Friday, December 18, 2015


Paul Gifford, Professor of African Christianity at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London was puzzled in his book African Christianity: Its Public Role that "Africa is not reacting to globalization by revitalizing African traditional religion but instead appeared to be opting into exotic religions." These "exotic" religions can be seen as the Spirit-empowered revivalist movements that are wide-spread throughout the African continent.  Many of these movements target the rich and poor alike.  They preach that wealth, healing, and even national peace will come as people give of their finances so that the Holy Spirit can work in their personal lives and communities.  From personal experience, I have seen an evangelist ask people to bring money to the altar so that he can pray a blessing on them and promises that their sacrifice will end in their request being answered.  I once could not understand why people would flock to a preaching crusade and give money freely when it was hard to get them to come faithfully to their local church and support it with their tithes.

Some of the fault lays with traditional Western thinking that is many times brought to the continent by foreigners.  We (non-Africans) seem to believe that witchcraft is a figment of the uneducated minds of the people and that every witchdoctor uses psychological delusion to gain power over the people.  We forget that the power of the devil and demons is real so witchcraft is real.  Africans know that it is real because many of them have experienced it firsthand.  So the traditional western evangelical missionary comes in and tells them it is all in their heads and the African non-evangelical missionary comes and tells them that witchcraft is the major reason for the underdevelopment of their country, their poverty, and their disease.  This second approach appeals to Africans who want an answer to the demonology that they see all around them which they believe causes illness and poverty.

Andrew Walls wrote in his book, The Missionary Movement in Christian History, when describing the modern African Spirit-empowered Revival Movement "Gone are the African drums of the aladuras [spiritualists]; the visitor is more likely to hear electronic keyboards and amplified guitars, see a preacher in elegant agbaba [robe] or smart business suit and a choir in bow ties." He goes on to conclude that Africans want a church that emphasizes the power of the Holy Spirit in healing and public witness [tongues speaking] in the lives of the Christian followers.

Many traditional African churches have now joined this trendy non-evangelical Christian movement with more vibrant experiential worship, spontaneous healing, a media driven worship service all worked around an entertainment culture.   Some of these things are really not what I think is the problem. Hopefully Christians everywhere sing vibrantly before the Lord no matter the style and media should help us to get our faces lifted up toward the God we are worshipping.  I think the real problem is that the church is not a hall where we go to be entertained. It is not a place where we go to see the Holy Spirit do His thing!

The church should be a place where folks go to be taught, to be convicted; a place where they find a Holy God who is worthy of their worship and expects obedience from His followers. The church should be a place where the Holy Spirit does work as we submit ourselves to God.  A church should know that doctrine (content of belief) and certitude (conviction of belief) are important reasons that people choose a church.  A pastor must be uncompromising on the Word of God. The congregation must really believe what is being taught and preached and live it out in their lives.  A "truth" church cannot preach that every illness will be healed; and that every financial crisis will be relieved just by our faith. God is working all things out for His glory and His plan. God is in control and bad things do happen but He has promised to work all things together for our good and His glory.

In Africa we do have to tackle the witchcraft issue especially if this issue is pushing people into false religious thought.  We need to realize that witchcraft is real. Satan does have power to scare and intimidate people.

I once told a group of African pastors: "You are more afraid of the devil than you are of God." They looked at me shocked but many knew that it was true.  I have to consistently remind people that in Hebrews we are told that Jesus' death rendered Satan powerless.

"Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives." Hebrews 2:14,15)

How do we overcome the fear of witchcraft?  The answer is not found in just becoming the trendy church or claiming to be able to command the Holy Spirit to do this or that.  The answer is found in a belief that everything is under the rule of Jesus, the One who has made us complete in Him. (Eph. 1:22,23) In Jesus, we have the truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Paul tells us to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 13:14) Witchcraft has already been defeated by Jesus; we need to live in that victory.

Injili (Gospel) Baptist Church and our other churches are in a constant battle between teaching the truth and facing witchcraft (Demonology).  But God is greater and has won the victory.  When IBC started working in Majaoni village there were no less than five "mganga wa kienyeji" (healers/practitioners of magic).  Today, three of them have presented their lives to Christ and given up their magic. Praise God for his faithfulness.

Preach Jesus...He is the only one who has the power to redeem and save that which was lost.

"And such were some of you: but ye were washed, but ye were sanctified, but ye were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God." 1 Cor. 6:11


"I will thank the Lord with all my heart; I will declare all Your wonderful works. I will rejoice and boast about You; I will sing about Your name, Most High." (Psalm 9:1-2)  
The best time to praise God is all day, every day, as we marvel at Him. Praise should be woven into everything that we do and say. Our life is a great tapestry of colors and scenes that proclaim God's greatness and we should worship Him just for our lives alone.

Matthew Henry said, "Be not afraid of saying too much in the praises of God; all the danger is of saying too little." Today, I want to thank God for one specific thing.  In 2005, The Hope Foundation had a dream to educate needy Kenyan children from kindergarten through High School.  Through the generous giving of Edgewood Baptist, Palmetto Ave. Baptist, Fox River and Park Chapel along with our donors, and some great partnering organizations: MANNA Worldwide (Texas), Crossroads Fellowship (Nyali) and Tin Roof Society (Ohio), we are seeing that dream come to a reality.

This year we are seeing the completion of the Valerye McMillan High School in Majaoni, Kenya with the beautiful addition of an administration building that includes science and computer labs and a library.  Now we have received the final funds to complete the Female Student Dormitory.  This facility will enable us to house over 200 female students on the high school property providing them with safety and loving care over their four years at VMHS.  We are so excited!

