Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Experiencing God's Faithfulness in Life's Battles - the Study of Joshua

In 2012, Peris and I chose the Book of Joshua to study with our Tabitha women.  I wrote the studies each week, Peris translated them, and they were taught in at least 200 local Bible studies throughout our hillsides.  The women loved the stories of the battles, that made great drama material, and taught them to be strong in the Lord, and Peris and I were encouraged in our faith, too.

Moses praying as Joshua led the Israelite army in the defeat of the Amalekites
With over eight years of studies in our files, we finally were able to begin the process of getting them published in our third term at Tenwek.  In January 2016, we formed a local editing team that began working on our study of the Book of Joshua, adapting it to be appropriate for men, youth and women.
Peris, Carol Trachsel, Rev. Elijah Bii and Rev. Elijah Bii working on the Kipsigis translation as I looked on.
Working with our church’s Discipleship Department Director, Pastor Hellen Rutto, in August 2016 the Kipsigis and English versions of the study were published in Nairobi.  When they were presented to our church leaders at a conference, they immediately asked for a Swahili version, which was then published in October.

Slowly, Pastor Hellen and other church leaders have promoted the studies, and little by little, groups here and there are beginning to use them.

Shortly after returning to Kenya in August this year, we had lunch with our friend Peter Rono.  He was excited to tell us about a study his home fellowship group had recently begun. “Do you know how difficult it was for Joshua to take up where a leader like Moses left off, to lead God’s people into the Promised Land?  But God had prepared him during those years in the wilderness.”  As Peris and I listened, we were thrilled to hear that our study of Joshua was being used, even though Peter had no idea where it had come from. “But the problem we have is translating the English into the Kipsigis for the mamas in our study,” he saidHe was overjoyed to find out that the study was also in Kipsigis and immediately put it to use in his home fellowship group. These fellowship groups, centered around the study of God’s Word, are relatively new to our area.  Praise the Lord!

The study is being used in two other churches in Bomet, and in a laymen’s group nearby; a youth group in Nairobi hopes to begin the study in January; we are hearing more stories each week of how it is being used.  We thank God!

Distribution networks are still developing, and include our local Tenwek Bookshop, run by our friend Joyce,
All three translations being sold at Tenwek
and the Bomet Book Center, managed by our friend Eric Bii.

Peris and Robert talking with Bookstore Manager Eric Bii
Pray that we will be able to streamline the distribution network to make it easier for groups to obtain the studies.  We are all new to this.  And pray with us that people will really meet God in these studies and grow deeper in their faith.

This week Pastor Hellen asked how soon we can get going on the next project.  We hope to begin with a series of studies of God in Crises, in January, followed by the Book of Ruth, followed by the Book of John.  The studies are written.  Pray for God’s wisdom and timing in getting them edited and published for His use and glory.

Saturday, May 13, 2017


It has been a delight to travel in the States this year of Home Ministry Assignment and share about the great things God has done through the Tabitha Bible Study Ministry.  Many stories have been shared, and Christ has been lifted up as partners have heard about changed lives, changed families, and communities being transformed through the study of God’s Word and the related compassionate outreaches of Tabitha.
 Meanwhile, the ministry keeps going strong in Kenya, under the leadership of Peris Rotich and Julie Ganey.  They are pictured here (Peris in red on the stairs and Julie, the younger missionary) with most of our top twenty center leaders last July before I left.  Julie has written studies on Genesis this past year, with Peris translating, and these studies are being used in over 250 Bible studies under the leadership of these women, and those under them.  Praise God for His Word that is being faithfully studied and taught!

As the Bible studies spread, new leaders are enlisted and training is needed.  I am thrilled that Julie and Peris and team have traveled to six of our ten centers to do training workshops for the leaders.  Pray for these leaders to really take hold of Jesus and of His Word, and grow in being able to teach others.

 And new members are joining new and old studies.  One thousand more women have earned their Bibles over these past nine months!  Praise the Lord! Peris is pictured above instructing nearly two hundred women who received their Bibles in a newer area in December.

Continue to pray for Julie and Peris and other leaders, like Mercy, pictured here with Peris, who are key to Tabitha Ministry. I look forward to returning to Kenya in August and rejoining all that the Lord is doing there.