Serving the Lord in East Africa

Dear co-laborers in Christ,

For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good. (Psalm 122:8-9)

Greetings in the blessed Name of our Lord!

We begin our letter with an update on the situation in Kenya. According to today’s statistics (August 10), Kenya has 26,928 confirmed Covid-19 infections. Everyday we hear the numbers increased between 500 to 900. The number seems to be smaller compared to other countries; however, the number of tested people is not as many when compared to other countries. In fact, every day, more than 10% of those who were tested are found as positive of coronavirus. The major problem, according to the statistics, is that 90% of the positives are asymptomatic. Unofficially it is suggested that the number of infections is as high as 1.6 million, with 5.2% of infection rate in Kenya.

Practically, the lockdown and curfew were in place from April to July. Then, a few weeks ago, the lockdown was lifted while the curfew remained from 9 pm to 4 am. The hospitals are still overloaded and all the medical facilities are still catching up with the increase in infections. No, the situation is not very easy. However, we thank God for His protection and provision in our lives. Although we live with a considerable amount of caution, we are doing well in the Lord. And we want to say “thank you for your prayers and support.”

As you know, the pandemic forced us to live with a number of restrictions. Yes, to some degree we have had a ministry of supporting local brethren and church members, but there are not many other ministries we could be involved in as before. On the other hand, we had occasions to do some maintenance which would have been impossible while the college was in session. We repaired several buildings, cut a lot of trees and flowers, renovated classroom interiors, and worked on our computer lab and library. Most of all, we want to thank our Lord that yesterday, we had our first worship service since March.

We were excited to re-open the church, even with the many requirements. We had to prepare three thermometers and three washing stations with additional sanitizers. We purchased face shields for everyone who was involved, such as ushers and preachers. An offering box was made so that there was no physical contact during this part of the worship. Every seat was 1.5 m (5 ft) apart, and the service had to be done in one hour. A major challenge was that throughout whole service, all were asked to wear masks. The government also gave the instructions by age group, so those over 58 and under 13, had to remain at home. With disposable gloves, face shields, disinfected chairs, and social distance, the external matters of worship were not the same.

But we thank God because we were in the house of our Lord. Like everyone, it was our first time to have corporate worship in many months. Although it was strange to have it this way, the Word of God, praises and prayer remained the same, with blessings through the worship service itself. We were surprised by the good number of church members at the 10 am service. We shall never forget such an experience of singing with the congregation after five months of being closed. We shall always be thankful for the privilege of worship.

We also wanted to say that one real blessing of our worship was that it was done in open air. We thank God for such a beautiful compound the Lord has provided, and the beautiful weather He gave to us yesterday. Please, continually pray for the church ministry. Especially, pray for the preachers so that the Gospel of Jesus Christ may be continually proclaimed to the people.

Here are prayer requests for our mission field.

Pray for Africa

  • For people in Africa who lack supplies and sufficient medical technology.
  • Especially for Kenya, Rwanda, and Tanzania where Bible Colleges have been established.
  • For safety and security.

Pray for the BCEA (Bible College of East Africa)

  • For all three colleges (Kenya, Rwanda, and Tanzania) since they are all closed.
  • For students who are away due to the coronavirus.
  • For our graduates who are mostly in the ministry.
  • For the day to re-open the colleges; currently, the government may allow it in January.
  • Pray for various on-going maintenance projects.

Pray for the BCEA campus church

  • Our church members who have lost jobs and having a very difficult time financially and physically.
  • For worship services on every Lord’s Day.

Pray for the Yoon family

  • We thank God for our children; their faith and endurance in times like this in a foreign country.
  • For the children’s studies. As mentioned above schools may reopen next January, therefore, pray for them as they study at home for another term.
  • For Eben and Mijung that we may stand strong spiritually and physically.
  • For patience from the Lord, so that we may endure this time in the foreign land.

Once again, we are always thankful for God’s calling to the mission field. As we look back over the last fifteen years, we are amazed by His guidance. However, this time, the challenge has been difficult. Honestly, we are struggling with the uncertainty of the future and the anxiety of isolation. But we trust God who answers our prayer and who “will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6) Please continually pray for us that we may carry on the task before us with good will.

May the Lord bless you and keep you as you are going through a global pandemic era.

In Christ,

Eben, Mijung, Haeun, Hajin, & Hahyun