Posts tagged ‘Missionary report’

We arrived in the Philippines on the 26th of June 2010. It had been a wonderful time of sharing and laboring for the Lord in India with our brothers and sisters. The love, faith, and grace that they shared with us daily will forever be in our hearts and in our minds.
Landing in Manila we got room and prepared ourselves for the work in the southern part of the Islands, on the Island of Mindanao. After three days of preparation for our journey south, we boarded a flight to Cagayan de Oro on the Island of Mindanao. We were warmly welcomed there by most of the Church membership in Cagayan de Oro and they brought us to our new home, which is located behind the Church building. We arrived about 2:30 pm and then after a short time to unpack we held services for the membership in the Cagayan de Oro local church. I taught on the e  twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew and the things Christ had said unto his disciples concerning the end of the world and His second coming. I also taught upon Revelation chapter six and the seven seals spoken of Revelation and upon the first seal which Jesus Christ opened of the sealed book spoken of in the Book of Daniel. The flock seemed pleased and understanding the words and prophesies given in the word of God. Then Larry and I retired for the night and spent a bit of time getting to know our new home.

On the 29th and 30th of June  I taught those gathered on Revelation chapters five and six on the 29th and then on the 30th I taught on Matthew 24, Revelation 7, and Ephesians chapters two and four. The congregation really seemed pleased and had many questions which the Lord was able to answer in His Word. The study was designed to help ground them and prepare them for the days that are ahead for each of us who love the Lord. It is so very necessary we have a firm foundation and that we do understand exactly how the Devil will and does seek to deceive and mislead us. It is a perilous time we live in and God commands us to give meat in due season.

On July 1st brother Larry and I extended our Visa’s and then went grocery shopping for the week that is ahead. This evening Brother Larry taught upon tithing and the need to be obedient in all parts of the commandments to Christ. The Night of the second Larry continued on tithing and offerings and the people here really seemed to understand and have a sincere desire to be obedient unto God’s commandments. Then on the third we traveled into Cagayan de Oro and taught a small gathering of believers and non believers concerning the Lord Jesus Christ and our need to have Him in our lives. Our Sunday services on the fourth of July, I taught on forgiveness and how very important a gift that God had imparted unto us through His Sacrifice upon the Cross for each of us and just how far forgiveness is reaching and how much truly God does forgive. The membership then blessed us with a wonderful meal of fish and rice and wonderful fellowship.

The day of the fifth of July, was spent writing letters to Africa and India to follow up on the work we had done in the Nations of Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, and India. We also packed for our coming journey the next day to the southern part of the Island of Mindanao. We would need to pack well as we would be away about a week from our base in Cagayan de Oro.

The morning of July 6th 2010 we arose early and departed for Maramag. It would be several hours later amid a heavy rain we would arrive in Maramag. We had departed at 5am and arrived at 6pm that evening. After arriving I taught all those who had gathered to share in the Word of the Lord for almost four and half hours. The people were excited and anxious to hear the Word of the Lord and it was a true joy to witness their faith and their interest in the Word. We finally retired at about mid-night and arose early the next morning to breakfast of fish and rice and then began teaching once again at 7:30 am in the morning. We covered the coming of the Messenger of the covenant, the promised Elijah, explained the difference between the Rapture and Tribulation and also the false teaching of that subject, by so many who claim to represent Christ. As many of the membership were those who had come originally from the Assembly of God belief; there was many who were quite surprised to find the Church as a whole passing through the Great Tribulation, but once it had been taught; they clearly understood and were truly grateful for the teaching on that subject. We spent two days teaching on the foundation of the church and then we spent the 8th teaching on the Articles of Faith and Practice. Those gathered also blessed us with a wonderful choir of young ladies who sang with the voices of angels and warmed our hearts and souls with their sweet voices and joyful spirits. The youth in America could learn much from these precious young ladies who are truly a blessing to all who hear them sing.

On the 9th of July, the Church held a pig roast and took us swimming! It was so good to cool off in the pool and relax and enjoy the fellowship of our brothers and sisters who had traveled away as far as 90 klm to share in this time of teaching and preaching and sharing in the Word of the Lord. There were not many dry eyes as we departed back to Cagayan de Oro, and it was difficult to leave such wonderful brothers and sisters who touched our hearts and very souls so deeply. We will return to this area before we depart back to America and share once again in the love and Word of God among those whom love the Lord so very much and are such a blessing to all who know them. The journey home on the bus was filled with precious memories and my mind replaying each of the wonderful souls we had met and shared in the love of God and His Word.
Arriving late in the night back in Cagayan de Oro amid rain and weariness we had no trouble in sleeping. The next day I spent answering questions and letters from many wonderful souls in India, Africa, and Canada. I have come to know a special brother in Canada and it is a joy to write to him and fellowship through the mail, as he has a fine spirit and a good mind and loves the Lord. This night we also continued to teach and answer questions among those gathered in the Local Church in Cagayan de Oro.

