December 17, 2014

“Every skilled person to whom the LORD has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work… are to do the work just as the LORD has commanded… every skilled person to whom the LORD had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work. They received… all the offerings… brought to carry out the work… And the people continued to bring freewill offerings.” (Exodus 36:1-3)

Bert's view during devotions this week and
through the end of the year - the view from
the porch glider at our home in Nairobi.
As I read these words during my devotions this week, I realized that this is what God is doing in our lives and through others. I will honestly admit that there have been times when Jack and I question what we got ourselves into when two years ago we accepted that God was calling Jack to become the principal of the Kenya Baptist Theological College. Another bit of honesty - this is not what we ever imagined doing.

A special gift Bert received last week 'offered' by KBTC staff kids -
a moment of pure joy while walking to Thursday's chapel as one kid
hid from me and another did flips to entertain me! Then the shy kid
smiled and posed for me with a younger friend!

But, God has constantly shown us that He is with us and has given us the skill and ability to do what He asks of us. We’re continually astounded by how God provides and guides when we obey Him and allow Him to be the one in charge. More importantly, God also reminds us continually that we are not alone – KBTC’s current staff members are also willingly, joyfully and obediently using their God-given skills and abilities to do His work, even when pay checks are late, problems arise, etc.!

A skill greatly appreciated in East Africa - the
ability to make chapatis!  These were served
at the KBTC Christmas Staff party.
PLUS, there are those in Kenya and other places who are providing their offerings of prayer, encouragement and other support needed “to carry out the work” God has given to us and others at KBTC, which includes His work of the school being a place where Believers are prepared to reflect the presence of God and become His qualified and capable workers in His Harvest Field.

At last Saturday's Christmas luncheon for the staff and their families,
beef stew, grilled chicken, rice, veggies and cake were also enjoyed.
I cannot remember how many times I’ve heard Jack share his amazement of how when there is a need, God provides - NOT ever too early and NOT ever too late - the answer through His children. When some suggest that Jack may be moving too fast at KBTC, his response is: “I’m not worried about moving too fast. My concern is that I’m not moving fast enough to keep up with God!”

But before the meal and the special worship time together,
all the kids received gifts.  Some were a bit reserved at
first, but all were smiling before the end!

Why am I sharing all of this today? To thank you for your prayers, encouragement and other ways you support us as we serve in Kenya with the IMB, especially during the last two years. We say “we are partners working together for God” (1 Corinthians 3:9, GNT) because we know we could not do what we do without your partnership!

As shared last week, my usual baking
skills were not evident last Wednesday.
This is the 'extra' cake I had to bake,
but don't worry, we brought no left-
overs home from the cakes I took to
the KBTC Christmas party!
I’ve shared how Jack and KBTC are experiencing this, but I also see it in my work as the Prayer Networker for the Sub-Saharan African Affinity. I know your prayer support is at work when I sit at the computer unsure of what to share as future Nudges to Action for SSAPeoples and the right things appear in notes or messages as soon as I turn on my computer. Weekly, I experience times which I know are not coincidences, but God-incidences when a friend is discouraged and I’m able to send a note of encouragement within seconds of the time they share a FB post or message. Yes, I know I’m a smart woman and I do seek to be available for God to use me, but I know that these happenings have nothing to do with my wisdom or abilities, but God’s guidance and timing in response to your prayers!

KBTC staff are blessed with lots of kids!
So thank you for being our partners as we work together for God. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of doing all His work of sharing His story, His love and His salvation with every nation, tribe, tongue and people as He commanded (Exodus 39:42; Revelation 14:6). BERT and JACK YATES
...   ...   ...   ...
Nudges to Action for SSAfrican Peoples at   https://www.facebook.com/SubSaharanAfricanPeoples.
Kenya Baptist Theological College at  https://www.facebook.com/KenyaBaptistTheologicalCollege.
More on the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering at  http://www.imb.org/main/lottie-moon/lmcoatwork.asp?PageNavID=111.

This little one slept through much of the worship time,
as did the youngest resident of KBTC who is only a few weeks old!

And the younger kids found it very hard to stay
attentive to the worship time after viewing one of
their gifts - a ball which glows when bounced!


