API USA Blog

News from the field.

Winter Mission 2023

Saturday, December 9, 2023
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I am back in Nairobi and in the land of reliable internet so it's time for a post.  Last Sunday, Pastor Boniface, John, Frank and I traveled to Baringo County to begin our conference in Churo.  This is the home of the East Pokot tribe where we started pastoral training almost two years ago. Above is the Churo AIC (African Inland Church) where we held the conference with 110 pastors and church leaders this past week.  Since there are no accommodations in Churco itself, we stayed at a Catholic mission lodging facility in a slightly larger village called Tangulbei, about 17 km away. So each morning and evening we jolted our way to and from Churo on some of the rockiest, roughest roads I've been on for a while; which ultimately had some unfortunate consequences I'll get to in a bit.
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Frank handled our registration table, as well as his driving duties and emergency vehicle repair jobs. Some of which involved duct tape!
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John handled all our media needs magnificently and creatively, as in Churo, we didn't always have access to proper electrical connections. 
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I was told that this is the correct,Kenya-OSHA approved method of getting power from the generator to our equipment.
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Like in Matete, these pastors and church leaders were dialed in from the first to the teachings presented by Boniface and myself, as we taught on a biblical understanding of the church. 
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This is a vital topic in Kenya where almost anything goes as it relates to churches.  One of the resources given to the attendees was Pastor Conrad Mbewe's book, God's Design for the Church: A Guide for African Pastors and Ministry Leaders in Kiswahili.
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Pastor Boniface and I shared the teaching responsibilities with Pastor Musa Maklab  and Pastor Julius as the interpreters.
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Thanks to Crossway and Ekklesia Afrika, we were able to hand out bibles and two other book resources to all the attendees, R.C. Sproul's, Saved From What, and Mbewe's God's Design for the Church.
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The joy on the faces of those who received their first ever bible was something to see!
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We also were able to give those who attended food, including maize, flour, beans, salt and cooking oil, to take home to their families, thanks to the generosity of our API Famine Relief doners! The climate and the economy have conspired to severely affect the ability of these people to feed their families and so this generosity was greatly appreciated.
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The elderly and the widows were those served first and they were overjoyed to have food to take with them.
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On Thursday morning we headed off for Nakuru where we would spend the night before reaching Nairobi on Friday.  All went well, we dropped Pastor Boniface off in Marigat to catch a shuttle home; and we were about 80 - 90 km into our trip when the engine of our vehicle simply shut down. It turned out that a sharp rock had penetrated the oil sump and drained the oil at the same time the turbo somehow allowed water into places it shouldn't be in the engine. The result was a a blown piston and a dead vehicle.
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We ended up having to have our vehicle transported to Nairobi for repairs.  John and Frank went with the car and I hitchhiked a ride to Nakuru for the night, and arriving in Nairobi yesterday.  I guess it wouldn't be a mission trip without some difficulties!
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Thank you all for your prayers and support for this ministry.  You have to know that these pastors and church leaders are so incredibly thankful to all of you who make this ministry possible. I'll be flying home on Sunday and for those of you signed up for our newsletter, you'll be receiving a full report soon. 

p.s. This is NOT the ride I hitchhiked to Nakuru.
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Spring Mission 2023

