Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Contagious and Effective

The view out the window which
interrupted my work this afternoon.
As I prepared last week’s update, I commented to Jack that I might be coming down with a cold, but then I got too busy to think about it. By the next evening Jack and I both were sick with a very kali (no good English substitute for this Swahili word meaning intensely sharp, vehement, fierce) cold! Thankfully, now a week later, we are both definitely on the mend, but not yet at 100%. Thus this week you get an abbreviated update beginning with…

The African Harrier-Hawk then flew to a nearby tree...
JACK'S PRAYER ITEMS:
PRAY that KBTC is prepared in every way for the Theology Degree program to begin September 12th!
PRAY that our current students on campus finish this term well and healthy as many bugs (the unseen kind) are flying around.
We are very THANKFUL for Dr. John Boozer who has blessed us with his wit and expertise.
PRAY that I can get over this cold. I hate colds!
I'm THANKFUL for 45 years of blessing being married to Bert!

... and posed for the camera.
BERT’S ADDED THOUGHTS:
My praise is that we did not begin feeling lousy until after we returned from a trip to a great seafood restaurant in Nairobi to celebrate Jack’s birthday last Thursday. We also had great plans for our 45th wedding anniversary last Sunday, but spent the day passing the Kleenex box and making sure the other drank enough liquids. We did look for the positive by reminding each another that being together all day was as a super gift!

It does make me a bit uncomfortable when a
bird this big begins staring at me!
I will be attending a training for prayer advocates this next week.  Will you pray for strengthening and encouragement for all at this special time. The meeting goes through next Wednesday, thus no update next week. For more of my personal prayer items, CLICK the BITS OF OUR HEART tab at the top of this page.

Then it grew tired of posing for me
and flew to a neighbor's yard.
CLOSING WORDS:
On one of the days when I really felt horrid, I had to laugh when I found myself sharing the following with a friend via the germ-free internet: “I wish the desire to share the gospel with the unreached was as contagious and effective as the cold bug we ‘caught’!” Jack is right – my mind is now ‘wired’ for preparing nudges to prayer, but our greatest prayer request is for the arrival of the day when the Eternal Gospel is proclaimed "to every nation, tribe, language and people" (Revelation 14:6).

And we are so thankful for your part in allowing us to be at work in Africa, sharing our Father’s Good News. Thanks to your prayers, financial gifts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the Cooperative Program*, and your coming and sending workers, you are making an eternal difference in the lives of people lacking a knowledge of our Father’s love and salvation – an eternal difference that too many peoples are still awaiting. BERT YATES
*http://www.imb.org/main/lottie-moon/details.asp?StoryID=13782#.V72f65h942w

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Excited and Amazed

Highlight of Jack’s Week:
This is our week for celebrating birthdays
and our anniversary (45th on the 21st).
This was my gift last Sunday from Jack.
Jack's special day is tomorrow.  
EXCITEMENT of new students to be at the Kenya Baptist Theological College. Yesterday they received micro memory cards containing hundreds/thousands of hours of Biblical training and resources which were quickly added to their phones, but can also be used in tablets, etc. Real expressions of thanks emphasized their excitement.

We love how diglots such as this
 allow us to see God's Words
side by side in English and Swahili. 
Dr. John Boozer is continuing to teach the Music/ Worship students and by the sounds of their classes which continue long after the classes dismiss, John and the students really like one another!

September 12 is when KBTC begins our first Degree class in Theology! Pray for the college to be ready and for students to be prepared. We thank the Lord that this major step is finally becoming a reality.

View last Sunday as the pastor of
Tigoni Baptist prayed for the kids!
Bert’s Addition to Jack’s Prayer Request:
"Pray that I stay sane.” That was Jack’s first reply when I asked for the above list. With all currently happening at KBTC, this is a very valid prayer request as in addition to his regular work he is teaching 2 to 4 hours daily through the end of September, except for a week off to attend a conference!

 I (Bert) do not get to travel to the places where the
StoryTogether workshops are held.  Co-workers
send photos and notes via the internet, which
I use to prepare photos/memes for prayer support.
Highlight of Bert’s Week:
I know I often ask you for God’s guidance as I work, but I am still amazed at how He provides me with the needed insights and directions as I prepare the daily posts on FB  and other assignments, such as prayer advocacy for the StoryTogether projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. It constantly amazes me how the posts which are the most difficult to write, as well as the most different from what I planned on writing when I began, are the posts He truly uses to speak to others. Thank you for praying for me and please keep praying that I will always fully allow God to guide and direct me as I work. (CLICK the Bits of Our Hearts tab above for more ways to pray and respond.)

