Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Joy and Excitement

After several Wednesdays of meetings, taking new workers and friends on “Baptist Work in Kenya” tours, plus computer problems, I’m back at the computer preparing a new prayer letter today.

One of many BEAUTIFUL FEET photos taken
during our meeting for use in a soon-to-be created
2016 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering video.
The meetings included a refreshing time of strengthening and encouragement as we worshipped, studied God’s Word, prayed and played with our fellow IMB workers in East Africa. We listened with joy as they shared reports of how God is at work among their peoples and of their excitement of how God is allowing them to obey His call and join in His Work. Will you join us in praying for our co-workers? We work in various places and situations including islands, villages and cities, schools and hospitals, as well as among peoples of other faiths and from other continents. Yet we all share a common goal – “the spread of the greatest news in all the world to men, women, and children who have never heard it” (

View of skyscrapers and a slum of Nairobi.
The tours with new co-workers and friends from a partnering church were also a time of joy as we viewed their desire for reaching all peoples in Kenya with the Gospel. An added excitement came from joining with others whose heart desire is to strengthen and encourage African Believers as they also serve as His witnesses (Acts 1:8) to their families, friends, town or city, their states and country, and to other continents. Pray for the many new IMB co-workers we have in East Africa, especially in Nairobi, as well as partnering churches who share a desire to serve our Father in our part of the world.

This decorated tour bus was parked near one of the
many computer repair shops we've visited in the last
few weeks. HARDEES (begun near Jack's home town)
 has finally made it to Kenya, but is only accessible
to those flying out of the international airport.
My computer problems are not resolved, but I’m learning how to work around the problems. Since I last wrote, my job as Prayer Networker for the Sub-Saharan African Peoples Affinity has been reconfirmed and I am back at work finding ways to share via the internet what God is doing among our peoples and how others can join in His work via prayer, giving and serving. Pray for me as I find how to best strengthen and encourage our IMB coworkers as I share their great stories which share what is happening because of your past investments in prayer, giving and serving.

Before Jack headed out this morning for a day-long planning meeting at the Kenya Baptist Theological College, I asked that he share his heart desires with you. He replied:

The KBTC display in the prayer room at our meeting.
- Pray for the administration of KBTC as we seek to pay all our bills, which includes electricity, lots of government requirements, salaries, and improvements needed for the school to enroll and educate men and women who are called to serve our Father. This also includes the need for prayers for the local churches to value theological education and support the school and students.

A bit of a multi-faceted walk-over built to help
pedestrians navigate the 12+ lanes at an intersection
along Thika Road - it has so many turns and twists
that one can get lost and head in the wrong direction!
- Pray for the needed planning/ preparations for developing and enrolling students in KBTC’s new degree programs, as well as the Masters of Theology program which will soon be offered through the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Pray also for a new program being implemented which will provide training for pastors, missionaries and church leaders from another continent.
A special joy spotted this week as I was frustrated
during a 21 hour power outage!

As always, the devil is not happy when God’s children are busy obeying and serving their heavenly Father and he sends lots of frustrations and interruptions to divert energies from doing God’s work. But as we learn over and over as we obey and serve our Father – He is the one who can do and does the impossible and when the devil gets active, which He is at the moment, we know to focus on praising God for His upcoming answers and actions as He accomplishes His Work!

Thank you again for how you strengthen and encourage us as your pray for us, give so we can be in Kenya and as you send/ come as coworkers our way! BERT YATES

These HornBills were among five of these beauties
which were also spotted as I tried to be positive
during the long power outage!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Believing and Sharing

Jack’s Review of the Week:
Jack listening as a student shares
of what he is learning.
There are few things in my life that exhaust me like teaching. There are few things in life that thrill, energize, fulfill and give purpose to me like teaching! I love it! When a student grows I know that he will help others grow. It must be the farmer in me that loves to see students grow in knowledge, understanding and wisdom. The best encouragement I receive is every time I teach, I learn, I grow, and I understand more! (Shared half-way through the third week of teaching a Survey of the Old Testament to the students at the Kenya Baptist Theological College.)

