Saturday, July 11, 2015

Thoughts from my heart..Bob Robinson


Thoughts from my heart this morning as I sat on the beach:

My heart is full of joy when I am with the people in Kenya.  They are friendly and happy people, even though they don't have a lot, and often are living day to day.

I enjoyed teaching a couple of lessons to the 3rd grade class at Maasai Corner Academy.  We used a butterfly to talk about the transforming power of Jesus.  A frame with their picture in it was used to talk about them being God's masterpiece.

We are grateful to the ideas and materials that Allan and Donna Carroll gave to make these lessons and crafts possible.

It was kind of cool that God had it rain real hard as I began to share in chapel with the children.  I started out with Proverbs 18:10:  

The name of the Lord is a strong tower.  The righteous run into it and are safe.

I'm looking forward to going out to the villages this morning to tell people about Jesus!

Bob Robinson
San Antonio
R4C Board Member

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

We are called to bear fruit.

As I reflect on my trips to Kenya, some of my fondest memories involve Sunday morning worship with the locals. They sing with abandon and dance from the joy in their hearts without restraint. This year, we spent Sunday morning at Maasai Corner. We had the privilege to hear from Pastor Daniel, a guest speaker who had traveled from western Kenya to be at Maasai Corner for a pastors conference weekend. He shared from John 15 where Jesus is speaking to His followers and says, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit."

As Pastor Daniel shared about his extensive time serving as a pastor, he told of the prioritization of his time being focused on ministry activities. During this time, his daughter suddenly became paralyzed from the waist down and began developing swelling on her brain. After multiple hospital visits, several tests and selling most of their possessions to raise funds, they were able to afford surgery to remove a tumor that had grown on her spinal cord. Although the surgery was considered successful, his daughter remained paralyzed. What followed was continuous care for eight years until she died at the age of 20. As you can imagine, Pastor Daniel's priorities changed when his daughter became ill. He learned that he had been neglecting his family in favor of ministry, and missing out on God's calling to be a husband and a father first and then a pastor. In effect, he was limiting his ability to bear fruit by focusing all his time and energy on his role as a pastor. He shared from his heart he had learned that although priorities can be focused on good things, such as ministry, those priorities will not yield as much fruit if they are out of order.

We are called to bear fruit as followers of Christ - not asked - called. And part of that process will involve uncomfortable pruning so we can produce more fruit. So what is this fruit we are called to bear? Galatians 5:22-23 spells it out for us, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there s no law." Maybe there are multiple callings on your life. Maybe one is foreign missions, or maybe it is partnering with a local organization to be a mentor to a child in need. Perhaps you are still searching for your calling. One thing is for sure, if you are a Christ-follower, you are called to bear fruit laid out in Galatians 5. For myself, each time I visit Kenya and get a firsthand look at the impact Maasai Corner and Mbewau Academy are having to transform lives and set them up with a better future and an eternal hope only Christ can give, I am spurred and convicted to bear more fruit - to be more loving, more joyful, more faithful, etc. It changes not only our own lives, but impacts the lives of those around us as well.

Karen Sandifer
Arlington, TX.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Building Bridges in Kenya

Chris,
Just thought I would share this blog…. I can not tell you how full I am of all that happened in my heart while I was with you…  It has been difficult falling back in to the urgency of ministry here in light of all the contemplative heart lessons God is still working in me… thanks so much for your patience with us in getting this bridge building begun…..  as I prepare to take a team from ARBC to Cleveland Friday, to help with Church planting there.. that too will be somehow so different….

We are in the middle of Music Camp this week… the song Mungu Anakupenda is the song that resonates in this musical the kids are doing…

More later my friend…
Think of you often.
Kent

On June 21, 2015 I was in Kenya speaking to the church at Masai Corner.  My message that Sunday was, "Building bridges of love that connect people to Jesus Christ and each other."  I shared how my home town (Charleston, SC) and my home church (Ashley River Baptist Church) were similar in many ways to Mombasa, Kenya. Our towns were both Coastal port cities, both separated by a river on both sides.  One difference however, Mombasa has a bridge on the north side and a ferry to the south.  Thus, the illustration of a relationship based on a bridge versus a ferry resonated with them.... 

