Monthly Archives: August 2013

Uganda Trip Pictures :: 2013

 

Uganda Speaking

If you would like to see pictures from the team’s

time in Uganda please click on the links below:

Album #1 by Grace Brethren Uganda

Album #2 by Grace Brethren Uganda

Pastor Keith and baby

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Uganda Trip Update :: 8-22-13

Kenya Flag

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Greetings in the Lord Jesus Christ.  We have returned to Kampala, Uganda from our three day trip to Kitale, Kenya.  We were able to meet with pastor Gilbert Amaswache and members of his church as well as four leaders from other churches who were interested in knowing more about the CGBCI and the African CGBCI fellowship.  We were able to answer many questions about what we believe and also about the structure of our current sister fellowships and what is required to be a member of the African fellowship.  Pastor Roger and I taught for many hours and then we were able to show part of the first lesson of Gen. 1-11 by Dr. Whitcomb and talk about the practorium ministry that we offer to help train future leaders of Conservative Grace Brethren churches. The interest was genuine and encouraging please pray for these pastors and church leaders who are contemplating becoming part of the African fellowship (currently Cameroon and Uganda) of churches.  Pray for Phanuel, James, Armstrong, Geoffrey, Job and Ezekiel for wisdom in making their decisions.

Also pray for Stephen Adundo who has been our driver since we arrived in Uganda.  He is the leader of a parachurch evangelistic/discipleship ministry to university students in Uganda (he is the one who has helped us get CGBCI recognition in Uganda).  He has asked many theological questions and was baptized by trine immersion last Saturday (his father is a well known Southern Baptist Pastor in Jinja, Uganda).  He is now contemplating whether he should become involved with the CGBCI and  local church ministry rather than a parachurch ministry.  Pray that he will make the correct decision.

Just a note about how the Lord worked on our trip to Kitale. It was a challenge.

We were leaving at 6:20 AM when Stephen turned off the car to load our luggage and it would not restart.  We prayed and then decided to push the car down the lane and then down the road.  You should have seen three Americans and Pastor Roger pushing a car down an African dirt road.  When we reached a major intersection we asked some Africans for help and two men stopped one who was on foot and one in a car.  The man in the car said he had jumper cables.  Turned out he had two #12 wires about 5 feet long.  They worked to my amazement!  We started the car and went about another 15 minutes on the major road and the car stopped again in the middle of the road.  We all got out and pushed again.  And prayed again.  We could not figure out what was wrong.  We were blocking the entrance to a truck delivery business and the men working there were very angry that we had pushed the car there, but we had no other place to go, finally they insisted that we push the car down the road and Stephen got in and tried to start it and it did!  We decided to drive to a garage in Kampala and it turned out there was a loose wire on the alternator.  Once that was tightened we were on our way  2 hours late and now in rush hour traffic in a city of 2 1/2 million.

When we finally arrived at the border of Uganda and Kenya we had to check out of Uganda, everything was going well until the border guard told us that they would not let Pastor Roger into Kenya because he had a passport from Burkina Faso and that we would have to drive the four hours back to Kampala and go to the Kenya embassy and get a visa for him.  We went out in the car and prayed and decided to go back in and talk to another Ugandan border guard and see if what we were told was true.  The second Ugandan border guard told us the same thing and he was adamant that the border guards in Kenya would not give Pastor Roger his visa and that he did not want to stamp an exit visa from Uganda which was needed to get into Kenya.  We persuaded him to go ahead and stamp the exit visa.  So we got into the car and prayed.  Pastor Roger said he would just take a bus and go back by himself to Kampala.  We all decided that we needed to stay together as a team and that we would pray that the Lord would let us all into Kenya.  So we drove to the Kenyan border and went to the immigration window and I told the immigration officer that I had an international team with me and that we all needed to go to Kitale and he just handed me four visa forms and said fill these out.  We did and we all went through with no problem!!!  The Lord was gracious and answered our prayers.  We wanted to say it was a miracle but Dr. Whitcomb has had too much of an influence on us and so we said it was a second class miracle 🙂  But then we were told by the border guards that our vehicle needed insurance and an inspection before we could continue.  So we prayed again and after about an hour the inspector was finished and was expecting a bribe to let us go – we told him we would not give him any money other than the official inspection price and he finally smiled and said OK we could go.  Three hours at the border trying to get in but finally we succeeded with the Lord’s help.  We say TIA  – This Is Africa!  To make a long story short our six hour trip took twelve hours we finally arrived in Kitale where we met Pastor Gilbert at about 6:30 PM.  Exhausted but joyful!

