By Elder Vernon Johnson
Kenya – Within the last two and a half months four different men near Kisii , Kenya have reached out with a desire to learn more about the Primitive Baptists and our beliefs. First, a preacher from Kisii , Kenya contacted Elder Keith Ellis through the Paradise PBC website. Elder Ellis referred the man to me and I in turn sent him a package of materials and introduced him to Elder Martin. Elder Martin is now studying with the man and his congregation, teaching them the doctrines of grace. A second man found my email address and contacted me asking if I would help him with spiritual understanding. I mailed him a package of materials and introduced him to Elder Martin Onyoni. He and the group he was leading are now studying with Elder Martin and learning the doctrines of grace. A third man contacted Elder Martin directly and discussed with him our beliefs and indicated a desire to know more. I have furnished him with the package of study materials. Elder Martin is studying with him and his groups teaching them the doctrines of grace. Just recently a fourth man contacted Elder Ellis, who in turn referred him to me and I likewise to Elder Martin. I have sent the man the materials and contacted him with Elder Martin.
In Kenya , there are currently five churches along with fellowships in Nairobi , Kisumu, Navaisha, Tabaka, and now possibly up to seven additional fellowships near Kisii.
Elder Martin has also informed me that there are currently at least two men whom he believes that are ready to be ordained to the office of elder. Once these two are ordained there will be seven ordained elders in Kenya . There are several other young gifts that are exercising their gifts in the ministry.
Tanzania – In late April and early May, Elder Mark Hasenmyer and I went to Dar Es Salaam to preach the gospel to the church that the late Elder Obey was blest to establish. In addition, we studied with the five men who have been preaching, but not yet ordained, at that church. We also had four men from Zambia to come up and participate with us in the studies and worship.
Elders Sam Bryant, Paul Blair, and Charles Kitchens are scheduled to go to Kenya and Tanzania in the last two weeks of July. They are scheduled to spend six days in Kenya and eight days in Tanzania . During their stay in Tanzania the four brethren from Zambia and one from Botswana will also travel to Dar Es Salaam to study with the brethren there in Dar. Elders Martin Onyoni and Charles Kenyanjui will remain there in Dar for an additional week studying with the brethren there after the American elders depart.
Ghana – Early this year Elder Tim McCool, Elder Martin Onyoni, and I went to HO, Ghana to preach to a group of people led by a Bro. Aikins Doh. While there, Elders McCool and Martin were blessed to baptize several people and we were blessed to preach to the fellowship and study with several of them for two weeks. Since our departure a second fellowship has been established in a nearby village.
Bro. Aikins Doh had been scheduled to go to Kenya to spend three weeks with him in late June and early July. However, due to the heavy airline traffic in Africa caused by the World Cup soccer championship in South Africa , Bro. Aikins was unable to get airline tickets to travel to Kenya . His trip has been postponed to later in the year.
Uganda – Earlier this year Elders Martin Onyoni and Richard Onuonga traveled to Uganda to preach to a group of people in Mbale , Uganda . These people are led by a Bro. Boaz Munga. There are six men who believe they have a call to preach. Currently there are three fellowships in the area around Mbale.
In October of this year, Elder Michael Gowens and I are scheduled to travel to Kenya and Uganda , along with Elder Martin Onyoni, to preach to the people in the three fellowships in Mbale and to study with the six men who have a call to preach.
Zambia – A door originally opened to four preachers in this country about a year ago. These are the same four men who went to Dar to study with Elder Hasenmyer and I in April/May of this year. What has happened since this original door was opened is phenomenal. There is currently somewhere between thirty and fifty preachers who are either studying with these four men or have been contacted by these men and subsequently have contacted me requesting the study materials I have been furnishing. On average I am receiving one to two emails a week from preachers in Zambia requesting the study materials I have been sending. About three weeks ago I received an email from a man who is pastor of a group of people numbering about 300. He had heard about the materials I have been sending and requested I send a package to him. He also said that he had contacts in Mozambique , Namibia , Angola , and Zimbabwe .
Elders Mike Ivey, Martin Onyoni, and I are planning to go to Zambia early in 2011 to preach the gospel and to study with many of the above mentioned men, teaching them the doctrines of grace.
Botswana – At the same time that a door opened to the four men in Zambia a door also opened to a man in Botswana . Subsequently another man has become very interested in the beliefs of the Primitive Baptists. Botswana is between Zambia and South Africa . The first man in Botswana has been also working with a group of people in South Africa . When Elder Ivey and I go to Zambia we also plan to spend some time in Botswana .
Needs – Several have asked me about the needs of the people and ministry in Africa . The greatest need is prayer. Certainly, without the Lord's help all is vain. We must have his leadership in all that we do. Second there is continuously a need for bibles and song books. Zambia is an English speaking nation. If anyone knows of any church that has some No. 10 or No. 11 Old School hymnals that they are no longer using, then I request you let them know that we can use them in Africa .
Elder Vernon Johnson