Wednesday, December 29, 2010

December 29, 2010

2010 – A year of HIGHS, LOWS and WOWS!  
HIGHS include memories of events such as 20+ Bible School students sharing reports of their “homework assignment”: “Prayed for 148 lost people; 93 people saved after prayers; 40 new people attended church; 151 people discipled; 31 new small groups begun; and 8 new churches planned or begun!” Catching kisses thrown by our granddaughter via SKYPE is a definite HIGH!  A HIGH comes from viewing the fruit of missionary co-workers as we watch well discipled Kenyan Baptists begin a new church, such as  Parklands Baptist Church/Mombasa Road or as we hear how the Samburu People of northern Kenya are not only being reached by the gospel but they are sharing God’s love and salvation with the Pokot, their traditional enemies!  I considered linking HIGHS to past updates found on this blog, but there have been too many HIGHS this year as God’s children carry out his Great Commission in our part of the world!

LOWS are missing family and disappointments as we watch as a few of God’s fellow workers do “more harm than good” (1 Cor 11:18).   LOWS are experienced as we travel around Kenya and continue to see displaced people in tented villages three years after the chaos of the 2007 elections.  LOWS come from experiences that at first appear to be a HIGH, such as being told by a person of another faith: “My child is healed thanks to your prayers,” followed by “God hears your prayers because you are a better person that I am.”  Yes, there is truth in the last comment, but the friend has so much to learn about the true God.

WOWS often appear at unexpected moments, such as when zebras cross your pathway moments after you ask God to help you focus on positives rather than negatives!  A WOW comes when you realize that what is happening in a church is a continuation of a program you began years ago or they reference a book that you wrote – and those in the church have no knowledge of this being your past work!  A recent WOW moment occurred while admiring the clear blue sky and realizing palm trees are on the horizon – a reminder that you are really living in Africa!  WOW comes while listening to a young pastor preach an incredible sermon and remembering the retired co-workers who mentored and discipled him as a child! A WOW moment was definitely when I was asked to take a photo of a visiting retired missionary and friends he discipled – all now leaders in many churches and Christian organizations – and extra pictures had to be taken as the group continued to mushroom and I could think of several not in the picture – and this picture was not taken at the church where the missionary ministered!

I could go on and on with examples of our HIGH, LOW and WOW moments from this year alone, but I’m out of space and must take time to thank you for allowing us to experience these moments.  Your gifts to the Lottie Moon Offering and the Cooperative Program provides the financial support we need and we can’t imagine what our lives/ work would be like without your prayer support!  You also support us by coming as volunteers and enlisting/ supporting  new co-workers.  A simple Thank You/ Asante Sana sounds rather inadequate, but these words are shared from the bottoms of our heart!
Bert and Jack Yates
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Last three pictures are from Lottie Moon 2010/Are We There Yet Daily Prayer Nudge Photo Album from Kenya (updated through January 1, 2011)  -  or  

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Praise God that we can answer YES to "Are We There Yet?" for these munch-kins! The Baptist church in their community is committed to ministering to not just one People Group, but to all in their community. The Sunday schedule at Ruiru First Baptist (between Nairobi and Thika) includes services in English and Kiswahili, a special time for children followed by a youth service, an early morning Ethiopian service and a Sudanese mid-afternoon service, as well as a special service where praise to our Father is signed rather than spoken! Thank you for all the ways you support us so that we can be a part of touching our world with our Father's love and salvation.  

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

December 22, 2010 - Sharing Our Gift

At this time of gift giving, we want to share a “gift” Jack received in early December – a  gift not bound in colorful paper and ribbons, but found in exam papers! Jack’s thanksgiving overflowed as he graded the final exams of the “Baptist Faith and Beliefs which leads to Discipleship and Church Planting” class he taught in October and November at Wamunyu Bible School (north of Machakos).  At their December session (students meet one week each month for three years), the 25 students shared reports of their last assignment:  Pray for 5 lost persons; Pray for 5 disciples; Teach CPM (Church Planting Methods)to their church or group; and Start a small discipleship group.   The following totals and comments (only a few of many!) from their oral presentations and written exams, will help you understand the excitement we feel when those we disciple/ teach/ train/ mentor catch the excitement of carrying out the Great Commission. 

