API USA Blog

News from the field.

Service Project 2016

Service Project 2016

Thursday January 28, 2016

Today I am in Kisii, while Frank heads back to Matete to pick Stan up and then we'll head to Narok.  Yesterday we finished the floor at Olochani.  It's been four days of hiking up and down the hill so Frank and I certainly got our aerobics in.  The following pictures will help take you through the process. After the ballast and concrete was laid and dried overnight, the next step was the sand and cement mixture.  Butch and Dave and Tim will notice this is a little different process than our other projects.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4250.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4260.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4257.jpg

As the sand and cement are mixed, it is troweled onto the floor. Here the funde (foreman) is forming and trowling the pulpit area - what the Masaai call 'the altar'.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4259.jpg

This next picture is strictly a shout out to Butch who asked his former boss to contribute to the project.  He came through with gloves and an emergency medical kit.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4261.jpg

All the guys were really grateful for the gloves.  Thank you Butch!

Today the final finish was applied to the floor. Come in and see!

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3635_20160131-124345_1.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3636.jpg

The white dots on the floor come from the sun streaming through the nail holes in the roof - which for some reason, doesn't leak.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3633.jpg

Pastor Benson Ntuntai and the Olochani church want me to express their great gratitude for those who gave to make this happen. With the floor in place, the church can now serve as a school for the surrounding rural area.  The nearest school is about 5 km away and this will give the kids living around here a chance for an education.

 

 

 

Continue reading
  1508 Hits
  0 Comments
1508 Hits
0 Comments

Service Project 2016

Service Project 2016

Monday January 25, 2016

Today we began work at Olochani to put in a concrete floor.  The first step was getting to the site.  We can't drive there so we carried what we needed up the hill, a walk of about 1 km. I know it doesn't look particularly steep from the camera's viewpoint, but it is. The trees you see in the far distance are fairly close to the summit.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3627.jpg

Frank had to help push the piki piki up the hill. Unfortunately I don't have an extra camera man or you would have seen me lugging some of the rest of the boards up the hill.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3629.jpg

Since the first order of business was to excavate for the slab, Frank took the opportunity to rest a bit as there were not enough jembes to go around.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4176.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4165.jpg

However as soon as that was done, it was time to begin the foundation fill.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4187.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4186.jpg

While the crew was busy on the floor, the carpenter was working on building doors for the new latrine outside.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4174.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4163.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4172.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4183.jpg

Trimming the door with a panga.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4193.jpg

Meanwhile, the pundas (donkeys) were bringing the water for the project.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4179_20160125-160200_1.jpg

The water is stored in bigger containers on site.  The way it looks, those donkeys are going to get a workout bringing water up the hill.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4161.jpg

The cement cart arrived, pulled by a tractor and the bags were offloaded to be used tomorrow.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4182.jpg

Tomorrow we'll start pouring the floor and Wednesday we'll do the finish coat.

Continue reading
  1491 Hits
  0 Comments
1491 Hits
0 Comments

Service Project 2016

Sunday January 24, 2016

Since the internet seems to be working today, here is part two of Sunday's blog.

Yesterday, Frank and I left Stan in Matete to continue his work there to head down to Olochani, near Kilgoris in the Transmara region of Kenya.  We are helping the church in Olochani put in a concrete floor in the church they built with the help of the Brad Pederson Memorial Building Fund. 

Today we attended the service there with the Olochani church.  It is located on top of one of the hills around Kilgoris with a commanding view of the surrounding area.  The only drawback is that there is no road to the top, so we walked for nearly 1 kilometer, huffing and puffing to the top.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Olochani2.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_Olochani.jpg

And before you ask, yes it's kind of like being in a tin oven when the sun is out.