On Sunday the 11th of July, my Brothers Sonny Democali, Tino, Larry and myself  preached and taught the people and shared with them the things that had transpired on the journey to visit their brothers and sisters in the southern part of their island. We also shared video of the trip and the singing and the fellowship; which all were excited and happy to witness and share the Joy which we too had felt. Monday and Tuesday we found ourselves discussing and planning with our fellow workers here in the Philippines how best to accomplish the work and helping them to make adjustments in the way they were going about the work. We hopefully are helping them to understand and have more success in all they seek to do for the Lord and His Church. In the evening we taught on the Articles of Faith and Practice.  Then for the remainder of the week we began a series of lessons on Messages 29, 45, and 86, as well as Joel chapter 3, Zechariah chapters 11-14, and Revelation chapters 6, 7, 14-18 there were several questions and the people seemed to truly enjoy the study and were grateful for the information and lessons learned therein. We also went to the local music store and purchased a guitar and tambourine for the Church to help them in the music they like to sing and perform.

During the days we would meet with several of the membership and answer questions and in general help them with Spiritual difficulties that each of us face in our daily walk with Christ.. I  thank God for each of our Brothers and Sisters who love the Lord so deeply and live in an area that is not wealthy with things of the world, but is rich indeed with His Love and His Grace. It is an honor to labor among those who love him so very deeply and give glory to Him each day in their lives and the manner in which they live their lives.

Today we arose early and began our journey to the northern tip of the island of Mindanao and the town of Surigao and also the island of Dinagat San Jose.  It is on this island that the followers of the ‘divine master’ reside. These poor misguided souls believe that a physical man is Jesus Christ and lives on the island with them. He has stolen land from so many of the people in the northern tip of  Mindanao island, that the military went to war with him and arrested him about three years ago and then released him last year because he had so much money and corruption is rampant in  this part of the world. We presented the word of God to those who would hear, and then traveled to another part of the island and again taught and were able to touch several souls who expressed interest in the Church and the Word of God and invited us back. We will send the Disciples back soon. We also contacted a Methodist minister who is extremely interested in the Church and we invited him to our pastor’s seminar in August. He has a flock of about two hundred and is expressing interest in joining our Church and becoming one with the Lord and His Church. The Next day we traveled to Surigao and there brought five precious souls through the waters of Baptism and into the Lord’s flock and membership of His Church. Then late that night of the 23rd we traveled the six and half hours back to Cagayan de Oro and our base there at the Church.

Sunday the 25th found us once again in Church in Cagayan de Oro and I preached on First Kings chapters 9 through 11 on the subject of disobedience to the word of God and the price we pay for that transgression. The Spirit of the God was heavy in the service and we anointed some of the sick and prayed for them as well.

We would spend the rest of the week traveling to various members’ homes and having studies and answering questions and praying for those who had needs. We also helped with some problems that had come up in the Church and the Lord’s Spirit greatly took care of many needful things and problems simply melted away in the Peace and Power of the Holy Spirit. I shall always be grateful unto the membership here in the Philippines who so willingly share their homes, their lives, and their time with us as we minister among them. The prayers support, and love we receive from America is also such a blessing and an encouragement unto us. I do pray each of you realize what a tremendous gift you present unto those overseas with your prayers and your concern for each of us. I am constantly amazed at the daily support and letters of encouragement we also receive from Europe, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and India as well. Truly the Body of Christ is One. Each part of the Body (the Church) is always right on time with the prayers and support we need so very much.

It was a joy to even get to speak via the net to those who had assembled themselves for the Church assembly in America! My, what a blessing and how it uplifted our souls and made us smile! I know that so many overseas lack computers (less than 2% have computers), but for those who do; I encourage all to visit the web site in America. We have some young men who operate it with very professional and Spirit filled dedication. I am grateful for their intelligence and their Faithfulness to the Work of the Lord. I could have searched the world over and not found such good brothers as those who take care of our web site and truly God must be pleased.

Finally in closing; we have another month and a half here in the Philippines. There is much to do and much to accomplish. Some of what is done is not reported, however God knows full well what is transpiring and it is He who leads and directs the Work. We have been contacted by some of those who fell away from the Lord in false teachings and the craftiness of men. They are awakening to those who had deceived them and are seeking to come all the way to the Lord in repentance and become once again members and Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Remember these too in your prayers and thoughts. I will also be sending a missionary report for August and September from the Philippines. I hope these reports edify and bless each of you. I hope it gives you a small understanding of the goodness and greatness of our Lord. I know the Lord is indeed a gracious and merciful God whom is worthy of our praise and devotion. I only hope through these reports you can feel a bit of what is transpiring over here in the Philippines and among your Brothers and Sisters who live here. May God Bless you for your prayers and love you send our way and especially for your faithfulness unto the Living God and Creator of this world we now live. I close in Peace and with love for each of you.

Your Brother in Christ,
Apostle Norman D. Lyles

Greetings unto each of you in the Holy name of Our Lord Jesus Christ. May His Grace and His Peace be upon each of you who read this report? Truly God is Just and He is Faithful unto those who love and serve Him. Be ever mindful of the Lord whom we pray unto daily and in who each of us seek to find His Grace.

