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God is Good! 2nd Quarter update

Hello friends, family and mission partners. I am excited to finally be bringing you a ministry update and I am happy to say in the midst of all the chaos, political unrest, wars, school shootings, fear and global anxiety, God is still on the throne! We have such a wonderful report of a mighty God who loves and cares for the smallest of His children in the farthest reaches!

God told us this second year of ministry would be about expansion but we couldn’t have guessed all the wonderful people, connections, new partners and churches. To go with all the new contacts has come a flood of need; true religion is to care for the widows & orphans and not let the world corrupt your thinking.... Wow! We get a front row seat to all the ministry, the needy, the desolate, hungry, lost people without hope, saved Christians floundering without direction and always we have with us the poor, the widows and the orphans. If not for the heart God has given me to ward off the overwhelming need I could easily find myself in despair. But God intervened, He has made me strong and enabled me to walk in joy! I feel the Holy Spirit in every part of our ministry; My heart leaps when we share the gospel, my spirit roars when the oppressed are set free, tears of love roll down my cheek when I look into the eyes of those widows and orphans and see the hope come alive again as they realize God is answering their prayers. He has heard their cries from heaven and sent laborers to ease their pain, restore their dignity and give them a voice they have been denied for so long!

This has literally turned into the year of divine connections. We started last September (God’s new year calendar) and returned to our mission field in Kenya. We visited all of our projects and partners in ministry to plan 10 weeks of evangelism and outreach across the country. Bishop Philemon secured ministry at the national convention in Gendia, a week long event for encouraging the churches. At the same time Bishop Mark helped us as we visited and ministered to the orphans at Agape in Kosele; giving them a day long Christmas party and presents from supporters in the US. By the end of the convention we handed out 150 Christmas care packs to the widows in the Homa Bay county area. We packed up the team and headed to Nairobi to celebrate Christmas and minister to an abandoned children’s school and orphanage through our contact Irene Oduor who introduced us to the school leadership in 2020. This is a ministry where they rescue boys and girls that have been abandoned at the churches, hospitals, and police stations. It was an amazing way to spend Christmas day giving out Christmas presents, playing games and sharing God’s love with this special children’s ministry. Next stop was another church/school & orphanage serving the population of Kiambio slum. The 14 of us spent the day after Christmas entertaining, teaching, feeding and praying for the 300 children hosted by Pastor Stephen Ochien, David and Irene (school owners and administrators), along with so many lovely children and people. God is opening the door for us to really minister and change the lives of these children. Next move was to Kisumu where we spent 2 weeks ministering the first week with our good friend Pastor Levis, his church hosted a week long crusade where we ministered nightly, filling the days with door to door and local school visits. The next week we spent with Pastor Peters hosting a youth workers conference and then taking the ministry outdoors for door to door and street ministry.

This brings up to the middle of January where we packed up the team and headed to the Uganda border town of Busia. Here we had a wonderful week of ministry including, hospital prayer for the sick with multiple healings. Door to door ministry, orphanages, schools, medical college with a grand Sunday service. Big shout out to our host Bishop Chris and Dr. Molly who are pioneering this church in Busia that includes youth musical training, a sound recording studio. adult computer education and a great new church! Leaving Busia we headed South to the village of Oyengwe (oh-yang-way) for a week long crusade, more door to door, schools, church and a large outdoor Sunday service where the surrounding communities came for prayer and blessing over a our friends and partners Dr. Lucas and Bentar as she enters a political campaign for the MCA ( like US representative).

