To Raise Sharpened Bible Teachers (Isaiah 49:2)
“He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of His hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and Concealed me in his quiver.”
Our 2015 key verse was from James 1:22 which says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” Through this passage, we prayed that God may raise all our members to be doers of His word, not only to be good listeners.
All members meditated on this passage and shared their testimonies. Many students were struggling to practically obey the word of God especially through being faithfully devoted to the ministry, serving their sheep, and other ministry tasks. Senior leaders showed their devotion through serving campus ministry faithfully. This influenced other growing leaders to devote themselves to serving sheep and even Sunday worship service through powerful praise and worship.
In January, we focused on writing and sharing our personal New Year’s key verse testimonies. Missionaries and senior leaders prepared and shared Sunday worship messages based on their individual New Year key verses in turn. From February, we focused on studying Mark’s gospel for the better part of the year until September. During this period, senior leaders took on the full responsibility of serving Sunday worship messages in rotation, including Missionary Mark Yoon. Through the study, we wanted to lay a strong basic foundation for our students to grow as Jesus’ disciples and raise them as future disciple-makers for campus ministry. Many students were raised, and about 10 student leaders grew in their commitment to serve the ministry faithfully. In particular, 4 sisters who are now finalists in college, made a clear spiritual resolution to live as campus shepherdesses and are now feeding first year sheep with the word of God. As well over 10 second year students grew and have been faithful to Bible study and Sunday worship service.
Along the way, we realized that some of our members were confused about the end times, and therefore from October, we devoted to read the book of Revelation at least 4 times in advance and had a very detailed introductory lecture from Missionary Mark Yoon thereafter. This was meant to help us understand the book of Revelation and have a clear overview for a clear spiritual approach to this book during Bible studies. We are now praying that God may help Missionary Mark Yoon lead deep Bible study and preach, as we want to focus on the book of Revelation during next year 2016.
When students resumed their new academic year in September, we realized that even though the students were faithful and growing well, most of the growing student shepherds were anxious about marriage and some of them were struggling with the issue of relationships. In view of this, we decided to come up with a new Bible study which we called, “Holy Life Series”.
In this study, we asked ourselves why should we live a holy life from 1 Peter 2:1-9. We then studied Genesis by going back to the creation and God’s purpose for establishing marriage and how he established the first marriage in the Garden of Eden. We reminded ourselves about the fall of man and where it all went wrong in the relationship between man and God from Genesis 6.
Finally, we helped our members to make a spiritual resolution to live a holy life by honoring God with our bodies from 1 Corinthians 6.
This series was based on the basic spiritual guide about marriage. Senior leaders and all missionaries preached the messages in turns, with senior leaders specifically handling the Holy Life series passages. In order to help the student members, senior leaders shared their own practical experiences and struggles with relationships during campus life and how obedience to the word of God helped them come out victorious and establish beautiful house churches.
As a result, many students shared their testimonies of struggle with lust and some with relationships, and their shepherds were in a better position to understand them. They are now guiding them to overcome human emotions and initiatives in order to trust God for their marriage in God’s time.
Towards the end of the year, we held a special Christmas study and New Year’s special directional study. Especially, we studied the book of Daniel chapter 1 to help our members make their 2016 spiritual resolutions and to choose their personal New Year’s directional key verses. In the same spirit, all missionaries and senior leaders gathered during our weekly leaders meeting and shared their 2016 New Year’s key verse testimonies and prayer topics. It was evident that God was working powerfully amongst our missionaries in their struggle to feed sheep and even in their self-supporting life.
Remarkably, all leaders and missionaries were full of joy for God’s work in creating a beautiful relationship between missionaries and local leaders to co-work together. This was vivid in testimonies shared by leaders and missionaries. This was the contrary case many years ago where the relationship between local leaders and missionaries was not very warm. Praise God who continuously helps us to grow in unity in order to strengthen his holy vessel among us.
Regarding the spiritual events of 2015, we held the 2015 Easter Bible conference between the 2nd and 5th of April last year. The theme of the conference was: “Your Faith has Healed You!” from Matthew 9:22 which reads, “Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from that moment.”
A total of 78 people attended, including 11 children and 20 first year students. Despite the conference being held during exam time, many students sacrificially joined. Unlike all the other conferences, Missionary Mark had to abruptly travel to Korea just a day before the conference to attend his mother’s burial. This put our own individual maturity in managing the word of God and co-working together to the test, since we were used to being guided by Missionary Mark Yoon all along.
