Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
These verses commonly known as the great commission were given to the only kind of church there is, a local church. As a boy growing up in the Cleveland Baptist Church I often heard these verses preached along with the admonition that it is the responsibility of churches to start churches. These responsibilities and commands are as valid today as they were when Jesus first spoke them to the church at Jerusalem.
When we arrived in Kenya in 1998, we had the burning desire to see churches planted. Along with that desire was the understanding that the churches in Kenya must learn that the mandate of the great commission also belongs to them. Just as a church in the United States sent someone from their midst to see a church in Kenya started, they in turn must also learn to do the same.
When we first began working with this group of people that we organized into the Grace Bible Baptist Church, we set a theme from Geneses 18:14 where God asked Abraham, “is there anything too hard for the Lord”? Since that time the Grace Bible Baptist Church of Nakuru, Kenya, has tried to operate according to the principle that there indeed is NOTHING TOO HARD FOR THE LORD.
The commission that God gave to His church is as real in poverty stricken Africa as it is in the rich United States of America. Through the years as we expressed our vision for the church we have had more than our share of problems, naysayers, and doubters but the call and command of God remained the same… GO YE! We settled a long time ago that God’s Word is ALWAYS true and indeed there is NOTHING TOO HARD FOR THE LORD.
Since the organizing of the church, the missions program of the Grace Bible Baptist Church has grown both in faith and financially. Several years ago God began to show in a real way that it was time to put feet to faith and start reaching into the Regions Beyond Kenya.
One of the areas that God began to direct was the great need in the country of Burundi. For the past several years many trips were taken to Burundi, people were saved, baptized, and taught the Word of God. All of this work culminated a few weeks ago with the birth of a new Bible believing Baptist Church.
The Grace Bible Baptist Church sent the money to rent the land and put up a structure for the new church to meet. A group of men from the Bible Baptist Church of Uvira, DRC, joined together with a group of men from the Grace Bible Baptist Church of Nakuru, Kenya, to help in the starting of this new church. In preparation for the new church, a week of evangelism, visiting converts, and preparation took place. During this week many good contacts were made and nearly thirty people made a profession of salvation.
|Burundi team from Kenya and Congo|
On the 27th of July, we had our first service with the joint effort of men from Kenya, Congo, and Burundi. The Bible Baptist Church of Bujumbura, Burundi, had an attendance of 169 for its first service. Twelve people responded to the invitation for salvation and thirty nine people requested membership in the new church. Most of those requesting membership have already been baptized by us and have been receiving teaching.
|George Mbugua dealing with two ladies|
|Julius Kimani leading a man to the Lord|
The excitement surrounding the starting of this church was unlike any that we have ever experienced. There was joy on the faces of many people who were present because of the realization that there was now going to be a Bible believing, gospel preaching church in their community. The singing was heartfelt and the attention to the preaching was true. Our men from Kenya had smiles on their faces from ear to ear as they realized how much God was using them and their church to reach into the Regions Beyond.
|Those requesting membership|
Please continue to pray for this new church. The pastors and men of the Grace Bible Baptist Church will continue taking the leadership of this work until the time of “organization.” One of our members who lives in Burundi, Pastor Kambi, will be overseeing the day to day operation. On most Sundays, one of our pastors or men will be in Burundi assisting in the church.
It is with much joy in my heart that I write this update. I rejoice whenever a church is started but there is a lot of extra joy for this missionary family to be able to partner with a Kenyan church to reach into the Regions Beyond. There are some who may think Africa is too poverty stricken to do the work of missions, but that thinking is quickly put away when one comes to grasp with the truth that “there is nothing too hard for the Lord.”
VIDEO OF CONGREGATION SINGING
BIBLE BAPTIST CHURCH- BUJUMBURA, BURUNDI