In Streams in the Desert, there is a line that reads "Two wings are necessary to lift our souls toward God: prayer and praise. Prayer asks. Praise accepts the answer."  We lifted up our concerns to God for children in Kenya to not only be educated but fed and given the Gospel. And guess what He was listening and beyond that He wanted to hear from us and see our compassion to help those in spiritual and physical need.  The greatest thing is that He decided to honor our request for strength, encouragement and help from His people. So today we PRAISE God for all that He has done.


"Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever." Psalm 106:1



As missionaries, we are faced with issues every day. These issues can be seen in one of two ways. It can be a PROBLEM or an OPPORTUNITY.  The difference between a problem and an opportunity is in how we view it.  Elisabeth Elliot is quoted as saying, "A life lived in God is not lived on the plane of feelings, but of the will."  I believe that this defines our view. If I am looking at a challenge with my feelings it usually turns into a problem. If I am looking at a challenge with a determination to do God's will it usually turns into an opportunity.

As a disciple of Jesus Christ, I must trust Him and put His will at the center of my life. Jesus can never be #2. His calling on my life can't come "next" to other priorities of life.  God must always be in the first position.  I am compelled to take up my cross and follow Him daily. And as each day brings a new cross to bear, it is an opportunity to serve Christ.  As I sacrifice my will to His will, I can follow my calling to help others know about Jesus in Kenya.

There is a crucial question that needs to be answered each time we meet someone. Hannah Whitall Smith put it like this: " you yet have a personal acquaintance with Him?"  The answer to this question has determined the course and direction of my life. It has added quality and joy to my life.

I want to live Micah 6:8: "He [God] has shown you, O man, what is good; and what the LORD requires of you; to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." Simply put I want to live justly, to love and show mercy and to always serve humbly before my God.

Today, I face a challenge. We need to find thirty-five (35) sponsors for some beautiful children that we want to take into our program at Good News Academy in Majaoni, Kenya.  I have chosen to put this into God's hands.  It is yet another opportunity for God to show Himself faithful through His people.  We would love to see them all sponsored by November so that we can get them prepared to start school in January 2016.

Would you take a few minutes and pray for our opportunity?  Maybe God will lead you to take on a child at $30 a month. If you already sponsor a child, will you tell someone else about our ministry and get them involved.  Many of the children's pictures are on our website: under the heading "Children In Need".

​You can help turn a problem into a great opportunity.


Nothing reveals our dedication to Christ and His cause as much as our attitude toward money. I just hate money and the issues that come from the lack of it.  It seems that every Christian organization is always in need of money whether they are a U.S. church or a missionary endeavor like our foundation.  It seems strange to me that Jesus taught more about money than almost any other topic.  I guess He knew that we all have a clear and potent attachment to our money which if not overcome will cause us to miss out on the blessing of being generous.

Each day we need to ask God a question and truly seek an answer. The question is "Lord, how much of your money can I keep for myself today and how much should I use for your kingdom?" I believe that most of us are afraid of God's answer because we are holding onto "our" hard-earned money with a clenched fist. We have forgotten that the way we spend and give away our money is a spiritual thing. In Proverbs 11:25 it says: "A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."

As Lisa and I work to help the poor and needy in Kenya, Africa we are sometimes amazed at their generosity when visitors from the states come. They kill their chickens, buy sodas and give gifts. Each one of these is at great sacrifice to the family, but I can't stop them from being generous to guests. It is the way they live and it makes them Kenyans. Through their examples, we have learned to be generous and faithfully support our church, missions, the needy and God's ministry in Kenya.

Everyone can learn from them and I believe that we can all help them in some way.  You see, every bit of money that we needlessly spend on ourselves prevents us from helping to meet the need of someone else.  God owns the cattle on a thousand hills which means He also owns all we have acquired.  When we put all we have into God's hands we prove that we trust Him more than "our" money.

Will you allow God to use you by opening up the clenched fist and give generously to help The Hope Foundation reach folks with God's love? We want to be your feet to help the poor and reach the lost.  Being generous is not easy for everyone but it does the heart good.  We need sponsors to donate $30 monthly to help a child attend school, get medical care and food. We need sponsors to help send a pastor to Bible school. We need sponsors to build church buildings. God wants be generous.


When we first went to Kenya there were several things that we needed to learn. One of them was the idea that their favorite sport is football but not American football. They love soccer.  They cheer for teams with names like Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea.  The first year we lived in Kenya I saw hoards of people standing on street corners peering into electronic stores or crowding into places with televisions. I wondered what was going on then I realized it was the World Cup and everyone was yelling for their team.

Sports is a part of every culture in most of the world and it touches the youngest to the oldest people in any population group. In every village in Kenya you will find a group of boys (sometimes girls) playing soccer and imaging a day when they will stand on the world stage playing for their favorite team in the World Cup.  It is exciting to see them dream about a bright future but the truth is that most will never reach this goal.

This year, Injili (Gospel) Baptist Church started a sports ministry at our high school property.  They developed a soccer team from their church and now are using it as an evangelistic outreach.  They have invited the Muslim community to develop their own teams and come and play at the high school. This is allowing their people to have a starting point to reach young people with the gospel message. At each game, they pray and sing to God. They even have a devotional challenge.

Eddie Fox once wrote, "The roads of Rome carried the gospel in the first century, but sports is the means of carrying it today."  He is right. Sports opens doors into houses and communities that would otherwise be closed to a Christian voice.

Please pray for the leaders of Injili Baptist and the hundreds of young people that are getting a chance to hear about the love of God monthly.  Our prayer is that many will come to Christ this year through the sports ministry. The goal is fifty new believers in 2015.


Every one of us has had to face the death of a person we love.  Each time it is as if death has come too soon. In Kenya, death is a common occurrence for every family with almost every family losing at least one child at birth or in early childhood.  I have stood over the coffin of a child many times and it never gets easier.  We just received the message that one of our teachers at New Life Academy lost her four day old son this weekend.