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Saturday May 13, 2023
After the rest of the team left for the U.S., Frank and I traveled to Nakuru where we met the team from Lodwar and Eldoret and we traveled to East Pokot.  We stopped in Rumarumti where we loaded up with famine relief supplies before going on to Tengulbei where we roomed for the next four days. 
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On Sunday, we visited Amaya to share Sunday services and distribute food.  I found out when we got to Amaya, that this village had been one of the last places of ministry for Linda Wickman and her husband in Kenya. I got to meet many who had been young children when Linda and Wickman (as they referred to her husband!) were there, and they told me how they had come to Christ through the Wickmans. I felt priviledged to meet so many who were the fruit of their ministry in Amaya!
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Musa Maklab, and his brother, Meshack (Musa with red tie and Meshack with whom I am shaking hands), who had been young boys when the Wickmans were there, showed us around the mission station.
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Here is the clinic building Linda, a nurse, worked out of while she was in Amaya. Musa, Meshack and Peter.  Peter couldn't stop talking about 'Mum' as he referred to Linda and told me endless stories about growing up under their care.
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The site still had the house built by the first missionaries, the Davis', to the area. 
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And the first pit latrine built by them, still functional!
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After the service, we ate lunch and distributed the food among the five churches that had gathered this Sunday.
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Sunday afternoon we began our pastor's conference in the village of Churo, about 17 kilometers from Amaya.
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We spent Sunday afternoon and all day Monday with about 100 pastors and church leaders from many churches around the area teaching the Foundations of the Faith.
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The afternoons were especially challenging as the roar from the brief but intense rain on our tin roof made any attempt at speaking fairly fruitless - so we sang and jumped until the rain abated!
Thanks to Ekklesia Afrika and Crossway, we had Bibles and other great resources to give to the pastors.
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We also had food to hand out to these pastors and their families thanks to the generosity of many of you.
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Finally, we have partnered together with a church in a village called Kresia to provide a building for the congregation from the Brad Pederson Memorial Building Fund.  Unfortunately, we were not able to visit the village as the road leading there had been washed out by the recent heavy rains. However, Pastor Simon who leads the church has promised to provide pictures as soon as construction is complete. This trip has been very full and very fruitful, though not without a lot of trouble, including sickness, blown engines, lost luggage, and various other minor challenges.  But though it all, God has been faithful to supply us with His grace that is sufficient for all things. We thank God, and we thank you all for your prayers and support!


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Spring Mission 2023

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Saturday May 6, 2023
On Tuesday of this week, our team met with the leadership at Karura Community Chapel.  We have been holding Biblical Counseling classes via Zoom for the past year with the pastors at this church, along with many other pastors in Nairobi, and this meeting was another step in partnering with Karura in other areas of ministry. This church is a vibrant, growing church that is very gospel-centered and has community outreach in a number of areas. They have a prison ministry that reaches 20,000 just in the Nairobi prisons, and a rehab program that reintroduces those who have been released back into society. Their Love in the Name of Christ ministry provides resources to the poor in partnership with many other churches in the area. They also have a women's shelter that houses women fleeing bad relationships and those who are homeless due to unplanned pregnancies.  In talks with some of the leaders in the past months, they expressed an interest in adding a pregancy resource center in their area and so we came together to talk about what that might look like for them.
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Linda, Toni, John and myself with Pastor Joseph, just one of the pastors of this church of 1.200 people.  John is a member of this church and was the point person in connecting us with them.
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Ben and Kim shared about Care Net of Puget Sound and Agape Care Net Clinic in Majengo. We hope to connect Karura with Agape Care Net as they consider how to implement a pregnancy resource center. Pastor Reuben and Maureen, who lead Agape Care Net have really paved the way in modeling how pregnancy center ministry should be done.
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Kim connected with Queen who is in charge of Love in the Name of Christ and Mercy House, which ministers to women as the point person for establishing a pregancy center.  In the background I am talking with Pastor Amos who is in charge of the prison ministry which has over 400 staff and volunteers ministering in the Nairobi prisons.
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And here is Frank talking to Pastor Joseph about API USA.
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Left to right in the backrow: Pastor Martin, one of the teaching pastors at Karura, Luke Tendayi, our initial contact at Karura, Frank, Kim, Mike, John, Pastor Amos.  Front row: Pastor Chahale, Pastor Fred, Ben, Linda, Queen, Toni and Pastor Joseph.  We were blessed by our time together and look forward to partnership in ministry with this church.
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Spring Mission 2023

