on a path. They introduced themselves as missionaries and told him they had a gift for him from God.

Wanyonyi replied, “Are you sure it is for me?”

They handed him the bag and it nearly crushed him. Wanyonyi got up and was furious and chased them away. Michael and Robert barely escaped. Disappointed from the failure of the mission, they returned home.

“What happened,” Robert said to Michael.

“I don’t know. It looked way too heavy for him,” replied Michael.

“That was really discouraging,” said Robert. “I know we have been called to plant churches. Now what do we do?”

Michael had a look on his face and twinkle in his eye as if he was granted some supernatural insight. “I have an idea. What if we simply follow the New Testament pattern for our church planting mission.”

Robert responded in delight, “yeah, that is a great idea. Because we know it worked for them!”

“That’s it then. It is settled,” exclaimed Michael. “If it is not in the New Testament, it does not go in the bag.”

The men then dumped the contents of the bag onto the table and started repacking their bag for the church planting mission with renewed hope and vigor.

Michael first grabbed the Bible and said to Robert: “A Bible, we will need a Bible to plant churches.”

Robert answered: “Yes, of course. That is our model for how we will work. Put it in the bag.”

Michael pulled a plan for a church building from a folder and showed Robert. Then he said: “We will need a church building to plant a church. I mean, we are church planting. How do you plant churches without a ‘church?’”

Robert replied: “Actually, I don’t remember seeing a church building in the New Testament.”

Michael responded in disbelief, “What do you mean no church building in the New Testament. Where did they meet?”

Robert opened to Romans 16:3-5 and read: “Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who for my life risked their own necks, to whom not only do I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles;  also greet the church that is in their house.” Then he read 1 Corinthians 15:16: “The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Prisca greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.” Then Robert read Colossians 4:15 and Philemon 1:1-2 in rapid succession: “Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea and also Nympha and the church that is in her house… To Philemon our beloved brother and fellow worker,  and to Apphia our sister, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house.”

Michael stared dumbfounded and a bit humbled, “For real, there are no church buildings in the Bible. They met in houses! That is great news for the mission, because I knew the expense of the building would be a real problem. But they already have houses! Put it in the bag, brother.”

Michael started affectionately looking over the audiovisual equipment catalogs. “No, not my equipment,” exclaimed Michael, having realized the ramifications of their mutual agreement that if it is not in the New Testament, it does not go in the bag. “So now how are we going to evangelize?”

Robert responded, “In Luke 10 Jesus just sent them out in pairs—in fact, He made the point for them to go empty-handed. They preached the Kingdom of God and healed people. I mean, they were taught by the Master storyteller. Jesus showed them how to share the message of the Kingdom using simple stories.”

“You know what? That is actually much better than what we had going,” replied Michael with renewed enthusiasm.

Next, Robert grabbed the resume of the pastor they both liked, “What about the pastor? There are pastors in the Bible, aren’t there?”

“Well, that is funny you ask. Not exactly,” said Michael.

“What? You have to be kidding,” remarked Robert.

Michael clarified, “Churches certainly had leadership—even house churches. But each fellowship did not have a CEO-type running the place.”

Robert, a bit confused by Michael’s mysterious response, balked, “but pastor is one of the five-fold offices—you know—Ephesians 4:11.”

“I know, I know,” said Michael. “But all I am saying is that it was not the way we understand the role. Pastoring is synonymous with shepherding, and it was certainly a vital role. But the shepherds were discipled and trained up from the flock, and selected based on their character and how they managed their personal households. These were not seminary trained business-style leaders who were recruited and hired based on resumes.”

Robert, interested in where the conversation was heading then asked, “Well if they are trained up from the body, are you saying the church operated without a pastor at the beginning? Because I know Paul said in 1 Timothy 3 leaders should not be recent converts.”

“Precisely,” responded Michael.

“Brother, your theory sounds great,” said Robert, “But we agreed it does not go into the bag unless it is the New Testament. So prove it.”

Undaunted, Michael opened up to Titus 1 and started reading from verse 5: “For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion.  For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.”

“You can’t be serious,” responded Robert. “I have read the New Testament a hundred times and I never noticed that Paul’s churches were launched leaderless. This is amazing! What a discovery. This will make launching our house churches a million times easier. All we have to do now is make disciples, organize them into fellowships, and simply disciple them until the Holy Spirit reveals the leadership. Put it in the bag, brother!”

