Sunday, October 18, 2015

A Visit with Old Friends

A Great Day of Celebration at Raiya Church

Three weeks ago a small leadership team from a local Africa Gospel Church congregation called Raiya AGC (pronounced RYE YUH) paid us a visit on our back porch.  This team consisted of Pastor Robert Bett and three of his lay leaders for evangelism, development, and the treasurer of the church.   Pastor Bett invited us to return to share and celebrate with his church as our family and two of our supporting churches (Woodland Shores Baptist in Bridgman, Michigan and Grace Church in Mooresville, IN) had played a huge part in building the church starting in 2005.  A Woodland Shores team had put on the roof in 2005 while the Grace team had poured the concrete floor and helped plaster the walls in 2007.  It had been nearly eight years since we had visited this church that was planted in the middle of a community notorious for its local brewing of alcohol many years ago but now has been redeemed and transformed in part through the influence of this little church.   Today we paid a visit to Raiya and celebrated with the church family all that God had done to help this church stand strong and be a bright light in a tough community, about 6 km from Tenwek Hospital.
The church compound hasn't changed much since 2007...
Raiya Church with several members out front

The church has had its tough times but Pastor Robert has remained steadfast and faithful to this congregation over the past 8 years.  His leadership team is growing and adding some men to the mix.
Raiya local church council
Mike had the opportunity to preach and chose the title "Not so with you", Jesus command to his disciples in Matthew 20 when they were arguing about who would be the greatest.
Mike enjoying speaking with Pastor Robert interpreting into Kipsigis
We were honored with locally made gifts of a US flag rug, purse for Pam, belt for Mike.  The kiddos on the right loved feeling Pam's white skin and touching her blonde hair.  
 No visit to share and celebrate a special occasion is complete without....a tree planting.

The founders of this church, mostly women, gathered for a picture with Pastor Bett.  Pam and I had the opportunity to shake their hands and thank them for their faithfulness to God and His kingdom.
Founders of Raiya Church.  They began meeting under a shade after a Tenwek missionary doctor (Dr. Russ White) and one of our staff (Mr. Geoffrey Musyoka) held a week of evangelism meetings in an open field where Raiya stands today.
One of the church women, Caroline, has the gift of evangelism and left a larger local town church to join Raiya a year ago.  Her efforts have been blessed by God as in the last year alone, over 15 women have been saved and started attending the church from the local community.  Many of these women used to brew alcohol and contributed to the huge number of men and women who became alcoholics in the Raiya area. These women's lives have been transformed and the joy of Jesus love radiated from many that we met today.
New members at Raiya in last year alone due to evangelism efforts by Caroline (holding Bible on front row) and her husband Sammy (in back left).

At the conclusion of the service, the entire church leadership team came forward for Mike to pray over them and ask God to empower them to be GREAT SERVANTS in that community.   Please pray that the gospel of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit will transform even more lives through the ministry of this local church, only three miles from Tenwek Hospital.

Mike and Pam Chupp
Missionaries serving in Kenya, East Africa
World Gospel Mission/Tenwek Hospital
Box 948 Marion, IN 46952

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