When I think of Emily and her family, I am reminded of 2 Corinthians 1:3,4 which says "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."

I love these verses because it shows clearly that God uses people to bring comfort to others.  We can become the arms and heart of God toward those who have lost a loved one.  I can't even image the intolerable pain that Emily is facing today but I can understand the loss of someone anticipated, given and lost.  Through my own pain I can in some small way bring comfort to others.

But in order to be used of God to minister to others, I have had to work through my own pain.  C.S. Lewis once said that after his wife died he criticized God severely for a time. He accused God of every injustice until he had nothing else to say. It was then and only then that he felt the loving arms of God bringing comfort in his pain.  When death comes too soon, we go through a lot of emotions. I know I have experienced hurt, frustration, abandonment, fear and even anger. 

In these times I usually turn to the old hymn, In The Garden, especially the lines: "He walks with me, and He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own; And the joy we share as we tarry there, None other has ever known." Isn't it a great comfort to know that God listens to us, that He feels with us and that He understands our pain? But the truth is that we have to allow God into our pain.

Through all the African funerals I have learned two things:

(1) God doesn't get upset when I share my true feelings with him.  

I can tell Him when I am disappointed in how He allowed the death to come. I can tell Him that I am anger that He allowed death to come in a certain painful way. I can tell Him that I feel abandoned because He did not answer my prayers for an earthly healing. You see when I get real with God then I am inviting him into my pain, doubt and grief and He has promised to be there with me in the middle of it all.

(2) God's comfort doesn't mean my tears will go away or that my grief will stop immediately.

God's promise to wipe away all tears from our eyes hasn't taken place yet.  I have to cry in my grief. It is the natural process of healing and God is there with me because He understands. Remember Jesus wept over the death of Lazarus. God knows what it means to physically lose someone close. We must walk through the pain with God...the goodbyes and the living part that comes afterwards.  We must remember that God is there to guide us along the road our hand in His.

Selwyn Hughes wrote "He [Jesus] gives most when most is taken away."  The presence of God can and should be felt with a great force when we are going through a time of bereavement. We should feel the consoling power of Jesus like never before because God understands.  God loved mankind and many are in pain. God is just waiting to be invited to step in and give comfort. Many times this comfort comes in the form of other people standing with us while they grieve.

We can have hope in God even in death. I love 1 Thessalonians 4 verses 13 forward. This scriptures just stirs up emotion inside my very soul because of the great hope found in its words:

"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep. that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him...For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."

Death that comes too soon is not the end.  Death is not the end because of JESUS who defeated the power of death.  Jesus came to bind the brokenhearted, to comfort those who grieve, to bring beauty out of ashes, to give joy in mourning and to turn despair into praise (Isa. 61).

Concluding Thought:
My prayer is that we are bearers of God's comfort as we use our memories of God's goodness in our own pain to bring comfort to someone else. Because we have hope of a great reunion day and I tell you that I have some folks there that I long to see but I can wait a little bit longer because God has some comfort work for me to do here.


At birth, God gave many of us a wonderful treasure. It is close-knit and supportive. It is a possession that is beyond value because not everyone possesses it.  This treasure is found in hugs and kisses but also in hugs and tears.  This treasure is a loving family.

Many children in Kenya, do not experience this kind of family.  They seem to only get the left-overs from their parents.  Some of them watch their parents live fast-paced, demanding lives which require long hours of pressurize work just to get enough to make their budget.  Some of them watch as their families falls apart as one of their parents contacts HIV/AIDS. Some of them live in homes of abuse resulting from alcohol or drug addiction. Some watch as their parents attend church on the weekend only to deny God all week with their actions.
Our headmistress, Ms. Eve, meeting with her family of students.
The Hope Foundation's  Valerye MacMillan High School started something special this year. We call it "Family Day". The whole student body has been divided into "families" each one wearing a different color t-shirt. On Family Day, students meet in their different "families" to discuss issues affecting them and how to tackle the issues using biblical approach. Our teachers become Mom and Dad to their family.  They are there to be the kind of person who serves as a model of righteousness and integrity.

C.S. Lewis once wrote: "Men are mirrors, or 'carriers' of Christ to other men. Sometimes unconscious carriers." This is a true statement but Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12, " thou an example of the believers in word (speech), in conversation (conduct), in charity (love), in spirit, in faith, in purity." Then to Titus, Paul said, "In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness (righteousness), gravity (dignity), sincerity (integrity)" (Titus 2:7).  We need to be a deliberate carrier of Christ because our words of Godly instruction will only seem true if we are willing to follow them and Christ fully.

Please pray for the leaders of the Hope Foundation Ministries that God would help us to know that our teaching may have some impact on people but the real impact comes from the lives we live in front of people.

I want to close with a prayer I read in the devotional "100 Days of Integrity for Men":

"Lord, make me a man who is a worthy example to my family and friends. And, let my words and my deeds serve as a testimony to the changes You have made in my life. Let me praise You, Father, by following in the footsteps of Your Son, and let others see Him through me. Amen."


Hearing the uproar over Netanyahu's speech before the U.S. congress was both saddening and exciting.  In Matthew 24, the disciples come to Jesus and ask him to tell them "when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?"  Jesus goes on to describe in detail that many false prophets will come in His name, that there will be wars and rumors of wars, and there will be famine, pestilences and earthquakes in many places. The verses that have captured my attention in the last month is verses 8,9: "All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you; and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake." Jesus gave us the signs but he did not tell us the exact time and event that will signal the rapture and the beginning of the tribulation period (v.36) but with the deaths of Christians around the world happening in vivid color right in front of us on our electronic devices and the rise of violence and unrest in the world who cannot say that it seems that the rapture is near. 

