Below are some random videos taken in Kenya! For pictures click here: http://imageevent.com/aalchurch/kenyatrip Also, see an article by Chad K. below.
The first one is Pastor Simeon. A wonderful man who has a wonderful smile! God has given him a wife and 5 boys. And oh, by the way, in Kenya, they pay usually 3 to 5 cows for their wives, sometimes more. When I told them we do not pay for our wives, they were so shocked!
So many people wanted to send messages to America! They were so thankful that we came to visit to share the Word of God with them! These are just a couple of these messages!
Sorry about the Darkness! Chad and I were already in bed one night, when we heard singing. I went to investigate. This is what I found. I was then asked to hold a sermon in the dark for them..... That was different to say the least!!!!!
Chad K. was teaching the children to sing in English.
GREETINGS FROM OUR MISSION TRIP TO KENYA, EAST AFRICA
Written by Chad Kuivanen
I feel that it was a special calling from God that I was not even aware of, starting earlier this past summer. It happened that I was motivated to speak to some people from Kenya here locally, not realizing that this was the beginning of a journey to a far-off land. As time went on, we, as a Foreign Mission Board, talked about Kenya and perhaps someone going there to answer the call that had been made by these groups of people who had no actual church name but were searching for the truth of God's Word. They had found our website and had read about us there. Hence, the call.
When I volunteered to go there with Dennis Hilman, that was our original plan. As Dennis had to go back to Finland, I, therefore, asked John Ruotsala (our FM Administrator) to go with me. There was only one week for John to get ready to go with me; even the Lord was with him in that, for all was accomplished and he was ready to go.
So, John and I left, and then met in Amsterdam to continue the journey to Kenya together, landing in Nairobi and being met there by Pastor Charles and members of his congregation. They welcomed us with open arms, and we spent the night there. Then, off to their part of Kenya, southeast from Nairobi. John and I had no idea what we were getting into; everything was so different from what we've experienced before.
When we arrived at Pastor Charles's congregation, the love and kindness that was shown us surpassed anything that we could have expected. These people live without electricity, running water, or any kind of refrigeration; they live from land to mouth, preparing meals anew each day. The land was totally cultivated, lush and green beyond imagination. John and I began to take pictures of the area and the people, which we did for the two weeks of our stay.
We visited two different congregations which were some distance apart, keeping devotional services and instruction each day, to guide them in the way that they should go. John and I were so amazed at their reception of the Word that we both said that God had prepared their hearts for the receiving of it. It warmed our hearts to no end, as we journeyed through the Word as God led us. There was so much thanks given unto God on our behalf, and they themselves said that God had sent us to them. So it was with pure joy that we served them, as God led us through His Word, preaching repentance and the forgiveness of sins in Jesus' name and blood. This is the command of Christ, to go unto all nations and preach this Gospel message, that they might come to know Christ and His love for them, also. Many were the repentances, as God gave them faith to believe the mighty work of Christ on the cross and His glorious resurrection, even in their behalf that they might know the true God and how much He cares for them. John and I were overwhelmed at the joy and happiness of these people at the receiving of His Word.
These people live in such humble surroundings that it was hard for John and me to believe that people in this world yet live under such circumstances -- poor and without earthly possessions, but yet with great love in their hearts. May God be praised and glorified for sending us there, for truly John and I felt His hand upon them and us as together we worshipped.
In conclusion, they were in awe that "this old man", as I was called, came from so far to preach unto them. It was at times kind of humorous the way they spoke of us, but they didn't want us to leave, either. They said they have a "home" for us in Kenya, and even gave us each a key to it. This was such an opportunity that God gave to us that it will live in our hearts forever. We pray that God would continue to feed them and water their hearts with the Water of Life. Their desire is for the second coming of Christ, and they want to be ready.
On this trip, John and I went by faith, God leading us, and how wonderful it has been. May God bless and keep these wonderful people, that their journey through this life will be successful to that Eternal Shore.
Pastor Chad Kuivanen
FROM THE MISSION FIELDS IN RUSSIA!
