Other News / Mission Field Visits


Dr. Mel Heazlewood & Richard White visit - East Africa April-May 2017:


“We are pleased to report many pockets of blessing and encouragement in the work of AAA in East Africa during our 4 week visit. We were able to hold meetings in quite a few different assemblies, orphanages and schools as well as a couple of prisons and vacation Bible Schools in Rongo, Busia and Githurai (Nairobi). There were good attendances at all these meetings with opportunities in evangelism and Bible teaching. Many professed faith in Christ and a willingness to study a range of Bible topics including doctrine, practical Christian living, evangelistic outreach and church growth.

Daniel & Terry Shiranda and family need prayer. He is very keen to plant new churches and reach into many homes and also holds open-air preaching. A new assembly was planted while in Kimillili area (Kenya/Uganda border) with potential for several more. 20 Emmaus students have been studying the lessons for two years or more with a lot of interest in the gospel in surrounding districts, such as Mt Elgon, Siangwe, Bungoma and Kapenguria. A pocket of SDA's turned to the Lord in one place and are continuing to attend services.

Evans Akwale is also helping Daniel, teaching young believers in this region and also nearby Webuye where Alex Masika is working among 8 to 9 churches. Evans is an experienced Bible teacher and Alex has expressed his desire for him to spend time teaching NT principles among all these churches. Pray for Evans & Jane, as they are in demand not only in Western Province, but in these newer areas to the north, also in Uganda where John Ouma has invited Evans to spend weeks at a time in Bible teaching there among 5 churches which are in a lot of need. Please pray for them. We were richly blessed in our time with 3 of these churches - Busitema, Matofu & Kayunga.

Among the Kissi we had good meetings in Baraka and Mosocho assemblies area but a lot of help is required in nearby churches, e.g. Motontera, Nyagacho and Namage. Pray that the Lord will bring workers to this area to assist. A main leader in Motontera has re-married and moved on, causing heartache.

William & Sarah Akoto continue on well in Kopanga area with 6 churches now in nearby Tanzania, in two of which we had excellent meetings (Ikoma & Riangoro). Pray also for the almost 300 students in William’s school which includes many orphans. Sarah recently lost her father and William’s father is ill in hospital awaiting surgery.

Abraham & Lillian Sitienei need prayer as they are establishing a work in Narok among the Massai with almost 20 members. One member, Rose, is not well with a sick child. A couple of elders among the Massai assemblies ask for prayer in regard to employment as they are wood collectors and are experiencing real difficulties. Continue to pray for growth and encouragement for these Massai churches and for John and Sylvia Ongele as they need land and a house. They live in Kilgoris with some distance to travel to the Masaai churches. Sylvia recently lost her father.

We visited 3 Assemblies in Mombasa area (Ukunda, Kuruku & Diani Beach). We were encouraged by what is happening there. Kuruku needs land for a chapel and Diani Beach is in a real dilemma with their chapel built on a road reserve as they found out after purchasing! Pray for a resolution to this problem. Finance was given for new accommodation for Ezekiel, a leading brother in Ukunda.

Contents of our container, sent Jan. 2017, was very much appreciated by the saints and used in many regions for orphanages, schools, and chapels. It contained many items meeting many needs. Churches were grateful to donors in Australia for the encouragement given. (Our thanks to Wayne & Jill Foale & Team , Faith In Service ministry, who gather donations, pack and ship. See the Page 2 report. Ed.).

The drought has affected different areas of East Africa. Some areas had good rainfall while we were there but it will be August before harvest time, so AAA will need to tide them over the famine situation that exists in Sindo region. Daniel Ochieng has done a great job with this as also with the container. Pray for him and all our leading brothers over there who do a faithful work in many ways

We praise God for all His grace and goodness in so many ways to so many people. We thank everyone for all the gifts given and we earnestly request continuing prayer for the great work that God is doing .” 