Pastor Benson Ntuntai has a small congregation with a lot of children. Here is the Sunday School class.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Olochani5.jpg

And here is the church in Olochani.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Olochani6.jpg

Visitors are always an occasion to drop by, and this grandma was no exception.  She had never been to the church, but when she saw a musungu, she couldn't resist climbing up to see.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Olochani3.jpg

Tomorrow we begin the floor project and as you can see, the materials have been stockpiled, brought up by donkey.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Olochani4.jpg

 

 

Continue reading
  1418 Hits
  0 Comments
1418 Hits
0 Comments

Service Project 2016

 

Sunday January 24, 2016

 

I had more to say on Friday's blog but the power failed and I didn't get a chance to finish.  Thursday we headed up to Mt Elgon to meet with some of the Ndorobo people at a place called Labot.  They don't actually have villages as such since they live in the bush on individual plots, but they have community centers in places on the mountain where they gather to trade and swap news.  The road has been much improved since the last time we tried to reach Labot, but it eventually ran out and we walked the remaining 4 or 5 km up the mountain.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4020_20160124-161512_1.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4074.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4057.jpg

Frank and I were accompanied by Pastor Leonard and another pastor, Dunstan Musungu, who originally came from this area.  As we arrived at the center, people began coming to see who the visitors were.  Since they live so high up the mountain and in a place difficult to reach, visitors are rare and treasured. Pretty soon we had about 25 men and women gathered around in a circle and Pastor Leonard and Dunstan began to introduce themselves and share why we had come.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4037.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4046.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4043.jpg

We brought an audio Bible called the Proclaimer with the New Testament in their language. An audio Bible is very important in a remote region like this as most of the inhabitants do not read or write any language, including their own.  All Kenyans are supposed to learn to read and write English and Swahili starting in the 1st grade.  However, places like this have very few schools and consequently very few of these people are taught to read and write.

After introductions and some explanation, we started the audio Bible and immediately they were transfixed.  None had ever heard the Bible in their own language.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4036.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4035.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4045.jpg

After about 30 minutes, Pastor Leonard then explained that he would be back with his team to continue with the audio Bible and asked them to invite others to come and hear.  As he was talking, some excited conversation broke out among them with lots of pointing and gestures. It turns out that the person reading the Bible on the Proclaimer was the brother to one of the men listening! In fact he is the one in the middle in the picture above.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4039.jpg

Pastor Dunstan and Pastor Leonard will be training teams of men to take this audio Bible into other centers in Mt Elgon, as well as another audio device called a Saber.  The Saber has Bible stories in their language, Saboat, that present the gospel.  Their intention is to begin going into centers all over this area in Mt Elgon with the gospel in Saboat. We have provided the team with one Proclaimer and five Saber devices, but more are needed.  The audio Bible is so effective in these areas because as an oral culture they more easily identify with the spoken word as opposed to the written word.

The hotel accommodations were rather sketchy so we decided to head down the mountain to civilization.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4058.jpg

Thanks to all those who donated funds to get these audio Bibles into the hands of faithful men. Pray for Pastor Leonard and Pastor Dunstan as they pull together a team to bring the gospel to the Ndorobo.

 

 

 

 

Continue reading
  1470 Hits
  0 Comments
1470 Hits
0 Comments

Service Project 2016

 

Friday January 22, 2016

It's been awhile since I had access to decent internet so I'll try to fill you in on where we were and what we've been doing this week. Stan's been having a blast at Pastor Moses' place, training Pastor Moses and a couple of others on different sign-making techniques. He's also been training to be a piki-piki driver.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Boda-boda-driver-training---Copy.jpg

And he's been playing hide-n-seek with the kids. Where's Waldo?

b2ap3_thumbnail_find-Waldo-Suday-School---Copy.jpg

Actually he's been hard at work with Moses and his crew.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Moses-and-joseph-working-on-a-sign---Copy.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_pre-order-and-design-second-sign-first-day---Copy.jpg

And he's been making friends with the staff at Downhill Springs - particularly the cooks.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Downhill-Springs-cooks---Copy.jpg

He also made it a point to check the readiness of the security guards.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Night-guards-with-bow---Copy.jpg

He's been visited by dignitaries as well.

b2ap3_thumbnail_new-house-with-Moses-Daisy-Shallom-and-Hope---Copy.jpg

This is Moses, his son, Shallom, Senator Daisy Kanainza, and Stan in front of the new home Moses is building.

Monday Stan and Frank and I spent the morning in Bungoma getting supplies for both jobs, however I hung out at the Elegant Hotel because they have free wifi that actually works. In the afternoon Frank and I finally made it out to Mwamba where we were helping Pastor Dennis and his church put in a new floor. This project actually took three days but I think you'll agree that the result is beautiful.  The pictures that follow document the stages of construction.

