Michael is the Director of Pastoral Development for API USA - a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing hope and healing to the people of Kenya through the gospel and works of service. Michael has been married to his wife Kim for 40 years and Kim is the director at CareNet Puyallup.  They have four adult daughters: Eliana, Hilary, Paige and Michel-Ann; and four great son-in-laws: Ben Sansburn, Tom Dykstra, Justin Hartford, and Robert Velasquez; and six beautiful granddaughters: Ava, Miren, Charis and Eden, Indira, Aurora; and one handsome grandson, Atticus.  Michael loves family, good books, great coffee, teaching and preaching. He is also a proud member of the 12th man and still holds out hope for the Mariners.

Summer 2018 Lodwar Pastors Conference

It is Tuesday evening in Kilgoris and we've got an impressive thunder and lightening storm going on outside.  I just realized that I forgot to tell you all about visiting the refugee camp at Kakuma last week so I'll catch you up.

Last Thursday, while Roger, Dan and Rob were still here, we took a trip to the U.N. Refugee Camp in Kakuma - a 120 km trip that took us three and a half hours each way because of the wretched roads. But we had a good time both ways with Pastor Lokwawi, Pastor Lokuruka, Pastor Stephen Lobolia and James, Lokwawi's son, taking time on the way to have a photo shoot at one of the ubiquitous termite mounds that dot the Turkana landscape.

We were invited to the camp by Pastor Ramsey who ministers in the camps and attended the conference in Lodwar. Pastor Ramsey is a South Sudanese who pastors a church in the camp and ministers to the South Sudanese there.  We were hoping to visit several churches there but we were delayed by the camp administration for a couple of hours when we arrived because the required papers weren't in order.  However we spent a couple hours with pastors in the camp gathered together by Pastor Ramsey.

We shared the mission and vision of API with them and heard about their work in the camps. There are around 200,000 refugees from all over Africa in these camps - Ethiopia, Somalia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Burundi, Congo, and many more, and the gospel is going out to them all.

We were hosted by Pastor Mubarak (pictured above) in his church there. And Pastor Lokuruka brought some bibles for his people. 

And while we were inside, Roger of course was outside with the kids.

Dan also made new friends.

Please pray for the pastors and churches who are laboring in the gospel fields in Kakuma in very tough conditions. And pray that we would be able to encourage and support these pastors with biblical training and resources.  Pastor Mubarak and Pastor Ramsey assured us that we would see many of these pastors at our next training.

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Summer 2018 Lodwar Pastors Conference

It is Sunday morning in Nairobi and Stan and I are headed to worship with Trinity Baptist Church in Nairobi and then travel down to Kilgoris to see our Maasai brothers.  Rob, Dan and Roger left Friday night for the U.S. and Stan and I are on our own.  But before we left Lodwar Friday, Dan, Roger, Rob and I took some time to look around Lodwar Town and do some shopping.

Dan and I both found some hats and we'd like you all to judge who got the better deal.

Dan opted for the more traditional look while I found something a little more exotic.

This is the traditional hat worn by Turkana men and the feather is from an ostrich.

The boys enjoyed their last cold drink of Tangawezi (a powerful ginger soda pop) in our favorite cafe, the Kilimanjaro.  Which has the best kuku and chips around.

Saturday, Stan, Frank and I visited our friends, the Petersons, out at Rafiki Foundation where they work.

"Rafiki" means "friend" in Swahili. This captures the vision and purpose of the Foundation—to befriend orphans and widows in their distress (James 1:27). To accomplish this mission, Rafiki established Training Villages within ten African countries, one of which is in Nairobi. These Villages provide orphan care, Bible study, classical Christian education, and teacher training through Rafiki’s five programs: ChildCare, Education, Rafiki Bible Study, Advanced Learning, and Widows.

Thanks again  for your prayers for us.   Stan and I will return to  Nairobi Wednesday for his flight home and I'll be leaving Kenya for the U.S. on Friday. 

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Summer 2018 Lodwar Pastors Conference

Wednesday we traveled to the church in Nakorinyang that was planted about two years ago by my good friend Patrick Nacho who has a church in Lodwar.  (Every time I say his name I get visions of Mexican food!) It is a great location except that it happens to be right in the middle of a river bed, so when it rains, no church meeting.  Pastor George here is preaching the gospel using the audio bible and flip charts we brought to give to the church.

