Thursday, January 04, 2007

Thirty Years Equipping Others


Thirty years ago we established a church in a backward village in WestPokot, Kenya called Makutano. Following the command to baptize and disciple those who became followers of Christ, I established a training program. The people of Makutano were not highly educated and therefore we felt no need to begin a formal Bible school but rather a non-formal program that concentrated on equipping people for ministry (Eph. 4:12). I traveled on the dusty/muddy road to Makutano each month, sleeping in a mud hut, eating ugali, teaching new believers by kerosene lantern. With no study material available in Swahili, over the course of eight years, I wrote an entire three-year curriculum, which included take-home study notes and books.


This past month I was invited back to Kenya to speak at the graduation ceremony of the Bible Institute. It was with great pleasure and satisfaction that I spoke to the fifteen graduates and the forty first and second year class. I came away from the experience convinced that the greatest need for Kenyan Church was to move them away from the milk of the Word to meat for maturity. Though our early efforts in church planting and discipleship continue to show fruit, with thirty-five churches planted since our departure, there is a greater need for the pastors of these congregations to go to the next level in their spiritual growth.


God of course is faithful, but so, too, are the teachers and staff of the Makutano Bible Institute. May God continue to bless our partnership.

9 comments:

Bill said...

You are certainly unlike a mechanic or carpenter and other craftsman, who at days end are able to stand back and see immediate results from their labor. However, God has allowed you 30 years later to see a portion of what He has done thru you.. What a blessing for you and Sandy that you have been able to see first hand, a little of what God has done by using you as His tool to advance the Kingdom..Not all are as fortunate. The writer of Hebrews reminds us that their were "Others", who never received what was promised..But they remained Faithful...

You have indeed lived a life WORTH LIVING..I'm very proud of you..

Press on......Bill.

Chris in KC eat'n BBQ said...

Congratulations on fruit that remains for His glory!

Aaron & Sarah said...

I agree with Uncle Bill, Dad. How blessed you are to see the ministry started so long grow into something that continues to yield fruit for God. So cool. Really, SO COOOOLLL!!!!
Did you know when you were 30, that God would use you and mom in such a way?

AfricaBleu said...

I have so many memories of that church -- it is part of our live's story. I am proud of the work you and Mom did, and have always been proud to be your daughter.

Keep it up -- there's at least thirty more years of work left for you...

And by the way, thanks for the comment on my site -- I always find comfort in the fact that you know exactly what I am talking about -- misery loves company? Ah, the tortured pleasure and pain of the craft...

I love you.

Alan and Whitney Brown said...

You remind us why we are here Doc. Thanks to you both for your faithful examples and encouragment! We were blown away to see a picture of your brother in a local newspaper from one of the Orthodox priests! Unfortunately we didn't see it until he was already gone, but will make sure to see him next time he comes through. When are you and Sandy coming by? Alan and Whitney Brown, Thessaloniki Greece

RG Lewis said...

Thanks for the comments, encouragement. Alan, I will give you a heads-up with my brother makes another trip to your country. As for me, I visit a place when I'm invited. Let me know when you want me to come.

Anonymous said...

I just can't help but make a totally spiritual comment about the K-State purple shirts that the men wear at graduation!

Each man shown in the photo has been on such a journey. Just as in Kansas the best of the wheat harvest becomes the seed wheat for next year's crop, so do these men carry our hopes for an abundant harvest in the generations to come. May we all be faithful to them in prayer, teaching, and giving.

Thanks for planting the first seed. The bread's at the marriage supper.

Lorna

Anonymous said...

I just can't help but make a totally spiritual comment about the K-State purple shirts that the men wear at graduation!

Each man shown in the photo has been on such a journey. Just as in Kansas the best of the wheat harvest becomes the seed wheat for next year's crop, so do these men carry our hopes for an abundant harvest in the generations to come. May we all be faithful to them in prayer, teaching, and giving.

Thanks for planting the first seed. The bread's at the marriage supper.

Lorna

Anonymous said...

Richard;
I was instresting reading your blog about your trip to Kenya. I am glad you got a chance to see the work continues on, GOd does raise up those to continue on the work.

Randy