February, 2023

Greetings to our Supporters, Prayer Partners, and Friends,

              We begin by looking back and thanking you for the lovely Christmas cards, the notes about you and your family and gifts.  It is always wonderful to hear from you and know a bit more about your family, as well as your prayer needs.

              The Lord has greatly provided food for many of the Kenyan church people, through the Famine Relief for Kitui Pastors .  The rains this season were only fair in the Kitui area, which will result in a smaller harvest and not really enough to sustain them. 

              Four of the IPC pastors are praying about coming to the International Council of Christian Churches World Congress in June, in Collingswood, New Jersey.  After the ICCC we want to bring them to West Virginia for a visit and to be able to speak in some of the churches in our area. It is financially difficult for them with the famine, school fees for their children, and the cost of daily living.  Yet they continue to trust in our faithful God to provide these needs.  Those hoping to come are:

              James Mwangangi, who graduated from the Bible College of East Africa and was the first person hired by the Clinics of Care as an evangelist.  James continued with the Clinic until it closed, and currently teaches at the Bethel Bible School and pastors a church on the property.  James is the moderator of the IPC and is on the Executive committee of the ICCC.

              Daniel Mwinzi, whose parents we helped train years ago in the Mwingi Hospital, before they were married.  His aunt was in the youth group and closely watched missionary nurse Marilyn Faucette.  She went into nursing, and became a head nurse in a government hospital.  She cared for Daniel until he came to work for us. Daniel went to Bethel Bible School, is a pastor, and helps oversee things at the Isovya mission property, including the watchmen.

              Daniel Mwendwa’s mother became a nurse at Mwingi Hospital before she was married.  We had kept in touch over the years, and when Daniel graduated from high school she wanted him to join us at the Clinics of Care.  He came, worked in the clinic and studied at the Bethel Bible School.  He has also completed pharmacy school and is today a pharmacist as well as a pastor.

              Years ago while telling Bible stories in a school a little boy pulled on Gary’s pants and asked to work for a Bible.  He came to the house and did some work to get his Bible.  Joel Mueke became a teacher but has not yet retired from government services.  He is currently studying at the Bethel Bible School, and is pastoring a church.  His wife is a sub-chief in an area not far from the mission property.

              Would you pray with us that the needs for these brethren will be met so that they will be able attend the ICCC?  Some are still lacking in their travel cost and some for their VISAs.  If you wish to help, send the donation the IBPFM marked Project Pastors.

              The watchmen at the mission station have mentioned that the fence posts around the property have been eaten down by “white ants” (termites) and that the barbed wire has rusted.  This is a situation leaving the lands open to strangers and animals coming in.  The need now is for a more permanent fencing, with metal posts put in cement, and more barbed wire.  If you would like to help, please mark your gifts for Project Fence for Isovya.

              We do remain rather busy here in West Virginia!  Gary continues to have the Boys Class on Monday afternoon with two or three attending.  It is amazing to see what they remember, from week to week, and even year by year.  The boys are well behaved, listen well and participate.  At the end they get a little prize of candy and rush home. 

              On Tuesday evenings we are off to the Putney Memorial Church for Bible Study and prayer.  Please pray for that little group, that God would bring in others for the Sunday worship and prayer meeting.  Many are having physical problems as they are up in age, and sometimes have to miss.

Then on Wednesdays and Sundays we are in different churches, sometimes speaking, sometimes as a mission outreach, and often just attending to encourage.  It is wonderful to be used in the Lord’s work, no matter where we are!

              As we look back 38 years, to our SOME team to Puluqui Island in southern Chile, we do have great memories of constructing a church building on that island that had five Roman Catholic churches.  Well, the testimony has remained there over those years, and earlier this month the churches in the north came down for a camp on the island.  The Wilds, from North Carolina, sent some counselors, including Jeremy and Daniella Bjur, to do translation and lead meetings.  There were 150 students, counselors, and others who attended the camp for a week. 

              As we close, we leave you with I Timothy 1:12 “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.”

                                                                                                            Yours in His love and service,

                                                                                                            Gary and Pat Johnson