Projects and Missionaires in Africa
Recent Stories from Africa

A GREAT CLOUD OF WITNESSES

Paul and Rhonda Stockard, Coordinators of Specialized Outreach/Africa, had a great previous year, albeit, a busy one … a year of ups and downs, victories and struggles.

Paul states, “The leaders and pastors on the African continent are some of the most sacrificial ministers I have seen anywhere—men like Charles Karangwa, superintendent for Central Africa (which includes some challenging areas of ministry), who still grieves the loss of his dear wife. I have never felt as privileged as I do to work alongside such strong, dedicated, and faithful men and women of God.

“Others from the African ministry field have also finished their race and are a part of a great cloud of witnesses awaiting us in glory. The best way to honor them is to move ahead, confronting giants that are guarding strongholds yet to be conquered by the church.”

Around 50 percent of the world’s conflicts today occur on the African continent, and it’s an open door for ministry to seriously needy people, ranging from military to refugees, who are now calling for help. Thousands of people have been displaced from their homes by civil war.

Paul has been training workers in areas of specialized outreach and ministry in Nigeria, Chad, Togo, Zambia, and Uganda. In Nigeria, there is an interdenominational group of chaplains who are recognized by the government, yet have no formal training.

The fields are ripe unto harvest, but the laborers are few (Matthew 9:37).

Give online support to Paul and Rhonda Stockard – Project #060-0073

FIRST COG MISSIONARY TO KENYA, CLAUDE THAYER,  PASSES AWAY

Claude Thayer, first Church of God missionary to Kenya, Africa, passed away on May 10, 2017, in Cass City, Michigan. His wife, Frances, preceded him in death in 2011. Together, they established the Church of God in Oxford, Michigan.

Kenya Overseer David Bwire presents a plaque to the first Missionary Overseer of Kenya, Claude Thayer in July 2016.

As residents of the United States, Claude and Frances sensed a clear and definite calling to Kenya. During the Thayers’ schooling at Vennard College in University Park, Iowa (which has since closed), they became acquainted with a couple from Nairobi, Kenya, Geoffrey and Rachel Chepkwony. The Chepkwonys stayed with the Thayers while Geoffrey completed his education. The Africans were well-acquainted with the vice president of Kenya. When they returned to Kenya, they influenced the vice president to invite the Thayers to Kenya.

The Thayers arrived in 1977. Two days after they were in-country, the first Church of God was organized in Nairobi by Superintendent A.W. Brummett with 11 members. A second church was established in Karatina with 36 charter members. The third church was located in Matharini and started with 12 members.

Claude served as overseer of Kenya from 1977 to 1978.

“PLEASE RETURN AND BUILD A CHURCH … ”

New missionaries to the field are Everaldo and Lydia Nascimento, although much of Lydia’s upbringing was on the mission field, as her parents, Max and Debbie Thompson, served many years in Brazil and now in Africa. Lydia and her husband, along with their children, are taking Jesus’ message to a Gospel-resistant country.

In the meantime, they recently ministered in Guinea-Bissau, a Portuguese-speaking country just south of their location. Along with their overseer, the two-week trip offered them a knowledge of the country and allowed them to begin outreaches in the capital city of Bissau. Forty people (40) accepted Jesus into their hearts, and the Church of God was officially registered in Bissau!

On a visit to an island named “Island of Kings,” the chief of the island asked them to please return and build a church and a school on the island. Another highlight of the trip was that Everaldo shared an inspirational message with one of the highest-ranking soccer teams in the country.

Right now, Islam is a minority religion, but it is growing quickly. Pray with the Nascimentos for continued outreach in Guinea-Bissau. May the Kingdom of God prevail!

Click here to give online in partnership with Everaldo and Lydia Nascimento … Project #065-0919

THE BLOODWORTHS IN KENYA—DISCIPLESHIP COLLEGE

Missionaries Gordon, Glenda, and Laura Bloodworth are staying the course in assisting Discipleship College in Eldoret.

Morning devotions are held for ministers from across East Africa who meet on the campus, where leaders are being trained. Four of the graduates are teaching on campus, and Pastor Chris Chiveyia serves as Dean of Students and Campus Pastor. The Interim-Director of the College is Benea Alukwe, another graduate who finished his classroom work toward his Ph.D. Alukwe also serves as regional overseer and a member of the National Council of New Testament Church of God in Kenya … all proving how effective education is to this area of Africa.

Missionary educator Marcia Anderson celebrates with Discipleship the 15 graduates from the CIMS Program at Mt. Elgon. One of the Discipleship graduates, Nicas Wasike taught and graduated 37 students from his home!

The Bloodworths have served 42 years-plus in Africa, and deeply appreciate those who have been faithful in their support and prayers for their ministry.