As we look at current events, one missionary in Kenya put it this way: "The 'labor pains' are increasing in closeness and intensity." In this time of uncertainty what are Christians to do? Matthew 4: 42 tells us to "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." We need to watch and notice the signs that relate to Jesus' teaching. Verse 44 tells us to also be "ready". The explanation seems to imply that to be ready means to be faithful and wise with the time, abilities, and finances that God has given to you.

What will the result be if we as Christians stay faithful and wise?  I think we find it in verse 14: "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations..."

This is the primary mission of The Hope Foundation to help meet spiritual and physically needs of people in Kenya so that when the end comes many will know Christ as their personal Savior. In many cases we meet physical needs to save a physical life so we can have the opportunity to save a spiritual life. Meeting felt needs gives us an open door to share the Gospel to a whole family or even a whole community.

We are excited because we have been given a donation to start a new kindergarten at the Injili Baptist Church in Kisumu. Now more people will be impacted with the message.  We have been given a donation to start the construction of a girls dormitory at the high school. Now more people will be impacted with the gospel.  We have been given a donation that covered the cost of the new database system which enables sponsors to send emails directly to their student. Now more people will be impacted with friendship and the gospel. We have been given a donation of shoe box presents for all of our students plus more for the community. Now more people will be impacted with the love of Christ. 

The time may be short but the great task is still before us.  We need believers who are serious about getting the message out. We need to use our mouths to tell people about Jesus. We need to use our abilities to tell people about Jesus. We need to use our feet to tell people about Jesus. We need to even use our wallets to tell people about Jesus.  

Easter is a great time to invite someone to Christ not just to church.

"He which testifieth these things saith, 'Surely I come quickly.' Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." (Revelation 22:20,21)


PictureI believe I was called by God to help plant churches in Kenya maybe even the whole East African region.   I pray about helping start a new church and God gives me a vision that causes me to become more excited each day.  I become eager to turn this vision into action. One of my first steps is to develop a plan.

When I first started working in Kenya, this plan usually began with me going out and looking for land in an area that I chose among people that I really didn't know with a culture that I really didn't understand.  In other words, a very traditional model of missionary church planting. The problem was that it didn't work for me. Yes, a church was built but the church became dependent on me. The congregation did not want me to leave. They looked at me as their pastor and honestly thought that they could not get any better than me (which always caused me to smile and laugh).

It took a few years but I finally realized that my church planting plan had to start with lots of prayer and that my prayer included another person. That other person was to be the pastor of the church not me. So I started praying asking God to help me discover His pastor for a new church. And you know what? God has always led me to the right man at the right time. This relationship between God, the right pastor and me became very important.  The right pastor and I had to develop a close relationship with God and each other. God had to give the vision. God had to help us develop the rest of the plan...the why? where? when? and the how? The wonderful news is that God can be trusted!

In 2014, The Hope Foundation was able to help three men start new churches and an additional pastor get his very first building.  It was a great year filled with passionate men and their families doing good work for the kingdom of God.  I was excited yesterday when I received this report from our churches. Since January 1st, we have had five saved at Upendo (Love) Baptist Church in Kilifi; three saved at Injili (Gospel) Baptist in Kisumu; two saved at Uwezo (Able) Baptist Church in Vitengeni;  one saved at Neema (Grace) Baptist in Bomani; and seventeen saved at Injili (Gospel) Baptist in Majaoni.  That is 28 people who now know Jesus because God gave the vision through prayer.  Many more will get saved and baptized this year because of the Gospel light from these churches.

I have been praying about 2015 and I believe God wants us to start two new churches this year. This won't happen without several things...(1) God leading me to the right pastor; (2) God giving the right vision; and (3) God touching your heart with the passion to help us BUILD.

It takes between $5,000 to $15,000 to construct a church building and purchase the benches, pulpit, Bibles, etc. Would you pray about helping us with a donation? Maybe you can give the whole $5,000 to get the church built. Maybe your church could help us with the $15,000 and complete a whole project. Maybe you can only give $100, $500 or $1,000. The size of the gift is not the issue; the involvement of God's people is the issue. Will you personally become involved in our passion of building new churches in Kenya, Africa? There is no better place to put your is that eternal payback plan.  People's souls will be changed and you will have had a part in it.

Always seeking to build for His kingdom,


PictureWhen was the last time you wrote a letter?  For most of us we really don't write letters anymore. We use email or text if we even write at all.  At one time writing letters was an art form and most every woman in the world loves to get a love letter.  

The Hope Foundation encourages our sponsored children to write letters to their sponsors. Lisa and I usually get the chance to review them and I have to say it is fun to see what they write and sometimes how they spell English words or try to explain something that is truly Kenyan. After approving them, we pass them on to their sponsors and wait for a reply.

This week I received a letter from Asha.  It was a sweet letter full of thankfulness and her heart. She simply addressed it to "Dear Sponser" and drew flowers and a heart at the bottom.  I went into our database and soon realized that this was a letter to no one. I think in the postal service they would call it a "dead" letter.

Asha doesn't have a sponsor. She is one of about twenty children in our ministry that are supported through random non-designated gifts. She has never received an encouraging letter or gift from her sponsor. But somehow she still writes and says "Thank you." Thanks for basic things like shoes, books and pencils.  The sad part for me is that she also asks that someone pray for her. Pray that she passes her exams.  But this is a letter to no one. 

Of course, Lisa and I pray for her and we love on her when we see her beautiful face but what she really needs is a personal sponsor who will do this especially for her.

Will you pray for Asha and the twenty others who need individual sponsors?  Will you consider helping her or one of the others with your prayers, encouraging email letters and financial support? Maybe you already sponsor a child with us, would you be willing to see if a friend, family member, or co-worker would join you in sponsoring a needy child? A gift of $30 monthly changes their world but the gift of your friendship changes their heart.

