Hey friends and family, it has been 3 weeks since I arrived safely back in Kenya.
I want to thank everyone who took time to meet or talk and catch up with me while I was in the States. I was so greatly encouraged in so many ways, and I am grateful for all of my brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. I also want to specifically thank my committed prayer partners, and my financial partners – both monthly and one time givers.
Visit to the US Summary:
I have 33 of you signed up as committed prayer partners, which exceeded my goal of 30, and I praise God for that amazing prayer coverage!
I also have 14 of you who are committed monthly supporters at different levels which brings me to 40% of my monthly support goal ($1,000 out of $2,500), and I also have an additional 12 people who gave 1-time gifts. Combining the 1-time gifts, along with reducing and removing certain areas of the budget I am able to function and continue to carry on, though it is tight and we trust God for additional finances to expand and do more. We thank God for His provision through all of you! If you would like a breakdown of the current budget or have any questions, I am very open to discussion.
Also my wife Mary has just began work this last Saturday. She is providing skincare treatments at a newly opened salon. We also ask you to join is in thanking God for this opportunity for her, and ask you to join us in prayer that God will also bless her in her work as a source of income for us and His Kingdom advancement.
Back in Kenya Summary:
Since I arrived back in Kenya on Saturday night July 22nd, I have organized myself and am rejoining meetings with Master’s Men and several young men for disciple making. My first two weeks I was fighting some difficulties with flipping my schedule to Kenya’s timezone and some hefty intestinal issues and a cold. I am better now, thank God.
I am in contact with 8 young men (some previous and several new) for disicple making (at different levels in their faith too). I have already met with several, and the rest are in the process of working our schedules to align. As I am walking with them, we are also working through what the specific and unique goal is for each of these relationships. Obviously all of them are to grow in knowing Christ and becoming more obedient from the heart, but specifically speaking of goals for growing and helping place them into their unique role in the body of Christ.
NEW Opportunity in Schools:
A new young man I have met with is named Patrick Kibet. He is 26 and has been through seminary school here in Kenya. We have known of each other for over half a year, and have been talking for the last 2 months. He has a new outreach ministry for primary and secondary schools here in Kenya where he preaches and shares the gospel (primary being elementary, and secondary being high school). He has already been invited to and preached at over 40 different schools, 7 of which he says he has an active relationship with. Just from our messaging he reports 81 students who have given their lives to Christ for the first time in the last 2 months.
Because of this, I asked him what kind of program he or the communities have set up for those new believers to be discipled and grown in Christ. He said there was not really anything at this time, and I told him that I would be willing to help him set up a program. So we met this last Saturday, August 5th and spent a few hours sharing and talking through beginning steps and details. There is a foundational plan in the works, and I am consulting with others who have done disciple-making and training for many years. Please keep this project in your prayers, as we want this to be a quality program with quality leaders, which trains up disciples who will also create disciples.
1-on-1 Disicple-Making Updates:
One of the young men I disciple named Simon Wanjiru has moved back to his hometown about an hour away from my home. He moved because he could not find work here, and has work connections back home. We continue to walk together virtually and are going through disicple-making coursework, and I will also try to visit him at his home as time allows. He knows it will be difficult to face his past life there, with who he is now after accepting Christ, so keep him in prayers.
There’s another young man in his lower 20s named Kimotho that I have been meeting with for the last two weeks also, and talking with for several months. Mary and I met him at our church almost 3 months ago while serving as Sunday school teachers. Kimotho is one of the interns in our church’s leadership program, with his responsibilities being in charge of the children’s programs for 7-12 years old (with other various responsibilities). He has agreed that he wants to be discipled, and we have committed to meeting each week to go through the discipleship program I am using, as well as being open and honest with each other about life.
Two more of the young men who are interested in walking together are also named Titus and Brian. I am setting up meetings with them now, hopefully in the next week.