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Thursday May 4, 2023
While my team has been ministering in Kenya, Jay McBee, our Director of Biblical Counseling has been in Uganda with his team, Pastor Reuben Luvanga and Moses Biketi.  I just received a report from Jay and thought I'd post it for you all.
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"On Friday April 20 I met with the leadership of Karura Community Chapel in Nairobi and the students that participated in the zoom counseling training for the last year. Karura with the support of API will now open a local counseling center as part of the church’s ministry to the community. API will help expand this work by conducting an expedited training for an additional group of pastors. What normally takes two years will be compressed into one year to be able to equip more counselors for the counseling ministry.
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On Sunday, Moses Biketi and I traveled to Matete to meet with the students that Moses and Luvanga Reuben trained for the last year and a half. Moses and I taught the parenting material of the training over two days which enabled these students to officially complete their second module of training on marriage and parenting."
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On Wednesday and Thursday, the Biblical Counseling team of Jay, Reuben and Moses traveled to Kampala, Uganda to travel to the Kyaka 2 refugee camp in western Uganda. Kyaka is home to 100,000 refugees and is one of the largest in Uganda. The team just finished four days in the Kyaka camp and are now traveling to Mbarara and Nakivale which is the largest camp in Uganda. The pastors were very grateful for the team coming to minister to the pastors and to better equip them for the work in the camp. Many are going to join our API weekly WhatsApp audio training calls to further their training.

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The API Counseling team will be adding two new training calls to accommodate this growth. One will be in English and in a first for API, we are adding a Swahili only weekly class. This will be done to accommodate a new development. At the Kyaka camp, someone approached us to express their appreciation for the work we are doing on behalf of pastors and offered to make introductions to pastors in the other refugee camps. Our current trip is focusing on doing conferences in Kyaka 2, Mbarara, Nakivale and the refugees in the slums of Kampala. We have pastors from three other Ugandan camps, Rwamwanja, Kyangwali, and Oruchinga that are part of our weekly WhatsApp groups.
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These additional introductions may enable API to do outreach to pastors in all 12 of the camps in Uganda and include them in our new classes. Please join us in praying for this endeavor and that no camp would be left out. Many speak of the suffering and hardship of leaving everything that they once had behind in their home countries. Some have said that they never expect to be able to go back because of the factional fighting. They are attempting to make a new way in a new country even though they are in or on the outskirts of the refugee camps.
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Thank you also to the children at Tree of Life Christian Church and Northridge Community School who made homemade cards for the children in the refugee camps. The first group of cards were handed out to the children in the Kyaka 2 camp."
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Spring Mission 2023

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It's Wednesday night here in Nairobi and John and Frank and I took the rest of the team to the airport to fly home.  We've had a very full two weeks of ministry and fellowship and this past Sunday we took a few hours to tour the amazing Maasai Mara game park. This was a guy trip as the ladies were still recovering from their illness. I thought I'd show you a few shots of God's incredible creation. Photography courtesy of Rob.
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Magnificent cheetah
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We came upon three lions who had made a Cape Buffalo kill early that morning.  You can see the partially eaten carcass in the background.  They were all taking it easy after a morning of gorging, but staying very near their kill to keep hyenas, jackels and buzzards away.
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A silver-back jackel
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At one point we came upon a jackel trying to make a meal of mongoose.  However, as he approached the colony, about 50 of them took after the jackel and chased him off. There is strength in numbers! 
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We also came across a couple of cheetahs hunting some impala off to the right out of frame. We decided not to wait around as it could be hours before they made a kill.
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A red-headed buzzard looking for snakes, lizards and bugs as it stalks across the savanna.
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At a hippo pool.  
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Hyena looking for food
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I find giraffes so fascinating!  We want to thank all of you who have been praying for the ladies and want to let you know that when we got back from safari, they were all feeling much better. 
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Spring Mission 2023

