Summer 2018 Lodwar Pastors Conference

It is Tuesday evening in Kilgoris and we've got an impressive thunder and lightening storm going on outside.  I just realized that I forgot to tell you all about visiting the refugee camp at Kakuma last week so I'll catch you up.

Last Thursday, while Roger, Dan and Rob were still here, we took a trip to the U.N. Refugee Camp in Kakuma - a 120 km trip that took us three and a half hours each way because of the wretched roads. But we had a good time both ways with Pastor Lokwawi, Pastor Lokuruka, Pastor Stephen Lobolia and James, Lokwawi's son, taking time on the way to have a photo shoot at one of the ubiquitous termite mounds that dot the Turkana landscape.

We were invited to the camp by Pastor Ramsey who ministers in the camps and attended the conference in Lodwar. Pastor Ramsey is a South Sudanese who pastors a church in the camp and ministers to the South Sudanese there.  We were hoping to visit several churches there but we were delayed by the camp administration for a couple of hours when we arrived because the required papers weren't in order.  However we spent a couple hours with pastors in the camp gathered together by Pastor Ramsey.

We shared the mission and vision of API with them and heard about their work in the camps. There are around 200,000 refugees from all over Africa in these camps - Ethiopia, Somalia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Burundi, Congo, and many more, and the gospel is going out to them all.

We were hosted by Pastor Mubarak (pictured above) in his church there. And Pastor Lokuruka brought some bibles for his people. 

And while we were inside, Roger of course was outside with the kids.

Dan also made new friends.

Please pray for the pastors and churches who are laboring in the gospel fields in Kakuma in very tough conditions. And pray that we would be able to encourage and support these pastors with biblical training and resources.  Pastor Mubarak and Pastor Ramsey assured us that we would see many of these pastors at our next training.

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Summer 2018 Lodwar Pastors Conference

It is Sunday morning in Nairobi and Stan and I are headed to worship with Trinity Baptist Church in Nairobi and then travel down to Kilgoris to see our Maasai brothers.  Rob, Dan and Roger left Friday night for the U.S. and Stan and I are on our own.  But before we left Lodwar Friday, Dan, Roger, Rob and I took some time to look around Lodwar Town and do some shopping.

Dan and I both found some hats and we'd like you all to judge who got the better deal.

Dan opted for the more traditional look while I found something a little more exotic.

This is the traditional hat worn by Turkana men and the feather is from an ostrich.

The boys enjoyed their last cold drink of Tangawezi (a powerful ginger soda pop) in our favorite cafe, the Kilimanjaro.  Which has the best kuku and chips around.

Saturday, Stan, Frank and I visited our friends, the Petersons, out at Rafiki Foundation where they work.

"Rafiki" means "friend" in Swahili. This captures the vision and purpose of the Foundation—to befriend orphans and widows in their distress (James 1:27). To accomplish this mission, Rafiki established Training Villages within ten African countries, one of which is in Nairobi. These Villages provide orphan care, Bible study, classical Christian education, and teacher training through Rafiki’s five programs: ChildCare, Education, Rafiki Bible Study, Advanced Learning, and Widows.

Thanks again  for your prayers for us.   Stan and I will return to  Nairobi Wednesday for his flight home and I'll be leaving Kenya for the U.S. on Friday. 

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Summer 2018 Lodwar Pastors Conference

Wednesday we traveled to the church in Nakorinyang that was planted about two years ago by my good friend Patrick Nacho who has a church in Lodwar.  (Every time I say his name I get visions of Mexican food!) It is a great location except that it happens to be right in the middle of a river bed, so when it rains, no church meeting.  Pastor George here is preaching the gospel using the audio bible and flip charts we brought to give to the church.

We also brought food as we have to all the churches we visit and it was joyfully unloaded.

We left Nakorinyang and set off for Eliya Springs, a fresh water spring on the banks of Lake Turkana. We spent the afternoon swimming in the lake and taking selfies.

However, some of us slept, although Dan insisted he was praying.

The spring itself is fairly warm water, but very clear.

This trip was a treat especially for the Kenyans who traveled with us as they rarely get the opportunity to enjoy this kind of beach adventure. Everyone swam in the lake except of course Rob, who was busy taking pictures.

