I SURVIVED THE FATAL FALL

“I did not feel like going to work that morning,” remembers Job Wafula, DOVE Nairobi member. “I felt sick, even though I was not. I dragged myself out of bed and headed to the construction site.”

If he had known what awaited him, Job would have listened to the sense of looming danger that dominated his spirit. But being a family man, he had to put food on the table. “When I arrived, we exchanged the usual morning greetings with my colleagues and all started to work. At around 4:00 pm, as I was moving bricks, I stepped on a feeble scaffold and fell from the fifth floor of the building to the ground,” Job explains. Those who took him to the hospital assumed that they would never see him alive again.

The next thing Job knew, he was on a hospital bed. “I could not feel anything in my body. The doctors told me that my spinal cord was fractured and that I would not live a normal life. I was paralyzed; I thought would never walk again.”

It had been nine months since Pastor Ibrahim Omondi had led Job to Christ during a DOVE Nairobi outreach. Now, faced with life in a wheelchair, Job clung to hope in Christ. DOVE members prayed for him, visited him, and donated a wheelchair to help him get around.

“Accepting Christ was the best decision I ever made. God found me. In my difficult moments, God sent angels to watch over me.”

After 3 months, to the doctors’ amazement, Job was discharged from the hospital. With the help of his wheelchair, he continued going to the hospital for physiotherapy.

“I was shocked when Job called to ask if we could help him get him a walker,” Ibrahim testifies. “I knew that he was improving more than expected, but this was really a miracle. Job came to the office in person several days later to return the wheelchair and exchange it for a walker. Then, one month later, Job found a pair of crutches and brought the walker back. He didn’t need it anymore! Glory be to God!

 

DSC_2516Now eight months after the accident, Job is back on his feet. He has not been able to go back to construction work, but was helped by the ministry to start a business of cooking and selling mandaazi (doughnuts). “I praise God that our family has food on the table,” Job says. “Is God not providing for us? I could be dead today but God gave me a second chance to tell of His love and power. I am not special, but God gave me the gift of new life in Christ and then decided that I should survive that fatal fall.” Praise be to God!

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Leadership Training Launched in Uganda

by Ephraim Tumusiime

DOVE Uganda is trusting God for 100 new church plants by 2020. But we have been facing a major challenge; training leaders. How will these churches be led? How do we encourage and strengthen the new leaders we believe that God will raise? These questions drove us to aspire for a new approach to training leaders for the growing church.

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Brian with DOVE Uganda Leaders

We approached Brian Sauder about helping to provide this training. Brian accepted the call, worked hard, and combed through the curriculum for the DOVE Leadership Training school to compile a specific curriculum for DOVE Uganda. The teachings included emphasis on the DOVE values and many other key topics. Then in November 2016, Brian came to Uganda and intensively trained our national leaders for four very full days. They were equipped to take the same teachings to those who are serving under them in the regions of DOVE Uganda.

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Brian ministers at DOVE Kampala on Sunday

Since Brian trained us, we are no longer the same. The leaders were encouraged, challenged and given a sense of direction. In Eastern Uganda, a follow-up training for the region was held the very next month. Northern Uganda held their first regional training in January, and the West Nile region started training in February. Our January national youth conference was also a spin-off from Brian’s leadership training.

We thank God that the impact is already being felt, and this is just the beginning. The curriculum is very well suited for our needs and we see the Kingdom advancing.

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Is Jesus Thirsty?

by Ephraim Tumusiime

When I look at the faces of refugees in northern Uganda and imagine that I could be one of them, tears stream from my eyes. What if I had been born across the Ugandan border? Where would I be now? and what help would I hope to receive?

There were nearly 83,000 refugees in the Rhino Camp Refugee Settlement by Christmas 2016. The same camp had 20,000 one year earlier. This phenomenal increase has put a lot of pressure on the service providers like us. As our staff attend the coordination meetings for service providers within the camp and pass this information to us, we pray that the Lord will intervene in the South Sudan situation. The refugees suffer from shortage of literally everything they need for survival. They have limited food, limited water and sub-standard housing.                

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Simbili ECD Center

DOVE Uganda/Touch Africa Now (TAN) has been working in the Rhino Camp Refugee Settlement in Arua district for over three years focusing in the area of education. We currently run three Early Childhood Development centers; others we had been managing were taken over by the government as we did not have adequate funds for the work.                     

The government sets and enforces a certain level of standards; they require semi-permanent buildings with cemented floors, permanent and clean latrines, large fenced open play spaces and qualified teachers. Whoever is providing education in the refugee camp must give it for free!

We are here representing Christ among these refugees who are hopeless about their future. We make friends with the children so as to reach their parents too for Christ. As a result, two DOVE congregations are established in the camp. We are praying that the Lord will bring men of peace in this area of suffering so that even more churches will be planted. When peace will come to their respective nations, we will build on those relationships and establish Bible-believing churches in South Sudan, Congo and Burundi!

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Ephraim, pastor Papi and his wife at their church

We are thankful to God for those who have sponsored teachers’ salaries, donated money for feeding the children and even bought them uniforms.We still have many challenges, including transportation for field activities, funds to construct classrooms, fencing in our current ECD centers, outdoor play equipment, teaching materials such as chalk boards and charts, and even cleaning materials.

Pray with us that the Lord will provide funding so that we may meet these challenges “Then the King will say…’Come you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, … For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in” (Matthew 25:34-35).

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Restoration Community Church 10th Anniversary

by Joina Munyanya
Our DOVE vision is to build a relationship with Jesus Christ, with one another and to transform our world from house to house, village to village, city to city and nation to nation. What does “transform our world” mean? What does holistic transformation really look like?

On January 14 -15, 2017, Restoration Community Church (RCC)* celebrated ten years of ministry. The event helped answer these questions for many.

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            Hesbone and Violet Odindo 

Hesbone and Violet Odindo were elders in DOVE Christian fellowship Nairobi in the late 90s and early 2000s. But once or twice every month, they would travel to their home village of Kadawa over the weekends. Violet started a ministry of buying clothes and food for the widows and orphans every year. Clearly the village of Kadawa was suffering, mostly from the AIDS scourge, but more from ignorance on how to deal with the results of the AIDS. As a result, many orphans needed help, widows needed help and young people needed to be equipped to fight back and live.

In 2007, the Odindos felt that God was calling them back to the village. It was a hard decision. Every educated young Kenyan tries to shake off the village once they move to the city. The village, largely a place for subsistence farmers who barely make ends meet, is considered to be ignorant, hungry and a place for rumours and gossip. It is a resting place for the elderly and the very young that are still in school. The Odindos prayed hard and long, and even though they had already established themselves as middle class home-owners in the city of Nairobi, they were sure God was calling them to Kadawa. They packed their belongings and their children, travelled to Kisumu, and never looked back.

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DOVE International directors Larry and Laverne Kreider with outfits from RCC

Ten years later, they have a great testimony of what God has done. One thing that is very clear is that people have hope! At the anniversary celebrations, there was a long line of widows testifying that they have been helped. They have food, houses to live in, and their children have been assisted to go to school and college. The issue of housing for widows is a major achievement in the Luo tribe, because building a house for a widow usually involves so much tradition that the process only serves to alienate the widow even more. The widows of Kadawa are a jubilant lot. And they are many. They love the Odindos, and Marty and John Smith who have also been active serving the widows.

Hesbone says “we have dealt with HIV stigmatization. Nowadays people go for testing, talk about their status, and those who are positive take medication. We also have support groups in the church.” Hesbone also says they put great emphasis on the holistic goal of the salvation message. “People should be changed and transformed. That is what salvation means!”

