Read the latest news from Mombasa Mission. You can find out more about the work in Kenya on the Mombasa Mission website.
We are already well into the into the new year, the time has come for us to update you on the Lord’s work here at the mission in Kenya.
Over Christmas both of the families here went to stay at FAME mission, run by the Irish Free Presbyterians in a place called Kitui, near Nairobi. It took us 15 hours to drive there due to Sam’s hire car having a broken EGR valve, therefore giving no power and a lot of smoke! We had a nice few days there with the mission family. It was encouraging to talk with fellow believers and share the ups and downs of missionary life.
As with many parts of the world the weather here has been very unstable. What should have been the dry season was very wet and we have had some big tropical storms (which are fascinating to watch). When the rain falls on the metal roof sheets the noise is deafening. If we are in the middle of a service, we have to stop until it has passed over. The heavy ongoing rain has caused many different problems; damage to the roads, peoples’ mud houses and also bought an increase in mosquitos and malaria. Over the last few weeks we have learned about the death of two children from separate families due to the disease. Sam is testing a 10 year old boy in the picture below.
We are still having a problem with the clinic here. Sam is unable to get a license under his name as he does not have the relevant qualifications – in Kenya the government does not have or recognize paramedics (only nurses or doctors) so we are not allowed to give medicine from the clinic or have people coming here for treatment, although they do still come asking! We do however go out and visit people in their homes and we can do a simple malaria test and give the medication needed outside of the clinic. If the malaria is advanced, we can give treatment by injection or IV and send them to the hospital. Local hospitals are not good though and we fear sending any there. This week Sam had taken Mary to this hospital (a 16 year old girl suffering with advanced malaria). While in the queue a small child stopped breathing and no one seemed to care, even the doctors. No attempt was made at resuscitation. Due to the long queue it was decided to take Mary to another Hospital an hour’s drive away and now she is improving thankfully. That option is not there for many people, they just have to sit and wait – perhaps they will die but no one will care. It seems that if it is the Lord’s will that a clinic be opened officially here, we would have to have a doctor or nurse from abroad who believes the Lord has called them to this work. There is a great need here, both spiritually and physically. “Neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee”.
During a recent visit by the ladies of the church, they went to a woman suffering from Aids. The lady, Mama Agnes (pictured in the chair), had been attending the services, being picked up by motorbike on the Lords day morning as she is unable to walk, but recently the motorbike drivers had got fed up of waiting for her so they refused to collect her. The ladies decided to visit her to find out the problem. To their horror she was being terribly neglected by her family. Unable to get out of bed, she was lying on a urine-soaked mattress and they had withdrawn food and drinking water. It seems that the family had left her to die. This is something we have found out is quite common, especially with people suffering from Aids. The family stop giving water and food and eventually they die. Elsie and Hannah began daily visits to wash her and change sheets. They talked with the ladies of the church to see if any were willing to help care for her, but only 2 said they were able. People are afraid because they don’t understand the disease. It also gives opportunity to read the Bible and pray with her. She especially likes to be sung some Swahili hymns. She has now begun attending the services again. One of the ladies goes there to get her washed and ready and puts her on the motorbike. Her family have begun taking better care of her which is a real encouragement and they seem to appreciate the daily help.
The island of Wasini has also had an outbreak of Malaria. This gave Sam and Michael (church deacon) an opportunity to go there again to visit the Chief. The local Island clinic had run out of testing kits and medicine, so Sam was given permission to help test the locals. It was found that two children had advanced Malaria and had to be taken to the mainland hospital. We are continuing to pray for the door to open for us to establish ourselves on the island. Our main concern is that they do not know the gospel, like Paul who desired the salvation of his fellow people so much that he was willing, if it were possible, to be cursed on their behalf. If we begin with a full time medical work it would need a doctor or a nurse to run the clinic there. There are two government clinics on the island but they are very ill-equipped and closed at night, with all medical staff leaving the island.
In January we harvested about 150kg of green grams, having planted 2 acres last year. This will provide food for us, the workers here and some will be sent to the feeding program at Manna Bible Church, Likoni (Pastor Dalmas). Daisy has been very keen planting and taking care of tomatoes and watermelons with help from Mangongo and Mzungu (pictured). We had a very good harvest of tomatoes and were able to sell some to the local market.
We had three baptisms on the first Lord’s day of the year. One of them was an old lady who had never attended Church before coming here. Last year she was spoken to on one of the evangelistic walks in the local village. It was explained to her about her need of Christ and the way of salvation. She said she would come to the church to hear more. She started attending, walking for one hour each way. She heard about baptism and came to see the elders. We spoke with her but she was very confused and was leaning on her works. We endeavored to encourage her and show her the biblical truths concerning true salvation. A month later she came back wanting to be baptized, and then again a third time, there being at first no discernable difference. Seeing her determination and hearing of changes in her life, James decided to draw for her a picture on the blackboard; man, and his sin separating him from God. He showed her how her own works would never take her across the vast expanse and that in her present condition she would fall short of reaching Him, but God in sending His son to bridge the gap, has reconciled all who believe to Himself. As he was explaining these things to her, she said “Yes, yes I understand now! My works cannot save me; I must believe in Jesus alone.” She came another two times to talk with us, each time walking an hour, as well as coming to the Lords day service, and on the first Lords day of the year we baptized her, along with two others.
As we know, when God is at work Satan will not be far behind seeking to undo or disrupt things. During this time of encouragement, we had been having some problems with Joseph Mapema; so much so that we had to remove him from preaching some time back and then from church membership. This was a very hard and confusing time for us all as he had been with us from the beginning. It seems he was consumed with jealousy towards another member and this affected his preaching and behaviour. He sadly refused to repent before the church here. We hope and pray the Lord will restore him in a repentant state.
James and Elsie’s house-building is going well and we are now building the gables. We are currently cutting some trees to make the windows and doors. Later this week we hope to get the trees for the roof trusses; the remaining branches that cannot be used we are making into charcoal (pictured right), which we use for some cooking. God willing we hope to have moved in by May/ June. The main building will then be freed-up to be used for Bible classes, housing guests, the clinic and any other ways God opens to us.
Over the years we have taught many people concerning the bible; some pastors, some deacons and some just Christians wanting to learn what the Bible teaches. Yet when these people go back into a Pentecostal environment they are mocked by others for learning what the Bible teaches. Their congregations say they don’t have any more ‘power’ to do miracles or ‘pray in tongues’ so they leave and go elsewhere. These people need to be encouraged to stand firm and to do so they need to know the scriptures well. They need to learn to worship God according to the scriptures. Many of the men are uneducated and because they speak two languages, they do not know either of them in depth, so it is hard for them to read. There is little in the way of good Christian literature in their language. It is hard for them to think deeply on the truths of scripture, with such a superficial background understanding. We have discussed with Dalmas, and believe that the best thing to do would be to have men to stay for a week at a time, including a Lords day, to be taught through the week and to experience the way we preach and worship God. We are hoping this will help to equip them better to serve the Lord in their own spheres.
This year both families hope to travel back to the UK. Hannah is hoping to leave with Josiah on March 3rd, with Sam following on March 27th, to have their baby (expected end of April). They hope to return somewhere around May/June, God willing. James, Elsie and family hope to come back for 3 months 7th July to 7th October. We hope to arrange some update talks on the work here and will let you know the dates as the venues are booked.
We thank you for your continued support and wish you the Lord’s blessing.
From all at the mission[A00130 – 06/03/2020]