Tuesday May 2, 2023
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It is Tuesday morning and we are back in Nairobi, having traveled from Narok yesterday.  We left Oloolaimutia Sunday evening because the weather indicated heavy rain that night which might have prevented travel.  The river we had to cross from where we were staying during the conference has no bridge and is unfordable when the heavy rains come. so we opted to overnight about halfway to Nairobi. Above is the entrance to Mara Shiners School where we held the conference.
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Happily we are able to report that all the ladies are doing well after being down with some kind of illness since Thursday evening!  It was a challenge for the team as they were all such an integral part of the conference, but by God's grace we were able to fill the holes they left and we are just glad they are all feeling well.
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We finished our conference Saturday afternoon so here are a few shots from the week.
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Linda was feeling well enough by Saturday to speak at the women's breakout session.
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Pastor Stephen leading the singing.
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Our conference director, Pastor Shadrack giving instructions (right) and Pastor Daniel interpreting.
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Amoss Mallangah, one of our API Masters students, came all the way from the coast of Kenya to be with us at the conference.
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Women's breakout session.
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The conference sessions were held in the middle structure which is the school dining hall and kitchen. The buildings on the right and left are the boys and girls dorms.  Mara Shiners is a boarding school, as are most schools in Kenya.  The small blue structure in the forefront is the solar generating station which powers the whole school.
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Here we are in our Maasai finery!
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Ben with our hosts, Stephen and Betty Muntet. We are so grateful to Stephen and Betty who opened their home to us and took such good care of us. 
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Two very white Maasai guys.
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John and Stephen
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Crossway Publishing provided some valuable resources for the pastors which we handed out at the conference. 
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Dinner in Narok
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Sunrise in Oloolaimutia
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Spring Mission 2023

Friday April 28, 2023
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Tuesday morning we set off for Oloolaimutia but took a minute to take a photo at the equator.
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We had to cut across the park from the Sekananie gate to Oloolaimutia and got to see a little wildlife in the process.
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We arrived at Mara Shiners School, our conference site Tuesday afternoon to a warm Maasai welcome and dramatic skies.
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Wednesday morning we started our Foundations of the Faith conference and by Thursday morning we had about 180 attending. 
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During the first session of each day, Linda Galle takes all the children for a Bible lesson and then outside for play.
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During our breakout sessions on Thursday, Kim shared on the Sanctity of Human Life with the women.
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Ben shared on the Sanctity of Human Life and Sexual Integrity with the men.
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During the plenary sessions Wednesday and Thursday we were going through the doctrines of grace. Pastor Stephen Muntet, interpreting here, is our host, along with his wife, Beatrice.
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At the end of the day, we have a Q & A session with all the teachers of the day clarifying (or trying to clarify) points made during each presentation.  This is often the most intstructive time for both students and teachers.
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We will be posting more tomorrow if the internet will cooperate.
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Spring Mission 2023

Wednesday April 26, 2023
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This is a sunrise photo where we were staying in Mbale.  We finished our training with the Agape Care Net Clinic staff and volunteers on Monday as all of us took turns presenting various aspects of the training. 
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Toni shared that the Agape Care Net team seemed very interested in all the training and coaching that we provided.  "The effective communication skills portion was very well received and they asked many good questions and shared a few of their own experiences. They are a group with a heart for women, children and marriages, with various medical and professional training to contribute to the pregnancy center and local community."
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All the ladies took advantage of a sunny lunch break to pose for the camera.  After the final session, we all piled in the vehicles to get a tour of the clinic with the staff and volunteers.
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Reception
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Ultrasound room
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Pharmacy
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Kim and Precious Kim
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Thanks to all who have been keeping this mission in prayer!
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Spring Mission 2023

Monday April 24, 2023
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Sunday morning the team split up to go to two different churches.  Half of us went to Agape Christian Fellowship, led by Pastor Reuben Luvanga, and the other half to Mahanga PEFA Church led by Bishop Fredrick Ndondo, who is also a board member of Agape Care Net Clinic. 
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Kim got reaquainted with her namesake, Precious Kim, Reuben and Moureen's daughter.
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And this little guy was fascinated by the mzungu's in church.
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Sunday afternoon we held our first training session with the Agape Care Net Clinic staff and volunteers.
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Ben Edwards spoke about the necessity of strategic planning and church relationships.
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Kim spoke on the centrality of the gospel in all we do and the sanctity of human life.
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There was lots of time for questions and answers.
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It was a really full and satisfying day as reconnected with old friends and made new ones.  
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Linda Galle shared about her new friend, Faith. "This is Faith, my dear sister in Christ, who I met at the Care Net training session, and who shared her own "crisis pregnancy" story with me. Faith recently graduated from nursing school and now volunteers 6 days a week at the Agape Care Net Clinic.  What a blessing it has been for our team to meet these amazing volunteers who want to serve our Lord in this ministry!"
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Spring Mission 2023