Here is the Mwamba church.  This is one of the first churches the Brad Pederson Fund helped to construct.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3980_20160122-092959_1.jpg

Initially the floor was excavated out to allow for the new materials.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3581_20160122-092936_1.jpg

The next day we began mixing the concrete, sand and rock on the floor.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3979_20160122-092957_1.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3978_20160122-092954_1.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3985_20160122-093007_1.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3996_20160122-093017_1.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3999_20160122-093020_1.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4004_20160122-093029_1.jpg

The next step, on the next day, was to apply the second layer of finish floor.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4002_20160122-093026_1.jpg

Meanwhile, Pastor Dennis was trying his hand at being a punda (donkey) drover.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4007_20160122-093032_1.jpg

And as everyone knows, these carts are strictly first class.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4014_20160122-093049_1.jpg

And here is the finished product.  In finishing the floor, the 12" elevation change from side to side was corrected as well.  Now the floor is level.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3612.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3613.jpg

We want to thank all of you who have contributed to this project and to the Brad Pederson Building Fund, particularly kudos go out to the Beads for Brad ladies who have done so much to raise awareness and money for this fund.

 

 

Continue reading
  1384 Hits
  1 Comment
1384 Hits
1 Comment

Service Project 2016

Monday January 18, 2016

This morning we are in Bungoma where I finally got a good internet connection.  I'm meeting Pastor Leonard Ekea to plan our trip to Mt Elgon.  Stan, Frank and Pastor Moses are in town to purchase supplies for our projects.  Since we last blogged, we left the Hampton House in Nairobi and traveled to Matete.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3931.jpg

Along the way we met one of our API School of Ministry students, Pastor Stephen Lobolia.  Stephen left the pastorate to become a full-time missionary to the Taposa people of South Sudan.  They are a largely oral culture with very few who read and write, so we brought some resources Stephen can use in his ministry there. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3955.jpg

One of the devices we brought is called a Saber which has a series of Bible stories and gospel presentations in their language he can use with flip charts to share the gospel.  It is also loaded with worship songs in Taposa. This device can be recharged by conventional electrical current, or by solar power.  (Stephen is holding the solar charging unit.) It also has a hand crank option if there is no electricity or sun.

We brought two other devices, the Proclaimer and the Envoy S.  Both are also solar powered and loaded with the New Testament in their language.  Stephen was overwhelmed with the generosity of those who gave for this project and says that now he will be able to evangelize and disciple more effectively, and the small churches he has planted will grow.  Pray for Stephen and his family as they go back to South Sudan and continue to proclaim the gospel.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3941.jpg

Continue reading
  1640 Hits
  2 Comments
1640 Hits
2 Comments

Service Project 2016

Saturday January 16, 2016

b2ap3_thumbnail_StanAms.jpg

Stan Skinner and I took off for Kenya on Wednesday, arriving in Nairobi Thursday night. Stan is going to be working with Pastor Moses of Matete to do some more training and expansion of the sign business he started there last year.  I will be visiting pastors and churches, working with our API School of Ministry Director in Kenya, Pastor Shadrack, helping two churches with the installation of floors, and traveling to Mt Elgon to the Ndorobo people with Pastor Leonard.  The Ndorobo are a forest-dwelling people who are largely illiterate.  Pastor Leonard has been working among them and we are bringing audio bibles and audio bible stories to help in that work.

Friday we spent the day gathering resources.

Of course we ate breakfast at our favorite coffee joint - the Java House. The manager noticed the hat I was wearing and gave us free coffee!

b2ap3_thumbnail_JavaHouse.jpg

Stan had made a few of these limited edition hats and gave me one.  They don't actually have any Java House hats in Kenya.  So we are fairly unique.  I hope to trade on this uniqueness at every Java House we come to.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Stansign.jpg

Stan visited sign shops to buy materials.

He also took some random pictures.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Stuff.jpg

Most of the afternoon was taken up with a visit to Global Recordings Network where all the different Kenyan languages are loaded on to a device called the Saber.  These are Bible stories that are used with oral cultures to tell the gospel, since they cannot read or write. We will be taking some of these to Mt Elgon with us.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Global2.jpg

The director, Winston Omenya, spent a couple hours with us describing the mission of Global Recordings and teaching us how to use the Saber.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Global6.jpg

Along with his assistant, Walter Okelo, the team at Global Recordings was helpful and very enthusiastic and thankful that more of their work would be reaching previously unreached people.

