Missionaries at Large

 February, 2024

Dear Prayer Partners,

            We remember older people saying, “The older you get, the faster time flies”.  Well, we must be getting older, because it seems that time is flying, but we aren’t!  Maybe you feel that way too? In II Samuel 22:50, we read, “Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name”.

            January was a very discouraging month. It began after months of prayer and a concerted effort from pastors, the bank, the Mission Board, and others, sending letters, asking that our four Kenyan pastors be allowed to enter the States for a visit.  The pastors had paid $160 for each of their Visas, traveled into Nairobi, on January 30th to have a personal interview at the US Embassy.  Yet in the end, they were told they did not qualify. Why? No reasons were given! Yes, we are all disappointed. But they said, “God is in control and we will carry on.” In the end, a wonderful gift had come in for each of the four pastors and their churches, to encourage them in the Lord!  Thank you!

            The Lord continues to bless His work, here and in Kenya.  A couple of weeks ago at our Monday evening boys Bible Club (pictured left), the younger one, seven-years-old, said he had something to tell Gary.  “I’ve been saved, about two weeks ago; my parents led me to the Lord, in my bedroom.”  There was rejoicing with him and thanking God.  The other boy, soon to be 11, was smiling and said that he too had something to tell.  “I was saved yesterday. Gary had talked to me; my parents have talked to me and my church also. But I was at a new church yesterday and they sang about dry bones.  I thought, that is my heart, just dry bones.”  On their way home he asked his mother to pray with him!  We rejoice that we have had a small part in their salvation, and are now continuing to teach them the Word!  There have been four-year-old twins (pictured right) just added to the Bible Club. Pray for these little ones too.

            On a Wednesday night, Jacob, a student in the Christian School, came asking if we would pray for his grandmother who has cancer and having a hard time with the radiation treatments.  Jacob also asked if we would pray for a foreign student in the school who is not fluent in English. He wanted a tract in his language but we did not have any, but a tech-savvy man in the church found the Bible in his language on line.  Jacob shared this with his friend, who has been reading the book of Matthew, and has big smiles that it is in his language.  Pray for the salvation of this student.

            Perhaps you remember the Daniel Matamala family, from Chile, that went on the SOME team to Kenya in January 2022.  They have felt called to missions and have just this month moved to Punta Arenas, a city near the tip of Chile’s southernmost region. The family of five is starting with a Vacation Bible School, and Sunday School, as a way to reach the children, and then parents.  Please pray for them in this new mission outreach. They plan to serve in Punta Arenas for two years, and then, if the Lord provides, go to Kenya.

            After many years of “doing without” in Isovya, the Kenya Government is offering electricity to the Bethel Bible School and the Mission property.  We have been informed that the pole is set and the meter for the school is being installed this month. This part has been paid for by a donation from a friend of the Mission.  Soon they will need to hire an electrician to do the wiring for lights and plugs inside the building.  A little later the Mission, clinic building, and team house will be done.  This will provide lighting inside, for the refrigeration, and security lights outside.

            We praise the Lord for the good news, just received, that a new student has joined the Bethel Bible School. David Ngonde is a son of the late Pastor Philip Ngonde, who started the Bethel Bible School in 1998.  David is married and has two children, and wants to gain a greater knowledge of God’s Word to be able to preach.  He is very good in piano, guitar, and voice, in the African hymns.  He will be teaching music at the Bible School as he studies.  In the future we will try to help him buy a keyboard to aid in his teaching.

            “I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou has a little strength, and hast kept my word, and has not denied my name.” Revelation 3:8

                                                                                                            Yours in His love and service,

Johnson sig                                                                                      Gary and Pat Johnson