Sunday April 23, 2023
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Tonight we are in Mbale, a few short kilometers from Majengo and the Agape Care Net Clinic and the internet is fairly good so I'm taking advantage of the connection.  It has been non-stop since we arrived in Kenya late Thursday night so this is the first moment I've had to write.  Five of us (Linda, Ben, Rob, Kim and myself) flew from SeaTac Wednesday and met up with the rest of our team, Jay and Toni in Amsterdam.  The real fun began when we landed in Nairobi as we waited for our baggage to arrive.
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After waiting for about an hour and a half for our last bag to appear, we concluded that it wasn't going to come so the rest of the team went through customs with what we had and I went to the lost luggage counter to fill out the paperwork. Meanwhile, one of our bags was tagged at customs, and when I finally finished with the lost luggage people, I found Ben in the customs office with the bag of Bibles for which the customs people were telling him he owed $250 in duty fees. Apparently the new president, Ruto, had changed the rule on bringing gifts into the country. We finally agreed on $130 (everything in Kenya is negotiable) and got out of there.  We were grateful they didn't inspect the other 4 suitcases of books! Meanwhile, the rest of the team had been waiting ourside all that time, tired but still smiling!
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The temperature was in the high fifties so our API associates, John and Frank showed up in winter wear.
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We finally arrived at our hotel around 2:30 in the morning thankful we all arrived safely with most of our luggage. Friday was spent preparing for our drive to Majengo on Saturday. We began by having a great breakfast.
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Kim and Toni enjoying the sun.
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Saturday morning, we packed up to leave for Majengo, but we had some logistical challenges.  Our API Prado had developed some mechanical issues we couldn't resolve in time for our departure, so we had to procure another vehicle. We had planned to use our trailer to transport most of the luggage so we could fit everyone in the vehicles, but none of our hired vehicles had a trailer hitch so we had to go to plan B, which was to divide our luggage into what we needed in Majengo for three days, and send the rest to Olulaimutia with John's pickup.  Ministry in Kenya demands flexibility!
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We are blessed to have two master packers on our team, John Kamau and Frank Maina.
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We left Nairobi at nine Saturday morning for what turned out to be a 9 hour drive to Majengo, with stops along the way.  Naturally Java House was one of those stops.
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We arrived at our hotel, Enzogu Gardens (Elephant Gardens) around six, settled in, ate dinner and fell into bed. We want to thank all of you who are faithfully praying for this ministry trip.  We will try and bring you up to date later.  Right now I am finishing this Monday morning because the internet keeps going in and out and I'm trying to finish before I lose it agaiin! God has been faithful to keep us in His gracious grip.
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Lodwar Pastor's Conference 2020

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Our conference this year is being held at the SHARE International compound just outside of town. It is a beautiful site and an excellent venue for API. SHARE was founded by Sammy and Mary Muri who had a heart and passion to train and equip Christian workers to bring the gospel to unreached people groups.  

Mornings in Lodwar begin with a time in the word and prayer and conversation with the team.  We've got a great team at this conference and I feel blessed to have these men with me.  

Of course we have to stay alert since not all life forms are friendly.

We had our first full day on Tuesday and our registration is officially full. Due to the pandemic protocols, we can only accommodate 100 people at the center. And everyone is wearing masks (sort of), having their temperature taken regularly, and washing their hands repeatedly. 

Wearing the mask can make communication difficult, but thankfully it isn't required for the speakers. Although I did have to remind my interpreter of that fact. All I could hear was 'Mphh'.

Tuesday evening we were joined via pre-recorded video by our missing team member, Pastor Tim Bourgeois who shared on God's Building. His presence was sorely missed by many of the pastors who had anticipated seeing him this year. But they were consoled a bit by seeing him via video. We were greatly privileged to have the Honorable Member of Parliament, Lodepe Nakura join us to share on Fatherhood in the Church.

