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Archive for August, 2016

Dear Kenya Mission Partners and Fellow Co-laborers with Christ,

 

I rejoice to give our Lord the glory for an extraordinarily successful time of ministry in Siaya, Kenya – in the church I preached and ministered in, and with the 55 pastors I was privileged to teach and minister to for six days – totaling about 51 hours of ministry in seven days!

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In fact, it occurred to me that I just about preached 45 sermons in seven days (the rest of the time listening to testimony and answering questions).

What a whirlwind!  But after giving the Lord the glory, I just cannot stop thanking you for your partnership (koinonia) – some in prayer, some financially – and many in both areas.

Here are some bullet points of praise and gratitude for me:

  • Nothing unusual happened to Maureen this time – before or after my trip!
  • I never got sick – not even so much as a cold – before, during or even now, one week after I finished my ministry.
  • I had faith for the Lord to grant me the stamina to teach and minister successfully for those many, long hours – most of them standing on hard cement during my teaching (recall that Danny and I always share the teaching load, but he could not make this trip).
  • God did grant me His strength, and far more: I ministered with great joy, energy and power, and still out-danced (with better rhythm) most of the younger men and women during praise and worship times (one of many reasons I tell them, “I am Kenyan!”)! Ha-ha.
  • With all the intensive teaching — covering so many varied and essential topics (many of them culturally-sensitive), we never had one misunderstanding. There were no communication issues and no disagreements.  This can only be the blessing of God, rooted in prayer.
  • The rejoicing, the growth, the grounding, the gratitude – all of these were palpable and overflowing.
  • The unplanned, in-depth teaching on heaven for the pastors, which came about simply from a question one of them had about something to do with Heaven.

That led me spontaneously to launch into teaching on how much the Bible really does have to say about heaven, and how that impacts us even now.

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Their eyes were riveted and you could hear the proverbial “pin drop” in the room.  The pastors said they had never been taught any of these things, and couldn’t wait to learn more.  I’ve since emailed them my entire teaching on Heaven.

And so, my friends, my heart remains full and joyful for and to you and our Lord.  The pastors emphasized repeatedly to me, “you have no idea how much fruit you and Pastor Daniel are bearing in our region!”

Those are words I want to encourage you with, as an integral part of my Kenya team.  It can truly and accurately be said that we are having a great impact for our Lord in that very needy region of Kenya and Africa.

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Thank you again, so much (Erokamano ahinya!).  And, I am so joyful/happy (amor ahinya)!

 

Brad

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Dear Kenya Prayer and Financial Team,

It seems to me that I’m more excited about all I have to share with you in this report than with any of my previous reports.

So first, I’ll share with you some key feedback I received throughout the week, and then I’ll share with you about the most powerful day of all in my seven full days of ministry (a total of 56 hours of teaching and ministry!) – this past Thursday.

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The Feedback: What joy it brings me to report to you so much progress in the gospel for Siaya County and beyond, as I hear face-to-face from the pastors about how this ongoing mission is bearing exponential fruit in this most ripe region for true, lasting renewal and revival.

For example, I heard many times from many of the pastors these words: “you have no idea how much fruit your ministry is bearing in, through and beyond us; all of our lives are being changed!”

Congregations continually remark to their pastors with astonishment at how vastly their preaching has improved, and how they’re really opening up God’s Word to them.

In the best sense of the term, people in the congregations are referring to their pastors as “biblical scholars,” because their depth of understanding of God’s Word has increased so much.

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Equally importantly, however, is the increased humility of these pastors; equally important is their growth in Christ-like character, in genuine concern for their people and for the lost; equally important is their reverence for God, for His Word, and their growth in experiential knowledge of the true nature of God – especially of the Father.

All of these things are what I’ve witnessed and heard from numerous sources – publicly and privately.

And once again, this is a partnership among you and me.  I correctly and biblically stress that none of this happens apart from this team!

I know it pleases God that we all have come together for this mission, and from first-hand experience, I can tell you that these men and women deserve our best – and they’re getting it!

