This past Sunday, David Spencer shared an update on happenings in Africa at Calvary Chapel Maryville. If you’d like to check the video out, click here: https://www.facebook.com/CCMaryville/videos/2076134009188026/
Here's some good news from David Spencer about God's work going on in Africa during the pandemic:
Greetings in Jesus
Just wanted to send a note during this time of lockdowns in Africa where school is not permitted and churches are not allowed to meet. While Bible School has not been able to be active with classes, we have been assisting our people (Jackson; Juma; Agrey; Sande and other helpers) to purchase food and soap to distribute to people in need. They have been able to go through neighborhoods and give out the food and share with people. Just this week, 6/8-6/11, Juma, Sande, and others have the goal of helping 500 households with gifts of food. This has led to sharing the Gospel with people and some receiving salvation in Jesus! This week they visited a house and encountered a woman named Esther, and her 3 children (two children are pictured below). The woman was bleeding from a miscarriage and was without food in the house. She was in need of medical attention. In Uganda you don't go to the clinic or hospital without money. You will not be released without payment. And, the longer you are made to stay, the more you will owe. HERE AM I Ministries sent money to get her to the hospital. There, the scans showed that there had been twins in her womb and the second was on the outside of the uterus and dead. Surgery was performed to remove the dead child. Juma was at the hospital to visit on Wednesday, 6/10. This woman was asking why they had done this for her. She also wanted to know if God can and would forgive any sin. Juma shared with her the Gospel and how God loves her. She then prayed to receive Jesus in her heart and has begun New Life. She shared with Juma about her life of prostitution and contracting HIV, and that her 12 year old daughter was also a prostitute. She shared about how she had rejected God and Christianity because a "pastor" that had a well on his property had refused them to get water because he was "sick and tired of all the poor people coming to take his water." Juma tells me that he was crying with this woman, and I cry too as I try to accurately relay it to you all. But I thank and praise God as another lost sheep has been found. This lady is already sharing with others in the hospital!
Our hope is that we can help this woman move to another location and help her start some small business of selling used clothing, vegetables, or something else. We want to help her start her new life of trusting in Christ.. There is also talk of a home church beginning in her house. To God be the glory!
Last week in the village of Izira where Jackson lives, while giving out food and supplies to needy families two women and a man came to Christ. The two women are the wife of the one man. It is pretty common for this in Africa. But, we pray with the spread of the Gospel and sound Biblical teaching to see this becoming less and less known. We are thanking God that HE is working to draw people to Himself during this difficult time in Uganda.
Juma's church of Heartland Worship Center in Bugiri has been able to purchase a plot of ground to build on and not have to worry about rent or having to change locations. God is using this group to reach people in this neighborhood. Within the last few weeks a Muslim mother told them that she would be sending her children to the church because of the love shown to her and her family through the giving of food and prayers for her family! Many of the families in this neighborhood are Muslim. Pray for them as they continue serving the people in this area.
These are just some of what is happening during this time. Lockdown in Uganda is closer to martial law than a stay at home request. People have been beaten and even shot for breaking curfew. Others have been beaten and killed for stealing from gardens to feed their families. But through it all God is still at work saving people. "Though you intended it for evil, God meant it for good, to preserve life."
To God be the Glory, great things HE has wrought.
Be a blessing and be blessed.
Today we hear from Juma, one of the Lead Pastors at Here Am I Bible School in Bugiri, Uganda:
The song writer said it well “ trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus,but to trust and obey.
The Bible tells us about a man named Jabez who trusted and obeyed. "Jabez" means "sorrow" or "painful." Maybe during his birth his mother struggled a lot and ended up giving him that name.
His story comes in between very many genealogies, and the Bible says he was a honorable man. Chuck Smith said “ ... his prayer was honorable. If you ever want to pray for me, pray this one, lord bless Chuck. Enlarge his areas of ministry and service, keep Chuck from evil. Keep him from hurting others. May God keep us aware of the needs of others. It’s so easy to build walls around our church keeping the riffraffs out - that is the tendency of man. Putting up walls to keep others out But May God help us to always have an open door and enlarge our borders, where people can come in feel warm and accepted."
Let’s look at the three specific ways Jabez prayed.
The disciples did not ask Jesus to teach them to teach, or do miracles, or anything else, but they asked Him to teach them how to pray. I believe it was a prayer of trust and obedience to God.
May you pray for your family, pray for the church, pray for the missionaries, pray for the church leaders, pray for Here Am I Ministries in Africa and the United States, and pray for the world over the COVID-19 pandemic and those affected.
May the Lord Almighty bless you.
This week's post comes from Josh Mullins, one of the guys who does some outreach for Here Am I:
At one time I was driving a lot for my job. And during those times I was always trying to set my heart on God, turning my car into a "mini worship service" before facing the world at work, and before seeing my family after a day of working in the world. Having scoured Spotify for various playlists I came upon a collection of old hymns. They reminded me of the churches I grew up in. But admittedly, as a child, the weight of the words of those songs didn't have the same effect they do now. Recently I was listening back through the playlist on a long drive. And, in the midst of all that is happening in the world and the United States, I was reminded of just how weighty those words can truly be...
I think it is safe to say that those among the Believers in Christ desire that God be close and active in our lives. We greatly desire to see His working in our troubles. We want to see suffering end in our own lives and the lives of others. We want to see justice for the innocent. And, there's nothing wrong with these things. Needless to say, we want to see God fix the broken parts of this fallen world.
You know, John 3:16 doesn't say, "For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that He would fix all the world's problems and make life an easy place to live, free from troubles, suffers, and injustice." John the Baptist doesn't declare, "Behold the Lamb of God who has come to bring us lives of ease and comfort!" Interestingly enough, this is what the people of Israel were expecting. The Messiah was supposed to come and throw off the yolk of Roman oppression, remove the Gentiles from their land, and reestablish the throne to the rightful descendant of King David. That's what Palm Sunday was really all about. They were celebrating the Messiah riding into Jerusalem to overthrow Rome. And when Jesus didn't perform, within a week they went from "Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!" to "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!"
I think this is where many issues arise with people lacking faith in God. They are expecting Him to step in and fix everything. But that comes later. That's what we're waiting for. But at the moment, we have to hold onto what Christ came to do the first time. Because John 3:16 does say, "For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life." In other words, Jesus came to save us from eternal perishing and give us eternal life though faith in Him. John the Baptist does declare, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" Jesus came to die as our payment (or the Biblical word, as our propitiation) for our sins. He came to deal with the problem that is causing all the problems in the world - SIN. And through faith in Jesus we don't have to pay for our sins, because He did it for us. And that's not all...
Jesus says in John 16:7 and 13-14, "Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you...However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak of His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak...He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and declare it to you." In going away Jesus has sent the Holy Spirit. He didn't leave to take away the problems we face, but to send the Spirit that we may face them together with Him. He even prays for us later on in John 17:15-23:
"I do not pray that You (the Father) take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. I do not pray for them alone but also for those who will believe in me though their word (that's us!), that they may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent me...I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent me, and have loved them as You have love Me."
He didn't pray to take us away from the world, but rather that we would be sanctified - set apart - for His work. Jesus set Himself apart, dying for our sins, that we would be sanctified by truth. And, His Word is truth. The Word, the Bible, declares who God is, who Christ is, from beginning to end. To draw near to God, to be used for His purpose, starts in study and application of the Word to our lives. Why? Because we are not of the world. We are sent into the world, set apart, that the world may believe that Jesus is the Messiah. We are here to be light in the darkness, saved from our sin, empowered by the Spirit, living lives set apart according to God's Word, that the world may know that God loves them. In other words, we are called to suffer among the world's problems and glorify God anyway. Our lives are to show His power in spite of the "wrong seems oft so strong" as the hymn says.
Or as another hymn says, "When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll, whatever my lot Thou hast taught me to say, "It is well, it is well with my soul."
Or as another hymn says, "Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! E'en though it be a cross that raiseth me."
Are we willing to draw near to God though it cost us everything? Because it cost Jesus everything so we can draw near! Can we see the pain and struggles in the world, in our own lives, and declare, "My God! How great Thou art!"? Jesus prayed for us that we could - that the world would see, through our lives giving glory to the One who will deliver us from this world - that they may know His power in our testimony - that they would be saved from the same suffering world we're seeking to be delivered from? Do we understand that the eternal Hell to come is worse than the world we're suffering in? Do we understand we've been saved to be with Him forever and to live lives declaring His glory to the world?
As I consider these things, I can't help but cry out:
I need Thee, oh, I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
Oh, bless me now, my Savior!
I come to Thee.
I need Him so I can be the light He has called me to be. It's easy to focus on the suffering. But, brothers and sisters, it is better to focus on Him. Because He hasn't left us orphans. He has given us power to live for Him, and He's given us hope of a time to come when there will be no suffering. Paul says we are supposed to comfort each other with the hope of what is to come. Pain will be taken out. Justice is coming. As the hymn says, "Lord, haste the day, when the faith shall be sight, the clouds be rolled back as a scroll! The trump shall resound, and our Lord shall descend..." This will be a glorious time for believers. But this will also be a horrible time for those who reject Him. And so we're here, waiting for His return, and burning all the brighter to show the power of God in our lives throughout the world...
As Paul declares, "To live is Christ, to die is gain."
Since all of the government shut downs and social distancing started, Here Am I Bible School has had to shut its doors until we are allowed to open up again. And because of that, there has been little to report concerning updates in the ministry. However, we felt led to start a weekly update from someone in leadership - whether news of the ministry or short study/devotion. This being our first week, we will be hearing from none other than the ministry's founder, David Spencer:
How often do you think , “ Wow, what a great ministry!"? Or maybe, “That's great man of God!”?
We think of Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, Moody, Spurgeon, Muller, or other pillars of the faith, and consider how great they were, or what mighty men of God they were.
Well, they were. God used them to accomplish what HE desired to do through them. They answered the call to be faithful in obedience to HIM. And, you and I can be also. All we need is obedience: that is, obedience to our calling, whatever and wherever that may be.
When we think, "Oh, how great of a ministry!", we are looking at the outward. We are comparing ministry to ministry. God warns against this through Paul in 2 Corinthians 10:12. Speaking of men trying to exalt themselves above Paul’s authority, he writes, “….they, measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” But in verse 13 Paul says, “But we will not boast of things without [our] measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us..." In other words, we should not be comparing ministry to ministry or measuring against accomplishments, but in doing what God has given for each of us to do.
In Ephesians 4 we see that Jesus gave gifts to the church: Apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors/teachers. Ephesians 4:12-16 tells us the purpose of those gifts in the church (verse 12), "the perfecting (or equipping) of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. " The passage goes on through verse 16 describing the Church as a Body, and that every part of the Body is to be involved in ministry. In verse 16,”…. By which every part does it’s share, causes growth of the body for edification of itself in love."
In other words, we all have a ministry. We all need to be about “My Father’s business.”
Every part of a body serves the rest of the body. Not one part is designed to serve itself. When a part of the body becomes self-serving and feeding itself it becomes a cancer - a sickness that must be removed or put to death. Each part of a body is designed to serve the rest of the body for growth and edification of the WHOLE body. Galatians 5:13 says “…through love serve one another.”.
Ephesians goes on to share about ministry. First we give ourselves to Jesus, allowing the Holy Spirit to change us from within; our speech changes and we become givers instead of takers, no longer lying but speaking truth, and forgiving as God in Christ forgave you/me.
Ephesians goes on to describe ministry. As the Spirit works in us to change our hearts, that change works outward toward those around us. Ephesians 5:15-6:4 describes it. As Spirit filled Christians we start submitting to one another: wives honoring God through submission to husbands, husbands loving wives as Christ loved the Church (His bride), husbands washing their bride with the Word by edifying and building her up with it, children obeying their parents, and fathers bringing up their children in the training and admonition of the Lord.
The first ministry for each of us is at home. The highest calling is to fulfill the ministry in the home, whether one is a husband, wife, or child. It all starts at home. Our crowns (or, heavenly rewards) will not be based upon how mighty our ministry was in the sight of men, but rather upon our faithfulness and obedience to that ministry He has called us to, especially our roles in the home. 1 Samuel 15:22-23 says, “Has the LORD great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness as iniquity and idolatry...? First Corinthians 4:2 says “Moreover it is required of stewards that one be found faithful.” Psalm 127 says, “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it…….. Behold, children are a heritage of the LORD, and the fruit of the womb is His reward. As arrows in the hand of a mighty man, so are children of the youth. Happy (blessed) is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” And finally, Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he shall not depart from it.”
Many verses in Deuteronomy speak of teaching your children the law of the LORD "when sit in your house; when you walk in the way". This causes me to think that God has an extremely high priority on a loving, God-fearing home that brings up children to walk with Him.
In John 21, Jesus told Peter that he would be “stretched “ out. Peter points to John and asks Jesus, “what about him?” Jesus answered Peter saying, “If he remains until I come again, what is that to you? You follow me.”
Want to hear “Well done Good and faithful servant” ? Want to have many crowns/rewards in Heaven? Then be faithful to your calling. Run the race to win. Train up a child in the way. Love your wife as Christ loved the church. Honor your husband. Obey your parents. And as Jesus said to Peter in the gospel of John , “Follow ME.”
You or I may not be a Billy Graham or Billy Sunday, but we do not have to be. Just be faithful to Jesus in all that you do.
Be a blessing and be blessed.
As 2019 ends and 2020 begins I am thankful for what God has done and is going to do in the new year.
I am currently in my third trip to East Africa of 2019. Pastor Juma was able to visit us in the USA and share at various places around the country. We visited Iowa , West Virginia, Kentucky, Arkansas and Missouri. We talked to churches, schools and other organizations.
Hayzlee King of Bedford Iowa joined me on a short trip in September and fell in love with Uganda. She has returned to East Africa with me now in December. We plan to serve here until February 29 before returning to the USA...unless the Lord has us remain longer.
We arrived in Uganda on December 4. After just a few short days there we traveled to Kenya on December 8. And, on the 9th, we headed to an area in South Kenya, in Kijado County bordering Tanzania, in the area of Mount Kilimanjaro. We were invited here by a servant of the Lord to share about safe water, SWIM, the CPU, and sharing the Word with the Maasai tribe. We shared the word of God and taught how to produce chlorine in the village and how to properly use it to treat water.
The Maasai people remain close to their roots in that many are still herdsman and nomadic, moving with their herds, and still in traditional dress. The women make beautiful jewelry of beads and leather - a beautiful people. This area and people are still on my heart. They take water from "dams" or ponds that fill during raining season. When the "dams" dry during dry season they travel great distances for water. Jackson, one of the Maasai, pointed to a hill in the distance and told me that in dry times the women take the donkeys and go there for water. They leave about 6am, and return around 2pm, all for their daily water needs. (Isn't that tap water wonderful!)
I am expecting God to send us back to this area to continue ministry. Please join me in praying for God's will and wisdom about this.
On Saturday the 14th we made the journey back to Nambale in western Kenya . And, on Wednesday we began a Youth Conference at Apatit, at Jesus is Lord Safe Water Church. This conference went through Sunday morning services. We were joined in ministry by Pastor Juma and a team from Heartland Worship Center of Bugiri Uganda. They came with their worship team. This was a good week of ministry led by the Spirit.
Hayzlee and I spent Christmas at the home of Morrice Okiring.
Then on the 27-28th we were at a youth conference in Namaindi at Open Bible Church with Pastor Dickson Mutoka. This was also a great time of sharing and teaching the Word of God and encouraging people to follow Jesus and share His Love with others.
Last summer, I was made aware of a four year old orphan boy in Kenya by the name of Alvunce. After the funeral of this boy's father, someone in the village stabbed him. Apparently, they were not wanting to have to care for, and find food for, this newly orphaned boy. Morrice Okiring was made aware of this situation and took the boy for treatment. Now, while at the youth conference in Apatit, we found the boy to have infection, and no life in his eyes. We made plans to get him to a hospital on Monday. In Proverbs 16 it says, "The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." And, in His direction, the Lord introduced me to a doctor right outside my door on Monday morning. He looked the boy over, directed us as to where to take him, called ahead to the hospital and clinic for testing, and sent us on our way. At each step Dr. Ivan called to get test results, talk to doctors, and give us instructions. At the end of the day, with me expecting bad news, we received a good report. No damage to organs, infected (but, can be treated easily), and a bladder infection. And, all this got done for less than $40.00! Thanks to God for directing our steps as we planned our way! Alvunce greatly improved in just a couple of days! And, he continues improving! We are praying for God to stir someone to adopt Alvunce. I will be visiting officials next week to see what is needed to help bring that about. Pray with us.
Before leaving to come here, the ministry was given some funds to build a primary School in Naigoma. The school is operated by Heartland Worship Centers of Uganda. The mud structures were falling and washing away in the heavy and prolonged rainy season. They deemed unsafe by government officials. The construction of the new brick structure is going well. They broke for the holidays but will resume in January.
In January I am also praying that The Lord will send us to minister in Western Uganda, where heavy rain and flooding have been occurring. We want to travel with CPUs from S.W.I.M. and other supplies. We have already sent some supplies with Pastor Jackson. He distributed blankets, soap, cups and plates, feminine napkins and other supplies. We are requesting God for more that we may go and share His love even more.
