Monday, November 4, 2019

Pastor Training Needed

Dear friends and supporters of The Hope Foundation of Kenya (HFK),

"Thank you for the training today. I now understand how much more I need to know about the Bible to teach it well."  This statement was made to me after our last rural pastor training session. 

Many Kenyan pastors were saved when an evangelist came through their small village then they felt called by God to tell others.  They got a Bible and started to read it and preach it and people started coming to hear it.  But they have no real Bible doctrine education.  This is why Pastor Allan and I started the rural pastor training seminars for these men.  HFK pays for the rural pastors to come to our high school campus three times a year to receive training.  We teach on many different topics for Biblical ethics, Church Finance, and Doctrine.  It is one of the highlights of my year to see these men learning about God and then having the privilege to visit them in their villages to see their small but growing congregations. 

Allan and I were able to visit a new church building that was provided by an American donor. It was wonderful to talk to the pastor and his deacons and see the excitement that this permanent building has brought to this tiny speck in the middle of nowhere.  The pastor told me, "I believe that God really does know that we are here and wants people to know about Jesus."  The church in Kenya is alive and well and I will add growing. We have around 60 pastors who have joined our HFK Fellowship. Great news - the Bible study specially designed to reach those from an Islamic background has seen three receive Christ in the last few months.

You can help a pastor get a full Bible Institute education by becoming a sponsor today. You can donate $400 and it will provide a 3 year scholarship to one of our pastors to join Crossroads Baptist Bible Institute in Vipingo or another great school in his area. 

Summer of Service

June/July 2019

Have you ever had so many things happen that you are unsure what to share? That is how I feel right now. Here are some of the highlights from June/July:

(1) Salvation of 24 people
(2) Baptism of 21 people
(3) Pastor's Training of 30 men
(4) Youth Rally that drew an attention of over 800 teens
(5) Visits by two American teams
(6) Surrender of two young men to full-time Christian service
(7) Awarding of 2 Bible School Scholarships
(8) Preaching at three of the churches we helped to start - one is now running 1400, the second 1000 and the third 400.
(9) Servicing the Majaoni community with a one-day medical camp
(10) Traveling to Kisumu, Kenya to be an encouragement to two church planters and their families
(11) Having my sons ministering to needy children right before my eyes
(12) Watching my wife cry over the lives of women who have accepted Christ.

I could go on and on because it was a summer of adventure and amazement. Adventure because for the first time in a long time our whole family got to be in Kenya together. Amazement because we serve a BIG God who does BIG things.
One of the highlights of every year is to be able to provide buildings for faithful pastors and see them meeting on a permanent site.  Pastors sign up for the program every year and we have a long waiting list.  Each pastors must have a congregation of at least 50 adults and own their own land to even qualify for the program.  If you would like to help us build a church in the 2019-2020 planting season, please submit your donation to the address below.  It takes around $10,000 to buy a building which may seem like a lot but with each one giving something, God provides at least one building every year.
 I was talking to two teenage boys who are now seniors in our high school.  These two particular boys have been with us since they were in kindergarten.  We have in some sense grown up together.  As we were talking about plans for the up-coming August youth camp, out of nowhere, one of the boys asked, "Do you know how much you are loved and appreciated?" It took my breath away and I didn't know how to respond.  He went on to tell me that the whole school knew that Lisa and I had sacrificed over the years to see them get a good education but then he concluded with "but we love you most for bringing Jesus to us."  It was exactly what I needed to hear in 2019.

So I want to ask you as a sponsoring church or individual..."Do you know how much you are loved and appreciated?"  We love you and appreciate all the sacrifices you make but most of all we love you for allowing us to bring Jesus to the people of Kenya.

Bobby and Lisa Bechtel

A Big START in 2019

January 2019

Our quest to save souls and break the cycle of poverty continues! 2019 started with many graduations and celebrations (see pictures below).  It is always amazing when the grateful parents of our sponsored children come together to see their children graduate from eighth grade and even better high school.                                               
For many of these families this marks the first time that a family member has finished school.  It is a tremendous occasion filled with shouts, music, speeches, dancing, cake and smiles.  We wish that all of you could experience a Kenyan graduation one day!
We must remember that Kenyan children face overwhelming obstacles to stay in school:
  • lack of financial resources
  • pressure to marry early
  • alcoholism or abuse in many communities
  • gang culture
  • lack of confidence to believe in themselves
  • belief that education is not worth investing in

As a result, MANY rural students never graduate from high school.

Our sponsors say wonderful things...

"I have seen the lives that have been changed through these centers. I have become friends with, hugged, sang in worship, prayed, cried, and rejoiced with students and staff that have shown an undeniable gratitude that their lives will also NEVER be the same." Kristen

"As for the schools and churches, they are resounding proof of what God can do when we let Him." John 
"Thanks for letting us be a part of these children's lives from such a distance. What a privilege!" Bernadette

 But you know what makes us the happiness? It is when one of these little ones gives their lives to Christ.  PLEASE pray as Bobby spends time in March with the aim of seeing people to understand their need for Christ and salvation.  Specifically pray from March 12 to 21 when he will be preaching, teaching and leading in evangelism.  We hope to give you the results in our next letter.
We are so happy to report that all of our churches are doing great and Bobby is hoping to attend several baptismal services while in Kenya.  Pastor Abraham and Pastor Allan have been reporting great responses in their communities to the Gospel message. Please keep Pastor Simon in your prayers as his church is located in an area that is being targeted by terrorist type activity. Pray for the safety of his whole congregation.

We wanted to thank a donor who gave $5000 to build a new church building. We will be announcing where that church is going in our next newsletter. Bobby will be meeting with the pastor and making plans while in Kenya. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness.

As always, we thank you for your help. Please pass along to your friends that we need sponsors for several children. They just need to go to and pick a child. Remember when they sponsor they are not only giving an education to a child they are giving us a chance to give the Gospel to the whole family.

God bless,

Bobby and Lisa Bechtel
The Hope Foundation of Kenya