Sunday, October 29, 2017

Continue to pray for Kenya

The Kenyan election that took place the 8th of August and was then overturned by the supreme court was held again on this past Thursday the 26th October.   This time the controversy over the election is even greater than the first time.  Two weeks before the election the challenger, Raila Odinga, withdrew himself from the election stating that the supreme court mandated changes to the election process had not been done and the election was going to be nothing more than a sham.  Therefore, he would not participate in an election with a predetermined outcome. 

The electoral commission would not allow him to withdrawal his name, so he in turn asked his supporters to not vote.  On election day there was trouble in much of the opposition areas and the tension all over the country was high.  There are unconfirmed reports of 70 people killed during the election. The chaos was so great in some areas that four whole counties where not able to vote at all.  The votes are still being counted but it seems that most of the opposition supporters followed the dictate of their leaders and did not vote.  The president's vote total seems to be much lower than the first election with reports of only 35 percent voter turnout.

On the eve of the election, Raila Odinga called a press conference for a major announcement telling the country that he was disbanding his political party NASA and was transforming them into the National Resistance Movement NRM.  They would from that day forward be a resistant movement that would resist everything the government does.  Basically, the desire is to make the country ungovernable and force another election with the changes he desires.

Elections in Kenya have always been tribal affairs and unfortunately this election has caused the tribal tension to rise to unprecedented levels.  The rhetoric on both sides are abominable.  People who should know better are saying things and posting things on social media that are divisive and ugly.  I have never seen a time in Kenya that the tribal divisions are as great as they are today, and many Kenyans have told me that the hatred being displayed between certain people groups has reached a level never seen before. 

The economy has shut down for many, the Kenyan people are hurting, yet some continue following their leaders like sheep to the slaughter. It's time that Kenya had some leaders that would put the whole nations interest ahead of their own interest. Unfortunately, the current leaders don't seem to understand that important part of leadership.

Despite the current situation there are those who are standing for what is right.  There are preachers and churches that are going against the tide and consistently loving people and have not allowed themselves to be swayed by the politics of the day.  It is these preachers and churches that must continue to set the example and be a light that others can follow.

Continue to pray for the people of Kenya and especially the pastors and churches.  I am especially appreciative of Pastor Justus Oloo, co-pastor of the Grace Bible Baptist Church, who continues to set an example of pastoring a mixed tribal church and leading them to remain unified despite what others are doing around them. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017



The Kenyan Presidential elections were held on the 8th of August and the voting process was conducted peaceably.  As the country awaited the results there were some obvious apprehension on the outcome, but overall it could not have gone much better.  After the counting of the ballots, the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner. Half the country broke out into celebration and the other half went into mourning.  There were some isolated riots of protest and a lot of tension as the country waited to see what the losing candidate, Raila Odinga, would do.  Would he accept the outcome or would he incite his followers?  He had begun indicating that he would not accept the outcome but was silent on what he was going to do.  Tension was rising and people were worried.  It forced us to cancel all of our Bible College sessions as people needed to stay near their homes in case the worse happened.

Surprisingly, to most people, Raila Odinga took his issues with the election to court and said he was willing to accept the verdict of the supreme court.  Most of Kenya believing the court would accept the results of the election were ready to get on with their day to day living.  On the 1st of September the Supreme Court of Kenya shocked the continent of Africa and for the first time ever in Africa, ruled that the election was nullified because it had not been conducted correctly according the  Kenyan constitution.  According to the ruling a new election has to be held within 45 days.  This new election is now scheduled to take place on the 26th of October.

The tension in Kenya has now risen tremendously because of these events.  In our twenty years living in Kenya I have not seen the tribal hatred and animosity as great as it is now.  I have read and heard things said that are very dangerous.  There are people on both sides of the political spectrum that have indicated that they will not be willing to accept defeat in this next election.  The president is furious at the supreme court and has used language against it that is very provocative. The challenger has indicated that he will not allow the election to go forward if reforms in the election process are not done first.  Obviously in the short amount of time before the election date this is close to impossible.

The Grace Bible Baptist Church has many different tribes represented in the membership that are on the opposite side of the political spectrum.  The church remains unified and continues holding special prayer meetings to help ensure the unity remains.  Please continue to be in prayer for the nation of Kenya as this election process goes forward.  The chances of trouble have greatly increased.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


One week from today, August 8th, nearly 19 million Kenyans will go to the poll to vote on a president.  Elections in Kenya are always a tense exercise and this election seems to be no different.

It was almost 10 years ago when a Kenyan election very nearly turned into a genocidal war.  Thousands were killed, tens of thousands injured and hundreds of thousands lost everything except their life.  God graciously pulled the country of Kenya back right before she went over the cliff.  Kenya is still suffering and recovering from that election.

