Missions Journal- Kenya, September 2017- Entry 7

Murang'a Town, Thika Town, HOME

Hello again my friends, this will be my final entry from my trip to Kenya. I hope that you have enjoyed these posts, I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing them with you. I urge you to give me feedback on these. I have enabled commenting on all of these posts. I encourage you to comment and let me know what you think, ask questions, tell me what impacted you, offer criticism. If you want to reach out but not publicly then contact me by phone, email, or through the contact page on this site. I would like any input that you would be willing to offer. This is a new platform for me so I would love to hear what you think of it, or if you would like to see anything different.  Also, I have added some pictures from this trip to the gallery on this site, go take a look! 

 Perry Gardner handing out the discipleship book "Just for Starters" that was translated into Swahili for the first time ever, to give to these men. 

Perry Gardner handing out the discipleship book "Just for Starters" that was translated into Swahili for the first time ever, to give to these men. 

Murang'a Town is about a two-hour drive from Nairobi. This is a location that the International Church Planters has been working in for some time now. As many of you probably know by now, the main focus of ICP's ministry is to train indigenous pastors. Murang'a town is the main place that we do that in Kenya right now. We have around 15 indigenous pastors in our training institute there. These men are a little over halfway through this training cycle and will graduate next spring. 

Perry, Bruce, and I were very excited to reach Murang'a about midday after a fairly uneventful morning of travel (Praise the Lord). Bruce was tasked with the role of teaching Evangelism and Perry with Discipleship. By the divine providence of the Lord, Mike was able to get to Murang'a the night before so he was able to begin the training with a review of the last module while waiting for us to arrive. 

After teaching for a few hours that evening we were able to finally all sit down together and thank the Lord that He had brought us together safely. The next four days were going to be strenuous teaching days for Perry and Bruce. They would each be teaching for four hours a day and leading a Bible conference each evening for an hour at the local church. Mike would be travelling back to Nairobi the next day to visit with Trinity Baptist Church to discuss future partnerships. I would be travelling to Thika Town in two days to meet with Mike and a group of pastors from a different part of Kenya to discuss the possibility of opening up a second training institute early next year. 

 Bruce Short teaching an Evangelism course to the pastors students in Murang'a.

Bruce Short teaching an Evangelism course to the pastors students in Murang'a.

This week went very well. Perry and Bruce taught the Word with authority and the students were very engaged and teachable. Mike had a beneficial meeting with Trinity Baptist and we are excited about the possibilities of working together with them in training efforts in the future. It is an encouragement to find a healthy church in Kenya to be able to point our students to for help and encouragement when we are not there. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the students in Murang'a. I had heard so much about these men I felt like I had already known them for years. They were a huge encouragement to me and further affirmed to me once again the great need for this work. These men have been tossed to and fro by every form of false doctrine but have a deep desire to learn, grow, and live in a way that would be glorifying to the Lord. It is incredible to see the Word do what it says it will do in the hearts of these men. 

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
— Hebrews 4:12 ESV
 The church at Thika Town. This church was planted by a reformed baptist missionary from the UK many many years ago. There is a lot of history here and I am looking forward to being a part of what the Lord is doing here in this part of Kenya.

The church at Thika Town. This church was planted by a reformed baptist missionary from the UK many many years ago. There is a lot of history here and I am looking forward to being a part of what the Lord is doing here in this part of Kenya.

In addition to me getting to know these men, I also was able to travel and assist in facilitating a meeting for a new institute in Thika Town, Kenya. Mike and I met with about 8 men who were key church leaders in the area to discuss details of beginning an institute there in January. The men we met with were leaders of a fairly large denomination in Kenya. This denomination was founded many years ago on the foundation of the Word of God but over the years has strayed. There are many different denominations in Kenya and most do not put a very high value on the Word of God. They are using "christianity" as a way of gaining power and manipulating people to get what they want. The prosperity gospel is an epidemic in Kenya and something that we have to battle constantly in teaching truth to the church here. This denomination has changed leadership in the past year and the head of the denomination heard about the work that we were doing in Murang'a Town. He desired to have this training for himself and for the other pastors of the churches within his denomination. We have already observed some prosperity gospel tendencies in our interactions with these leaders but are encouraged by their openness and willingness to be taught. Please join us in praying for the leaders here in Thika Town as we prepare to begin an institute there in January. 

After the meeting in Thika Town Mike returned to Murang'a to oversee the rest of the training and I returned to Nairobi to fly back to North Carolina. Perry, Bruce, and Mike finished up the week without any major hiccups and returned home last weekend. I made it here to North Carolina last Thursday. As I have been relaxing this last week and reflecting on the trip I cannot help but to be humbled and so thankful for all that the Lord has done for me. We are so blessed to live in this country. This place is by no means perfect but we are a lot better off physically than the rest of the world. Not just physically, but spiritually. We have easy access to The Word, to church, and to hundreds of thousands of Christian books, sermons, podcasts, and music. I am thankful for my salvation, for the call that God has placed on my life to serve Him in this way, but I am also greatly thankful for where I was born and raised. Let us not take any of those things for granted. Thank you for allowing me to share these experiences with you, I pray that you have benefited from reading them.

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Until next time, serve Christ and make disciples, "as you are going".