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