Monday, November 12, 2018

Witch Doctor Uprising, The Devil Tried to Kill Me & The Attacks Keep Coming

We have encountered many Witch Doctors while working in Kenya over the years and actually seen some turn from their witchcraft and profess Jesus Christ. The first problems we encountered with Witch Doctors would be in the Pokot village of Cheposebei, which is located deep in the Kerio Valley.   After leading the majority of the village elders to Christ as well as the village Chief, the village Witch Doctor saw the control and bondage he had over Cheposebei beginning to slip away.   Consequently, he brought in five thugs to beat newly converted women who had been gathering together to listen to solar audio Bibles we had provided.   It was an effort to get them to renounce their new faith in Christ.   The Lord would intervene through the village Chief who would declare Chespabei a "Christian" village and would have the Witch Doctor and thugs arrested.    Little did we know that nearly eight years later the Pokot Witch Doctors, many who had been run out of their villages due to the introduction of the Christian faith would band together to force many to renounce their faith in Christ.  
We have always known that attacks would come upon the Churches we help establish but never knew what form they would come in.   The reports we have received indicate that the Witch Doctors banded together and went village to village forcing people to drink the blood of a bull and renounce their faith.    Those who refused were beaten with rods and had their mouths forced open with a stick while they poured the blood down their throat.   (Sorry for the graphic details but how else will you know the persecution they have suffered?)  Many endured this fate and many others fled to the neighboring part of the Kerio Valley on the Ugandan side where they regularly travel to graze their animals.    I am happy to report that three quarters of our Landmark Baptist Churches stood against the Witch Doctors and drove them out.  Not only did they quote 1 Cor. 10:21 but they literally put into practice. "1 Corn. 10:21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and the table of devils....As of today, things have settled down and life seems to be getting back to normal for our Pokut brethren. How would your faith fare under this type of persecution???
The Devil Tried to Kill Me

 During the Witch Doctor Uprising, Pastor Timothy Loquardo (pic above with Terry) was forced to evacuate his family to Western Kenya.  While doing so he was run off the road and seriously injured on His motorcycle. He would spend a week in an Eldoret hospital and then another month of recovery before he could return to His Church in the valley.   Loquardo is truly a great man of God who has planted ten Churches on the Kenyan and Ugandan side of the Kerio Valley and is currently working in over a dozen more villages doing evangelism and organizing Bible studies.   When I talked to Him via phone from the hospital he said, "Missionary, The Devil tried to kill me".     I'll let you draw your own conclusions from that statement but we do know that the Bibles teaches that the devil goes about as a roaring Lion seeking whom he may devour and comes to kill, steal and destroy.   Since Loquardo's accident and subsequent recovery we have helped him purchase a new motorcycle and he is back on the road preaching the gospel.   Praise the Lord for helmets and healing.  
Attacks from Within and Without
The attacks just keep coming.  Not only have we experienced attacks on our Churches and brethen from without as aforementioned.  But let me remind you we have had three Churches burned down on Mt. Elgon along with five of our Pastors homes destroyed this year.  Additionally we have seen Church members murdered on Mt. Elgon.   

As tragic as those horrific events are, we have also had to withstand some of the most painful attacks which have come from within.   We always knew in our hearts that the Churches Terry and I helped establish and organize in Kenya and Uganda  would come under attack. We fully expected attacks and prepared our Churches that these attacks would come from other false religions who would follow our footsteps.  But we never imagined we would have to defend our works from Churches of like faith who have tried to take advantage of the hard work Terry and I did during our time in country.   Not only would they try to capitalize on some of the pioneering we had done in the Kerio Valley, but there has been outright efforts to steal away some of the Churches from our fellowship.   We thank God that with the exception of a couple, they have withstood the attacks and have remained firm in the doctrinal foundation and fellowship we helped establish.   And then there is the political hit jobs that seem to be sadly prevalent in every associated work.   While I won't go into the dirty details, I will say that Terry and I have been the target of personal slander and jealousy from within our own Missionary Baptist Ranks.   We personally have never paid much attention to the political wrangling and positioning that takes place because we have been busy about our Father's business.  However we have been forced to stand in opposition when the weak in faith attack our integrity and character.   It has not been a pleasant experience but want our ministry partners to better understand how to pray for us.   Please pray that God will use these times of tribulation to make us more like Jesus and to be glorified in all what we do and experience.  
Thank you for your prayerful support and thank you for allowing us to give you a glimpse into our journey of faith.
In His Service,
Bro. Chuck & Sis Terry Fernandez, Kenya/Uganda/Florida Plant
…….Click on Newsletter to Enlarge for better reading.