Everyone I've talked to has told me already how much they are enjoying the conference and how they couldn't believe it was actually taking place.  Apparently this is the first conference in Kenya since the shutdown in March. Everyone agrees it is a God thing!

Thanks again for keeping us in your prayers as we go through this week.  God is at work in the hearts of many people here. 

 

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Lodwar Pastor's Conference August 2019

Wednesday August 21, 2019

It is early morning here and I'm eating breakfast by myself.  Rob, Dan and I were supposed to travel back to Nairobi Monday night.  However the last flight out developed radio communication issues on its way to us from Eldoret and had to turn back.  So we spent the night in Lodwar and Rob and Dan caught the first flight out in the morning.  Unfortunately they arrived in Nairobi too late for their connection back to the U.S.  But the airline put them up in a nice hotel and rebooked their international flight so they fly back later tonight. I stayed up in Lodwar since I would have been flying back up here today to finish our work with the famine relief.

Saturday evening we all hiked up to the statue above the Lodwar High School for exercise and pictures.  One of the first years we were here, I made reference to the statue on the hill, which at that time consisted of just the metal framework in the shape of a man.  I said 'Statue', my interpreter said 'dead guy', and so that is how it has been known ever since.

One of the initiatives we've begun is a drive for used laptops to refurbish and give to our student pastors to help them in their studies with API School of Ministry.  Two of those were given out at this conference to Pastors Luvanga and Mogesi.

If you have an old laptop you'd like to donate, email me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call me at 253.678.2279.

Sunday the team went to the shores of Lake Turkana for a bit of R & R at a place called Eliye Springs, where a freshwater spring flows into the salty waters of the lake. 

The water was refreshingly cool, but we couldn't convince Tim and Rob to join us.  Maybe they heard that Lake Turkana has the highest concentration of crocs of any lake in Africa. We didn't see any. Personally I think that story is spread to keep out the riffraff.  I was further assured by our driver who visits regularly that the crocs don't come this far south.  They tend to stay up north where most of the fish are.

We are standing at the spring where it pools before going into the lake.

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Lodwar Pastor's Conference August 2019

Monday August 19, 2019

The internet has been a little sketchy and I haven't been able to post anything but today I've got a window of opportunity so I thought I'd catch you up.  We finished the conference on Friday by handing out the book resources we brought with us. Many thanks to the Gospel Coalition and P & R Publishing for the free resources they provided us to hand out. 

We closed the conference out with the graduation of three API School of Ministry students who earned their Bth degrees.

From left to right - Pastor Shadrack Mwita, Director of Education Kenya, Moses Loburuk, graduate, myself, Daniel Akoikoi, graduate, Pastor George Lokwawi, Commencement speaker, Pastor Dan Mason, and Michael Tioko, graduate.  Many pastors came up to me after we finished this year to express their appreciation for the ministry of API and the conferences we host in Lodwar, which for many constitute the only Bible training they receive.  One of them, Pastor James Louren took me aside and told me, "I want to thank API so much for the teachings this year. They are so deep and so helpful. I have learned more this year than before and understood so much better and they have transformed my preaching. These will cause my people to grow well."  We thank all of you who give financially for this ministry and want you to know that your partnership in this ministry is helping to transform the pastors and churches in Kenya.

Saturday morning we distributed maize, beans, salt and cooking oil to the poor a place in Lodwar called Soweto, named after the large slum area in South Africa. One of the reasons we targeted this area in Lodwar was because these people are always overlooked when NGO's or the government distributes food. The other reason is that one of the pastors who has been coming to our conferences, Joshua Lemuya, has a church right in the middle of this slum, and had been telling us about those who were starving right on the edge of town where there is a lot of food. 

So Saturday morning we loaded up with 2 tons of maize, one ton of beans, 1000 lbs of salt and 180 litres of cooking oil, and drove to the church compound where we found 300+ people waiting patiently for food.  For some this would be the first significant amount of food they have had in while.  One of the ladies from the church helping to hand out the food with us, told us that some of these people hadn't eaten anything for two days.

Pastor Lemuya and his team organized the line, starting with the handicapped, the widows and the elderly.

Again, we want to thank those of you who gave so generously to feed these people. 