We said farewell to Western Kenya and bused back to Nairobi where we loaded on to the train for South Coast and the city of Mombasa. We had 2 weeks of ministry there working with Bishop Hezra in the Likoni Island area and Pastor George in Ukunda. The first week kicked off a nightly crusade in Mtongwe and a supernatural time of God’s favor! South Coast area is a heavy Muslim population with active terrorist organizations like Al-Shabaab operating in the area. During the daytime ministry hours we were going into schools like normal but to my amazement God maneuvered us into 2 Islamic schools the first one was such a surprise as we traveled out of town and arrived where the dress was clearly formal Muslim attire. We were allowed to present our full program and present an alter call at the end where almost all were praying for salvation. The next day we were scheduled to visit a school and orphanage that was populated by children who lost their parents to AIDS and many of whom were living with HIV themselves. It was an amazing time of ministry, prayer and loving play and visiting with the kids there. As we started to leave a new contact who we had only met that morning said she had another school for us to go to. You know Americans, I was feeling frustrated by the unscheduled event but the woman was persistent and said it was very close. We decided to go and minister at the school which was not close and as a matter of fact the woman guide wasn’t exactly sure where it was. I could clearly see the enemy was fighting us on this one, it was hot around noon, we were lost, we were deep in an unknown neighborhood looking for an unscheduled event. When we finally found the place and were invited in I was amazed to hear we were now in an all girls Muslim school. The girls on our ministry team did the heavy lifting and presented the program and Gospel to the students, the men were in the next room with a few boys from the family of the school workers. We were right beside the main hall and had a clear view of what was happening. We had to remove our shoes to enter and about halfway through I started to understand why. I noticed all the books on the shelves there were copies of the Koran and the floors were all covered with reed mats; we were standing in their prayer room where they taught the Koran and prayed to Allah. By the end of the alter call I was weeping as we prayed the salvation prayer with the boys standing in the Muslim prayer room! God is so good, this kind of access is unheard of in Kenya, “BUT GOD”... That night we met up at the crusade like each day that week but our guide wasn’t around and it turns out the Bishop didn’t even know we were going to that girls school... I have to wonder if she was an angel bringing us where God needed us to be? Our favor continued through the week where we finished the service in a celebration service in the North Coast city of Kongowea. Monday we headed to Ukunda and enjoyed a sabbath rest day by the beach. Pastor George booked us in a Word of Life school and camp in Diani Beach were we would spend that week by the beach and the monkeys. We ministered at a leadership meeting that afternoon while the team spent their sabbath at home. The next day was school outreach and door to door in Ukunda. We had a great week of outreach to schools, a woman’s shelter for young women who had suffered abuse and needed help through their pregnancy. A pastor’s conference, a youth convention and lots of street ministry in 2 areas where they make illicit alcohol (it is like neighborhoods for boot leggers). We had a fantastic response with many salvation’s and people delivered from alcoholism. In one of the areas called White House one of our local pastors was able to start a Bible study as outreach to all the new converts! A group that Julie was facilitating cleared out a bar with all the people getting saved and set free from drinking! We were speaking at Diani Interdenominational Pastors monthly meeting when God connected us with a ministry in Kenya that provides Bibles in the language of the requester for free. We traveled back to Nairobi after two solid weeks of ministry in the Mombasa region where the YWAM team did their debrief and God gave us another divine introduction to Bishop Ibrahim Omondi and his wife Diane,. He has an apostolic position with Dove International over the East Africa region with main churches and outreaches in Nairobi that they minister to day to day as well as a dozen satellite church plants in the surrounding nations. During this time of fellowship Bishop Omondi donated 150 KGs of nutritionally complete fortified rice to the orphans at Agape. We said our sad goodbyes to the team from YWAM and took 2 weeks to regroup, rest and get God’s heart for the rest of the year. We had been traveling to a new location to work and minister for 7 months and needed the downtime and God time..

God opened our hearts for some changes and directed us to relocate in Kisumu which is central to some of our old projects and new ones He opened doors for us with projects like the Ekeonga Orphanage in Kisii land, or the new Blessed Generations CBO, where we helped our partners plant in Migori town. There are two churches and the new orphanage we are partnering with in Migori and of course God gave us a new divine connection with Pastor Kapish. He is retired from working with the United Nations refugee camps in Kenya and is getting us access to the the two large refugee camps in Kenya. We are so excited as this is not typical. God set up this opportunity in the ways that only He can. In the meantime our other projects are going full steam as the boys dormitory nears occupation at Agape we also had the opportunity to do three refurbish projects on the primary school classrooms there. These projects required ripping out old cement and re-pouring the floors and sidewalk as well as touch up on any damaged walls. Next, was a total repaint inside and out including refurbish on the chalkboards and finally repair and refurbish the roof giving the kids a brand new 8 classroom building in which to learn and study. Our first project at the Ekeonga School was a complete water system with tower and gravity fed running water for the children and staff on campus. In Migori the 56 Children and 20 plus widows went from a 2 room apartment to a 14 room school on a large campus as we opened the new orphanage.

It is like Christmas for us as we travel from project to project looking into the eyes of the widows, orphans and church congregations. The same excitement, joy, love and sheer glee you see in their eyes reminds me so much of those moments with our own children when we would drink hot chocolate with a candy cane and open presents taking turns so we each could enjoy everyone’s experience together.

It is the same experience but in a more extreme environment. God has truly blessed us with the experience of a lifetime as we get to become the hands and feet of Jesus. The joy and gratitude when they realize God has heard their prayers and sent someone to help. When they feel special, maybe for the first time in their lives. When they give their heart to Jesus and realize He has a great love, and a great purpose for them.

We are so thankful to God and to our supporters at home that make these dreams a reality! We marvel at the past 2 years, the experience and partners we have today and the amazing vision God is casting into our hearts for next year which we see being formed in the relationships He is giving us each day. He enlarges the vision and ministry and we are transformed into the image of Christ building the Kingdom of God around us at every turn.

In addition to the continued feeding, building, church planting and humanitarian projects we have ongoing, God is taking us into the refugee camps next season and has been blowing up our ideas of ministry with His harvest vision. Where we will plan and execute outreach crusades in coordination with the hundreds of church partners we have been sharing this vision with. We plan to expand the free Bible ministry with our partners and hold discipleship training seminars the week before the crusade bringing the lay people up to speed on how to minister to the people in large crowds and how to follow up and disciple people into the Kingdom once we have gone. Finally we have a deal going to assist in establishing a new FM radio station to preach the gospel and serve the community. Jesus is sewing all these pieces together and put a word in our hearts that is calling the body of Christ to rise up and take their place as His ambassadors seeking a true encounter with the glory of God, letting Him transform them into real ambassadors who reconcile men unto Christ. God has given us all the ministry of John the Baptist....

where we are seeing the glory of God raise our hands and our voices pointing to Jesus and proclaiming to everyone we meet “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”!!!!!!

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We so much appreciate your continued prayers, love and support. More especially as you keep praying for these vulnerable Ekeonga chidren's monthly nutritional meals/food and as well as the dormitries, which they are indeed lacking...! Lord richly bless you, richly bless REACH Ministries in Jesus Mighty name we pray. Amen!

Augustus and Martha

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