For more information on how you can sponsor Asha or one of the other twenty plus children, write to Lisa at for details. Please remember that there is one Asha available but we have an Amin, Brian, Ian, Maureen, Tumaini and others who are also waiting! 

My prayer is this will be last time I received a letter to no one.


PictureHave your read When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor and Yourself by Steve Corbitt and Brian Fikkert? I do not necessary agree with 100 % of any book that I read but I usually always find common ground on some issues or a new insight into something that we need to be doing or at least doing better.  

In When Helping Hurts, there is this insert entitled "Material Poverty Alleviation". It says: "Working to reconcile the four foundational relationships so that people can fulfill their callings of glorifying God by working and supporting themselves and their families with the fruit of that work." One of these relationships is related to work with the emphasis on skills that workers need. The Hope Foundation is using this approach to not only fulfill our utmost priority of reaching people with the Gospel and building churches but also to help the poor gets the skills they need to take care of their families, their churches and ultimately bring glory to God.

Our main idea is to establish churches that will become mentoring centers for development both spiritual and physically rather than just relief centers.  We want our Kenyan men, women and children to participate in the improvement of their lives as they prepare themselves also for eternity.  So we endeavor to provide occasions every day for people to use biblical principles to address the massive problems in their lives and their communities.

This is why Christian Education is so important to our organization. To break the spiritual and economic poverty in our areas of ministry, a practical place to start is with the children.  It has been great for the past ten years to see over 800 students growing in their spiritual walk with Jesus as they learn the skills they need to change their lives.  And the amazing thing is to see the changes that have taken place in their parent's lives.  Many of them have come to know the Lord.  Many have enrolled in our Adult Literacy programs. Many are now able to work outside of the villages.  God has done a great work through the Hope Foundation.

At the end of 2015, we will be graduating our first 8th graders. It is going to be an exciting time, but in order for these children to go on to high school they must take and pass an national exam in Kenya.  To be eligible to attend our Valerye McMillan High School, they must score 300 or above on this exam.  We are confident that many will pass and are making plans for support from sponsors.

But the truth is that some may not pass the test which lead us to the question how can we help?  As always The Hope Foundation dreams big and believes that God through His people will provide.  We want to start The Hope Tertiary Training Institute. Maybe you are unfamiliar with the British term "tertiary". Simply stated it is a vocational training college.  We believe that we need to help our eighth grade graduates have a great life by providing one to two year courses in such areas as: Carpentry, Masonry, Tailoring, IT, Business, Management, Social Work, Book keeping, and of course Bible Ministry. This will also open up the opportunity for us to bring in adult students to learn skills but also to hear the Gospel.

All of this does not come cheap. The estimated cost is $700,000 US to be done in several phases over several years.  I told you it was not a cheap endeavor. It is a God-given vision to change the lives of a whole section of Kenya.  The first phase provides the buildings; borehole; library; office equipment/furniture, classroom furniture, textbooks/manuals; and the equipment for masonry, carpentry, tailoring and computers at an estimated to cost $300,000 US.  

Would you pray with us? We cannot accomplish this eminence under-taking without your prayer and financial support.  If you would like more information of this project please email me at 

Thanks, Bobby


Several years ago now, Lisa and I walked into our house in Mombasa to find the kitchen door open, the mop bucket turned over, and no sign of our baby-sitter. Our first thought was that something happened to one of our children, but before we could run through the house. Julia came running into the house yelling, "Lisa, you must come." Lisa immediately ran out to the little house behind ours to find that Boniface's wife, Rebecca, was in premature labor. All I remember is Lisa rushing back into the house and saying we needed to get her to a doctor now. We rushed to the nearest clinic where Rebecca gave birth to twin boys, each weighing about two pounds.  The doctor said that Rebecca and the babies needed be taken to the hospital as soon as possible if there was any chance for survival. So once again we got into the car with Lisa holding one baby and Boniface holding the other. I can still hear Lisa saying, "Bobby, please hurry. I don't think he is breathing."

For those who know me well, you understand that I am a slow person. I walk slow, drive slow, think slow but usually talk fast. Urgency is not really part of my normal routine.  But on this day, I drove fast, beeped my horn, waved my arms at people, and may have broken a few road rules. Why? It was an emergency. Lives were on the line. Not just lives but tiny little defenseless lives were on the line and I knew I had to do whatever it took to try to save them and Rebecca.

I wonder most days, "Do I feel the same way about lost souls?" As I travel around the world seeing pastors, missionaries and Christians in general, I see a lot of kingdom building. I see a lot of preaching and teaching. I see a lot of building programs and great music ministries. But what seems to be lacking is an urgency to see people come to know Christ.  It is as if believers have just given up.  Back in the day, they were saved through the bus ministry, door to door visitation, or a open air revival meeting but they have been told that these ministries don't work anymore. So evangelism doesn't take place.  We make excuses but the truth is that we have lost the urgency to evangelize the lost. Many have become content in their churches with their Christian friends. They have build beautiful kingdoms and live in them with their programs and prayer groups praying for revival but never organizing one. They don't mind people coming into their kingdom but they never invite them to it.

Oh, that we could be like Jonathan Edwards who said, “Unconverted men walk over the pit of hell on a rotten covering.” (Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God) We, as true believers in Jesus Christ, need to reach out to the world while there is still time. Hosea told the people of Israel "Sow to yourself in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you." Do you want to see revival? Do you want to see the lost come to Jesus? If you answered "yes" then you must do something...Sow the seeds!

The day after we took Boniface and Rebecca's twin babies to the hospital, they died. I had to take Boniface to buy two little coffins but because I had invested in Boniface's spiritual life he could look at me in desperate loss and say, "I will get to know my boys in heaven some day." The Gospel message gives HOPE.

