Monday, December 21, 2015

The Holy Land, The Plot Thickens & My Confession

Where does the time go?   Still not sure we will ever be able to adjust to fast pace life in America but the more I watch and observe our friends, brethren and family here in the USA, I see everyone is struggling with busyness. Perhaps they just don't see it like we do. Terry and I are digging in our heels and regularly throwing out the anchor as best we can not to let schedules and opportunities keep us from experiencing the depth of relationships Africa has taught us, starting with our Lord and Savior and extending to those whom we love dearly.   The Florida Plant is growing slowly but surely and we have led twenty one to Christ by the grace of God.  We are also entering a new season of growth where we are starting to develop into a church family that is spending time together in settings beyond the worship service.   One of those experiences was a quick trip to the Holy Land. Before you get all excited, know that living in Florida affords us unique tourist opportunities like the Holy Land Experience in Orlando. 

While it is not exactly like visiting Israel and not entirely scriptural, there are some great exhibits and dramas that do encourage your faith.   So I guess you can say this was our first field trip as a Church family.   While we were in the Holy Land, Pastor Moses and some of His Church leaders took the funds we gave them and purchased our second Ugandan Church plot in the village of Kakaron. These types of events are a huge encouragement to the Church which has been meeting on a borrowed plot under trees and in a tent for around four years now. It is also a great encouragement for us to see the spreading of the gospel from Kenya into neighboring Uganda.
Surveying the New Plot, Landmark Baptist Church, Uganda
We would still love to come along side of this faithful group of believers at the 
Landmark Baptist Church of Kakaron, Uganda to help them at the very least put a roof over their heads.   However, working with our brethren in Kenya, Uganda and now the Florida Plant is starting to push our financial limits and while we are not full time residents in East Africa anymore we are still deeply involved in their lives and ministry.   If you or your Church would like to receive a blessing, this scriptural Church needs approximately: $1000.00 for Steel Poles, cement and transport costs, $1000.00 for trusses and transport costs & $1200.00 for iron sheets for the roof.   Terry and I have already stepped out on faith and purchased the plot for them.   They are willing of themselves to do the labor part and they will be responsible for finishing the sanctuary but we try to partner with them to get them out of the sun and rain. Please pray about helping our Ugandan brethren with this latest construction project and designate any offerings "construction".  While Pastor Moses and our Ugandan brethren finalized the purchase of the plot at Kakaron, Uganda, we baptized six young folks here in Florida.  

Our heavenly Father continues to answer our prayers with regard to the salvation and discipleship of those he places on our path of life.   Four of these youngsters are regular riders on our van route and two of them were our grandsons, Chuckie IV and Kason.   Last year as Terry and I were flying out of Kenya with her in great medical distress, and while looking out the window as Kenya became smaller and smaller in our sight, I leaned over and told Terry that I am afraid that everything we do in ministry from this point forward might be anti-climatic because of all the great things we saw God do and bless over our seven years of ministry in East Africa. I was wrong!  While the days of leading 800-1000 people to Christ each year and planting multiple churches simultaneously may be behind us we are still experiencing something more precious and priceless than all the years on the foreign field combined, and that is bringing our grandchildren to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and then scripturally baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son & Holy Ghost.   That is an answer to our prayers and a spiritual mountain for Terry and I both. Thank you for allowing us to share our hearts and ministry with you. We covet your continued prayers as we press towards the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus.

In His Service,
Chuck & Terry Fernandez
Bro. Chuck & Sis. Terry Fernandez
Kenya/Uganda/The Florida Plant
Our Exterior Classroom fund for Jr. Church /Youth currently remains $1,500.00.
Would you consider a special offering to help relieve overcrowding of youth and so we can bring more kids to Christ?  Goal is $5,000.00.

Please be reminded that 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


Monday, November 9, 2015

My Last Breathe, Uganda Update & The Battle Is Great!

We need your continued prayers for Pastor Jackson of the Landmark Baptist Church at Lake Victoria.  If you follow our blog, you know he has lost his wife to a sudden illness and is still battling for His life with a very serious illness himself.   Our Pastors from Mt. Elgon continue to travel to Lake Victoria to pray for Jackson and help him through this trial of life. 