Late in the day, we met Aketch Aimba, the Executive Director for Pearls and Treasures, an organization in Nairobi that offers post-abortion recovery, crisis pregnancy help, and abortion and sexuality education in the slums and poorer neighborhoods. Ben Edwards, Development Director of CareNet of Puget Sound, had sent some fetal models to Aketch to help with their programs, so we met her for dinner to give those to her. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Aketch.jpg

Today we are traveling to Eldoret, and then on to Matete.  Thanks for praying for us throughout this journey. Stay tuned for more.

 

Continue reading
  1516 Hits
  0 Comments
1516 Hits
0 Comments

Fly Day

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5983-Edit.jpg

It's Wednesday morning in Nairobi and we just had a great breakfast at Java house and we are packing up to fly home this evening.  Over the weekend we had the opportunity to visit the game park in Masaai Mara and saw some of God's incredible handiwork up close and personal. It is migration time for the animals and there were literally millions of them on the move.

Here are a few photos taken by the master photographer - Rob Hostager.

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_6545.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_6395.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_6101.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_6161.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3691.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_6211.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_6603.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_6586.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_6097.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_6053.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_6024.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_6021.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_6265.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_6497.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_6485.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_6384.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_6576.jpg

Thank you all for your prayers and support all throughout this trip.  God has done more than we could have imagined or planned on our own and we are thankful for your participation in this ministry.

Continue reading
  2056 Hits
  0 Comments
2056 Hits
0 Comments

Sanctity of Human Life in Nairobi

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3759.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3760.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3768.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3771.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3776.jpg

Today I met with Aketch Aimba , the executive Director of Pearls and Treasures in Nairobi Kenya. This pro-life organization offers crisis pregnancy intervention, post abortion support and counseling.  Again, there is a great need for a center offering medical services. We were able to tour the facility and meet the great staff and volunteers. 

The Kenyan Christian Professionals Forum and Ann Kioko also made us feel welcome during our visit to the organization this afternoon.

The Kenya Christian Professionals Forum (KCPF) is a group of Christian professionals from various denominations sharing the common values on issues of family, life and religious freedom and social justice.

Please pray for both organizations.

We have been blessed this past three weeks with great teaching, new friends and great memories. I look forward to home, seeing my kids and playing with the grandkids. Thank you all again for your prayers and support!

God Bless,

Ben Edwards

Continue reading
  1856 Hits
  0 Comments
1856 Hits
0 Comments

Reflections on Eldoret

I spoke with a few pastors that showed me the heart of the pastors at this second training conference in Eldoret.  One lives in Mombasa at the far eastern edge of Kenya on the Indian ocean.  Another is in the mountains on the western border with Uganda.  Other pastors are here from the far southern border with Tanzania and some from far up north near the border with Ethiopia.   Moses ( there are two Moses here which really kind of messes with your head ) from Mombasa traveled by car for 24 hours over 400 miles, through the night, to get here.  That is how hungry these guys are to hear and be trained in the Word.  The roads here are worth highlighting.  There are some roads built in the last year that are perfect and smooth, but once you get to outlying areas, 'road' has a completely different meaning.  

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_7264.jpg

Main road out of Lodwar that connects them with the South

The main asphalt road is elevated, but it so filled with deep potholes that everyone drives on the dirt shoulders of the road.  So, the road marks the path, but everyone is driving on everything else BUT the road.  So, to come over 400 miles represents a huge sacrifice.

This trip uncovered for me the need and desire for biblical counseling and discipleship in Kenya.  I found only one bible school in all of Kenya ( this was in Nairobi, the capital ) that offered coursework in biblical counseling and it was only one class.  There were no resources either for either personal counsel or biblical counseling training in any of the other major cities in Kenya, much less the outlying rural areas.  The pastors responded enthusiastically to the hope and instruction that the scriptures offer us as shepherds for ministering to their bodies.  Some want immediate help to incorporate it into their bodies now, some want additional training as soon as they can get it, and some now want to pursue formal training programs including getting their masters degrees in counseling.  We are now looking at and praying about how we can address the desires of these men to develop this area of their ministry at all of these levels on an ongoing basis.  Please pray with us as well.  We are spoiled with a wealth of biblical training in the states in every aspect of our walk.  We have become accustomed to it and take it for granted.  These men do not.  It is very dear to them. I hope they get this desire of their heart in fullest measure.

