Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Excitement and Joy

KBTC's water pump died again this week and we
had planned to ask you to pray for a speedy repair!
BUT... not only did the fundi (repairmen) finally
show up today, Jack received word that funds
needed to cover the repairs are on the way!
FROM JACK: This week’s focus at the KBTC has been preparing for classes to resume in August. The Worship Leadership class returns on the 8th along with an ongoing Theology class. Thirty new students will arrive for a new Theology class. Pray that all will arrive safely and this will be a blessed time of learning and growing.

Jack checking out the newest building (built of
recycled materials) on the KBTC campus and 
dreaming of how the building can be used by
students after windows, paint, etc., is added!
Excitement is in the air as we prepare for our first Degree class which we expect to begin in September, God willing. This means lots of hard work, including adding to our media resources, considering new personnel and of course recruitment of students. God continues to provide for our needs in all areas and push us to work harder. Pray that we not run ahead of the Lord, but harness the energy and gifts that He has given us to be faithful servants in what He calls us to do.

A special view spotted last Sunday as we worshipped
at Tigoni Baptist Church.  For more about this
little girl and her friends, click BIT OF OUR HEARTS
(above) and find the July 26th post.
Two of our faculty made important trips this week. Dr. Jimmy Bledsoe, Dean of our new School of Missions, made a three day trip to the Suba Island area (Lake Victoria) where he taught and was well received. Rev. Evans Katana, Director of Bible Schools, visited the Baptist Regions in the North Rift around Mount Elgon, meeting with leaders and teachers of various Bible Schools for six days.

As we reach higher education levels, we must continue focusing on our grassroots of preparing pastors and leaders for the future in Kenya and all of East Africa. Pray with us as we strive to make this an ongoing priority.

Our entertainment during lunch one day this week!
A great praise is for how God blesses our Kenya Baptist Theological College staff through our Monday and Friday morning devotions. Worshiping and studying God’s Word together always strengthens and encourages us.

Another sunbird which is
often spotted in our yard.
FROM BERT: “What do you do?” My answer to this query from a new friend was, “I have the joy of reading the prayer letters, FB and blog posts of our IMB coworkers in Sub-Saharan Africa and find ways to share their praises and requests with others.”

One story this week which really touched my heart was shared by a couple who recently asked for prayer support as they encountered great spiritual darkness in a new work area. This month’s update shared that they no longer face fear and attacks, but are welcomed by the people in this village. The few Believers are walking long distances to study God’s Words together and upon returning home they are excitedly sharing what they learn with their families and friends. Many want to be baptized, but first they must find a place with enough water so that many will not have to walk 10 kilometers (6+ miles).

Another part of my job is spotting opportunities for you and others to pray for Peoples in need of our Father’s love and salvation. An opportunity spotted this week is an app for IMB PRAY. Check it out at

Today's photo on my FB page
A new part of my daily work is preparing a daily Devotional/ On Mission post which can be viewed by clicking the BITS OF OUR HEART tab (above) or on my FB page. These posts always include photos, what God is teaching me through His Word, and current prayer requests. My prayer is that these posts will entice, strengthen and encourage others to join in our Father’s work through prayer, giving and serving.

In case you are unsure, we love living in Kenya!
CLOSING WORDS: Thank you for all the ways you support us. As you pray, give and send workers our way, you enable us to join our Father in the work He has called us to do. Your support strengthens and encourages us as we seek to strengthen and encourage our African Believers and missionary co-workers as we engage lostness together (Acts 14:22; Revelation 14:6).

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Finding Joy

This is Bert's work space. The red bit
hanging in the window is her phone
which provides internet as she works.
Jack returned home yesterday afternoon more than a bit down as most things he had anticipated happening during the day were delayed – Things such as the deferral of an approval needed by the Kenya Baptist Theological College, the arrival of books (Jack had looked forward to having new textbooks to peruse), and his cell phone ‘eating’ 2000 KSh ($20) of internet time, which resulted in his having no internet due to a mis-behaving phone! Add to these happenings the fact that he had been keeping up with current world news, you can understand why he was discouraged!

I decided this morning that he needed to begin the day thinking of happy thoughts! So I handed him a piece of paper and pen and asked that he share his greatest joy of the past week.