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Summer 2018 Lodwar Pastors Conference

It is early Friday morning and we are at the end of a great week.  Tuesday of this week we loaded up and headed out to Namagirat where the new church was built. Apparently Roger has this craving for ice cream.

We found the church building completed and full of people waiting for our arrival.

The celebration was extremely joyful as we dedicated this house to the Lord.

As always, Roger was in his element with the children.

He and Dan took the kids out to show them how to play frizbee.  None of them had ever seen one of these but they quickly mastered the technique.

The church was so grateful for the gift of a new building they reciprocated with goat for us. We named him 'Dinner'.

Namagirat was about an hour and a half southwest of Lodwar, and when we left there, we traveled back to Lodwar, ate lunch and then set off for Nakepokan, about two hours north east of Lodwar. To get there requires 13 river crossings, only these rivers only run when it rains. But crossing the soft sand is trouble enough.  Palm branches give pretty good traction here.

Two years ago, the Brad Pederson Memorial Building Fund helped Nakepokan realize their hopes for a church building and we found a vibrant growing congregation there.

As usual, the visiting speakers went on so long that sleep overcame some of the congregation.

Of course, Roger had his usual fan club surrounding him.

Roger is just a kid magnet.

Thank you so much for your continued prayers for us and the people of Turkana. 

 

 

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Summer 2018 Lodwar Pastors Conference

It is Tuesday evening and I've been trying for two nights to get this blog done as the network here is very spotty and capricious.  Sunday Dan, Roger and I preached at different churches in Lodwar.  I was with Pastor George Lokwawi's church, Dan was at Pastor Dan Njuguna's church and Roger was at Pastor James Louren's church. Rob went with Dan to take pics, and George was taking pics while I was with him, but I don't have any of Roger.  However, the report was that all the churches were blessed by the team's preaching.

Monday we loaded up with food and took off for two villages, Nataaba and Loregum. 

Nataaba was where we helped the church build the first building here in Turkana, and Loregum is the church we helped build last year.  

Both churches were incredibly blessed by our visit and by the food that many of you contributed to help feed the hungry.

It was a long day made just a little longer by getting stuck in some very soft sand. We assumed our Land Cruiser had four wheel drive but circumstances proved that wrong. 

While Dan pushed, I directed operations.

One of the reasons we got stuck (other than the fact that the four-wheel drive did not work) was that there was a very big truck stuck in the main track and we tried to go around him.  You can see the back end of the offending truck in the picture above.

We made it back to Lodwar before dark and were thankful to jump in the showers. 

 

 

 

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Reflections on the 2018 Lodwar Pastors Conference

 

The video can be viewed directly on Vimeo here:  https://vimeo.com/285616582

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Summer 2018 Lodwar Pastors Conference

It is Saturday evening here at St Teresa's in Lodwar and we are having a day of R&R after a full week of conference responsibilities.  We took the opportunity to climb to the summit of the hill on which the school sits to get some photo ops with the statue. I think we look remarkably similar.  

The statue was donated to the people of Turkana by the Vatican and as you walk up the hill you encounter the traditional stations of the cross.  Here Roger and Shadrack are pausing at the burial station.  Interestingly, the statues of the soldiers are definitely Turkana and not Roman. 

But as you can see, the view is impressive from the top.

We ended the conference Friday with the book give-a-way sponsored by TGC and another book publisher who donated all these resources to the pastors.  Every pastor and leader got a copy of Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, Show Them Jesus, and Taking God at His Word.

While the Executive Team for the Turkana Pastor's Fellowship handed out the books, we took time for a team photo. Every one of these men worked hard to make this conference a success. One pastor told me, "You do not understand how much you have helped us with your teachings.  We have never received anything like this.  And the books you bring are so valuable to us."

110 pastors and church leaders attended this conference and we took a group shot on Friday night.  If you look real hard you can see a few white faces at the back.  Again, we thank you all for your prayers and support for this conference.  

 

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Summer 2018 Lodwar Pastors Conference

 

It's Friday morning and we are wrapping up the conference today.  It has been a very impactful week for all of us, API team and all the pastors and church leaders, as we have studied the book of Galatians in depth.  But I think all those who have attended this conference would say that the evening session with Pastor Roger teaching on children's ministry has been one of the great highlights for us, mainly because he gets the place jumping with his energetic delivery and infectious enthusiasm.

