Wearing the tie and pink shirt is Patrick, a visitor to the church. He pastors a church in another village.

Wearing the tie and pink shirt is Patrick, a visitor to the church. He pastors a church in another village.

Yesterday Stephanie and I were blessed to get to visit our Mercy Baptist Church plant in the village of Tulumba. It was such a sweet time of fellowship. The church has been practicing some of the old hymns, so we sang “Nothing but the Blood of Jesus” together. I preached from Acts 8:26-39, instructing the church on the ordinance of baptism. Then we ate a traditional Bukusu (the local Luyha sub-tribe) meal of boiled chicken in soup, chapati (like an oily flour tortilla), rice, and beans. Only ugali (think dried grits) was missing. After lunch, I taught part of our church membership class. We will return next week so that I can preach about the Lord’s Supper and finish teaching the membership class.

Some of the Mercy Baptist Church congregation, ready to begin service.

Some of the Mercy Baptist Church congregation, ready to begin service.

Me teaching the membership class.

Me teaching the membership class.

Their desire is to learn more about the significance of baptism and the Lord’s Supper and to officially join in covenant community as members of the church. We rejoice in their desire to formalize their commitment to one another and to the leadership of their church, and their desire to obey Christ in Biblical Baptism as well as participating in the Lord’s Supper on a weekly basis.

The pastor of Mercy Baptist Church Tulumba is Titus Juma. Titus has shown himself to be a faithful student of the Word and loves the Lord. He has graduated from our Bible school, and is 7 months into the degree program at Kisumu Reformed School of Theology. Titus lives in our village of Kaya, and though he has a crippled foot, he was riding his bicycle to the church (a distance of about 5 miles on bad roads) three times per week. Thankfully, a donor recently started providing for his transport to hire a motorbike taxi. Currently his wife worships at our church in Kaya. Unfortunately, it is very common in our area of Kenya for husbands, wives, and even children to worship at different churches. We are trying to change that in our area of influence, and Titus and his wife would like to worship together at the Tulumba church so we are trying to work out providing the funds for his wife to travel with him. One of the challenges to pastoring a church in a rural village in western Kenya is the extreme poverty. In a congregation the size of Tulumba, the weekly offering might reach $1. They just are not able to support a salary for a pastor. So the pastor struggles daily to feed his family, and it is quite common for the pastor to support the church rather than the church to support him. Currently, Titus receives support from our sending church, Revival Church in Fall Creek, Wisconsin, to cover the cost of seminary and from an individual donor to cover the cost of his transport to the church and back home twice per week. It would be great if a church, or even a couple of individuals, could sign up to contribute monthly to support the remaining transport needed and a modest salary in support of Titus and his family. If that is something you are interested in doing, please email us at mercyhome@afm.ngo for details.

Pastor Titus and his wife at our recent Mercy Ministries Bible School graduation.

Pastor Titus and his wife at our recent Mercy Ministries Bible School graduation.

Mercy Baptist Church Tulumba

Mercy Baptist Church Tulumba

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