Praise the Lord! He did great things the week of July 2 when Mary Whelchel came to speak at five seminar locations to Tabitha Ministry Bible study members. I wish you could have attended the meetings with us to catch the joy and energy of God’s people worshiping, and drinking up teaching from the Word.
Mary Whelchel (right) of The Christian Working Woman ministry in Chicago, came for her fourth year to visit Tabitha Ministry. Peris Rotich (left) my assistant in Tabitha, translated for her and did very well.
Monday – Kitoben – We had around 500 women come from the area, eager to worship together and hear the Word of God. Even those standing in the back were actively listening, taking notes, learning how to take a short passage of Scripture and find application in it for themselves. It was wonderful to see that most of the women had Bibles, and most made a commitment to feed themselves on the Word every day. Pastors came with the leaders from the newest area where Bible studies are multiplying, in the Nyongores area, and they were thrilled with the practical teaching on how to feed yourself from the Word.
Tuesday – Goitabsilibwet – Around two hundred women came from an area where studies began in 2011. Some eighty-year-old women were the most eager to testify as to the importance of the Word in their lives. We had to talk with the pastor counselor in this area to tell him to slow down on his rate of opening new studies, so we could assure that the leaders would be mentored and supervised. He is very enthused!
Wednesday – Kaparuso – We drove an hour to get to this village, seeing gorgeous views as we drove, of ridges of green hills. From the second and third ridges, women walked, some of them 3-4 hours, to get to the meeting. The drama of the Gibeonites from Joshua 9 was hilarious, with good explanation of the application to life. Around five hundred women came, but out of the 500 there, maybe only ¼ of them had Bibles. (In this picture, the women standing have not yet received Bibles.) We came away with a real sense of the need of God’s Word for every family, and a desire to have God provide funding for Bibles so we could distribute more.
Thursday – Silibwet – Here at least 550 women gathered from 40-50 studies. Some have been in the studies for years, and others are just beginning in this area. Women crowded at the doors and windows to listen (pictured above). Again, the response was moving, to see them stand in commitment to read the Bible every day so that they can grow in Christ.
Friday – Njorwet – The 350 women plus men who attended here packed out the small church in the morning so we moved the meeting outside. These studies have started because of the work of God in one poor woman, named Betty (pictured above). She was desperate in 2008 when, estranged from her husband, she moved to find a job picking tea. While there, she prayed earnestly to know God and His Word, and she came upon a Tabitha women’s Bible study. She drank up the teaching and quickly earned her own Bible. When she returned to her husband and his area in 2009, she began studies, backed by the local pastors. Now there are ten active studies going, and many, many women learning God’s Word because of Betty’s faithfulness to share with others what she has found in Christ and in His Word.
Overall, it was a fantastic week. I thank God for all the leaders who worked so hard to put it together, organizing their members to feed the crowds each day, and enthusiastically welcoming us wherever we went. They love the Lord and His Word, and their joy is in Him. I am thankful for Mary’s ministry to the Kenyans, and to me, as a personal friend and encourager in this ministry. And most of all, I thank the Lord for His work during the week. Many, many women whom I have talked with since are using Mary’s practical pointers and reading the Bible each day. They will be growing in knowing Jesus, and growing to be like Him. This is our goal. Colossians 1:28,29. Your prayers are making a difference. Praise the Lord!!