We begin this Report from Erode, India where we had journeyed to renew our relationship with a man we had sought to find in 2002, with Disciple Vimal Jaitley and Disciple K.K. Kapoor. Disciple Jaitley had brought him into the work and introduced him to the Word of the Lord. We had received little communication from this man, and when we traveled here in 2002, we were unable to locate him. This time we were successful and spent some time with gentleman and discussed his relationship unto the Lord and his efforts within the Lord’s Work. We spent several days laboring with him and reviewing the Scriptures with the man and also trying to help him in every way to expand his understanding of serving our Lord Jesus Christ as a fellow Christian. Not everything done in the missionary field always comes out as we would desire; and the man has chosen himself to serve the things of man, rather than the Lord. At his request, and his desire, we prayed with him and hope that one day he will come to a deeper understanding of what it means to be a Christian, other than simply having the name. We departed Erode and headed back for Chennai, India and our last few days in the south of India on the evening of the 13th of June.

The next few days, before our departure to New Delhi, India; we spent laboring among the Christians in the Church of Christ with the Elijah Message. We met in the open air under a tarp and taught and preached unto the believers and those whom were interested in the Word of God. Our Brother Abraham translated for us as we taught and the people were filled and the Spirit of God was strong. Every day and every night many came unto us for prayer and needs. These good Christian folks had needs that only God could fulfill and through prayer and faith, these needs were met and clearly the folks felt the blessings of God received through deep and sincere prayer offered up on their behalf.

Most people only see photographs of India and have little understanding of the difficult conditions our brothers and sisters labor under. India has many, many wonderful people, yet very deep poverty and travel is to say the least difficult. In Chennai there is water rationing (one day per week they can get drinking water). Elsewhere in India, power blackouts are the norm, and not the exception. Sanitation is a constant problem and taking care of basic needs is no simple matter. In spite of all of these factors, our brothers and sisters remain joyful, pleasant, and always gracious unto those who come to share in the Word of God among them.

On Monday the 14th of June, we were blessed to ordain and Evangelist, also named Abraham into the ministry and he had traveled several days to move here and meet with us before our return to New Delhi. He is a wonderful young man of thirty-seven years who is engaged to be married soon. He has a warm and friendly spirit and certainly will be a blessing and help to the work in Chennai. We also prayed for many families and individuals this night who were in need of healing and God provided such for all that came forward. I thank God for all that He provides (as each of us know it is Him who heals and not man), and it is always a joy and a blessing to witness the Power and Grace of God at work.

On the 15th of June, as we were preparing to depart for New Delhi, a fine young couple came for prayer, requesting the Lord provide a child for their marriage of ten years. We were honored to pray for them and will continue to do so in the days to come. We then met with Abraham and his family to bid them farewell, as we departed for our train and the two and half day ride to New Delhi, India.

The ride was uneventful and somewhat relaxing, as the train was air conditioned and that was a pleasant surprise! I caught up on some paper work and also sent some needful messages to the Brothers in Africa, concerning a soon to be trip for our disciples to Rwanda. They will be traveling to that nation to help Disciple Alexander with the efforts in that great nation. I am thankful for the quality of the men who make up the ministry among the nations of this world. Men and women, who hazard their lives, their health, and do it so unselfishly, devote themselves unto the people with the love of God. Some may not understand the depth of those words, however; God full well knows the courage and love of these Disciples who serve him willingly and always in humility.

Arriving in New Delhi on the 17th of June, in the early morning hours; we could still feel the heat as we left the train and rode to Disciple Jaitley’s home. Our brother has so graciously traveled with us and sought in every way to care for us and along with Disciple Kapoor, have made our journey a blessed time in India. The average temperature in India has stayed in the high 90’s and 100’s, but today was special as the temperature reached 120 degrees! It set a new record of New Delhi in June and for us it was also a new high.

On Sunday we taught on the Church Foundation at the Disciple’s request and would do so again on Monday the 19th of June. Being taught is a relatively new experience for the people in India who usually listen to preaching.  Teaching gives them an opportunity to ask questions, make comments, and truly understand the things they have accepted and believe. Pastor and Disciple Jai-singh, expressed his deep gratitude for the teaching. He said in India a lot of people come and need to be taught, but as a whole, they have not participated in any real teachings concerning the Doctrine of Christ or His Church.  It leaves them desperately needful of some solid grounding in the foundation of their belief and their relationship unto Christ Jesus. The people also voiced their gratitude for the teaching and were enthusiastic about the things they learned and received. It was a real joy to witness the acceptance and understanding of the Word of the Lord among God’s people. The New Delhi is about forty members in number and sometimes 50 with guests. They are very well served with several elders, some disciples and a sweet spirit of love throughout the Local. On Monday night we ordained Sita Ram Arya to the responsibility of Elder and he is an excellent man who labors in the secular world as a Policeman, in charge of security for state functions.