Robert’s enthusiasm sank as he thought out loud, “Well if we don’t have a pastor, who will preach the sermons? I mean, without powerful sermons, who will come, really?”

Michael answered, “Actually, you don’t find sermons preached in the New testament either.”

“Not true, brother,” responded Robert, confident he had stumped his dear brother Michael. “What about the ‘Sermon on the Mount,’ ‘Sermon on the Plain,’ Stephen’s powerful sermon, and Peter at Pentecost? There is certainly preaching in the New Testament.”

Michael calmly explained, “There is preaching, but NOT to believers. All those examples were evangelism, not examples of sermons directed at the churches.”

“I see your point,” responded Robert. “So what did they do in the churches? Who lead the service?”

Michael answered, “They had an interactive service lead by the Holy Spirit. I mean one would teach, then another would lead a song, and they even spoke in tongues and prophesied in turn. It is right here in 1 Corinthians 14:26: let me read it, ‘What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.’”

“So it looks like no one person ran the show, but rather all who were so inclined participated as the Spirit lead,” noted Robert. “This takes a lot of pressure off the would-be pastor. This really sounds great. Let’s put it in the bag.”

“Another thing I noticed in reading 1 Corinthians 11, is that they shared the Lord’s table as a full meal. I mean every week. They took communion, but not a token wafer and a little sip,” said Michael. “In fact, they called it the Love Feast. This was the centerpiece of their meeting together.”

Robert feeling about three inches tall, not understanding how he could have missed these things, having received so much Bible training, replied: “brother, this is a real humbling exercise. I really never knew any of this. But I am blessed and relieved. Because I am certain the folks we are ministering to are going to love this. Put it in the bag.”

Now they looked at the plans for the Bible college together. They looked directly at each other and both realized at the same time that there is no Bible college in the Bible. So they thought of the New Testament alternative to Bible college and both blurted out at precisely the same time, “discipleship!”

Michael then quickly opened his Bible to 2 Timothy 2:2 while Robert was opening his to Luke 6:40. Michael read first: “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

Then Robert read, “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.”

Michael said, “Put it in the bag, brother.”

Robert saw the last item. “Money—that is a sticky issue. What do we find in the New Testament. Church planting costs a lot. I mean we need the church building,” then quickly realizing, “oh yeah, no building.” Then he went right down the list, “pastor…no pastor, audiovisual equipment…no equipment, Bible college…no Bible college…”

Michael interrupted, “I got it, I got it…I know what we need money for.”

Robert looked confused.

Michael continued, “The Bible. We will need money for the Bible. That is the only thing we need to plant churches!”

Robert was laughing nervously, somewhat bewildered as to how such a complex endeavor as church planting could have become so simple and affordable.

Robert contemplated, “So what did the New Testament church do with their money. I mean, they took offerings, didn’t they?”

Michael, eager to answer the question, responded by reading from Acts Chapter 4 starting in verse 32: “And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them.  And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all.  For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales  and lay them at the apostles’ feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need.”

When Michael finished reading, Robert answered his own question: “They simply gave to all as they had need. So the money went to the neediest among them. I am certain our new house churches will love this.”

Michael grinned, “put it in the bag.”

The next week they returned to the mission field. Both were amazed by how light the bag had grown. They both were eager to carry the bag this time, remembering how heavy it used to be.

They stumbled upon Wanyonyi again. He saw the bag and made a run for it. They caught up to him and were able to explain to him that it was different this time. This time they handed the bag slowly, and held it with Wanyonyi until he supported all the weight. Wanyonyi was shocked by how light it was.

They all praised God together and the men urged Wanyonyi to take it to his people. Wanyonyi walked away under the blue sky carrying the package to all the villages. The missionaries returned home, overjoyed by the success of their mission.

Facebook updates July 24 to September 4, 2012

July 24

We have six approved applications for small business microloans awaiting sponsorship. If you desire to provide for a business loan for a minister or needy family that will launch a business that will support their family henceforth, visit h

ere: http://kingdomdriven.org/microloan-candidates-awaiting-sponsorship.