Friday, September 7, 2018

93,000 J & R, Highways, Hedges & VBS

93,000 is the number of Swahili John and Romans Eastern Ave. Baptist Church assembled last month for distribution in East Africa.   Pastor Jim Callen invited Terry and I to celebrate this monumental day and update them on the ministry work we are doing in Kenya and Uganda.  Additionally, they wanted someone who could read and speak Swahili to them so they would know what the verses within the pages sound like.   We were also able to give them firsthand accounts of using these scriptures in over fifty villages over the last ten years and seeing hundreds saved from this very important tool in the hands of our evangelists.    It does our hearts good to be able to visit Churches that partner with us to reach the lost in Kenya/Uganda & Florida and we are thankful they are willing to invest "sweat equity" into the lives of thousands.   We also look forward to getting a small portion of these very John & Romans into the hands of our Evangelists on Mt. Elgon, the Kerio Valley and Lake Victoria during our upcoming trip.   Rom. 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  
 The perpetual cycle of deputation, revivals, mission conferences as well as state and national meetings which started in 2006 is alive and well in 2018.    The Lord continues to bless our efforts as we maintain ministries in three countries on two different continents.  We have always believed that God has individuals and local Churches he has prepared and ordained to partner with us to fulfill His Great Commission work to the uttermost parts of the earth.    These relationships go well beyond the support check, and after many years have developed into friendships and bonds in Christ that run deep.     We know they are also "holding the rope" of prayer and encouragement while Terry and I are in the well digging and we have confidence that we can depend on them in time of need.   We have never played political games for favor and while we gladly associate with American Baptist Association, we trust in the Lord to provide.  He has never let us down and we thank and praise Him for the ability and opportunity to go in His name.  Hudson Taylor once said, "God's work done God's way will never lack God's supply".    With that said, we like all Missionaries have to replace and renew supporters who come and go through the process of normal attrition.     Would you consider partnering with us as we labor in Kenya/Uganda and Florida for the glory of God?    We pray as if it all depends on God and work as if it all depends on us.   We will connect you to people and places that you can only imagine or have seen on National Geographic as we obey God's will in soul winning, discipleship and Church planting.   Please pray for us brethren and consider us when looking for hardworking missionaries to support.

This Picture above is the Thompson family which is part of our ministry team and part of the key to our success.  We love them in Christ and as you can see from the picture we always look forward to seeing them in person.
They are such a blessing and encouragement to us. 

 Van # 3 Arrives  "Bring Them In!"
We purchased van #3 last month with the help of our ministry partners who see the need and carry the burden we carry to bring them in from the fields of sin.    Our ministry philosophy is simple; reach anybody and everybody, everywhere but we particularly have a burden to reach the children while their hearts are tender and open to the Lord. Remember that 85% of all who trust Christ generally do so before the age of 18.   The critics and doubters say there is nobody who wants to come to Church anymore in this Laodecian age we live in but we have found that God blesses those who will invest their time and efforts into bringing Children to Christ.   While there is also no magic formula for Church growth, God gives the increase in ways and avenues that we could not see or predict when we are faithful to bring the children in from the fields of sin.  The addition of a third van route will push our Florida Plant building capacity, however we know God will make a way
for a larger building in His time.   

 Some would gather roses across this path of life
And some would gather money and rest from worldly strife
But I would gather children from across the field of Sin
For I would seek a golden curl or a freckled toothless grin
For Money cannot enter in that land of endless day
And roses that are gathered soon will wilt away
For oh the laughing children as i  cross the sunset sea
and  the  gates of heaven swing open wide I can take them in with me.

As you can see from the below pictures, Terry and I continue to take the Great Commission literally and we particularly love the story Jesus tells in Luke 14 when the Lord tells the servant to go out into the highways and hedges and compel to come to the great supper that His house might be filled.   Getting out into the community on a regular basis creates many opportunities for us to share the gospel and build relationships that cannot be built otherwise.   It does not matter if it is a village on Mt. Elgon or in the Kerio Valley, it does not matter if it is the Pokot tribe or a neighborhood on the West Coast of Florida, people need the Lord and we intend to tell them of the hope of heaven through faith in Jesus Christ.    

 VBS 2018
Last month we held our second annual Vacation Bible School at the Florida Church plant.  We certainly missed our brethren from Oakland MBC, Rusk, Texas who came down last year to help us with our first VBS, but the training wheels came off and our people pulled together to do a great job.    We had a dozen visitors but most of the children are regular attendees and have made professions of faith over the last couple of years.  So while VBS is often a great outreach for the church, this year seemed to be more of a continued discipleship program.  

 As you can see from the below picture,  we make every effort to ground these children in the Word of God by giving them their own KJV Bible.  We thank our ministry partners at Rose Lawn MBC for providing us with these Bibles to give out freely.   What greater gift can you give a child?   Rom.10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

 Last but not least, the Florida Plant baptismal pool waters continue to be stirred on a regular basis as we bring folks to the saving knowledge of Christ and start the discipleship process.   Our baptismal pool is not as nice as the average MBC, but its a far cry better than the mud holes we have baptized converts in Kenya and Uganda.   We praise the Lord for those saved and following Jesus in scriptural baptism.  