Thank God who sent the Holy Spirit and helped missionaries and local leaders to beautifully co-work together under the leadership of Msn. Livingstone to make the conference a great revival to all of us.
Senior leaders served the main messages with full devotion and shared their practical life application which inspired all attendants to write their own heart-moving testimonies.
Shepherd Nickson Otieno served the first main message under the title, “What is Your Name” (Mark 5:9).
The second main message was served by shepherd Juma Fuchingo under the title, “Father, I Have Sinned” (Luke 15:1-15).
The third main message was entitled, “Do you Love Me” based on John 21:1-17 led by Sh. Kevin Namudeche. Kevin inspired us through his own application where he had given up looking for sheep to feed them after all his sheep grew in the mission and went away after graduation. This made him feel disappointed, especially whenever he had to serve alone in his fellowship as the only brother. But through this message, he made his decision to go back to the fishing ground and find sheep as a way to show his love for Christ Jesus.
Other growing shepherds, Brian, Don , Caleb, and shepherdess Patience, served the morning devotion and evening testimonial messages.
During this time, all students paid their full attention to the conference programme and they all wrote and shared their testimonies. This revealed the strong desire amongst our members to deeply meditate and understand the word of God and even apply the same to their lives as we heard from their testimonies.
One sister repented of her immoral life of how she got pregnant and how she suffered later on due to her family’s rejection and her boyfriend’s desertion. Another sister repented of how she had lied to her mother to get money for abortion, feigning to be suffering from high blood pressure. She made the decision to go and reveal the truth to her mother as a sign of the fruit of her repentance. After this conference, many students who were lukewarm became faithful to Bible study and Sunday worship service.
This year, we did not hold a formal DDC programme because many shepherds were busy to take care of young sheep and were preparing for the new fishing ministry in September. So we had a voluntary DDC for those who were willing among the students, under the guidance of their shepherds. Out of this, three sisters devoted their time to write their full life testimonies. They shared their testimonies during one of the Sunday worship services and made the resolution to live as campus shepherds. After that, we had a designation ceremony and all were designated as shepherds.
From last year 2014, there was a change in admission which led to a double intake of students in January and September. So, we had the first fishing ministry in January and another one in September. Every fellowship among our five fellowships came up with their own fishing strategy, and they visited the halls of residence to invite freshmen to our fellowship.
God granted us with a fruitful fishing ministry. One time, our Sunday worship reached 98 members, the highest ever in Kenya ministry history. One-to-one Bible study also reached over 120 during this time. Many freshmen have been faithful to Bible study and Sunday worship service until this December, when they closed for Christmas holidays. We still pray for them to grow through continuous faithfully attending Bible studies and worship services.
However, during this year we also experienced spiritual struggle in our mission. We struggled to pray for the restoration of two house churches continuously throughout the year. This is our pain of prayer even as we go into the new year. We pray that God may touch their hearts and revive their calling and mission as campus shepherds. After cancelling one potential shepherd and sister’s marriage by faith that was ongoing for three years, they eventually compromised due to their own human approach and fell into sin. This dashed our hope to establish at least one house church this year as we had prayed. This caused a lot of suffering among all our missionaries and senior leaders who had invested their hearts to pray for these two.
Even though we forgot about our key verse all along, we realized at the end that God powerfully helped us obey it in our daily struggle to serve him and many of our members and helped us to actually apply the word of God practically in our lives. God revealed it through our spiritual growth in faith this year.
In 2016, we have chosen Isaiah 49:2 as our mission key verse which reads, “He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of His hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and Concealed me in his quiver.” From this year, we are determined to raise sharpened Bible teachers. Especially, we want the senior leaders to grow as excellent Bible teachers for campus ministry in this corrupt generation.
Personally, I chose Mark 9:29 as my key verse for 2016 which says, “He answered, this type can come out only by prayer.” After having a fruitful Bible ministry with 5 brothers, two of whom are shepherds and one who is now feeding sheep, I had prayed to teach them the message of the cross rather than human wisdom, as guided by my 2015 key verse from 1 Corinthians 1:17-18. This time, I want to deepen my prayer life in order to specifically pray for them to live a pure life before God and marry by faith in God’s time. I also desire to grow in my personal prayer life to have a deeper spirit to understand the word of God with humility and devotion and to influence my sheep with prayer.
Our Kenya mission prayer topics are:
- To raise sharpened Bible teachers according to our 2016 key verse.
- Deep Bible study and understanding of the book of Revelation.
- To establish our own Bible house by the year 2020.
- To establish 20 house churches by the year 2020.
One word: To raise sharpened Bible teachers.