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

Friday, June 8, 2018

The Florida Plant Updates

Highways andHedges
  The Florida Plant side of our ministry continues to experience spiritual and numerical growth as we go out into the highways and hedges to bring them to Christ.   We go because we are commanded and we go for the glory of God, motivated by our Love for Christ.  As you can see from the below pictures, Terry continues to do what she has done in Kenya/Uganda and Florida to compel them to come that our Fathers house may be full. 

Luke 14:23  And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

The Bible says there is weariness in well doing but we shall reap if we faint not.  Gal. 6:9  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.  Along the journey of faith and ministry, it is easy to become weary in well doing but the Lord in His graciousness always seems to come through with an extra measure of grace just at the right time to supply His servants with what is needed to go another mile.  That extra measure of grace sometimes comes at the end of a long van route when you see the precious children God has entrusted us with to bring to salvation and to disciple them. Such is the case with the picture below of these precious girls Terry brings in on her van route.   We praise the Lord for the privilege and honor to go in His name.

 Salvations and Baptisms

 We continue to see a steady number of people professing Christ as Lord and following Him in scriptural baptism.    Over the last month we have seen an entire family trust Christ, one of our Adult van riders and one of my lifelong friends as well.   Pray for these new converts as they start to obey the commands of God in the newness of life.   Mat 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  

Mat 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  

Mat 28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 

Funerals, Hospital & Deputation Visits

Being a Missionary Pastor involves much more than just preaching the gospel to the lost, for as the Church continues to grow, so too does the Pastoral care side of the Church plant which  includes , counseling, funerals and hospital visits.  And if having a ministry which spans two continents with Kenya/Uganda Church development is not enough, add the perpetual cycle of deputation needed to sustain these works and you have a very busy Missionary and Wife.   Keep in the mind, these are not complaints, but an attempt to share this journey of faith with our supporters and a reminder to self and those considering Mission work,  it is not easy.   If it was easy, everybody would be doing it.  

 Prison Ministry
 In addition to the aforementioned ministry responsibilities, the Prison Ministry continues to grow.   Our Spanish students are becoming serious workmen of the Word of God. They are learning how to rightly divide the word of truth and solid Baptist Doctrine while doing it.   Next month, one of our English disciples who has surrendered to preach the gospel will be released and start to preach on the outside of the prison walls.   We look forward to helping Him fulfil God's will for His life. I'm often asked why I go into the prison each week when I have so much on my plate?  The answer is simple, It is a labor of love for those who might be seen as the outcasts of society and besides, I just love seeing God transform the lives of men who most would say are unredeemable.  Each week I'm reminded that nobody is beyond the reach of the love and grace of God.  2Tim. 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Needing Space
 We have reached  somewhat of plateau due to the limitations of the building we are currently renting.  We ask you to pray for us as we look for a larger building to rent and weigh out our options.   Our current building will hold one hundred on a good day and we have been running at 85% of our capacity before summer, so we know the reality is if we want to continue to grow we are going to have to leave our comfort zone and move.   We believe God will not only direct our paths but he will provide for His work.    Isaiah 54:2  Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;

 Terry and I praise the Lord for each of our ministry partners and for all who allow us the opportunity to share what God is doing in our lives and ministry. We covet your continued prayers.  

 In His Service,

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

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

God's People Returning to Mt. Elgpm, Rebuilding Homes and Harrowing Stories

God's People Returning To Mt. Elgon

With security and stability returning to Mt. Elgon, our brethren are starting to return to pick up the pieces of their lives and ministries in the wake of recent destruction.   Over two hundred people lost their lives during the latest round of violence.   Pictures are hard to come by but I have included a couple of the Pastors whose lives were affected by this tragedy.   Five of our Landmark Baptist Pastors have been displaced and forced to flee to the base of the mountain where they have found temporary relief and safety.  Three of them lost Church members as well as family members.   After nearly a month, they are ready to return to rebuild their homes.   The specific Churches affected by the violence are the Landmark Baptist Church at Huruma, The Landmark Baptist Church of Cheptandan, the Landmark Baptist Church at Cheptkururu, the Landmark Baptist Church at Chemta and the Landmark Baptist Church at Panadeka.   These Churches represent one fourth of the Churches on Mt. Elgon where God has done an amazing work.  In ten years, God has planted twenty Missionary Baptist Churches in villages about every five kilometers apart on what we call the Chweli side of the mountain.   Dozens have been saved and Bible studies have been started by these faithful Men of God during this time of personal tribulation.  It is a sobering reminder that God is faithful and worthy to be praised and what man meant for evil, God has used for good. 
The Above picture is a file pic of homes that have been recently burned on Mt. Elgon.

