Let Satan gain nothing…
On May 31, we received the tragic news from Pastor Jared Osongo in Kisii, Kenya, the pastor of our 1st Fellowship Riders Kenyan Ministry to the Boda Boda, that one of his church members at Rigena Christian Fellowship and a Boda Boda, was drowned last night along with 2 of his daughters as they were attempting to cross a bridge on the way home from school. The father is the 2nd man from the left in the group picture wearing the blue jacket. Pastor Jared said he hired this man to take him many places and he was a dear friend as well as a valued member of the Boda Boda ministry in his church.
Due to the poverty of most families, they are unable to have insurance for medical or other catastrophic expenses, such as burial costs. Often survivors of these tragedies must sell livestock or property to pay these expenses, which can further plunge them into debt or erode any surplus resources. For widows and children, burial or medical expenses are an especially cruel burden.
In the past 1-1/2 years of supporting, loving, and sharing with our pastors and their churches, we have, through the donations of caring partners, assisted with medical, housing, burial, clothing, and food costs.
Burial services were held on Saturday, June 8, and it is clear that this loss affected the entire community as seen in the number of people who gathered to show their respect and to mourn the wife and one surviving child.
This is another of those times when your contributions can help lighten the burdens of these struggling families, widows, and children so we prayerfully ask you join with us to lift the hearts of these who suffer. 100% of your donations will go to help these who are mourning this loss and your donations are tax-deductible.
Over a period of months, a young man in Bangladesh, Titus Bilas, had been communicating with us concerning his organizing a motorcycle ministry in his country. A rider, Titus has been focusing on evangelizing young people and children through introductory programs in villages near his home.
As a non-Christian nation; 90% of the population Muslim, 9% Hindu, and the remaining 1% spread among Buddhists and a sprinkling of other beliefs including Catholic; the Gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ is unknown to most of Bangladesh.
A tireless servant of Jesus, Titus has truly been about the work of the Kingdom and has enlisted several friends to assist him as he travels and teaches in villages one or more times a week and it is his vision to expand his efforts to the riders of Bangladesh.
Always looking for opportunities to take the Gospel, Titus organized a viewing of the “Jesus Film” for children in his home during the Easter celebration.
After these months of seeking the Lord’s approval, Titus’ request to partner with Fellowship Riders in sharing the Gospel with the riders in his community was approved in April and we are in the start-up stages of determining the most efficient ways to support his work.
If we are to be obedient to the command of our Savior to in Matthew 28:19-20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you”, then we must provide the Word of God in the language of the people of Bangladesh, which is our first and ongoing priority. Bibles cost $12.50 each, but the value is incomprehensible and the duration eternal.
2 Samuel 10:12 Be of good courage, and let us Be courageous for our people, and for the cities of our God, and may the LORD do what seems good to him.”
The year 2019 began with many plans and expectations as we moved ahead with registering Fellowship Riders of Kenya as a non-government organization which would enable us to operate freely within all 47 autonomous counties of Kenya without the need to register in each individual county. Additionally, we would receive non-profit status, allowing us tax-exempt status for materials shipped or purchased throughout the country.
To formally begin this process, Pastor Jared Osongo of Nyamarambe, Pastor Davis Omweri of Nyamira, Pastor Samuel Mbuchi of Nakuru, and Pastor Benard Wanjala of Kamukuywa met in Kisii to draft the constitution, complete applications, and elect officers on Sunday, January 13, 2019. Completing their work, each pastor returned home on Tuesday.
On the following Wednesday, January 16, Pastor Samuel along with 6 others was killed in a major bus accident in Nakuru, leaving behind his wife, Margaret, and 3 children. Pastors Jared and Davis represented Fellowship Riders and took some money to help with burial services and meet immediate needs of the family.