Lord, please bless these pastors and the men of the API Kenya team.  It was a privilege to serve with them these last two weeks.  May you be blessed and glorified by the work of your servants and may this work be sustained and expanded by your grace and for your namesake.  Please give us safe travels home and thank you for our families and church bodies that we shall see very soon!

Jay McBee

 

Continue reading
  1834 Hits
  0 Comments
1834 Hits
0 Comments

Monday in Nairobi

It has been a few days since we have had reliable internet so I'll try to catch you all up on what's been happening. 

We finished the conference in Eldoret Friday night with a great time of celebration of the Lord's table.  We had 46 pastors and church leaders attend the conference that started last Monday evening and it was a full week of teaching and learning.

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5895.jpg

Everyday we held an hour session for questions and answers, with the pastors and students grilling the presenters.

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5924.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5932.jpg

Friday, we took a group photo with the students and their t-shirts and books.  The t-shirts were made by Pastor Moses Biketi in his new sign shop Stan Skinner and Dave Johnson helped him set up last February.  The books were provided by P&R Publishing and the Gospel Coalition's Theological Famine program.

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5865.jpg

Saturday morning we took off for our eventual destination of Narok, but we were sidelined after about two hours of driving when the trailer hitch assembly broke off our vehicle. Providentially it happened just as we came into a town called Kakamega and not while we were speeding down the highway.  As it happened, there were three welding shops within about 100 meters and after an hour's delay and 6 dollars worth of welding rod we were on our way.

b2ap3_thumbnail_WP_20150829_11_53_08_Pro.jpg

Ben and Tim enjoyed some Tangawezi and Coke Zero while I chilled on the grassy bank and Rob and Jay were nowhere to be seen while the hitch was re-welded.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3975.JPG

b2ap3_thumbnail_WP_20150829_11_42_37_Pro.jpg

 

We stopped in a place called Majengo where Pastor Reuben Luvanga has planted a church. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3994.JPG

We stopped off to visit and to give the church some money from the Brad Pederson Memorial Building Fund to help them put up a structure on this plot of land they recently purchased. Reuben and I are standing where he intends to put the pulpit.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3991.JPG

After some chai and chapati at the home of Reuben and his wife, we continued on our way to Narok.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3998_1.JPG

 

Continue reading
  1979 Hits
  0 Comments
1979 Hits
0 Comments

Sanctity of Human Life

Dear Friends and Family,

b2ap3_thumbnail_FullSizeRender.jpg

Fish FM 97.1 Studio, Eldoret Kenya

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3942.JPG

It has been a remarkable time, this past two weeks, serving and providing pastoral support in the Kenyan cities of Nairobi, Lodwar, and Eldoret and teach on the Sanctity of Human Life. We all have been moved deeply by the hearts of the people and by the many needs they have.  

I have been blessed to have been able to share the Sanctity of Human Life and the work of Care Net of Puget Sound with pastors and organizations in Lodwar and Eldoret. The presentations at the API Pastors Conferences have been well received.

Yesterday I was blessed to be able to meet with the leadership of Youth for Christ here in Eldoret. In our meeting I met two young ladies that have had a vision of opening a center to support women in crises. I shared with them the programs and services of Care Net of Puget Sound and they were encouraged by the information I was able to give them. Through this meeting an invitation was given to me to speak on the local Christian radio station, which I was able to do this morning. What an opportunity to share the Sanctity of Human Life, the work of Care Net of Puget Sound and what Christ has done in my life. 

Eldoret is ground zero for abortions in Kenya. More abortions are performed here than any other city in Kenya. Sadly, there are no pregnancy centers. Pray that a center will be built to come along women and families in need. Pray for the unborn.  

Thank you for your love and continued prayers as we travel.

In His service.

