HeartCry’s primary partner on African soil is Kabwata Baptist Church in Lusaka, Zambia. We have worked with KBC for nearly fifteen years in their church-planting and mission efforts throughout Africa. In an email correspondence at the end of 2013, Pastor Conrad Mbewe conveyed the following vision for the next season of labor.
More must be done in Africa. What’s the next challenge?” After ten months of praying about this question and never being at peace with the answers that presented themselves, I believe that my heart has finally landed on the next challenge. It is related to our new initiative for campus outreach ministries and is in line with our effort to swell the ground force for missions. I have discussed the matter with our elders, and we are all excited to go forward. Let me explain:
Our ground troops are already laboring on several different campuses, struggling with meagre resources, but sharing the Gospel with students. A few months ago, I asked Misheck, our missions coordinator, to develop a short-term missions program that would enable us to use Christian students in missions during their holidays. Whenever I would come across an article on short-term missions, especially if it had to do with students, I would forward it to him to help him come up with our own program. I suggested we call it our Students in Missions program. At that time, it was purely an effort to use the energies of Christian young adults who are students to supplement what our missionaries were doing in their various stations. As the weeks turned into months, the burden kept growing. I watched our own young adults in the church busy serving the Lord through various outreach efforts with hardly any push from me or any of the other elders. They are in love with the Gospel and want to see it impact their generation. It then hit me that the next best move was to expose these same young people to missions in the rest of Zambia and Africa. I realized that once they got out there, they would translate this same love for the Gospel into missions endeavours throughout the whole of Africa. It is a fact that the great missionary movements of the 19th and early 20th centuries were born among students (for example: the Haystack Prayer Meeting in Williams College in 1806). So if we could get even more students with sound doctrine exposed to missions while they are in this formative stage of their lives, we could, under God, begin an unstoppable ground swell of indigenous missionaries to take the Gospel across Africa and beyond.
I put these things before our elders, and they heartily endorsed them. In fact, they agreed that our next missions conference in January of 2014 should be under the theme “Students in Missions.” Furthermore, we intended to “bus in” students from the various college and university campuses across Lusaka for four days of preaching about missions. We would use the conference to launch the program that Misheck had been working on. We would give out brochures to the students so that they could read about Christ’s call to give themselves to this great kingdom work.
Finally, with HeartCry’s help, our one-year pastoral internship program is growing. Next year, we are expecting interns from Zambia, South Africa, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Canada, and more. This year, we have sent out one man who has gone through the internship program, and we are in the process of ordaining a second one. Although this is extremely profitable, the benefit of the Students in Missions program is that we will have the students with us for about three to five years. During this period, they will be taught the Gospel in all its height and depth, discipled by older church members, and exposed to missions. If this ground swell does occur, it could be the start of a second great missionary movement from African students! Pray with us! Pray with us!
Students In Missions Update
In February of 2014, Pastor Conrad Mbewe updated HeartCry on what transpired at their annual missions conference in January. He also noted, as you will read, a further development in KBC’s vision for their Students in Missions program.
We have just finished our 2014 missions conference and missionary prayer retreat. The Lord was with us. The theme was “Students in Missions,” and Isaac Makashinyi did an excellent job in showing us the personnel, the potential, and the price of missions. Last night, one student wrote to me, “I enjoyed the missions conference; it was a big eye-opener. It is only after that conference that I realized how under-utilized I have been. I have been comfortable with just being saved. It was indeed a beneficial theme!” We had a very good spirit among all our missionaries. I can sense a maturing taking place among most of them, especially when I compare them to their first years with us.
We have also decided to make a new desire of ours a matter of prayer and planning: the planting of at least one reformed Baptist church in each of the capitals of English-speaking African nations. We believe that if we can achieve this, these churches would become a spring-board for further missions work in their respective nations. It would also be easier to network these churches in an Africa-wide fellowship, as they would all be using the same language. Once we have covered the majority of the English-speaking nations, we can then start spilling over into the French- and Portuguese-speaking countries as well. We need to cover Africa with good, solid churches that will have a “lighting” and “salting” effect upon their nations. We have lost too much ground to religious chaos. We think that Students in Missions may give us the nursery bed for the indigenous missionaries we need to cover the whole of Africa!
Heartcry's Involvement in Students in Missions
by Marc glass
Springing forth from their vision to further utilize college students in mission and church-planting endeavors, HeartCry has committed to helping Kabwata Baptist Church in two specific ways.
First, we have sent funds for KBC to purchase a bus for transporting students to various mission stations throughout the country. Every year at Kabwata’s annual missions conference, they take up a one-time offering to be used for a missions cause. Prior to the conference in January, KBC’s elders determined that this year's special offering should be designated to purchasing a missions bus. During the school term, the students will be bussed to the church from various campuses around Lusaka for the purpose of continuing discipleship efforts. Because the various colleges and private universities close at different times throughout the year, KBC will be able to utilize different groups of students for short-term missions trips throughout the year. These short-term trips will also bolster our mission stations, as the students will work alongside current KBC and HeartCry missionaries. Combining HeartCry’s gift with the missions conference offering, Kabwata was able to purchase two missions buses.