Greetings to all, Dr. Mel Heazlewood & Richard White.



Kenya Trip - April 2017

A report by Narelle Melville

 

We flew into Kisumu, and brother Daniel Ochieng met us at the airport.  He had arranged a car for us, a two-wheel drive, but it had air conditioning that actually worked!  We grabbed some supplies (just the essentials: water and toilet paper), and stayed in a motel overnight.  Ready to head off the next morning.

Our aim this trip was to see some of the churches that are on the islands of Lake Victoria.  This meant quite a bit of travelling, hence the air-conditioned car.  The car had extremely dark tinted windows.  It seemed to be a ‘do-it-yourself’ tint job, but was so dark it would be illegal here in Australia.  They had very cleverly cut little holes in the tinting so you can see through the side mirrors.  The only problem was, that the person who made this slight modification seemed to have been quite short.

We were pleased to find that quite a few of the roads have been paved with bitumen, thanks to Chinese investment apparently.  The ride was quite comfortable, and we managed to find our way down to Homa Bay, where we picked up Paul Adoo.  Paul does Emmaus work in the prisons, and had arranged for us to visit the women’s section of the prison, since I was along.  We stopped to buy gifts for them – toilet paper and soap, which are not supplied in the prison.

The Homa Bay prison houses 500 inmates, only 17 of these are women.  The prison just looks like a normal Kenyan farm, with a few more buildings, and the residents all wear the traditional prison garb; striped pajamas.  We were well received by all the officials, and greeted by many of the men as we made our way down to the women’s section.  Fifteen of these ladies are completing the Emmaus courses, and two of the three guards.  Paul was very well received by all present.  He handed out completed courses, and issued new ones.  John gave a short message of hope.  A woman, who was terribly downcast, changed her expression as John preached.  She put her hand up to receive                  

an Emmaus course when they were offered.

There are four children in the prison.  They are able to stay with their mothers until they turn four years old.  I asked the prison warden what happened to the children after they reach their fourth birthday.  He told me that if family didn’t come for them, they would be placed in an orphanage.  I asked the prison chaplain if we could make sure they went into the church home-care program.  He says he will look into it.

We were surprised to see a concrete baptistery at the end of the maize field.  The chaplain received some government funding for it.  He saw the need for one he said, “because when people come to know the Lord, and want to be baptized, there had been no way that it could happen in the prison previously.”  Now they just have to wait for rain to fill it.

Lack of rain has been a huge problem all over Kenya.  They have lost two consecutive maize crops due to insufficient rain.  This hasn’t happened here for decades.  Most have replanted, and are desperate for rain to come so this crop reaches its full potential at the August harvest.  Shortage of maize has pushed prices way up, and many are struggling to feed their families.

Our next stop was to load the car up with maize flour, salt, oil and other supplies.  There is a much bigger relief effort going on through AAA, but we just took a little with us as we travelled.  We headed over the new bridge, and onto the Island of Rusinga.  About 30 people were gathered when we arrived, and others joined as John spoke.  After the service, we were served a massive lunch of rice and beans.  We were so hot, we couldn’t think about eating, but the Kenyans ate heartily!  We were humbled by their generosity, and their joy at seeing us when they are struggling so much.

We stayed on Rusinga overnight, and the next day caught the ferry over to Mfangano Island.  The ferry ride took about 2 hours, and was lovely and cool, and very picturesque.  The car had a little trouble getting onto the ferry, and also travelling the roads of the island.  We gave up and walked in the end.  About 35 minutes in 35 degree heat.  The Kenyans barely raised a sweat!

Once again, the people were so happy to see us, and overly generous with the food.  John spoke and they sang for us and presented me with my very own chook.  Apparently, this is quite an honour, and not to be refused! Paul graciously carried it back to the car, and threw it into the back, where it stayed overnight, and into the next day when in the evening his wife cooked it up for us while John took some teaching sessions at Nyakore.  Not quite KFC, but not bad!

