16 December 2016
09 December 2016
Many of my hours have also been spent catching up with students of EABST. I've met with several of them already and still have plans to see several more in the upcoming week. It's exciting to see how God has brought us this group of men: wise, godly, and hungry for the Word! Please pray that God would use us inside and outside of the classroom to equip these men to shepherd his church biblically.
Jenny and I have also enjoyed the chance to host or share meals with our friends here. I also prized the opportunity to attend a dear friend's wedding. We treasure the discipleship relationships God has placed us in here, and we were acutely missing our brothers and sisters from EBC while we were away. It's good to get back into the swing of things. Please pray for mutual building up of the faith as we seek to live out the Christian life together.
Today I have been preparing for teaching and possibly preaching opportunities from the Minor Prophets. I am excited about these opportunities and glad to share one of my favorite sections of the Scriptures with the believers here. I am also preparing for EABST courses next term (OT Writings, Orientation, and Ecclesiology). Please pray that these opportunities to interpret and apply the Word would exalt Christ and build up his body.
Thank you for partnering with us, especially for your prayers on our behalf.
03 December 2016
21 November 2016
Our stop here in the Toronto airport is giving me a chance to enter a quick update en route to Kenya.
We were grateful to enjoy time with our family over the weekend. My mom accompanied Jen and the boys as they came up from El Paso. Jen’s parents came over from Syracuse to meet us in Detroit. We enjoyed a turkey dinner, sort of a pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving. It’s never fun to say goodbye, but we’re grateful for how supportive our family has been and for the privilege of following Jesus on these paths.
We got off this morning without any major issues. Tim Aynes was a huge help to us as we scrambled with last-minute stuffing. Our documents all appear to be in order for now, so thank you for praying about that. Please keep our travels and reintegration into life and ministry in your prayers. Thank you!
11 November 2016
We spent the last two weeks with Crossway Baptist as I mentioned before, but the Lord also provided opportunities to meet with others as well. We took a day trip to visit friends in the Bay area, erstwhile members of Emmanuel Baptist in Nairobi. While there, I also had the opportunity to meet with three pastors and discuss our mission to Kenya.
Last Sunday evening, I had the privilege of presenting our ministry to Life Point Baptist Church in Apple Valley, CA. If memory serves me correctly, we visited this church originally in 2009. The pastor, Kit Johnson, is a friend from my college days, so it was great to have a chance to catch up with him and his family as well as to reintroduce myself to the church.
This Sunday I'll be presenting the our ministry to First Baptist Church of Lake Orion. This church has been a dear friend of the work in Kenya, and they partner closely with the Huffstutlers and the Moores, so we're very glad to be able to connect with the believers there and update them on ministry progress.
The whole family will be traveling by air within the States this coming week, so please keep us in your prayers. Also we've made a good deal of progress on getting all of our necessary documents together, but there's still work to do there as well. Thank you for your faithfulness in prayer.
31 October 2016
This Sunday as I arrived at church facilities I was greeted with the words, "Welcome to sunny California!" I hardly stopped to reply because I was rushing to get out of the rain! I love California in October. After visiting our partner churches in Colorado earlier this month, we left with my mom to enjoy a few days of vacation. We made a stop at the Grand Canyon on the way, visited the beach in Malibu (It was beautifully sunny that day.), and enjoyed some time at Disneyland. We were grateful for the opportunity to enjoy God's blessings in the beauty of his creation and in the wonder of human creativity.
Starting on Saturday and through the beginning of next week, we're with Crossway Baptist Church in Bakersfield, CA. Crossway is one of our closest partners and the home of some our dearest friends in the world. I'm looking forward to meeting with the church family here, reconnecting with folks we've been praying for and know have been praying for us regularly as well.
We're thankful for the way all of our church partners keep us in prayer. We have three very busy weeks ahead as we prepare to leave, so please continue to pray as we (1) present to our last few churches, (2) travel several thousand miles by land and air, (3) acquire all the remaining documents and equipment for our return to Kenya, and (4) say goodbye to family and friends for the next few years. It is a joy to partner with you in the gospel of our glorious Lord Jesus; thank you for praying.
09 October 2016
29 August 2016
August is passing us by even more rapidly than July did. It's hard to believe our time here in Michigan is coming to a close.
