Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Top Leaders Keep Teaching God's Word

Peris leads Tabitha Ministry this year with the help of Katie Davis

Although I have not posted on Tabitha's blog since July, the work has carried on.  Praise the Lord!!!
Co-Director Peris Rotich continues to lead the monthly center leaders' meetings, and work with her team to carry out leader training seminars. She is assisted by Pr. David Rotich, and Katie Davis.  Dr. Mike and Katie Davis, two-year volunteers with Samaritan's Purse, arrived at Tenwek after we left, and are living in our home this year, with Peris as their cook.  God provided more than we could ask or think, as Katie has latched onto the Tabitha Ministry and is adding a lot to it with her gifts and love.

God has provided strong leadership teams for each of the eight centers from which the Bible studies go out. These Center Leaders and their assistants put in hours of work each week studying the Word and teaching it to their leaders, who then teach other leaders, or teach village studies.  In this way, the studies are led in about 180 village groups each week, involving over 2000 women.  Praise the Lord!

Picody and Selly  lead the Cheptuiyet Center.
In Kipisorwet, it's Alice and Sarah.
At the Longisa Center are Angeline and Monica
In Silibwet, Beatrice and Hannah lead.

Betty and Sarah lead the  Kaporuso Center.
Gladys and Mary give leadership to the Mogutma Center

In Changina Jane is leading.
Mercy and Janet lead the Mongango/Nyangores Center
Pray for these women, that they will thirst daily after God and His Word, and be filled with His spiritual wisdom and insight as they lead others to the Living Word.  We are so grateful for their willing spirits. Pray that God will multiply their time and efforts to accomplish His kingdom purposes.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Gift Cows

Milk is a key component of a healthy diet for the Kipsigis people, who traditionally have raised cattle. They drink it in their tea once or twice a day, in a 1 to 3 proportion, milk to water. They drink it in a soured form, called “mursik”, each day if they have it available. But many people have no cows. Working with our Bible study leaders, local churches identify a needy family that they want to help. They commit to doing what they can to help the family, such as buying a sprayer, building a fence, or providing medicine. Church leaders are responsible for finding a good cow, and a celebration is planned to present it to the family, praising God for his compassion on the needy, and praying for His blessing on the cow and the family. Since April 2006 seventy-five families have received gift cows. One cow costs $300.

Earn a Bible Program

A few months into our original study, it became apparent that very few women owned their own Bibles. We developed a program where women who attended a Bible study could earn a free Bible by learning 17 key Bible verses, and reciting them all at once.  This has been a backbone in the growth of the studies, and is influencing growth in families and local churches.  By the end of 2013, 6500 women had earned their own Bibles. The local language is Kipsigis, one of several Kalenjin languages in western Kenya. The studies are all carried out in Kipsigis, and the ladies earn their own Kipsigis Bible.

We purchase the Bibles from a local bookstore in Bomet, who gets them from the International Bible Society branch in Nairoibi, Kenya. They cost us $8/Bible, and the eternal investment is well worth it.

Houses for Widows

It has been wonderful to come alongside local churches who have a burden for helping the widows in their midst. Once the local church identifies a needy family, and the area church leaders choose the project as the priority one, the church leaders come up with a budget for the proposed house. They present their proposal of two parts – what they will do, and what they are asking Tabitha to do. Usually, the church prepares the plot of land, builds the lower framework for the house, and is responsible for the walls, doors and windows. Once the framework is completed, Tabitha will provide the money for material and labor for the rafters and tin roofing. This amounts to about $250. Since April 2006 Tabitha Ministry has worked with churches, studies and families to help provide 100 houses for needy families.

Ways you can help

Tabitha needs your help! Here are some ways you can help out:

Please Pray! See requests on the blogsite.

Please underwrite our outreach activities.
  • $200 will buy a carton of 24 Bibles.
  • $250 will put a roof on a widow's home.
  • $300 will buy a cow for a widow.
  • Our greatest financial need is for money to buy Bibles.
Donations to the Tabitha Ministry are received and receipted by World Gospel Mission. Donations can be mailed to World Gospel Mission, 3783 East State Road 18, Marion, Indiana 46952-0948. Attach a note indicating that the donation should support the work of the Tabitha Ministry in Kenya.

You may also give on-line at www.wgm.org/spriegel (select “donate” on the sidebar to select the project of your choice).

Bible Study Ministries

The main purpose of Tabitha Ministry is to draw people to Jesus Christ through the study of His Word.  Since beginning with a study of three women in 2005, the ministry has grown to having 180 local studies in 2013, with over 2000 women involved weekly in the study of God's Word.

This is possible through the tiers of leadership we have in place.  Linda writes the weekly studies and Peris and her husband translate them into Kipsigis. Our top eight center leaders and their assistants meet monthly with Peris and Linda to do one study, give reports and worship and pray together.  They receive four studies at that time.  Each week these center leaders teach their overall and some local leaders the study, and then those leaders go out to teach other leaders, or their village studies.

We work hard to connect these studies with the local churches. Each study must have a local pastor counselor. Each time a new leader is appointed, their pastor must affirm them. Local problems are resolved locally, with input from the pastors of the women involved. We meet periodically with pastors and Bible study leaders of the various areas, for fellowship and leadership training. The pastors and Bible study leaders develop lists of needy people in their area and priorities for helping them, working with Tabitha. It is a joy to see them empowered and growing in working together for the good of God’s kingdom.

How Tabitha started

In June 2005, John and Linda Spriegel moved to Tenwek, Kenya with their three children, Rebecca, Julia and Joel, following God’s call to join the ongoing ministry of compassion at Tenwek Hospital. Linda, loving to teach the Bible, had prayed for a small group of women with whom she could share her heart and God’s Word. In December 2005, she began a Bible study with three Kenyan women, studying the Gospel of Luke. Peris and Sammary, Linda’s househelpers, became invaluable partners and leaders in the ministry in the months that followed. We had no idea the plans God had for this Bible study.

The Church had been established on these hillsides around Tenwek years before. But the believers needed more in-depth teaching of the Word of God. Women who knew the Lord were hungry to study His Word. From the beginning, the study groups were open to women of any denomination who were seeking God, and this has been a strength of the movement.