We also brought food as we have to all the churches we visit and it was joyfully unloaded.

We left Nakorinyang and set off for Eliya Springs, a fresh water spring on the banks of Lake Turkana. We spent the afternoon swimming in the lake and taking selfies.

However, some of us slept, although Dan insisted he was praying.

The spring itself is fairly warm water, but very clear.

This trip was a treat especially for the Kenyans who traveled with us as they rarely get the opportunity to enjoy this kind of beach adventure. Everyone swam in the lake except of course Rob, who was busy taking pictures.

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Summer 2018 Lodwar Pastors Conference

It is early Friday morning and we are at the end of a great week.  Tuesday of this week we loaded up and headed out to Namagirat where the new church was built. Apparently Roger has this craving for ice cream.

We found the church building completed and full of people waiting for our arrival.

The celebration was extremely joyful as we dedicated this house to the Lord.

As always, Roger was in his element with the children.

He and Dan took the kids out to show them how to play frizbee.  None of them had ever seen one of these but they quickly mastered the technique.

The church was so grateful for the gift of a new building they reciprocated with goat for us. We named him 'Dinner'.

Namagirat was about an hour and a half southwest of Lodwar, and when we left there, we traveled back to Lodwar, ate lunch and then set off for Nakepokan, about two hours north east of Lodwar. To get there requires 13 river crossings, only these rivers only run when it rains. But crossing the soft sand is trouble enough.  Palm branches give pretty good traction here.

Two years ago, the Brad Pederson Memorial Building Fund helped Nakepokan realize their hopes for a church building and we found a vibrant growing congregation there.

As usual, the visiting speakers went on so long that sleep overcame some of the congregation.

Of course, Roger had his usual fan club surrounding him.

Roger is just a kid magnet.

Thank you so much for your continued prayers for us and the people of Turkana. 

 

 

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Summer 2018 Lodwar Pastors Conference

It is Tuesday evening and I've been trying for two nights to get this blog done as the network here is very spotty and capricious.  Sunday Dan, Roger and I preached at different churches in Lodwar.  I was with Pastor George Lokwawi's church, Dan was at Pastor Dan Njuguna's church and Roger was at Pastor James Louren's church. Rob went with Dan to take pics, and George was taking pics while I was with him, but I don't have any of Roger.  However, the report was that all the churches were blessed by the team's preaching.

Monday we loaded up with food and took off for two villages, Nataaba and Loregum. 

Nataaba was where we helped the church build the first building here in Turkana, and Loregum is the church we helped build last year.  

Both churches were incredibly blessed by our visit and by the food that many of you contributed to help feed the hungry.

It was a long day made just a little longer by getting stuck in some very soft sand. We assumed our Land Cruiser had four wheel drive but circumstances proved that wrong. 

While Dan pushed, I directed operations.

One of the reasons we got stuck (other than the fact that the four-wheel drive did not work) was that there was a very big truck stuck in the main track and we tried to go around him.  You can see the back end of the offending truck in the picture above.

We made it back to Lodwar before dark and were thankful to jump in the showers. 

 

 

 

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Reflections on the 2018 Lodwar Pastors Conference

 

The video can be viewed directly on Vimeo here:  https://vimeo.com/285616582

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Summer 2018 Lodwar Pastors Conference

It is Saturday evening here at St Teresa's in Lodwar and we are having a day of R&R after a full week of conference responsibilities.  We took the opportunity to climb to the summit of the hill on which the school sits to get some photo ops with the statue. I think we look remarkably similar.  

The statue was donated to the people of Turkana by the Vatican and as you walk up the hill you encounter the traditional stations of the cross.  Here Roger and Shadrack are pausing at the burial station.  Interestingly, the statues of the soldiers are definitely Turkana and not Roman. 

But as you can see, the view is impressive from the top.

We ended the conference Friday with the book give-a-way sponsored by TGC and another book publisher who donated all these resources to the pastors.  Every pastor and leader got a copy of Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, Show Them Jesus, and Taking God at His Word.

While the Executive Team for the Turkana Pastor's Fellowship handed out the books, we took time for a team photo. Every one of these men worked hard to make this conference a success. One pastor told me, "You do not understand how much you have helped us with your teachings.  We have never received anything like this.  And the books you bring are so valuable to us."