Ben

Continue reading
  1669 Hits
  0 Comments
1669 Hits
0 Comments

Wednesday in Eldoret

 

It is Wednesday night in Eldoret and we just finished the second day of the pastor's conference here at EABC (East Africa Bible College).  We arrived in Eldoret last Saturday and had a wonderful dinner at the local Chinese restaurant.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3561_20150826-191609_1.jpg

 

Sunday morning, Ben and Rob and Frank and I visited the church in Mwamba, and Jay and Tim visited Pastor Shadrack's church in downtown Eldoret.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5745_20150826-191007_1.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5750.jpg

 

Monday was prep day for most of us as the pastors arrived and we held the first session Monday night. Jay and Ben were handing out the books and getting to know the pastors.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5781.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5794.jpg

 

We have 46 pastors and leaders, mostly from western Kenya, but one is from Mombasa on the east coast, and two are from Lodwar who were unable to make the Lodwar conference.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5798.jpg

 

As you might be able to tell from the pictures here, the climate in Eldoret is decidedly colder than Lodwar. Tuesday and Wednesday were full days, teaching from 8:30 in the morning till 9 at night with a few short breaks for lunch and dinner.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5806.jpg

Rob is videoing all the sessions and he has quite the impressive array of equipment.

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5831.jpg

He also stays up late to shoot the stars. However he has been a little bit hindered by the extremely bright moon these last few nights.

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5838.jpg

Tuesday Ben was able to connect with the local Crisis Pregnancy Center in Eldoret and apparently he will be on a local radio show on Thursday.  The staff told him that they had been praying for this kind of connection for some time and they were extremely overjoyed at his visit.

b2ap3_thumbnail_20150825_160108.jpg

We have two more days of this conference and then we are off to Narok and Masaai Mara.  On our way we will stop and visit with Pastor Reuben Luvanga in Majengo.  His church has purchased some land and is anxious to begin building a structure.  We will be bringing them some help from the Brad Pederson Memorial Building Fund. 

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support for this ministry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading
  1642 Hits
  0 Comments
1642 Hits
0 Comments

Last Day in Lodwar

 

It is Sunday night in Eldoret. We finished the conference in Lodwar with a group picture and a moving communion service Friday night.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5322.jpg

Ben and Pastor William Emase

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5345.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5338.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5373.jpg

Ben and Michael react to one of Rob's jokes.

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5331.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5406.jpg

After the service, Rob and Shadrack, Jay and I went stargazing.

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5424.jpg

 

Saturday we spent visiting the church in Nataaba and Juluk. We had been able to help the church in Nataaba to finish the walls of the church and we went to take pictures.

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5508.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5687.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5674.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5585.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5562.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5616.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3618.jpg

Ben and Pastor Leonard inspecting one of the homes nearby

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5600.jpg

 

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5601.jpg

 

When we got back to Lodwar we visited the church in Juluk, a short drive from town. The church in Juluk is pastored by Beatrice Natoo and has grown so much they need to expand the facility.

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5706.jpg

We finished up in the Lodwar open market, California, and we drew a crowd.

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5714.jpg

Ben, trying to get away from the vendors

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5719.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3558.jpg

Sharpening a panga

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5708.jpg

After returning to our rooms to pack, we went to the airport for the flight to Lodwar

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3621.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5727.jpg

We landed in Eldoret around 6:30 and went to dinner at a really good chinese restaurant. We needed a break from ugali and tsukumuweke.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3559.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3561.jpg

 

 

 

Continue reading
  1957 Hits
  0 Comments
1957 Hits
0 Comments

Lodwar Conference Reflections

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5342.jpg

We have just completed the first conference in Lodwar.    It is about the harshest area in Kenya.  Hot, dirt roads, homes surrounded by dirt, slums of 5' x 5' lean to's in the dirt.  Heat and dust characterize life here.  Wikipedia says that Lodwar has one of the highest average temperatures in the world.  Jan thru Dec, the average high never comes below 90 degrees.  There is no respite from the heat.  Most days after teaching or bouncing around in a 4x4 on a rutted dirt road to visit a remote church in the bush, I would be exhausted. Fortunately, we had air-conditioned rooms ( if the A/C did not break or power go out ) so we could pull the heat out of our bones.  Shower water was never heated and you never wanted it to be.