This photo was taken two weeks ago as the
volunteer and some of the staff began
demolishing KBTC's old chapel/ dining hall.
The highlight of the week was the salvaging of the old Kenya Baptist Theological College chapel and dining rooms. We were blessed by the Holy Spirit last Friday as He brought together our staff, a volunteer from Arkansas and Kenyan Baptist men from the our local Kiambu Association. The work was done with amazing zeal and joy. In one day:

As the joint work project began last Friday.
- We finished demolishing the OLD building.
- Transported the materials to a new site.

- Began rebuilding a new structure to serve KBTC.
- Separated/ recycled materials to be used in needed renovations of staff housing.
Not carrying YOKES, but tresses from the old building
up to Baraka Hall for the new building
Many people count blessings in things, but this week proved the greatest blessing and joy comes from Believers joining together to serve the Lord.

Last Friday’s activities symbolized the revitalization of KBTC over the last few years with the local community coming to join our incredible staff to accomplish unity among us all.

The new building beside Baraka Hall rises from the ground.
OOPS... this was Jack's picture, not Bert's!
As KBTC's male staff are all members of local Baptist churches, Jack said they could skip their usual work and be a part of the Baptist Men of Kiambu's retreat/work project. But after devotions last Friday, the female staff followed the men out to the work site and joined in the work and the joy!

One of many views captured this week
as we were 
'out and about'.
If you want more ‘Bits of our Hearts’, take time to view my daily Devotional/ On Mission posts. You can view these on my FB page or by clicking the BITS OF OUR HEART tab (above). These posts always include recent scenes I’ve viewed, what God is teaching me through His Word, and current prayer requests.

As our world continues to be filled with chaos, pain and discord, will you join us in praying that we will make Psalm 73:28 active and alive in our lives? Will you pray that we and other Believers will be fully committed to sharing of our source of refuge and of the one who offers “mercy and … grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16 NIV)?

This view of  last night's full moon was a bit
of strenthening and encouraging for Bert
as she remembered that her friends across
the world would view the same moon!
Thank you for all the ways you strengthen and encourage us. Your support allows us to join our Father in the work He has called us to do. Your support enables us to strengthen and encourage our African Believers and missionary co-workers as we engage lostness together (Acts 14:22; Revelation 14:6).

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Praises and More Praises

We are still not fully settled in our new (for us) home in the countryside only a few minutes from the Kenya Baptist Theological College and I'm still way behind, BUT so many great things are happening that we MUST get back to weekly posts on our blog sharing our latest news and prayer items.

View spotted last week as we drove into
Limuru to buy fresh milk and bread!
My work has changed in ways in recent weeks, but I still have the joy of serving as the Prayer (Social) Networker for the IMB Sub-Saharan African Peoples and sharing the stories of how God is at work among our peoples. There is no longer a special FB page where daily Nudges to Action (Praying, Giving and Serving) are shared, which has given me a chance to do something I’ve felt God leading me to do for months. To view my new daily devotional/ on mission posts, click the BITS OF OUR HEART tab (located above).

Please join me in praying that my thoughts will strengthen and encourage fellow Believers to “remain true to the faith” (Acts 14:22) as we join together in proclaiming “the eternal gospel… to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people” (Revelation 14:6).

 This was truly an ‘alive and active’ view spotted last
Sunday as we entered the worship service at Tigoni
Baptist of offering “to God a sacrifice of praise"
(Hebrews 13:15).
Will you also pray for wisdom and strength as in coming months I work with a group preparing a social media guide for use by missionaries? Using the internet can be frustrating at times and yes, there are ways that it can be misused, but it is truly a gift for missionaries who want to share their stories of what God is doing and how others can join in our Father’s work.

Jack stays busy, but he did find time
to preach one Sunday morning!
A fruitful Kenya Baptist Theological College BOG (Board of Governors’) meeting this month. Collaboration with Mount Meru University has been approved and KBTC will begin offering Degree programs later this year. A partnership with Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary will begin soon, which will allow KBTC to offer a Masters in Theology.

Sam Holt teaching a special
month-long Keyboard Class.
God has provided volunteers (Samantha Holt, Landon Coleman and Bob Jones) in recent weeks who taught, did construction, invested their lives in students and met many other needs at KBTC. God is calling students and they are responding, resulting in increasing enrollment at all levels. God continues to guide our wonderful staff who work selflessly.

The Holy Spirit’s abiding presence in our lives, a wonderful home (on the side of a mountain with beautiful flowers and constant visits by birds and monkeys), and the opportunity to worship with an exciting church family.

Will you join me in praying that we will continue to put our total faith in our Lord and trust Him for all things!

Thank you for being our prayer partners and for all the other ways you support us as we seek to serve our Father.