110 pastors and church leaders attended this conference and we took a group shot on Friday night.  If you look real hard you can see a few white faces at the back.  Again, we thank you all for your prayers and support for this conference.  

 

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Summer 2018 Lodwar Pastors Conference

 

It's Friday morning and we are wrapping up the conference today.  It has been a very impactful week for all of us, API team and all the pastors and church leaders, as we have studied the book of Galatians in depth.  But I think all those who have attended this conference would say that the evening session with Pastor Roger teaching on children's ministry has been one of the great highlights for us, mainly because he gets the place jumping with his energetic delivery and infectious enthusiasm.

Our afternoon question and answer sessions have been incredibly helpful and fruitful times for these pastors and leaders.  Our panel is composed of the API team and two of the leading pastors in Lodwar and together we have all gained a greater understanding, not only of the passages we have studied, but of each other and our respective cultures.

It is always difficult to bring these to a close and the conversations always continue outside.  

 

I want to give a special shout out to the guy who is the hardest worker on the team and makes everything go - Rrrrrob Hostager.

And the guys who make everyone laugh.

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While we have been working hard in Lodwar, there has been a work party laboring to build a church in the village of Namagirat.  Monday, we bought all the materials for the church building and sent it out to the site, and by Thursday the workers had built the framework.

Next week, Roger, Rob, Dan and I will be headed out into the bush to join the church in celebration of this new construction.  I'd like to thank all those who have contributed to the Brad Pederson Memorial Building Fund to make this happen.

We thank you for your faithful prayers and ask that they would continue.  Pray that these pastors and church leaders would leave with encouragement and joy from the Holy Spirit and they would take the word they have heard and proclaim it to their congregations.

 

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Summer 2018 Lodwar Pastors Conference

It is Wednesday evening and we have just finished our second full day at the conference.  We are on a hill with a great view in all directions and the constant breeze makes it relatively cool in 95 degree weather, as we sit inside the hall under a tin roof that tends to radiate the heat. 

Pastor Tim, Pastor Dan and myself are taking the pastors through the book of Galatians, while Pastor Roger teaches them on Children's Ministry. 

One pastor who has had Bible college training remarked that, "I studied some of this in Bible school, but never at this depth. The teachings you bring are much deeper than we have gone before. We thank God for you."

The days have been very full starting at 7 in the morning with team devotions, each team member taking turns leading us in the word and prayer. 

We will wrap up the conference on Friday, handing out the book resources provided by TGC and New Growth Press books.  Keep all of us in your prayers and continue to pray for the spread of the gospel here in Turkana.

 

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Summer 2018 Lodwar Pastors Conference

It is Monday evening here in Lodwar and our first session has just ended.  Stan and I arrived in Nairobi last week on Thursday and we spend the time before the rest of the team arrived doing prep work for our respective trips, and doing some shopping in the mall with Frank and John.

Stan is headed to Matete to work with Pastor Moses for a couple of weeks setting up a cyber cafe business while Pastor Roger, Pastor Tim Bourgeois, Pastor Dan Mason, Rob Hostager and myself head to Lodwar.  Tim, Roger, Dan and Rob arrived late Saturday night in Nairobi and got part of a nights rest as we took off for Lodwar the next day.

Roger, Dan and Rob all came together on the same flight while Tim elected for another airline and itinerary which stranded him in Ethiopia for 15 hours, but he finally made it to Nairobi. 

We left Nairobi around 2:45 pm on a scheduled 2:00 pm departure. But as they say here "TIK" This is Kenya, and things move at their own pace. The wait was long and hot and finally the legs had to come off and Rob thought this would make a good shot. 

The flight was thankfully uneventful and we were greeted by a reception committee of several Lodwar pastors at the Lodwar Airport and taken to St Teresa's where we will be for the next two weeks. 

Sunday evening we hosted the Lodwar Pastors Fellowship executive team to dinner at St Teresas, and had a wonderful time of fellowship and food.

We will post more tomorrow on the conference.  Continue praying for this conference and these pastors who are coming from all over Kenya to be here.  And pray for us as we proclaim the word of God.

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API Spring 2018 Nairobi

Tuesday April 3, 2018

Sunday Frank and I traveled to Matete to preach at the church there. 