Our afternoon question and answer sessions have been incredibly helpful and fruitful times for these pastors and leaders.  Our panel is composed of the API team and two of the leading pastors in Lodwar and together we have all gained a greater understanding, not only of the passages we have studied, but of each other and our respective cultures.

It is always difficult to bring these to a close and the conversations always continue outside.  

 

I want to give a special shout out to the guy who is the hardest worker on the team and makes everything go - Rrrrrob Hostager.

And the guys who make everyone laugh.

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While we have been working hard in Lodwar, there has been a work party laboring to build a church in the village of Namagirat.  Monday, we bought all the materials for the church building and sent it out to the site, and by Thursday the workers had built the framework.

Next week, Roger, Rob, Dan and I will be headed out into the bush to join the church in celebration of this new construction.  I'd like to thank all those who have contributed to the Brad Pederson Memorial Building Fund to make this happen.

We thank you for your faithful prayers and ask that they would continue.  Pray that these pastors and church leaders would leave with encouragement and joy from the Holy Spirit and they would take the word they have heard and proclaim it to their congregations.

 

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Summer 2018 Lodwar Pastors Conference

It is Wednesday evening and we have just finished our second full day at the conference.  We are on a hill with a great view in all directions and the constant breeze makes it relatively cool in 95 degree weather, as we sit inside the hall under a tin roof that tends to radiate the heat. 

Pastor Tim, Pastor Dan and myself are taking the pastors through the book of Galatians, while Pastor Roger teaches them on Children's Ministry. 

One pastor who has had Bible college training remarked that, "I studied some of this in Bible school, but never at this depth. The teachings you bring are much deeper than we have gone before. We thank God for you."

The days have been very full starting at 7 in the morning with team devotions, each team member taking turns leading us in the word and prayer. 

We will wrap up the conference on Friday, handing out the book resources provided by TGC and New Growth Press books.  Keep all of us in your prayers and continue to pray for the spread of the gospel here in Turkana.

 

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Summer 2018 Lodwar Pastors Conference

It is Monday evening here in Lodwar and our first session has just ended.  Stan and I arrived in Nairobi last week on Thursday and we spend the time before the rest of the team arrived doing prep work for our respective trips, and doing some shopping in the mall with Frank and John.

Stan is headed to Matete to work with Pastor Moses for a couple of weeks setting up a cyber cafe business while Pastor Roger, Pastor Tim Bourgeois, Pastor Dan Mason, Rob Hostager and myself head to Lodwar.  Tim, Roger, Dan and Rob arrived late Saturday night in Nairobi and got part of a nights rest as we took off for Lodwar the next day.

Roger, Dan and Rob all came together on the same flight while Tim elected for another airline and itinerary which stranded him in Ethiopia for 15 hours, but he finally made it to Nairobi. 

We left Nairobi around 2:45 pm on a scheduled 2:00 pm departure. But as they say here "TIK" This is Kenya, and things move at their own pace. The wait was long and hot and finally the legs had to come off and Rob thought this would make a good shot. 

The flight was thankfully uneventful and we were greeted by a reception committee of several Lodwar pastors at the Lodwar Airport and taken to St Teresa's where we will be for the next two weeks. 

Sunday evening we hosted the Lodwar Pastors Fellowship executive team to dinner at St Teresas, and had a wonderful time of fellowship and food.

We will post more tomorrow on the conference.  Continue praying for this conference and these pastors who are coming from all over Kenya to be here.  And pray for us as we proclaim the word of God.

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API Spring 2018 Nairobi

Tuesday April 3, 2018

Sunday Frank and I traveled to Matete to preach at the church there. 

Matete was the first church built by the Brad Pederson Memorial Building Fund several years ago. We found them first meeting under a tarp.

The first structure was a temporary mud and stick construction that served the congregation well for a few years.

But as the church grew, expansion became necessary and so the church began to make bricks and a few weeks before our arrival on Sunday, a new and permanent structure had been built that is about twice the square footage of the original.

Pastor Moses has also built some housing behind the church for some orphans and vulnerable children the church is helping to house, feed and school.

Pastor Moses Biketi and his wife Judith.

Frank and I traveled back to Nairobi on Monday, broken up by multiple police traffic stops, produce shopping, and wrecks. 