Thank you for your prayerful support and thank you for allowing us to give you a glimpse
into our journey of faith.
In His Service,
Bro. Chuck & Sis Terry Fernandez
Kenya/Uganda/Florida Plant

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

87 Profess Christ, Buildings and Bibles Going Up and Getting Out

81 Profess Christ at theVillages of Chemtias and Chelekei on Mt. Elgan

Our Kenyan Pastors on Mt. Elgon continue to reach out to the neighboring villages of Chemtais and Chelekei by delivering the good news of the gospel house to house.  Over the last month, they have seen thirty one villagers receive Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior in these villages.  We praise the Lord for every new convert on Mt. Elgon but cannot overemphasis the difficulty of reaching these villages on the steep, muddy and rocky slopes of Mt. Elgon at over ten thousand feet above sea level.  Its also important to  mention the countless people who have heard the gospel and had seeds planted and watered in their hearts for future growth.     

1Cor. 3:6  I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

56 Received Christ in the Ugandan Side of the Kerio Valley
While our Mt. Elgon Pastors are reaching the lost on the mountain, our Pastors, Preachers and Evangelists in the Kerio Valley are pushing deeper and deeper into Uganda with the good news of the gospel.   Fifty six received Christ over the last two weeks in the villages of Kakoron, Iwakai, Kaptarini, Swam, Iwakai and Kaptarini, Uganda.   Among them were three Muslims named Shaban, Musa and Nafula. 
Rom. 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
The Picture above is a young man in the Ugandan Army who received Christ and a new solar powered audio  Bible in the Pokot language.

Also, saved during these recent evangelism efforts in Karamojo was a man named Abraham (Above) who was about to commit suicide.  When our Evangelists arrived he had sold his sheep and stayed away from his home while taking alcohol for two days.  We thank God for saving him and giving peace for His troubled soul.  During these evangelistic campaigns, dozens have followed Christ in scriptural baptism.  (Below)

If your counting, that is eight villages reached within a two week period in Kenya and Uganda through intense evangelism efforts to reach the lost.   My Pastor, Dr. Tim Myers regularly says that he knows of no other place in the world at this time where these kinds of efforts are being made to reach the lost as well as seeing God giving the increase with people being saved.   If you want to see the book of Acts being replicated in many ways, just look at what God is doing through our Landmark Baptist Churches on Mt. Elgon, Lake Victoria and the Kerio Valley.   Their obedience, dedication and passion for Christ is amazing, inspiring and challenging.  To God be the glory!
The picture above is a blind Mama who is receiving her solar audio Bible from Pastors wife Sarah.  We think of the many who are blessed by these audio Bibles because they cannot read but there are also many old blind men and women in the Kerio Valley who have had their eyes scorched by the hot sun and cannot see.  These audio Bibles are especially important to them as well.   

Through the audio Bible, Teresa is changed, we see her witnessing the gospel to others about Christ. She has been an example like the Samaritan women who meet with Jesus at the well.
Landmark Baptist Church Chesokwo
Last Month I posted Pictures (Below) are of the survey and plot purchase for the new sanctuary of the Landmark Baptist Church at Chesokwo in the foggy freezing fog at over ten thousand feet above sea level.
Since then, our faithful ministry partners at 1st Baptist Church of Kingstowne, led by Pastor John Mix have provided the necessary building materials needed to build a permanent sanctuary for the Landmark Baptist Church at Chesokwo.   The below pictures are of the poles and trusses delivered and installed as well as the wood and tin for the purlins and roofing.   This is also the third sanctuary that FBC Kingstowne has partnered with us to build in Kenya.   We have a dozen more in need, would you consider this great blessing to them and your people???  Phip. 4:17  Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
5 Pastors Houses Rebuilt
Also, since our last report,  all five Pastors whose home were destroyed in the recent violence have completed the rebuilding of their houses.   (Below) Pastor Alex Cheriembe and His family from the Landmark Baptist Church at Cheptkurukuru on Mt. Elgon.  Thank you to all those who help these Men of God rebuild their homes.  Hope to get pictures of the other three Pastors and Houses but they are located in very remote regions of the mountain.  
Two Sanctuaries Rebuilt after Violence
The Pictures below are the rebuilt Landmark Baptist Church located at the village of Cheptkurukuru.  By God's grace and through our faithful ministry partners  we have also rebuilt the sanctuary at the Landmark Baptist Church at Cheptandan.  The last Church which will need to be rebuilt is the Landmark Baptist Church at Chemta.  Everything was stolen at Chemta including the steel poles and trusses, wood and tin sheeting.   The approximate cost to replace all of this is $4000.00.   Please contact me if your Church is interested in adopting this sanctuary to help our Mt. Elgon brethren rebuild their sanctuary.  
Terry and I thank God for each and every ministry partner who faithfully pray for us and financially support the work of the Lord in Kenya, Uganda and Florida.   We cannot do all that we do for the glory of God without you!
In His Service,
Bro. Chuck & Sis. Terry Fernandez
Kenya/Uganda/Florida Plant