Pastor Samuel and I had developed a great friendship and respect for each other, although never having met. Through many emails, pictures, and texts we shared the Scriptures, his guidance and insight in matters of his ministry and that of Fellowship Riders in Kenya, and a heart for taking the Gospel. I had the great honor to buy him a new suit for his Sunday and Wednesday services. I loved him. Even as we have suffered this loss, the Kingdom of God continues to advance. We are in the process of interviewing 2 new pastors who have asked to partner with Fellowship Riders in taking the Gospel to the Boda Boda. As God has done in the past, he has moved to bring.
In the final minutes of 2018 and the first minutes of 2019, my wife, Lou Ann, and I had the TV on in our bedroom for no particular reason; it just was on as we were preparing to go to bed after enjoying our time together sitting on our patio and roasting marshmallows. I had earlier in the evening thought we would start the New Year with a time in the Scripture but time had passed quickly. Only glancing at the TV, I realized what I was seeing and hearing – a message perfectly timed as only the Lord can do – an archived message not originally broadcast for welcoming in a new year, yet a message orchestrated for this exact moment by the One who stands above time.
The message was from 2 Kings when Elijah was coming to the end of his ministry and he had already called Elisha as his successor. On their final journey together, “After they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken away from you?” “Please, let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied. (2 Kings 9) Continue reading
Fellowship Riders of the Hill Country
Once again, Fellowship Riders of the Hill Country and our supporting churches, Kendall County Cowboy Church and Wild Ride Ministries get set to participate in Prison Fellowship Angel Tree for children having one or both parents in prison.
Over the last couple of years we have assembled a really talented group of people that thoroughly enjoy the Angel Tree season, as well as being supported by two very generous churches. Feeling pretty confident I asked for twice as many children than ever before knowing we could handle them. When I received our list this year and realized that we were not getting our requested amount, but less than the last couple of years I become somewhat disappointed. Then after soaking it all in I realized I was only being selfish. I prayed that the reason for less this year can be summed up in one of two ways.
First….Could it be that there are a lot more parents at home with their children than before? Could it be that more parents are making better decisions by staying home and keeping the family intact? Continue reading
When Hurricane Florence impacted the Carolinas with high winds and heavy rains with an estimated 55 fatalities from the storm – among the hardest hit – the city of Wilmington, NC was completely cut-off from the mainland by a strong storm surge and inland flooding caused by the high record-breaking rainfall, exceeding 30 inches in some areas. Lacking utilities and other services for a number of days, conditions for many residents of Wilmington was difficult.
Responding to the needs of these struggling for even basic necessities, Davis Street UMC in Burlington, NC made an appeal in their community for funds and donations of needed items to be taken to a food pantry in Wilmington, Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, that serves the homeless and others in the downtown area. From that effort, fifty 5 gallon buckets filled with recommended basic supplies along with individual hygiene packs were prepared for those in Wilmington.
As the date approached for the delivery of these supplies, Fellowship Riders – Alamance County at Trailhead Church in Burlington, became aware of the opportunity to deploy its newly acquired trailer and partner with Pastor Edgar DeJesus of Davis Street UMC in taking these supplies to Wilmington.
It is a joy to be the hands and feet of Jesus serving those in need, both physically and spiritually, “with your feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace” as it was on the morning we met to deliver the supplies. While waiting on one of our group to arrive, a man came up asking for money, saying he was a painter and did not have enough work to keep him busy. As we talked, he confessed he had suffered from alcohol abuse but was now sober (there was no odor of alcohol) and he said he had accepted Jesus as Lord. The Holy Spirit stirred concerning his deliverance from the demonic attack of Satan on his life through the use of alcohol as we laid hands on him and prayed for his complete release from bondage and for a renewed walk with Jesus.
All in all, it was a special event, a time of blessing and being blessed. May the Lord be praised and exalted.
“Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27
Last week Pastor Jared of Rigena Christian Church in Nyamarambe shared that while he and others from his church were visiting people in their community, they met Mary Nyomenda, a widow whose husband had died two years ago and her daughter is also sick. The church quickly arranged a fund drive to help repair or replace her home. He reported they had raised 7,000Ksh (Kenyan Schillings), approximately $68.00 U.S. Dollars, and members of the church donated posts, trusses, and rafters to build a new house.
