10 December 2019

Resettling

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We caught a little bit of snowfall in MI.

After leaving Bakersfield a few weeks back, we spent a little time off together as a family in SoCal before taking very different paths back to Michigan where we would be catching our flight back to Nairobi. Jenny and the boys went immediately from LAX to Detroit where they stayed with our sending church, Inter-City Baptist of Allen Park, MI.
I took a more circuitous route, stopping along the way at the ETS conference in San Diego. From there I drove our van to El Paso where I said goodbye to my parents and then up to Albuquerque where we had originally rented our vehicle. The final tally ran up to something like 14,500 miles (23,300 km) of travel in that vehicle; God kept us safe the whole way. 
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Some tired boys got some heiße Schokolade
(hot chocolate) in Frankfurt.
A couple of cross-country flights reunited me with Jenny and the boys, and that week we enjoyed Thanksgiving with Jen’s parents and brother. Our last Sunday in country we split our time between the first church to support us, Inter-City Baptist, and a church we’d never visited before, Resurrection Church, Lincoln Park.
Later that week, we flew to Nairobi via Frankfurt. The Lord was kind to grant an exceptionally uneventful pair of flights.
I believe the family is resettling into our regular routine again and beginning to emerge from jet lag. As we begin our third term, please pray for us that the Lord would grant us grace not to serve as though we were sufficient in ourselves, but only "with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever" (1 Peter 4:11).

08 November 2019

Waypoints 2 and 3: Syracuse and El Paso

It's been some time since I've posted an update. Time has gotten away from me in our travels across the United States.

After our time in Michigan, we spent several weeks in Syracuse, NY, where Jenny grew up and where her parents still live. We are very grateful for the helpful initiative of New Testament Baptist and Faith Baptist Church of Baldwinsville in finding us a place to stay while we were there. It was nice to have a place to call our own while we were there—even if we spent a good deal of time most days with Jen's parents. Our meetings in Syracuse were profitable, and it was good to reconnect with our supporting churches there. We'll deeply miss our friends there over the next couple of years.
October had us traveling the I-25 corridor. After a weekend in El Paso, Jenny and I left the kids with my parents and met with our partner churches in Colorado Springs and Denver areas. What a great time we had renewing friendships with these dear brothers and sisters in Christ! A special treat was that we had the opportunity to hear my pastor from our church in Nairobi preach at Highlands Baptist Church. By the end we were eager to get back to see our boys but also sad that our time with these three churches had been so short.
After returning to my parents' place we spent time with our partner churches in western Texas and New Mexico. One highlight from this time was the opportunity to help Grace Bible Fellowship launch a class on preaching for some of the men in the church. I was grateful for the chance to get back to one of a favorite part of my job.
I'm writing from our last waypoint, Bakersfield, CA. We'll be here in California for most of the next two weeks and then back to Michigan where we fly home to Kenya.
Please pray for safety on the roads and in flights.
Pray for our last two Sunday meetings. We want to be used of the Lord to mobilize believers for his glory among the nations.
We treasure your continued partnership with us in the gospel of the Lord Jesus.

24 July 2019

Waypoint 1: Michigan

Josiah Other Youth at InterCity
Since our return to the United States about five weeks ago, we have been serving in several areas:
First, we have continued to serve at our home church in Nairobi. Through online calls, Jenny and I have continued to meet with two couples for their pre-marital counseling. I have also been able to sit in on an elders’ meeting to discuss and strategize about church-planting opportunities in Nairobi.
Second, we have been meeting informally with Detroit area pastors to reconnect and to update one another in our respective ministries and to think about possible ways that we can continue to seek partnerships for the sake of the progress of the gospel in Kenya.
Third, we have had several formal meetings with churches to report what the Lord has been doing in Kenya. We've visited our three supporting churches in the area: First Baptist Church, Lake Orion; Community Bible Church, Trenton; and InterCity Baptist Church, Allen Park. I'm thankful for opportunities to preach and teach adults during the Sunday school hour in addition to sharing a summary of our missionary work in Kenya from the last several years.
We will be travelling to Virginia this weekend for a quick trip to a supporting church in the Richmond area. Please pray for safe travel and fruitful meetings, both with the church and with individual members who have invited us to more personal meetings.
Our Ride at First Baptist Church, Sterling Heights
After a final week here in Michigan on a family retreat with InterCity, we’ll be moving to the Syracuse area where we’ll stay to report to our church partner there.
Pray for us as being away from our home in Kenya, our normal routine, and our beloved church family has stretched us physically and spiritually. Pray that the Lord would help us make the most of this opportunity as we seek to serve him in any way he chooses.
Thank you again for your faithful prayers for us!

07 June 2019

Goodbyes—and Hellos

The first week of May marked the end of our final semester of classes before returning to the States to report to our church partners. We are looking forward to time with friends and family we haven't seen for some time, but we're also sad to leave our church family here.