In this inhospitable area, I met pastors with a burning, heartfelt desire to serve God and His people.   Some of the most inviting men in the most uninviting surroundings.  What a juxtaposition.  It was a privilege and an honor to meet these men and to teach and encourage them from the scriptures.  I met with some of the pastors and for many, the support that our team offered in instruction and personal counsel was something that was of of great joy and comfort to them. They sat for 12 hours in an un-air-conditioned room trying to get as much as they could.  Not only were they taking in the teachings of Mike, Tim, Ben and myself, for their ministry and congregations they were taking home some well-needed personal encouragement. A pastor I met said that his congregation had been in despair and depression.  He has women in their 20s with HIV facing death - very common in Africa. Part of his congregation were attacked in a cross-border attack from the northern border and mothers and fathers were speared to death and children left homeless (which the church took in until the government could take care of them).  He said being there and seeing the blood everywhere greatly affected him.  Hearing him talk, I realized these guys were on the front-lines with the gospel and saw things that I, Lord willing, would never see or experience.  That I could have a small part in encouraging them was one of the most humbling things that I have been involved with.  Lord willing, I will have the chance to see these men again.

God bless these pastors.

 
Jay McBee
Continue reading
  1873 Hits
  0 Comments
1873 Hits
0 Comments

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday in Lodwar

Today is Friday and we haven't posted since Monday due in part to the work load and in part to the sketchy internet here in Lodwar.  We've been very busy from 8 in the morning till 9 at night with teaching and interacting with the pastors here. We have around 85 pastors from Lodwar and all over the Turkana region, including at least two from outside the country.  One is a missionary from Sudan and one pastor is a former Muslim from Somalia.

The pastors are continually saying over and over how much they appreciate and love what we are doing for them in teaching them from the word of God. They also realize that we have lots of people behind us (like you all reading the blog) that have given sacrificially to send us to them.  We've been told that they consider us a real blessing from God.  As I was speaking with the chairman of the Lodwar Pastor's Fellowship, Pastor Boniface Rimati, he told me that when he was called to this area as a pastor, he felt like he had three things he wanted to accomplish. One of those three things was somehow to introduce some pastoral training for the pastors of this region.  He said that the API School of Ministry was the answer to his prayer.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Lokuruka.jpg

Here are some pictures to enjoy of our stay here.

b2ap3_thumbnail_20150816_040254-1.jpg

These ladies are amazing - they carry everything on their heads.

b2ap3_thumbnail_20150816_0659410-1.jpg

These are roadside shops.

b2ap3_thumbnail_20150816_070337-1.jpg

Can't leave your car doors or windows open with these guys around.

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5224.jpg

Kids always have a front row seat.

b2ap3_thumbnail_20150816_043126.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_20150816_033623-1.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_20150816_033520-2-1.jpg

View from the back of Lodwar High School.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3532.jpg

So...what we have here are the latrines. The one on the right is for the women.  The one on the left is for the men.  No, no, not the white building, (which I thought).  The men's latrine is the half-wall on the left.  Nothing like fresh, open air where you can see who's coming to join you in the latrine. Or you can simply have conversations with passers-by.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3530.jpg

Here is where the cooks prepare the food.  This picture was taken at about 12 pm and the fire was going.  It's only around 95 today.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3533.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3535.jpg

 

 

Continue reading
  1785 Hits
  0 Comments
1785 Hits
0 Comments

Monday in Lodwar

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5210.jpg

It is Monday in Lodwar, and we spent most of the day finishing our preparation for the conference that began tonight at the Lodwar High School complex. We did some shopping to get some power strips, and ink and paper and water. 

Pastor Tim Bourgeois and I are teaching through Acts 20:17-39 on the theme of Shepherding the Church of God. Jay McBee and Ben are teaching a Biblical Counseling series focused on discipleship.

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5289.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5262.jpg

The first order of business was to get the pastors registered for the conference. However, this being Kenya, we will probably still be registering new attendees on Thursday.

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5180.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5058.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5101.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5065.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5109.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5133.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5151.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5140.jpg

Through Together for the Gospel and their Theological Famine program and the generosity of P&R Publishing, we were able to offer free books to these pastors to help them in their ministry.

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5189.jpg

We also schedule about an hour each day for question and answer which is very helpful, both for us and for the pastors.