The purpose of the tenth anniversary event was to celebrate the miraculous, abundant provision of God and His mighty power o10-kadawa-cakef God to transform a village and a people. The occasion was graced by Larry and LaVerne Kreider, DOVE International directors, Ibrahim and Diane Omondi, DOVE Africa directors, a visiting team from DOVE Westgate, other church leaders, community leaders and politicians. They all braved the blazing sun to make the occasion successful. Isaiah 9:2 comes to mind: “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.”

RCC is a network of DOVE churches in Kenya, Kisumu region.

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A Dream that Came True

by Joina Munyanya

Joel Obande was desperately sick, hopeless and frustrated. “Tell me where I can buy salvation,” he told his sisters who had come to visit him. “I will sell my land and buy salvation!”

Apart from being sick, Joel’s life was a mess. He was a drunkard, a heavy smoker and a drug user. Every shilling he found was spent on supporting his habits. His children were out of school and going hungry because he could not provide for his family. His wife was unhappy. Relatives begged him to go to church, but he declined, thinking that he could not be helped anyway.

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Joel Obande testifies during the 10th anniversary celebrations of RCC DOVE Kisumu;Kenya

After recovering from the sickness, but still a drunkard and chain smoker, his wife invited him to a new church that had started in the village of Kadawa. On Sunday he went to church, listened, and went back home. But he decided he would go back the following Sunday.

That week, Joel had a strange dream. He saw in his dream a company of angels in white dresses. They laid their hands on him and prayed for him and then one of the angels handed him a book. When Sunday came, he once again accompanied his wife to church. He does not remember what was preached. But he remembers that when an altar call was given, he rushed forward, desperate for help.

That day Joel received Jesus Christ as his Savior. Pastor Hesbone Odindo prayed for him and laid his hands on him. But what left him shocked was that after prayers, Violet Odindo, approached him and handed him a book. It was a Bible. He remembered his dream.

“That book has changed me,” Joel testifies. “I treasure that Bible and read it reverently. I stopped drinking smoking and taking drugs. I provide for my family. Recently, I became the pastor of RCC* Bethel church! You cannot even imagine how happy my wife is now.joel-on-right

Joel describes his life as something that had been rotten but is now restored. Yes, God restores all things. Praise His name!
*Restoration Community Church (RCC) is a network of DOVE churches in Kenya, Kisumu region

Pictured: Joel (far right) with his wife and other RCC pastors.

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Desert Streams has Come Down

Devastation ravaged through Kibera slums on Tuesday night and Desert Streams School was razed to the ground. The school building, desks, computers, textbooks and student books, supplies, student records, church equipment—they are all gone. To the natural eye, the situation looks hopeless. But Judy Oloo the co-director and her husband Tobias, the teachers and even the children are not without hope.

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The Oloo’s were alerted at night about a fire. “When we got here, we could not do anything. The fire was spreading too fast,” Judy recounts. “Even what we tried to salvage was snatched by looters who were taking advantage of the confusion to grab whatever they could.”

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Remains of Desert Streams School

The day before, nearly 250 students were busy learning in the school whose vision is to provide “quality education that enhances a child’s life-long dreams.” They were ready for a good year. Now, remains of revision papers, scraps of metal and  two staircases leading to nowhere speak of a what was but is no more.

Despite the calamity, children reported to school the following day. Teachers gathered them in groups in the empty adjacent church building and courageously continued teaching as best they could. Parents came to witness the damage. “We were hoping to finally finish construction on the school building,” Judy explained. “Now in just minutes, it has all been grounded.”

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The fire was apparently sparked by electrical fire caused by an illegal power connection in the neighborhood. “I heard a huge explosion followed by several more explosions and within a short time, the whole neighborhood was burning.” a teary victim narrates.

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“We are collecting nails hopefully to be reused when time to rebuild another building comes. We do not know where to begin, we have been reduced to nothing, we began the year well but now we are lost in the ‘desert’, Judy desperately explains.  Then the unwavering hope: “But with God’s help, we shall surely start again.”

NOTE: The interim emergency plan is to partition the church to form classrooms. The most urgent need is now for books and desks. We encourage you to donate toward these costs. You can so do at http://www.springsofafrica.org  (via Paypal) to Springs of Africa to RESTORE DESERT STREAMS. Thank you!

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Bible Read-A-Thon: An activity of Surprises

After prayers, we open the Bible and start reading it publicly. It is a journey that will take us the next 11 days. We aim to proclaim God’s word and gain personal refreshment. In addition, we look forward to raising funds for our missionaries with every hour of Bible reading costing one hundred Kenya Shillings. We begin, “In the beginning God….”SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

The first day was full of great surprises from the book of Genesis. God creates man, and before long the fall comes. The first generations follow suit, rebelling against God. We then read the book of Job–a book about suffering, a story many of us can relate to, for we live in a world full of sufferings. The book ends well with God blessing Job more than before hence giving us hope that God will do the same to us in eternal life through the suffering of one greater than Job: Jesus who died on the cross.

The first five books of the Bible, commonly referred to as Books of Moses, show us the character of a holy God who hates sin and punishes it but on the on the other hand a God of love who forgives all who repent. In our next readings, we see the story of Israel as contained in the books of history.SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

The book of Joshua relates how God fought and conquered many nations for Israelites. Before long, we get to Judges, a book with a sad story of how Israelites did what seemed right in their eyes. It ends with such a gloomy verse, “In those days, Israel had no king and everyone did as he saw fit.

We interact with the kingship of Israel in the book of Samuel. Saul gets to power easily but falls from kingship so suddenly. David replaces him, conquers many cities – and has his failures too. He writes so many Psalms which expose to us his personality and faith in God, among the famous repentant Psalm 51.

Later we see God sending prophets to proclaim his judgment over Israel. However, we also see the rise of some false prophets lying to Israel concerning proclaimed destruction. Our readings in the last two days have been about what the Lord declares concerning Israel.

Every day of Bible reading is packed with surprises. In our reading of the Bible so far, it is so clear that God is Holy! He hates man’s rebellion and has gone to all length to reconcile himself to man, pleading with all to repent and turn to Him.SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

We are grateful to all who continue supporting this worthy course. We continue to raise money for DOVE Missions in Africa by reading the Bible cover to cover. We finished Old Testament, now reading the New Testament.
Bible reading continues…

 

 

By Kenneth Irungu

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Promoting Life

Statistics show that over 42 million preborn human children lose their lives to abortion around the world every year. That is equivalent to completely wiping out the nation of Kenya every year!abortn1

Abortion is murder. It is the deliberate, violent, and unnatural destruction of a living human being. Yet it is happening around us. What are we doing about it?

During a two-day seminar held in DOVE Nairobi, trainers from LIFE International* urged that we should all respect the sanctity of life. Participants were trained on the sacredness of human life, God’s design for family, Biblical worldview, Biblical sexuality, becoming a life giver, human reproduction, abortion procedures and after-abortion long term effects, among other relevant topics.

Does the church indirectly support abortion because of the stigma placed on babies born out of wedlock? Do church leaders, in their efforts to bring discipline and advocate for holiness, push some women to the brink until they decide to abort? These were among the issues discussed at the seminar.

Bramuel Musya, one of the LIFE International trainers, noted that mankind is unique among all creation because men and women are made in the image of God. life IntTherefore, all human life is of equal worth and immeasurable value from conception to natural death. However, devaluation of human life has led to the death of hundreds of millions of people and caused untold damage around the globe.

Because we have all participated in this devaluation in one way or another, the training ended with a session on repentance, forgiveness, and healing.

“We must value human life as God does, and choose to be life-giving in our views of and responses to other people, including the pre-born,” said Aysha Wanjiku, another facilitator. It is the pledge of DOVE Africa to do just that — to become more life-giving and more pro-active regarding issues surrounding abortion.

