Monday, January 28, 2013

Furlough/Deputation and Goodbyes

God's Teaching in Swahili Video
Most of this week’s activities revolved around preparation for our upcoming furlough/deputation.  We actually fly out next week but when you’re leaving for ten month’s there are a lot of items that must be attended to before we leave.   It is not as easy as just getting on the plane.   We have licenses and permits that needed to be renewed before we leave and we have to put other items like phones and internet on temporary hold so we do not lose these type of services.  Someone once asked me why we call our return to the USA furlough/deputation together instead of just furlough.   From my understanding, furlough implies; rest, rejuvenation and even revival.   We do have four months of actual furlough planned where we will be in Florida attending our home church and attending Churches in our home state.  However, we will also be on the road dragging back and forth across our great nation for six months visiting supporting churches to thank them for their faithful support over the years as well as visiting new Churches which are interesting in partnering with us.   There are some churches that we have not visited with since our original deputation in 2007-08 and we want to stay connected to them.  Living on the road and out of a suitcase is hardly considered rest, rejuvenation and revival.  This is the life of the Missionary and his help met.   After reviewing our upcoming schedule over the next few months we know we have a lot of traveling ahead of us and we will need God to give us the strength to be able to minister to those whom we visit along the deputation trail.  In all honesty, we probably needed to take this break months ago as we are totally spent and depleted, physically, spiritually and emotionally.   Please pray for us brethren.   One of the things that we know rejuvenates us like nothing else is seeing our family again.   Word’s cannot describe how much anticipation we have in this regard, not only to see our children but we also have two new grand kids that I have not met yet and grandpa needs to hold them and play with them.    For our final service on this side of the world until next year, we visited the Landmark Baptist Church of Namarambi which is located near the base of Mt. Elgon.   
We continue to be blessed by the young folks we see coming up through the churches as well as those faithful few that help us start these new works. 
Young People Sing at Watato 
The body says that there is much relief after the service and the long trip to Mt. Elgon but there will always be a longing in our hearts to worship with the people whom we love dearly and who have become such a big part of our lives.    Furlough also brings a season for the church to continue to move forward without any foreign involvement which is essential to their growth.  Sunday School Teacher Praying
We were taught a long time ago that the test of all teaching is practice and that the permanence of the church depends on the members and not the missionary.   Missionaries will come and go but the church should remain and move forward for the cause of Christ without him.   This is our goal, this is our hearts prayer and this is the ultimate test of the years of mentoring and teaching.  After a final review of these thirteen young churches we find that the Pastor’s and leadership in place while very young, are in unity and capable of leading these local congregations who have coveted together to keep the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ.   One of the many benefits of creating a strong team of Pastor’s in an associated fellowship is that they also have each other to rely on during times of struggles.   We believe that we have given them necessary tools and training to continue the great work that God is doing in their lives and churches.  While we all have room for improvement we trust God’s people to stay totally dependent on Him alone for grace, wisdom and His leadership.  This gives us great peace as we walk away from the work that so captured our lives over the last four years. 
Please continue to pray for the local New Testament Churches and us as we travel the world.

God Bless,
Bro. Chuck & Sis. Terry Fernandez

Monday, January 21, 2013

Pastor’s Seminar & Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

CHEMTA...I have attached some pictures of one of our newest works, 
the LBC Chemta which is located on Mt. Elgon in a forest on the Ugandan border. This work is located in an area that is so steep
 that it is not accessible by motorcycle or four wheel drive truck.
Sunday School
Pastor Pete Preaching
Praying For The Sick
Pastor Robin and Family
We held our first Pastor’s seminar of 2013 this week in Eldoret.
 This seminar was unique in many ways:
Number one; this is the first time we have brought the Pastors to the city where I live. This allowed my back to continue to heal and also gives us more teaching time.  
Secondly, this seminar was designed for Pastor’s only.  
We generally have quarterly seminars and invite the Pastors along with the other young preachers within the church and have also had other seminars where we invited Pastors, Preachers and key leaders from within the Church.
However, after working and observing many of these Pastors for years I felt I had learned enough about the challenges they face and their culture to not only teach them God’s word but also to help them with some of the practicalities of their ministry.   
The days were long and weary and as the Bible teaches there is much weariness in studying God’s word but very rewarding and profitable. 
Pastor Japeth Study
Pastor Peter and Missionary
Pastor Daniel
Pastor Shadrach
Chow Time.....
For some of the men, such as those from Lake Victoria and Mt. Elgon, it was the first time to come to the “big city”.   
There was even some jocularity as the Pastors poked at Pastor David from Kipsogon, Mt. Elgon as this trip afforded him the first opportunity in his life to eat fish.
What a reminder of how isolated some of our works really are.
The subjects included our usual doctrinal review as well as other subjects such as: Homiletics, Apologetics, Stewardship & Missions.   
Three of the classes which included more practical application were sermon preparation, cultural ministry challenges and case studies of Churches and ministries which failed. Generally speaking, as Terry and I have rotated among the 13 churches we are currently working with for Sunday worship service, I am asked to teach Sunday school and the Pastor usually brings the message.
So needless to say, I have listened and learned enough to be in a position to help them with sermon preparation which turned out to be one of the more popular classes.  
Much of this class covered the benefits of expository preaching.
The case study class on failed African ministries was also very beneficial to these young Pastors and Churches and was an attempt to learn from the mistakes of others so as not to repeat them in our ministry.
We also did minor studies on what the Bible teaches about Alcohol and Adultery.
It is our hearts desire that these men of God will continue to mature in their ability to Pastor and to rightly divide the word of truth.
Please continue to pray for these young works and for these Men of God as they lead their sheep.                  
                                    PASTORS AT SEMINAR
 Again as you have seen above, I have posted some pictures of one of our newest works, the LBC Chemta which is located on Mt. Elgon in a forest on the Ugandan border.
This work is located in an area that is so steep that it is not accessible by motorcycle or four wheel drive truck.    
                                            Pastor's House
We continue to be humbled by what God is doing by His grace in the lives of so many. Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Bro. Chuck & Sis. Terry Fernandez