Thursday Ministry: First, the presence and power of God (and with what I’m about to share, I give the glory to the Lord; Jesus alone is the healer): I had been praying earnestly (you joining me) for some time before I got here for God to release His power to and for the people, who just don’t have much money for doctors or for medicine.

Thursday was the day He released the most of His power!  We had an unusually mighty pre-conference prayer and worship time, and as I’ve become accustomed to do, I take several minutes on my knees in a corner, behind the table we use to teach from, away from the view of the people.

I wait on God for His wisdom and power, always thinking about Is. 40:27-31.  But this time, the second I hit my knees, I could “see” the words, “the power of God!”  And right away, I also had a surge of faith for healings.

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I waited until our time of prayer and worship was done, announced what I sensed the Lord wanted to do, and began walking up and down the aisle, proclaiming it boldly and also quoting 1 Cor. 2:4-5.

After that, I had the sense the Lord wanted to heal people with gum disease – something I don’t recall ever praying for concerning anyone.  I asked if anyone there had gum disease, and probably 7-8 hands shot up, immediately.

Everyone was healed, and it was instant!  Two men in particular stand out to me, but I’ll be brief: both had lost several teeth because of this disease; one at least had enough money to see a dentist in Nairobi, and the dentist told him that what he had was incurable.

Neither man had been able to drink hot tea for several years, and the pain for the other man was so severe that somehow, his entire body was effected.  The pain for both men was also enough that they almost did not come to the meeting that day.

After I prayed, both men were first in line for our tea break!  Of course, they drank the hot tea for the first time in years and they were certainly rejoicing!  A day later I asked both how they were doing – no pain at all.

I also had a word that God wanted to heal eyesight.  One very godly woman who always sat in the back said she just could not see or read what I had been writing all week on the White Board.

She would simply ask her friend sitting next to her what I had written and then write it down in her notes.

But now, she said she could see the writing!  However, by this time the power was out (which it is 50% of the time anyway), so it was dark – all the more so since it was very cloudy outside and about to rain.

It almost seemed mean or unkind of me, but I had to make sure of this, so I held up my hand anyway next to the board, with three fingers raised.  I asked her to tell me how many fingers I was holding up, and she immediately got it right!

I would have had a hard time seeing what she saw from the back of the room!  I then closed my fist, and held up one finger and asked how many fingers I was holding up.  It took her a few more seconds this time, but sure enough, she answered correctly.

There were many other healings that took place; I felt the need afterward to take a good amount of time to allow the people to give testimony, since I knew it would build their faith and mine.

We spent at least an hour on this, maybe more.  I had actually had another word about God wanting to heal broken hearts.

One young woman – you could see her leadership and anointing and character – shared how she had been pushed out of leadership in a previous church.  There were tears in her eyes, and she spoke with emotional pain and difficulty through those tears.

We know that God uses all things for His purposes, so I told her of my own very similar and recent experience.  Many others there had not heard of my testimony and they were pretty amazed and ministered to.

After I finished my own story (meant to encourage her), this young woman was very, very encouraged, and I spoke faith into her: I told her how much of an anointing that I could see was/is on her life, and that if I were a woman, I would follow her – and that aside from that hypothetical — I would hope to receive from her someday.

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This all resulted in more rejoicing from the people, because life is hard in Siaya!  We then went into all of our teaching for the rest of the day – much more in-depth study in how to interpret and apply the Parables of Jesus, how to do the same with the Psalms, and how to accurately interpret Scripture as a whole.

All of this was so life-giving!  I also taught them how to pray through God’s Word (prayer has always been a very strong emphasis in my teaching with the pastors), and we covered so many other topics as well.

I answered some difficult theological topics and a few other matters which were quite delicate – all the more so – considering cultural differences.

I was amazed at the wisdom given to me by the Holy Spirit to navigate these things – another clear example of answered prayer from all of us!

So once again, thank you all!  I am filled; “I am very happy” (amor ahinya in Luo)!

Nyasaye oguedhi (the Lord bless you – as they say – “so much!”)!

 

Brad

 

 

 

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