Some of our Kenyan Churches have taken up special offerings to help Pastor Jackson with his mounting medical expenses as well as the expenses for His wife’s illness and burial.   We have sent love offerings to help him through this time and pray that he will recover and continue to fulfill his calling to preach the gospel.   His faith is still strong and I have been told that at the graveside of his wife, while suffering from His own sickness, he stood before the funeral procession and proclaimed that he will preach the Word of God until his last breath.  That’s the kind of dedication and commitment to Christ that we would love to see from all of our Children of faith.
 Children of Uganda
  The Uganda front continues to expand with Pastor Nixon on the Mt. Elgon side of Uganda and Pastor Timothy on the Kerio Valley side pushing the gospel deeper into Uganda.   Both men are discipling the young converts there as well as training men of God to step up to lead those works.   It is gospel preaching and scriptural New Testament Church planting being replicated before our very eyes.    The two older works are nearing four years old and we are starting to partner with them to build permanent sanctuaries.   We are praying that God will provide for specific Churches and individuals to partner with these young Churches to put a roof over their heads and give them a permanent meeting place to preach God’s word and worship the Lord Jesus.   Would you pray about helping these men build these two historic Churches in Uganda? 
The American Front finds us burning the road, which is the story of the life of a Missionary.  In addition to what Paul described as the care of the Churches in Uganda, Kenya and now The Florida Plant, we continue to fulfill deputation appointments on Sunday evenings.   Last week our Missionary journey took us to Alma, Arkansas to celebrate 100 Years of Ministry at Dean Springs Missionary Baptist Church.   Dean Springs MBC is the co-sponsor of our work and has been a great blessing to Terry and I for many years now.    It was an awesome celebration that involved great fellowship and powerful services with the alter full of God’s people thanking Him for a Church that has stood the test of time and faith.  

This week I used the Dean Springs MBC study to teach our people who have joined us in Florida Church plant the characteristics of a successful Church which has given God glory for a century now.   What a powerful illustration of God’s people who have coveted together to keep the commands of the Lord Jesus through the local New Testament Church.   I pray that we will be found so faithful.   The more time passes, the more we are realizing the gravity and severity of the terrible battle we are in here in the United States of America for the hearts and souls of men, women and children.   This is not news to those of you have been faithfully serving the Lord on the home front for decades but from our unique perspective we see the intensity of the battle of faith has increased one hundred fold.   We might compare what we are seeing today in our own country to the strongholds that witchcraft and idolatry had over many generations in the remote villages Terry and I have worked in East Africa for many generations.  The principalities, the powers,  rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places have such a foothold in our nation that it no wonder we are in the spiritual condition that is leading our nation away from God.  But thanks be to God that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.  Jesus is still the greatest need of every man, woman and child I thank Him that he is our Master and Commander.  Keep us in the your prayers and also note that we have joined the host of missionaries who will no longer send reports through snail mail but only through email.  Our sending Church will send a hard copy upon request.  Thank for allowing us to share this journey of faith.
Casandra Accepted Christ October 25, 2015

Uganda Church Building, Funerals & Discipleship Training

The news from East Africa continues to bless and encourage our hearts, specifically the work in Uganda.   The ministry Terry and I poured our hearts and souls into on Mt. Elgon and the Kerio Valley has crossed the border into Uganda in both areas.   We personally started the Pokot work in Uganda several years ago and one of our Pastors (Nixon) has pushed the gospel across the border on the Mt. Elgon side.   Both Landmark Baptist works run between 50-75 members and are growing.  They have been meeting under trees and tents for several years now and they are starting the building process on the Mt. Elgon side of Uganda with funds that our mission team of four left them last month.    It seems that the steel poles and truss pattern we help bring to East Africa has caught on and has become the new preferred method of building these types of structures.    With that as the backdrop, Pastor Nixon loaded up poles and trusses on a small truck and shipped them from Kenya to Uganda to start the building process for our first Ugandan sanctuary.

 It is a always a great joy to be a part of the Lord’s work world wide but it is also an honor to be a part of making history and leaving a legacy for Christ as well.    In addition to the great news of the Ugandan work progressing, we received sad news that Mama Carolyn, who is Pastor Jackson’s wife, had unexpectedly contracted a fatal illness and died suddenly.   Pastor Jackson is the fishermen we led to Christ and God subsequently called him to preach on the shores of Lake Victoria.   Please pray for this young Pastor and family who now have to survive without their Mother and Wife. 
Pastor Jackson has had trial after trial this year and barely escaped death himself when he became deathly sick earlier this year.   Not sure if the two illnesses were connected but I know that my name sake Carlitos has lost his Mama.   While our Kenyan brethren buried Mama Carolyn, I preached our second funeral service for one of the young men named Ryan who has been visiting our new Church plant here in Florida.
The death of these two young folks has a way of reminding us of the importance of our calling and the urgency of eternity.
Heb. 9:27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.
Our in home discipleship Bible studies and training continues to consume much of our time with as many as six or seven per week.   We are seeing much significant growth in the lives of these folks as we teach them on a variety of subjects which include:  Salvation, Baptism, Eternal Security of the believer, How to Study the Bible, Knowing the will of God and Dealing with Temptation.   We are committed to growing a handful of strong disciples at a time who we pray will in turn teach others down the road.  Our ministry philosophy remains the same, bring them to Christ, disciple them and then commend them to the Lord on whom they believe. 

