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News From Kwa Njenga

One of the greatest things that I can think of about being a missionary is seeing national pastors embrace the gospel of the cross and lead their church to a deeper relationship with Jesus.

Pastor Peter Gichuki of the Kwa Njenga church is a precious brother and a pastor that represents Calvary Temple very well. Here are some excerpts from one of his recent updates –

Praise the Lord. I am well in the Lord together with my family.

Pastor Peter Gichuki and his wife Sarah

Pastor Peter Gichuki and his wife Sarah

It has been a good season here in Kwa Njenga, and even in my heart, I was strengthened much by the conference we had in Eldoret, we were taught much from the book of 2nd Timothy, “commit to faithful men who will teach others also.” It was a great time, even during our quiet times, in prayer. What stood out to me in the teachings is how Saul partially obeyed and his disobedience cost him the anointing and the presence of God. He chose to obey that which was easy but that which cost him he never obeyed, and it’s a sad example even when he gave the reason for his disobedience it was because he feared the people and obeyed their voice. And it was a great lesson and I pray that Father will help me not to hearken to what everyone is saying but to walk in obedience to the still small voice of the spirit. Pastor Forbe taught on the dangers of fear, and how to walk in victory.

Pastor Peter and Pastor Zadok at the Pastors’ Conference

Another thing that stood out to me in the teachings was when Pastor Rob spoke on the areas of traditions that oppose the Word of God and minimize the authority of the Scriptures. In the group I was in, we were with two pastors who are dealing with that in their churches and I would clearly see how the truth can be choked by traditions of men. One pastor shared how they sit in the church, women on one side and men on the other, and even on covering their heads, and how that if a woman comes to the church with an uncovered head, the women in the church handle such a woman like the unsaved. The covering of the head is believed to show salvation in that area, and it was sad to hear how that limits the work of God. I asked what if I would happen to visit the church with my wife how the women would react and was told that it would be very difficult for the ladies to receive from one whose head is not covered. We encouraged the pastor to make a stand for the truth. One who was in my group that is taking a good stand against those traditions is pastor Zadok, and he shared how even a pastor who pastors a church In that region asked Zadok why in his church they do things different, and he said it’s because they do what the Bible says.

Pastor Joseph and Grace are doing well, I see a lot of growth in him together with Grace even in the areas of them casting off fear. God has been helping us as a people to be free from fear, surely fear brings bondage, “there is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath punishment; he that feareth is not made perfect in love.” I have known this verse for a great deal of time, but I see as if it is written in gold now… this verse has been my meditation for a season.

We long to see you and the brethren without being separated by distance, but we know the Lord is coming, we shall meet in the air in that great gathering in the day of the Lord. When I think of when the trumpet shall sound – it is near. and we shall gather and sing a new song and the song of Moses the servant of God and of the Lamb, “for thou was slain and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation. Pastor Peter Gichuki

We agree with Pastor Peter – “Come quickly, Lord Jesus!”

Pastor Forbe Carlson

You Are The Generation! – Part 1

The title of this blog post was the theme for our recent National Youth Retreat, held in our church in Eldoret, Kenya.

I have been involved in youth ministry of various sorts for the last 36 years. I think that ministering to youth is still one of the greatest opportunities that the Lord has given to me.

It is time to seek the Lord, until He rain righteousness upon you...

It is time to seek the Lord, until He rain righteousness upon you…

We’ve often heard it said that the youth of today are the generation of tomorrow. We say this to try to give them a sense of their future responsibility in their local church. The problem is that if we continually point them toward the future, the church body loses out on what these young people have to give to the church today.

Because so much of the church throughout history has focused on the “clergy”, we’ve come to believe that one must be highly trained before they can add something substantial to the local church. We forget that Joel prophesied that through the power of God’s Holy Spirit the young men and women would be used significantly in the Lord’s Church.

Study to show yourself approved unto God...

Study to show yourself approved unto God…

In our retreat, we encouraged the youth to begin preparing themselves today to give of themselves in their own town or village. We showed them through the Scriptures and through glimpses into church history that God has oftentimes used young people to do His work. We encouraged them to be full of God’s Holy Spirit and to covet earnestly His gifts to manifest through them. We emphasized their need for humility, so that they could learn how to best serve in their church. We challenged them and prayed with them, so that they would see their purpose and role in the Body of Christ today – in this generation.

Be thou an example of the believer...

Be thou an example of the believer…

We had a great time together during this retreat. In addition to the teaching, worship, fellowship and games, we gave them time to be alone with the Lord. We also encouraged them to pray for one another. It was a real blessing to see them laying hands on each other, praying that their brother or sister would be filled with God’s Holy Spirit. The Lord really visited us.

More to come…

Pastor Forbe Carlson

Usenge Mission Trip

USENGE

A couple of weeks ago, Mildred and I traveled to one of our churches in the Lake Victoria region. It’s about an eight hour trip from Nairobi.  Zadok is the pastor of the church in Usenge.  This region is known for its perversion and promiscuity. It has one of if not the highest rate of HIV deaths in the world. We have several churches in this region.  We stopped in Bondo on the way and had a couple of hours with Pastor Chiagi and some of the members of his church where we were warmly received and given a meal before heading on to Usenge.

