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Entries in Kenya (4)

Monday
Feb282011

Making Disciples in Kenya

Pat and Mike Heiser, founders of NEEMA Bible College and Heart of God Fellowship Ministry-Kenya stand with NBC graduate and Kitale director, Victor. (Click to enlarge)Mike and Pat Heiser, the founders of NEEMA Bible College (NBC), Heart of God Fellowship Ministries and several other organizations in Kenya, are witnessing the results of God's faithfulness to the biblical principle of multiplication when it comes to making disciples. Since 2007, NEEMA, which means "grace" in Swahili, has graduated more than one hundred students from their eighteen-month program. As these graduates have taken what they have learned and shared God’s love and grace with their churches and communities, they have found that the people they come in contact with want to hear more. This has provided the Heisers opportunities to establish new classes in the villages surrounding their headquarters in Meru.

Pat teaching at their school in Makunga, Kenya near the border of Uganda.
(Click to enlarge)
While NBC is based in Meru, and the school facilitates five classes in the surrounding area, Mike and Pat have also opened an office in Kitale, Kenya, which is 300 miles west of Meru. The Heisers have established classes in seven different villages in the Kitale area. Current enrollment between the various locations surrounding Meru and Kitale is close to 250 students. Mike and Pat oversee the Kitale office, and travel to teach at the seven locations one week per month, but the bulk of the classes in Kitale and Meru, are being directed by graduates from NBC. As the Word of God spreads through the area, the Heisers have plans to open more schools.

Graduation day in Kitale, July 2010 (Click to enlarge)To graduate, students must complete the year-and-a-half-long program, which covers thirty courses including surveys through all sixty-six books of the Bible, a Biblical Management Principles course, and a class called, Marriage and the Christian Home. These courses, many of which stem from Charis Bible College curriculum, provide the solid Biblical foundation necessary for effective ministry multiplication.

The Heisers estimate that as many as sixty percent of their students, the average age of which is thirty-two, Homegrown disciples—Over the past few years the Heisers have opened their home to Kenya's homeless children, and have raised them as their own. In July four of their 28 children graduated from NBC. (Click to enlarge) are already involved in full-time ministry; many serving as pastors of local churches. The changes in their students' lives also impact the churches the students lead. Student testimonies come in weekly, about how knowing the true nature of God is transforming lives, and as these testimonies continue to come in, so to do the invitations for the Heisers to open more schools.

"We have over 40 different denominations represented in our now 243 students; they include Catholics, Anglicans, Baptists, Methodists, Friends, Seventh Day Adventists, Pentecostals, and everything in between. We go into these students' churches to observe what they are doing, and we continue to build relationships with them and encourage them. Mike, Pat and other NBC staff performing an ordination service for one of their graduates. (Click to enlarge)We know that making disciples is what Jesus has called us to do, so we pursue that with our whole heart," said Mike.

The Lord has given the Heisers a vision of what is to come, and they admit that they will have to rely entirely on the Lord to see it come to pass. "We continue to have so many doors open to us to bring this message that Pat and I are really unable to meet the need ourselves, but we see God raising up new leaders through NEEMA," Mike said. The vision for the Heisers includes the expansion of NBC into six larger cities within Kenya, and then future growth into the Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel. Movement toward that end is already evident as NBC graduates and staff members, Hamsen and Nancy, prepare to launch a school in Lokichogio, Kenya, a city on the border of Sudan.

To find out more about Mike and Pat Heiser and their ministry visit the Kids in Kenya website.

Thursday
Sep302010

Dottie Haymond: Led by His Peace

Charis Bible College-Colorado graduate, and missionary to Bungoma, Kenya, Dottie Haymond (far left). (Click to enlarge)In her mid-forties Dottie Haymond, born and raised in Craigsville, West Virginia, found herself turning from denominational religion. Dottie, the mother of two grown and married young men said, "This crazy desire just rose up in me to learn more about God." Instead of continuing to let someone else tell her what the Bible said, and what it meant, she began reading it for herself. Over the next four years, as the desire grew, she began to step out of her comfort zone, and by the time she turned fifty years old she couldn't get enough of the Good News.