On the 22nd of June we traveled to the home of Disciple Jai-singh and he and his lovely wife prepared us an American meal and we studied well into the night on the Tribulation and the Church’s teaching concerning the tribulation and the views of some churches concerning the rapture. We also covered the Lord’s Supper and properly serving of it and conducting the service in general. It was a blessed evening and we were able to share in many good things. The following evening we traveled to the Jitender Raj, where we were taught on Baptism and answered many questions they had concerning the subject. This wonderful couple, has a son, and are members of the Church, and are a real blessing to know and fellowship with.

On the 24th we went to lunch with the pastor Jai-singh and his wife and Brother Kapoor and Brother Vimal. We finished our packing and prepared to depart this night for the Philippines. We would arrive at 2:30 in the afternoon of the 25th to begin the work in the Philippines.

We were blessed with many wonderful visits and services in India and we shall be eternally grateful for all the fine Brothers and Sisters who made our time in India success and a joy. In spite of the heat (which every day was over 100 degrees) it was good to labor among the people and share in the Word of the Lord with precious souls who love the Lord and desire to have a closer walk in Christ. We continue to thank those who have kept us in your prayers and thoughts. At times, the work has not been easy, and at times we have known hardships, but through your prayers and support we have also known the blessings of God in our journey and have shared in the healings and miracles He has performed. May God Bless each of you as you  read this report and may you understand a bit more about your fellow members in other nations  and  the workings of the Holy Spirit within those areas. I close in the Joy and Peace of the Lord. I will write again from the Philippines.

You’re Brother in Christ,

Apostle Norman D. Lyles

Beginning this report, let me firmly state that the Work of God in Africa has been a blessing to me and a time of rejoicing in the Power and Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. As we finished our final meetings on this journey with our brothers and sisters and the Disciples and Vice Bishops; very few had dry eyes. In my heart were an ache and already a longing to continue the work in Africa and among those whom mean so much to me. The Disciples and Vice Bishops and Women have labored so tirelessly and unselfishly to help the Work of the Lord to prosper and grow. These who have hazarded their very lives for the Work and Word of God. It humbles my very soul to have the honor to labor among them and call them my brothers and sisters. I presented some of my brothers with Bibles I had purchased for them and yet it seemed like so little to me to give in return for the effort and work they do daily.

We traveled to Nairobi Kenya on the 12th of May and our last few days in Kenya for this journey. The ride took five an half hours and I found myself wanting to simply turn around and spend a few more months laboring in this wonderful country, however Christ has work for us yet to do in India. The next few days just flew by in a flash, as Brother Ron and Sister Linda hosted us and tried to do everything needful for us as we prepared to depart. Sister Gillian helped her Sister Linda and Brother in law Ron to make our time of leaving a bit less complicated and not nearly so stressful. We cannot begin to express how wonderful these souls are who struggle to care for us and our needs so unselfishly. Thank you Lord for the love and dedication of these whom you have made unto us such a blessing and a Joy.

We boarded the plane bound for India on the 15rh of May and arrived in India on the 16th. Our Journey was uneventful and we arrived on the 16th of May. Air India the following day on the same flight crashed killing all aboard, except six souls while attempting a landing during a thunder storm.

After a three hour rest, we arose and attended services in New Delhi.  I preached and taught as did Brother Larry. The temperature in India was a record high for May at 115 degrees during the day and cooling at night to a temperature of 98 degrees. Disciple Vimal Jaitley was a gracious and wonderful host, blessing us with looking to our every need; while his wife also blessed us with good food and trying to help us in every way. Sister Jaitley is a true handmaiden of the Lord and a very patient woman. After Church we traveled to the home of Rajesh for lunch that he and his wife had prepared and we once again were blessed to be in his home after an eight year absence.

We then met with Disciple Vimal and Disciple KK Kapoor to go over the schedule and discovered we needed very much to make some changes to the original schedule which really didn’t leave enough time in New Delhi to do the work needful. We made the changes and rescheduled the travel arrangements and then checked with Philippine Embassy for Larry’s Visa to that nation, as he was unable to obtain it before our departure from America. We then did some repacking for our journey to south India and the Chennia and Sivagangai and Erode areas. We emptied our suitcases and put what was needful in our packs and showered, did laundry and tried to rest before our departure on the 19th of May for Chennia.

The two and half day train ride to Chennia India was interesting, as our locomotive, broke down and it delayed us by a day. Then we had to be rerouted due to flooding in the Chennia area. On the 21st of May we arrived in Chennia India. It was extremely hot there also (in fact schools had canceled for two weeks due to the extreme heat). The entire city of Chennia, home to over 5million people was on total water rationing: all homes receive any form of water only on Sundays. This condition creates many difficulties to the poor people who need water to sustain life. We could buy bottled water, but the people lack the funds to do so and are limited to what they can store as they hand pump all they can save on Sunday to last them through the week.