Bill Bright wrote "Whether you have twenty years left, ten years, one year, one month, one day, or just one hour, there is something very important God wants you to do that can add to His kingdom and your blessing."

We need to reach the world and that starts in our own backyards.


When you live on a foreign field, many strange things happen to you. You expect it and you guard yourself from it. You know that you are living in enemy territory and he doesn't want you to minister to the lost. But what do you do when your son comes to you in America and tells you he is scared of the man with the hat that stands in the shadows of his room. It hits home that Satan and his forces are everywhere and they want you. They want to defeat you.

Paul warns us that as believers we wrestle not against flesh and blood men but against the powers and the rulers in the spiritual realm.  These evil forces seek to rob us of all that God stored up for us.  What are we to do? Paul tells us to stand firm against the schemes and strategies of the evil one.

When you talk to many people about the Devil, they picture a creature with horns and a pitchfork all dressed in red.  To battle in the spiritual realm we must take the matter seriously. As believers, we must try to understand the methodology and strategies of the demonic world.

Some of the most effective advice given to us by Paul is found in Ephesians 6: 10,11 where he tells us to "Put on the full armor of God." Why? "So that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil." Remembering you are not looking for a serpent or a horned red man, you are looking for the "angel of light." We have to look for evil schemes in often unsuspecting vehicles.

Satan wants to destroy individuals, families, churches and even societies.  How does he do this?  He makes us miss the goodness of God or at least doubt it. He deceives us into believing that sin won't affect us. James tells us that finally Satan's strategy is to lead us to disobedience and then finally to death. It says in James 1:15 "And when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death."

Paul gives us the starting point to all spiritual battles in Ephesians 6:18.  After instructing us to put on the whole armor of God, he says "With all prayer and petition PRAY at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints." Many people study prayer but few actually do it.  Tony Evans wrote: "Prayer is earthly permission for heavenly interference."  I just love that statement.  You might be thinking why does heaven need permission but I want you to think of the statement this way.  Praying to God shows our dependence on Him.  We live our lives in a selfish way. We live thinking that we can do it all. We live as if we don't need God, but we do. When we pray we are saying to God: "I can't do this on my own...I can't handle this situation...I need you to intervene on my behalf."

Satan is a roaring lion and he wants to destroy us and the only solution is GOD. Seek him through prayer. So what did I tell my son: "Let's pray!"


Ebola is thousands of miles away from Kenya's pristine Indian Ocean beaches, but the deadly disease appears to be discouraging people there and elsewhere in this vast continent as the outbreak, which has killed more than 2,500 people in four countries, continues to defy international efforts to control it.

It is even having its own effects on church attendance. One man said, "I think people are less inclined to mix with others ... People are now more cautious about mingling." As the Christian community is just getting over the terrorist scares that caused many to avoid church now Ebola hits the west coast of Africa and spreads more quickly than anyone would have believed.

With everything going on in the world today, I can't help but think of the verses in Matthew 24 where Jesus is warning us against false teachers and continues by saying "And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars...nation will rise against nation...there will be famines and pestilences and earthquakes in various places...all these are the beginning of sorrows." He goes on in grim details but the end of that passage has a promise.

Lisa and I are scheduled to return to Kenya in November while our boys will be once again left behind with their grandparents. We have had discussions asking God for wisdom. We sometimes wonder if it is wise for both of us to go at the same time to Africa. What if something happens to us? I find strength in Matthew 24:14 where Jesus says, "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come." You might be thinking what is so great about that statement.

This promise tells me that some generation will succeed in finishing the task others have begun. Christians in Africa, Asia, and Latin America are in the forefront of world evangelism today; Christ's followers among many peoples must labor together for the harvest. Americans cannot do it all alone if we want to reach the world with the gospel. I need to labor with my African brethren. This verse helps me to understand clearly that this mission cannot be done in human strength. The first generation of the church experienced rapid growth through a faithful dependence on the Holy Spirit. Today in our Western Christian thinking we seem to rely more on money, literature, mass transportation and communication than on the power of God. With a world population five times what it was a mere century and a half ago, the stakes have never been as high as they are now.

But according to scripture, worldwide evangelism occurs within the context of suffering (Mt. 24:9-13; Mk 13:9-13). Many early Christians recognized suffering as a prerequisite for the end (Col 1:24), because Christ's suffering can not be separated from our experiences as His witnesses. We will suffer for our faith. It seems when we are least comfortable with the world that we proclaim the kingdom of our Lord the most.

So with terrorists attacking churches and Ebola moving around Africa, do we stop ministering in these areas? Do we fear our own death? Throughout history, doors were opened to the Gospel through the blood of martyrs. Many peoples will not be reached today without Christians who are prepared to go into areas that truly need the message of hope even if it means a possibility of losing their health or their lives for the gospel Jesus has called us to proclaim.

So we will continue down the path that leads us to Kenya in November. We would ask that you pray for laborers for the Lord's harvest (Mt 9:38), that we may all become that promised generation.


John Wesley is credited as saying "Oh Lord, let me not live to be useless."  At Hope Foundation we are striving to teach our teachers and staff to live life on purpose.  Several of them over the years have come up to me and asked "Pastor, what do you think God put me here to do?" If we were all truthful we would confess that we have all asked that question at one time or another.  I have been teaching, preaching and doing the missionary thing since 1998 and some days I still ask God that question.

As humans we spend a lot of time pondering our future. We want to look at every aspect especially in times when we are unsure about the next step to take.  I think that we cannot fully understand that even in our uncertain times, God has THE PLAN and he understands what he is allowing to come into our lives.  The amazing thing is that God places us in THE PLAN to do his will and good pleasure (Phil. 2:13).