Please keep HERE AM I Ministries in your prayers as we seek to honor Him and share the Love of Christ with people.
HERE AM I Ministries
Thanks to all who donated to help with the school buildings for the kids at Bright Star Primary School. We raised the necessary funds and are now able to build the structures needed. Along with learning to read and write (skills they wouldn't have learned, otherwise), they'll also learn about Jesus. And, that is good news.
Also, HERE AM I has acquired 1.5 acres for the Pastor's school. We are praying for direction as the school grows. It's hard to believe the first class will be graduating in July!
David and Haylzee leave tomorrow (12/3) to help in these areas, and others. We pray for their safety, wisdom, and the Holy Spirit to lead them in every step. We covet your prayers!
After contacting the Mayo Clinic we did get some good news. They have written a new letter for Rael to give to the US Embassy concerning her and Morrice's visas. The new cost for her exam will be $7831. That's less than previously quoted. And so, we are thankful and praying for provision to help cover the exam, airfare, hotels, etc.
While David was last in Kenya with Hayzlee they visited an elementary school, Bright Star Primary School, started by Heartland Worship Center Church of Naigoma in Naigoma Village, where there is no school. However, the heavy rains are destroying the school's mud structures. This has caught the government's attention which has led them to want to close the school at the end of the year. However, if they can build a more stable structure they can stay open. The school itself not only teaches reading and writing (which these kids would not have learned had it not been for the church starting the school), but they're also getting Bible classes daily. Also, on Saturdays, students can attend additional Bible classes if they want. School in Africa isn't free, however they have set up a system that allows families to bring food to help feed the students rather than money. In other words, the school is not intended for monetary gain, rather to serve the students. However, around $7000 is needed to build a permanent structure. IF we can raise $3500 an anonymous donor will donate an additional $3500. Again, we are praying for provision so this ministry to the little ones can continue. Check out some pictures below!
If you're interested in giving, you can give at hereamiafrica.com and specify which ministry you'd like your donation to go to. Or, checks can be sent to HERE AM I Ministries, P.O. Box 64, Bedford, IA 50833.
As always, 100% of your donations go to the ministry.
The Conference went well, and we were blessed by our time together. Hearing how God is moving in so many ways was uplifting and encouraging. Some photos are attached below.
We know many couldn’t attend the conference, but that doesn’t mean the message of God’s work can’t be spread! So, we’re asking for your help.
Social media is great, and we certainly appreciate any sharing happening there. But the truth is, face-to-face interaction is better. And we would love to get out there and speak at your churches or groups. If you know of a church or group, please contact us, or have them contact us. We’d love to share what God is doing in Africa with the pastor’s school, children’s school, children’s feeding programs, clean water, church plants, Rael, Silas, etc. He’s on the move, and that’s worth sharing!
The US Embassy did not give Rael and Morrice their travel visa. See the note below from David:
For those that may not be aware: Rael is the wife of Bishop Morrice Okiring in Kenya. They are subsistence farmers with their main focus on ministry. Morrice is founder of Jesus is Lord Safe Water Ministries. He has sent out people to begin 4 or 5 churches.
Rael has been with a broken hip for 10+ years but for the 1 year where a surgeon in Kenya repaired that hip. But, it only lasted a year. Since that surgery failed she has had great difficulty and harm to the hip and leg. Even to the point of the steel rod that had been put in her leg bent and protrude out of the skin. She has battled infection and great pain for more than 1 year now and we have had no success in getting a doctor and or hospital in Kenya to help.
We thought that the Lord had done something when the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota had agreed to examine her.
Today, November 12, They had an interview at the US Embassy in Nairobi Kenya with hopes of obtaining a visa to travel to USA. That visa was denied because the letter from the Mayo Clinic stated that the normal cost of exam is approximately $16,000.00 dollars and Morrice could not show financial assets to cover the cost,
So I am asking for prayer for Rael. She is in great pain at all times. Please pray that God may give her relief from the pain: that HE will give wisdom and discernment for the next step; and that HE may provide all that is needed to heal her.
The process for the visa must begin all over again, meaning apply for visa with a $350.00 fee, and travel to Nairoobi for interview. Difficult for Rael and very different from what we all know here as travel.
I know, and they know also Romans 8:28, that God will cause all things to work to good according to HIS purposes. But there is still a disappointment and a let down on the human side. So pray for their peace and joy in all this too. She has been great through all that she has been through, sharing the Lord along the way.
Thank you for your prayers.
HERE AM I Ministries