The numbers and Church growth will take care of itself if we remain faithful to God’s plan for scriptural Church planting.  By the way we continue to see folks profess Christ as a result of building close relationships with them.   These studies are also affording us the opportunity to meet family friends and neighbors to preach the gospel to along the way. 
John 4:35  Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. Tracy Miller Trusted Christ October 14, 2015
In closing, please pray for Terry and I as we try to re-assimilate into our own country and culture again.   We have been home for a year now and still do not feel that we are able to reconnect with our country and culture yet.   It is strange that we are feel like strangers and sojourners in our own land and wonder if we will ever fit in again after spending years becoming African.    I fully realize that many who share this journey of faith with us will read this and wonder what I am talking about but know that reentering their own culture may be harder for the foreign Missionary than adapting to a new culture.   May God bless you and be glorified through our daily walk no matter where we are. 

In His Service,

Bro. Chuck & Sis. Terry Fernandez
Kenya/Uganda/Florida Plant
Our Exterior Classroom fund for Jr. Church/Youth is now up to $1,500.00.
Would you consider a special offering to help relieve overcrowding of youth and so we can bring more kids to Christ?
Goal is $5.000.00

Please be reminded that 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

or DONATE THRU SECURE PAYPAL  (***right side of this blog will take you there)0

Friday, October 2, 2015

First Baptism, Growing Pains and Letters from the Field

Being fresh off our two week mission trip to East Africa gives us the unique perspective of knowing and seeing firsthand what God is doing here in Florida as well as to the uttermost parts of the earth.   We serve an awesome almighty God who is omnipresent and speaks to the hearts of His people all over the world. He continues to pursue the lost with His great love and grace as well as call and equip His servants to do His kingdom work.
Just two weeks ago we scripturally baptized over fifty new converts who obeyed the Lord Jesus in Kenya and this week we baptized our first new convert here in the USA. There was joy in the presence of the angels to seeing one of our young men receive Christ and follow Him in scriptural baptism.
Luke 15:7 "I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance."

We are committed to coming along side of this young man for many years to come to exhort and encourage Him in his new faith by building him up with the Word of God.   We have also seen four more folks make professions of faith in Christ since Herbert did and praying God will continue to give an increase one by one.   Our young Church plant continues to yield much fruit as we press towards the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus.   The Bible Studies are not  meant to take the place of the assembling of the brethren but rather an opportunity to build a closer relationship with our people while we are teaching and disciplining them one on one in the comfort of their own home. 

Africa taught us that the relationship is paramount in everything and while I know this techno age does not lend itself to this type of discipleship, God is blessing our efforts and we are hosting as many as six Bible Studies per week.   This is clearly a work that God is doing by His power in the lives of many.   With growth comes the inevitable growing pains.   One such pain is that we are already outgrowing the classroom capability of our meeting place and particularly with the Children's ministry which Terry is heading up. 
We have one nursery room for babies and one classroom which is not much bigger than the average kitchen.   We are bringing in four van riders and would pursue more however given our limited classroom space we are concerned about overcrowding, safety and learning environment.   If you have followed our ministry over the last seven years you know we are somewhat creative when planting Churches, ie: using tents and temporary buildings until the Church is able to move to a more permanent situation.   With that said, Terry and I were traveling a couple of weeks ago and saw a small Church using a (Shed) as a classroom.   It seems to be an alternative for our Classroom/Jr. Church situation and one that we could take with us when we outgrow our current sanctuary.   With that as our challenge we have started a "classroom" fund in an effort to allow growth and so things will be done descent & orderly.   We have already received offerings of $1,500.00 towards our goal of $5,000.00 and if you are interested in helping us expand please designate your offering "Classroom #Floridaplant". 
We have partnered with our Kenyan brethren to build fifteen sanctuaries over the years and now find ourselves in need in Florida.   We thank God for our ministry partners who share our vision and burden to reach the lost and to plant New Testament Churches until Jesus comes back.   While we are talking about building sanctuaries, Pastor Nixon has taken funds our team of four left him to purchase a tent with and applied that to our first sanctuary in Uganda. 