It was my first time to visit any of our churches in this region. In doing so, there was an awareness of the many years of ministry that Tony and Karen had sown into these churches.  We were blessed in our time with Pastor Zadok and his flock. The people were hungry and expectant.  Our first service was on Friday night and we started about 9:45, which is not unusual over here. The church was full and I shared on the hunger for the presence of God and the cost required.  It was a great time and even as we were closing the service there were people still coming into the church.

On Saturday morning we invited the pastors and their wives from our other churches in that area to come for time of fellowship.  This is probably the strongest region where the pastors have close relationships with one another and meet together on a regular basis.  There were some good testimonies from the pastors’ conference and the impact on their marriages.  One in particular was Pastor Moses and his wife. They shared that God had done a miracle in their marriage.  They had been married for 41 years and the marriage was dead. The wife shared that she had been thinking about leaving her husband, that’s how bad it had gotten. They both shared what the Lord had done in bringing life and love back into their marriage.

Pastor Solomon was there also with his wife. It had just spent a few weeks since the murder of their son in Sudan and the challenges that the wife was going through with cerebral malaria.  Both were doing well and giving glory to God.  His wife was the best that I have ever seen.  She seemed very much in her right mind and seemed much at peace.  She also shared some good things.

In our meeting with the pastors I encourage them in continuing to build strong relationships with one another emphasizing that we are not a denomination and that our strength is in our friendships, being able to help one another in the challenges and trials that we as pastors face. We also talked about not allowing the culture or tradition to make the word of God of no effect.  We also talked about Galatians 6:1 in restoring those overtaken in our churches in a spirit of meekness and not harshness.

Pastor Rob and Mildred Hendrickson with the Usenge Church

Pastor Rob and Mildred Hendrickson with the Usenge Church

Pastor Zakok and his wife Lillian

Pastor Zakok and his wife Lillian

Later in the day, we had another service with a good response from the congregation.  After the service we were able to have some good time with Zadok and his wife Lillian.  Zadok is one of our younger pastors but a good representation of who we are as a ministry.  He has a strong marriage and it is evident of their love for one another.  Tony was a big help in getting the church started in Usenge but for the first year they only had three members, two of them being Zadok and his wife. The area pastors persecuted them and told them they should leave.  The next year Tony came and held some meetings and out of those meetings ended up with 10 members.

In our Sunday morning service we had about 80 adults and youth and 70 children.  It was just Mildred and her sister Ruth taking care of all the children but they said they were well behaved.  I taught on the love of God and our lives on the altar. It was a good time with a good response from the people.

Zadok’s wife later testified of what the Lord had done her husband’s life. Before we came, Zadok had been discouraged for many days to where he wasn’t eating. She shared how he had been a changed man since our arrival with his hands being lifted up.

Pastor Rob Hendrickson

 

JULY 2014 PASTORS’ CONFERENCE

On the 22nd of June, we welcomed our national pastors to Eldoret for our pastors’ conference. We hold these conferences three times each year. We first bring about 14 pastors in on Tuesday night, and then another 15 or 16 on Wednesday night. We spend Wednesday with our closest pastors, receiving testimonies and praying for their needs. The conference starts in earnest with the Wednesday night midweek service. There is one more session that night, then we spend all day Thursday and Friday with the men. We teach on specific topics that we feel are relevant to their needs.

This particular conference was a bit different. For the first time, we invited each pastor to bring his wife with him. We wanted to teach them together, with the desire to see their relationships strengthened. 32 married couples came, expecting a great time in the Lord’s presence.

The topics included roles in the home, conflict resolution, the marital relationship, and we even dealt with the subject of family planning. Over the years, we have seen that these topics have been one of the causes of strife and confusion in our churches here in Kenya.

One of the real highlights of the conference was when Pastor Rob Hendrickson taught on Thursday morning. He dealt with grudges, bitterness, and forgiveness. It was a powerful word, the Lord applying it to almost every heart and couple in the room. After lunch, we had the couples go together to a place where they could be alone and discuss how the morning’s teaching had spoken to each of them. It was a very moving time as you could see brokenness, forgiveness, and tenderness shown to each other. The Lord broke down many walls that afternoon.

On Friday morning, Pastor Forbe Carlson spoke to the couples on the subject of a woman’s desire being toward her husband. The first session dealt with the woman’s innate desire to usurp authority and her desire for independence. We discussed her role of supporting her husband, helping him to fulfill what God has called him to do in their church and town. In the second session, we dealt with the other aspect of desire, that being where God places a godly longing in a woman to be loved and to love her husband physically. Knowing that the subject is often taboo in church teaching, we went through the Scriptures showing them that God desires them to love, enjoy, and fulfill each other. This union then creates a strength and bonding that helps them to minister together as a team. Their union provides for the Lord to substantially increase their effectiveness in ministry.

In the Friday evening session, Pastors Hendrickson and Carlson were joined by their wives for a panel discussion. They spoke to some of the questions that the couples had, and then discussed the affect that children can have on ministry. Because of many of the cultural traditions, we took them to the need to analyze how many children that they are prepared to disciple. It was a lively discussion, and the couples were thankful for the care that was given to them in these matters. We received testimonies from the couples, and it was quite evident that the Lord had begun a great work in a number of their lives and relationships. It is our prayer that what was begun during these three days will continue to bring strength and balance to our churches here in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.

2014-07-25 20.01.12

Pastors and Wives July 2014