Paul and his wife Mary travelled back with us to Migori, where we all stayed at a Motel.  Very fancy, even a pedestal toilet.  The next morning we set off to Noara.  It was Sunday, and we were welcomed and included in their amazing three-hour church service.  After the service, they asked John to speak.   During lunch afterwards we heard stories of their challenges and struggles.  Lots of people are turning to the church for help at this time.  They have received some help through our famine relief program, and we told them more was on the way.  It is very challenging to us to see how people who have so little can be so joyful, and give so much of their time to praising the Lord.

We then headed off to Rongo.  Rongo is one of the key centres of our work.  There is an orphanage and Bible School there.  There is also a little cottage, which was our home for three nights while John spoke in the Bible school, and we visited surrounding areas.

Rongo is also one of the centres for the distribution of famine relief.  Daniel heads up the orphanage, and has also taken on the role of distributing funds and famine relief for that area.  Many donors have been quite generous, and we have sent through two lots of funding already.  Maize is being bought in bulk at the cheapest prices possible, stored safely, and then distributed as needed.  We have enough funds to send off a third amount shortly.  The distribution is taking place from the churches, and we heard stories as we travelled about people who were coming along to the church and having a change of attitude during this difficult time.  Please pray that this generous giving by the Lord’s people will touch many lives, and there will also be a great harvest of souls.

AAA provided funds for Daniel to attend an agricultural training course a couple of years ago, and he has implemented the techniques he learned.  Different methods of planting, and cultivating the ground have really improved his yield.  His maize is doing well, and people are even stealing it because they believe he has magic seeds!   Educating the people, as well as convincing them to plant other crops, particularly more drought resistant ones, will help sustain them during further difficult seasons.

Easter is conference time in Kenya, and we spread ourselves around three different areas to distribute food, and John did some teaching at each conference.  We visited with William and Sarah and their children, also with Joash and Winne, Geoffin and Jackie.  We also visited with James and Lucy.  We were asked to pray for rain in churches, in homes and in fields.  We always pointed them to the Lord, and encouraged them to lean on Him. 

Our two-week visit was over.  We headed back to Nairobi, and spent two days there, to catch up with the Emmaus workers, and help in the Bible school.  The day we left it rained, and rained and rained.  Good soaking rain.  Thanks be to God! 

Kenya will need more rain if this crop is to yield a good harvest in August, and of course we will need to help sustain them through until then.  We are grateful for your interest, and generosity at such a difficult time.

Please remember our dear brothers and sisters in prayer.  Please pray that the Lord will sustain and comfort them, and that they will be such a shining light that others will want to know their Lord as well.




Kenya Drought/Famine 2017

Report from Sean and Sarah MacDonald


On Friday, March 3rd, 2017, we arrived in Kenya, staying in Nairobi for one night.  The next day, Saturday, we flew to Kisumu where we met Daniel and Damaris Ochieng, our hosts for the trip.  Daniel and Damaris are Kenyan believers who live by faith serving the church in Kenya and operating an orphanage in their town of Rongo.

Daniel's plan for our stay was to meet with as many believers as possible, in the hardest hit areas of the drought, to distribute food, and fellowship around the word of God for the encouragement of the suffering.  An emphasis was placed on meeting the needs of orphans and widows.

Food was bought in bulk, through Kenyan believers so as not to pay "Musungo" (white man) prices.  Sacks of maize and beans were purchased, as well as sugar, salt and soap in bulk.  Each needy person was given two "tins" (a small ice-cream sized container 's worth) of maize, and one or two tins of beans depending on the area and how many beans were left.  One kilogram of salt and one kilogram of sugar, plus one long bar of soap were also placed in the bag.  Children were given a handful of candy as a treat.  Each morning we would pick up the sacks of food and goods and drive to an area where several churches were asked to gather in order to save time and make distribution easier.

On Sunday, March 5th: We met with believers from five area assemblies and remembered the Lord around the bread and wine (Coca-Cola).  The meeting was lovely with one brother translating for us and the Kenyan believers singing in their traditional African way, which was beautiful and refreshingly lively.  After the meeting we were reassembled in a tent outside, as the tin sheet building the assembly uses was too hot to continue in. After a time of sharing in song and praise, as well as some reports from the surrounding assemblies, Sean spoke to the gathered believers. The message seemed well received and understood.  The day continued with a lunch of rice and beans for all who attended, which was cooked by the women of the church in a hut on the property over an open fire.  The lunch was paid for by the relief funds as there were many there who were suffering and hungry. After lunch we distributed food by laying out a tarp and dumping the beans and maize on it. A local woman would scoop out the tins of dry goods into each bag, and another would place the sugar, salt and rice in the second bag. Then the believers would form a line and be handed the two bags of goods to take home. This would be the system used to distribute the food in each place.

It's worth saying three things here:  One, the believers were extremely happy to receive this gift.  Many of them had come to the end of not only their food sources, but also had, out of necessity, eaten the bean rations that they would have normally used for planting in the next season.   Many were very concerned about what they would do next, and had cried out to the Lord for relief.  Two, our host Daniel was very clear to express to the believers that their relief had come from the Lord who cares for them all.  It was not man who had answered their prayer, but God who had moved in the hearts of His people in response to their pleas for help.  We were very encouraged by this expression of faith and his desire for the people to acknowledge the Lord's practical and powerful involvement in their lives and His power to answer their prayers.  Thirdly, having had about $6,500 Canadian dollars to bring for the relief effort, which we were so pleased to bring and grateful to the Lord for those who gave, we thought that we would be giving food to every believer we met. This was not the case, as it became apparent that though the funds were great, the need is even greater than can be imagined. Therefore, in order to be able to meet all of the most pressing needs throughout the week, only the saints with the most pressing needs were chosen to receive the food. The elders of each assembly chose the recipients and we were glad to see these men were aware of the needs of their flocks and wise to be able to fairly give to those who needed it most. Those chosen were mostly widows, some old and some young, and young people whose parent(s) was/were sick at home (often dying from AIDS) It was difficult to leave others behind who were also struggling, but not in the same dire need. The amount of need was surprising to us and somewhat overwhelming.

On Monday, March 6th: We travelled to meet three different assemblies in three different areas, each area being in a region without paved roads. Traveling to each place took several hours. It took us 4 hours to get home at night from the final destination itself. We visited a gold-mining area where the drought has been severe and the people don't have agricultural land to grow their food.  As scarcity rises, so do food prices, and so the effect of the famine is widespread.  These believers mine for gold in hand dug tunnels with no safety equipment or safeguards, as well as no guarantee their land has any gold at all.  The men dig, haul up the rocks and the women break them down and grind them in rotating drums, then wash the dust to look for gold.  Many men die in the tunnels due to collapse.  This leaves the women of this area (not necessarily the believers) in a bind, as they must find a man willing to dig, but with little or nothing with which to pay him. Thus, the promise of food and sex is payment, and so continues the cycle of disease and AIDS.  The church was small here, with about 15 people gathered, but they thanked God for the provision and responded gladly to Sean's encouragement of the Lord's return and His love for them.

We drove another couple of hours to meet with believers in a cow-dung, thatched roof hut where they meet the Lord together as a church.  This, and the next church were in areas where the drought/famine is severe and we were shocked at the land around us. The soil was so dry from no rains, that it was hard-packed, dusty and we actually drove over the farmlands to reach the church as nothing at all was growing. The cows in this area, as in others we saw, were bone-thin, the mothers being most pathetic with their starving calves following behind them hoping for milk which would not come. Cows wandered everywhere, searching for something to eat or drink. The church here (Mikei) greeted us with hope, looking quite desperate and needy. We were able to distribute food to each family, and also to give money for medicine to one boy who is showing signs of epilepsy. The money will provide for him and his mother to go to a doctor and get a proper diagnosis and treatment. Daniel has promised to follow up on the boy (Viklin) and his mother for us. At this place Sean also spoke the word of God and His encouragement, and prayed with the saints for rain. He was asked to pray for an older woman in another hut who is dying of ovarian cancer without the medicine necessary to treat her or ease her pain. At this assembly we were given two live chickens as a gesture of thanks from the believers. We accepted them gladly, as we knew it was a real sacrifice for them to give such a gift.  Both chickens were given to the orphans back in Rongo.

