Tuesday, August 9, 2016

CHOIR CLINIC-MUSIC SEMINAR IN BURUNDI



Recently several of our men led by Pastor Justus Oloo traveled to Burundi to conduct a two day choir clinic/ music seminar. The seminar was held in Bujumbura, Burundi and was attended by members of several churches in DRCongo along with the host church the Bible Baptist Church of Bujumbura, Burundi.

Most here in Africa have been so greatly influenced by their own culture, the charismatic movement and the world when it comes to the music in their churches that often times when you visit a church you can tell little difference between the church and the dance hall. 

When we began the churches in DRCongo and Burundi we made the decision that we would not use musical instruments until the time the people began having a basic understanding of Biblical music.  Over time we have slowly begun using instruments in a way that promotes Godliness and not worldliness.

Pastor Oloo was able to teach part of a course that we teach in the Bible College concerning Godly music as we continue to lay the foundation for strong Biblical music in our churches.  Bro. George Mbugua, who leads our choir in the Grace Bible Baptist Church, accompanied him and together along with the assistance of a few others, were able to teach some good, Godly, doctrinal songs to be used by their church choirs.

Pastor Oloo, Pastor Kambi (Burundi) and bro. George Mbugua
This outreach into DRCongo and Burundi is part of our missions program, Grace to the Regions Beyond.  We are thankful for the sacrifice of our people in both their giving and their willingness to go to difficult places like Burundi.  In part because of that sacrifice there is a church in Burundi that desires to be Biblical in their music. 

Group picture

video
                                                 Practicing a song
                               (Listen closely- you might hear a goat singing along with the choir)





Wednesday, July 20, 2016

July-August 2016 Prayer Letter



WORK PERMIT
I applied for our work permit renewal in January in anticipation for it to be ready when our current one expired in March.  Unfortunately when March came the work permit was not ready.  Since that time I have made numerous trips to the immigration department in Nairobi and to my dismay I am now told they can’t find my file.  I was asked to write a letter of complaint so that they could begin an official investigation to find my file!.  Please make this issue a matter of prayer.  I do not believe that there is any trouble in the permit being issued, it is just a matter of disorganization.  Unfortunately not having the permit has added to us the additional burden and cost of staying in the country on tourist visas.  It has also made it impossible for me to travel to Congo and Burundi as those countries will not issue me with a visa because the status of my Kenyan permit. 

SOUTH SUDAN
The situation in South Sudan seems to be going from bad to worse.  In the past few days fighting has erupted in the capital city Juba, between forces aligned with the president against forces aligned with the vice president.  As is the case many times in Africa the fighting has taken on a tribal influence.  Just in the last two days several hundred citizens have been killed.  If things continue as they have over the last few days then a civil war is imminent.  The Peter Kosgei family is in the process of going to South Sudan as missionaries but the turmoil in the country keeps delaying our plans.  We still plan, Lord willing, to take another survey trip to South Sudan later this year. Please keep this issue a matter of urgent prayer.

RIFT VALLEY BAPTIST COLLEGE
The Bible College ministry is a vital part of our training program for both those called into the ministry and to strengthen the churches with members who can handle the Word of God properly.   The college has now been in existence for eighteen years and we have seen much fruit and believe that it is “fruit that will remain”.  We often have guest lectures travel from the United States to teach a class or two.  We would like to give an open invitation to any Pastors, Assistant Pastors, or any others who are skilled in handling the Word of God to come over and help us.  The classes meet during the months of April, August and December.  It would require a week of your time and you would teach in the “block” format.  It would be a blessing to both the teacher and the learner.  Please contact me for any additional information.

May-June 2016 Prayer Letter



GRADUATIONS
In May both Amanda and Timothy graduated from Heartland Baptist Bible College. Timothy graduated with a major in Missions and Amanda graduated with a dual major in Elementary Education and Missions.  Timothy will be attending graduate school for the next two years and Amanda has been hired by the Lighthouse Baptist Church in Theodore, Alabama, to teach second grade in their Christian school.  As an added blessing Amanda was named Valedictorian of her class with a 4.0 GPA. We are thrilled that all of our children love God and desire to serve Him. 