The picture Below is of Pst. Alex Cheriembee's three children who had just returned to find their home burned.  (sorry for the poor quality.)
The Picture (Below) is one of the largest Landmark Baptist Churches on Mt. Elgon which is located at the village of Cheptkurukuru.    Again, these pictures are the first I have received and very hard to come by, but as you can see, much of the tin has been stolen from the roof and sides.  Some of the structural part of the sanctuary has actually been burned.   We thank God that the Church is not the building but with daily rains (about 2pm) we understand the necessity to rebuild as soon as possible.   This Church had over one hundred and fifty members before the violence.   Please pray for them as they return home  and try to put the pieces of their lives and ministry back together.

 Below from left to right):  Pastor Robin, LBC Chemta,  Pastor Victor, LBC Chepetandan & Pastor Alex Cherembee (in blue), LBC Cheptkurukuru.  These are the only three Men of God who were able to attend our recent Pastors seminar at the base of Mt. Elgon. The other two Pastors affected  were not able to attend due to curfew and check point obstacles.  They are Pastor Benard, LBC Panadeka and Pastor Moses, LBC Huruma.  
 Harrowing Stories From Our Pastors

Our recent trip afforded me the opportunity to sit down and hear the first hand accounts of the tragedy our Pastors experienced on Mt. Elgon.   Both Pastor Robin and Pastor Alex lost three brothers in the violence and they were all still very much in shock at the time of our meeting.  We grieve together with these men, their families and Churches.  The most harrowing story came from Pastor Robin who narrowly escaped with his life after being confronted by the killers in his home.   Pastor Robin evacuated His family when word first spread thru the village that the violence had begun.  He said that he stayed behind and it would be at 1am in the morning the killers entered his house to kill him.  Pastor Robin (who is very small in stature) said he hid under a table and was repeatedly asked by the killers, "where is your father"?   They thought he was a child, so he answered them in a child's voice, "my father is away".   He said they left him alone as they were only killing the men of the village.   He would flee down the mountain after they departed with His life spared.    

 Our Plan to Help

Many have asked how they can help.  The most immediate and pressing need is to help the Pastors rebuild their homes.  Before they can help anyone else, they need to insure their family has a roof over their head.    Our plan is to purchase 25 sheets of tin roofing for each of the five Pastors whose homes were destroyed.  One piece of tin roofing is only $8.00.  The family will do the mud construction but they need help with the most expensive part which is the tin roofing.

The cost to repair the Churches are as follows:  Landmark Baptist Church at Cheptkurukuru needs $1600.00 to replace the roof and sides with tin and $700.00 to replace the burnt sections of wood.   The Landmark Baptist Church at Cheptandan needs $1500.00 to replace the stolen tin roofing and sides and $650.00 to replace the wood.    Everything was stolen at the Landmark Baptist Church at Chemta which needs the steel poles and trusses, wood and tin sheeting.   The approximate cost to replace all of this is $4000.00.   Our folks at the Florida Plant feel led to lead the way by taking special offerings over the next thirty days to help our brethren on Mt. Elgon.   Your prayers would be greatly appreciated and 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".   

 Terry and I praise the Lord for each of our ministry partners and for all who allow us the opportunity to share what God is doing in our lives and multiple mission points.   We covet your continued prayers.