I honestly believe that if we, God's people, earnestly seek God then he will make his will (plan) known to us.  The scary part is that sometimes maybe most of the time THE PLAN is not our plan. For many of us we try to get God to make his will out of our "To Do" list. We pray and ask God to make the world according to our wishes, wants and desires which usually results in huge disappointments, hurts, even bitterness against God.  We have to wait on God with his time schedule and do things his way to be used by him.

If someone asks me what God has them here for, I usually answer, "When was the last time you went to God sincerely seeking your place in THE PLAN?" What does that look like? First, you must start by obeying the things that you know God has commanded all people to do. Second, you need to seek knowledge from His Word. Third, you must watch for God's voice which may come through prayer, circumstances, the church, or an individual. Fourth, you must open yourself up to God's leading and obey him in every moment of life.

"Let us live with urgency. Let us exploit the opportunity of life. Let us not drift. Let us live intentionally. We must not trifle our lives away." Raymond Ortlund


Have you ever had to deal with a crooked business person?  It seems that in Kenya you are always coming face to face with corruption of one kind or another.  Even in Christian and Muslim communities there is this idea that lying and cheating are okay.  Christians cite the example of David who pretended he was crazy in order to escape from the wrath of an enemy king while Muslims seem to go directly to the source and use a phrase that loosely translated means "the good will of Allah."  So Christians think it is okay to be dishonest if you are preserving yourself and Muslims think that if they are not caught cheating, lying and stealing then that was the good will of Allah.

Billy Graham said, "Integrity is the glue that holds our way of life together. We must constantly strive to keep our integrity intact. When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost."

Proverbs 10:9 says, "He that walks uprightly walks surely; but he that perverts his ways shall be known." In other words, a man who lives with integrity lives securely but a man who perverts his ways will be found out eventually.

When was the last time you were challenged to consider your integrity?  In the world we live in, it is far more convenient to just tell that little white lie to get ahead.  But we end up lying not only to ourselves, our family and our co-workers; we end up lying to God in heaven. 

It doesn't matter if you live in Kenya, Europe or the states, temptations to wander from the path of God's Word abound.  We as humans have a tendency to justify our sin and categorize them as big or little.  We must remember that SIN has the potential to destroy us and the sin of deceit is only redeemed through the integrity of truth.

God wants us to be people of truth.  So we teach our children and adults in Kenya to stand for what is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of a good report, and virtuous. Where does these remarkable concepts come from? God's Word as found in Philippians 4:8.  Why do we do this? Because verse 9 commands us as true believers in Jesus Christ to "do" what God has asked us to do and we will have peace that only comes from the presence of God.

Peace begins with a life of integrity.


In a small village in Kenya, she walked slowly the five miles to the local clinic with a prayer being uttered quietly from her lips. She was worried because she had not felt the baby move in a few days. She was hoping for a heartbeat. She did not share this information with her husband who had walked down this path of miscarriage before. She paused from prayer and thought: "If it happens again, will he still keep me?" By tradition he could set her aside and give his affection to another if she did not bare him a child.  She looked up at a herd of cattle and saw a small calf only a few weeks old and a tear came to her eye.  In nature it was just natural for babies to come. It wan't suppose to be hard. She was hoping for a heartbeat. The prayers came again. As she passed a small compound a woman came out to greet her surrounded with several small children. She said she had no time to stop and talk today and left quickly knowing that her friend had no idea the pain that came from seeing her with her many little ones. She was hoping for a heartbeat.  She got to the clinic and was told to sit and wait on a little bench with the other women.  She wondered how many of them were there for the same reason but no one would speak of it. It was shameful to be barren in Africa...maybe the sign of a curse. Didn't the Bible say that God commanded "to be fruitful and multiply?" She was hoping for a heartbeat.  The doctor called her in to his office and asked her to sit on the wooden table. She did not even explain her worry to him. She just waiting for him to examine her as she was hoping for a heartbeat.  She was anxious as he put the scope on her belly. She held her breath to make sure he could hear. The doctor looked at her with a strange look on his face and she thought the worse. He said, "I hear your heart beating rapidly please calm yourself" and he put the scope back on her stomach. She tried to relax. Without looking up he said the words she wanted so desperately to hear, "You have a fine baby heart beat in there." He said more but she did not hear because her hope for a heartbeat had been realized and nothing else mattered.

In 1 Corinthians 9:10, Paul wrote: "...he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope."  This text speaks to me on many levels but today as I read it I thought why do I continue to work to help people know Christ by providing for their spiritual and physical needs?  It is because I am "hoping for a heartbeat".  I look at the world around me especially Kenya, Africa and I want to produce children for God. I don't want to be embarrassed by my barrenness.  I pray, I see, I worry, I doubt but in the end I hope because I want to be a partaker of His hope.

What are you hoping for today?  The Hope Foundation could use your prayers and even your financial support. Thanks to those who have given has given hope to many. But there are others who need help to just live so that they can hear the Gospel message. Would you hope for a heartbeat with me?


For years, The Hope Foundation invited families to our schools and gave them a FREE family size mosquito net. Why? Because about 3.4 million people - half of the world's total population - are at risk for malaria. In 2012, about 207 million malaria cases were reported and an estimated 627 thousand people died from malaria. Insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs) are a form of personal protection that has been shown to reduce malaria illness, severe disease, and death due to malaria in endemic regions.

