While it was great to return to Kenya and Uganda for the first time since the CV-19 saga began in 2019, it was not without its challenges. After living and working in Kenya and Uganda for many years now, I’m afraid that the familiarity of it all produces complacency in many areas of our lives and ministry . However, all that complacency and smooth sailing went out the window on this trip as we faced challenges with Visas and cancelled flights before we even got out of the USA. God hand of grace has been so great upon Sis. Terry and I over the years that sometimes we need to be reminded that we still need Him to protect, preserve and provide for us every step of the way. And of course then there is the sheer weight of opposition that the enemy of God throws at us to buffet us, to hinder us and to frustrate our purpose in life. Even with all the challenges we faced we saw God blessings during this mission trip. One such blessing was experienced through our Pokot guide and translator during village evangelism in Uganda. It was one of those days that we were dragging from fatigue from the heat and long flights to get in country. We divided up into three teams in three villages and went Hut to Hut in over one hundred degree heat. I personally reached my limit and told our guide that I had done all I could do and needed to return to the truck to pick up the other two evangelism teams. Feeling I had to appoligize for letting them down, our new young Pokot evangelist (Pictured Below) and guide gave me the most encouraging and comforting words a Missionary could ever hear. He told Me, “Don’t worry Missionary Loboduk (my Pokot name), we will continue to preach the gospel in these villages after you are gone”. It does our hearts good to know that Gods work continues with or without us and the work is in good hands through these young Pokot converts and evangelists.
There are many moments with God that you experience during these mission trips that can only be described as heartwarming and inspiring. One of those precious moments in time would be following the worship service at the Landmark Baptist Church at Chepsabei in the Kenyan side of the Kerio Valley. There would be several of our Landmark Baptist Churches in the area represented at the worship service by sending their Pastors. After the service, as we were saying our goodbyes next to the Land cruiser our Driver Ben ask me if he could give His brand new shoes to Pastor Steven from the Landmark Baptist Church at Morwerris who had walked over twenty kilometers in worn out tennis shoes with his toes sticking out to get to Chepsabei. He removed them and immediately Pastor Steven put them on to see that they were a perfect fit. With every trip we regularly leave behind our sneakers and boots for the Pastors we work with but this was different because Ben was giving up shoes that would cost up to a months’ salary in Kenya. It was these types of acts of compassion under the Love of Christ which makes every trip worth while to experience. We knew our Driver Ben who is a born again believer loved being apart of our mission team but now we saw His heart for His own people who have so much less. Mat 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Mat 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Village evangelism on Mt. Elgon at the village called Masaiek offered yet another opportunity to see the great growth of the work that God has allowed us to be a part of over the years. When Sis. Terry and I made our way Mt. Elgon in 2008 with our team of Kenyan brethren we started at the village of Kipsogon at the house of a Sister in Christ named Mama Rosemary. She would open her home to us to use at a launching point for evangelism as well as letting the Church meet in her house. At that time she was estranged from her husband but remaining with two young boys whom we led to Christ. Since then one of those boys has grown up to be a man God has called to Pastor the Church where we did village evangelism in Masaiek. It was awesome to go house to house doing evangelism with Pastor David (Pictured Below). He was dressed impeccably, well spoken and well received in the village. It makes us feel old but it reminds us that our impact is generational now and is in good hands of these "God called Men. "
One of our final opportunities to invest in the Kenyan and Ugandan side of our ministry during our mission trip was to sponsor a seminar at the Landmark Bible Institute of Ndivisi which is located at the base of Mt. Elgon. Men of God came from Lake Victoria, Mt. Elgon, the Kerio Valley, Kenya, Uganda and now a third East African Nation in the 10/40 window of unreached people groups. As you can see from the below picture: the work has quadrupled in size over the last three years and continues to growth each year. It was an honor to teach several generations of Evangelists, Pastors and Church planters during our seminar. We concentrated our efforts on teaching Doctrine and Eschatology. It was also great to see the completed dormitory and classroom being used. After the seminar we found ourselves limited by sickness in our team which facilitated the need for medical care. So in many ways you could say we ended the trip in the manner we started with continued challenges!