Click here to give online in partnership with Gordon, Glenda and Laura Bloodworth

EMMA’S KIDS ORPHANAGE ADVANCES

Someone New …

Emma’s Kids in Zambia recently acquired a gift at their complex gate. Someone left an adorable baby girl, obviously knowing she would be well-looked after at the orphanage and school.

Social Welfare was contacted; the baby girl was taken to the police station and then to the hospital where she spent the first night, accompanied by Vivian, Emma’s Kids’ nurse. The national television network appealed for anyone to supply information about the baby, but no one as yet has come forward. The baby girl was named “Trinity,” and she brings joy to everyone.

Good Grades Achieved …

The Emma’s Kids Christian Academy celebrated 100 percent passing for Grades 7 and 12. One student, William, ranked second in 50 students, and number one in pure sciences among 13 other students. One of the young ladies, Memory Chanda, graduated from Teen Missions International, an organization based in the USA that prepares one for full-time missions work. Memory has been with Emma’s Kids since she was 6 years old.

The Kids’ Outreaches …

Whenever Emma’s Kids share their testimonies or participate in praise and worship, it is a humbling experience. The Kids continue working in the prison and assisting the homeless.

Youth Activity Center …

One goal of Emma’s Kids is to construct a Youth Activity Center for the kids and a center that will also include all youth in the community. Recently, there has been an increase in street kids appearing.

Humble Beginnings …

Although begun with a meager start years ago by Career Missionaries Rodger and Saundra Wikelund, Emma’s Kids is now experiencing the legacy it intended. Lives are changed, and the community receives benefit in many ways. What God has ordained will succeed.

Click here to give online: Project #715-0016

 

Blossoming of a Student on the Mission Field

What makes a student blossom?

This question makes me pause to think, because it is the dry season here in Kenya. In spite of the dryness, there are flowers blossoming, including some that have never bloomed in my garden before, like the ones pictured here. Surely, the sun causes them to burst forth in splendor.

God’s Call

What about students? What makes them blossom? I’m thinking about Aaron’s rod, which not only budded, but also blossomed and produced almonds. In Numbers 17, it was God’s choice, His anointing that caused Aaron’s rod to undergo such remarkable changes. Certainly God’s call is important in causing a student to flourish and the warmth of God’s love is a key factor for growth.

Trust In God

But, the dryness itself seems to be a factor. There are students who blossom even though they experience difficulties, though the soil seems not to be conducive for flourishing. I remember Marvin, a student at the Asian Seminary of Christian Ministries in Manila, Philippines. He never was sure if he would have tuition from one term to the next, yet he graduated. He commented he had noticed that students who had their way completely paid didn’t finish, but he had. He said, “I had to trust God all the way.” And God had not failed him.

The Soil Matters.

I’ve seen students struggle to survive, because they had sent themselves. There was no supporting community to say, “Yes, we see God’s hand upon this life.” God made sure the whole community saw that Aaron’s rod had blossomed: those alive at that time, and also those who would follow afterwards had seen the rod in the Ark of the Covenant that declared that Aaron was a chosen instrument of the Lord.

Watering the Plant

Certainly watering is an important factor. When the rains stop, plants still need water. After a period of dryness, grass will revive once water is applied, but other plants will die. I think students are like that. They cannot be ignored. They must be watered well with the Word. An institution must have qualified, God-centered faculty to make sure that happens. Not only are classes important, but also chapel, worship, and prayer times are vital to water the plant. For example, at Discipleship College, one of the people who makes a large difference in the growth of our students is the campus pastor or Dean of Students. He represents students in the administration and takes a personal interest in each student. He looks for their gifting and talents and nurtures them in chapel. We at Discipleship College recognize that mentoring is a key factor in enabling a student to blossom.

Community

The growing environment is very important. If plants are squeezed together and weeds are allowed to encroach, plants will not produce beautiful blossoms. At Discipleship College, students meet together to discuss important issues in Community of Faith, enjoy sports competitions, and have opportunities to minister at neighboring churches. We believe these contacts with other students and neighboring churches enrich their lives and ministries.

Lack of Peace

In Africa, one of the destabilizing factors is lack of peace. How can a student flourish when at home friends and family are being killed? Yet, these same countries desperately need to have quality ministers being prepared to communicate the gospel to a war-torn people. They definitely need scholarship help and your prayers to make it possible for them to bloom.

Lack of Resource

One of the weeds that can choke a student’s ability to blossom is lack of finances. While total reliance on a sponsor is often not healthy, many need a helping hand if they are to reach the goal in terms of education. You can help lighten that load with your giving.

Thank you for helping educate young Christian leaders!

Dr. Marcia Anderson spends her time passionately sharing the Living Water that is a fountain in her heart! She serves as a missionary and currently teaches at Discipleship College in Eldoret, Kenya.

 

To partner with Dr. Anderson click here: Project 060-0054