Think about it, for under $300 you can PERMANENTLY change the situation of a family from desperately needy, to successful entrepreneur! Please consider empowering a family today and furthering the Kingdom of God. Loan candidate profiles are posted on the linked page.

For those interested in understanding the loan process, we have a thorough vetting process. All candidates must be a church-going Kingdom Christian in good standing, have submitted a thorough business plan, and be a disciple of a Kingdom Christian and be actively discipling others. A letter of reference from someone up the discipleship chain is also required. These are NOT applications from strangers!

Aug 1

Visited several disciples today. Two in hospital: one w sick child and one sick. Others at home and work. They are doing good. Three more strong disciples met w me and Cindy. Kingdom expanding in Kiminini. Prepped for three day mission starting tomorrow and another Mon thru Wed next week.

Aug 2

First day of mission done. Low attendance, but GREAT response.

Met one of my disciple’s disciples and he is very strong. You know things are working when you have strong disciples multi-generationally; the true measure of ministry success is the message and mission to carry to the next generation.

Aug 2 second post

David had GREAT attendance and response. 60 pastors. They said “this message came from God, not America.” Tomorrow they go to the field. Amazing fruit will come from that meeting. I praise God for my brother David Wanjala. He is really good.

Aug 3

Omar, man by whose hand God healed his father, former Muslim now responsible for leading 24 muslims to the kingdom, is baptizing 15 muslims today. There have been serious and credible death threats. Pray for his safety. He is prepared to die for Christ, but I do not want to send that report.

Aug 3 cont.

Great day. Omar baptized 15 Muslims. Great fruit on David’s mission. My mission going great. Team in the US staffing what we hope to be a fruitful conference. Here is David’s report. He had some photos of the sacrifice, but too graphic for facebook.

“Went out Luke 10 style with 60 pastors in the villages for 3hrs and reached 130 people with the gospel of the kingdom. 30 surrendered,going through

inventory tomorrow,baptizing 11. Pastors AMAZED. My group visited a home and found men sacrificing a bull to appease their gods, preached to them the message of the kingdom ,three surrendered and are amongest those ones to be baptized tomorrow. Find some pictures attached. Omar sent me a message that it all went well with the baptisms, he will be sending pictures. God bless you brother. I am now in a cyber in a small town.

David.”

Aug 4

Another great day. David baptized 11 as planned. Pastors were amazed and challenged and promise to start house churches. Pics will come eventually. My mission wrapped up. Two to be baptized tomorrow. We must pack changes of clothes. The issue was nothing to change into to baptize. Local pastor will do tomorrow. We also met with Sam (Isaiah’s disciple) and his wife on the way home after the mission. They surrendered and we completed spiritual inventory. Will baptize them tomorrow. Isaiah, yes–my 13-year old son, will disciple them. Love it.

http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/c0.0.403.403/p403x403/561387_10151003635083494_903526852_n.jpg

Aug 5

Baptized Sammy and his wife Sarah today.

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Aug 6

Muslim baptizing 15 other Muslims. Pray for him. His life is in danger. His family is in hiding in another country now and he plans to leave soon as well.

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Aug 6 cont.

great mtg. 45 attending. great reception. taught kingdom, discipleship, freedom from sin. silas led two two kingdom out in field while i was teaching. great encouragement was report that moses, a trainee from mtg two years ago has 200 disciples and 13 house churches as a direct result of that mtg. made my day to hear that. he is taking disciples to complete surrender, doing inventory, teaching obedience and organizing into home fellowships exactly as i taught. glory to God!

Aug 6 cont.

New rpt in, vincent, pastor who hosted mtg last wk baptized 3 yesterday. makes 31 in 3 days. 15 fri, 11 sat, 5 sunday. amen. glory to God.

Aug 7

2 Great missions today. I finished teaching on house church and lk10 evangelism. went in field lk10 style. four surrendered. i did inventory w one. will baptize tomorrow. David invited to be one of several speakers at a pastors mtg. was given an hour. but they were so amazed all speakers asked to sit and david taught entire day. they then insisted david pull the team together from nairobi to take them in the field tomorrow for lk10 evangelism. God is awesome!

Aug 8

DAVID reported great mission. 10 surrendered and baptized 3. Pastors were amazed. Two house churches planted. I baptized three with several more scheduled to be baptized tommorrow by local leaders. On both fronts, all attendees amazed with teachings and fruit. Glory to God!