Matete was the first church built by the Brad Pederson Memorial Building Fund several years ago. We found them first meeting under a tarp.

The first structure was a temporary mud and stick construction that served the congregation well for a few years.

But as the church grew, expansion became necessary and so the church began to make bricks and a few weeks before our arrival on Sunday, a new and permanent structure had been built that is about twice the square footage of the original.

Pastor Moses has also built some housing behind the church for some orphans and vulnerable children the church is helping to house, feed and school.

Pastor Moses Biketi and his wife Judith.

Frank and I traveled back to Nairobi on Monday, broken up by multiple police traffic stops, produce shopping, and wrecks. 

Frank always stocks up on veggies to take home to his wife and family when we travel.

This semi took a hard left into some shops along the highway.

Fortunately we didn't get arrested this time, but we did end up paying some traffic fees for made-up charges.  It must have been payday for the police because they were out in force.  

Tonight I fly back to the U.S. and I'd like to thank all of you whose prayers and gifts made this mission possible.  Special thanks go to Pastor Rich Hamlin and his wife Lynn, Ben Edwards, and my wife Kim who together with Pastor Shadrack, Pastor Reuben, Frank and John, came togther as an incredible team to minister to the church in Kenya. 

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API Spring 2018 Eldoret

Sunday April 1, 2018

It is Sunday night in Eldoret where I arrived Saturday after flying from Lodwar.  Friday we continued distributing famine relief and one of the villages we visited was Narang'lup where last year we helped them build a new church.

The children were some of the first to show up at the distribution site.

But the adults were not far behind.  And again, Pastors George Lokwawia and Boniface Lokuruka handed out the maize.

You might notice this woman below is wearing only white beads.  Those are an indication that she recently lost her husband and is now a widow.  Here she is cleaning the maize by letting the wind take away the dirt and chaff.

It would be hard to overstate the need these people have for basic staples in this desolate place.  However, the recent rains in Kenya have blessed Turkana as well, and their animals are not dying off as they have been in the past. I want to thank all of you who donated resources to bring food to the Turkana.

 

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API Spring 2018 Conference Oloolaimutia

Friday March 30, 2018

After the conference ended last Friday, we took a day excursion Saturday through the Masai Mara National Game Reserve.  Here are a few pictures of our trip.

A lone waterbuck

Rich and Lynn Hamlin

We saw a lot of lions and lion cubs this trip

Frank hamming it up for the tourists

I had no idea locusts were so big - that's Ben Edwards shoe in the picture

Team shot on the viewpoint

Wide angle showing the hill the Masai call the Sleeping Warrior

Beauty in the Mara

More lions

Ben Edwards and Reuben Lubvanga

Best sighting of the elusive leopard ever! Right by our vehicle

 

A shot of the rare white Masai and their Kikuyu guides (Frank Maina and John Kamau) and a Luya Masai (Pastor Reuben Luvanga)

The only member of the team not shown here is Pastor Shadrack Mogesi who I think was taking the picture. Our Kenyan brothers were some of the hardest working members of the team and we are grateful for their friendship and dedication to the mission.

It is my last day in Turkana and I'll be flying back to Eldoret to meet with some pastors in Western Kenya, including Pastor Moses in whose church I'll be preaching on Sunday.  More to follow on the events of this past week.  As always, pray for our safety and health as we travel here in Turkana.  I'll be distributing the rest of the famine relief supplies today in some villages in the bush. Thank you for your fellowship in the spread of the gospel here in Kenya.

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2015 API Pastor Training and Service Project

Wednesday February 4, 2015

Take Off

Dave Johnson, Stan Skinner and I took off Wednesday afternoon from SeaTac for Amsterdam and a connecting flight to Nairobi.  We all got there a bit early and had to wait an extra hour because our plane was late in arriving.  We used the time well. (Scroll down to get the whole trip)

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Although we were an hour late arriving in Amsterdam, our boarding gate for the flight to Kenya was right next door as we came out of the plane. 

We landed in Nairobi Thursday evening and made it through customs fairly quickly. Stan and Dave even managed to smile for us after nearly 20 hours of travel.  Stan is waving his visa form here.  Apparently proud that he made it through the medical screening set up prior to entering the visa line.