December 10, 2014

As my Kenyan friends would say, I've been defeated today!  It began with hurriedly making two huge chocolate cakes for the KBTC Christmas party to which I added baking powder rather than baking soda and both cakes now have obvious flaws! I'm waiting for Jack to return home from a KBTC Board of Governors meeting to test if either are edible - which from the look of the cakes, is a real possiblity!  At this point with the way things have been going, I fear that if I touch the cakes, they might end up on the floor!

The morning wasn't a total flop!  BEFORE baking the cakes, I did
successfully prepare a batch of Hersheys fudge to complement the
Maziwa Lala fudge I made last night to share at a Christmas party
 with IMB co-workers.   The second fudge is also known
as Jack's Grandmother Yates' Buttermilk Fudge!
And then I tried, really tried to prepare a special Yates' edition of a Lottie Moon Christmas Offering bulletin and although the electricity has been constant, unlike most days in the last few weeks,  the internet and several of my computer programs have been very uncooperative this morning!  So, I'm doing what I usually refuse to do and I'm giving up for today. In all honesty, one problem was that my computer hid what I had created and I've spent the last two hours searching for what I had hoped to share with you today!  I did find it, but can't share it properly, thus you are getting the following revised copy of what I can share without more grey hairs appearing!  BERT YATES
---   ---   ---   ---   ---   ---   ---

The KBTC staff welcoming us back to campus
in May after our  Stateside Assignment.
Jack and Bert Yates
thank you for praying
and giving to the
Lottie Moon Christmas Offering!


 Did you know that 100% of the LMCO directly supports us and nearly 4,900 other field personnel.

YOUR GIFTS to the Scottie Moon Christmas Offering allow us to serve as IMB missionaries in Kenya, among Sub-Saharan African Peoples.

Your support allows:
  • Jack, Principal of the Kenya Baptist Theological College, to strengthen, encourage and train pastors, national missionaries and church members to carry out the Great Commission. 
  • Bert, Prayer Networker for the Sub-Saharan African Peoples Affinity, to share via the internet what God is doing among our Peoples and how others can join in His Work through prayer, serving and giving. 
Please pray with us for God’s guidance and wisdom as:
  • Jack leads KBTC as African Believers are prepared to reflect the presence of God and become His qualified and capable workers in His Harvest Field.
  • Bert reads co-workers’ prayer letters, blogs and FB posts and shares their praises and prayer requests.
  • We seek to make, strengthen and encourage disciples who proclaim the eternal gospel to every nation, tribe, language and people. 

December 3, 2014

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20 NIV

Do Jack and I honestly believe that obeying our Saviour’s Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20 can lead to the day when the eternal gospel is proclaimed to all “on the earth – to every nation, tribe, language and people” (Revelation 14:7)? YES!!!  And the best part is that this IS happening!

I love this photo captured last Sunday at church!
As the Prayer Networker for Sub-Saharan African Peoples, I have the joy of reading prayers letters from IMB workers among Sub-Saharan African Peoples. This means that every day I get to read reports of how co-workers are going, making disciples, baptizing and teaching. An added joy for me is that it is my job to share these stories. You can also read some of these stories at Nudges to Action for Sub-Saharan African Peoples. Yes, this is on FB, but can be viewed by anyone.

Bert's new Facebook Cover photo added to promote the LMCO.
An old photo, but one of my favourites of a child walking home
 with a Gospel tract clutched in his hand after a visit
with a group of NC Baptist Men and Women on Mission!
As the Principal of the Kenya Baptist Theological College , Jack gets to be a part of training Believers not just from Kenya, but from other African countries and hopefully in the near future from other continents, how to go, make disciples, baptize and teach God’s words and commands! For more from KBTC, visit Kenya Baptist Theological College.

Praise of the Week: Pastor Chacha, a professor at KBTC,
has been very ill this year.  It was a joy to see him
and his wife, Florence, at Kahawa Sukari last Sunday.
We were blessed with two special events this past week which were extra special to us as they occurred during the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO) season. During our visit with the new National Council of the Baptist Convention of Kenya (BCOK), which met last week at KBTC, and at the Kahawa Sukari Baptist Church new church dedication on Sunday, Lottie Moon or the LMCO was never mentioned, yet Jack and know that the offering named for Lottie led to both of these special times.


