Last year Sam and Melly Oluoch launched a new church plant in Nairobi, and it has been a while since we updated you on their progress. They quickly accumulated a list of at least 20 prospects for the new church. The problem was that their home could barely hold more than 15, limiting the size of the meetings. Since then, Sam has reported several encouraging developments. At the end of last year, I was excited to read in Sam’s report:
A Much-Needed New Facility
“We officially launched our Sunday morning meetings at a facility (government institution) the Lord provided not far from our house. About 30 people came for the launch, out of which 15 were our regular Bible study group members that we hope to continue with. The launch was graced by elder Kennedy Owiti from Kisumu (our sending church). He preached powerfully from Rom. 3:23, reminding us of the state of all men and thus the need for the gospel to be spread and more churches planted. We later served lunch to those who came and had great fellowship around a meal.”
Selfless Help from a Sister Church
Early this year, Sam wrote with more encouraging news: “The Lord in His own providence has directed another very helpful man to this work. When we arrived in Nairobi last year, the church that welcomed us with an open heart was Emmanuel Baptist Church. This is a church that has made many strides in reforming their doctrine and practice, and has a congregation of about 500 on a Sunday. EBC, led by Pastor Ken Mbugua, is openly encouraging their members who live near our church plant to join us and help with the work! Some members are not keen in obeying their elders in this gracious call, but Peter and his wife Juliet did. When I asked Peter why he feels he should fellowship with us he said, ‘EBC is so big and finding opportunity to be involved in serving the Lord is not easy. I enjoy the opportunity here at GBC and looking forward to serve’. Peter has since offered to be part of our college ministry team as we reach out to the students and community as well. He will truly be resourceful in this work.”
Growing Student Ministry
In April, Sam wrote, “We still continue sowing seeds through university Bible studies on the book of Romans. We eagerly wait for souls to respond to the Lord. We have about 10-12 students now attending the Bible study. Some are claiming they are Christians from previous conversions (we are yet to see the truth of this) while some are not. We have a very conducive place for the Bible studies where we can sit down and discuss the word of God around tea. Students love free food!”
A month later, Sam sent an update on the student ministry. “The Bible study at the university is now firmly rooted. Three students are now frequent in attending church on Sunday as a result and they have expressed their desire to be baptized. Lessons for the baptism class have started, and we hope that things will be much clearer and brighter for them as we go along.
Surprising Barbeque Turnout
During the Easter holiday, many people leave the city for their village homes. In the midst of this, my wife and I asked that vital question: ‘How can we make use of this holiday season to preach to many the gospel of Jesus Christ?’ Ting! An idea came to us – host a barbeque in our house for as many young people as we know in the city, and use the opportunity to do a mini ‘gospel crusade’ over lunch. Our fellowship members went out of their way to invite people.
Our faith was small as we planned for only 20 people. The Lord challenged us, and this number was almost tripled! Fifty-five people turned out and we had to ask for chairs from our neighbor and ask fellowship members to give up their seats to the guests! How the food and drinks planned for 20 went round for over 50 I can’t tell. The two fish and five loaves served the people very well with some extra left over.
Before the food was served, I took 15 minutes to bring the gospel to the youths. I spoke on ‘The Standard of God for Heavenly Dwelling,’ emphasizing that Christ’s righteousness imputed to us is the only suitable standard for God’s presence. So far we have not seen any tangible fruit from this, but we trust that God will bring up fruit in His own time. Our duty is to sow. Please pray for conversions.
A Soul Seeking Salvation
It has been my tradition for a long time to approach gospel presentation through friendship. A man I have come to know of late is Mr. Wilson. This is a very quiet, introverted fellow who speaks only a word after every 30 minutes. So, whenever I meet Wilson, I must be ready to do all the talking (quite a task for a man of few words like me, otherwise we will just be staring at each other). I thank God that three weeks ago I met Wilson for lunch, during which I presented the gospel to him in a candid way. He listened quite well and also opened up on some matters he is struggling with. I kept on showing him the hope he has in Christ Jesus. After we parted ways, I headed to town to meet another man for a gospel presentation. Later in the evening, Wilson sent me a text message saying
‘I have asked God to help me strengthen my faith and follow his path of salvation.’
I have not seen him since to follow up on this but we have planned to meet this coming week. Pray that Wilson will be clear on the gospel and genuinely come to the Lord for salvation. One-on-one gospel presentation has its advantages.”
Before his current role at HeartCry, Robert served several years in pastoral ministry, and a few years in Zambia, Africa as a missionary. He is also a veteran of the Marine Corps. Robert and his wife have been blessed with 3 children and 4 grandchildren. They live near Christiansburg, VA in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains, where he enjoys deer hunting and fly-fishing for trout.More By Robert Shepherd