Written by Gregory Greve
Shane Juuti, Brian Niemaitalo and I all arrived safely to rainy, warm Moscow last Friday and have since spent 4 days holding services and meetings in Schekino, Pervomaisky and Bogoroditzk, cities a few hours south east of Moscow. Other than Shane’s baggage not arriving with him to Russia, all has been very blessed... (We will pick up Shane’s luggage today as we are heading back to Moscow and on to Izhevsk)
My wife wrote to me this morning via the Internet from Vancouver Island, where she says they have had a blizzard and much snow.. seems a little ironic that they our mild coastal rainforest are getting snow and cold and we in Russia are having warm, rainy weather…
But it has been anything but mild for us as far as the Spirit is concerned. Our meetings have been very blessed. During our visit to the Boy’s Detention centre a few nights ago, for instance, we met and spoke with about 30 to 40 boys between the ages of 12 and 17. I only recognized two of the boys from my meeting with here last summer. The rest were new to me. Brian, Shane and I all spoke to the boys about life, about Jesus, about what He as done for them and about their need for repentance. At the end of our service I asked the boys if any of them wanted to hear the blessing of forgiveness of sins in Jesus name and blood. Some boys put their hands up right away and began to come forward and then the whole group of them came up. We prayed with and blessed each of them! It was really a blessing and though only our Lord knows what was going on in each of their hearts, I have no doubt that eternal seeds were sown.. and now we pray. It is just such a difficult life for these boys, both in the prison and when they get out.
In the city of Bogoroditzk, we preached to about 20 people, mostly Russians of German decent. At the end of that meeting, after Brian, Shane and I spoke very similar sermons of repentance, I asked the group if they wanted us to pray for them or if they wanted to hear that blessing of forgiveness of sins. About 6 or 7 ladies came forward and we laid our hands on them, asking them if they believed that Jesus had died for them, praying mightily for them, assuring them of God’s love for them through the remission of their sins in Jesus name and blood. Many tears were shed and again we saw the Lord working and planting his eternal seeds of love in their hearts.
Our short time in Schekino was packed full of services and home visits. We held a meeting with many of the youth in town, praying for them, blessing them, assuring them of God’s love for them. Some of the kids were new to the word and confessed their desire to know Jesus!
My friend and Christian sister, Lyubov Timofeyeva, from Ryazan also came to Schekino by bus to visit with us. Lyubov has a full time prison ministry for girls in Ryazan. I first heard of Lyubov and her work through mutual friends who sent me articles she had written, which impressed me very much, and so I contacted her, then went to visit her the summer before last with Amanda and Leona Matson. Since that time I and some other friends have been contributing support to her wonderful ministry. Unfortunately, the government has really cracked down on any foreigners visiting the girl’s prison, and in fact only a few Russians have any access to the prison at all, but Lyubov says that despite this, the Lord has blessed her with much freedom for her to personally work with the girls. She holds bibles studies for both the younger groups and the older groups of girls in the prison each Sunday, and also visits them different times during the week to talk with and counsel them personally. Lyubov has seen many of the girls come to the Lord and continues to help them, not only with spiritual things, but with material things as well. When the girls leave the prison, for instance, Lyubov buys them needed jackets and clothes and makes other arrangements to help them survive on the outside.. and survival is not an exaggeration. So many of these girls have come from abusive backgrounds, or are orphans, and so when they come from prison, they are extremely susceptible to being caught up in that abuse again.
I want to thank you all so very much for your intercessory prayers. The Lord has truly blessed us by them. Now we are heading for Moscow and the night train to Izhevsk where we will again hold services and meet with as many people as the short time will allow us.
. As our train approached Izhevsk this morning we woke to find a winter wonderland passing by out our compartment window. It turly is beautiful to see; certainly much better than the rain in Moscow!
Now we are at Diana Chetvertnikh's home (arriving only about two hours ago) which will be our base for work here in Udmurtia. Please do keep us in prayer as we reach out with the gospel here in Udmurtia,
God is Good!
Gregory.. with Shane and Brain, from wintery Udmurtia:)...