A few years ago, we changed the way we gave out these mosquito nets, but the change started with a funeral.  Alphonce was an eight year old student at our school in Bomani, Kenya.  He was a happy child and everyone liked him.  His family came to one of our events and we gave them a free mosquito net.  Later that year, Alphonce stopped coming to school so we began to investigate the problem. His mother brought him to school and what we saw shocked us all.  He was just skin and bones and could not even walk by himself. He was bent over like he was an 80 year old man, and was in so much pain. We immediately took him to the doctor and he was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and put on medication.  We sent food to him and paid for his medicine and doctor's visits. He started to improve but within three weeks he died of malaria. We went to attend the funeral, and he was buried on his family land.  As we sat and listened to the family and pastor give testimony about Alphonce's life and salvation, Lisa called my attention to their family chicken coop. Draped over the chickens to keep them safe from harm was the mosquito net that we had given the family. I was shocked and heart-broken that the net that could have saved Alphonce's little life had been used to make this chicken coop.

That day we decided that education was needed.  Rural people needed to understand about malaria and how to prevent it.  We would no longer just give out FREE mosquito nets, but we would hold talks about general illness prevention including malaria. We would no longer just give out FREE mosquito nets, but we would go out into the village huts and install them for people. 

In community-wide trials in several African settings, ITNs have been shown to reduce the death of children under 5 years from all causes by about 20%. Through education and proper installation and use, mosquito nets save lives. The CDC reports that  increasing the lifespan of Long-Lasting Insecticide-treated Nets (LLINs) will save $3.8 billion people over 10 years just by increasing the lifespan of nets from 3 years to 5 years.

The Hope Foundation is firm in its goal to help children and adults be protected against malaria and other preventable diseases.  Would you like to help?

For as little as $10 you can help to protect a whole family.  Just click on the "Donate Now" button above and follow the directions and choose the Project "Mosquito Net Distribution". It is as simple as that. We will do the rest and a family will be protected.


PicturePost-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

Can foreign aid workers experience PTSD?  Most would probably answer "Yes." What about missionaries?  Many people look at missionaries and admire them for the "sacrifices" that they are making to reach people with the Gospel and to help the poor, but do we ever take the time to think about them as "real" people.

The first day that Lisa and I arrived in Kenya in 2002 our thoughts were not on terrorism.  It was before 9/11 and most Americans did not think of being a victim of a terrorist bomb or bullet.  But even on that first day, we experienced a terrifying event.  Our host missionary was called in the morning and asked to come to another missionary's home. He asked us to accompany him since he didn't want to leave us alone on our first day in country.  When we arrived at the other house just blocks away you could see that things were not right.  Furniture was overturned; the husband was sitting in a chair motionless, the wife had a bruise on her face with her two teenage children clinging to her.  Just hours before, they had been overtaken by robbers who not only ransacked their home but also kidnapped the husband/father and had taken him to the ATM to clear out their bank account.  Luckily, he escaped from the ATM and made his way home by foot to find the other robbers had left his family shaken but alive at home.  Now they sat and waiting for some comfort from their friends.

I remember that night looking at Lisa with tears in my eyes and thinking "Why did we come here? What was God thinking?"  Throughout the years, our family was never robbed but we dealt with them.  We have not only had friends robbed but beaten and kidnapped. We have answered calls in the middle of the night asking for help but they were really calls asking for comfort and answers.

Now there is a new concern for the missionaries and foreign aid workers, it is terrorism in Kenya. Kenya has always been peaceful.  We, as Christians, have for years ministered undisturbed by other religious groups even though in our area Christians are the minority. But now, we are seeing bombings of bars and Christian crusades meetings alike.  We are hearing about trucks full of explosives being stopped within minutes of popular shopping centers. We are witnessing people afraid to go to church because a week before a group of men entered a church and shot the pastor and members of the congregation while they prayed. Terrorism is alive and well in Africa.

This should make us STOP and pray for the peace and safety of everyone in Kenya.

But how should you pray for your friends who are serving as missionaries and foreign aid workers in unsafe, even hostile, environments.  Of course, pray for their safety but also pray for their minds. After experiencing the limited things our family went through in Africa, do I have PTSD?  Not quite. But I will say that since I returned from Kenya in April, I am very aware of what is going on around me.  Now when I take the family to a restaurant, I look to see where the nearest exit is and I sit where I can see the main entrance.  If I am sitting in church or Sunday School and I hear the door open at the back, I have to stop myself from turning around to make sure there is not a gunman there.  I am different now that terrorism has become part of my "real" life.

Terrorism has an affect on people whether they are believers or not.  Satan can use it to scare people from doing God's will and taking the Gospel to those that need to hear.

Jesus said, "Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves...Fear them [persecutors] not therefore...And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Taken from Matthew 10: 16-28)

Please pray for your friends living overseas and remember to pray for the Bechtels and the ministries of the Hope Foundation as we continue to do what God has laid on our hearts.


During the April holidays some of our high school students attended a Camp at Friends School Kamusinga - Bungoma which is in the Western part of Kenya. The camp was from 14th April to 21st April. Over 60 schools from Kenya were in attendance and our students underwent training in peer counselling and biblical studies. The teachers of the word educated our students very well and they were awarded certificates. Such camps expose our students to many new things and help them in interacting with students from other schools where they can share and learn from one another. It was very important because the students learned many new things and they all came back a changed. To God be the glory!

Testimony by: Grace Kaingu
Form Four Student (Senior Class)
Valerye Macmillan High School

The Theme was “Resolving not to defile ourselves” derived from Daniel Chapter 1:8

We learned the following:

  1. That our bodies are the temple of God so we should be holy just as Daniel was.
  2. We should be a firm believer in one true God and should be ready to prove that he is indeed the only God to those who do not know him.
  3. Just as Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego we should not agree to bend and worship any other gods.
  4. I learned how to conduct myself before others and I learned how to pray and stay in the temple of God.
  5. Being sexually pure is not something impossible and by doing so, one is not outdated.
  6. It was fun because I was taught to read, understand and meditate on the words of the Bible.
  7. I should not listen or sing secular music because it will ruin my behavior.