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Aug 10

Great mtg w Biblica. SET UP RELATIONSHIP FOR ORDERING AND SHIPPING CHEAP BIBLES GOING FORWARD. set up program for ordering, printing and shipping literature as well. completed dependents passes for fam. travel thru night back from nairobi. traveled thru night last night as well. must return sat for a baptism and a mtg. both david and i ea have 2 mtgs next wk. big ones. praising God.

Aug 11

Baptized two today, Benson and Agatha. Then shared Kingdom w/ Benson’s wife and she surrendered. Went through repentance/spiritual inventory with her and will baptize her next soon.

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Aug 12

Wonderfully encouraging day. Great fellowship with new house church. Shared Kingdom with Isaiah’s wife and she surrendered. Will go through repentance/inventory tomorrow and baptize her. Then met with my son Isaiah’s disciple Sam and planned meeting with his entire family to share kingdom on wednesday. The fellowship in our house very encouraging. I had all attendees share a testimony. They all ta

lked at great length on how our presence, teaching, and fellowship have changed their lives. One woman said the teaching on freedom from sin led her to share with her drunkard husband and he quit drinking. Many others shared teachings with MANY others. Message is proliferating. Cindy and I were ready to give up on fellowship in lieu of one on one discipleship. however, fellowship is having a huge impact. Many powerful evangelists, disciple makers, and just changed lives coming from the fellowship. God’s timing to reveal this fruit was perfect. We persevere!

Aug 13

Baptized Isaiah’s wife this morning. Love it when a husband and wife surrender and repent together. Their odds of fruitfulness go up substantially when they are in unity. God is great!

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Aug 13

We have three new microloan applicants awaiting funding for small business loans. Please consider funding these folks to supply their needs and allow them to finance their Kingdom expansion efforts. http://kingdomdriven.org/microloan-candidates-awaiting-sponsorship

Aug 14

Awesome teaching today. i brought 125 tracts and ran out. at least 150 folks, several dozen pastors. bout 50 stood outside and listenned to me teach over 3 hrs w/o a break. humbly, must admit, very annointed session. the entire town is in an uproar. they were amazed. these folks see me around town all the time. now they know why i am here.

Aug 15

Much buzz around town bout yesterdays teaching. met w several today and preached kingdom. cindys disciple annette reported Much fruit from multiday mission in unreached Pokot. rose went to another location preaching kingdom. two 3day missions start tomorrow. david w team in south and me and team near Kitale. pray for Holy Spirt to show up like He did yesterday. silas teaching kingdom to many pastors in another town tomorrow. Pray also for monica. very sick. prayed for her today. she is near death. after praying she was laughing and said she was shining inside. still sick, but evidence HS was doing something. Still awaiting funds for one microloan. 4 more aps received today as well. pray w me for provision.

Aug 16

david taught 41 pastors. one a catholic priest. 10 surrendered, including the priest. lk10 tomorrow. i had bout 50 in my mtg, under a dozen pastors. great reception. teaching house church and lk10 in the field tomorrow. waiting for silas’s report.

Aug 17

David had fruitful mission; 7 surrendered and many will be baptized tomorrow. My team saw at least 10 people surrender. Both Luke 10 missions very successful. Trainees amazed by the teaching and the fruit.

Aug 18

Here is a cool report. First, David baptized three and Lk10 field effort rained out. We praise God for three souls!

Now my report. Many surrendered–about 12. But not all ready for baptism on our tight timetable. Silas ministered to a grou

p of 9 drunkards yesterday. The host was very interested in the message as several others were. Silas got me and told me they were interested. I told them sober up and I would visit today with a message for them. Well, there were 4, but one had to attend to other matters. Another joined us and surrendered but then bailed on baptism (Catholic). The three were a thrill. A brewer and community drunk, his wife, and their neighbor. Wow! Surrendered, went through inventory/repentance, even watched them pour their alcohol on the ground! Then, the very public baptism in a one horse town without even one horse. He was witnessed by the drinking community and church community! Then the procession down the street singing and waving branches as we reenter town. What a scene! Here is the highlight. He was estranged by his Christian family. His biological (and now spiritual) brother and family were praying for him for a long time. Real life prodigal scenario. His brother came to visit today after much prayer just with the intent of sharing the Gospel with him. He arrived to a huge commotion–a large procession of singing and arm waving. To his surprise, it was the community celebration of HIS BROTHER BEING SAVED! Icing on the cake to hear this story! Pics in next posts.