Frank always stocks up on veggies to take home to his wife and family when we travel.

This semi took a hard left into some shops along the highway.

Fortunately we didn't get arrested this time, but we did end up paying some traffic fees for made-up charges.  It must have been payday for the police because they were out in force.  

Tonight I fly back to the U.S. and I'd like to thank all of you whose prayers and gifts made this mission possible.  Special thanks go to Pastor Rich Hamlin and his wife Lynn, Ben Edwards, and my wife Kim who together with Pastor Shadrack, Pastor Reuben, Frank and John, came togther as an incredible team to minister to the church in Kenya. 

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API Spring 2018 Eldoret

Sunday April 1, 2018

It is Sunday night in Eldoret where I arrived Saturday after flying from Lodwar.  Friday we continued distributing famine relief and one of the villages we visited was Narang'lup where last year we helped them build a new church.

The children were some of the first to show up at the distribution site.

But the adults were not far behind.  And again, Pastors George Lokwawia and Boniface Lokuruka handed out the maize.

You might notice this woman below is wearing only white beads.  Those are an indication that she recently lost her husband and is now a widow.  Here she is cleaning the maize by letting the wind take away the dirt and chaff.

It would be hard to overstate the need these people have for basic staples in this desolate place.  However, the recent rains in Kenya have blessed Turkana as well, and their animals are not dying off as they have been in the past. I want to thank all of you who donated resources to bring food to the Turkana.

 

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API Spring 2018 Turkana

Friday March 30, 2018

For several years, the Huruma church near Lokori in Turkana had been meeting under this tree.  This year, through the generous donors to the Brad Pederson Memorial Building Fund, they were able to have their own building in which to worship.  It will also serve the community as a primary school.

Days after it was built, I was in Huruma to visit the church and deliver some famine relief supplies. Here we are with the church leaders of Haruma.

The church was exuberant in their welcome as you can see in this video.

As we handed out the food, it was gratifying to see the orphans and widows being taken care of first.

In the nearby town of Lokori, Pastor George Lokwawi and I spent the afternoon with the Turkana East Pastor's Fellowship talking about the ministry of API USA.  It was great to see so many pastors from so many denominations gathered together in unity.

After leaving Lokori, George and I traveled to Lokichar where we spent the night at the Black Gold Hotel which has the dubious distinction of having the most incoveniently placed toilet roll. Besides, neither of us wanted to travel another 5 hours on these roads. 

Also, it kind of looked like the wild west out here where it seemed everyone in the bush carried an automatic weapon.  George told me it was the government of Kenya's policy to arm the tribes with these weapons to protect each other from raiding parties. I thought disarmament might be a solution but George said they would just go back to spears and machetes.  The Turkana and the Pokot tribes have a long history of violence towards each other.  You'll notice there are no pictures of armed tribesmen on this post and that is because I thought discretion the better part of valor when it came to trying to wave my camera phone in their faces. 

We returned to Lodwar on Wednesday and then rolled out to Lokaparaparai where we delivered some more food to the church and surrounding community. We bought the maize from Pastor Shadrack who had grown it on his land in Kuria and then drove it up to Lodwar.  Through the generous donations of many, we were able to buy and deliver over three and a half tons of maize to distribute. Pastor Shadrack also donated a half ton of maize himself for famine relief.

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I gave Pastor Lokuruka and Pastor Lokwawi gloves to load the truck because I told them I had to take the pictures since Rob wasn't here. 

This church in Lokaparaparai was started by Pastor Martin Sassy, brother to Pastor Shadrack.

So I had given all these guys gloves for the work...and what did they do?

Currently this church is meeting under this tree and would really like to have a building of their own. Consider giving to the Brad Pederson Memorial Building Fund to provide a structure for Lokaparaparai.

 

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API Spring 2018 Conference Oloolaimutia

Friday March 30, 2018

After the conference ended last Friday, we took a day excursion Saturday through the Masai Mara National Game Reserve.  Here are a few pictures of our trip.