We arrived in the afternoon and then studied with our Disciple Abraham through the night until about 11pm, before retiring to rest. We are staying within Disciple Abraham again this journey and his wife Stella and their two daughter’s do all they can to make us comfortable. We are humbled to be treated so very well. We shall always be grateful to Sister Stella for all she does to make our life easier.

Larry and I purchased some cots to sleep upon and a fan to blow the hot air around at night to keep the mosquito at bay. Then we would travel each night to visit members in their homes for home study. On Sunday the 23rd of May we traveled by bus to the Church and preached and taught to those gathered to worship the Lord; whom we had baptized and set up eight years ago. It was a joy to meet with them once again and share in the Word of God. We continued the home visits during the week and then on the 26th traveled to Kurahipadi, a village some miles north of Chennia. (About 5 and a half hours north) Kurahipadi is a farming village and small city in comparison to Chennia. We met near a refugee camp and there we taught the Word of God to interested souls and shared in the love of God with all who were gathered. Then we traveled back to Chennai, arriving at 3am and walked the two and half miles back to Abraham’s home.

I was blessed to spend my Birthday on the 28th preaching and teaching and also attending a wedding. We were blessed to teach many good souls following the wedding and then traveled back to Abraham’s home and packed for our journey to the city of Sivagangai, which is seven and half hours journey south of Chennia.

On Sunday we were blessed once again to be in the Church we had set up eight years ago. The local church is progressing and being blessed by the Evangelist who is faithfully serving the flock. The Evangelist is named D. Dayanithi and has been a faithful and indeed a wonderful Servant of Christ and His Church. He has built his flock up from a core group of five souls to almost forty souls and although not all are baptized; all are seeking the Lord and hearing the Word of the Lord and not the teachings of man. During our weeks stay in Sivagangai. We were blessed to have two Sunday’s here and every night we held services and taught the people. The only other Christian churches here are the church of south India and the Catholic Church. On our journey here in 2002 we baptized five souls: D. Dayanithi, S.S. Rajkumar, D. Jeevanantham, D. Maria Selvam, and K. Nathiya Nahomi; on December 1, 2002. We were blessed on June 6, 2010 to baptize three more precious souls and the Spirit of God called D. Dayanithi to the responsibility of Disciple and he was ordained this same day to Disciple of India.

Every night, the members had us over for a dinner they had specially prepared for us and blessed us with their fellowship and love. Our Brothers and Sisters here are not wealthy in money; however they are rich in the Spirit of God! It touches our very souls to find such Christian love and charity and I am reminded in truth of the words of the Apostle Paul in second Corinthians 8:1-6, wherein he said, “How that in great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; praying us with much entreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of ministering to the saints. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave themselves to the Lord and unto us by the will of God.”  In spite of the hardship and deep poverty here, they sought to care for us and to listen with joyful hearts to the Word of God. Each night they came with a hunger and thirst for the Word of God and indeed the Spirit of God provided and all were filled. Truly God is great and His Mercy has no bounds. On the sixth of June, 2010 of our Lord we baptized three precious souls unto the lord. Victor Rajakumar, Elizabeth, and Esther were baptized near Sivagangai and the Spirit and Power of the Lord bore witness to their conversion and their faith. It was a blessed time for all and we give glory and honor unto God.

In the evening Brother Larry, K. K. Kapoor, Vimal Jaitley and Myself preached one final time before the flock gathered in Sivagangai and Disciple Dayanithi completed our words with his and his appreciation for our coming to Sivagangai. He then took us to the train station for our trip back to Chennia and onto Erode on the following day.

It is my deepest prayer that those who read these words will rejoice and find within them the Spirit and Blessings of God. We send them to edify and bless each of you who read them and to give honor and glory unto God who is the author and creator of all good things in this life. The trials, afflictions, and problems of this life melt away in His Grace and in His Love. We have known His Blessings and His Protection upon our journey. We have felt His Spirit in our meetings and we have shared in the Healings He has provided for the people who love Him and seek Him. We appreciate the prayers and support each of you has provided to make all of this possible. We shall write more from our journey before we depart India. May God Bless and keep each of you and May you rejoice in all that God Has Provided and done during this time.  May His Peace be unto each of you and may each of you stand steadfast in His Word and in His Will.

Your Brother in Christ, Apostle Norman D. Lyles

Construction work on the East African Headquarters

Missionary work in Kenya

Missionary work in Africa

Received a quick e-mail from India today.  Things are going well.  Baptized several new members and ordained a new Disciple in the last few days.  The Lord has blessed over the last few months and years.

Our Missionary efforts began in Kenya with Disciple Robert Beck of Germany returning to Germany and His work for the Lord in Europe. It was a painful goodbye to this fine brother who has been such a wonderful help to the work of Christ in Africa. Few can understand the sacrifice and dedication of this fine man who gives so willingly of himself for the Lord’s Work and the Lord’s People. I always feel so honored to have him travel with us in our journeys. He has wisdom and the ability to teach and preach in a way that really moves souls to Christ. His humility and love for the Word and the people cannot be matched.