Tuesday, June 12, 2018

New Bibles, New Plots, New Homes on Mt. Elgon & New Beginnings

New Bibles: Solar Audio & Hardback 

While we are diligently working here in Florida, our brethren are continuing to provide New Converts with the Word of God in the Kerio Valley and Mt. Elgon.    At the close of our last mission trip, we left hundreds of Bibles (solar audio & hardback) to be distributed by our National Pastors as they see fit over the coming months.   Below are some pictures of those who have received Bibles as a result of our many ministry partners who see the need and carry the burden to supply new converts with the Word of God.
Thank you to all who have given to this worthy cause and as you can see, your gift continues to bear much fruit and happy converts.   
The above picture is truly worth 1,000 words!
This young lady is truly is actually kissing her new Bible.  It gives us great joy to see people who love and cherish the Word of God so much. 

New Plot: Landmark Baptist Church Chesokwo
The Pictures (Below) are of the survey and plot purchase for the new sanctuary of the Landmark Baptist Church at Chesokwo.   The pictures are foggy and hard to see due to freezing fog at over ten thousand feet above sea level.   It actually snowed after these pictures where taken.   I've snow skied all over the world, from the Tyrolean Alps to the Colorado Rockies in all kinds of conditions but I've never been colder then the cold damp nights I have spent in these villages on Mt. Elgon.   This plot purchase and subsequent sanctuary construction will be the twenty fifth Terry and I have had the privilege to be a part of through our Kenya/Uganda Church development ministry.  In our hearts and minds, we are one quarter of the way to what we believe God is going to do as we pray for one hundred Missionary Baptist Churches in Kenya/Uganda and Florida.   Why not dream big and have faith in a great Great God?   "Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God".   William Carey  

 Many of the Mt. Elgon Landmark Baptist Pastors gathered together for the plot survey and purchase on this foggy freezing day.  Their faith is strong and they praise the Lord for what He is doing on Mt. Elgon.
If you look close enough you will see how cold they are. 

Chesokwo is actually known as the village of caves.  Many of the villagers actually
       live in caves.
New Houses: Pastors Rebuild Lives
The pictures below are Pastor Victor of Landmark Baptist Church at Cheptandan and His family standing in front of His new house.  He is one of the five Pastors whose homes were destroyed in the latest round of violence.  

Our ministry partners help purchase tin roofing for these Pastors to rebuild their homes and lives.   The walls will be filled with mud and coated with clay to seal the structure.  This is very indigenous construction on Mt. Elgon as well as much of Kenya.   Hope to post pictures of the rest of the Pastors homes as they rebuild also. 

 New Beginnings:  Sanctuaries Rebuilt

 The Pictures below are of one of the largest Landmark Baptist Churches on Mt. Elgon which is located at the village of Cheptkurukuru.  The top picture was taken immediately after the violence and destruction.   As you can see much of the tin was been stolen from the roof and sides.  Some of the structural part of the sanctuary had actually been burned.   The second picture below is the same sanctuary recently rebuilt.   The members of the Church are returning one by one to rebuild their lives.   As I post this update, we are in the process of rebuilding the sanctuary at the Landmark Baptist Church at Cheptandan.  Hope to be able to include those pictures in the next update as well.  The last Church which will need to be rebuilt is the Landmark Baptist Church at Chemta.  Everything was stolen at Chemta including the steel poles and trusses, wood and tin sheeting.   The approximate cost to replace all of this is $4000.00.   Please contact me if your Church is interested in adopting this sanctuary to help our Mt. Elgon brethren rebuild their sanctuary.  

     If you or your Church are looking for VBS project or just want to be a blessing to those who have lost so much, please designate special offerings, "Mt. Elgon".
 Please continue to pray for our Mt. Elgon brethren who have truly experienced the trial of their faith through times of tribulation.  
We are glad to report that they have not only survived this tribulation but their faith in the Lord has been strengthened.   May God continue to be glorified in all of our lives and may we be found even more faithful as we look forward to the day of our Lord's return.    Terry and I thank each and every ministry partner who rejoices with us when we are on the mountain top and who carry us in prayer through the valleys of life.  God is using you in a mighty way to carry out His great commission work to to the uttermost parts of the earth. 

In His Service,

Bro. Chuck & Sis. Terry Fernandez
Kenya/Uganda/Florida Plant