Seems as though one of the members there donated a plot and they decided to step out on faith and move forward with a permanent structure.   The work in Uganda is several years old now and is worthy of our building support. Will close for now, hope you have enjoyed our latest blog update while you have had your morning coffee or with your favorite energy drink while on the run.   Please pray for us as we do what God has called us to do for the honor and glory of Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

Letter From The Mission Field, Gary Weidenbach
My third trip to Kenya, and it is still the people, they are what draw me back. 
From the local Pastors, to the people we meet in the deserts of the Kerio Valley, it is the people. 
I have been blessed to observe the village people surviving day to day.  Their life is one of hard labor, feeding their families and maintain a house and home, with very few of the luxuries we have in the States, some of which we might consider necessitates, such as electricity, vehicles, and indoor plumbing.  Many of their houses are no larger than a 2-car garage with mud walls and dirt floors. Most all walk, have an old bicycle to ride, or take some form of public transportation to get back and forth to the market.  They carry their items everywhere they go, no putting it in the trunk of a car.  Older siblings take care of the younger ones, boys tend to the family livestock, while mom and dad farm the small plot of land they may own.

And yet I do not feel sorry for or have pity on them.  I do not believe they would want your pity.  The brothers and sisters of the area have given to me, both physically and spiritually, more than I can ever repay.  Their love, excitement, and enthusiasm is like lighting a fire with dry kindling on a cold winter night.  The wide smiles and open embraces are almost intoxicating as they welcome you into their home or church.  You can actually get lost in the knowledge of your harsh surroundings, just by being around the people.  They clap with excitement that you will be praying for them, and shriek at the idea that you would want to come back again.

Did I mention the singing during worship time?  They sing with a joy in their hearts and a praise on their lips, unless you get to experience it, I have no words to describe.  It's seems the longer they sing the louder they get.  The singing, like a moth to a flame, just draws you into worship.
My third time here, and it is still the people, it has always been the people and their love for the Lord and a real desire to serve Him as not only their Lord, but their Savior.
In Closing, I want to thank Chuck and Terry Fernandez for the many hard years of labor they have given for our Lord in East Africa and for allowing me to be a small part of their ministry. I pray I can always carry a part of the African people in my heart and my life.

My third trip 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Close Call on Mt. Elgon & 152 Profess Christ

The second week of our mission trip found us climbing the steep, rocky and muddy slopes of Mt. Elgon.   While we had prepared for the cold temperatures at over 10,000 ft. above sea level we had not prepared for the rains which you can almost set your clock by this time of year.   Of all the years Terry and I have been working on Mt. Elgon we have never been stuck there, but all that changed with our group of four because I let our Pastors determine our schedule rather than giving them the schedule. It was a calculated risk since I did not have Terry with me and since we had planned on spending the night on the mountain but was one that ended up being way more stressful than necessary.   Here is the short version, we divided up into three teams for village evangelism and scheduled each group to meet back at the truck before two o'clock when the rains start so we could make our way back to the Church we were sleeping at and before the roads turn to mud. Once that happens you are not going anywhere regardless of what type of four wheel drive you have.   So as you can already imagine, the leader of the group Bro. Gary Weidenbach and I were in led us so far away that we could not get back to the truck in time before it started raining.   With the rain falling we desperately tried to get down the slopes to no avail.   After bouncing off the sides of numerous ditches we slide off the road and got stuck several times, and with nothing to hook the winch to we had to use man power to push the Rover back onto the road. 
 We finally made it to a plateau where one of our outreaches is located at Huruma.   After taking hot Chai (Tea with milk) to warm up and since we were somewhat stranded we figured we might as well do what God had called us to do and continued evangelism. God used that lapse in judgment to see many more villagers come to Jesus Christ which brought the Mt. Elgon total to 141 decisions.
God has a way of taking our blunders and using them for His honor and glory.

