We had a really neat opportunity to visit a game park on Thursday. Here in Kenya they have sanctioned off thousands upon thousands of acres for the animals to stay within their natural habitat. You can pay and drive through the game park and look for the animals. The exciting part is that you never know what you might find or see. The animals are always moving and so you drive through out the game park and search for them. We were able to see lots of amazing animals—we hunted and hunted for lions, cheetahs, and leopards without any luck. We did see lots of zebras, cape buffalo, multiple kinds of gazelles, giraffe, monkeys, baboons and more. It was an adventure and we certainly enjoyed it.
Today we were able to spend the day visiting the local public elementary schools. We went and invited the children to join us at the Children’s crusade that we will be having tomorrow and Bethel Baptist Church in Outspan. Outspan is a new community a few miles outside of Eldoret which is growing quite quickly.
The Pastor of Bethel Baptist is John Thumbi. John has been our host for the last week and our Children’s crusade will be at his church. John has certainly endured tremendous trials through out his ministry. After he graduated from the Bible Institute he started a church in a city called Burnt Forest. He lived there for many years and eventually started a second church in the area. In April of 1994 his home was burned to the ground, he was shot in the backside with an arrow, and his family was missing for several days. John is a Kikuyu and the Kalenjin tribe has targeted the Kikuyu many times during the tribal clashes.
After his home was burned and he found his family they moved to Eldoret city proper where he stayed for several years. After a short time he started a new church in Annex (outside of Eldoret city). He & the missionary bought the plot and began building a church. He Pastored here from 2004 to 2008 until once again he was subjected to tribal clashes and was forced to move out of the Annex area. He gave the church to Pastor Attita so that the work of God could carry on—and Pastor Attita is a Luya and so he is not sought after like the Kikuyu’s are.
John spent several years working alongside other Pastors helping them start churches all over Kenya. He had a burning desire to Pastor again and when he moved to Outspan in Jan of 2014 he started another church and named it Bethel Bible Baptist. He & his church has managed to purchase a plot, build a small tin building and two small Kenyan bathrooms. They still need to raise a lot of money to finish the church—but the Kenyan’s are patient people. This project could take years and they will slowly-slowly-slowly give until it can be done.
We were able to give Pastor Thumbi enough money to purchase doors and windows for his new church. They were so excited! It was so exciting to be able to bless this new congregation and encourage them with this incredible gift.
We personally invited over 1,000 children to the crusade. It was fun & exhausting. Pray for tomorrow and it will require all of our energy to pull off the crusade. More importantly, prat that the children there will understand the gospel of Jesus Christ and will come to know him as their personal Lord and Savior.
Here is some insight from a few of our team members:
“Today we travelled to many different schools and invited the students to come to the crusade we are holding tomorrow. It’s so neat to see how excited the children are to see us, and they all smile with their bright smiles and wave with such enthusiasm it’s not difficult to tell that they are happy to have us in their presence. The school teachers are all so welcoming and have such a warm aura that just radiates through the schools. Although the schools in comparison to America have much, much less funding, the atmosphere is so fun. In Kenya, Christianity is allowed to be taught in the public school system, and this is so incredible and adds to the many ways that the peoples of Africa are more rich than those in America. Having the ability to preach the gospel in the public school system allows for a beautiful spread of Jesus’ word that can start at a very young age, and so much power comes with that in expanding God’s Kingdom early on. At the end of our visits, the Kenyan pastors would pray in Swahili, and although I could not understand the words being spoken, I could still feel the power behind the prayer. It was incredible to feel God even through the language barrier. God is so much greater than the separation we can feel by different languages, and it was so neat to be able to witness that first hand.” —Demi Holsman
“Since I have been in Africa I have had the most amazing opportunity to make some new friends. The first friend that I made was named Vicky. Vicky was an amazing friend. She taught me a few words of Swahilli and all about Kenya. One thing about Vicky i did not know was that she had been crippled. When Vicky was four years old her parents took her to an American missionary doctor and he fixed her leg so that she could walk again. I am so thankful God allowed my new friend the opportunity to walk. We ran & played together.” - Madelyn Priebe
“What’s the hold up, why aren't we bagging as fast as we should be?” For the past couple days I've heard this statement more than a time or two while preparing gift bags for the hundreds of children that are expected to attend the children’s crusade. Mastering the ancient method of an assembly line, my team and I were able to make nearly 2000 bags, each consisting of a pencil and a sharpener, an eraser, a book with 32 blank lined pages, crackers, 5 gum balls, and a unique toy. We have given these bags to all the children at the schools/orphanages we have visited. We will give over 1,000 of these gift bags tomorrow at the crusade.” —Caleb Honeycutt
Today every school we went to the children would say “God is good all the time—all the time God is good—It is his nature—Wow” We could not have said it any better.
FBC Kenya Mission Team