During the second week of May, I worked through oral exams with my students. It is always gratifying to see how well the students who give themselves to their studies do in answering difficult questions from Scripture.
Next came our strategic planning meeting with Pastor Doran. He and Pastor Ben Edwards came from our sending church to help EABST think through what it needs to do to continue improving as a school for pastors in Nairobi. Two Kenyan pastors also attended the meetings, and their input was indispensable. I'm so grateful for everyone's insight and help, and our team is eager to implement what we've learned.
After a brief team retreat to Lake Nakuru, we have been bustling about in meetings, tying up our discipling studies, and praying with many of our dear friends here that our God would keep and grow us until we meet again. One special delight was the opportunity we had to meet Tamanda, one of three babies born to members of Emmanuel Baptist. We hope to meet the other two little ones before we leave.
Keep us in prayer as we prepare for our time in the States. There are many last minute details to attend to, but God has been kind to continue grant solutions to issues one step at a time.

26 April 2019

Three Sermons, Two Weddings, One Historic Confession

While continuing to teach pastors at EABST, I've had the great privilege of preaching this month at Emmanuel Baptist Church. We made it all the way through the book of 2 Peter in the last three Sundays. The Lord has been teaching us about combatting false teaching by making our calling and election sure and by growing in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus. Having the opportunity to preach about the new creation from 2 Peter 3 on Resurrection Sunday was a special delight.
In other news, Emmanuel Baptist Church voted this last week to officially adopt the New Hampshire Baptist Confession (slightly revised) as its statement of faith. We see this as an exciting step toward equipping the members to proclaim and protect the gospel by giving them a tool that summarizes what we believe the Bible teaches about itself, God, man, sin, salvation, and other critical matters. Please pray for us as we seek to be vigilant for the truth in a world captured by the father of lies.
However, the truth of God is not merely meant to be known or even just to be defended. It's meant to be lived out. And one of the greatest opportunities to live out gospel truth is in the context of marriage. (See Eph 5:22–33.) That's why we're elated by the two weddings EBC has had this month. Jenny and I worked with both couples during their engagement to help them prepare to take these big steps together. Walking with couples through pre-marital counseling has greatly strengthened our own marriage as well.
Please keep praying for us as we seek to hold fast to the gospel, to live it out, and to make it known.

07 March 2019

On Single-mindedness

Recently we had the pleasure of hosting John Musyimi in our chapel at EABST. The school exists to equip men for pastoral ministry, and John's challenge from 2 Timothy 2 was spot on! He reminded us that the Christian life, and especially the life of a Christian pastor, is a soldier's life. The point was that we must leave behind self-pity and distractions and whole-heartedly serve as soldiers in order "to please his commanding officer" (2 Tim 2:3–4).
We are nearing the midway point in our semester at EABST. Christian Family has proved to be a very insightful course for me, and I trust helpful for the students as well. It's enlightening to consider how society is pressing our families into its mold, and how we are called to be transformed on account of God's mercy by the renewing of our minds.
Please continue to pray for our students. Pray that they will give their ministry opportunities and local churches their due priority while juggling school and home responsibilities.
Please pray for us teachers. We long for these men and women to be equipped for a lifetime of service to Christ's church, but that takes the Holy Spirit's work through our feeble efforts.
Please also pray for our preparations for our Stateside assignment beginning in June. Things are beginning to come together, but there are many details yet to resolve.

14 February 2019

Meeting Friends

Three weeks ago a dear friend and counselor from the States visited us briefly. Rob's visits are always a treat, and we're thankful for the thoughtful advice and encouragement that always come with his visits. Jenny and I took the opportunity to discuss some of last year's efforts and look ahead to this year's big goals. Pray that the Lord would help us fulfill our desires for good in 2019 (2 Thess 1:11).

Last week, we have had the privilege of meeting with some coworkers who work in Tanzania. One family stopped by on their way back to Tanzania after a Stateside assignment; and at the same time two ladies who work with the children's home there happened to be passing through on a research trip. We always enjoy our time together comparing notes and recounting our various travel adventures. It's often deeply profitable for me to hear what my colleagues there have been reading and how it has been helping them in their ministry context. This was an especially big gathering, and we had a blast.
Please continue to keep us in prayer:
  • I'm teaching at EABST on the Christian family and on the church's mission—two critical classes for the sturdy progress of the gospel in East Africa. Pray for diligence, insight, and growth for the students.
  • We're counseling several engaged couples to prepare them for marriage. Pray for open, profitable, healthy conversations that God uses for Christlikeness in our marriage and in those we counsel.
  • We're preparing for a Stateside assignment in the second half of this year. Pray for wisdom and skill in filling the calendar with current and potential supporting churches. (If you're interested in a visit please contact us!)

23 January 2019

Updates

Earlier today, I received a kind email from a church who holds the rope for us Stateside. The church member asked me how they could be praying for us. It's incredible to think how many are keeping us in their prayers. We are grateful for your faithfulness in partnering with us in the gospel.
Here's the gist of how I responded:

  • Please pray for folks in our church who have lost friends in a recent attack by a terrorist group in our city. Pray for the families of those who lost loved ones that the comfort found in the gospel would be an anchor for their soul.
  • Please pray for our church planting efforts in three other towns in Kenya: Karen (very near Nairobi), Kajiado, and Nakuru.
  • Please pray for wisdom for our church's leaders as we seek to equip the body of Christ to exercise the responsibilities of membership—making and maturing disciples and guarding the gospel.
  • Please pray for our pastoral students at EABST as we equip them with the Word.

Also, thank the Lord for the safety he has graciously granted to our family and church.

And thank the Lord for godly, gifted men that he has brought our way, eager to partner in the work of the gospel.