TOTALS – Prayed for 148 lost people; 93 people saved after prayers; 40 new people attended church; 151 people discipled; 31 new small groups begun; and 8 new churches planned or begun!

– One on my prayer list was a criminal.  He called and said I could remove his name, he is no longer lost!
– Not only did those I prayed for come to church, amazingly many others came with them!
– Prayed for my choir and started discipling them;  Those I prayed for lost their fear.
– I prayed for the lost 5.  They came to me and I made them disciples.  One then came with 2 others and the other 4 brought 3 others!
– Four people I prayed for accepted Jesus; one was my brother.  They are now my disciples and new members in my church.
– I prayed for 5 lost; immediately one called to save he was saved! 
– Started discipleship; had to extend it to another place where I will meet next week with 15 people to start a new church.
– God gave me names of 5 people far away.  I prayed for them and called them via cell phone.  One, my brother, had left his family, but is now reconciled!
– I taught a small group of children how to witness – they brought friends with them for our next class!
– I informed church of what I learned; in last 3 weeks we had 10 converts and 7 in church! Some from far away; have a vision of starting a new church for them.
– After meeting and praying, 7 persons have accepted Christ; one a former witchdoctor.  Received a bad cell phone message; I know the devil is not happy!
– Two I prayed for accepted Jesus; the other 3 are on the way!  I got 15 new Believers to teach and disciple; some have been baptized and are in Bible study.
– I prayed for the power to do the job well.  I taught CPM.  I found five disciples.  The whole church is interested.  Some backsliders are returning.  
– I prayed for the lost.  A youth I prayed for came to church on Sunday.  Preached CPM and challenged all to make disciples.  Eyes were opened; small groups started; people are coming to Christ through our fellowship.
– Started small groups as prayer groups; practiced storying and disciples were formed; fellowships formed; going door to door; revival has resulted! One location asked for a crusade which we had for 5 days!
– I prayed first that evil spirit would be bound up.  My son started behaving; my brother-in-law came to Christ.  Went 20 kilometers away where I met a man selling meat; he received Jesus and wants to be baptized.  Some women heard this and wanted to talk with me; pressured me to open a new church.
– Went to the top of a mountain; two groups begun; doing door to door sharing. Complaints that the church was too far; we plan to start a new church.  
– Started in my home, my son accepted Christ.  Found some people in my village; 2 accepted Christ.

As you read these totals and reports, I hope that you realize that you are a part of the harvest happening around us!  These reports are just a few results of your  investment of prayer and finances, as well as your investment as volunteers!  THANK YOU for allowing us be in East Africa watching our Father at work as we join you and others in sharing our Father’s love and salvation with all People Groups in our world!  

Krismasi Njema, Jack and Bert 
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Don’t forget to check the new photos added daily to  Lottie Moon 2010/Are We There Yet Daily Prayer Nudge Photo Album from Kenya:  or   
AND the special “JE! TUMEFIKA? Lottie Moon 2010” at:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

December 15, 2010 - SPECIAL PRAISE UPDATE

Today’s Update is my GIFT to mission lovers and “Lottie” supporters!  As I prepared our bit to answer “Are We There Yet” (2010 International Missions Emphasis for Southern Baptists),  I knew I had to share what God has done in the last 20 years among the Samburu People Group of northern Kenya.  Today’s update is long  – but I promise that if you read to the end you will be praising God and will have learned new ways your Lottie dollars and prayers are put to work! Enough said, now I’ll let the first IMB missionaries to the Samburu begin this awesome story, followed by the Daniels, who now work among the Samburu.  BERT
PS:  Next week we will send a report of the “gift” that Jack received last week!
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“ARE WE THERE YET” Memories of Mary Alice and Don Dolifka, IMB missionaries who began working among the Samburu People in 1990: 
CAMEL DERBY - When we were assigned to work with the Samburu in the northern frontier of Kenya,  we tried to figure out “how do we get there?”  Going into an unreached people group where most people don’t know about Christ and certainly didn’t know about Baptists made us realize that we had to use every opportunity to make Christ and Baptists known in the area.  One of the first activities we participated in was the first Maralal International Camel Derby.  We were living on the Maralal High School campus and I was teaching English and working in the headmaster’s office when we were asked if we could help with the derby.  We didn’t have any churches and very few contacts so we were glad to do something to help make ourselves known in the area.  The first year Don did a radio relay and Mary Alice did the registration of entrants.

