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Winter Mission 2023

Saturday, December 2, 2023
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It has taken a week to get to a place with reliable internet to even begin this blog so I'll be giving you all a recap of the week we/ve just had.  I got into Nairobi late last Sunday evening and the next morning, Frank and John and I drove to the place we booked to stay for the week. Our conference was in Matete at Pastor Moses Biketi's place but we were staying about 15 minutes away in a town called Webuye. We chose not to stay in our usual hotel called Downhill Springs because, well, it has gone downhill over the years and we needed a new place. So we booked a place called Falls View. It was actually a nice place with good food, service and comfortable rooms. But as with nearly everything in Kenya, there were challenges. I was confronted by the first when I walked into the bathroom.
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I'm not sure what the thinking was here, but it required some athleticism to use the toilet. Maybe that was the point. But we've learned to roll with the punches as it were and I made some creative adjustments!  I also reminded myself I wasn't here for comfortable amenities.
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The week of teaching through the first five chapters of Romans was planned for 100 pastors and church leaders, but we ended up with about 165.  I suppose we shoudn't be surprised. This was the fifth year of this winter conference and the word has gotten out about the value of this trainng. Additionally, Pastors Moses and Reuben have been holding trainings throughout this year in villages close by and all those they've been teaching are coming and bringing their pastor friends as well.
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We were most impressed by the way all the attendees seemed to be focused during the teaching time, and absorbing the material. There was little to no getting up and moving around during the hour and a half sessions, with all those attending concentrating deeply on listening and taking notes.
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During the break times, you could see dozens of small groups gathered together talking, not about the weather, but the most recent session. 
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I broke in on some of these groups just to find out what they were discussing and found they were really engaged in the Romans material. Everyone I spoke to told me how blessed they felt to be under this teaching. One pastor told us that he had been preaching through Romans for the past month, but now realized how much richer and deeper Romans was than he had thought.  His eyes had been opened, he said, and thanked us repeatedly and said he could hardly wait till next year when we would be going through chapters 6 - 11 of Romans.
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Of course we have such a great teaching team with Reuben Luvanga, Moses Biketi, Shadrack Murimi, and adding this year, Pastor Boniface Lokuruka from Lodwar.
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Our Q&A sessions at the end of every teaching day provided us the opportunity to add more depth to the day's teachings and those times are always enjoyable as well as enlightening.
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Thanks to the generosity of Crossway and Ekklesia Afrika, we were able to give these pastors some bibles and other great resources.
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As happens almost everywhere, I get some children who are curious about the mazungu and are facsinated by my white skin.
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We left for Eldoret today, to spend the night and take off for Churo tomorrow morning.  But before we left Webuye, we stopped by Nzoina Falls that we could see from our hoter for some close up pictures.
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We were truly blessed to spend a week with these brothers and sisters, and are looking forward to being back with them next year as we continue in Romans.  Thank you all for your prayers and support!
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