Oh yeah. Teaching and all went great. These guys are fired up and united behind the Kingdom! This one horse town without a horse will never be the same again!

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Aug 18

Video of David’s mission. That is Noah, David’s disciple.

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Aug 19

We have five more small business microloan candidates from the Nairobi house church network. Also, one of the three candidates from the prior group of is yet to be funded. Please consider providing the one-time boost these families need to sustain them henceforth. Here are the profiles: http://kingdomdriven.org/microloan-candidates-awaiting-sponsorship

Aug 19

At our home, AWESOME HOME FELLOWSHIP. Kiminini fellowship not ver strong. Working it, but I see host needs prayer. Others in the group are stronger, but only know swahili so i struggle discipling them. Planned on focusing on the host so he can disciple the rest. Now looking at plan B; I have a strong disciple a mile away. Pray with me for breakthru.

Aug 20

Received report from Erustus from Mumius about business loan. He said it was a major blessing, the business is doing great, he is now FREE and preaching/discipling full-time! His wife works the shop while he is in the field. He goes over sa

les and sets profit aside for repayment each evening. David Wanjala shared an identical story. Now full-time Kingdom minister, family provided for, and not a burden on anyone! Please help others do the same. These candidates are ALL Kingdom Christians with hearts for discipleship. You will not simply be providing for a needy family; you will be empowering saints to get busy on the mission of preaching the Kingdom and making disciples!

http://kingdomdriven.org/microloan-candidates-awaiting-sponsorship

Aug 21

GLENN arrives in Nairobi in 7 hours. very excited. David will collect and host him for a day and he will get to meet the kingdom saints in the nairobi house churches. he does not arrive in kitale until Friday–second day of 3 day mission. met w three disciples today. real strong in the Lord. love these guys. they really get it. organized for mission thurs thru sat and another tues thru thurs.

Aug 22

Glenn has arrived safely and is going to kitale today!

Aug 23

Great mission today. taught gospel of kingdom, discipleship, and freedom from sin. went excellent. bout 100 present. Davild heading th massai. Four more ready for baptism at eastern. david will go saturday. glenn doing great.

Aug 26

Finished mission. Taught and did Lk10. Numerous surrendered. Baptized two in beautiful river. These folks assured me they will continue the work and do everything they have been taught. Great experience for Glenn Roseberry.

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Aug 26 second post

Report from David:

” I have just arrived in Kayole.

O ltiasika is at a stone-throw distance to Tanzanian border near Mt. Kilimanjaro.A place of no phone network,folks travel over 40 km to the shopping centers,ups and downs surrounded by hills,no sufficient food for the residents.People stay in MANYATTA,cow-dung walled rounded huts.You have to bend so low to enter the houses while on Luke 10 styl

e.No clean water to drink.

I taught 45 psts and leaders,they allowed me extend to mid-night,very obedient and persevering.Taught kingdom message,discipleship,freedom from sin,church planting and went out Lk 10 style with 20 psts.We reached 30 people in the villages with the GOK in 3hrs.15 surrendered,did spiritual inventory,ready for baptism but have to travel for 40 km to find water which is paid for.Unfortunately we had no funds and could not communicate due to poor network.

We planted two house churches and agreed to go back for baptism.Pastors amazed and promised to start house churches.We prayed for many sick people and we expect healings. You can access some of our photos on my f.b posts.

Please pray for me.Very exhausted and chest pains.

David.”

Aug 28

Visited house church of all new believers sunday with Glenn. Then home fellowship in my home. David baptized 4 yesterday. We visited a disciple in hospital. 3 yr old Sammy has TB. pray for him. things not looking good. then fellowshipped with others. organizing mtg w local priest. then organized Kimosi mtg for today thru thurs. big team for this mtg. david still sick. may come for day 2. Pray for Gods presence.

Aug 29

Left mission early. Organizer one strange person. Nobody to teach. Spent day teaching team. This guy just ruined it for all legit pastors who know how to organize meetings. Will no longer accept pastoral invitations w/o more validation of interdenominational pastoral attendence.

