Dear Faith Partners,
Following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, his body was brought to his hometown of Springfield, IL. Among the throngs of people lining the streets to pay homage to their fallen President was a former slave and her young son. Lifting him up onto her shoulders so he could see above the crowd, she said, “Take a good look, son. He died for you.”
What a beautiful picture of the gospel message – the glorious truth that when Jesus died on the cross, He died for you and for me. He took our place, bearing our sins and the penalty due them, just as Isaiah had prophesied some 600 years earlier: Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows … He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed … the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isa. 53:4-6).
The New Testament echoes this theme of Jesus substitutionary atonement: He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree … By His wounds you have been healed … For Christ also suffered once for sins, the Righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God. (1 Pet. 2:24; 3:18). This truly is “the good news in the good news” – For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor. 5:21).
As we remember our Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection during this special season of the year, we rejoice and give thanks for His victory over sin and death – OUR sin and OUR death. Because of that victory, we can say with Paul “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who love me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20). This is our calling as well as our privilege – to live ransomed, redeemed lives not for ourselves, but for the One who loved us and gave Himself for us. (Eph. 5:25). May we be faithful!
Praise the Lord for His provision of funds enabling us to begin construction on a new home for Pastor Paul Nyamweya and his family! Trenches have been dug for the foundation footings, and with the purchase of sand, cement, rebar, and brick, the walls of the house are going up. When completed, the house will have four bedrooms, a living room and dining area, kitchen, and a small storage room. There is enough space on the property for a small garden. This will be such a wonderful blessing for Pastor Paul and his family! We project the total cost to be $11-12,000.00, a little less than half of which has been provided. Won’t you prayerfully consider a gift to help us finish this project? You can designate your gift, “Pastor Paul,” and please remember the other three pastors whom we are helping support (Elijah, Albert, and Reuben).
I received word from Pastor Albert this week that his bone marrow has started producing red blood cells! I’m not sure if this is a result of the medications he has been taking or direct healing by the Lord; either way, it is the Lord’s doing, and we praise and thank Him for His grace in Albert’s life. He also shared with me that his mother-in-law passed away recently; please be in prayer for the family, that the Lord will be very near in providing them with comfort, hope, and peace during this time of sorrow.
Thank you for praying for rain! Western Kenya has experienced abundant rainfall over the past couple of weeks, replenishing both the natural reservoirs as well as the water tanks that collect rainwater from the buildings within the ministry complex. Praise God for His goodness and faithfulness in meeting this critical need! It is planting season, and the Lord has enabled us to provide some funds for corn seed, fertilizer, and chemicals. A good portion of the food for Elijah’s family and the orphans (corn, kale and other vegetables) comes from land that Elijah leases and farms, and the recent rains will help prepare the soil for planting.
Our teachers and students are looking forward to the next Shepherds Bible Institute session April 17 – May 12. This will be a three-week session covering courses eight and nine in the BTCP curriculum: Teaching Principles and Methods (one week), and Church History Survey (two weeks). Gifts of any amount are appreciated; if you would like to sponsor a student, a gift of $150 will provide study materials, food, and lodging for the three-week session. Please be in prayer that the Lord will begin preparing the students to receive the truth He has for them, that they will understand and apply what they will be learning, and that they will be strengthened and encouraged by this time of study, fellowship, and worship together.
The new kitchen/dining hall project is progressing nicely. Guttering, water tanks, plumbing and electrical are being installed, and we hope to have these things completed soon. Painting and other finish work will follow. I will be sending pictures soon.
Thank you for remembering the orphans with your prayers and financial support. School fees are coming due soon, and we are in need of funds for books and supplies, tuition, uniforms, and other expenses, as well as the ongoing need of funds for food and medical expenses. Several of the children are in need of sponsors; please let me know if you would like to sponsor a child with a monthly gift of $25-30 per month.
One final prayer request – Pastor Elijah informed me that Kenya is experiencing civil unrest due to the political opposition leader mobilizing citizens to protest against the ruling party. This has led to rioting, looting, and economic instability throughout the country. Please pray that the Lord will restore peace and stability soon.
Faith Partners truly is a partnership as we work together with our Kenyan brethren to help train church leaders and to minister to “the least of these” through our orphan ministry. Thank you for being one of our co-laborers, for being available and faithful in being used of the Lord to accomplish His work. May you and your family be renewed in your faith, hope, love, and joy as you celebrate our resurrected Savior and Lord. He is risen!
To the Praise of His Glory, Scott