When it came time to plan for the third year with the camel derby, we decided to try to make it an evangelistic outreach and invite four Journeymen to enter the race.  The mission agreed to pay their entry fees and anything they won would be donated to Lottie Moon offering.  Three J’men actually entered the race.  One, David Morse, couldn’t get his camel off the ground, but two girls, Nancy and Marlo rode.  Nancy came in second place in the amateur race and Marlo third.   But it was Marlo who really got the attention of several thousand spectators.  When she got to the halfway mark she told her handler that she wanted to quit; it hurt too bad to go any further.  He told her to turn around and ride backwards and it would be alright.  She did and came in third place.

When the race was over everyone there knew who our J’men were.  Baptists were commended by the Kenya minister of tourism for helping with the derby, and as a result we were given a letter from the regional commissioner permitting us to go into any Samburu village to plant a church.  But the best part came later.  We had arranged to have the J’men lead the worship service on the high school campus the next day.  At the end of that service one young man followed us to our house saying that when he prayed to receive Jesus something happened to him inside and he needed to know more.  Less than a year later this young man recorded the Jesus Film into the Samburu language, and we were able to show it to thousands of people in their heart language.  Many came to know Christ and it all started with a camel derby and some adventurous journeymen who were willing to step out and do the unusual in order to bring others to Christ.

MULE PROJECT - One of the problems we faced was getting  into the areas where many people lived but travel by vehicle was impossible.  Because of an earlier knee injury, walking up and down hills for long distances was not an option for me.  A Lutheran missionary to the north of us was retiring and offered to sell us four mules and one horse.  Mules are much more sure-footed than horses and would be ideal for the terrain in Samburu District.  When I asked the mission for $500 for an evangelism project using mules, laughter broke out, but they finally approved the request when they realized it wasn’t a joke.  One of our Samburu evangelists and I would haul the mules out in a horse trailer as far as the trails go, and then we would ride down into the canyons and valleys to take the Good News to people who had never heard of Christ (and many had never seen a white man before).  As those people began to accept Christ, other places along the main trails began to open up. As the work developed, my role shifted to leadership training and the mules were no longer needed, but they did serve as a way to open up the harder-to-reach places to the Gospel.
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SAMBURU SOJOURNER on FACEBOOK – Posts added in the last 10 weeks by Charlie and Sandra Daniels: 
October 6, 2010 - PRAY for Samburu efforts to evangelize the Pokot, which are their enemies and have been the source of inter-tribal theft and fighting. One group will go Friday to an area and another plan to go to a different place next week. These men are seeking to share the Gospel with their arch enemies. Pray for their safety.

October 9, 2010 - Seven Samburu Men walked 5hrs. down the mountain and across the valley to take the Gospel of Jesus to their bitter enemy the Pokot. These men are truly walking in the steps of Jesus as they reach and touch the unreachable with the love of Christ.

October 29, 2010 - Wow! 10 Pokot and 8 Samburu said "yes" to Jesus yesterday as Charlie and crew went to talk about how they can work together to start a church. There were over 30 in attendance. One of the Pokot has declared "it is now time for us to take this news to our women and children” .. God is at work!