Our last stop for the day was the believers in the Bonde assembly. Though it was hard to imagine the situation being worse, it was worse here.

Literally nothing was growing at a time when Kenyans here should be weeding their crops.  There is no hope of a second planting here, as there is in other areas where the rains are beginning to come.  The believers greeted us with song and we distributed the food.  Sean spoke again to them and prayed again with them for rain.  The food was gladly accepted and we were humbled by the gratitude of the believers; they are truly suffering and in a dangerous situation.  More help will certainly be needed as starvation is an actual threat in this area.

Tuesday, March 7th:  We met with a church that is mostly comprised of widows whose husbands have died of AIDS and most of whom are dying of AIDS themselves. There were about 40 women present, of all ages, and many young children.  One young woman is in such an advanced stage of AIDS that she had to be carried to the meeting.  We were served a meal of sliced white bread, nuts and tea, which we ate understanding that it was a sacrifice for them to provide this much food for us, when many of them are down to one meal a day for them and their children.  Sean spoke here again, and the women listened intently, again responding with great joy to the promise of the Lord's return and their home in heaven.  As with each other place, they also received with joy the word of God that they are loved despite the trials and suffering they are enduring.  We distributed the food, and they were very grateful that the Lord had heard their cries and answered with provision.

In the afternoon we were allowed a short visit with the women in the Migori Prison. About 30 women gathered, some of whom are saved. Sean gave a gospel message and a word of encouragement to those who are saved. The women sang us some Kenyan songs with great joy, despite their circumstances.  We passed each one of them a bar of soap and a package  of sanitary napkins, both things they are not provided unless someone from the outside does so.

Wednesday, March 8th: Two assemblies were visited on Wednesday, both of them being across Lake Victoria. We took a 'Waterbus" across the lake with our supplies. On the other side of the lake we spent some time hiring motorcycle drivers to take us and the supplies into the bush on roads otherwise impassable. For the remainder of the way, some Kenyan believers and Sean carried the rest of the supplies up into the bush. The believers were waiting there with a meal of fish from the lake, maize and tea. Again, we ate it thankfully knowing it was a sacrifice for them to provide it. Sean spoke and then we distributed food. We were gifted a live chicken that made the hike and motorcycle trip with us back to the lake, and came on the waterbus with us as well. It was eventually given to the orphans back in Rongo, when we returned that night.

The second assembly we met with that day gathered in a school.  About 100 school children stayed for the meeting, and Sean gave them a gospel message as well as a message for the adults of hope and encouragement. Another meal of maize and fish was provided and the children were given candy.

Thursday, March 9th:  Three churches gathered together in the bush to meet us in Maasai land.  The Maasai tribe is traditionally nomadic, relying on their cows and sheep, which are now suffering due to lack of pasture. As the crops fail, and the rains do not come, staples like maize, which the Maasai have to buy are rising in cost quickly.  We were able to meet the believers here for a small meal in a cow-dung hut.  A freshly killed sheep was served to us with tea and rice.   Sean spoke to the believers who again responded joyfully to the message and were thankful for the word of God and the promise of His return. We were, through translation, told we were welcome to the Maasai lands any time now, and were told we were to consider ourselves   “safe” to be there. As civil war is beginning to erupt over pastureland in other tribal areas, this was a great honor.  After the Maasai believers sang and danced for us, they gifted us their traditional blankets (one for each of us) that they wear all the time, and Sarah was given two beaded bracelets.  The food we distributed here was a welcome surprise, as Daniel had only told the believers we would be bringing a gift, and not what the gift was. The food was welcome and the believers were very happy to receive it.  On the way home, we were surprised to see a herd of wild zebras beside the road.