Secondly, part of the Students in Missions program will involve training young adults for the work of missions. To avoid giving them a paid holiday, Kabwata will have the students raise a certain percentage of their money needed for the trips. The students will do this by asking Christian friends and relatives to sponsor them and by doing extra fund-raising work. Those that are active members of KBC already do this for the various ministries of the church, so now they want this to translate into missions endeavors. To help in this work, HeartCry has determined to give a set number of “scholarships” to be applied to some of the students’ funds, at Kabwata's discretion.
by Naphtally Ogallo
Naphtally has been involved in church planting since 1975, when he worked to establish Trinity Baptist Church in Nairobi, Kenya. He holds a B.A. in Theology from Wales Evangelical School of Theology in Brynterion, Wales. He and his wife Helida and their two children are now laboring in Grace Baptist Church in Eldoret, Kenya, a church that Naphtally planted and has pastored since its inception.
Once again we are glad to write and share with you our news so that you might pray for us. It is the practice of many to make New Year’s resolutions, and our congregation is not exempt. At the beginning of the year, I preached from Hebrews 12:14: “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.” Why this choice of a passage? At the beginning of the year, I phoned a dear Christian brother, my former teacher and mentor, to wish him and his wife a Happy New Year. In our brief conversation, I expressed to him that looking back over the previous year I have had a sense of regret since I did not achieve “great things for the Lord” as I would have wanted. Now standing at the threshold of a new year, I wondered if I would realize those desires for the Lord. This godly man gently exhorted me and said, “Naphtally, what ultimately matters is not what great things you will have achieved, but whether or not you are holy; for without holiness, you will not see the Lord!” This was a very timely reminder. I was then immediately convinced that my congregation needed the same guidance. The two subsequent sermons on holiness were most appreciated.
I also continue to preach expositionally through the Gospel of Mark on the Lord’s Day. It is wonderful to continue to see the Lord Jesus Christ as the gracious and sovereign Saviour of sinners. Through and through, our Lord kept to the purpose of His coming – “Not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
We are glad to see how the Lord is equipping Paul Wamkowa Keno in the area of preaching. Paul has come to embrace the doctrines of grace with all his heart and might. He is greatly benefiting from our reformed theological studies. He delivers God’s Word with passion and is active in evangelism. Please pray for this dear brother's continued development.
As a church, we have a weekly memory verse, and a recent one has greatly encouraged us: “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58). With a small membership in our church, it is not unusual for us to doubt the Lord’s presence; but this verse has been of constant encouragement to us. We want to spend and be spent for the Lord. We are learning to count it a privilege as we share in our people’s lives. Two young men who are church members are in the university, two other young men are in college, two boys are in secondary school, and now three girls have just enrolled in tailoring and dress-making courses. As each one of them faces similar economic challenges, we do what we can for them and then encourage them to learn to look to our sovereign Lord. Please pray with us for them.
Please pray with us also with regard to a plot of land that is ear-marked for our church use. We have been steadfast in prayer to the Lord for the provision of funds for the purchase. We believe that eventually moving the church to its own plot will make a radical difference to our ministry in Eldoret.
We continue to receive invitations for ministry from various institutions. The two wings of learning at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital have called us for ministry. At the School of Medicine, I preached from Ephesians 2:10; and at the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) for nurses, I taught on what is currently a controversial national debate – homosexuality. The discussion afterward revealed just how timely and relevant the teaching was. I was invited to preach on Sunday, February 23, at Achego Girls High School. My wife Helida and I had already had an opportunity to address the same school last month on January 12. Another invitation that has come is to a local FM Christian Radio Station. I have been asked to prepare a brief series of talks on “Family Life.” We are greatly encouraged and excited by the interest being generated in these important institutions for biblical teachings.
The death of my only sister, Grace, on January 6 became a difficult experience for our entire family, but especially for Helida and me. We had traveled from Eldoret to visit her at her hospital ward in Kisumu in the company of my mum and my older brother. While we were still within the hospital, she passed on! Our plan to travel back to Eldoret the same day was therefore canceled, and we began to make burial arrangements. We decided to conduct the burial five days later. Mobilizing all of our family members to the practical realization of our goal turned out to be one of the most testing and challenging task of our lives. However, the Lord was very gracious to enable us to give our only sister and the youngest member of our family a decent burial. The more we felt pushed to the wall, as it were, the more we experienced and felt the sufficiency of God’s grace. My sister left behind a daughter, Helen, and a son, Tom, who has just joined secondary school. Two weeks after the burial of my sister, my cousin’s son was brutally murdered while at night duty. He was buried last Saturday. Please pray that these tragedies would push our whole family to seek hard after the Lord.
A fierce exchange of gunfire erupted a week ago between Islamic youths and the police at a mosque in Mombasa. The youths were being “radicalized” in connection with Al-Shabab. The government has reacted by tightening requirements for operations of religious groups, including churches. We must pray if the Gospel of the grace of God is to be the urgent and true response to all these threats and reactions. Please brethren, pray with us! ?