Aug 18, 2010

Residents of Eluuya Village Receive the Testimony of Christ with Great Joy

We arrived in Kenya safely on Sunday
night for the first leg of our mission. 
“We live and we minister in the villages,” stated Pastor Christopher Mwale, who pastors one of the village churches in Eluuya. “But the villages do not live in us. Our mandate, extend of our ministry, and who we are as a people, is not determined or defined by the village. It is defined by the God of the universe,” he continued, emphasizing the heavenly call to all believers from all the world to go to all the world taking the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Gary and Candie are welcomed at my parents'
 Eluuya home  by my brothers Titus (Ctr) and Caleb (left).
The opportunity to minister to the residents of the village of Eluuya, just as I did growing up among them until I was thirteen, marked a tremendous and fitting commencement to our ministry here in Africa that continues over the next ten weeks and will span five countries. As one who now lives out the Great Commission mandate among the nations of the world, I could not agree more with Pastor Christopher’s statement.

Several dozen people came out to receive us. My parents still live in the community and serve the surrounding villages as evangelists. As we observed these believers glorify and enjoy God in this remote village community, I could not help but reflect on Revelation 7:9.
Kids join in worship during
a service in the village.

“After these things I looked, and behold a great multitude which no one could number, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb.”

A local worship team leads the village
believers in worship and dance.
I asked Gary and Candy Kellen, a married couple who are travelling with me from Grace Community Church, Worthington, MN to speak to the people. They did an outstanding job sharing their testimonies and presenting the gospel message, challenging those who do not know Christ to come to repentance. We enjoyed the fellowship of the local believers, being deeply moved by their hospitality and joy in Christ just as much as the local believers enjoyed ours. They felt encouraged, strengthened in their faith, and inspired to fulfill their calling as ministers of Christ.

Gary and Candie share the message of Christ
 with the people as my brother Titus translates.
A wonderful thing we observed was the coming together at the service, of pastors representing different churches and denominations in Eluuya and the neighboring villages. They hailed from Quaker/Friends church, Salvation Army, Anglican, Assemblies of God, several streams of Pentecostal churches, Baptist, and a number of independent churches.

Inspired by our sharing, they expressed their unity of purpose under the banner of our Lord Jesus Christ. We were overjoyed that our presence had drawn them to come together. Moved by the Holy Spirit, Pastor Peter Makila read a joint statement, pledging their commitment to continue to work together. They resolved to plan and to hold joint outreach efforts to their community. That fulfills our joy as evangelists.
The audience listens keenly as
Gary and Candie share their testimony.

Following the service, we presented a small monetary gift to the local Salvation Army congregation to go towards the completion of their church roof. In a community where the average income is one dollar per day, completing a $ 15,000 building project has taken them nearly 10 years. We thank God for resourcing us so that we could make a small contribution and encourage them to complete their vision for the village’s place of worship.

Our team donated a small gift to the
 congregation to help them complete
 the roofing of their church building.
Thank you for continuing to pray with us as we work in the harvest field. My wife Suzanne and my son Samuel Jr. remind me in a secret note I found hidden with my clothes in the travelling bag, “we are on our knees on your behalf. Our hearts are with you as is all our love.” Thank you sweetheart and thank you to all of our praying partners for lifting us up in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ!

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