A lone waterbuck

Rich and Lynn Hamlin

We saw a lot of lions and lion cubs this trip

Frank hamming it up for the tourists

I had no idea locusts were so big - that's Ben Edwards shoe in the picture

Team shot on the viewpoint

Wide angle showing the hill the Masai call the Sleeping Warrior

Beauty in the Mara

More lions

Ben Edwards and Reuben Lubvanga

Best sighting of the elusive leopard ever! Right by our vehicle

 

A shot of the rare white Masai and their Kikuyu guides (Frank Maina and John Kamau) and a Luya Masai (Pastor Reuben Luvanga)

The only member of the team not shown here is Pastor Shadrack Mogesi who I think was taking the picture. Our Kenyan brothers were some of the hardest working members of the team and we are grateful for their friendship and dedication to the mission.

It is my last day in Turkana and I'll be flying back to Eldoret to meet with some pastors in Western Kenya, including Pastor Moses in whose church I'll be preaching on Sunday.  More to follow on the events of this past week.  As always, pray for our safety and health as we travel here in Turkana.  I'll be distributing the rest of the famine relief supplies today in some villages in the bush. Thank you for your fellowship in the spread of the gospel here in Kenya.

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API Spring 2018 Conference Oloolaimutia

Wednesday March 28, 2018

 

It is Wednesday night in Lodwar and I finally got the internet to work properly.  We finished our conference in Oloolaimutia at the Meguarra Church on Friday where we took this photo.  We had 295 pastors and leaders and their wives in attendence for our conference on A Biblical Understanding of Gender: God's Design for Men and Women.  This conference was held for the Maasai churches in southern Kenya, but we also had 24 from Tanzania.  The church was packed to standing room only and there were literally no aisles left.  We thank God for the extremely positive response to the plenary and breakout sessions as well as the Q & A sessions we held everyday. As one attendee told me, "We've never heard this kind of word before. And we want more.  We want you to come back next year and teach the Word like this. This is deep."  

Pastor Rich Hamlin and I taught the main sessions each day and Ben Edwards taught the men's breakout sessions, with Lynn Hamlin and my wife Kim teaching the women's breakout sessions.

The men gave the women the church for their breakout sessions and we men took to the field.

The Maasai are a very colorfully dressed people as you can see and every breaktime exploded with color.

We were honored at the end of the week to be adopted as members of the tribe with full regalia.

 

One of the highlights of our week was giving out the resources that were donated by Crossway Books, P & R Publishing and The Gospel Coalition. Pastor Stephen gave a ringing endorsement of these resources since he had been the recipient of similiar books last year.  He told the attendees that he treasured these books more valuable than his cattle.  For a Maasai man to say that is really saying something!

Thank you all for your continual prayers to God for us and this conference.  The week began with heavy rains, but by Tuesday the sun was out and we were basking in sunshine for the rest of the week.  There were many good reports but the best one was from a man whose wife attended the conference.  He couldn't attend because of work, but he called Pastor Stephen and told him, "Pastor, when my wife came home from this conference, for the first time in our marriage she kissed me.  Are you teaching the wives to kiss their husbands?"  Apparently the word to the wives through this conference had some practical effects!

Here a few more shots from the conference.

Lunchtime lineup - ladies first.

Lynn and some new friends and sisters in the Lord.

Q & A with Pastor Rich holding forth.

Morning devotions at the Zebra tent.

Again, thank you for standing with us as we minister to the church in Kenya.   

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API Spring 2018 Conference Oloolaimutia

Tuesday March 20, 2018

We are in Oloolaimutia in the Trans Mara region of Kenya where we just finished our first full day of the Pastors and Wives Spring conference in the village of Meguarra, about 7 km from where we are staying at Manyatta Camp.

Morning coffee on the porch

Unpacking with Shadrack and John

We arrived in Oloolaimutia Monday afternoon after a trip delayed and disrupted by the heavy rains and flooding all of southern Kenya is experiencing. We had expected to arrive Sunday afternoon but decided to overnight in Narok rather than attempt to negotiate the treacherous roads at night. Part of that decision was spurred by the sights of recent flooding we encountered on the trip from Nairobi to Narok.  Shortly after we passed through the town of Mahi Mahu, we passed a 50 yard section of the main highway that had been cut last week by flash floods.

The next morning we learned that section of road was again destroyed by flash floods.  We are praying that this gets fixed before we have to return to Nairobi on Sunday.

We did have a restful night and a good breakfast the next morning in Narok before setting off for Oloolaimutia around 10 am.