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Friday February 6

Friday was a very event packed day. All of us were jet lagging and even though we got to bed the night before rather late, we were all up before five.  We exchanged our dollars for schillings, got supplies at Nakumat, waited in line at Safaricom forever and then went to the Masai Market.

Of course we started the day with Java House.

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Stan and Dave having a great time haggling.

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After spending some time and not much money at the market, we drove into Nairobi to meet one of Stan's contacts for sign making and materials.  Stan was pretty excited to find suppliers for the sign business he is setting up in Matete for Pastor Moses. 

Then we drove across the city out to the ACTS bookstore on one of the most congested roads in Nairobi. However the bookstore was worth the wait.

 

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Friday evening we met John and his wife Margaret and their new little girl, Eliana, at Brackenhurst for dinner.

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Saturday February 7

We took off this morning for Matete after Stan and Dave packed the rig.

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Along the way we stopped at the equator to take some pics.

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In Eldoret we stopped to rest for a bit at Pastor Shadracks home. Stan appreciated the stop.

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Damaris, Shadrack's wife, has almost completely recovered from a bout with pneumonia and a recent miscarriage.  Some of you were instrumental in her recovery through your prayers and financial support.  When Shadrack called me to tell me how sick Damaris was two weeks ago, he said that he wanted to take her to the doctor but they required payment in advance and he didn't have it. Through the generosity of many, we were able to send him the necessary funds to take her to the hospital. When he examined Damaris, the doctor said that if he had waited another hour, Damaris would have died. Praise God for His perfect timing!

We finally reached Matete around 7 pm and reunited Stan with his friend Pastor Moses.

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ps. It is really hard to get Stan to smile for the camera. I have to offer him treats.

Sunday February 8

We had a wonderful time with the church in Matete this morning after a much needed rest and a great breakfast at our hotel, the Downhill Springs.

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After the service, we ate lunch at Pastor Moses' home, and Stan played Santa Claus as he handed out gifts that he and Mary had packed for Moses' family.

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Monday February 9

We spent the first part of Monday setting up the sign shop so that Stan could train the workers.

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We had suggested the previous day that it might be possible for us to install power at Moses' residence which is only about 70 meters from the church and that we would calculate the cost to see if that was possible.  However when we got there Monday morning, Moses already had someone digging the cable trench.  Apparently we were committed to the project.  I'm just glad we had Dave along - he is a man of many talents. He took a look at the situation, calculated what we needed, and he and I and Frank headed off for Bungoma to buy the necessary materials while the ditch was being dug.

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While we were in Bungoma, we met Dr. Charles for lunch and he showed us where he is setting up his new clinic.  He was awakened one morning a few weeks ago by someone who told him they were demolishing the building in which his old clinic was located.  His landlord had not seen fit to notify any of the tenants of the proposed demolition and he rushed to get his things out of the building they were demolishing.

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I stayed in Bungoma as the conference in Amagoro was beginning that evening, and I will be staying there all week. By the end of the day, Stan and his team had produced their first printed t-shirt.

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As always, there are interesting scenes on the road - like these guys hitching a free ride on a gas tanker.

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Meanwhile, I was in Amagoro setting up for the first evening session of the pastor's conference.  Watched intently by a very interested group.

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After setting up the church, we went for dinner by candlelight.

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And then returned for the evening session. We have power and light in the church thanks to a generator.

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Tuesday February 10

Tuesday morning Stan and Dave were back to work in Matete.

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Of course every job has its fans.

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Dave split his time between laying wire and helping Stan with his project.

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And I was in Amagoro starting the first morning of the conference. Right now there are about 40 out of the 55 expected attendees. Since most of the pastors either walk or catch public transportation - matatus - arrival times tend to be variable.

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Together for the Gospel provided these books for the pastors.

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Every day we held a question and answer time after all the sessions were finished.  Pastor Reuben Luvanga does most of the interpretation for us and he does an excellent job.  At least that is what all the students are telling me since I don't speak Kiswahili.

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Wednesday February 11

This morning I called to see how the Matete team was doing and found out that everything was going great, except that it seems the heat press was somehow damaged in the flight to Kenya.  Apparently one of the heating elements was broken and Dave spent the day trying to fix it.  We are praying that he can get it working because we already have orders to fill.