 

 

 

 

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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 Pastor's Conference Spring 2017

 

 

 

 

April 9, 2017

Lodwar

 

It is Sunday evening in Lodwar and several days have passed since we last updated you all. I finally got to a place where the internet is fast enough to email and post pictures so I'll try to catch you up.

 

We had a wonderful time in Oloolaimutia with the Maasai pastors last week. We arrived Monday morning where we checked into Manyatta Camp overlooking part of the Maasai Mara game park.  From the hotel open air dining room, we could watch elephants, giraffes, antelope, gazelles, wildebeests, zebras and other wild animals as they moved through the part of the park we could see.  It was a great way to begin the day. 

Home sweet home for a week. 

We began our conference last Monday evening at the Enkitoria Church with about 30 pastors.

The rest of the pastors were with their animals moving their herds of cattle, sheep and goats further south into Tanzania in search of pasture as the drought has hit these people very hard. Their animals are dying for lack of food and water and as a result the people are suffering. And yet the testimony of these pastors remains strong. “God is good and He will provide” they tell me. “Even if times are hard now, He will bring us into abundance.”

By Wednesday, most of the pastors and leaders had arrived to take part in the rest of the conference. Our host, Pastor Stephen Muntet, told me near the end of the week that “the pastors were crying to him to have more of these conferences because they were so helped by the word”.  Give God the glory! According to him, we were the first missionaries to come and hold this kind of conference, and this was the first time so many pastors from different denominations had gathered together in unity. There were 86 pastors and church leaders from 8 different denominations that came to this conference and they all expressed their deep appreciation to us personally at one time or another. The pastors are already planning the next conference and they expect 200 to come this time.  Their hunger for the word of God is amazingly deep and they received the word with great joy.

I am deeply grateful to my longtime friend, Pastor Shadrack Mwita who made several trips to Mara to organize this conference. Shadrack was in charge of all the daily logistics of the conference and he did an outstanding job. I don't think we've ever eaten better at any of our conferences.

Market day in Oloolaimutia.

The pastor who hosted the conference in his church, Reverend Samuel Muntet, the brother of Stephen, is building a new clinic to replace the old one he built years ago. His was the first clinic in Oloolaimutia and he will expand the services of the clinic to include labor and delivery rooms, long-term care rooms, a pharmacy and a lab.

We also gave out some audio bibles in the Maasai language along with the gospel flip charts as many people in the surrounding area are still illiterate. On my last trip to Mara, I had given Stephen one of those audio bibles and he told me he has been using it to great effect in evangelism and discipleship in his church.

One of the highlights, at least for the pastors, was the ceremony making Shadrack and I honorary Maasai.

I think I'm a little too white for this. But they insisted. One of my staunchest supporters in the Maasai thing was Pastor Timothy.

Please pray for the churches in Mara that God would increase the love and unity among them and that the gospel would go out in power throughout the Maasai. Pray too that God would have mercy on their land and visit it with rain. 

 

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API Pastors Conferences 2016

Monday afternoon we began registering pastors for the conference and handing out the books and other materials we brought for them

A big thank you to TGC and their Theological Famine Relief initiative for supplying all these books for the Kenyan pastors!

Our first session was Monday night where we opened the conference with the first chapter of 1st Timothy.  The next morning, Pastor Tim continued on with chapter two.

We are using one of the conference rooms at the Catholic High School in Lodwar for our sessions.

Preparing lunch - Nyama stew. (goat stew)

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Fly Day

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It's Wednesday morning in Nairobi and we just had a great breakfast at Java house and we are packing up to fly home this evening.  Over the weekend we had the opportunity to visit the game park in Masaai Mara and saw some of God's incredible handiwork up close and personal. It is migration time for the animals and there were literally millions of them on the move.

Here are a few photos taken by the master photographer - Rob Hostager.

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Thank you all for your prayers and support all throughout this trip.  God has done more than we could have imagined or planned on our own and we are thankful for your participation in this ministry.

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Monday in Nairobi

It has been a few days since we have had reliable internet so I'll try to catch you all up on what's been happening. 