The orphanage: Daniel and Demaris are to be commended for the work they do with the orphans.  They have about 50 orphans in their care, ranging from 4 years old and up to 19 or 20 years.  They care deeply for the orphans and their lives, and were keen to always tell these precious children that God loves them very much. The orphanage sits on some land that was bought for Daniel and Demaris several years ago. They seek to become self-sufficient, so as not to have to rely on outside help for sustenance if they can.  It is a real act of faith on their part, as they simply rely on the Lord to provide. There is a school on the property, as well as gardens for food and some cows and chickens. The orphans work the land and care for the livestock. They also make their own bricks to build their buildings. Some of the older orphans learn tailoring (they made Sarah a dress and Sean a shirt as a surprise) as a marketable skill, others are being taught welding and all of the welding needed for the orphanage is done there. Daniel and Demaris raise the orphans here and try to establish them back in their own villages when they are adults. They fight for them to receive back any land their deceased parents may have had a right to, and then try to establish them in a trade or occupation there. They hope the orphan children take the gospel back to their villages and affect Kenya for Christ. As much as possible, they follow up with some of the orphans who have grown up and moved away. It is a good work, and worthy of support.

We were blessed in exceeding abundance to be able to meet with Kenyan believers and minister to their needs through the money given.  The need is great; it was shocking to see that what we thought was a large amount of provision was truly only a drop in the bucket as far as the needs of the believers there.  Money was largely used for food, but some of the money had to go to transportation for the food (motorcycle drivers, boat, men who loaded the boat, fuel for a hired car, money for a driver), especially for places in the bush and off-road.  Some money was given for medicine for the sick and some money was left for the support of the orphans whose needs are also great and who, in Kenyan society, are often at the bottom of the food chain, so to speak.  We were humbled by the kind reception we were given at each place and often moved to tears by the gratitude shown for a bag of maize and beans.  We were challenged in practical prayer, simply asking God for rain for those who need it so badly. The children of the villages were adorable but also heart wrenching.  Many had no clothes, were very dirty and hungry. Children were often found to be trying to do odd jobs on their school lunch hour just to earn a couple of shillings: gathering sticks for firewood, digging sand, making bricks, or other jobs. They would then return to school hungry again. There is much need, it is too vast to address in any meaningful, human way. We must believe that God is greater than the need and watching out for His people.

The believers in each place send their kind greetings to the churches in Canada and to the believers who helped them this trip. They asked specifically in each place that we all would remember them in prayer before God and ask Him to send rain. They promised to remember you all in prayer as well and look forward to meeting you all in glory. We are excited at the thought of what glory will be for those who faced such poverty here.

If you have any questions, just ask.  We are no experts on Kenya, Africa or famine, but we'll do our best to describe to you what we saw and did.

In Christ,

Sean and Sarah MacDonald


 

 

 





So little for so many. Let us cry to the Lord for His supply.



Report on Visit to Kenya - Dec 2012

In December 2012, John Melville, the Australian co-ordinator for the Assembly Aid Abroad ministry along with another elder, Lindsay Cruickshank from the Buderim Assembly in Australia, and George Khalil from Nazareth, Israel (Emmaus Director and Arabic Language Co-ordinator) visited the assembly work muslimin Kenya. 

“George arrived in Nairobi a day earlier than John and Lindsay and was met by Jacob Varghese (an Indian missionary commended by the Dallas assembly).  The following day John and Lindsay arrived and were met by Emmaus director for Kenya, Lazarus Kisau.  We all stayed with Lazarus and his wife Jane and their three boys and enjoyed their wonderful hospitality over the next few days.