Total miles/km traveled: 2570 mi / 4136 km
Total est. hours driving: 40 hr
22 July 2016
While we've been here, we've visited four churches. Heritage Baptist was our first church to report to, and we appreciated the welcome we received there: they truly made us feel like partners in the gospel, coworkers on different sides of the globe. Next we went to Faith Baptist. We were glad to be able to participate in their VBS children's outreach as well as spending a Sunday worshiping and sharing a meal with them. From there, I took a trip alone to be with Grace Bible Church near Richmond, VA. They graciously gave me an opportunity to speak on missions at their first annual men's retreat and report more broadly to the entire church on Sunday morning. It was privilege for me to strategize and discuss missions with these men who are committed to Christ's cause both globally and locally. Finally, we reported to Jenny's parents' church this last Sunday. We have called New Testament Baptist our church in the area for years. It's where I did my pastoral internship coming out of Bible college, and it's where Jenny and I were wed, so they will always be special to us.
Now for some stats!
Total churches visited: 5
Total miles/km traveled: 1453 mi / 2338 km
Total est. hours driving: 22hr 29min
30 June 2016
14 June 2016
31 May 2016
13 May 2016
With all class sessions completed last week, we took a long weekend away from Nairobi to take some time to catch our breath before six weeks of intense activity. We had a relaxing time and enjoyed seeing jackals, rhinos, elephants, cape buffalos, and several types of antelope. All of the kids stayed back with sitters and enjoyed their break from parents too.
The three urgent requests on the top of my mind are
(1) that Christ would be magnified as we grade summary projects and final exams for students who are preparing and working to serve his church with their lives;
(2) that God’s Word would be honored and spread rapidly through our Proclaim Conference for pastors and church leaders later this month; and
(3) that God would grant order, discipline, and peace as we prepare to leave home soon for a five-month stateside ministry assignment.
Two important ongoing requests for us are
(4) that Christ would continue to build his church through us as our team seeks to equip pastors and church-planters for the harvest; and
(5) that God would grant each member of our family the humility, gratitude, godliness, and wisdom that we desperately need in order to honor him with our lives.
29 April 2016
|View from my Office|
It's not without its drawbacks. Flooding in the city can endanger homes and lives and make travel prohibitive. As in any city, a change in weather often results in traffic accidents and significant delays. Storms frequently knock out power, and both cable and cellular Internet becomes much more unreliable. Each droplet represents a warning and a mercy: a warning of our fragility in the face of events we cannot control and a mercy that God is providing for our needs.
School is winding to a close as all of the teachers will hold their final classes in the next week or so. Please pray for students as they compose their final projects and prepare for their oral exams. Please also pray for the pastors' conference quickly approaching at the end of May. Thank you for your continued partnership!
15 April 2016
|The Shermans and The Pittsley Boys|
Second, I had the opportunity to preach at EBC last Sunday and will again this Sunday. This privilege is usually available only once or twice a year, so I'm always glad to grab it. I'm attempting to work through the entire book of Hosea in two sermons, so the challenge has been to capture the general context, the basic structure, and the core message of the book. What has been exciting is to see how God's holy, unconquerable love overcomes Israel's repugnant idolatry and covenant-breaking, both through the forgiveness of sins and through heart transformation. Ultimately, it is the cross that makes this kind of victory over rebellion a reality. His grace is greater than our sin!
Please pray for a strong finish for our students. Introduction to Biblical Theology and Interpreting 2 (Intro to Greek and Hebrew) are quickly coming to a close, and oral exams are just around the corner! Thank you for partnering with us in this joyful calling to equip servants to lead in Christ's church in East Africa and beyond.
31 March 2016
12 February 2016
We're back into classes again at East Africa Baptist School of Theology. The Lord has provided a great group of new students. Most of them represent an expansion of our reach beyond our previous circle of contacts, so we're happy to see that the Lord is using us to make an impact in this city. This term, I'm teaching Introduction to Biblical Theology and Interpreting 2 (which could be called Introduction to Biblical Languages). It has been a long-term dream to teach the languages in this context, so it's exciting for me to finally begin. Pray for perseverance and teachability as we seek to honor the Lord by listening carefully to his Word.
One family update from before the end of 2015 is particularly exciting to us. Our son, Josiah, who recently turned 10, was baptized and accepted by the membership of Emmanuel Baptist Church upon his testimony of faith in Christ. Please pray with us as we seek to continue to disciple and parent Josiah and his brothers wisely.
Our God, the One who answers your prayers, is our strength.