We were blessed to make it off Mt. Elgon without any injuries and minimal damage to the truck.   After a day of rest and repair we packed up again and took off for the Kerio Valley. So from the one extreme of high, cold wet elevation to the semi arid region of the Kerio Valley and light weight desert clothing.   Our first visit in the valley would take us to the village of Lopsusinkou to deliver the good news of the gospel.
 Pokot Solar Bible
The Pokots welcomed us with open arms to share the gospel and to preach God's word. Many made professions of faith and we left some of the solar powered audio Bibles to start groups to listen to the Word of God.
 Rom. 10:17 " So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
Our second trip would take us deeper into the bush to visit a second generation Church plant at the Pokot village of Morreris. Before we brought the good news of the gospel this village was known as the village of murderers. Now there is joy in the hearts of so many and the name of Jesus can be heard through song and preaching throughout the village.   It has been amazing to watch God radically transform this village before our eyes over the last couple of years and is a reminder of what a personal relationship with Christ does to a sinner saved by grace. This visit also afforded us the opportunity to deliver the tent given by the children of Dean Springs MBC from their VBS offerings.
What a connection and what a blessing! Children giving to God's work in remote interior regions of East Africa to give these new converts relief from the hot sun.
Our final safari day brought us back for Sunday worship service at the first Pokot Church Terry and I help plant in the village of Chepsabei.   The Landmark Baptist Church at Chepsabei is alive and well.   The songs service is always powerful, the teaching Dr. Myers brought was moving and the Church honored him with a goat and a bow.
Evangelist James Jones with God's People
The preaching by Evangelist James Jones was accompanied by God's Spirit which left the alters full and God's people crying out to God. Oh that we long for those types of services in the Churches of America. 2Ch 7:14
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Thank You for tuning in and please pray for our return flights to the USA, we look forward to seeing you all on the other side. 

God Speed,

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

Monday, September 7, 2015

Faithful Men, 52 Baptized and Give us That Mountain

After five days on the ground I am starting to re-acclimate to the place that Terry and I have called home for many years.   The process starts the minute you depart from the British Airways flight from London (flight 3 of 4) to arrive in Nairobi. Terry and I have made the trip so many times that it has become second nature. Even though I am traveling with three other preachers there is a definite void in my heart without the greatest co-laborer in Christ I have ever known. She is faithfully maintaining her ministry working with the youth at the Florida Church Plant as well as maintaining in-home Bible Studies with the Ladies she is teaching and discipling.
Our first full day in country would start with the event which, in my mind, is some of the most important work we will do this week. By the grace of God we will reach people with the gospel which is obviously of great eternal significance. But training these Men of God is also of eternal significance and hopefully will be passed down from generation to generation. So our team of four preachers: Dr. Tim Myers, Gary Weidenbach, James Jones and I dove right in for two days of teaching.   From the feedback we received, I believe the teachings took them to places they have never been in Bible History/Geography, Eschatology, Bible Analysis, and Early Church History.
James Jones Teaching
It is our prayer to help them to develop into faithful men who will be able to teach others. There were a total of 48 Pastors, Evangelists and Preachers who attended the three day seminar. The work which Terry and I left in the National Pastors hands has now grown to from sixteen to twenty Churches! Can somebody say Amen and Amen? 
Pastors, Evangelists and Preachers at Seminar...
More Study
Reading God's Word
Dr. Myers often says that what we are seeing before our eyes is the closest thing to the replication of New Testament Church planting we have seen in many years. I say we do all we do for the glory of God in the name of our Lord Jesus.   We would divide up our team to be able to be a blessing to more than one Church on this past Lord 's Day.   Pastor Tim and Evangelist James Jones visited the Landmark Baptist Church at Ndivisi while Bro. Gary Weidenbach and I visited the Landmark Baptist Church at Namarambi.   We would baptize fifty two new converts and saw two more professions of faith in Christ Jesus. 
Family of God
Many of those new converts came from the three surrounding villages where Bible studies have been started over the last several years. It does our hearts good to see the work Terry and I have poured our lives into grow and go forth in faith with the good news of the gospel. Our first ministry safari also gave us the opportunity to check on the building progress at Namarambi. We also got to look at the new school plot at the Church at Ndivisi, which Bro. Gary and His wife Pam helped purchase.
Bro. Gary 
It is so encouraging to see God's people with passion, vision and a burden to reach the lost pushing forward to grow God's work here in Kenya.  Each passing week will grow in difficulty and as I conclude this journal entry. We are preparing and packing for our trip up Mt. Elgon tomorrow for two days of village evangelism.   Just climbing the mountain and then hiking above 10k feet above sea level is enough to bring you to your knees. We will see tomorrow who is up for the challenge of climbing peaks and valleys to preach the gospel.   Your prayers are needed and deeply appreciated.   Our prayers have been answered since the first trip I took up that mountain in 2009 when we prayed,              "God give us this mountain".
Thank you for allowing us the privilege of sharing what God is doing on this trip as we fulfill the great commission to the uttermost parts of the earth.

In His Service,

Bro.Chuck & Sis. Terry Fernandez