Please pray for both of these young men. Titus is about 20 years old and in love with Jesus, and has agreed to learn how to more effectively make disciples. Brian knows the Lord, but is walking through many struggles in life, and needs some encouragement, male friendships and mentoring.
Eric is a name I have mentioned many times in many emails, and we are still trying to get time together, as we both have busy schedules and he is a business owner. He says this next weei should start opening up more for him. Pray for God to open time that we can get together and grow together. He is also one of the main group members at the new Kengemi Master’s Men Africa chapter.
I continue meeting and talking with Eli, and am currently helping him to find his God given purpose and function in the body of Christ.
I also continue walking with my friend Simon (the pastor at Heshima), and help him navigate through his various challenges. We have resumed the home visits to the mother’s of the kids with disabilities/special needs.
Master’s Men Africa Updates:
Kangemi – I have been fighting intestinal issues the last weeks, so I had not yet gone to Kangemi, but I attended this last meeting (Monday the 7th) and it went so well. I am encouraging them to be very honest with each other so that there is transparency in the group, which will bond us and help us to grow in Christ. I also am challenging them this week to each consider their strengths and where they can apply that to serving in our chapter.
Rongai – as some may be aware, there have been political protests the last few months in Kenya due to the difficult economic times and rising prices. There have been scheduled protests every Wednesday which some have gotten violent. The last few weeks have been relatively peaceful, however there is still potential that the peace may be broken. Because of this potential, specifcally for Wedneaday and also because of my travel distance from Rongai I haven’t gone since I have returned to Kenya (because I use public transport which goes through the areas of unrest). From this week going forward, they also changed the meeting time from Wednesdays to Thursdays, so I should be able to resume with relative safety.
Mary has had vision and desire to begin giving back to the community, specifically to children’s homes. To goal is to care for the emotional, spiritual and physical needs of kids or young adults. The plan is to set up relationships from men to boys, and women to girls, to be mentored, discipled and also to help provide finances for physical needs (like school fees, other life necessities). She is starting small with just herself and 2 girls at Wings of Hope, while becoming more firmly established, but the longterm vision is to connect other men and women of God to kids in children’s homes to also have long-lasting relationships.
If you would like more information, or would like to help support the current focus of school fees for the 2 girls Mary is walking with, please reach out. The next school term for the each of the 2 girls are 18,000ksh and 3,600ksh (Kenyan Schillings – about $130 and $27 after conversion fees).
Please remember to pray for the foundational pieces: My walk with God, my marriage and family.
Pray for the current, and upcoming disciple-making relationships (many mentioned above)
Pray for wisdom and guidance as I help work out a solid discipleship program with Patrick for his high school ministry. Pray for experienced contacts and favor with relationships that will be beneficial in this process.
Pray for the various Master’s Men Africa fellowships, especially the leaders. That we would lead by example, in accordance with God’s Word, and focus on making disciples among the men.
Pray for physical health – sickness has been running through many people here in Kenya, including myself.
Pray for an upcoming meeting I have with the head reverend at our local church. I will be meeting him next week to share the disciple making ministry that I am doing, and looking to see if we can make some connections through the church itself.
Pay for Mary in her new employment. Pray for favor upon her new work, and that God would use it for His Kingdom and witnessing as well.
Pray for Mary’s new mentorship and support ministry as she begins small, but remains diligent and faithful with the little things, so it may grow into much one day.
As mentioned at the beginning, we have enough finances to function, but are quite limited. Please pray about it and consider partnering with us either 1 time or monthly as God leads.
Mary and I are planning to save up for a vehicle for the purposes of safety and mobility. If you’d like more information about this or would specifically like to support this, please reach out.
I thank God for those of you who already partner with us, or have in the past. You are truly God’s answer to prayer!
If you feel lead to be a finacial partner, you can donate through my missionary profile on A Jesus Missions website here
God bless you all, and thank you for standing with us
From Kenya in Christ,
-Joel, Mary and Mike
Hey friends and family, it has been 3 weeks since I arrived safely back in Kenya.