posted by David Shelton on behalf of Jeff and Stephanie Bys and James Kinsella of Revival Church!
We have some really exciting news to share!
When we moved to Kenya, we were supported through About-Face Missions, a para-church missions organization based in Garland, TX. We love AFM and its leadership and supporters, however, AFM is not a church. We believe that in order to do missions well, the missionary needs a strong connection to a church that will provide elder oversight and support and that will be plugged in to the lives and marriage of the missionaries. We have long desired and prayed to have a partnership with a church that would fill the role of a sending church to us. When God confirmed to us that we were to go to Africa, we were members of a local SBC church, but had only been there a short time because we had only recently moved to the area about two months before. Therefore, we did not feel it was appropriate to discuss with them the possibility of them being our sending church. We love the folks at that church, and are very thankful for their continued prayers and support. But during the two plus years that we have been in Kenya, we have been praying that if it be God’s will, that He connect us to a church that would partner with us at a deep level. We have been patiently trusting that God would provide in His timing. Thankfully, God answered that prayer through a connection with our brother in Christ Jeremy Strang.
We will let pastor James Kinsella tell the rest, (read below)
- Jeff & Stephanie Bys and Family
It was the summer of 2017, and I was working a normal day. I am the pastor of Revival Church. However, I also work as a radiologist. I mention this to allow me to tell you this account of God's providence, as a wonderful display of His mighty hand in the "mundane" moments of our lives. I believe Romans 8:28 to be a wonderful encouragement and also an all encompassing explanation of the entire life of a follower of Jesus.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
This applies to everything we would consider good, everything we would consider not so good, and everything we would consider to be coincidence. All things means all things. And for those who love God and are called according to His purpose, they are all for our ultimate good.
On that day in August day 2017, my computer was not working so well. So I called to get some technical assistance and by "chance" got Jeremy Strang on the other line to help. He was able to fix my computer problem, but the Lord had even better plans for this conversation. Jeremy mentioned that he and his family were going to be moving. They did not yet know where. He asked about our church.
What happened from that point forward is the reason for me writing this. Jeremy became more involved in our church, even though it was more than an hour from his home. As his family prayed about where they were to move, we prayed for the Lord to show us if they were supposed to move closer to where we lived in Fall Creek, Wisconsin. It seemed like a perfect fit. Jeremy could preach when I was not. We could love on his family and grow in faith together as we served the Lord by living out His vision for the biblical church.
It seemed for a short time as though this was the good that the Lord was working out in these "all things". However, this was not the Lord's plan. Jeremy moved out-of-state. A seed had been planted however.
Unbeknownst to Jeremy, I had preached a message on world missions calling our church to pray big. There was this growing sense among in the church that in some way we were supposed to be a bigger part of reaching unreached to the ends of the earth. However as a small church in Wisconsin, we needed God to reveal to us how this was to be. He did that through Jeremy.
Before Jeremy moved, he introduced us to About Face and the Bys. God put a love for this family and His mission for them in Kenya upon our hearts. This love continued to grow in many ways, including the desire for some of us to go help and the desire for us to support them in prayer. Over time this love has continued to grow. When it was made known to us that more intentional partnership with a local church was needed and desired by AFM and the Bys, God made it clear to us that we had been called to this purpose.
It is with much joy and anticipation that we partner with Jeff and Stephanie. We want to love them and their family well, pray for them fervently, and grow together with them in Christ. All as we lean not on our own understanding but trust God and his promises for us and to us. Especially this call and promise:
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:18–20
Together we are part of the greatest mission the universe has ever known. The very reason for creation. To glorify God by living for Him and making known to everyone the name and power and beauty and treasure of His Son of Jesus.
I believe this partnership to be God working all things together for the good of those called according to His purpose. That this partnership in the gospel is the goodness of God on display for Revival Church, the Bys, Mercy Home, AFM, and the many whom will repent and believe as a result...from Wisconsin, to Kenya, and to the ends of the earth.
-James Kinsella MD, Lead Pastor, Revival Church