Monday, January 14, 2013

Christmas on Mt. Elgon, Rise Up & Build And Down In the Back

   BOLTING & DRILLING                                                             

         Sunflower Girl....

Christmas came in January for our Pastors on Mt. Elgon. It was not by design but between the weather (rain ) and other delays we experienced over the last two weeks we simply were not able to get to Mt. Elgon to deliver the food baskets and clothes given by Cleveland MBC until this week. The Pastors, their wives and children were so grateful for gifts.                       Pastor David's Family 
Pastor Alex C.

                                                Pastor Benard
Pastor David's Wife
Christmas is one of the times each year we can give gifts to our people without destroying their dignity which is something that we are very sensitive to. While we partner with them in many ministry related projects to encourage them in the work they are doing for the Lord, we believe it is important for them to take care of their personal family related needs. Both the Maasai’s on Mt. Elgon and the Pokot’s in the Kerio Valley are two of the lower tribes in regard to their social economic status. With that said, we know God is able to provide and sustain them without us.
In addition to our visits to Mt. Elgon, we were able to install trusses this week on another new sanctuary.      
We have nearly perfected this method of building and it is not only much easier but just as important it is very cost effective. As with each new sanctuary construction, the village community is very interested and the new sanctuary will draw many new visitors whom we pray will receive Christ and unite with the Church family. We have really pushed to get this sanctuary started because with us leaving for furlough and deputation next month we wanted to leave the Church with something they can work on without us. It is our prayer that while we are gone, they will raise the necessary funds to at least put up the wooden runners and tin for roofing.
It is our honor and privilege to partner with our churches in many ways but even through construction we want the Church family to have a substantial investment in terms of both labor as well as financial.         Work Crew 
Unfortunately, due to the rugged roads of Mt. Elgon and lifting trusses, I injured my back and we were unable to travel for Sunday services this weekend. We sure missed worshiping with our people, which is always the highlight of our week, however I really need to let my back heal as I have to teach for three days this coming week at our first Pastor’s seminar here in Eldoret. Please pray for healing and pain relief and also for the fourteen Pastors who will be traveling this week for the seminar.
This seminar is specifically designed for Pastors only as God has really given me so much to teach them this coming week.
In closing, listed below are the names and coordinates of eleven of the twelve Churches we have planted over the last four years.
LBC Chemta meets in a forest near the Ugandan Border and I was unable to get the coordinates.
One of our supporting Pastors recently asked me for them to share with his people.  
In some cases it may look like there is nothing there, keep in mind that Google earth images go back as far as 2003 and also that some of the Churches are new and are meeting in temporary tents.
If nothing else, it will give you the perspective of the amount of area our ministry covers and remind you to pray for us.
Thank you for your prayerful and financial support.