Brother Larry and I departed for Namanagala this morning aboard Piki-Piki (Motor cycle) and a half hour ride (which is much easier than walking).  There we were blessed to fellowship with the church where Disciple Peter is pastor. We were blessed to share with his flock the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and answer many questions concerning various topics that they had questions and the Lord was able to answer and satisfy the flock. We also blessed 7 children and prayed for the sick.

The following day we would depart on a three week absence from the Kitale area, and a journey that would carry us over most of western Kenya.  Traveling with us were Disciples John Githinji and Peter as we headed for the Matati Local. The Local is Vice Bishop Morris home area and he would welcome us there and be our host as we labored in his area. We worshiped under a large tree in the absence of a church building and were blessed with several catholic guests who were anxious to hear the word of God and share in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The next day we traveled first to the home of Francis Mwansi in the area of Masatha. Francis had moved there recently and requested we stop by and teach the people in his area. We did indeed teach there for several hours and the Spirit of the Lord was strong as we all considered the Word of God and what He has to say about the day and time we live in. Francis lives in a very rural area and yet the people walked quite some distance to hear and share in the Word of the Lord and learn of what God is doing today. We also ordained Francis Mwansi to the responsibility of Evangelist and tried in several ways to help him in his area n our short stay in Masatha.  We departed the home of Francis late, but were able to travel to the Kamolo Local and the home of Brother Godfrey who has been in the Church since it first came to Kenya. The next morning we would hold classes for ten hours on the Church’s foundation, witchcraft, the rapture, the mark of the beast, sin, and baptism. We also answered a multitude of questions on a wide range of subjects which were of interest to the flock, including marriage, divorce, healing, and casting out of demons. Again, our classes were held under a tree and then into the night in a hut. We finally finished up about 2am and then slept for a few short hours until 6am and a departure for the Nambale Local church some distance away.  It had been eight years since we had set foot in this local and we were surprised to witness how much it had grown! The membership could not even fit in the large church and members and guests sat outside listening to the services and teachings. We would teach and preach here for two days and one night. We would also baptize several precious souls and ordain Evaristus Munyakenye to the office and responsibility of Disciple for East Africa. We also ordained his son as an Elder in the Church. During the Church services the following day; as we administered to the sick and prayed for them; a young woman came forward for prayer of her child. We prayed for the child and the child was healed instantly, but the woman was demon possessed and we prayed for her as well and the demon was removed. It is an experience that is common in parts of Africa and other countries that practice witchcraft. The demon spoke to us in English (the woman knew not how to speak in English/ only Swahili), and asked us who we were and we replied servants of the living God; to which the demon replied in Swahili, “Where do you want me to go?”  I told her this child belongs to Christ and you have no right to her –depart in the name of our Lord Jesus the Christ. The demon as where again and I replied back to hell from where you came and the demon departed. The woman fell limp for a moment and then began to praise God in Swahili and thank Him for her freedom and give glory unto the Lord Jesus Christ. Many of flock began to praise God as well and it was a powerful witness unto those who were witness to the Power of God!  The mosquito population should have grown fat on this part of the journey, as my body looks not unlike a pin cushion from the bites.

We journeyed late this day for Bungoma, somewhat with concern, as our Brother Peter had come down with malaria and it was troubling him very much.

We took him to a hospital in Bungoma and had him treated there by a doctor. His Malaria was such a problem at that point, we sent him back to Kitale with Vice Bishop Morris to care for him and to take him to a better hospital in Kitale. (He would recover, although not for a few weeks)

At Bugoma we would spend much time on the foundation of the church as contained in Ephesians chapters two and four. It has been a huge help for those in Africa to understand the foundation of the Apostles, prophets, and the Lord Jesus Christ. So many questions that we take for granted in America are very real concerns and demand attention in several places in other parts of the World. It is sometimes surprising to learn of so many different doctrines and witness clearly, how mankind has departed the Word of God for the things of man. People worldwide have become complacent when it comes to the Word of God; and yet it states plainly in 2 John verse 9, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God.” If you have not the Doctrine of Christ; that only leaves one other doctrine: Satan. Who among us would want to have the doctrine of Satan? The Bible is so specific and serious about this subject: read first Timothy chapter 4:1-3 and Amos 8:11-12 and tell yourself that God has not warned us of the time we live in.  We find the people in Africa very interested and wanting to be firmly on the foundation of the Lord.

From Bungoma, we traveled to Bucharo and to the home area of Disciple Fred Makangi.  We arrived in the late afternoon amid rain and were so warmly welcomed by Disciple Fred’s entire family. The local there is called the Bucharo Local and the family has even given a plot of land for the building of the Church structure. While at this local we ordained Peter Mukhwana Muchuma into the ministry and this solid young man will be a blessing unto those who live in the area of the Bucharo local. Fred’s family made us feel so at home and although we were blessed by a lot rain; the Lord’s Word still was taught and preached to all that were gathered. It was such a blessing to stay at the home where Disciple Fred was raised and meet with his folks and all his relatives. We shall always remember the fine welcome they gave us and the warmth and love they shared during our time in the area.

