Archive for April, 2010
The Spring 2010 Assured Way
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The church has printed new Word of the Lord and The Record of the Nephits books. Then have arrived and are ready for shipping. If you want one, please let Terry Laws know at firstname.lastname@example.org
We write this to you today, knowing the blessings of the Lord and His Grace and protection in our journey for the Lord. It has been a true blessing being here in Africa and the Lord has indeed performed much through His Power and His Love.
The Pastor’s Seminar which we held for five days was a joy and many who came seemed to have been blessed. We taught on the foundation of the Church, Original Sin, the falling way of the Church from the Doctrine of Christ, the Articles of Faith and Practice, marriage, the Tribulation and understanding of the events that surround it, and where the Church’s Doctrine is on that subject. We answered questions on Doctrine. From March 16th through the 21st we taught classes which were well received by the pastors who were in attendance and many had well thought out and serious questions; which reflected the honest seeking of men who desired to preach and teach the full gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and stand on the firm foundation spoken of in Ephesians chapter 2: 20; “and are built upon the foundation of the apostles, the prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone”. There are some questions that are unique to Africa and also some that upon our return to America, that might be helpful to the ministry to learn themselves which would enable them to deal with problems and questions that arise in an overseas ministry.
Following the pastor’s seminar, we counseled with those who are building the East African Headquarters building and then prepared ourselves for the coming journey to Tanzania.
We departed for Tanzania minus Disciple John Githinji, who had stayed at home on this journey, due to a serious operation upon his wife. All of us were very much concerned about this surgery and it was such a blessing that the American Church paid for her entire surgery. She came out of the surgery very well and we all were thankful for the success of the surgery and especially for the kindness and mercy extended by each of you in America who contributed to help sister Githinji and her family.
We traveled all night and arrived at the border of Tanzania at 9am. We waited there for Pastor Masatu Abihudi. From the border we traveled the rest of the day around Lake Victoria on “the roads” to the village of Chimati, finally arriving at 4pm in the evening. The “roads” in this area are little more than paths, which a good four wheel drive vehicle would find interesting driving. It is a beautiful area with rich vegetation and lots of farms. We have arrived during the rainy season and we have a reprieve from the heat and instead, we are blessed with a lot of muddy paths to walk! The community has welcomed us and blessed us with a warm friendship and a willing heart and ear to hear the Gospel presented to them. We teach from early morning until late evening and answer questions concerning the Word of the Lord, and there is a tremendous amount of questions concerning witchcraft, which is prevalent especially in this area of Tanzania. We also have been praying for the sick and needy, and God has been very gracious in blessing us with many, many healings. We also have been casting out demons from precious souls who have through their own misguided efforts, allowed themselves to become demon possessed. The traditions of their fathers over the ages have often intermixed with the word of God and have created many problems in this area of Tanzania. Sometimes we in America forget our nation is barely over two hundred years old and hasn’t had the influences that exist in a continent that is several thousand years old; even older than most western nations in Europe. This has allowed cultural differences and traditions to pollute and bring confusion among many believers to Christ in this part of God’s Vineyard. This requires a keen understanding of the Old Testament and also of what is the culture and traditions that exist in parts of Africa.
After many days and nights of teaching and preaching in this rural area of Tanzania and sharing in some wonderful fellowship and praise and worship;
God blessed us with ten baptisms and one ordination of Brother Masatu Abihud to the responsibility of Disciple in East Africa. There are many, many more who will be baptized in the not too distant future, however due to the rainy conditions and people’s work responsibilities; those will be accomplished by our Disciple in the days to come.
The walk to Lake Victoria is about six miles one way and although it is indeed a beautiful journey, it is also time consuming. Needless to say, we have been blessed with lots of fish to eat and lots of rice and banana. It has been a pleasant change to our diet from the past several weeks (although the food has been excellent with rice, ugali, goat, chicken, and now and then some fish). I truly wish each of my brothers and sisters could experience the wonderful way we are treated and fed and comforted here in Africa. Our Brothers and Sisters lovingly give all they have to make our stay and our time comfortable.
From Chimati we traveled to Seka and more of a country town environment. It wasn’t so different from a small country town in the Midwest. We would start preaching and teaching in the town square under a tree and before long, we would have a crowd of interested people. The area has been exposed to the seventh day Adventist groups and we had some very interesting discussions with many of the pastors and membership there. For two days and nights we shared the Gospel with these wonderful people who listened with open hearts and ears and very much were interested; and have requested we return and help them form a Church of Christ in that area.
We departed about one day early due to some illness and minor injuries among the ministry team there. My own left knee was swollen and reasonably painful and Disciple Fred had a badly infected tooth and others of our group had various illnesses. We felt it wisdom to return one day early and get a bit of medical help for those in need; as our next section of this missionary journey will be in isolated parts of Kenya and a long way from any kind of medical assistance. We felt it better to arrive in the coming area at least somewhat healthy.
It was good to be back in Kitale and the East Africa Headquarters and also to help in the management of the building of the headquarters building. The building is progressing very well. The Brothers labor long hours and truly are building a wonderful headquarters Building! Most of the women in the Church gather daily, preparing food for the men laboring on the Church, and many of the other members come daily bringing a bag of cement, donating their food, their money, their time, wood, steel, and one precious brother even has paid the cost of the roof entirely himself! These are not wealthy people and some of their donations amount to nearly several months’ income and all has given what little they have to build what they understand to be the House of God. When I observe the sincerity and love which they precious brothers and Sisters come and give all they have, to enable the building to be completed; I have wipe the tears from my eyes at their faith and their love for the Lord and His house.
Today on April 4th, 2010 in the evening; our Brother Disciple Robert Beck departed our company to return to Nairobi, Kenya. He will then fly back to Germany on the 7th of April. He has much work to accomplish in Europe and although it grieves our hearts to see him depart; we understand that the Lord has need of him in Germany as well. Robert has been such a blessing and a true help to the work in Africa. Our room seems a bit empty this night as I write this report to each of you. The dedication and love Disciple Beck has for the Work and Word of the Lord is more than I have witnessed in many, many men. I know the Lord is well pleased with this precious Brother and fellow worker for Christ. Probably one of the best ways to measure the worth of a man is how much He loves the Lord and serves the people of the Lord in a very humble and unselfish way. Disciple Beck is a rare individual and a blessing unto all that know him.
We traveled to Namanjala this day and preached on Easter Sunday and then again on the Monday following. We Ordained Brother Morris to Vice Bishop and Brother Alfred to an Evangelist and have scheduled a lot of baptisms for the not too distant future for Namanjala, when we return to Kitale again.
I will close this missionary report for now, but I pray and hope that each of you who read this may have a bit of an idea of what is transpiring here in Africa. Obviously we have left out the difficult times, as the purpose of a missionary report is to edify the flock and uplift the Spirits of those who read our words. I can assure you however, that the good far outweighs the difficult times. God is accomplishing much and your prayers, your support and your love is so very deeply appreciated. I will try to send some pictures later tonight and if this old man can figure it out; then I hope you will be blessed. May the Lord Bless and Keep each of you.
Your Brother in Christ Apostle Norman D. Lyles.