 

* LIFE international equips, empowers and releases leaders for life-giving ministry worldwide wherever abortion exists or the sanctity of human life is diminished.

 

By Kenneth Irungu

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Evidence of God’s Power

Miracles of healing. Strong opposition. Powerful stories of conversion from radical Hinduism. We heard these themes repeated over and over as 15 pastors and district apostolic leaders from churches in the Home Fellowship Leaders Network in India shared their testimonies. The time together really opened our eyes to God’s work among these courageous leaders in Andhra Pradesh, India.

One couple who had driven from Badhrachalam, 8 hours away, caught my attention. The still-very-bearded head of Pastor Naveen was reminiscent of the time when he head joined a communist guerilla group that lived in the forest and fought the government of India. The Lord Jesus revealed himself to Naveen in a vision. He gave up communism and became a follower of Christ. DSC06659

Later, in 2011, he received training at the Bible School organized by Emmanuel in Kakinada. From there, he went out to plant churches. So far, Naveem has started 12 churches with a total of 1,500 members. He is believing God for 100 churches in his district.

Pastor Alipal, who comes from the Soura tribe in the mountains of Andhra Pradesh, was impacted by the words of Reinhardt Bonke at an evangelistic crusade in 2007. He immediately went back home with a desire to start a church. After attending the Bible School in Kakinada, he was better equipped to teach sound biblical doctrine. He had planted 80 churches in northeastern Andhra Pradesh, however most of them joined other ministries. Alipal is glad that the ten churches he now oversees are grounded in the Word of God and are ready to grow.

Pastor Dayakar, from Nalgonda District near Hyderabad, started a church in the year 2000 after attending the same Bible School. He now has four churches with a total of 130 people. He gave a testimony of how God healed a woman who was dying from cancer. He had been experiencing quite severe opposition from the Hindu villagers, but when they saw the power of God in healing the sick woman after he and some church members prayed, things changed completely. In fact, many of them gave their lives to the Lord Jesus and are now supporting the work of ministry.

Another pastor, based in Kakinada, had been earning his living as a mason. But a life-threatening sickness forced him to stop working. With no one to provide for his family, his situation was desperate. It seemed that he would soon die — he had nowhere to turn for help. Pastor Emmanuel knew this family, and began prayer for Satyakumar’s healing. God answered with power. The miracle convinced that Satyakumar that Jesus was real, and out of gratitude for what God had done for him, he accepted Christ as Lord. Satyakumar his wife Kumari are now in full-time Christian ministry.

All of these leaders have been vehemently opposed by either the Hindu extremists, the tribal religions, or even the other denominational churches. But God always shows himself faithful. By receiving a strong base of training in the Word of God, they have learned how to faithfully teach and preach the gospel message. Villages in India are changing because of it.

 

By Diane Omondi

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Surrendering the Secret

Abortion is illegal in Kenya, and we want to keep it that way. But it is estimated that one out of every four pregnancies ends in abortion; this amounts to nearly a half a million babies who are murdered in their mother’s womb every year. abortionApproximately one-third of these occur after the first trimester. “Washing the stomach” is as “easy” in Kenya as getting an antibiotic or having a tooth pulled. I don’t know how you feel about that, but for me it is repulsive beyond words.

Each abortion entails a double tragedy. First, the precious life of an infant has been terminated. Most cultures call that murder.

Second, the life of the mother has been permanently scarred. Unfortunately, because the procedure is usually a secret and few understand the emotional implications, this wound is hidden and unrecognized. Suffering is multiplied as the pain and curse are usually passed on. This is a big problem.

DOVE Nairobi, with the support of friends from DOVE International, has initiated a ministry known as “Surrendering the Secret”. depositphotos_2936635-STOP-Abortion_VectorIn this series of small group ministry sessions, women who have experienced an abortion can find freedom and healing. The first training was held in February this year, and there will be more to come.

If you are interested in participating as a facilitator or desire to be ministered to, please contact us for more information.

 

By Diane Omondi

 

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