The BCOK meeting held on campus last Thursday and Friday was special as we got to see many friends, but it was exciting to sense the enthusiasm and commitment of the 68 delegates from 20 regions of Baptist work representing every corner of Kenya. Jack’s response: "I am in awe of what God has done since 1956. Thank God for the BCOK, its leadership and the leadership of the Holy Spirit as Kenyan Baptists work towards the day when the eternal gospel is proclaimed 'to every nation, tribe, language and people.' Rev 14:7”

I love this road sign on Thika Road at the Kahawa Sukari exit.  For those
who have not been to Kenya for years, Thika Road is now 12 lanes wide!
The sign could have added that 140 km (87 miles) past Garissa is Somalia.
Will you join us in praying for the leaders and churches represented at last week’s BCOK meeting? Many of those attending have never heard of Lottie Moon, but most, if not all, have been trained thanks to the LMCO as they’ve been taught by IMB missionaries, received scholarship help at KBTC and assistance for their churches, including Sunday School books, etc., which were funded in part by the LMCO? Will you pray that they will continue to grow in their desire and ability to share our Father’s love and salvation in their homes, villages, towns, cities and country, as well as in neighboring countries?

Mid-day sun blurred the name of  the church in the photo of the new
sanctuary which seats at least 1000. The classrooms on
the right were built earlier. 
Sunday’s celebration at Kahawa Sukari (sweet/sukari coffee/kahawa once grown in the area) was also a time of reunion with old friends and making new friends. It was a time of celebrating how a church begun 20 years ago with the help of several IMB missionaries (supported by the LMCO) is now a strong group of Believers (discipled and equipped by books funded by the LMCO, etc.) who had outgrown their first building (and yes, LMCO fund’s helped build this) and taken responsibility for their new building, as well as claiming their own responsibility for carrying out the Great Commission as they minister in their community and as they begin new churches!

View through a window of the first Kahawa Sukari sanctuary, located
behind the new sanctuary.  Designed by an IMB missionary,  it was
 first used in March 1995. Within a very few years, a tent was added
to hold the overflow each Sunday. 
An ordination service was also held during Sunday's celebration.
Of the three newly ordained pastors, one is a member called to
pastor another Baptist church in Nairobi, one pastors a church
planted by Kahawa Sukari and the third serves at their church.
(The old sanctuary can be spotted through the windows.)
Yes, I've said lots today about the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, but that is because without this funding, we could not be in Kenya doing what we know God has called us to do! Therefore, I want you to know how thankful we are for your being our co-workers as you pray for us, send workers our way and as you do your part in giving to the LMCO and the Cooperative Program!
--- --- --- --- --- --- ---
Added note: An invitation from David Platt, IMB President: “What if thousands of churches came together on December 7 for the sake of spreading the gospel to all nations?” A full sermon video, a three minute sermon extract and a sermon outline are all available for download for use personally or in a church or small group setting. http://www.imb.org/2272.aspx
--- --- --- --- --- --- ---
Nudges to Action for SSAfrican Peoples at https://www.facebook.com/SubSaharanAfricanPeoples.

Kenya Baptist Theological College at https://www.facebook.com/KenyaBaptistTheologicalCollege.

More on the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering at http://www.imb.org/main/lottie-moon/lmcoatwork.asp?PageNavID=111.

November 26, 2014

“How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?”
1 Thessalonians 3:9 (NIV)

The food colouring is included as local corn (maize)
meal is white, thus yellow colouring is needed
for yellow corn bread!
Ingredients are waiting on the kitchen cabinet in our KBTC cottage, ready to bake pumpkin muffins (not from a can, but prepared the old fashioned, begin-with-a-pumpkin way as I refused to pay $10 for a small tin of pumpkin!) and a special cornbread for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving meal with our mission family. But before I begin cooking, I must first share our thanks with you for allowing us to be in Kenya.