November 8, 2010 - Three Pokot will travel on Tuesday with Charlie and 4 Samburu to take the Gospel to their (Pokot) family who live in Laikipia District. Four years ago, God gave us a vision that Samburu believers could/should reach out to neighboring tribes with the News of God. Most believed it to be impossible. "Is anything too difficult for the Lord?" Genesis 18:14

November 12, 2010 - Samburu worker agreed with Pokot chief to return in December to begin new preaching points and help them start a church. A day later, the chief phones and wants to know why they must wait until December. Can they not come now? How great is our God?
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If you are “hungry” for more or want to find the Daniels on Facebook so that you can continue seeing how God works among the Samburu, go to:
And if you want a past “Lottie” view of the Samburu work with lots of colourful pictures, go to The Samburu – Responding to the Gospel  at

AND… Don’t forget to check the new photos added daily to Lottie Moon 2010/Are We There Yet Daily Prayer Nudge Photo Album from Kenya:  or
AND the special “JE! TUMEFIKA? Lottie Moon 2010” at:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

December 8, 2010

Lots of JOY and PRAISES today!  Last Thursday morning we left the city for the 5½  hour trip to western Kenya – First PRAISE – Two hours less than earlier trips  thanks to road repairs!  Driving around Kenya is always a JOY with views of beautiful people, animals (cows, donkeys, goats, sheep, zebra, gazelles, baboons) and the varied terrain of the countryside.  Another PRAISE –  Rains are continuing and we saw flourishing fields of vegetables and signs of bountiful harvests!

Additional PRAISE:  We didn’t ask for prayers for a safe journey due to a common missionary “catch 22” (asking for prayer for a journey announces to the world that your home will be vacant), but many of you were praying.  Though there were scary moments and rattled bodies (human and auto) on stretches of horrible roads, our only problem was one flat – which also bought JOY:  a family of Colobus monkeys entertained us as the tire was changed! Yet another PRAISE:  We stayed at a Christian truly restful guest house in the Kakamega Forest and our flat tire was discovered while in their safe compound!

JOY also came from attending an AGM of the Western Region of the Baptist Convention of Kenya.  Jack always loves teaching, but his greatest JOY came from the church leaders’ response to his training on Baptist Faith and Beliefs which leads to Discipleship and Church Planting! Our PRAISE:  Their desire to personally carry out the Great Commission and their excitedly accepting the responsibility of sharing what they learned with their churches!  

My JOY last week was taking more pictures to share with you! There was a bit of frustration – one often experienced by missionaries.  Part of the restful ambience of the guest house was constant electricity and ample solar heated water, but phones connected in only one spot on the property (Jack loved it!) and there was zero internet connections! During the days at the church in Kakamega, my mobile internet connection was strong, but there was no electricity!  So, accomplishing needed work was a juggling act of computer work, editing pictures, etc using electricity at the guest house, followed by swift internet work at the church before my laptop battery died – I do have a great battery back-up, but the little doo-hickey to connect it to my computer has disappeared.  PRAYER NEED:  That I find the missing part as I often need the battery back-up and ordering this needed bit from the States was a very complicated ordeal!  (Note added an hour later:  PRAYER ANSWERED:  The tiny part is now found!  It was hiding under a bed in my office/spare bedroom!)

Another PRAYER NEED:  We make a day trip tomorrow to eastern Kenya for Jack’s Accountability Session at the Wamunyu Bible School, where he has been teaching Discipleship and Church Planting! Tomorrow is the time to hear reports of how the students have used/taught/shared what they learned!  PRAY for a safe journey and that the students will challenge and encourage one another with their reports of how God is at work!

Another JOY - Your support which allows us to be a part of God’s work in East Africa!  Did you know that your gifts to Lottie Moon covers repairing flat tires and our salary which pays my internet costs so I can  tell you about our Colobus Monkey adventure?  JOY also comes from your reports of this year’s Lottie Moon emphasis!  Last week when it was difficult to add new daily photos to our Lottie MOON 2010 Prayer Nudge Photo Album (1), your reports and encouragement kept me going!  If you have not already done so – or do it again and share it with friends – view these photos and go to “JE! TUMEFIKA? Lottie Moon 2010” for even more information about the awesome gains that are being reaped thanks to your support of finances, personnel and prayers!  BERT YATES
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(1)  LOTTIE MOON 2010 Daily Prayer Nudge Photo Album from Kenya (will be updated through January 1, 2011  or   
(2) “JE! TUMEFIKA? Lottie Moon 2010” at: