A Report from Kenya, 2014

“The Adventures of Rick and Toni Flanders for the Cause of Revival”Dad in Kenya.2014.small

 I am writing you on our last scheduled day in Africa for the Kenya Mission many of you have prayed for.  My purpose is to sum up what has happened, to thank and praise the Lord, to express my appreciation to those who have prayed for us and to those who sacrificed and gave that we might take this trip, and to tell a wonderful story!

Toni and I flew out of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport late on Friday, January 17, after driving down there from the Baptist College of Ministry outside Milwaukee.  Toni had come over from our home in Michigan on Wednesday to meet me at the end of my assignment for teaching a block-class.  She drove her red Impala, and left our Mercury in the shop where it was being repaired after our accident on the ice.  Everything went smoothly on the trip to Chicago, and our flight with the Turkish Airlines from the U.S. to Istanbul and then to Nairobi went “without a hitch.”  Missionary Brent Halstead picked us up at the airport in the wee hours of Sunday morning, and took us back to the apartment where we stayed at his home to recover from the flight and get some relief from the jet-lag so that we could go to church with them Sunday night.

We attended Lighthouse Baptist Church in the heart of Thika, a Nairobi suburb where the Halsteads live, and sought to help the work with a sermon on “The Public Christian” from Matthew 10 (I have preached it a few other places, and some of you have heard it).  The pastor is Missionary Michael Rains, a man many of you know and love.  It is a great work, and I was set to preach there several times during my stay.  The next day we rested, and then on Tuesday began the Spiritual Life Retreat.  This annual event is organized for the missionaries who run Independent Baptist College of Ministry, the students, and for area pastors. I preached this year a series of sermons from the book of Acts on these subjects: THE POWER (the Holy Spirit, Acts 1:1-8), THE PROGRAM  (Acts 1:8), THE PRIORITY (our business is not to know the time of the kingdom, Acts1:6-8), THE PURGING (cleansing for revival), THE PATTERN (Stephen as the picture of a Spirit-filled man), and THE PLAN (how the Christians turned their world upside down, Acts 17:1-7). I believed that the Lord would have us look hard at the onset of this age to get a vision of how God wants to use us in our times.  It seemed that the sense of God working increased as the week went by, and we had many making big decisions and praying big prayers.  Toni spoke to the ladies one afternoon (we had quite a few female students and missionary wives there) on the ministry of the Spirit in women.  A pastor and some of the missionaries gave “workshop” talks about college work and Christian living.  The Retreat ended Friday morning with a long and wonderful testimony meeting.  Brother Halstead, who leads the Independent Baptist College of Ministry, a great work based on belief in revival, gave a report on the testimonies we heard:
The Lord worked in many lives at our Spiritual Life Retreat in the
college this week. Dr. Rick Flanders and his wife Toni are here
ministering to us and Dr. Flanders preached 6 times during the
retreat. All of his messages centered around the Program for the
Church found in Acts 1:8, and many students gave testimonies of how
God worked in their lives and the decisions they made. I am including
several testimonies from our students:

Tom: I was discouraged with working a job and doing the ministry, but
the Great Commission is the nature of the ministry. This is impossible
for me but I have been challenged to depend on the Holy Spirit and it
can be accomplished. It’s not about me but the Holy Spirit.

Ben: This week I started praying with the other students from
our church that we would be able to reach our community with the
Gospel. That is our business!

Elizabeth: Several times after services I texted my pastor and told
him that he should be here. This is what our church needs. With the
challenges and issues of a young church plant, sometimes we fail and
don’t do things right. When we don’t see results we get discouraged
and stagnate, But the real problem is that we do not trust the Holy
Spirit. Pray for our church, Drumvale Baptist Church that we would be
able to evangelize our area.

Charlene: So often we disconnect between the apostles in the New
Testament and Christians today. We read about the courage needed to go
and give the Gospel, and it must have taken so much faith, but I don’t
have that kind of faith. Now I understand it was not about them, it
was about God with them. I pray that I would be filled with Holy
Spirit to give out the gospel with boldness.

Laban: The spread of the Gospel is going so slow in this country. I
used to justify this by saying that people are hard and don’t want the
Gospel, but that is not true. It is because we are not depending on
the Holy Spirit and accessing His power. Pray for me to be used of the
Holy Spirit to help my church reach our area with the Gospel.

These are just a few testimonies of what God is doing in our hearts to
prepare us to serve him in evangelizing the city of Nairobi and the
country of Kenya.

Brent Halstead

We got to know and partner with some great missionaries: Brent Halstead (the leader of the College), Mike Mestler (a “veteran” with International Baptist Mission), Rick Simonsen (a very widely appreciated servant of God with Baptist World Mission), Mike Rains (whose brother was my intern from BCM more than a year ago),and Bill Coley (an old-fashioned BBFI missionary and a tremendous man).  We are grateful to the Lord that He has put us into this work, and that He sent us to Kenya a second time.


The week after the Retreat, the students enrolled in the Netcasters’ course (along with me) went soul winning in a neighborhood next to the Bethel Baptist Church of Komarock.  Pastor Josiah Wambua went with us, too.  The neighborhood was a good field for witnessing, even for a novice like me who cannot speak the local lingo.  It is an area with plenty of Muslims, and one lady told a female student that if she went home with the tract, her husband would kill her.  Anyway, five groups of three or four saw three people pray to receive Christ that first afternoon of evangelizing, and we all saw God work and the devil back down!  It was a great day!  I got to preach in chapel four times that week, as the students took Netcasters’ training in the classroom.  Now brace yourself.  The second afternoon that we went soul winning in the neighborhood of the church, we saw another eighteen people profess to trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior!  All twenty of these were credible conversions, and you would agree if you had been with us.  It was as if the Lord was guiding us into the Acts 1:8 program, and showing us how it works.  Or shall I say that He was showing us how willing He is to work with us when we abide in Him and spread the Gospel.  Pastor Wambua was right in the middle of it all, and led several men to the Lord, some of whom met with him the next day for a Bible study.  On Sunday, Bethel Baptist Church had a number of visitors, and I am told that two more got saved at the services!  What wonderful things the Lord did in these two weeks!

During our stay here, I also got to preach in several area fundamental Baptist Churches: Lighthouse Baptist Church in Thika (on January 19, 26, 30, and February 2 in evening services), at Bethel Baptist Church of Komarock (on Sunday morning, January 26), and at the Open Bible Baptist Church of Happy Valley (yesterday morning, February 2).  You would be encouraged to know the quality of men that lead the churches in this metropolitan area, and I hope that all of us will pray for a general revival among the Fundamental Baptists here that will lead to a big awakening among the multitudes of lost people.

I should say that the Halsteads took us to a game preserve to see the wild beasts at the end of last week, and that Toni and I have enjoyed our fellowship with them immeasurably.

We fly early in the morning back to Chicago, and from there are planning to drive home.  This month I am to preach in Indiana, Missouri, and Wisconsin, and I plan on detailing these assignments in another report that should come in a few days.  Thank you for taking the time to read all of this, and mostly, thank you for praying.



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