We took a little time to visit the tourist trap shops at Seasons hotel.

And then packed up for the trip to Oloolaimutia. I still don't know how Frank and John got all our gear in these two vehicles, plus passengers.

Not very long on the road to our destination we ran into a bit of trouble with water.

We found ourselves stalled in a long line of vehicles attempting to pass through this raging river running over the road.

Eventually however, a trip that should have taken 2 hours ended up taking five.  

We thank the Lord that we came to Manyatta Camp without any serious delays or trouble.  I know that many of you were praying for us and we would ask that you continue to pray.  We began the conference in earnest Tuesday morning and enjoyed a long day of hearing from the word of God and developing new friendships and renewing old ones.  I particularly enjoyed renewing my relationship with Pastor Daniel whose church is hosting this conference.

Registration begins with Frank and Shadrack welcoming the delegates.

We will post more soon so stay tuned for updates.  Thank you all for your support and prayers. 

 

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API Summer Conference Lodwar

It's Wednesday afternoon and I'm back in Nairobi after a long circle route that took Frank and I from Nairobi, south to Narok, west to Kilgoris, north to Kisumu and Kakamega and Matete, west again to Bungoma, and then east to Eldoret and finally back to Nairobi.  We had meetings with several churches and pastors along the way, renewing old acquaintances and establishing new ones. We met with Maasai Pastor Stephen Muntet in Narok to discuss details of the conference in the spring of 2018, and then we sped off to Kilgoris to meet with several pastors there.

One of the pastors was Sailas Makalluh who has planted several churches in the Kilgoris area. API helped construct a building for the church in Magena last year.

Since then, Sailas has planted two more churches that need buildings.  The first is in Muntenkuar where the church has purchased a plot of ground. There are no other churches in this village and they are in need of a building in which to worship. We gave them some funds to begin construction from the Brad Pederson Memorial Building Fund, and we hope to send more soon.

The second church is in a place called Kiango which is on the border of Kisii County and Narok County.  One of the reasons Sailas chose this place to plant a church is because of the continuing friction between the Maasai in Narok County and the Kisii in Kisii county. His prayer is that this would be a church of peace between the tribes. There is a very long history of violence and war between these two groups and Pastor Sailas is convinced the only way to peace is when these tribes come to Christ.  Right now, they are worshipping in the open air when the weather is favorable.

The church of Kiango was given this plot of land by the owner who came to Christ after he was healed from a very serious sickness when Sailas and the church prayed for him. His testimony was that it was a very small thing for him to give this land to God who healed him and saved him.

Frank and I were invited to dinner at the home of another pastor friend of ours, Benson Ntuntai and his wife Ruth.  

They again expressed their thanks and the thanks of his entire church for the construction of their church and the installation of a concrete floor through the Brad Pederson Memorial Building Fund. They are now also using this building as a primary school.

Since this will likely be one of the last posts for this trip, I thought I'd leave you with a few random shots that didn't make it on the previous posts. Here are some from our trips to the villages in Lodwar.  Below is the village of Namagart.

Food for the village of Naotin.

The village of Moruese.

The village of Juluk.

We also handed out audio bibles and flip charts and gave many gospel presentations in these villages. Pastor George gives a very dramatic and effective presentation.

The kids were always curious about the muzungus (white guys)

They also like the lollipops we handed out at every stop.

Getting water is a daily chore for these people. These women have dug a hole in the river bed to get water.

And the termite mounds are everywhere.  For some reason they fascinate me. Some of them, like this one, are massive.

Thank you all who have partnered with us for this trip.  Your prayers and financial support have been invaluable. To God be the glory.

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API Summer Conference - Lodwar

 

It's Friday morning in Nairobi and I'm putting on all the warm clothes I have. Coming from 90+ degree temperatures in Lodwar, it feels like winter here. The past week in Lodwar I spent delivering food and audio bibles to several villages. Thanks to the generosity of many, we were able to deliver around 5 tons of food to this drought-stricken place. From Monday to Wednesday, we reached nine villages with these desperately needed supplies of food.

I don't know why, but these massive termite mounds are a continuing source of fascination to me.  They literally dot the landscape in Turkana.

Before I left on Thursday, we took another run out to Nareng'lup to view the progress on the church building.

Note the OSHA approved ladder.