Thanks for all your prayers they are much needed!!

God bless,

Keith

 

Editor’s Note:  The team has left Uganda and are heading to Cameroon.  Please pray that they will have safe travels.

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Uganda Trip Update :: 8-17-13

Peter & ChrisPeter & Pastor Christopher

Hello everyone!

I would like to thank you all for praying for my return journey…I arrived at about 5pm (Saturday, August 17th) at the Detroit airport. Because of customs checks, my luggage missed that flight, but it was on the next one which came an hour later. The only casualty of the trip was a large soapstone bowl that was broken…but everything else made it safe and sound, praise the Lord!

Please pray for Brother Craig though…I talked with Pastor Keith this afternoon and learned that Craig had visited two different hospitals on suspicions of a possible blood clot in his calf which was causing him pain. After running various tests and scans, however, the doctors said that it was not a clot and they could not find anything wrong. Pray that the pain goes away, and that it does not bother him. It is possible that it was due to low potassium levels, so he is going to try eating more potassium rich foods to see if that helps. But please keep him in your prayers. thanks, and God bless!

Peter Stergios

Editors Note:  Please keep the rest of the team in
your prayers as they finish out their trip.

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To see pictures posted by Pastor Christopher on the Grace Brethren Uganda Facebook page, click here.

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Uganda Trip Update :: 8-14-13

Uganda Team 2013 - cropped

Hello Everyone! This will probably be my last update from Uganda (where has the time gone??) There are several awesome developments that God has been working to perform over the last few days that I want to share with you! The first is the official recognition of the church here in Uganda! Over the last few days, we have been submitting many forms and official statements for approval by the church to the Ugandan government so that the church can receive an official charter of recognition. Usually, it is very hard to receive the necessary stamps of approval, and the process is many times drawn out with many hassles along the way. However, God has been working behind the scenes, and we have not had any issues at all, other than needing to change the name slightly to avoid being confused with another organization. There is only one more step to go in the approval process, and then wait 30 days for the official charter! Praise the Lord! The official name is the Grace Brethren Outreach Ministry of Uganda!
The other update that I want to share pertains to the opportunity that God has opened in Kenya. Pastor Gilbert, who was with us for the last 11 days, has set up a meeting for us with the other interested pastors for early next week, so the team will be traveling to Kenya for 3 days to talk with them about joining the fellowship also. Praise the Lord for this new open door! Pastor Gilbert has already expressed that he wants to join, regardless of what the other pastors decide. This has been a very fruitful trip, and we have seen God work in many incredible ways! We are praying for you all back home, and we hope that you will continue lifting us up in your prayers too!

Peter

If you would like to follow Peter on his facebook page “Peter Goes to Uganda” please click here.
He has already posted quite a few pictures and daily updates.

Trip Photo Albums (click on the links below to see pictures)

Preperation, travel & first day in Uganda
Second day in Uganda

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NET ’13 :: National Evangelism Team

NET ’13 had the great privilege of representing the CGBCI at the 5th Brethren World Assembly which was held this year in Brookville, OH. Joshua Steiner and Joy Miller were able to be on a youth panel were they talked about things the church of America can do better to keep youth in the church and talk about what they thought their fellowship was doing well in that area. The team was also able to sing in the evening worship service.

NET ’13 at the Brethren World Assembly

Priorities drama done by members of NET ’13 at Findlay GBC.

To see more pictures, videos, or highlights  from the NET ’13 trip, click on the links below.

Pictures
Videos
Highlights

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Uganda Trip Update :: 8-8-13

Uganda2

Greetings, Brethren! I apologize for not posting for quite some time, but this is the first I have been online for several days. First, I would like to update you all on the status of Craig, who, as I mentioned in my last post, has been sick for the past few days. Yesterday, we took him to the hospital to get checked out, and as it turns out, he has some sort of infection. We were able to get him some medicine though, and he is feeling much better today! Praise the Lord! Please continue to pray for him, that God would give him strength and energy and for his continued healing!

