Serving the Lord at Headquarters

Dear Praying Friends of the IBPFM,

            Greetings in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ! 

            It has been a year since you have heard from me, so I thought I would let you know what is going on here at the Mission Headquarters. We have had several interesting changes in the office.

            We have acquired some new equipment to replace the faithful, but worn-out machines that were starting to destroy envelopes.  The newest is an address printer (left).  I send the address list to the printer, and this new machine will print all of the envelopes in about 1/3 the time that the old one took, and is less likely to jam.  We also have a new inserter (center) that takes care of folding and stuffing envelopes for us. 

We have a LOT of envelopes when we send out letters to you!

            I have been keeping in contact with a woman in Kenya.  She is the Sunday School superintendent of the Ungattu Church.  Her name is Rebecca.  When I first met her back in 2016, she was a student at the Bethel Bible Technical School, learning how to construct garments and sew.  Rebecca was always by herself and took little part in the conversations.  She didn’t speak English at all, so I always had to have an interpreter when I spoke to her.  All the ladies on our team were married, except for me.  The technical school girls were in their late teens, and would sit around while they were sewing, and discuss the boys that they liked.  Rebecca was already thirty-two, and said that she never wanted to marry.  She wanted to work with her church, and become a self-supporting business woman, so she and I had a lot in common.   

            As time went on, I learned about her background from her teacher.  She had grown up in a large family that were all much older, and her parents demanded that she stay with them and keep their house.  If she made any money doing other work, they took it.  She saved for years to afford the tuition.  Her parents had allowed her to get involved with the church next door to their farm.  Rebecca had risen to the position of Sunday School superintendent, and the children (and their parents) love her.  She didn’t want to miss a single week with her students.  After the Technical School let her go at 5:00 pm on Friday, she would walk 28 kilometers (17.3 mi.) back to her home, and then on Sunday night, she would walk the same distance back to be in time for school on Monday morning.  Years before, when a false teacher moved into the area and tried to split the church, she had walked for miles to visit every family in the church and remind them of the truth of the Bible.  Her pastor credits her with keeping the church together. 

            After Rebecca graduated, I expected to return and hear that she had a shop in her village, and was doing well.  Imagine my dismay when I learned that her parents were practically enslaving her, and she did not have enough money to purchase a sewing machine and set up a shop.  When I had been preparing to go on the team, the Lord provided me with almost $3,000 more than I needed.  I told Gary Johnson that I didn’t know what I should do with the money.  He replied, “Don’t worry.  The Lord will show you and lay it on your heart where to spend it.”  I knew then why I had the extra money.  Gary drove me to town, and we purchased a sewing machine, a table, and a lot of fabric, thread and other supplies that she would need.  The total came to just under $3,000!

            The next Sunday we loaded the van with supplies, tied the machine and table on top and headed out to the Ungattu church.  As we pulled in, I didn’t see Rebecca, so we set it all up in the front of the church, and the ladies and the pastor were so excited!  They knew exactly who it was for!  When church started, Rebecca was in the back yard of the church, teaching a children’s class.  We had to call her in to make the presentation.  She has used the sewing machine to be a blessing to her church family and to the community.  During Covid, she lost her little shop, but she is still working out of her home, and still teaching Sunday School.

            The famine has been hard on all of Kenya, but Rebecca’s little farm plot really suffered.  Last year, a kind lady sent money to encourage Rebecca, and she was able to buy new seed to replant when the rains finally came again.  When I visited in January 2022, she walked the 28 km to come and see me, and bring me one of the chickens from her flock!  Please continue to pray for this faithful servant of the Lord!

Thank you so much for your financial and prayer support for me and all of our office staff, and especially for our missionaries.

                                                In His Service,                                                            
Bonnie Leithmann