We do not believe that this election will be a repeat of 2007 but unfortunately as we get closer to the election date the tension amongst some in the country is growing.  Most Kenyans want nothing more than peace but at times politicians and tribal kingpins have a way of causing people to not think clearly.

In the last couple of days there have been some disturbing events that have taken place that have caused great concern.  Kenya has gone to an electronic voting system for this election.  The man given the task of overseeing this system and ensuring that all the necessary precautions were in place for the vote to be credible was found tortured and then murdered.   There was no effort made to camouflage this killing as an accident, his body was dumped in a place where he was sure to be found.  The killers seemed determined to send a chilling message that they will stop at nothing to ensure the outcome they desire.

We have been meeting together as a church each Saturday morning over the past month asking God for peace in the country and unity in the church.  It has been a special time of prayer for the church and we will continue these prayer meetings as long as necessary.  

We ask that you continue to pray for this election and specifically that God’s hand of protection will be upon all the churches, that they will remain unified regardless of tribal identity.   



Thursday, July 20, 2017

July-August 2017 Prayer Letter

Dear Praying Friends,                                                                                         

On Tuesday the 8th of August Kenya will be going to the polls to elect a new president.   Elections in Africa always seem to have the potential to be volatile and Kenya is no exception.  You may recall that in December 2007, Kenya held an election that went terribly wrong.  It resulted in thousands of deaths and nearly culminated in an all out civil war.  Nakuru, where we live, was at the epicenter of some of the worst violence.   As this election nears we are asking for you to make praying for the Kenyan election a priority.  We are not predicting a repeat of 2007, however there are those who have been saying that the possibility for violence exists.  Almost daily the newspapers are warning people to remain vigilant and have even mapped out areas of potential trouble.  Nakuru, as it always seems, is on that list of a potential trouble area.  As a church we have been meeting together every Saturday morning at 6:30 for a time of special prayer and will continue doing so until after the election.   Our desire is not only to see unity remain in the country, but also unity in the church as we are a church of many different tribes.  We will be posting updates concerning the election on our blog–
I recently returned from a ten day trip to Congo which saw us take that long boat ride to the village of Kazimia.  Praise the Lord, there is a new and a bit more comfortable boat available than the last few times I went.  It’s still a long, hard trip but much more bearable.  We held a week of Bible College classes, teaching on Baptist Church Polity.  In all we had ten churches represented with nearly sixty people taking the class.  It was again an amazing yet humbling experience.  The zeal and dedication and long suffering of the Congolese people, especially those in the trouble areas, is something I can never get over.

Thursday, March 16, 2017


On Sunday the 26th of March the Grace Bible Baptist Church will be celebrating their 20th anniversary.  God allowed us to see this church organized in the very early days of our time in Kenya. This church was birthed by our sending church, the Cleveland Baptist Church.
We have a special service planned and are expecting a couple thousand people in attendance.  We have not tried to have a big day in attendance since our building dedication in 2004.  On that day the crowd was so large we could not effectively minister to all who were on the property.  Since that time we have focused more on building people into a spiritual mature body then on trying to have high attendance days.  We always have visitors and our average attendance is over 400 each Sunday, but our emphasis has been on equipping our people spiritually to properly serve the Lord.  I believe that it is partly because of this decision that God has allowed the Grace Bible Baptist Church to have ministries far beyond what we ever imagined possible.
Preaching for us on this very special day in the history of this church will be our pastor, Kevin Folger.  We are excited that he will again be able to visit Kenya and see all that God has done in this land through a church that was birthed by the Cleveland Baptist Church.  He will also be traveling to the churches in Burundi and DRCongo.
The Grace Bible Baptist Church has birthed dozens of churches in several different countries, been a leader in promoting the cause of missions in Kenyan churches, and setting an example in both giving to missions and sending missionaries.  The church through their missions giving program has given over $115,000 to missions and regularly sends its members to other countries.  The church understands that missions is not just the obligation of “rich” churches, but it is also to be their purpose and biblical mandate
Much preparation is being done for this day but the most important part of that preparation will take place this Friday night.  The church will be holding an ALL NIGHT prayer meeting as we pray for many visitors to attend and for the Holy Spirit to convict those present and bring them to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.  We will be praying by name for family members, neighbors and friends who have been invited to come to this service.
Although we do not expect others to join us in an all night prayer service, we are asking others to join us in prayer for the 20th anniversary service of the Grace Bible Baptist Church.  Please be part of that prayer team, praying for God to move mightily in Nakuru, Kenya on the 26th of March.