 In His Service,

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

Friday, April 27, 2018

Kenya Part 1 Kerio Valley

Week one of our trip to Kenya found us camping out, deep in the interior of the Kerio Valley.   Camping in the "bush" is not easy but provided us the opportunity to maximize our time in country.   It also gave us the opportunity to spend time with our Pastors and Churches in a different setting other than "work".  It's hard to describe the unique feeling of going to sleep and waking up in a remote village.  You will hear sounds and see sights that can only be found by camping out among the indigenous population.  Additionally,  we are able to connect with God 's people both culturally and spiritually in ways that is not possible when blowing in and out of their lives on day trips.  Our one -man cot tents were amazingly comfortable and had built in mosquito nets for added protection.

Our ministry team from Left to Right in the (below) photo consisted of Pastor Peter Barasa, Bro. Sean Harold, Pastor Shadrach Mbilii, Pastor Timothy Loquardo and Pastor Jamie Hogan.  This was Bro. Sean's first trip to Kenya and Bro. Jamie's third trip.  Our brethren are starting to refer to Bro. Jamie as a resident now, which is a great honor.   Our three National Pastors have been by our side since we started our mission work nearly ten years ago and God continues to use them in a mighty way.   Each one has His particular mission field within the country which includes Mt. Elgon, the Kerio Valley and Lake Victoria.   It is important to note that I did not assign them these areas, they are God called and God led.  This Missionary simply shared His vision, passion and burden to reach the lost for Jesus Christ and their greatest work has been over the last few years without me.   It's been said that the work of the Foreign Missionary is to work himself out of a job and let the Nationals maintain and continue the work which he started.   Please pray for these great Men as I am starting to see signs of weariness in all of us as we have worked hard over the last ten years to press towards the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus.  While our roles have changed, our hearts are still very much knitted together in Christ with these great Men of God. 

  This elderly Pokot couple (above) are some of our early converts in the Kerio Valley.   They have adopted me as their "American Pokot Son" and I proudly bear their name, "Loboduk".  Please pray for BABA Loboduk as His health is failing fast and I am not sure I will see Him again on this side of eternity.   Also note: MAMA Loboduk with her solar audio Bible next to her ear while I am greeting  Baba.   Thank you to all who have given so these Born Again Believers can hear the Word of God in their mother tongue.  They are faithful members of the Landmark Baptist Church at Chepsabei and they walk as many as four kilometers one way in 100' heat to attend Church.  
Preachers Preaching the Gospel  
Acts 8:4  Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word. 
The pictures below are from village evangelism in Morrweries which was formerly known as the "Village of the Murderers".   The large group pictured is one family, a few Church members and some neighbors.   We typically teach the Bible during these impromptu meetings and then let the National Pastors take over if there are some who want to be saved.  We want these converts to become disciples of the National Pastors as they will have the harder work of grounding them in basic Bible truths and doctrine.   They will follow up to confirm the souls saved and schedule baptism after more teachings.   

 The old Pokot Mama on the ground is blind and in her last days on the earth.  I thank God she has heard about God's great love for her through His Son's death on the Cross, His burial and Resurrection.  The plan of salvation was thoroughly taught and our hope is that she believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and we will see her again in Heaven.   It is also awesome to think that while she cannot see, she can listen to the Word of God spoken in Pokot through her audio Bible until she meets the Lord face to face.  

   The man pictured (below) is a village elder who made a profession of faith in Christ and received an audio Bible to help him grow into a mighty man of God.   This village has been totally transformed one soul at a time by the power of God.   Once a village of death, destruction and darkness, it has become a village of peace, love and joy.  Acts 26:18  To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
 Family of Faith

 The beautiful family (below) are now a family of faith.  The two wives are converts of previous evangelism efforts and have been Baptized and added to the Landmark Baptist Church at Morreweis for several years now.  They have been praying for Baba to be saved and it would be this day that He would believe and receive Christ as His Savior.    I can see this family of faith sitting around their home, led by Baba listening to the Word of God.  I say, AMEN! Rom. 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 

