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Archive for March, 2017

It’s a special joy to me – through the answered prayer of so many – that through our teaching and ministry, the Lord opened the eyes of so many more pastors to a biblical understanding of the Father and how to relate to Him.

Moreover, they gladly, eagerly and reverently received a biblical worldview of marriage; they agree that the way even Christian men treat their wives is unbiblical.  Danny and I taught extensively through Gen. 2:18-25, some of 1 Cor. 7, and then verse-by-verse from Eph. 5:21-33.

The pastors consistently indicated they had never been taught these things, that they can’t wait to implement what they learned, and that they know they’re going to be persecuted for treating their wives the way God wants them to treat them (Eph. 5:1).

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We dealt with very difficult theological issues, with matters of biblical interpretation and application, with the greater need for character and Christ-likeness and with a great deal of practical matters in every-day living and in church and ministry.

At the same time, we all experience an ongoing amount of laughter; our meetings are full of life and joy!

Once again, passing out 15 NLT Study Bibles to those who have never owned a Study Bible was a major highlight; the same goes for giving the students 32 Luo Bibles, updated in 2017 from the most recent translation from 1970!

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I never want to overstate anything; too many in ministry do that.  On the one hand, we must believe in faith for God to do great things, but on the other, we must wait for Him to move to glorify His name.

That said, I do have the confidence that He has found a group of men and women in Siaya, Kenya to work through to bring His reformation to His Church in Kenya and in Africa.

From what the pastors tell me, a substantial portion of the Church in Africa is essentially a mockery of New Testament Christianity, and instead of bringing the Lord honor, it blasphemes Him.

This is especially true of Church leaders – so many of whom worm their way into leadership, so that they can reap financial reward and enjoy a place of honor in society.  Others are extremely unscrupulous; still others are rampant adulterers and wife-beaters.

Heresy and false doctrine abound.  Some in Missions say we should only focus on reaching unreached people groups with the gospel, but I’m of the opinion that God sends His people where He wants them to be and where He knows they can make the greatest difference for Him.

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I like the “both/and” approach to life and ministry, rather than the “either/or” approach, and I believe this pertains to Missions as well.

I shared with the pastors that if the Church in Kenya is weak, corrupt and greedy, how can we expect the government to be righteous, and free from corruption and greed.

The comment “stung” — in the best way — and we prayed fervently for God to bring His righteousness through men and women of integrity in His Church in Kenya (there is an expectation of great violence in the coming presidential election).

I also shared that if we can get the Church in Africa thriving, Islam is weakened.  But if the Church is weak, the lie of Islam is strengthened.  Moreover, where the Church flourishes in sound doctrine and behavior, all of society benefits.

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However, a stunning number of families are child-led, because AIDS has killed off both parents.  Every day I see children working very hard to survive; they cannot afford to go to school, so they labor.  Approximately one-third of children in Kenya are orphans…

On a different note, I see a common sight: farmers plowing their fields behind oxen!  Kenyan society in rural areas is about 100-125 years behind America.  That opinion comes from one of the leading Kenyan pastors we have the privilege of ministering to.

Friends, together, we’re bringing tangible hope to a people without hope and who struggle greatly to survive.  In fact, this same pastor tells me that in the rural areas, the average life expectancy is about 40 years old!

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Where the gospel is proclaimed and lived out in truth, humility, sound doctrine and in the power of the Holy Spirit, society is greatly blessed.  This is the legacy of the Christian faith for the United States and Great Britain; my prayer is that one day soon, we can say the same for Kenya.

 

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Ruoth ogwethu ahinya jotich Nyasaye; amosou osiepena mageno!  I just said, “the Lord bless you all greatly, servants of the Lord; greetings, dear friends!

Apwoyo ahinya to all of you (I am grateful to all of you); your partnership in prayer and financially has resulted in an extremely successful time for Danny Gilbert and me in partnering with our Lord to bring depth to His Church in Siaya, Kenya.

On Friday, Danny and I finished an outstanding week of teaching and ministry by serving Communion to the pastors.  Of all the Communion services that I’ve ever led, this was the most powerful and meaningful, since Danny and I co-led it, and served Communion to each other (we’ve never led and served Communion together).

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In addition, the presence of the Lord was something I’ll never forget; the Lord ministered to me in a way I’ve never been ministered to before by Him.

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And, as soon as we finished, a cool breeze entered the room – a breeze we had not experienced the entire week!  It seemed to us like the wind of the Holy Spirit.  I can say we felt and enormous amount of encouragement from the Lord.

Moreover, it also rained when we finished our teaching.  But again, all week long it rained at night, while we were sleeping – but never during the day.  The Kenyans believe that when it rains after an important event, God is indicating His blessing and pleasure upon that event.

In today’s update, I thought I would share some of the written testimonies from the pastors we teach; they wanted to express to you their own gratitude as well.

Tomorrow, I’ll share pictures with you from the Bibles we passed out, plus more information on other things the Lord did among us.

Comments from some of the students and pastors of our Bible Institute, written on Friday, March 3, 2017:

I’m quite impressed with one young leader and pastor, Manasses Ombima.  He wrote that until he enrolled in our Bible school, his life and ministry had stagnated, “but since I joined the school, I have been empowered and received sound teachings to run God’s work.”

Manasses added,

I was glad to receive a gift of a Bible; I love it! Pastor Brad and Daniel teach the word of God in simplicity but with power.  This week, we witnessed the move of the Holy Spirit on Wednesday, people being set free, healed and God speaking powerfully.  Words cannot express how much I am happy and grateful for what God is doing through this noble task (Empowered Living International Bible Institute)!

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John Opiyo wrote that he received his first-ever Study Bible!  In addition, he is extremely grateful for his reading glasses, and the teaching he received on biblical marriage.

During a prayer and ministry time on Wednesday, Jennifer Obita received a powerful healing for her shoulder, which had been in extreme pain for the last two months.  She wrote this two days later: “NO PAIN!”

On Friday, March 3, Eunice Obare writes, “As Pastor Brad and Pastor Daniel led in worship [and ministry] on Wednesday, the Holy Spirit moved and I found myself freed from depression that had disturbed me for a long time.”

Claris Adhiambo said she had a migraine headache for an entire week leading up to our seminar, but during the powerful time of ministry Wednesday morning, her headache was healed!

A very godly young woman, Silvia Atieno, writes,

It was in the year 2015 that Pastor Brad prophesied to me that I will serve God freely and in peace without any boundary [i.e. limitations from leaders who had oppressed and mistreated her], and I have seen this prophecy come true.

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Pastor Philip was extremely skeptical about attending our seminar this week for the first time, or of sitting under any teaching from “theologians,” because he had witnessed too many of his peers enroll in theological education and end up losing all passion for the Lord.

But he heard me preach at his church on Sunday, and he changed his mind as, he writes, “The Lord moved powerfully during the time of ministry.”

He then adds,

I was so much amazed to hear servants of the Lord who are also theologians used mightily of God with a mighty move of the Holy Spirit…when Pastor Daniel and Brad ministered I saw the move of God mightily and [it] made me to know that to be carnal is not caused by theology but by one’s choice.

Pastor Alex Atiende says that through our emphasis on principles of Bible study “The Lord has opened my understanding and now I can teach the sound doctrine.”

Joshua Omondi admits that his marriage has been failing rapidly and he has had no hope of a turnaround.  But through our teaching on biblical marriage, he repented of his attitude toward his wife and can’t wait to put what he learned into action.

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Opak Ruoth (praise the Lord)!

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