God Bless,

Bro. Chuck & Sis. Terry Fernandez

LBC Wichlum, Lake Victoria 0’14’23.45 S -34’12’44.93 E.
LBC Got, Lake Victoria 0'10'26.10" S 34'14'43.02" E.
LBC Cheposabei, Kerio Valley 1'30'58.78" N 34'59'44.45"E
LBC Kipsigon, Mt. Elgon 0'49'12.33" N 34'34'10.00" E
LBC Cheptabrubru, Mt. Elgon 0'49'15.19" N 34'33'38.16" E
LBC Cheptandan, Mt. Elgon 0'50'21.56" N 34'34'18.25" E
LBC Chepkurukuru, Mt. Elgon 0'49'30.30" N 34'32'01.74 E
LBC Chemta, Mt. Elgon ?????????????????
LBC Namarambi, Near Mt. Elgon 0'43'58.30"N 34'45'55.93" E
LBC Mayanja, Near Mt. Elgon 0'40'38.46" N 34'31'21.71 E
LBC Soysambu, Near River Nzoia 0'46'05.37" N 35'01'02.01" E
LBC Mawe Tatu/Nzoia, Near River Nzoia 0'44'15.13" N 35'03'49.48 E

Monday, January 7, 2013

Reflection, Expectation & New Baptismal Pool

Our week and New Year started off in Nairobi as we were there to drop off our honored guests, Philip and Rose Marie.  With visitors to the foreign field being far and few between their visit to Kenya was a real encouragement and blessing to both Terry and I.   We received word that they arrived back home safely on schedule without incident and without luggage (again). 
Not sure what is going on with Delta but they are batting a thousand in the luggage department.   
This first week of the New Year also brought much activity with regard to vehicle repairs and we also completed the fabrication of the trusses for another new sanctuary which we plan to install Wednesday of this week.    New Year for me is a time of both reflection and anticipation. 
As 2012 came to a close we are able to look back on all the great things God has allowed us to experience by His Amazing Grace. 
In that regard, please note the Year End Review and Summary posted on Dec. 31, 2012 which is below.... 
For Terry and I, it was another great year where we saw  hundreds of new converts and continued seeing new and exciting growth in the lives of hundreds of others, most of whom we consider our children in faith.   We do not use this term lightly but when we have invested years of teaching, training and mentoring into people whom we have brought to the Lord, we do consider them our children.  
During 2012, we taught them God’s Word, we laughed with them in the joy of the Lord, we cried with them as we buried their dead, we rejoiced in the birth of their children and we could be found somewhere in an interior Kenyan village breaking a sweat with them in service to our King.   The bonds found in service to Christ go well beyond ordinary relationships and is something that Terry and I will cherish for the rest of our lives and into eternity. 
We also want to thank all those who have stood with us both prayerfully and financially.  Thank you for celebrating with us when we were on the mountain top and thank you for encouraging us to press forward as well as lifting us up when we were in the valley.
Philippians 1:3 “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.”   
The New Year also brings in a great anticipation of what our great God is going to do in our lives and the lives of thousands of others through His Son, Jesus. 
Jesus, the name above all names, the Lily of the Valley and the Bright and Morning Star, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lord’s. 
This Sunday service gave us a microcosmic glimpse into what we can continue to look forward to.
At the invitation of Pastor Shadrach at the LBC Mawe Tatu, we visited for worship service and to use the
                               newly constructed baptismal pool. 
This Church was our first church plant and is growing both physically and spiritually.   Physically speaking, it may have been one of the largest crowds we have ever seen there and it was quit touching to see a line of people stretched out across the village as we walked the short distance to the newly constructed baptismal pool. 
Remembering our first meetings in Pastor’s Shadrach’s house with just his family and Terry and I and to see where it has come to today will bring tears to your eyes.
What could be more important than seeing God alive and working in the lives of so many through His precious Son?                                   Full House
Please don’t think that it is all about numbers for us as the great numbers we have seen saved and transformed equate to precious souls whom Jesus gave His life for. 
Aside from physical growth, spiritual growth can be seen in the lives of these new converts as they live a separated life unto Christ and also through their service.
This growth is also seen through those who sing solo’s and in the choirs to those who are taking on leadership roles in the church and those who are giving testimonies as well as new young preachers who are answering the call of God on their lives. 
One such young man named, Pius, who has only been saved during the last year stood before the congregation on Sunday and read God’s word during the scripture reading. 
These are the true success stories that continue to motivate us to keep plowing new ground while returning to water the seeds that have been planted over the last year. 
By the way, the new baptismal pool worked very well and it eliminated about two hours of trekking to and from the river.   As you look at the pictures, note the faces of the children standing in amazement as the new coverts follow Christ in scriptural baptism. 
                        Pastor Japheth
It is then, we realize that standing there is the future generation that this local New Testament Church will need to reach with the gospel thus handing down the faith to the future God loving, God honoring and God serving Christians.  
We look forward to this New Year and how can we not look forward to it with great expectation as we serve a great God who is able to do exceeding and abundantly above that which we are able.  
May God bless you in this New Year he has given us to bring him glory!

Bro. Chuck & Sis. Terry Fernandez