Dottie serving meals at a Christmas Celebration in Kenya. (Click to enlarge)As Dottie's relationship with the Lord continued to grow, her friends began to notice a change in her and they were challenged by the things she said and did. Her understanding of God's love continued to expand, and she began to see visions and have dreams. Dottie was able to know things, by revelation knowledge, about people just by being near them.

It was during this time that the Lord spoke to her, and said that it was time for her to go to Bible college. Dottie said, "Bible college? I'm too old." She heard God say in reply, "You are the age of Abraham—now go." Dottie has been able to help with construction projects for local churches and homeless widows. (Click to enlarge)Dottie began researching schools and found one relatively close to her home. After receiving the application by mail, she sensed the Lord indicating that the school she had chosen was not His choice. The next day on her way to work, as she listened to Andrew's radio program, which she had been doing regularly since 1999, he began to speak about his Charis Bible College (CBC) in Colorado Springs. Immediately she heard the Lord say, "That is where you are going."

Dottie helps construct the mud walls of this building. (Click to enlarge)Dottie has fond memories of her time at CBC, and her volunteer work with the Springs Rescue Mission while she was a student. "I loved every day of those two years, and hated to leave," she said.

Along her step-by-step journey with the Lord through her two years at CBC, Dottie found herself continually stepping outside her comfort zone. In 2002, as a second year student, she was part of a CBC mission team that visited Uganda and Kenya, Africa. Under the guidance of seasoned missionary, Ruth Potter, Dottie felt at home in the foreign surroundings. "I knew Kenya was my destiny," she said.

Dottie has had a heart for the children of Kenya since her first visit as a CBC student. (Click to enlarge)Dottie graduated from CBC in 2003, and in September of 2005, Dottie returned to Africa to find her place as a missionary. She learned, through her experience at CBC, that the Lord would give her the courage and strength to do whatever he asked of her. Once there, she bounced between various cities and villages in Uganda and Kenya, until finally landing in Bungoma, Kenya in December. She had met a fellow missionary doctor, who helped her get started working with local street children and the Red Cross. At last she felt the peace of God inside her; feeling so alive, she knew she was where God wanted her to be.

Dottie and one of her West Kenya Bible College classes. (Click to enlarge)Since committing herself to serve the people of Bungoma, Dottie has organized a small Bible school in her home called West Kenya Bible College. Dottie incorporates CBC's first year curriculum, which was generously provided by fellow CBC-CO graduates, and former directors of CBC-UK, Tom and Lesley Decker. She uses the DVD correspondence materials to supplement her own teachings. Dottie also hosts discipleship classes, from which Dottie is able to send people out into the village churches to teach, fulfilling 2 Timothy 2:2.

Dottie cares for the Widows of Bungoma who despised and frowned upon as beggars. (Click to enlarge)Dottie speaks in the area churches, prays for those seeking prayer, lays hands on the sick and sees them healed, and ministers to the residents of the local villages in many other ways. Through her ministry she has been able to build church buildings and homes for widows, she pays fees for children to attend school, and she gives food and clothing to the poor. Dottie also enjoys hosting CBC missions teams from abroad. "I'll do anything God tells me to do. I'm a missionary God has sent out. He told me to feed his sheep. I said yes. I take care of the true widows and orphans, and I teach the Word of God—I love my job," said Dottie.

Presently, Dottie has three children in her care: (L-R) one-year-old Daniel, two-year-old Andrew and three-year-old Rachel. (Click to enlarge)In an effort to escape her currently high monthly rent payments, Dottie has plans to build a home for herself and her Kenyan family. Presently, she has three children in her care, and plans to have ten children living in the home. Once the home is completed, she will build a ministry Center, which will house a church, Bible college classrooms and an administrative office.