From the Bucharo local we traveled to the home of Gillian Shiviaro’s parents and once again were welcomed warmly. It had been eight years since last we were here and her parents welcomed us as if it had been yesterday.   Her father shared with us his Quaker roots and explained how Christians had come to Kenya originally and some of the things they had taught the people. This amazing man had raised many children on a teacher’s salary, built a home with his own hands, and sent all his children to college.  The quality of his character and the integrity with which he carried himself is a lesson in human dignity and honor.

From the Shiviaro homestead we journeyed to the Gisambai local.  We would stay two days here and continue to teach and preach among God’s people and were blessed to stay with Francis Lunuki.  We also baptized many souls at this local and shared in the love of Christ with those who had traveled far to hear the Word of God. Departing the Gisambai local we then traveled to Elderot and the Hurama local. Disciple Tom Matekwa is Pastor here and welcomed us and we once again were able to share in fellowship and Joy with members we had missed for some eight years.  I even got to see my name sake (Norman) who was named after me some eight years ago:  he is Brother Benson’s son and what a fine young man he has become! Of course I might be prejudiced a bit. We taught and preached there for two days and one night and then walked about four miles to baptize several precious souls who had made a decision for the Lord Jesus Christ. Disciple Tom and his lovely wife, (who is soon to deliver another child) took excellent care of us and blessed us with food, a place to lay our heads and the warmth of their lovely home and fellowship that would match angels.

From Elderot, we traveled to the Sukunanga Local church and there we again taught and preached and were blessed to be able to teach on marriage and divorce and how God handles such matters. There were many questions and it was very needful for those present to learn of God’s answers and solutions to some very serious and difficult issues.

Departing Sukunanga we traveled two and half hours by mutate to the Moi Ben local Church and were welcomed warmly again by the precious souls who love God and His Word. Moi Ben is somewhat isolated and off the beaten track. It is a bit like traveling back in time. Nasiali Hudson is the Pastor of this church and is a man of solid values and honest report. He loves the Lord and His Word and preaches and teaches with authority. We were blessed to share in the Word of God with those honest in heart and the Holy Spirit was in abundance as we looked carefully into the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit witnessed to the truthfulness of His Word and His Understanding washed over all present. It was a pleasant and fulfilling time for all present.  We then departed for the long journey to Kitale and a night of rest and a day to try to put things together for the next leg of our journey among the local churches of Western Kenya.

On April 23 we traveled to Kacheliba and the area of the Pokots. We had longed to be among our beloved brothers and sisters in this wonderful place. We completed the three and half hour journey by mutate to the drop off place and then expected a five hour walk back to the local church.  We were pleasantly surprised to find we would ride piki-piki back to the local church (motor cycle) and this save a tremendous amount of time and wear and tear. I remember the first time we came here and the walk along a moon lit night, walking along through the thorn brush and no visible path, but after five and half hours we arrived. Now when we arrived along the same path, we traveled by motor cycle and upon our arrival we discovered the Church they had built, the homes they had constructed, the community in Christ filled with His Love, respect, and dignity. What had been a good community of fine people with nothing; God had blessed with a water well, homes, a church, and a community who worshiped God and respected each other and carried the Word to the communities around them both in Kenya and Uganda. What a Blessing!  We preached and taught once more where we had begun a work eight years  ago and after two days of preaching and teaching we once again walked to the river and brought even more souls unto God through the waters of Baptism and the short walk to the river was truly a blessing to Brother Larry and Myself. It was as if we were attending a family reunion!! The Church has even developed a wonderful choir that blessed us with songs from the throne of God. Pastor John Kapeliswa has done such a wonderful work among his people and truly you can see the blessings of God in Him.

We traveled from Kacheliba to Lelani, and more specifically the local church of Kapero.  It was a beautiful journey and we were blessed with some mountains and packing our packs amid some steep mountains and a walk through moon lit paths and amid a bit of rain.  Disciple John Githinji traveling with us has been such a blessing as he adds so much to the work of the Lord. This tireless Disciple has traveled with Brother Larry and myself so many, many journeys and not only helps with translations in areas where it is needful; he and really all the Disciples bless us with  guidance and  information we would otherwise spend much time trying to learn on our own. I shall always thank God for Disciples such as John Githinji, Peter, Fred, Tom, and Everistus, Madembe, Gizamba, Alexander, and Abihud; who have given the Lord their time, their love, and their faithfulness. We are equally blessed with the Vice Bishops Gideon, Dancan, Morris, and Jarius. Without these precious souls the work would be so difficult and at times impossible. Truly God has blessed these men and we feel honored to have them laboring with us for the Lord.  After teaching and preaching for two more days and nights, the Lord again received several precious souls through the waters of Baptism and all witnessed unto the Lord of the Holy Spirit which had washed them clean and filled them with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Traveling from the Kapero local we journeyed to Kitale and were blessed once again by our sister Gillian Shiviaro who has taken such good care of us and looked to our every need. She is indeed an Elect Sister within the Church and blessing unto all who know her and have seen all she does for the Church and for the needy throughout the community of Kitale and really all of Kenya. God has blessed this sister and we give her the respect and honor she deserves.