Rewind... a little background.  Over four years ago, our ARBC missions team began to pray about developing missionary partnerships.  Chris & Lisa Moore (www.real4christ.org) were presented to us by church members who had recently visited there (2011) on a homecoming trip for her, having been raised there by missionary parents, and wanted to show her husband and daughter where she grew up....  After Chris & Lisa then visited ARBC three years ago (2012), we began to plan a mission trip there.  Two years ago (2013) that trip dwindled down for various reasons and was canceled.  My two daughters, Sierra and Sky, were still led of the Lord to go, and they did.  They became messengers of hope and possibility to ARBC, Chris & Lisa visited ARBC again last year (2014) and another trip was forged, this time 12 team members were sent out by ARBC to begin to build this bridge of relationship with the churches and ministries of Real 4 Christ... our first personal, supportive relationship with a cross-cultural missionary has begun.

The hope of the ARBC missions team, and a growing number of ARBC members, is that this relationship will be a bridge of constant hope, love, prayer, support and partnership.  Not a "ferry relationship" with barriers of complication, differences and distance that remain, but a bridge that will connect us personally with each other, on a spirit-led moments notice.

The culminating similarity of our two eastern coastal towns that resonated with the 100's of Kenyans in attendance that Sunday, was the similarity of pain felt...., caused by those who were led by Satan with the intent to "steal, kill and destroy" relationships. Still fresh on the minds of the Masai Corner church was the horrible massacre of over 180 college students (4/2/2015), many Christians, in the town of Garissa, Kenya who were killed for their faith by those with a devious hope to drive fear and division among the Kenyan people. A relationship bridge was developing before us... as I shared about the horrible tragedy and amazing forgiveness of the disastrous killing of godly people in Charleston, SC (6/17/2015).... that too, an effort by Satan to "steal, kill and destroy."  As we wept and prayed together for our Charleston home community, God was still at work building bridges in Kenya AND in Charleston!  After that Worship service (6/21/15), Masai Corner Church, Kenya, held hands, together.. along with those in Charleston who would be holding hands across Charleston when the sun rose there.... building bridges of love to connect people to Jesus Christ and each other.... we connected... a relationship is forged in so much we have in common...

Monday, July 6, 2015

With each person that I met they deposited a seed of love in my heart.




Sowing Good Seeds!


Some of you know my story of how GOD planted a seed of love for Kenya in my heart in 2013 and although I knew after a family trip to Capetown in 2011 that I would go back to Africa to do mission work, I often asked GOD why Kenya and what am I suppose to do there.  In September 2013 GOD connected me to Real4Christ Ministries and gave me the vision to provide clean drinking water to the villages in Kenya by designing a HISBlessedOne Supports Africa Tshirt and selling it on my Christian Apparel website. GOD instructed me to donate all the proceeds I made off the Tshirt and to personally match all the sales dollar for dollar.   

After helping with the well I was even more eager to do a mission trip in Kenya with Real4Christ but GOD didn't open up the door for me go until this year. In March after searching Mission Trips on the Real4Christ website I saw that Ashley River Baptist Church out of Charleston, SC (about 2hrs from me) was traveling to Kenya in June and they had one slot available on their team and I knew instantly that GOD was in the midst! I reached out to the Youth Pastor (and leader for the trip) Kent Williams and he agreed to allow me to become part of the team.....I love how GOD works! Once I joined the team the 11 members of Ashley River Baptist Church became my family as I traveled to Charleston most Sundays to attend meetings with them. 



When the door opened up for me to go on this mission trip I was so excited but nervous because I didn't know how I would raise the finances to go but my mom kept reminding me that GOD wouldn't open the door and not provide. I was also reminded that I had sown seeds on good ground and that a harvest was going to come. When I made the decision to trust GOD and not to worry I looked up and my trip was paid for. I mean, I started getting donations from people that I didn't even know, but I am so thankful that they were obedient to the Holy Spirit and I made sure I prayed blessings over every seed.  
 