Next, I would like to update you on the activities of the Practorium, where the students are making great progress in their classes! They have been very faithful in showing up, and each understands that it is a very serious and high calling to preach the Word of God. They are very studious, and seem to soak up the teaching. Pastor Roger from Cameroon has been going to the church to teach the people the points of the Statement of Faith each night, while Pastor Keith teaches the men the points of the Statement of Faith as well as a class on Hermeneutics. In the afternoon, we have been going over some specific issues with Pastor Gilbert from Kenya and Pastor Christopher from here in Kampala. We are continuously praising the Lord for His provision, and are amazed by how His hand has worked in preparing so many to receive our teaching…there is much work to be done in Africa, brethren! We must pray for the Lord to send more like Pastor Keith and myself and Craig and Daniel, who will teach this next generation of pastors to shepherd the flock here…they desperately need the sound teaching of the doctrine of Jesus Christ and His true Gospel! The flimsy teaching of the prosperity gospel simply is not the solid rock upon which someone can build their life upon!

Brothers and Sisters, we have been so blessed in the US! Praise the Lord for His hand of blessing. You never truly appreciate the little things until you see the contrast with the rest of the world. Unless I am very mistaken, none of your churches consist of a tarp spread over a few poles, with piles of trash just a few feet away with chickens and dogs rummaging about for scraps of things to eat. Well, that is the reality of the church here. But, even though they have that background in which to worship, they lift up praise to the Lord with joy in their hearts! Life is so much more than physical riches, and worship is so much more than the building that we worship in. True worship comes from the heart! So continue to pray for these dear brothers and sisters here in Uganda and around the world!

Blessings in Christ,
Peter

If you would like to follow Peter on his facebook page “Peter Goes to Uganda” please click here.
He has already posted quite a few pictures and daily updates.

Trip Photo Albums (click on the links below to see pictures)

Preperation, travel & first day in Uganda
Second day in Uganda

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Uganda Trip Update :: 8-5-13

Uganda5

UPDATE from Pastor Keith

My dear beloved brothers and sisters,

May the grace of the Lord be with you.  We are staying at the Maria Prian Mission House in Kampala, Uganda.  The city is bustling with people everyday (city of over 2 million).  The rainy season started the hour we arrived at the airport.  The believers are saying we brought the rains “There will be showers of blessing.”  We have been very busy everyday.  Monday- Thursday we have nine students who are studying Hermeneutics from 4-8 PM.  Last Friday, Pastor  Gilbert Gamaswasche from Kenya arrived to meet us in Kampala.  He took a bus 8 hours to get here and paid his own way.   He is a part of the Dunkard Brethren in Kenya.  He has been trine immersed and practices only three fold communion.  They are part of a small fellowship of six churches who have 12 leaders.  They are desperate to be trained theologically.  He found us on the CGBCI website and studied our statement of faith and agreed and also saw that we are training pastors in India and Africa and came to find us.  Amazing!  He will be staying with us for the next two weeks and Pastor Roger and I will be teaching him and Pastor Chris the statement of faith in the mornings and then Hermeneutics in the evenings along with the other men.

Pastor Gilbert said the 12 men in Kenya are committed to studying two days a week six hours a day but they are willing to take time out of their work for training, Who will go and train them?  Pray!Pastor Roger and Brother Daniel Burris are teaching the church the statement of faith from 4-8 PM Monday-Thursday and then on Friday we meet with the church 4-8 for Bible study and prayer.  That’s right they are coming five days a week four hours a day because we are here.  We had a wonderful worship service Sunday morning from 10:30AM – 2 PM and then had lunch together.  One lady in the church cooked all night to provide food for all 70 of us and there were leftovers.  We went back and rested from 3-4 and then back to the church for the evening service 5-7 PM.