Sorry, no photos of Bert this week as she was the one taking 1500 shots
last Saturday, but this one is shared especially for Jack's Mom!
Bert's thought as she took this photo:  This might be the hottest-ever
graduation where a black and gold, Wake Forest University hood has
been worn as Malindi is just south of the equator on the Indian Ocean!
And the best way that I know to share our thanks for your prayers, sending workers our way and financial support, is to share things on our thanksgiving list. At the top of our list this past week was last Saturday’s graduation of 20 students on the Malindi campus (5 Diploma students, 6 Advanced Certificates and 9 Bible School Certificates).

We also had the joy of worshipping with Christ the King Baptist Church in Malindi on Sunday morning. One highlight of the morning was watching the youth praise God not with their voices during the offering time, but with their whole bodies in a way that was truly an act of worship and praise.

A special highlight for me was viewing a little girl helping one of the boys find the page for each hymn sung in the church’s copies of Nyimbo za Imani Zetu, the hymnal published by Kenya Baptist Media. I joined Media after the ‘soft’ cover edition of this book was completed, but I had the joy of helping to edit the hard back edition with musical notation.

Jack's special highlight of the week, in addition to taking part in his first graduation as principal of KBTC, was teaching Philosophy of Education to the 609/ Advanced Diploma in Education class and being able to watch their joy as they received tablets donated by a college friend from Houston. Their first assignment was to listen, study and learn from Creative Teaching (part of over 3000 hours of Biblical Training lectures). To say the least they were very excited and learned quickly how to use the machines!

Photo shared at https://www.facebook.com/
KenyaBaptistTheologicalCollege.
Last Saturday's graduation at the KBTC Malindi campus was a day
of celebration. It was also a day when our younger generation
was challenged to dream of becoming KBTC graduates!
Paul also challenged us in 1 Thessalonians to“give thanks in all circumstances" (5:18), but we are not thankful for everything that we experienced and encountered this past week! Being thankful was difficult during multi electricity outages (up to 20 hours) and joy was limited as KBTC faced un-kept commitments, a major project being stalled by an obstacle, trying to balance what to pay and when, and having to take legal action against a five year old problem. We haven’t asked prayers for these things even though we have needed prayer support, but all are issues that we cannot be freely shared.

Our blog was updated a bit this week -
Look for the new KENYAN KIDS
slideshow on the top-right! 
So this week, as we thank you for all you do as God’s fellow workers, we do ask that you join us in the shared praises and joys and also join us in praying for current needs. And we do feel your prayer support. I know that it was no coincidence, but a God-incident/ answer to prayer when on the very morning that some things had me discouraged, I read during my devotions what Joseph told his fearful brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20, NIV). I know that this verse also applies to KBTC as Believers are trained and equipped to serve our Father and share His salvation. BERT YATES
--- --- --- --- --- --- ---
Yes, Kenya does have many super malls,
but these dukas are found everywhere
selling one-use sizes of tea, laundry
detergent, etc., and other needed items.
This photo, captured near KBTC on
Monday, was used in today's
Nudgeto Action for SSAPeoples. 
Added NOTE: Do you internet shop via Amazon? Then you can strengthen work among SSAPeoples as you shop! Amazon will now donate 0.5% of the price of eligible AmazonSmile purchases to ‘International Mission Board Of The Southern Baptist Convention’ when you shop at AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com). Be sure to choose the complete name of the IMB as there is a California based mission board listed as well.

The boys played with a home-made soccer ball during Saturday's
graduation and with the home-made wheeled toy in an
earlier photo.  The boy in the middle was practising
 karate (I think). The girls played with the flowers! All the
kids enjoyed eating mangos from a nearby tree.
While some kids slept! The Mom kept trying to wiggle her little
one (below) snuggly into the kanga, but the child preferred to be free!

Bert's thoughts while viewing this little one:
I'm melting and he looks very comfy in his hat and jacket!
This is a photo of two blessings for KBTC - which may seem minor, but
are important.  Keeping the grass cut on campus is a major job. One
blessing is having men who slash several acres for free in exchange
for free food for their cows. The rocks and dirt (and lots more) were
offered to KBTC this week  at a very reasonable cost by a nearby
work site.  Now the road to the new building can be weather-proofed!