30 May 2020

Checking In

One of my main responsibilities as one of the pastors at Emmanuel Baptist Church during the pandemic lockdown has been calling some of the members of the church to check in with them. While we are all longing for the regathering of the saints after this season, I have enjoyed the opportunity to connect or reconnect with our members. Often I have been encouraged, sometimes even rebuked in my own walk, as I have heard how folks are battling for joy and hope in God. Pray for us as pastors as we seek to shepherd during this time, and pray that as a church we would remain steadfast in our commitment to Christ and our covenant with one another.
We've finished our online classes at EABST, so now I have a pile of grading to do before closing the books on the semester. Pray for diligence and for skill in using project assessment as one last opportunity for learning.
Along those lines we have made the difficult decision—with the counsel of pastors on both side of the ocean—to put EABST into hiatus for a time. While much goes into a decision like this, the needs of our local churches are the single greatest factor. Pray that the Lord would provide wisdom about how and when to reopen. While this is not what we envisioned, I am grateful for the opportunity to invest more directly and attentively to training future leaders within our local church.

03 May 2020

For a Little While

Not much has changed here in Nairobi since our last update. EABST has resumed its classes but in an online format. EBC is still unable to gather as a body. In the meantime, we as a church are seeking to disciple one another using a variety of means, mostly concentrated on the apostle Peter's first letter. There we read that the body of Christ "for a little while…had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials" (1:6). We're so glad to have this little letter to encourage us in our journey as "elect exiles" (1:1).
While total lockdown is not really a possibility in Kenya, we’re as close to that as can be managed. Since I teach at a school and am one of the pastors at our church, restrictions on public gatherings have made a significant portion of my normal work more complicated. Our reported COVID-19 numbers are comparatively low so far (It’s hard even to make comparisons, for each eternal soul is of immeasurable value!), but the economic impact here in Kenya will be deep and probably long-lasting.
Please keep the following prayer requests before our Lord:

  • Pray that our city and this nation would be awakened to their need for deliverance from God's wrath and for the forgiveness of sins and newness of life found in Jesus.
  • Pray for energy for the work of ministry when everything is done at a distance. I personally find my meetings and classes much more draining online than in person.
  • Pray that Emmanuel Baptist Church would continue to grow in maturity as the pastors seek to equip members to do the work of ministry—encouraging, instructing, admonishing, and teaching one another.
  • Pray that God would continue to protect and provide for our family.
  • Pray that the proven genuineness of our faith would be displayed during this time of testing so that in the end Christ would receive the honor (1 Pet 1:7).