After village evangelism we gathered together at the newly completed sanctuary for a brief fellowship with testimonies.   It does our hearts good to return again from time to time and see the fruit that remains from believers that are abiding in Christ.   This village is a snapshot of the work Terry and I have done in Kenya and Uganda over the last decade and while we know we are laying up our treasures in heaven, God allows us the blessed privilege to see our Brothers and Sisters in Christ continuing to be faithful to our Lord and Savior and looking for His soon coming. 
Ethador's Story
The (below) picture is of a Pokot man named Ethador sitting with His Grandson under a tree in Morreweis.   He is the village elder who was our first convert at Morreweis.   I will never forget the day we met him as it was a day in which our guide would stop short of the village because he was frightened and concerned for His life.  The guide has previously led the Kenyan Police to this village to arrest Ethador of murder some ten years earlier.   Now he sits as a child of God,  a member of the New Testament Church and a changed man who loves Jesus.   It was good to reconnect with Ethador and to know He's continuing His walk with God.   His testimony is one that has been repeated by many others in this land and we can only say, to God be the glory, great things he hath done!
 Equipping National Pastors

As you can see from the (below) picture,  we have left an adequate supply of John and Romans from Fish Ministries as well as solar audio Bibles from the many Churches and individuals who gave towards this worthy cause.  Pastor Stephan of the Landmark Baptist Church in Morreweis will judiciously distribute them in the coming months to new converts as he sees fit.  Matt. 4:4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.  
Stay tuned for Part 2 and update on the violence on Mt. Elgon.  Thank you for allowing us to share our journey of faith and thank you again to each and every ministry partner who supports us prayerfully and financially.   Please continue to pray for the work in Kenya/Uganda and Florida.
In His Service,
Bro. Chuck & Sis. Terry Fernandez
Kenya/Uganda/Florida Plant

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Mt. Elgon & Solar Audio Bible Update

Three Landmark Baptist Churches Burned
The latest news from Mt. Elgon from what we can discern is that over two hundred people have been killed during this latest time of unrest.  The government has placed a curfew on the entire mountain and we are receiving conflicting reports of how many Churches have been damaged or destroyed.  We have been told that three sanctuaries have been destroyed at this time.  We have also help relocate five of our Landmark Baptist Pastors with their families to the base of the mountain where thousands have fled to safety.  Some of these Pastors are already starting new works in their villages of refuge.  Many have inquired as to how they can help but at this time it is too early to know how we can assist our brethren and Churches.  We will better be able to assess the situation when we arrive in country next week at which time we will be able to talk to those who have been directly affected by this violence.  In the mean time, please continue to pray that God would give our brethren and Churches an extra measure of His amazing grace.
Acts 8:4  "Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the Word."
This week a team of preachers from the base of Mt. Elgon traveled to the areas where those who fled the violence have come to take shelter.  They said that thousands of people are literally just living among the trees waiting for the opportunity to return to what is left of their homes.  The good news of the gospel gives people hope in Christ in this life and for all of eternity.  Even though the quality of the below pictures are not so good, you can see the man of God preaching to the refugees among the trees.  There were four who made professions of faith in our Lord and Savior during last weeks preaching campaign.  Pray for those who have been displaced and for the Men of God preaching the blessed hope of the blood from the precious Word of God..

As you can see from the pictures below, we have purchased one hundred and fifty solar powered audio Bibles with the help of many of our faithful ministry partners both in the Pokot and Luo tribal languages.  Our goal was one hundred, but as God continues to give the increase we will continue to purchase more for our second trip planned this fall.  Thank you to each and every person and/or Churches that have sacrificially given so that others might hear the Word of God in their mother tongue.  We also have ordered cases of Swahili Bibles to be waiting for us when we arrive this week.
Romans 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
Thank you for allowing us to share our journey of faith and thank you again to each and every ministry partner who supports us prayerfully and financially.
Please continue to pray for the work of Kenya/Uganda and Florida.

In His Service,
Bro. Chuck & Sis. Terry Fernandez
Kenya/Uganda/Florida Plant

Time to Fly:  Please pray for traveling mercies as we make the four flights starting tomorrow to deliver Bibles and to encourage God's people.

Any and all Financial Support needs to be Sent to
Sending Church Information:
First Baptist Church of East Bay
10102 Old Big Bend Rd.
Riverview, Florida 33578