As the days got closer and closer for the team and I to depart the more nervous I became. I wasn't nervous about traveling or anything like that I just wanted to help make a difference in the lives of people of Kenya and I want to make sure I was spirit led!  The first day we arrived at MBEWAU Academy we were welcomed by some of the most beautiful kids in the world singing a welcome song for the 12 of us and I knew that my life would forever be changed.  I was no longer nervous about making a difference in the lives of these kids I just wanted to fellowship with them, play with them, pick up their infectious smiles and share CHRIST with them. During the two week mission trip the team and I had the chance to build relationships by evangelizing in the villages, walking kids home to meet their families, spending time with students in their classrooms, visiting 5 church plants and having a carnival at each school and with each person that I met they deposited a seed of love in my heart. With every reason that I could think of for the people I met not to smile I am sure they could tell me two or more reasons why they did smile. 
 


I love that Real4Christ is planting so many Godly seeds and building relationships not only for the children that attend MBEAWAU or Maasai Corner but for the people that visit the clinics, pump water at the different wells Real4Christ has provided, or attends the church services.  Galatians 6:7, "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap" so I am rejoicing because I know the harvest season is coming! 
Please lift Chris and Lisa Moore (founders of Real4Christ) up in prayer as they continue to grow the mission GOD has given them. When I asked Chris how does he handle everything he looked at me and he said it is ALL GOD....and I couldn't agree with him more. Take a few minutes to visit the Real4Christ website (www.real4christ.com) to see how you can sow a seed into this great ministry.
Asanta Sana (Thank you very much)
A'Keta Vasser


Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Best Decision I Could Have Made



The ARBC team just recently got back from Kenya last week, and I was blessed enough to be a part of it. My sister and I had ventured to Kenya in the summer of 2013 and were able to meet all of the amazing kids at both Maasai Corner and Mbewau. Returning to Kenya a few weeks ago was the best decision I could have made! With a team this time, my sister and I arrive at Mbewau--completely overwhelmed. Without realizing what would happen beforehand, we began to recognize face after face of the smiling students. They had grown so much and all we expected was that they would vaguely remember us, but we were well beyond surprised… Later in the day, I saw a few kids I remembered by name and yelled, “Hey, do you remember me?” In unison, they replied, “Yes!--Sky!” Right then and there I could have broken down crying- overwhelmed with emotions of joy and heartache. These kids love us and value us so much more than we could imagine. I felt so much joy because I then realized I had officially built a relationship with them. I was able to build that relationship even more through the week that followed, which put a priceless value on this trip. Each child has a story and getting to know just one of them changed my life. Chris and Lisa have allowed many people to meet the children they sponsor, face to face, and even find the child they want to sponsor by going to the school and seeing these kids in their school atmosphere.


-Sky Williams-
Charleston, SC



Sunday, June 28, 2015

Out of my comfort zone!




Last year I came to Kenya on my first mission trip and so I did it again this year.  My church, Connect Church in Arlington, TX,  has partnered with Maasai Corner to put on a pastors conference. Thursday  was a amazing night with worship, testimony, and breaking bread. There are fifty pastors from Kenya and other countries that have come to this conference. Chris, Pastor Chondo, Brandon, and I shared our testimony. Thats right, I shared my story with pastors. I am not a big fan of public speaking but I am thankful I got the opportunity to do it. Mission trips will take you out of your comfort zone. It is a wonderful experience spiritually.




Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I will never be the same!

The team from South Carolina has been in Kenya about a week now.  I have really enjoyed seeing their pictures and just wanted to share a few words from Pastor Kent. Thank you ARBC for sharing the love of God with the Kenyan people! God bless you.

Today we visited 4 Church plants inland Kenya: Msuri Fellowship (pastor Isaiah), Mwakalanga Fellowship (pastor Julius), Mteza Fellowship (Pastor Peter) and Dzomba Fellowship (Pastor Gladson). We also visited a government school so we could understand better what Real4Christ is offering children here in Kenya. We took off road safari vans to access these churches that are down mountain paths, crossing rivers, and waiting on grazing herds, and narrow passages... there was so much love for people and God, it was amazing. I will never be the same. "if you are not careful to listen, you might miss the voice of God." (Chris Moore, through tears, after worshiping with Dzomba Fellowship today)... If I had not come to Kenya, I would have missed just that.... "Go, send or disobey!" __John Pipe....Kent Williams

These rocks are used as seats for the children in the government school.