We finished the conference in Eldoret Friday night with a great time of celebration of the Lord's table.  We had 46 pastors and church leaders attend the conference that started last Monday evening and it was a full week of teaching and learning.

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Everyday we held an hour session for questions and answers, with the pastors and students grilling the presenters.

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Friday, we took a group photo with the students and their t-shirts and books.  The t-shirts were made by Pastor Moses Biketi in his new sign shop Stan Skinner and Dave Johnson helped him set up last February.  The books were provided by P&R Publishing and the Gospel Coalition's Theological Famine program.

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Saturday morning we took off for our eventual destination of Narok, but we were sidelined after about two hours of driving when the trailer hitch assembly broke off our vehicle. Providentially it happened just as we came into a town called Kakamega and not while we were speeding down the highway.  As it happened, there were three welding shops within about 100 meters and after an hour's delay and 6 dollars worth of welding rod we were on our way.

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Ben and Tim enjoyed some Tangawezi and Coke Zero while I chilled on the grassy bank and Rob and Jay were nowhere to be seen while the hitch was re-welded.

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We stopped in a place called Majengo where Pastor Reuben Luvanga has planted a church. 

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We stopped off to visit and to give the church some money from the Brad Pederson Memorial Building Fund to help them put up a structure on this plot of land they recently purchased. Reuben and I are standing where he intends to put the pulpit.

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After some chai and chapati at the home of Reuben and his wife, we continued on our way to Narok.

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Last Day in Lodwar

 

It is Sunday night in Eldoret. We finished the conference in Lodwar with a group picture and a moving communion service Friday night.

 

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Ben and Pastor William Emase

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Ben and Michael react to one of Rob's jokes.

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After the service, Rob and Shadrack, Jay and I went stargazing.

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Saturday we spent visiting the church in Nataaba and Juluk. We had been able to help the church in Nataaba to finish the walls of the church and we went to take pictures.

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Ben and Pastor Leonard inspecting one of the homes nearby

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When we got back to Lodwar we visited the church in Juluk, a short drive from town. The church in Juluk is pastored by Beatrice Natoo and has grown so much they need to expand the facility.

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We finished up in the Lodwar open market, California, and we drew a crowd.

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Ben, trying to get away from the vendors

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Sharpening a panga

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After returning to our rooms to pack, we went to the airport for the flight to Lodwar

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We landed in Eldoret around 6:30 and went to dinner at a really good chinese restaurant. We needed a break from ugali and tsukumuweke.

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Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday in Lodwar

Today is Friday and we haven't posted since Monday due in part to the work load and in part to the sketchy internet here in Lodwar.  We've been very busy from 8 in the morning till 9 at night with teaching and interacting with the pastors here. We have around 85 pastors from Lodwar and all over the Turkana region, including at least two from outside the country.  One is a missionary from Sudan and one pastor is a former Muslim from Somalia.

The pastors are continually saying over and over how much they appreciate and love what we are doing for them in teaching them from the word of God. They also realize that we have lots of people behind us (like you all reading the blog) that have given sacrificially to send us to them.  We've been told that they consider us a real blessing from God.  As I was speaking with the chairman of the Lodwar Pastor's Fellowship, Pastor Boniface Rimati, he told me that when he was called to this area as a pastor, he felt like he had three things he wanted to accomplish. One of those three things was somehow to introduce some pastoral training for the pastors of this region.  He said that the API School of Ministry was the answer to his prayer.

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Here are some pictures to enjoy of our stay here.

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These ladies are amazing - they carry everything on their heads.

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These are roadside shops.

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Can't leave your car doors or windows open with these guys around.

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Kids always have a front row seat.

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View from the back of Lodwar High School.

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So...what we have here are the latrines. The one on the right is for the women.  The one on the left is for the men.  No, no, not the white building, (which I thought).  The men's latrine is the half-wall on the left.  Nothing like fresh, open air where you can see who's coming to join you in the latrine. Or you can simply have conversations with passers-by.

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Here is where the cooks prepare the food.  This picture was taken at about 12 pm and the fire was going.  It's only around 95 today.

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