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Since Stan and Dave had to go into Bungoma for parts, they decided to drive a little further and drop in on the conference at Amagoro and surprise me. Stan looks thrilled with the idea.

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Back in Matete, Pastor Moses started burning the bricks they had previously made for the construction of the new shop for the sign business.

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Thursday February 12

In Matete, Dave and Stan and Frank kept at it to get the heat press working and finish the wiring job.

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In Amagoro we finished the 4th day of the pastors training.

 

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I also received some pictures from a church in Turkana called Nataaba on the progress of the construction of their new building.  When we were in Lodwar last August, with money from the Brad Pederson Memorial Fund we had purchased materials for them to build this structure and delivered them to the church.  However, once they began building, a dispute ensued about ownership of the land and they had to relocate. They finally found a plot of ground not too far from the initial plot and began building last week.

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The church was very grateful for the help and send their greetings and thanks to API USA and Summit Christian Fellowship and to all who contributed to the work.

They were very grateful as well for the bibles we sent them as most of them have never had a bible.

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This is Pastor James, pastor of the church at Nataaba.

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Friday February 13

Today was the last day of the pastors conference. And as with all the sessions, we spent a lot of time in question and answer mode. All the questions were very good and indicated a good grasp of the material we presented. I was very encouraged by the obvious passion to understand the word of God everyone displayed.

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Unfortunately I did not get a lot of pictures of the conference but I did manage to capture Frank at his finest.  Frank is our API associate who does just about everything for us.  He's particularly good at waiting.

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Frank probably had the hardest job of us all.  He was on the road early, driving from Matete to Bungoma to pick me up and deliver me to Amagoro.  And then turn around and head back to Matete to work with Stan and Dave.  Then he would come to Amagoro in the late afternoon to take me to Bungoma and head back to Matete.  He also was taking Dave all over to try and find parts for the heat press.  Unfortunately Dave had no success in finding the part he needed.  But he did manage to get the electricity hooked up to Pastor Moses' house.

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The firing of the bricks was a success as they were unveiled today.

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And everywhere Dave goes he finds friends and admirers. (It might have been the candy he carried in his pockets)

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Saturday February 14

Today we held commencement exercises for two of our graduates - Pastor Dennis Makutu and Pastor Shadrack Mogesi Mwita who each earned their B th degrees from API School of Ministry.  Many thanks to the dean of the school, Dr. Franklin Clark for his passion and drive to bring this kind of education to the pastors of Kenya.

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Sunday February 15

While Stan and Dave attended the service in Matete once again, I spoke in the church in Amagoro at the request of Pastor Leonard Ekea.  Currently the children's Sunday School classes are held outside while the adult Sunday School is going on in the auditorium.

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The nursery is located inside.

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In the evening, I joined Dave and Stan at Pastor Moses' home for a celebration dinner.  Judith, Moses' wife, showed off her new Wonder Bag she received from Mary Skinner as she made us dinner.  It was nice being all together after a week in separate locations for this last meal with the Matete crowd.

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Monday February 16

Today was a travel day and we took off from Matete in the morning to travel down to Kilgoris.  Along the way we made a few stops.  The first was in the village of Majengo where two of our friends live.  The first stop was at Pastor Michael Omega's home. Michael is an evangelism trainer with E3, and he facilitates our evangelism training wherever we hold our Medical Mission Camps, to train the local pastors and church members in personal evangelism.

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Stan was intrigued by the pig pen.

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We also met with Pastor Reuben Luvanga who has a church in Majengo; and then we traveled down to Kisii where we were joined by Pastor Shadrack's wife, Damaris, who just finished her work there.  We got into Kilgoris around 7 pm and spent the night at the Seasons Hotel.

Tuesday February 17

We spent the morning and early afternoon visiting with some of the pastors in Kilgoris that have been part of our pastor's training conferences for a few years.  The leader of this group, Christ Gospel Churches, is Bishop Samson Kenteyia and we took the opportunity to visit his church that is in the middle of being remodeled and enlarged.

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We also visited with Pastor Jackson Mongaine, of the Kenya Assemblies of God,who was a participant in our 2013 conference in Kilgoris.

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We then traveled to Pastor Benson Ntuntai's new church plant in Olangabolo.  This church has received funds from the Brad Pederson Memorial Building Fund to raise a new structure.