Almost done.

We were a bit disappointed that the work was not yet completed but perhaps it was due to the fact that the workers had less than desirable living conditions.  Below is a picture of their campsite.  A scrawny thorn tree and makeshift windbreak provide what can only be described as bleak comfort. They are actually sleeping on the doors they brought for the church.

Frank and I are traveling to Narok today to meet with Maasai pastor, Stephen Muntet, to plan our spring conference in Olulaimutia and discuss the progress of those students from the village. We travel on Saturday to meet with pastors in Kilgoris.  Thank you all for your support and prayers.

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API Summer Conference - Lodwar

It's Sunday evening in Lodwar and I'm here in my bungalow at St. Teresa's as the monkeys are playing rugby on the roof. Tim, Rob, and Roger flew to Nairobi yesterday afternoon after we had a wonderful lunch at Pastor George Lokwawi's home. He had his son prepare the goat we were given in Nareng'lup and he was tasty! Tim stayed at the airport in Nairobi to catch his flight home to the U.S. later that night, and Frank picked up Roger and Rob to spend the night in Nairobi before heading down to Olulaimutia and the game park in Masaai Mara.

 

Before they left we had a wonderful graduation ceremony at the conference site Friday night with three graduates – Pastors Peter Ewoton and Christopher Tioko both graduated with a Bth and Pastor Reuben Luvanga graduated with an Mth. Roger Johnson gave the commencement address and we had the recently elected local Minister of Parliament for this region in attendance.

 

Saturday morning, we went back out to Nareng'lup to check on the progress of the church building before lunch at George's and checking in at the Lodwar airport.

 

Of course Roger never misses a chance to be with the kids.

And this is a common sight, rolling containers of water home from the water hole.

And carrying them on your head.

Sunday morning, George, his wife Grace and I headed out east of Lodwar to a village in the bush called Lokurumka to attend Sunday morning worship at one of the churches planted by George and deliver food to the village.  Because we were so overloaded with food, one of the tires went flat, but thankfully this was only a minor hitch in our plans. George and I have changed a lot of tires together and in no time we were on our way again.

The service was well-attended and after George shared the Good News with the audio bible and flip charts, and I gave a short gospel presentation, 12 of the villagers stepped forward to trust Christ. Again, we were amazed at the number of men that came forward!

We brought over 1/2 ton of food with us and with very willing hands to help distribute it everyone in the village got plenty.  Thank you John-Mark and all who gave so that we could give out.

Thank you all for your continued prayers for the work here.  We have several more villages to visit with the gospel and food so keep praying.  God is at work! 

 

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API Summer Conference - Lodwar

It's Thursday evening and we have just finished our fourth day of the conference. We expected a few more than 90 pastors and church leaders, but we have 133 here as of Tuesday. Needless to say, this is a great blessing but also a great challenge as it strains our budget. But God has been faithful to allow us to feed and house all the extra people by stretching the ugali, sukomoweke and goat meat to feed everyone!

The response to the exposition of 1st and 2nd Peter with myself and Tim, and Roger's training on Children's Ministry has been tremendous. We are having conversations everyday with pastors who cannot thank the team enough for coming to share these truths with them. We have pastors who have traveled from long distances to get here and they have told us has been worth every effort to come. One pastor shared with me that he came back this year because of what he got in our conference last year. He said the ministry of API has revolutionized his church as he has put into practice what he learned during our Shepherd to Shepherd conference last August. “These teachings have challenged us and changed us as a church and as leaders as we have begun putting things in order according to the word of God we learned from you.” Thanks be to God!

The training has also sparked lively discussion groups after the sessions.

We will end the conference tomorrow night with a graduation of three of our API School of Ministry students who have earned their degrees.  Here are some random pictures from the conference. I actually got a picture of the elusive Rob.

Camels on the way to market

Mbuzi (goat) on the way to lunch.

My new shower friend.

Pastor George and his faithful Land Rover

We have also begun the construction of the new church building at Nareng'lup where we were this pasto Sunday. We hope to be finished by the first of next week. A special thanks to all of you who have contributed to the Brad Pederson Memorial Building Fund to make this happen!  Here are a few photos of the ongoing work.

 

Thank you all for your prayers. Continue in them for us. God is doing great things through your prayers.

 

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