Traveling on, we came to the Kabkawa and Machine local churches. These fine locals welcomed us warmly and made our time and our teaching a joyful and pleasant experience. They shared with Joy the Gospel of Christ and His teachings; rejoicing in the Word of God and showing the Christian love which makes our work so rewarding and blesses us so richly. Eager souls, with a hunger for the Word of the Lord, always brings joy to our hearts and  we pray we have left with them some of the understandings and knowledge of the Word of God which will keep them on a solid foundation of our Lord Jesus Christ and also give them a better understanding of the Church’s foundation.

The next morning we departed for Nairobi and the local there. We were so blessed to be able to stay with Brother Ron and Sister Linda. These are the same two precious souls which welcomed us upon our arrival to Africa some three months ago. I cannot begin to put into words what this fine couple means to us personally. Not only do they sacrifice everything to help us, but their love for the Lord God and His Word is truly amazing! Our Brother Ron simply went far and above what could be expected of anyone as he looked to our every need and sought in every way to help us. Sister Linda and Gillian worked tirelessly to feed us and wash our clothes, and make us feel comfortable. When I think of Christian love these two souls very much come to the forefront of my mind and I shall always hold them deeply within my prayers. We traveled amid rain and at times heavy traffic to the Church and taught for two days. Once again, God blessed us with more baptisms and souls who gave their lives unto the Lord Jesus Christ. The Nairobi local has strong leadership and men of solid Doctrine and men who teach and preach only the things of God. The People themselves are truly Christians who in spite of some real hardships, live the Christian life and uphold the standards of what it truly means to be a Christian.

After returning to Kitale, we then once again loaded up our packs and headed this time to the Sirende area and were blessed to stay with our Sister Regina. We would teach and preach for two days at this fine local and once again God provided several precious souls through the waters of Baptism. God also called two men into the ministry in this local and we ordained them into the ministry and feel certain they will be a great blessing unto the people in that local. The Local also presented us with gifts, which certainly we deeply appreciated.

The next day we traveled to the Soy Mini local and the home of Daniel Bore. This beloved brother we have known since our arrival in Kenya and have shown much wisdom in teaching membership how to become self sufficient in their lives and better able to provide for themselves. He teaches so well in fact, that the government has begun to help him and use him within the community to help many precious souls. We taught for two days here as well and again the Lord by His Holy Spirit drew many souls to the waters of Baptism and the Church gained many more good members. Throughout our journey in all of Africa; God has drawn many unto His Gospel and the Church continues to grow daily. The growth is solid and built upon a strong foundation and souls who come through the waters of Baptism are firmly grounded and understanding very clearly what the Gospel of Christ is and even more importantly: each has become a light unto the community surrounding them. The Light of Christ shines through them and in them.

On the 8th of May we met with the Vice Bishops and helped them to understand and effectively manage the Lord’s Funds and Work. W e have a good group of men who are filled with the Holy Spirit, of honest report and love the Lord and care very much for the flock. The men are serious about helping the Work of the Lord progress and it was very encouraging to witness their love for the Lord’s Work and their faith.

On May 9th we held services in Kitale Local Church and at the Headquarters Building site. The Headquarters Building is almost finished and it is truly a beautiful sight to behold. Brother Larry and I preached and then we served the Lord’s Supper to well over 300 present memberships. It was a joy to our hearts and yet it also was difficult for Brother Larry and me, knowing we would be departing to India in six short days. This would be our last Sunday in Kitale local Church and the East African Headquarters on this journey. It will not be easy to depart from Africa and those whom we love and have labored among to help the Work and Word of God. We thank God for the privilege of laboring here in Africa and share in the Love of God and His Word with all who are members in Africa. We will be meeting with the Disciples for the next few days and the Vice Bishops to give directions and instructions and guidance to help the Work stay on a firm foundation and a steady course for the Lord. These are men who at times hazard their very lives for the Word and Work of the Lord. There are many women who also labor without credit to make the work progress and to insure that the men who carry the Gospel to the people, do not lack in anything. Truly the women in the Churches here in Africa are true handmaidens of the Lord and without them the work would suffer greatly. I praise God for each of them and trust the Lord will bless them in every way.

I hope as each of you read this, you can understand the good things God has done and know that It is Him whom we give honor and praise unto for all that has transpired on this journey. A house built without the Lord will never stand and they, who try to build it, are doomed to fail. It is with that in mind, that we truly praise God and give Him Glory for all that He has done! We thank you for your prayers, your support, and your love. Please know that without all of this from you; there is nothing we could accomplish or do. God bless each of you and may His Peace Be upon you now and forever.

You’re Brother in Christ,

Apostle Norman D. Lyles

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.

New Building

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.