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We are hoping to raise more funds to help them finish the project and enclose the structure.  Pastor Benson also asked if we could bring our floor crew and help pour a cement floor. I told him that since the church was on top of the hill and far away from water, that might be difficult.  He replied that it was no problem - he would just bring the water up by donkeys.

We finally left Kilgoris that afternoon and traveled to Narok to spend the night before going to the game park at Maasai Mara.

Wedesday February 17

Today we spent touring the game park in Maasai Mara.  Although it is not the migration season, there are still plenty of animals to see.  Here are pictures of some of them.

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 We took a lunch break at the oldest lodge in the park - Keekorok Lodge.

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We also took some shots while on the border of Tanzania and Kenya in the park.

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Along the Mara river, we took a nature walk with an armed park ranger.  I felt pretty safe until I asked him if he had ever had to fire his weapon at any aggressive predators on this walk, and he said, 'Oh yes, many times!'

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Thursday February 19

We left Narok in the morning and drove back to Nairobi for the flight home that evening.  On our way to the airport, we stopped to eat at the Mombasa Road Java House and met the owner of the hotel we stayed at in Matete.  Her name is Daisy Kanainza and she is the youngest Senator in the Kenyan Parliament.  She was very interested in our work in Kenya.

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Traveling Home

02/09/14

Here we are in Amsterdam waiting on our flights home - Tim to Los Angeles, and Rob and I to Portland and on to Seattle. As you can see, we've gotten hold of a little bit of the U.S. here in the form of Starbucks to while away our four hour layover.

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We've had an amazing trip as you can probably see if you've been following our blog. But we are thankful to be getting home after three weeks on the road. We are sincerely grateful to all of you who have kept us in your prayers.  The only time any one of us was not feeling well was two days ago when I think I got hold of a bad piece of apple pie at Java House in Nairobi.  But that was short-lived and I was feeling great the next morning.

Monday and Tuesday we filled with activity as we nailed down all the final tasks we had to complete before we left, but we also got some much-needed rest at the Hampton House. One of our last stops was at the Kenya Bible Society where we purchased some Bibles for the churches in Lodwar in Kiswahili and Turkana.  We had intended to purchase those in Lodwar, but we couldn't find any.  So we are shipping these to one of our pastor friends, George Lokwawi in Lodwar to deliver to the churches in Nataaba, Juluk, and Nakingol.

In His service for His glory,

michael

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Maasai Mara

31/08/14

Friday afternoon we traveled to Narok where we spent the night.  Early on Saturday morning we got up to travel to the game park in Maasai Mara. The annual migration was on and there were literally millions of animals to be seen.  Here are some of the animals we saw.

Young male lions

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Pretty bird

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Cheetah

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Guinea hens

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Tembo - elephant

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All of the lions we saw were resting

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Buzzards enjoying a meal - circle of life stuff

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Baby hippo

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Sleeping croc - they sleep with their mouths open and birds come and pick their teeth

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Mama simba and her cubs

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Cape buffalo

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The pride had made a kill and eaten and left this one to guard the food

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Baboon

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Male osterich

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Twiga - giraffe

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A silhouette shot of the migration of wildebeestes

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We had a great day in the park and as we were driving home, we came upon a wreck that had just happened minutes before.  Apparently it was a one-van accident when the driver lost control on the gravel road.  No one was badly hurt beyond scrapes and minor aches.  As we were miles from anywhere, we piled all the luggage of the passengers on the Prado and took six of them back with us to Narok, leaving the driver and one other to deal with the police.  They were still in shock from the accident, and they couldn't understand why perfect strangers would be so kind. Somehow we managed to squeeze ten of us in a vehicle that only comfortably fits seven. Good thing they were all young people and fairly thin.

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Again we want to thank all of you for your prayers to God for us and we thank Him for His mercy and grace.  We are in Nairobi for two nights until we fly back to the US on Tuesday.

 

 

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Post Conference Stuff

31/08/14

It is Sunday evening and we are back in Nairobi so I'll try to catch you up on all the news. We have had a busy two days since the commencement exercises for the graduating student of the API School of Ministry.  Friday we held the commencement exercises, graduating four students: Pastors Fred Anyule and William Odhiambo with Certificates in Biblical Studies; Pastor Moses Biketi with a Bachelors in Theology; and Pastor Leonard Ekea with a Masters of Biblical Studies. Pastor Tim Bourgeois gave the commencement address and on behalf of the API School of Ministry and Covenant Bible Seminary I handed out the diplomas.  Here are some pictures of the event.

