Today’s pastoral or missionary ministry faces not simple and few challenges. We should note issues related to liberalism, secularism, pluralism, pragmatism, etc., that continue to challenge orthodox Christianity and Biblical text of scripture in form of statements such as tolerance, interreligious dialogue, religious inclusivism, negotiations that require a measure of compromise, and the thought that truth is relative. Not only should we recognize the ecumenical developments that have led to theological syncretism, but more than ever, we should also note the outcome of theological compromise. In my recent class on “Comparative Religion,” I noted substantial advocacy for such religious tolerance and dialogue at the expense of Biblical truths. I trust that you and I could imagine the days of Noah before the flood, or the days of Lot in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, or the days of Elijah and the contest on Mount Carmel, or Daniel, Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego, or Peter and John, or Paul and Barnabas and Silas, and today is your turn and my turn. Thus, we “walk in wisdom…redeeming the time” (Col. 4:5).
We thank you all for your prayers and financial support in ministry over the years. Your care for last in 2016 is a demonstration of your love and dedication to the true course of the gospel and church planting ministry, both at home and across the continents. It has been only by God’s grace that we accomplish what we have done and we give Him the glory. The year 2016 was with challenges but also good progress in ministry. We began with great anticipation to finish up our Church Building project only to have our builder change terms in the middle of the process. This has, not only, caused us delay but also demand for extra cost. We have managed to finish the roofing beams and ready for the ordered Iron sheets to arrive so as to finalize the roof and then focus on the electrical wiring, sounding, windows, doors, and the inner and outer final touches, which could be done progressively. It’s all about “God’s work, by God’s people, in God’s way, with God’s resources, in God’s time, for God’s ministry, to God’s glory.” Thank you for praying and supporting this great work: “It is worth the course.”
In our ministry and with the multifaceted roles to play, we have been able to see maturity and growth in numbers. The beauty of seeing dedicated men and women in ministry and engaging each other for spiritual growth and encouragement is evident. We have had testimonies of salvations, baptisms, commitments and ministry. We have witnessed babies born to our church family members, primary kids graduate for high school and those in high school succeed for College. These kids are those that we began the Church with in Sunday School 10 years ago. One of the joys to thank God for is the graduation of Simeon Koech, one of our deacons from a Bible institute last November 2016. Please pray for him and his family to have the passion for full time ministry service. We also anticipate to have Mike Otieno and Silvanus Agisu graduate in November 2017. Pray that God will continue to give grace, though with the much needs in their families but with great hearts for God’s work, to finish well. My great joy in working and training these men is to see them take God’s work seriously and to have an open mind to God’s leading in their lives.
We praise the Lord for every departmental ministry and with the help of every participant, we have great progress. Whether it is children ministry, or Lady’s ministry, or Men’s ministry, or church fellowships, or VBS, or visitations, or Youth ministry, or Church choir, etc., there is a delight of service to the Lord. Edna and I continue to engage members to take every available opportunity to serve and we trust God to build the desire in His people.
Besides the good progress, we have been hit by challenges regarding church members and need for counsel which sometimes are not taken kindly but God is always good in the process. We have members who have moved to other cities due to job transfers or employments or due family relocations but also new ones come in. We have been involved extensively with church family as well as our extended family challenges. Deaths and other special occasions became our opportunities to share the gospel in various regions and in different cultures. There has been good response from listeners of our local radio program, “The Bible in Your Hand.” Some have called for us to begin churches in their regions and we have been talking to ascertain genuineness as well as doing preliminary study of these regions. Please pray for us to have wisdom of where, who, and when to moving out to a town or village.
Please pray for us. We begin 2017 with so much on our hands. We are having our 10th anniversary since Elgon view Baptist Church began on 5th February 2017. We are working on the Church Building work. We are working on R-1 visa so as to begin our furlough in August 2017. Our kids, Ian and Regina will be done with high school in June 2017 and readying for College in the States this Fall of 2017. Stephen has post-graduate classes at Moi University that need to be done by May or June 2017. We desire to have churches communicate effectively regarding furlough report ministry schedule. Please pray for good transition here and back in the States.
Let me finish with reference to where I started. We need to understand from the Christian viewpoint what is happening in the world. We must help those in decision-making capacities to recognize the implications of the issues we face together as human race but most importantly as true community of believers in Christ. Christians should prepare to take the lead in giving direction to our cultural change. We should be consciously preparing the next generation for the new battles it will face in regard to moral and religious issues raised by new developments in the form of democracy and technology. We must be ready for the battle (Eph. 6:10-17) and train others for the same (2 Tim. 2:2). Finally, pray for us to do God’s will (Eph. 6:18-20).
In His Care,
Stephen & Edna Muindi