A special joy of the week for me occurred as guests introduced themselves last Sunday morning worship at Tigoni Baptist. As several KBTC students, who live a distance from campus, shared of their work at home among their peoples, I realized yet again why Jack and I feel so called to focus on “strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith” (Acts 14:22 NIV).

View from the window last Sunday at church -
possibly future KBTC students!
The four students from the Suba, Pokot, Ilchamus (Njemps) and Maasai people groups asked for prayer as they minister among their people. Like so many of KBTC students, they are receiving training so they will be better equipped to reach the large numbers of their people who are still waiting to hear the truths, promises and gifts of God in a way that they can comprehend and accept.

Will you join us in praying for these men and other students as they minister among their peoples, many still considered Unreached by the Gospel? Will you pray for them as they seek to help their people learn what it means to know and be a follower of Christ? Pray for Jack and I as we seek to strengthen and encourage disciples who can go places that we cannot go, speak languages we do not know and communicate with their peoples in ways that is beyond our abilities.

One has to be excited and amazed by views
such as this beauty playing in our yard!
Closing Words: Thank you for taking time to read this week’s update and thank you for your prayers and others ways you support us and enable us to be in Kenya serving our Father. You are a part of our work as you pray, give and send workers (including yourselves) to our Father’s harvest fields. Through your prayers, financial giving and service you are making an eternal difference in the lives of people lacking a knowledge of our Father’s love and salvation.
-  -  -  -  -  -  -
Special view of another joy shared this past this week! One does not need to know Swahili to understand as these kids from Tigoni Baptist Church as they offer praise to the One who deserves so much honor, glory and thanksgiving! This can also be viewed and shared at  https://vimeo.com/179147916.

video

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Hearts Swelling with Joy

Lift up your eyes and look about you… your heart
will throb and swell with joy.” Isaiah 60:4,5
Flags of our world at the 40th Anniversary of Parklands Baptist Church
JACK’S Report from KBTC: Several classes are now on campus for a new round of studies. I am teaching what could go by many names, but I will call it ‘Introduction to Theological Ministries.' I have invited 10 speakers/KBTC teachers to share their ministry passion as introduction sessions. It is a fantastic group of students from all over Kenya, almost half new to the college. Pray for open hearts, minds and souls as they study and learn.

The flag for South Sudan is very special
to us!  Jack has taught students from
South Sudan for many years and I
have had the joy of raising prayer
support for their unreached peoples.
We are also excited to have Dr. John Boozer, recently retired from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, with us for the next six weeks in our School of Worship Leadership. Another special group of volunteers are using KBTC’s facilities this week for their orientation. This group of six young women will be serving all over Sub-Saharan Africa for a few months in the IMB’s Hand-On program. Will you pray for John and these young women as they serve our Father among our peoples in Africa? Pray for good health and God’s guidance as they serve.

Jack sharing just a few of his memories of the early days of
Parklands Baptist Church with others who were members in the 1970's
JACK’S Special Joy from Sunday’s 40th Anniversary of Parklands Baptist Church: During the reunion of the Old Parkie group of the 70’s and before, I realized that I was not that much older, only 5-10 years than many. I realized that like this group, the missionaries serving when we arrived in Kenya had also mentored me. Most of my experiences and means of dealing with things were shaped in our first 2 ½ years in Kenya. That realization brought me great joy!

BERT’S Week in Review: To be honest, it has been a super busy week and I’m almost too tired to think! Thus, my review can be best shared by asking that you CLICK the Bits of Our Hearts tab above and view the Nudges to Prayer posts for the KARAMOJONG StoryTogether Worskhop which will conclude today in northern Uganda, as well as my daily Devotional/ On Mission posts. In the latter posts, you will find more, lots more about my special joys as Jack and I celebrated with our Parklands Baptist Church family. And one post is one that those of you who were once GA’s or RA’s will definitely want to read!

At the special get-together for early PBC
members this lady shared how her son
was one of the kids who 'hung-out' at the
baby church.  A missionary visited in her
home and asked that she visit the church.
PBC quickly became her church family also!
My prayer request this week is for lots of physical and mental energy as I have many ongoing projects in need of completion. I love using social media to share what God is doing in our part of the world and my heart’s desire is not simply to complete work, but to share stories and updates with you – stories and updates which I know will leave you excited, praising our God and desiring to join in praying for needs.

At first I did not recognize many who
arrived at the special get-together for
early PBC members, but their smiles
and sparkling eyes led to remembering
kids with the same smiles and eyes!
I am tired, but I’m also very happy and I still have enough energy to thank you for all the ways you support us! I truly believe that when you hear how God is blessing your prayers, giving and serving, it will leave you truly desiring to pray more, give more via the Cooperative Program and missions’ offerings such as the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, and find more ways to join in as His co-workers!