WEDDING
Two days after graduation Timothy married the young lady God had prepared for him.  It was a blessing to watch how God brought them together during Timothy’s senior year. We are excited to welcome Amanda into the family and look forward to seeing what God has in store for them as they continue to seek His will.


RIFT VALLEY BAPTIST COLLEGE
We had a wonderful first term session in the Bible College. I am more convinced today then ever before that we need to continue expanding our efforts to see people properly trained in the doctrines of the Bible. With almost forty churches sending students to the college, we are able to have a vast influence in seeing that Kenyan churches have properly trained believers.  As an added blessing, we had our highest attendance yet in our deaf branch of the college with twelve students.


Amanda receiving her diploma

Timothy receiving his diploma

Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Mickey

February-March 2016 Prayer Letter



GRACE TO THE REGIONS BEYOND
One of the most satisfying part of the ministry in Kenya has been seeing the maturing of the Grace Bible Baptist Church in the area of missions.  This maturing has not only been in the area of giving financially but also an ever increasing burden to reach the neighboring countries that can be some of the most difficult physically to reach.  The church has also been able to encourage other churches to become involved in missions and has been instrumental in getting missions programs established in several Kenyan churches.  We now have a number of Kenyan churches that have begun financially supporting our mission program, Grace to the Regions Beyond.  God continues to open new doors of opportunity for us.  Not long ago a former Kenyan missionary who was pastoring in West Virginia, Pastor Scott Hall, surrendered to come back to Kenya to specifically help the Grace Bible Baptist Church in its outreach into these countries.  We are excited that with his help we will be able to reach into more areas in these countries.

GRACE TO SOUTH SUDAN
We continue to train Brother Peter Kosgei and his wife for their eventual move to South Sudan as missionaries.  South Sudan is in a difficult condition at the moment with a terrible civil war being fought. We have nearly 50 South Sudanese students in our Christian School that allows Peter to interact with them personally. We hope to take a second survey trip with Peter to South Sudan later in the year.

GRACE TO CONGO
We continue to have men from the Grace Bible Baptist Church in Congo at all times.  The churches are continuing to grow spiritually and the Bible College continues to train men.  We had some problems with our original registration with the Congo government that required us to start the process anew.  Thankfully God intervened and allowed us to get registered properly both on the local level and district level.  We are now beginning the process of extending the registration to a national level.  This part of the registration seems to be much more costly and time consuming.

GRACE TO BURUNDI
Please pray for the country of Burundi!  Last spring the president decided to defy the constitution and the peace agreement that brought an end to the civil war by running for a third term.  Because of tribalism he won easily, but since that time the country as been teetering on a civil war.  Some are saying that if something is not done soon the world will have another genocide on its hand.  Nearly 300,000 people have fled the country and are now in displacement camps, most living in horrid conditions.  Nightly both government and rebel forces are slaughtering innocent people.  I have been to Burundi four times since the trouble started and have seen this for myself.  Every night we could hear the battles being fought and in the morning bodies of innocent people would be found on the streets.  Assassinations and targeted killings have become the norm.  In spite of this, the Independent Baptist Church of Bujumbura and Pastor Kambi continue to do well.  Although half the church has fled because of the trouble, those that remain continue to grow spiritually and the spirit of the church remains strong.  I have preached for them several times over the last few months and am always amazed and encouraged when I am with them.  I am scheduled to be with them twice over the next six weeks. Please remember these trips to Burundi in prayer.

Friday, February 19, 2016

January 2016 Prayer letter

                                                                                                

MISSIONS GIVING IN AFRICA
We arrived in Kenya on the 1st of January 1998, and later that year God allowed us to begin working with a small group of believers in Nakuru. A year later on the 5th of December 1999, the Grace Bible Baptist Church was organized out of the Cleveland Baptist Church.   After the church was organized we scheduled our first missions conference and introduced to the church the Biblical mandate of giving to missions.  We taught and preached about the Faith Promise plan of missions giving, believing that God could use this young church to give to missions.  Since that time, as the church’s burden grew, other ways of giving to missions have also been introduced. We just concluded our 16th year of missions giving and by the grace of God the church gave an all time high of 1,949,329 Kenyan Shillings to missions, which is nearly $20,000.  The average income of people in the church is about $150 per month.  Many in the church have made a real sacrifice to give to missions and God is using that sacrifice to allow the church to reach into the Regions Beyond with the Gospel. It is both a blessing and humbling to be involved with a church who has learned to give sacrificially to missions, even amongst their poverty. 