“We want to build her a small house of 20 iron sheets. Hope if we get those funds the house will be completed plus paying the funds soon. We have now a lot of rain and in fact, I am fearing how she does.” Pastor Jared said they are needing 10,500Ksh or $108.00USD to complete building the house. Continue reading
In the whirlwind of the activities leading up to the rally and afterward, it seems the event can now be viewed with a clearer perspective. From the inception of this event to call Christian motorcycle ministries and riders to gather in Sturgis more than 3 years earlier, Fellowship Riders were honored to contribute in a number of ways in supporting and shaping this event as the Lord gave direction.
Asked to serve as Program Director for 2018, I had no prior experience or predetermined direction; which was in retrospect exactly what was needed. 2 days before the first planning meeting, the Lord brought the word “reset”. Over the next 6 weeks, the Lord began putting form and direction to His desire to “reset” the content and purpose of the rally for 2018 which became immediately clear when He brought the next and final word of “revival” as the goal of the next Light Up The Hills Rally.
The Lord spoke that we were to come seeking “personal righteousness before a Holy God”, to be reminded “for it is written: “Be holy because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16)
Over the next few months, the Lord opened and closed many doors in the process of bringing speakers with His message for us as individuals, as citizens of this nation, and as the Body of Christ. His selections were Jordan Morris of Together in the Harvest, David Barton of WallBuilders, Bob Smiley, and Pastor Michael Masambu, our dear friend from Alleluia Sanctuary of Praise in Kimilili, Kenya.
Looking back at the rally, there was evidence at every turn that the Lord’s presence was in that place, that lives were “reset” on a new path, that the Lord was worshipped and honored, that the truth of Scripture was spoken and heard, and that many left with something of eternal worth.
Ron Kidwell, President
Psalm 127:1 Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.
In learning of the need for tents and chairs; with the dual purpose of sheltering people for our ministry’s activities and to generate rental revenue to assist them in becoming self-sufficient; a donor has provided funds for the purchase of our first tent and chairs – plus $200.00 to provide additional Bibles. What a blessing and cause for celebration among us and among our pastors!
With this first tent and chair donation, I challenge everyone reading this to consider adding your support as we continue efforts to provide tents and chairs for the other 3 ministries. As with the Public Address systems, we will provide these new resources to our pastors in the order in which they were accepted as affiliate ministries of Fellowship Riders; Rigena Christian Church in Nyamarambe being the first recipient. It is our prayer that we will be able to quickly follow with tents and chairs for Powered by Christ Ministries in Nakuru, Gesonso Christian Church in Nyamira, and lastly Alleluia Sanctuary of Praise in Kimilili.
Romans 13:1 “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which is from God. The authorities that exist have been appointed by God.”
As our work among the Boda Boda progresses, it is important we comply with the authorities and regulations governing our ministries if we are to be true Ambassadors for Christ. To this end, we have successfully registered 3 of our ministries as CBOs (Community Based Organizations) in the counties of their home churches; Nakuru and Kisii. This step was taken to provide recognition among the local authorities and as another step toward establishing Fellowship Riders as a recognized non-profit in the nation of Kenya. That “next step” of registering in Nairobi as a faith-based non-profit organization is a priority as we strengthen the foundation of this Kingdom work.
Not waiting on the regulatory activities to be completed, our pastors are continuing to share the Gospel with the Boda Boda and their communities. As we had envisioned, our providing Public Address systems to our pastors has strengthened their churches and their outreach efforts.
Pastor Samuel Mbuchi of Powered by Christ Ministry in Nakuru has been taking his PA system to several Boda Boda stations and preaching the Gospel to both the Boda Boda and to all the clients who go in and out from these key transportation locations.
These efforts to take salvation to Kenya through the Boda Boda would not be possible without those of you who have contributed to the work of these pastors and their congregations. There are many things yet to be done as we follow the Lord and your donations are “seed for the harvest.” We thank you for investing in the Kingdom of God on the Earth and ask you prayerfully consider continuing to enlarge the Body of Christ in Kenya.