A glorious start to 2015
Since arriving in Kenya a few weeks ago equipped with funds and resources to start another exciting year of ministry, we have started off at a fast pace. We have purchased a new van, held 4 regional meetings, finished a wonderful conference and cleared and unloaded the container. Between the regional meetings and conference we have already encouraged, equipped and empowered over 1500 pastors and leaders. What a year this will be!
Last week we finished our first conference of 2015 and once again it is hard to describe how powerful and awesome it was. The depth of teaching was so evident as we had a combined 500+ years of ministry represented between all the speakers. We hosted 23 guests from different places across the States and speakers in age from 14-89 years old. Many thanks to Dr. Charles Green, Dick Dungan and Jim Macchi and their team of 11 from Nebraska; along with Paul and Teresa Koehler, Murphy and Twila Matheny, Travis Matheny, Dr. John Stanko and Rick Montgomery. We had 600 pastors and leaders from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sudan, Congo and Zambia.
I don’t remember in all the previous conferences if we have ever had so many attacks and challenges in one conference. One of the speakers for the women had to fly home a few days after arriving due to a family emergency. Our apartment flooded 3 times due to a faulty hot water heater. It soaked some of the guest’s suitcases, carpets soaked, wood floors buckled as well as no hot water at our apartment. The key to the van came up missing and as it was locked, we had to have a locksmith come and make new keys. Another speaker for the women had to be taken to the hospital on the last day of the conference. She was there for about 5 hours undergoing a battery of tests. One of the young men who came with a group of fathers and sons from Nebraska fell through one of the bunk beds (he was showing some of the guys some wrestling moves) and ripped open his chin all the way to the bone. A doctor with the group went to the local hospital, bought what he needed and came back to CMM and stitched up his chin. The container arrived at CMM on Saturday after the pastors left on Friday. One of our drivers had a minor fender bender during one trip to CMM. I think this is enough to give you an idea of the challenges.
However, on Friday morning after the conference many of us took an hour or so and read the testimonies. After hearing what all happened in the lives of these men and women of God, we knew then why this conference was so attacked. In the end, God’s servants were healed, delivered, taught, filled and refilled. As one pastor wrote…”We are looking forward to the next meeting, perspiring with passion, ignited with hope, re-fired by the treasure we got here, equipped and ready for God’s work”!
Testimony after testimony had us laughing, crying, praising and rejoicing over what God had done. So many were helped, encouraged and empowered. Like many of them say in their testimonies, they will never be the same again. May God be glorified for the great things He has done.
Last Saturday the container arrived at CMM. We were believing for several miracles, one of them would be that Kenya Customs would have favor on us and not try and find any and everything to add extra duty to as was done last year. Our agent talked with the customs official at the port and explained what all the goods were going to be used for. Then an answer to prayer happened. The customs lady said she would add no more duty that what we had already paid and said the final bill would be $600.00! Last year the final bill was several thousand dollars.
Then when we unloaded it, everything was in tact, nothing broken and nothing stolen. We went out yesterday to start sorting and it was like Christmas. We now have on hand thousands of Bibles and books, hundreds of brand new concordances, 200 gallons of paint, a new riding lawn mower, power washer, air compressor, sound equipment, computers, guitars and new boots for all our guards and casual workers. We gave out the boots to our staff and new sweat shirts for their children, gave guitars to pastors, a sound system and keyboard to a pastor and church. It was like watching everyone open presents on Christmas morning and smiles and God praises, hand shakes and hugs everywhere.
Once again we must say it, we could not do this without all the giving, prayers, encouragement and support that you provide. Your reservoir in heaven just got a little fuller in the past few weeks for what you have provide for your brothers and sisters in Africa!
Ronnie and Debbie