Monday, July 27, 2015

2015 Typhoid Fever, Discipleship 101 & Gathering Children

Our ties with our brethren in Kenya and Uganda continue to run deep as we are in constant communication with the Pastors of the Churches that Terry and I have been blessed to help plant. These communications come in the form of email, text messaging and phone calls which keep us up to date on the condition of the ministry in East Africa.   One of the messages we received this week was that Pastor Jackson of the Landmark Baptist Church at Got has been sick with Typhoid Fever for nearly a month and was in need of medical assistance.   We ask you to pray for Pastor Jackson who is one of the fishermen from Lake Victoria we led to Christ and was subsequently called to preach around five years ago.
One of the areas that is not widely known but nevertheless is a part of our ministry is to provide funds for medicines for those in our associated work in verified cases of severe malaria, typhoid, tuberculosis, etc…   The years in East Africa taught us that we cannot help everyone but from time to time we are able to be a blessing by providing what might be considered humanitarian medical aide to these Men of God and or their families through our ministry partners in America. 
The years we spent discipling our converts in Kenya and Uganda have provided some of the most fruitful years of our ministry.  It is this same ministry philosophy that we are applying through the ministries of our Florida Church plant by taking new converts and investing time and energy by grounding them in the Word of God.   We are observing what might considered normal “Church” activities of worship and service but we are also offering those who come to Christ personal discipleship training in the comfort of their own home.
We would much rather ground a handful of converts who can in turn carry the torch and make a difference for the Lord Jesus than to have the masses pass through our lives without significant time mentoring them.    Jesus invested in the lives of twelve men over the period of 3 ½ years and His example is the one we want to follow.    We have experience an average attendance of 49 over the last three weeks which is up from 27 last month.   While God continues to bring people in by His amazing grace, Terry and Sis. Rose have been bringing youth in on the Church van that God provided for us a couple of months ago which is  increasing our attendance as well.
We are rapidly finding out that there are folks God has prepared for us to reach in Hernando County, Florida just like he did in East, Africa.   My hope and prayer is that our Brothers and Sisters in Christ will join us in reaching our Nation for the Lord.   We have been told by the skeptics and synics that nobody wants to hear the gospel message anymore in America, we say 
" look unto fields for they white and ready unto harvest,"
 we just need to be about our fathers business and bring them in. 
We Thank the Lord for allowing us to make a difference in the lives of these young folks as we bring them to Christ.    I will close with one of our favorite poems about bringing kids to Christ. 
Some would gather money
Along the path of life
Some would gather roses,
And rest from worldly strife.
But I would gather children
From among the thorns of sin,
I would seek a golden curl,
And a freckled, toothless grin.
For money cannot enter
In that land of endless day,
And roses that are gathered
Soon will wilt along the way.
But oh, the laughing children,
As I cross the sunset sea,
And the gates swing wide to heaven,
I can take them in with me!
~Author Unknown
Thank you for allowing us to share our continued journey of faith.
Chuck & Terry Fernandez
Kenya/Uganda & #TheFloridaPlant

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Uganda Baptism, Teaching Women & Church Growth

Ugandan Baptism Candidates Praying
This week, Pastor Moses & Pastor Timothy Loquardo baptized thirteen new believers into the Church at Kakaron, Uganda.   God led us into Kerio Valley side of Uganda when we noticed that at certain times of the year over half the membership from the Landmark Baptist Church at Chepsabei would be away in the foothills of Uganda grazing their herds.   We saw the need to follow this semi-nomadic Pokot Tribe and plant a Church to afford them the opportunity to worship God during those periods of travel.  By God’s grace that work continues to move forward and many more are being reached in Uganda with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The hard years Terry and I have invested in the Kerio Valley continues to produce much abiding fruit which is the heart’s desire of these Missionaries.   To see the work continuing in this manner gives us peace that they know the Lord Jesus and are continuing to keep His commandments with or without the constant care of the Missionary. The longer we are here in the USA, the more we are finding out how big a toll our ministry in these rough interior regions has taken on our bodies.  The roads are smooth here in the USA, the physical demands are not great but we still feel beat up, even after extended months of being home.  Pray that God will continue to heal Terry especially but I am facing physical problems that have slow me a step or two and especially need to get well before returning in the next six weeks.   In addition to the good news of more baptisms at the LBC Kakaron, Uganda, the sending Church for that work held a two day Pokot Women’s seminar.There were several hundred that walk from Uganda and the surrounding villages to attend this Seminar.
 Women Seminar
This is a continuation of Terry’s ministry to these precious ladies as they learned much from her over the years and they are nowbreinvesting in the younger women of faith.   And of course while they were in East Africa teaching, precious faithful Terry was sharing some of her experiences as a Missionary Wife with the National Women Auxiliary workshop in Springfield, Illinois.   She is such a great teacher of the women and from what I understand she had them laughing, crying and even frightened by some of the stories she shared on the “less glamorous side of her mission work”.   I explained to her that if they experienced that many emotions in a fifteen minute talk she did a great job of sharing her heart. 
In addition to the National Messenger meeting of the American Baptist Association last month we also attended the Florida State Meeting in Plant City to share our hearts and work with the brethren in our associated work.   It is a real joy to report on the work God has allowed us to do as well as the work that He is doing through the “Florida Plant” in Brooksville and the greater Hernando County area.    All this traveling really wears you out, especially on the heals of many hard fought years in the East Africa but is a necessary byproduct of continually promoting the Lord’s work and for the benefit of our folks in Kenya and Uganda.  

The less enjoyable side of these meetings is the inevitable politics that seems to be in any organization.  We have been totally sheltered from politics in Kenya over the years and since we are not politically connected or motivated we just keep planting and watering and choose to be somewhat oblivious to it.  Finally, the Church plant is moving forward and God is truly doing something great as he continues to add to our number really without much outreach efforts on our part.   These are true indications that God is with us and blessing our humble start as we simply replicate the work of preaching the gospel here and abroad.   This week we significantly moved above our average of thirty with a high attendance of forty seven.  

We also had a young man who was recently released from prison receive Christ.  I am looking forward to building a relationship with him and to help him develop into a disciple of Christ.   We also got the van licensed, insured and lettered and will put it on the road this week as we start our visitation program.   Our prayers are being answered as God is allowing us to be a part of something special here in our own country and we are praying, plotting and planning another preaching point in the near future.  Pray for us as we work through the process of asking and seeking God’s will as well as for my next trip to Kenya and Uganda.   May God be glorified through it all and give us strength to press towards the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus.  Thank you to every Church and individual who comes along side of us through prayers and financial support as we partner together to do God’s global work to fulfill the great commission.
Phil. 4:17
  Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.

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