Friday, December 26, 2014

A very good year....

Dear brothers and sisters, family and friends;

On behalf of the entire StoneHouse family, we wish you all a very Blessed Christmas and an Anointed New Year! May they both be in the presence of everyone you love and be filled with your passionate service to our Father.

Secondly, we want to thank you for your continued support for  Cynthia, myself and the staff of StoneHouse Ministries International (SMI) here in Kenya. Your love is being felt half way around the world and is having an effect in the lives of hundreds of Kenyans.

It has been somewhat of an explosive year for us, with so many opportunities opening up to both preach and demonstrate the gospel of our beloved King. It has not been without its setbacks and heartaches, yet God’s grace has prevailed.

A few things happening this year are as follows...

It was a very moving year ! We moved the Sewing Center, we moved the school and Cynthia and I were able to move to Ponda Mali and finally be among the people we serve. This has been our desire ever since we first came to Kenya. Most of you know that we moved to Milimani, a very secure environment following the traumatic events happening to us two and a half years ago. We desperately needed that time in Milimani to recover.

But now, by our Father’s amazing grace, we live in the midst of our beloved church family. The cost of our rent is less than one fifth of what it was living in Milimani, enabling us to focus more of our resources on the ministry.

StoneHouse Fellowship Nakuru (our local church family in Nakuru) is now paying their meeting place rent, electric, water and caretaker … all on their own! This is another amazing accomplishment, given that most of our members live in extremely impoverished areas.

The church in Nakuru has grown and has begun raising up sister churches, Kmwaura , Engasura , and Ndunyu Njero. There are plans to open up three more church families the first of next year. These families are learning to take care of each other and interact through the whole week. Our intent in each of these churches is to make Disciples of Christ and train them to walk a holy and Spirit filled existence as revealed in the scriptures.

We are currently raising up young men and women to become servant/warriors who will, in the future, guide our church families. This last year SMI enabled two of our young men to attend a Spirit filled bible college just outside of Nakuru. Both these young men are working in establishing our churches in between semesters.

Our African Shepherds Alliance (ASA) members are being awakened to the weakened condition of Kenyan churches, who have little or no biblical foundation. We have had three teaching seminars with pastors from all over central Kenya.

The primary school, StoneHouse Academy with its eighty-five students, is growing and adding another grade level (grade 6) this year. We are very close to the school to being able to meet all its own bills and obligations, which is a major accomplishment, given its existence is in the slums.

The StoneHouse Sewing enter, is now teaching widows and single women how to live self-sustaining lives, through being taught how to use electric sewing machines. This year we moved out of James and Beatrice’s living room into our own little one room building. Soon after, we added another room to accommodate our growth.

SMI has almost fully acquired 3.5 acres for our ‘Solid Rock Christian Community’.  This shamba (farm) will be a place where StoneHouse workers plan to live, work and serve God together. There are plans to for a small conference center, orphanage, teaching center and to become a full on self-sustaining farm. We lack only four thousand dollars in owning it completely and being debt free. This has totally happened by God’s sovereignty. Click here to read how our Father provided this incredible blessing.

By God’s grace, SMI was able to pull off a wonderful spiritual festival called the ‘Ingathering’. This is something Cynthia and I have been desiring to happen for over five years. This was the first time all our church families were able to come together and celebrate something wholly for the Lord with no worldly additives. I am currently working on a pictorial post for ‘StoneHouse Chronicles’ that will be filled with three days worth of pictures.

SMI was able to put on free medical clinic this year, in the midst of the Rhonda slums and was able to see and treat over 200 people. This was done in concert with St. Mary’s Hospital, a prominent hospital just outside of Nakuru and seven wonderful nurses from America.

This year we visited and ministered to people of the Massai tribe. It was something we hope will continue all the way to the establishing of a local New Testament family near the Massai Mara .

Finally, this year was filled with new friends  and working relationships with other missionaries and mission organizations working here in Kenya. With all our different views and bents we are learning what it means to serve Christ together while enjoying each other’s fellowship.

Some of those ministries and missionaries are ….
The wonderful people of Heaven’s Family…
Deborra Darren of ‘Threads of Hope’…
Richard and Beth Kope….
Louie and Rita Self…
Robin and Kerry Nail…  and a many other beloved friends and  workers who are currently laying their lives down for the people of Kenya.

On a personal note, it has been for Cynthia and I, a year filled with many drastic changes and faith challenges. Moving to Ponda Mali, experiencing eye surgery surgery in Kenya, losing and gaining local workers, facing overwhelming needs, financial challenges and now going through four months of separation due to our daughter’s thyroid surgery, to list a few.

Yet I know I speak for my beloved wife as well, it has been one of the best years of our life. We have seen our beloved God meet every need and bring miraculous answers to every challenge.
If asked what we want for Christmas, it would be just this… that we could have more time to continue serving Him and His gospel… and that His grace would continue to uphold our children and grandchildren who are also paying a price by us not being able to be with them. Pray for us, pray for them and pray for this ministry to continue.

In conclusion; This year has been an incredible year, filled with challenges changes, new experiences. We are looking forward to the New Year with a quiet confidence that it will bring even more opportunities, challenges, changes, new experiences and accompanying them all … His amazing grace.

 May God bless you all…

The StoneHouse family.

Where we are on the web….

For our new friends... here is a list of places you can visit to know more about who we are, what we believe what we’re doing about it.

 StoneHouse Blog… updates what we’re doing here in Kenya
StoneHouse L.E.A.R.N. Ministry Blog… updates educational ministry
StoneHouse teaching Blog… updates things we believe
StoneHouse Website… gives basic information
StoneHouse Facebook page… updates almost everyday
My Facebook page…

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