RESOURCE CENTER
One of the difficulties faced by Kenyan churches is access to resources that we often take for granted in the Western World.   Most often this is the result of a lack of finances or a lack of things not being available.  We have wanted for some time to start a ministry that would help provide some needed items to churches in order for them to more effectively reach people.  This last month we were able to officially open the “GRACE TO THE REGIONS BEYOND” resource center.   At this time we are able to provide, Bibles, Tracts, Discipleship material and Sunday School lessons to about forty churches who are affiliated with us through the Bible College.  We plan to add more items that can be provided to churches as the Lord enables.  We want to thank the Fellowship Baptist Church of Idamay, WV, for the burden to help with this project . Also, we want to thank Beams Bibles and Fellowship Tract League for the generous donation that has allowed us to begin this ministry.

YOUTH CONFERENCE
During the month of December we started the Rift Valley Baptist Youth Conference with nearly one hundred youth from five different churches in attendance.   We had several days of great fun and great preaching and we were very pleased with the results.  We plan to make the conference an annual event as we try to do more to strengthen the youth of our churches.  We would like to thank Brother Jerome Pittman, missionary to Sweden, for preaching the conference .

BLOG
As a reminder we have a blog where we publish different news items and updates.  Please take some time to visit the blog as a way to stay better updated on the ministry in Kenya and in the Regions Beyond.  The blog address is mickeystokenya.blogspot.com .


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2015 PRAYER LETTER



RIFT VALLEY BAPTIST COLLEGE
We just concluded our second term classes of the Bible College.  We have a good group of students from various places in Kenya that faithfully attend classes.  Through the years nearly fifty pastors have been trained in the college.  The college has expanded into various “divisions”.  Most of the students are in the English “division” but we also have a Swahili “division” and a deaf “division”.  There is also a satellite school that meets in Nairobi along with those that are meeting in Burundi and DR Congo. Our desire is to continue to expand the training opportunities by offering satellite classes in other parts of Kenya.  The preparation, planning, and teaching keeps us quite busy, but it also is a ministry that continues to bear much fruit.

DEAF MINISTRY
Several years ago God answered our prayer and sent someone to Kenya that had a burden to see deaf churches started.  Brother B.J. Cormier and his wife have labored tirelessly to train our people in the language of the deaf.  We have several that have become very proficient in sign language.  All of our services are now translated into sign language, and we have deaf that faithfully attend.  Last Sunday morning we had our highest deaf attendance ever, but more importantly, we saw our very first deaf make a profession of faith.  The deaf of Kenya have truly been neglected and we are excited that God is allowing our church to have a small part in reaching them.  When Ephraim got saved he immediately asked if we could give him a Bible.  Please pray for him as he grows.

BURUNDI
The situation in Burundi continues to be volatile.  Almost daily we hear of more trouble with reports of torture and killings.  I have taken several trips to Burundi in the last couple months to visit with the people of the Independent Baptist Church.  I am happy to report that they are staying strong and even in some ways thriving in the midst of the trouble.  Nearly half of their membership have fled the country and are now living in displacement camps in Rwanda, Tanzania, and Congo.  Pastor Kambi at this time has no plans to leave, believing that his place is with the people that remain.  In spite of the trouble, the work of the church has gone forward.  I was amazed to see the work that they continue to do on the building.  Since the beginning of the year they have completed the walls, windows and have put on the doors.  They have done all of this without any outside assistance.  They love their church and are sacrificially giving to see that their building is completed.   I will again be leaving in a few days to spend some time in both Burundi and Congo.  One purpose I have in visiting them so often is to be an encouragement to them but truthfully, I always return to Kenya with them being an encouragement to me.

Independent Bible Baptist Church- Bujumbura, Burundi