They have a little plot of dirt in the city (probably 900 square feet) that they rent for $40 per month. They are surrounded by old mud buildings and have wood posts and a tarp that Pastor Roger bought them to throw over the posts.  It poured rain yesterday as I preached and the men had to keep pushing the tarp up to empty the rainwater.  We all huddled in the middle of the tent to keep from being soaked because they have no sides to their meeting place.   To give you a perspective of the cost,  Pastor Christopher is a baker he normally works 8 hours a day six days a week and makes $28 per week.If you would like to see pictures and keep up with the ministry here in Uganda you can go to Peter Stergios’ facebook page “Peter Goes to Uganda” he is trying to update every few days.  I will try and give you my perspective in e-mails as well.Well more to come later.

God bless,
Pastor Keith Merriman

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Update on the Ministry in India – August 2013

Thank You Signs 8-5-13

MINISTRY TO CHILDREN

The fruit of the ministry to children in India was abundantly evident this year.  Three of the children who have grown up in Agape Home were baptized in May and are now involved in the ministry to the children (pictured above).  Two of them shared their testimony at a youth rally in Paravakuddi.  Those video clips are available if you are interested. From left to right:  Vijaykumar, Maragathamani and Kaliyamal.

 

THE GREAT NEED

Kirubakuran 8-5-13

In May when we arrived at Agape Home, I was introduced to the new children there. One of the children is a boy by the name of Kirubakuran.  Brother Paul told me that he has no parents because his father murdered his mother by setting her on fire.  Now, his father is in prison for life.  Most of the children who come to Agape Home have never heard of Jesus before.  Yet every day the staff of Agape Home teach the Bible and explain to the children how they can know Jesus and receive Him as their personal Savior.

 

 

Vadivel 8-5-13

Another new child to Agape Home is Vadivel.  One day, Paul was at a restaurant where Vadivel was working.  He said to the owner, “This boy seems too young to be working here.  How old is he?”  The owner
replied, “He is 13.  He is working here because he has no parents.  Both of them are dead.”  Paul told the owner about Agape Home and how they care for the children and give them an education.  The owner said, “Take him.”  In the great mercy of God, Vadivel is now at Agape Home learning about Jesus.

Let me take this opportunity to thank many of you who are involved with “Konnect with a Kid.”  This ministry provides needed clothes and school supplies for the children as well as a Christmas gift.  The staff at Agape Home make Christmas a huge celebration emphasizing the birth of Jesus and why He came.  They also have a “SummerBibleSchool” much like the VacationBibleSchool that many hold here in the U.S.

 

CHURCH PLANTING

Continue to pray for the church planting effort.  The Church Planters are seeing fruit in their labors from the salvation of souls.  Many have been baptized and are preparing to be baptized.  However, the pressure by Hindu activists in particular against the Christians is a formidable obstacle to the new Christians and to the Church Planters. God works mightily through your prayers to strengthen our Brethren in India.

For more information, go to the web site: www.insigntintoindia.wordpress.com

If you would like to download the bulletin insert version of this update, please click on the link  below.
August 2013 India Update

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Uganda Trip Update :: 8-1-13

Uganda Team 2013 - croppedTeam Picture before leaving for the airport on Monday

We arrived late Tuesday night here in Uganda and were warmly greeted by the brethren here in Kampala.  We did not have any trouble along the way, and all of our luggage arrived undamaged (praise the Lord!), so we were able to go straight to the place we are staying (The Maria Prean House).

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We took yesterday off as a rest day because we were all very tired from the trip, but today Pastor Roger Yoda and Daniel Burris taught at the evening church service while Pastor Merriman, Craig, and I were with the men at the Practorium.

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 We had 7 men at the Practorium, and 11 at the evening service with Pastor Roger. The men at the Practorium were extremely grateful to us for coming to teach them, and they many times thanked us. When we gave them the projector, they jumped around the room and cheered for joy! It was very touching to see…they are on fire for the Lord, and eager to learn how to be pastors so that they can lead their people in the way of Truth. God has blessed us in so many ways, and we are all glorifying God for all that He is doing and will continue to do while we are here the saints here greet the saints at home in the U.S!

God bless,
Peter Stergios

If you would like to follow Peter on his facebook page “Peter Goes to Uganda” please click here.
He has already posted quite a few pictures and daily updates.

Trip Photo Albums (click on the links below to see pictures)

Preperation, travel & first day in Uganda
Second day in Uganda

Categories: CGBCI Missions | Leave a comment

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