On the Sunday after we arrived George visited believers gathered at Witeithie from several local assemblies and had the opportunity to minister the Word to them.  Lindsay and John visited the assembly at Tena where Lindsay ministered the Word. 

We taught in a number of short term Bible Schools, which are held three times per year in three main centres. The first was at Githurai near Nairobi.  There were about 30 students.  George taught on the subject of “Discipleship” and Lindsay on “the Attributes and Character of God.”  It was encouraging to see young people who have a desire to understand God’s word and in turn teach others and also take responsibility within their own local assemblies.  Each day after the teaching sessions, the students were given work to do, and after working together in groups, then presented their answers to the rest of the students.  

Whilst some of the main roads in Kenya are improving, most of the roads are not good and many are dirt roads that become difficult to drive on, particularly during times of rain.  One such road was off the main highway on the way to Githurai, and we were glad of the local help to get us out of trouble. (see photo)

After the teaching in Nairobi, we travelled about ten hours overnight by bus to Busia, a town on the border with Uganda.   We just had time to wash and change our clothes before heading off on the back of motorbikes to the chapel to start the teaching.  There were about 20 students, and it was encouraging to see some come from the neighbouring assemblies in Uganda.  On one of the evenings we were also able to show an evangelistic film, borrowing electricity from a neighbour by way of a long power cord (with no sockets, just bare wires!). 

The AAA 4WD Hilux arrived for us to be able to drive it from Busia to the mission centre in Rongo in Nyanza province, some seven hours drive away.   We had teaching at the short term Bible school in Rongo where there were about 30 students, with George and Lindsay taking up the .   George and John also travelled each day to the orphanage just outside the township where a week-long youth camp was held.  About 270 young people were present for the teaching sessions.  George taught on the subject of “2 Timothy” and John on “Youth and the Bible.”  

On the following Sunday we set off to Nyagacho to have fellowship with James Omwando and the local assemblies gathered together there for the day.  (James was the one who originally invited Albert to come to Kenya).   After the breaking of bread, Lindsay took the Bible teaching session, which was followed by a very enjoyable presentation of singing and dancing from a number of assembly choirs.  We then walked down the hill from the chapel to visit the orphanage (approx. 50 children) run by brother James and his wife Lucy.

After leaving Nyagacho we travelled to Nyakeyo where two assemblies had begun after a previous visit to Nyagacho by John together with Jacob and Suzy Varghese. Previously, on the way to Nyagacho the 4WD vehicle they were travelling in had a breakdown at Nyakeyo.  Whilst waiting for mechanics to arrive, they began to preach to the crowd who gathered on the roadside, resulting in the beginning of the work there.  

We showed a film powered by generator (as there is no power there), and afterwards John preached to the people who sat outside on the hillside, before finishing quickly as a tropical rainstorm began.  It was good to see a number of converts there who had been saved after the showing of a film on an earlier visit, going on for the Lord.

After a late lunch at one of the elders house, we travelled another couple of hours on very rough road arriving at the Maasai town of Kilgoris.  Early the next morning we set off for a visit to the Maasai Mara Game Reserve.  We had a Kenyan brother, Joshua Seroi with us and stopped off on the way at the Lolgorian hospital to visit his young son who was suffering from Malaria, an all too common occurrence in that part of the world!  We set out, again on very rough roads, some of which were very wet after overnight rains.  The locals once again were on hand to help us get out of the black mud and we finally arrived at the Game Reserve somewhat later than we intended.   The variety of animals roaming freely in this game park is truly spectacular and after seeing most of the animals in under three hours we set out again for home (Rongo), wanting to make it before any further rain.