Jack’s Prayer Requests:
“More hours in the day!” This is the same prayer request he shared last week which I (Bert) forgot to add! Yes, this is impossible, but keeping up with all that God is doing at KBTC leaves Jack in great need of wisdom and physical, mental and spiritual strength.

Viewed yesterday as we returned home from campus -
Bible verses about donkeys are fully understood in East Africa!
Bert’s Review of the Week:
God has really been working on me in recent days about my part in reaching our world with His Good News. I’ve been sharing of this in my daily Devotional/ On Mission posts on FB, which can be viewed by all by clicking the Bits of Our Hearts tab at the top of this page. Here is a bit of what I shared today:
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This sunbird and other birds spotted this week
in our yard truly show God's creativity!
What must be done for all peoples in our world to be reached with this incredible Good News? Believers… must so fully share Peter’s and John’s passion and conviction of the truths of God’s Words that I/we “cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). I/we must truly want everyone to know of our God who “sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9).

I/we must want all to know, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10)… our Savior’s words in Luke 10:2 is truer today than ever! “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few,” too few! More workers must be at work in His harvest field telling “the 2.8 billion people without access to the Gospel”* that “Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:30-31).

The truth is that the day when all peoples in our world will hear and have an opportunity to believe that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” WILL NOT COME until this is the heart cry of more committed Believers who are ready to get to work telling all they meet and can meet of “what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20)!
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Will you join Jack and me in praying that we will always be focused upon sharing our Good News? Pray that as Jack guides and teaches at KBTC and as I share via Social Media that we will strengthen and encourage other Believers (Acts 14:22) to do the same. Our praise is for you and how your prayers, giving and coming as/ sending workers allows us and others to be at work in our Father’s Harvest Field. BERT YATES

* LIMITLESS- David Platt -
Limitless from IMB on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Blessings of Learning

Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.”
1 Corinthians 4:1,2

Jack and I do faithfully strive to do God’s work, but we often question if the blessings and learning we receive far outweigh what is gained by those who are the focus of our work! Jack has definitely felt this as he continues teaching a survey of Old Testament to KBTC’s newest class, which is a very special class as they will receive the first college degrees given by the school.

Jack has also been tempted to allow his class to follow the example
of Professor Chacha's class and meet outside now that the
sun appears for more than a few minutes each day!
Jack returns home exhausted each day as his regular work as the college principal happens around a two hour teaching session before lunch and another two hours after lunch. But once he takes a short break, he begins sharing what he is learning anew about what God reveals about Himself, His actions and His plans in the Old Testament. Will you join Jack in praying that the students will truly gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Old Testament as they hear what God is revealing about Himself – revelations which the students and those they minister among need to hear, learn and do?

Life in East Africa comes with differences,
but lots of joys and special memories.
Pray for me as I continue sharing daily Devotional/On-mission posts on Facebook. Preparing these posts always becomes a mixed time of blessings and learning as God's Word leaves me challenged, chided, encouraged and strengthened.  Pray also for me to always have God’s wisdom as I respond to prayer letters and notes from our coworkers and seek opportunities to share their stories and prayer needs.

Pray that Jack and I will always have the physical, mental and spiritual strength to truly be faithful as we seek to obey and share our Father’s love and salvation with those around us. Pray that we will always be learners seeking to know more about our Father and become better equipped to be ambassadors of the one who is the true source of the joy, peace and salvation needed by the people of our world.

The kids at Tigoni Baptist have really tried to teach Jack and me how
praise God with our whole bodies, but...
It appears that I have finally written a short prayer letter this week, but as always I cannot conclude without thanking you. Thank you for enabling us to be a part of His work in East Africa you support us through your prayers, giving to the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, and as you come and send volunteers to join in His work. BERT YATES
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Remember to click the Bits of Our Hearts tab (above) to view more from Bert and the KBTC tab for more from Jack's work.