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5200.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5247.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5275.jpg

 

 

 

Continue reading
  1926 Hits
  0 Comments
1926 Hits
0 Comments

Sunday in Nataaba

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_4499.jpg

Sunday morning we took off for Nataaba, a small village around 40 km from Lodwar.  Through the Brad Pederson Memorial Building Fund we were able to help this congregation put a roof over their heads this year.  We also brought with us some staple foods - ugali flour and beans, cooking oil, salt and matches, to distribute to the congregation. We had a wonderful time of worship with the church there under the leadership of Pastor James.

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_4979.jpg

They were very happy to see these visitors from a far country and Ben got a lot of hugs.

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_4366.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_4356.jpg

We will be returning later this week with iron sheets and galvanized screening for the sides.

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_4374.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_4604.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_4559.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_4593.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_4588.jpg

After the service we handed out the food we brought and everyone went home with something to eat.  Pastor Leonard later told me that Pastor James had said that there were many in the congregation who would not have had something to eat that day had we not brought the food. Turkana is going through a very hard time and there are people dying of hunger everyday, due in part to a government that has largely ignored their citizens there.

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_4615.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_4624.jpg

Ben and Jay headed up the food line.

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_4704.jpg

It was a great joy to worship and fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Nataaba. 

Please remember them in prayer before the Lord.                             b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_4994.jpg

It was a happy ride back to St Teresa's

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_4323.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5017.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_20150816_062142.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_5025.jpg

 

 

 

 

Continue reading
  1788 Hits
  1 Comment
1788 Hits
1 Comment

On the Road

Saturday August 15

Saturday was a long travel day for us. We loaded up and left Nairobi around 6:30 heading for Eldoret.

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_4232.jpg

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3818.jpg

Frank and Jay loading up

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3822.jpg

We left before having breakfast so we stopped in Naivasha around 8 for some much needed nourishment and coffee. Fortunately we found a new Java House open for business.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3830.jpg

The trip was fairly uneventful until we hit Nakuru and the speed trap. We were pulled over by the police and Frank, our driver was informed that he was clocked at 97 km/hour by radar back near Naivasha, an hour earlier. We were surprised since most of the trip we had not been able to go over 60 km/hr due to the heavy truck traffic. Added to that was the fact that we had already been waved through 3 previous police check points who apparently hadn't gotten the alert for this speeding vehicle. Nevertheless, we were 'arrested' and had to go with one of the policewomen to the Nakuru station to sort it out. 10,000 schillings ($100) and an hour later, we were allowed to continue. From the conversations we had during that hour and the lack of any evidence, we concluded that we were simply being forced to contribute to the Nakuru Police Benevolent Fund.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3833.jpg

We finally arrived in Eldoret at the home of the Director of the East Africa Bible College where they had prepared a wonderful lunch for us. Our visit was brief since we had to be at the airport for a 4 pm flight to Lodwar, which of course didn't leave till after 5 pm, this being Kenya.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3837.jpg

We finally arrived in Lodwar after a 50 minute flight around 6:30 pm, and checked into St Teresa's, a Catholic retreat center, where we will be for the next seven days.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3840.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_Lodwar-Arrival.jpg

 

Thank you all for your support and prayers during this time.

 

Continue reading
  1907 Hits
  0 Comments
1907 Hits
0 Comments

A day in Nairobi

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3798.JPG

We started the day with some early morning conference planning and time together in prayer.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3806.JPGb2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3807.JPG

From there it was straight to the coffee house for breakfast and of course... coffee.

 

Then off to the Village Market to get the phones and internet sticks setup and topped off, money exchanged, followed by a quick trip (is that possible) through the Masai Market.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3814.JPG

Ben is looking for bugs.

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_4233.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_4239.jpg

Checking out the baskets

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_4242.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_4244.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_4246.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail__RH_4249.jpg

 Then a jet-lag induced nap back at the Hampton House followed by a mile walk for pizza and back to the Hampton House to carefully re-pack all of the gear since we drive to Eldoret starting at 6am and then fly to Lodwar after that.  Some gear is left in Eldoret for use when we return after the Lodwar Conference.

The Kenyan roads can be a dangerous place so please uplift the team in prayer as Frank drives us to Eldoret and also for the flight that follows to Lodwar. 

Continue reading
  1557 Hits
  0 Comments
1557 Hits
0 Comments
blank

Donate Now

Bringing hope and healing to the people of Kenya

Sign up for our Newsletter