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Conference Notes - Eldoret

29/0814

Today is Friday and the last session of the conference here in Eldoret was held yesterday.  Pastor Tim and I have been teaching through the book of Genesis and all the pastors and leaders here have let us know just how much they have been blessed by this study.  They were also blessed to receive a copy of Pastor Tim's 150 page Genesis Devotional that we had copied and bound into books here in Eldoret for them.  We will be holding a commencement exercise this morning for four graduates - Pastors William Odhiambo and Fred Anyule with Associate of Theology degrees, Pastor Moses Biketi with a Bachelor of Theology degree and Pastor Leonard Ekea with a Masters in Biblical Studies.


Here are some shots taken during the week.

Pastor Tim with Pastor Benson and Pastor Geoffrey

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Rob with Pastor James

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Reuban, William, Dennis, Jeremiah

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William and Emily Odhiambo, Ursula Ekea, Fred Anyule

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Valentine's baby

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My little friend

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Thanks to all of you who have been praying for this conference.  God has been good to us and we have been blessed with His presence, power and protection all through this time.

 

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Conference Notes - Eldoret

25/08/14

Sunday morning we all went to the church where Dr. Douglas, who works with Gary in the Medical Ministry Camps, is a pastor of evangelism. There were probably 1200 people in attendance and I was asked to give a greeting.

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The speaker was a well-known preacher from Nigeria who was dressed in a stunning white, silk suit with alligator shoes and bold tie. He gave a show-stopping performance, capped off with an altar call that appealed for those who wanted a blessing from God to come forward with a 5000 schilling offering.  When not enough were inspired to bring the necessary, he then reduced it to a 2000 schilling blessing and got a lot more to come forward. Gary and Rob and I declined to purchase and walked out.

Sunday afternoon was spent in planning and prep for the conference that started on Monday.  And then Sunday evening we were invited to Dr. Douglas' house for dinner with his family. Unfortunately we didn't take any pictures but again we had a feast and a very enjoyable evening.

Monday morning we started the conference with prayer and devotions at six, breakfast at seven, and the first session at 8:30 going on until 9 at night. That is basically the schedule for the next 3 days culminating with a graduation ceremony on Friday.

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And as you can tell from this picture - it is about a 50 degree difference between Lodwar and Eldoret.

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Right now it is raining again and fairly cold as we end this first day with a hot cup of chai.

 

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Travel to Eldoret

25/08/14

Saturday afternoon Rob and Tim and I went to the Lodwar airport to get on our flight to Eldoret.  We also were able to take Leonard and Shadrack with us for their first airplane flight ever!  Initially, there were no seats available for this flight.  However, FLY 540 has never reckoned with the power of the God we serve.  We asked the Lord for seats on this flight Friday, and when we went to the office Saturday morning, they just happened to have two seats available. Imagine that! 

We also spent some time in the local market looking for those particular things that would remind us of Turkana.  I'm holding the local equivalent of a combination chair and pillow called an ekacholong.  All the men carry one of these around with them.

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As news got out that mazungus were in the market - we were swamped by people who wanted to sell us their personal ekacholongs and other things.

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When we got to the airport, we met a group of Spanish university students who had been in Kenya for a month and were on their way back to Nairobi for the flight back to Madrid.  We had about an hour to spend before the plane arrived so Shadrack and I began engaging these guys in conversation. We had a great discussion, asking them about their travels and life in Spain.  We also were able to share the gospel with them and they were engaged but ultimately uninterested.  However we told them that we would be praying for them so if you would join us in prayer for Paula, Alvare, Irene, and Jovi for Jesus to reveal Himself to them and save them we would appreciate that. They actually thanked us for even thinking about praying for them.

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We arrived in Eldoret around 6:45 pm and were met by Gary and Frank who gathered us and all our luggage and we went to a great Chinese restaurant that Gary had discovered.  We had a feast!  Leonard and Shadrack were very skeptical about Chinese cuisine at first - but they were soon wolfing it down.

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Tim and I are making sure our bags are getting off here and not traveling to Eldoret.

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