To contact Dottie for more information about her ministry in Bungoma, mail correspondence to: Dorothy Haymond, Tioga Christian Church, 466 Fowler Road Tioga, WV 26691 or send an email to: dothayman@yahoo.com

Thursday
May062010

A God-sized Adventure

Former CBC students, Mike and Pat Heiser, became missionaries to Meru, Kenya. (Click to enlarge)Thirty-eight years ago, on the very first day of their married life, Mike and Pat Heiser made a commitment to make Jesus the head of their family and to live their lives for Him. The Heisers knew from the beginning that God had more of an adventure in store for them than a routine corporate lifestyle. Even after the birth of their child, Tiona Sue, Mike maintained a certain level of reluctance toward settling down into a typical American lifestyle. His resistance to the norm kept the door open for the pending adventure he knew God had purposed.

In 1994, while the Heisers were living in Pat’s home-town of Kansas City helping to care for Pat’s ailing father, Mike took a job with a local newspaper publisher. While there, God blessed Mike and Pat abundantly through business opportunities Mike was exposed to through his corporate work. Their prosperity allowed them to follow their heart's desire and they gave liberally to missions around the world.

The Heiser's missionary journey has brought them to Meru, Kenya, located on the east coast of Africa, East of Uganda. Despite the demands of their busy lifestyle, and true to Mike's reluctance to settle down, the Heisers decided to enroll in Charis Bible College (CBC). They had been introduced to Andrew's teaching in the mid-1980s. Andrew had become a great influence in their lives and they were looking to further saturate their minds with the Word of God. Their time at CBC was fruitful, and ultimately led to an amazing opportunity; Mike and Pat were asked to teach at Grace Bible School in Meru, Kenya. Upon accepting the invitation to teach, they set out on their long awaited adventure and moved to Meru in November of 2002.

Many children are forced to survive on the streets of Meru. (Click to enlarge)The Heiser's hearts were immediately filled with love for the Kenyan people, with a special fondness for the children who were running wild on the streets. They recalled a recurring dream Mike had approximately 30 years before their adventure to Kenya, in which the couple was in a foreign land with many children living in a big house on a hill. And true to the dream, the first home they settled into in Kenya was a big house on a hill. Very soon after moving in, they opened their home to the unwanted and neglected children of Meru. In just a few days time, they were blessed with six children who needed parents, and the love
of Christ.

8-year-old Elijah is one of many children the Heisers have welcomed into their home.
(Click to enlarge)
Filled with compassion for children on the streets, Mike and Pat also began PATHWAYS, a ministry outreach to the children who are not ready to submit to the discipline of family life. For more than seven years, the Heisers have been loving, feeding and teaching street children
about Jesus.

13-year-old Claire Muthoni also lives with the Heisers.
(Click to enlarge)
With Christ's endless supply of love and compassion, Mike and Pat also began reaching out to the single mothers of Meru and the children they saw these women struggling to feed. One Sunday in February 2005, Pat served tea to six single mothers as she shared God’s unconditional love and grace with them. After discovering that these women felt rejected in their local churches because of their poverty, the Heisers began hosting the women in their home each Sunday morning to celebrate God’s love and faithfulness. This was the beginning of what God had already told Mike to do; plant a church. Today, Mike and Pat pastor not one, but two Heart of God Fellowship Churches, one in Meru, and one in Githongo. Each month the church goes into the surrounding neighborhoods and shares the Good News of the Gospel.

NEEMA (grace in Swahili) Bible College Graduation ceremony. (Click to enlarge)The Heisers, understanding the need to train other leaders to continue the work they have lovingly begun, founded a Bible college in January of 2007. NEEMA (grace in Swahili) Bible College uses much of the curriculum of Charis Bible College, emphasizing the unconditional love of Jesus. Opening the Bible college has created new opportunities for the Heisers to reach several surrounding villages.

Mike and Pat waited faithfully for God to reveal His plan, His adventure, for their lives. And now, living their destiny, they are touching the lives of the people in Meru and beyond with the love and grace of Jesus, and training them to do the same.

To find out more about Mike and Pat Heiser and their ministry visit the Kids in Kenya website.