After the Bible teaching on the Wednesday afternoon we travelled to Magongo, near the Tanzanian border to visit a new assembly planted there about twelve months ago.  There are now about eighty believers who gather there plus many children and teenagers.  George and Lindsay took the teaching sessions there, followed by a film showing in the evening.  We stayed the night there in the chapel accompanied by six young brothers some of whom stayed up the whole night guarding us and the vehicle!

The following morning we set out for Nyakore, a town near Lake Victoria, where Paul Ado lives with his family in a small one room house.   He is the regional Emmaus co-ordinator for the whole area of Nyanza and Western provinces.   He has been used of the Lord to plant various assemblies in the area of Lake Victoria and now since moving to Nyakore, there is now an assembly there as well.  We were able to show a film there to about fifty adults and children in the newly built chapel.   Arriving back to Paul’s house for lunch a young man came to Paul asking if we could go to see his brother who was very ill in one of the adjacent buildings.  John and Paul went to see his brother and talked with him also sharing the gospel, before praying with him.  This very sick young man made a profession of faith in Christ then, although his brother seemed unmoved.   We provided some funds to get the young man to hospital where he was diagnosed with AIDS.   He has subsequently passed away and we trust his profession was real and one day we will be together in glory.  His brother is now coming sometimes to the meetings, and we are praying for his salvation.

We then headed off for the major regional town of Migori, where we visited a prison.  Paul has many students in that region as well as a thriving Emmaus ministry in the local prisons there.   We were able to preach to half of the male prison population (about 125 prisoners) before presenting certificates to one of the prisoners and one of the guards who had both completed twenty-four Emmaus courses.  We were also able to give soap and toilet paper to the prisoners.   The government does not generally provide these types of things, and unless the families of the prisoners provide them, they go without.   The prisoners were very appreciative.    We finally were back on the road to the Rongo Centre, but arrived later than expected due to a tyre puncture. 

The next day was a Saturday and we had the wonderful experience of attending a Kenyan wedding.  We were told to get there at 10am only to be told on the way that there was a small delay.  During the “delay” various choirs sang and danced, waiting for the bridal party to arrive.  Finally at 1pm the bridal party arrived.  The eight groomsmen and three page boys danced their way up the aisle, followed by the eight bridesmaids and three flower-girls, which took almost one hour.  The formal wedding ceremony then began conducted by brother Daniel Ochieng with the message given by John.   Photos outside followed this, before gathering together inside again for some more entertainment and then a meal.  We arrived back at the centre at about 5:30pm.

The next morning, a Sunday, we headed off for the breaking of bread meeting at a conference with several assemblies near the Tanzanian border at a place called Karedford.  A trip that should of taken 2.5 hours took us over three hours after some wrong turns.  The meeting began at 10am, before we arrived and after a time of worship and remembrance we broke bread together, followed by ministry given by brother George.  This was then followed by introductions of the elders (and their wives) from the various assemblies who all had something to say.  By 3:15pm John asked William, one of the elders if they were going to eat, as we needed to leave by 4pm to get back to Rongo before evening.  William quickly organised “lunch” and we ate and said goodbye to the believers and headed back to Rongo. 

After another morning of teaching, we headed to Kisumu on Lake Victoria where we stayed overnight before a short flight to Nairobi and then onto Australia (for John and Lindsay) and Israel (for George).   We thank the Lord for the wonderful time of fellowship and for the privilege of seeing what the Lord is doing in Kenya and for being a small part of that work. Praise God!”

 

An open door

What we have seen is that by empowering and equipping the African workers and giving them support, a great increase in souls saved and assemblies planted has followed.  It has been shown that the Africans are generally better at this than we are, and the need of resident missionaries today not as great as in times past.  There is however a great opportunity to partner with this assembly work through prayer and giving as the Lord provides.  Also there are opportunities for volunteers to visit Kenya to help in Bible teaching, working with the orphans, help with building projects, medical mission work and many other needs.

Now is the hour of opportunity for Africa before Western culture moves the people away from their openness and simplicity towards the things of God.  

© 2017 Assembly Aid Abroad