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.

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