A Prayer Letter to our Partners at the Mercy Seat
“Lord, give us a generation of believing children!” I picked that prayer from C.H. Spurgeon long ago and have prayed it also from the beginning of Outreach to Rendille in 2001. The Lord has given the beginning of such a generation: 370 children have gone through Baalah Christian Primary School and Grade 8 KCPE national exams, while 432 children study still in Baalah School. Of all these, 400 have through the years been baptized in Baalah Bible Presbyterian Church upon their profession and testimony of faith, 203 of them are now in high schools, and 26 in college-level studies. We don’t call them children any longer, but our much-loved believing Youth. Nine years of Christian School, Sunday School, and Baalah church attendance; they have their Bibles, the Shorter Catechism, (from Westminster Standards), a basic-Katekism and John’s Gospel both in Rendille. They have print-outs given them at their youth conferences in Baalah BP Church, and they have Pastors Peter Lkayo and Nacha to mentor them all the time. It is these Youth I am presenting here for prayers. They are the ones to take the Gospel of Jesus farther over the vast North of Kenya as the Lord wills. Some might become pastors or church elders, or traveling evangelists with the Rendille Gospel SDcards; others who complete further training could get secular jobs elsewhere in the North and make their faith and testimony known wherever they settle. That will be the next stage of the Gospel Outreach. Got the picture?
I am not satisfied with the comprehension in their faith and the soul’s commitment to the Lord Jesus Himself, who He is, what He can be to us, and what desire they have to know more. On their Whatsapp notes with one another, I have seen a note they copy from somewhere: Start the Day with God. (Which God? This is Africa!) I have, at their conferences, taken them through Isaiah and the Psalms to show them Jesus there, but they are a bit nonplused. How can Jesus be in those books without His name?
So, I sent up many copies of a three-page piece explaining clearly: WHO IS JESUS CHRIST, WHENCE, WHY, WHAT IS HE TO US, and HOW? The Trinity, the Second Person of the Trinity in the Old Testament as the Angel of the Lord, the Seed of the Woman, the Son, the Anointed, the Lamb, the Judge, etc. but always, The One to come, Creation, the Fall of Adam into sin, evil upon all human-kind, The Triune plan to deal with the sin problem, Genesis 3:15, yet maintaining God’s attribute of justice to His Law: the Name of this One to come remains unknown in the Old Testament until Gabriel told Joseph, His Name is Jesus, (These Youth know how Rendille traditional prayers cried out to Waakh to send them His First-Born Son), God did send his Son to earth through the virgin birth to be the Second Adam, His two distinct natures within one Person, Salvation by His Active and Passive righteousness to us by faith: through both His atonement on the cross for our sin, and His perfect righteousness imputed to us by faith, IT IS FINISHED! In all the New Testament He is the One Who came, I did not insert references, I just told them, “These three pages have explained all Biblical facts about Jesus Christ, learn them! Now read your Bibles and you will come across places which prove each fact! Search diligently like the Bereans did (Acts 17:10-12) and get onto the real foundations of your faith!”
Now, my Readers, there you have the background of these Youth. Yes, they’ve had Bible stories, John’s Gospel, catechism, preaching, baptism, mentoring,—but is Jesus Christ vital within them? Will they love Him through thick and thin when Islam approaches them? Is their faith based not only on Bible instruction, but on the work of the Holy Spirit within their hearts? If they’re changed inwardly, they know it. Do they express it in communion with Jesus in prayer, in thanksgiving, in love for what He has done for them?
Now, my Readers, here are my prayers for them. Will you join me?
May the Holy Spirit work within our believing Rendille Youth to be so Jesus-Christ-centered that their hearts will cry out with Paul, “I am crucified with Christ! Nevertheless I live—yet not I—but Christ lives in me! And the life that I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me!”
It’s not enough to be God-this and God-that. Everyone in Kenya has “God”: traditionalists, Hindus, Muslims, ordinary non-religious, non-Christians—they can say “God bless you,” and every single Kenyan can cry “Oh my God!” when surprised or suddenly troubled. Just today on our local Christian TV station I watched a counsellor tell a rape victim, “First you must go to God and get His forgiveness; He will forgive you. Then go to a Christian counsellor to take you through the next steps, to forgive yourself and finally to forgive the rapist.” I couldn’t believe the omission. Never think to call on the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God! Who died on the cross to pay the price of our sin. Don’t just “Start your day with God.” May our believing Rendille Youth start it with the God Who is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Whom to know is life eternal.
Okay, Readers, that’s my first prayer, and the second is like unto it: You, O Jesus, told us to pray labourers into the Gospel harvest. There will someday be a great harvest in the North for You and Your saving gospel. May You Call these Rendille Youth! Equip them! They know the languages, and the culture as they’re Northern-born. They know how Islam and persecution lie in wait, they know other dangers, they’re accustomed to the heat and hostile environment, can take public transport and travel without raising questions, can go two by two. Oh Lord of the harvest! Make them, Mold them, Prepare them, Guide them into the training they need, or into settled jobs. May Christ be in them, the hope of glory, ever spurring them on so that they never become like those Northern “seasonal Christians” of whom we hear and mourn.
Yours ever in Jesus,
Miss Judith Collins
Now for a wonderful PS:
I just saw Peter this morning first time after six weeks, since he was called to the north so many times. He told me this story which I think belongs to this quarterly letter for our Baalah believing Youth. Two or three months ago I sent up with Peter the mobile lockable bookcase which I had used for years in my Church History classroom at BCEA. We made it a Baalah Church Library for Youth, and in it are all the Youth-centered books I’ve been able to send to the Youth from our Welshman’s faithful supply, through many years, of good books twice or thrice monthly for free distribution. This past weekend when Peter was at Baalah Church he was sitting with the Youth, asking how they are getting on, what are the problems they meet, how do they use their free time? And this is what they told him with great gusto: “This library is God-given! These books have kept us from the world! We could have been left idle and been drawn to go to Korr for something to do. We could have been tempted! These books we have shared around with each other; it takes four months for a book to make the rounds to all of us. We are so happy; we were not tempted to go to Korr for drinks, for drugs, for Khat, to be idle. We did not even have the temptation to go! We had these books! They have done us so much good, we did not get into “dukmee”, or adultery, or dirty things. These books have satisfied us and kept us from the world. We are so happy for that!”
And then the older ones who will enter tertiary (college) level in September posed another question for him: “Peter, when we go to colleges this September, we will be on our own. The world will be there. What will we do? We will not have these books to read to strengthen us. And we have none to take with us.” But I (Judith) think I have the answer to that. I have a terrific library of my own, and since it seems they are able to digest the good English of the books I know are in that mobile bookcase, I can pilfer many from my own library here to send up to them. Even many which they will be able to understand and digest, such as biographies, church history, and practical Bible topics like “Who Moved the Stone?”, “Evidence that Demands a Verdict,” and so on. I think I can satisfy their appetites for a year at least.
Africa Inland Church (AIC) of Korr had heard of this book-reading program because they noticed the Baalah Youth were not being seen in Korr during holidays, and they are blaming Peter because Baalah Youth refuse to share the books with them! “No, No, No! It takes four months for one book to be read by us all here: we can’t send them over to Korr! No way!” Peter told AIC pastors he had not forbad it, it was just the Baalah Youth themselves refusing as they were so hungry to read their own books first. Peter could not find it in his heart to blame them.