Aug 30

Met w several disciples today. Prepped Henry to lead a mission accompanied by Silas for the next two days. Spent quite a bit of time w Rose encouraging her on mentoring her disciples. Met w Sam whose sister died last night. He now has 3 children to take in. Isaiah and I will attend funeral Saturday. Sam told me to bring 150 tracts and asked me to speak. Glenn off to Nairobi and soon Tanzania. Gerishom organized meeting at his place to share gospel tomorrow morning. I am trying to meet w local priest–pray for that.

Aug 30

Met w several disciples today. Prepped Henry to lead a mission accompanied by Silas for the next two days. Spent quite a bit of time w Rose encouraging her on mentoring her disciples. Met w Sam whose sister died last night. He now has 3 children to take in. Isaiah and I will attend funeral Saturday. Sam told me to bring 150 tracts and asked me to speak. Glenn off to Nairobi and soon Tanzania. Gerishom organized meeting at his place to share gospel tomorrow morning. I am trying to meet w local priest–pray for that.

Aug 31

I went to Gerishom’s today (the Muslim convert) and shared the Kingdom with 8 folks who gathered. All surrendered, all publicly confessed and repented (spiritual inventory) and I organized to baptize them. Well, only four showed up on time

to be baptized before the rains. Four more scheduled for Monday. That is Isaiah in the water with me, a recent convert, and a perfect stranger on the shore translating for me. Hey, you do what you have to do :).

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Aug 31

I am a proud papa! Henry and Silas are going on their first organized training mission. Silas has been actively teaching small groups, making disciples and planting house churches, but Henry has been distracted. I have equipped them and they have just embarked on their first solo mission. David, as you know, is going strong leading his own mission team and seeing tremendous fruit. Tonny is active

making disciples and now doing follow up visits with the new disciples made during multiday missions. This is what it is all about: making disciples who make disciples.

Annette (a strong disciple and business loan recipient) went on a mission to the distant unreached wilderness of Pokot preaching the Kingdom with great response. She has a contact there whom with I have communicated. A KDM mission is in the planning phases. Rose (Mama Georgie) suffered the loss of her mother and has been slowed down. However, her new business, funded by KDM, is going strong. The other Rose (not Mama Georgie) has been actively sharing the Kingdom and organizing meetings. She has attended several of the recent missions. Our network of disciples is out there doing what they have been taught and modeled with great fruit.

I’ll report what I did on my “day off” in the next post. Photos on the other machine.

Sep 1

Shared kingdom at funeral. went excellent. met w many disciples. productive day considering 4 hrs at a funeral. the woman who died was the one i prayed for at sams house couple weeks back. HS did something. she was at peace since then though she seemed out of it when i shared. she prceeded to confess and repent following the mtg and made peace w everyone.am confident she made it. praise God.

Sep 2

Great day of ministry. Kiminini house church met at a different house. Couple of the newly baptized folks present. Others did not make it due to the change of location. Some poison spreading—rumor that hanging out with the muzungu (white man) results in free food. Truth is, we have helped some really poor folks, and now numerous really poor folks want my company. Solution is to place an African be

tween me and the new disciples. Silas and Rose are stepping in with this group of disciples. Want to stand Isaiah up as the disciple maker of the group. He is hosting now. Please pray for work and resources for these very poor folks. Also pray for wisdom on when to be generous and when to be cautious to avoid making “rice Christians.”

Great home fellowship in Nyasi. Rose had great testimony. She was in a very severe wreck—one I actually saw scene. This was the wreck that caused me to start using the big bus and sitting in the back seat in small vans. She was the ONLY survivor to make it without serious injury. She gave her life to God’s service as a result and days later met us–we totally mobilized her! Been a prize disciple since. Please consider funding her microloan. She will do a lot for the Kingdom if freed up with a good business to care for her family.

David baptized two today at Eastern. Henry’s meeting went very good, says Silas.
We praise God!

Sep 4

Yesterday had two meetings with groups of pastors. Did much teaching. Was very fruitful. Also got a job for one of my unemployed disciples, Isaiah. Very happy about that. Thanks for praying for that. Can you believe his rent under 4 dollars a month and he is behind two months on rent? A whole different level of poverty.