Greetings to all our supporters, prayer partners, family, and friends around the world.
Sharon and I hope you are already experiencing a wonderful 2020, and we pray for you often that God is blessing and watching over you and your family. We are doing very well, and God has been so good to us. It has been too long since we have written a newsletter, and I will not try to cover all the time we have missed. However, you do mean so much to us, and we are constantly grateful for your continued kindness and love as we represent you here in East Africa.
Before we talk about the ministry, our family is doing great, and we are growing. Most of you know this: Jessica and Luke are still serving on staff at Upward Christian Fellowship, IPHC in Hendersonville, NC. They had a second baby boy, Jayce Thomas Jenkins, a few months ago. His big brother, Gavin, is loving his baby brother.
Joshua, Allison, Alice, and Kepler are all well and live in Simpsonville, SC. Joshua is an Engineer at Michelin Tire Inc., and Allison works from home and homeschools the kids.
Alice will be 10 years old on her birthday, and Kepler is five, almost six. Janene has just finished her two-year term serving with World Missions and The Awakening, and she is now in the States preparing to go out as a fulltime missionary to Western Europe, where she will base in the country of Wales. God has been good to our family and us. Sharon and I went home for Christmas and were able to meet Jayce and celebrate with the whole family.
The work here in East Africa is going so well. Ron is still serving as the regional director of Eastern and Sub Saharan Africa, and Sharon is the director of Women’s Ministries in the region. We also continue to serve as the senior pastors of Calvary Worship Centre in Nairobi. God has been moving tangibly in many areas of the work, and we are very excited about the new year and what we have before us.
A Few Highlights from 2019
1. In April, we had the privilege to dedicate the Worship Centre portion of the Philip and Gailya List Conference Centre in Nairobi. This building will serve as the National Offices of the IPHC Church in Kenya, and as the home of Christian Life Worship Centre, IPHC. It will be used as a church and nursery school, general offices for the IPHC Kenya, and as a conference and Bible training center. We have also been able to put down a borehole and have set up a freshwater ministry to help provide clean water for the church and community. We have almost finished the offices and classes now, and we should dedicate the remainder of the building in April of this year. A picture is included.
2. In every country we work in, we have seen growth in numbers of churches and in membership. We are still trying to get statistical reports in, but we are thankful that the church seems to be growing on all fronts. This is mostly due to the incredible national leaders and dedicated missionaries we have in our region of the world. In the past year, we have experienced flooding and a shortage of food, governmental struggles, and we still have terror attacks. Through it all, God has continued to show Himself faithful. One pastor in Kenya gave a testimony a few months ago that he and his congregation had planted 15 churches in their area since 2014, and all the churches are experiencing growth. Sharon’s dad, Philip List, would say, “Injili Mbeli” (Forward with the gospel).
3. We have finally begun the construction of our headquarters for our church in Ethiopia. This has been a long process, and we have faced many roadblocks and detours in the planning department since we began construction, but we have begun. The government has required us to double the size of our building, and they changed our foundation plans three times after the construction began. However, the foundation is complete, and we have started going up now. We have exhausted our funds due to the changes and need to raise more money. Our faith is being pushed, and we believe for miracles. If you could help us with this project, we would appreciate your prayerful consideration.
4. Lastly, let me give you an incredible testimony from one of our Kenyan missionaries who is working among unreached people in the northeastern region of Kenya. His name is Dida. Kenya held a census in 2019, and in the remote area where Dida was working, several tribes were not included in the census. The people groups are small and, because they still live in remote areas in traditional huts, no one went to count them. An article came out in the Kenya newspaper about a “People the Census Forgot.” The amazing testimony is that several months before the census info had come out, God had led Dida to these people, and he began building relationships and sharing very slowly about the love of Jesus. After the article in the paper came out, he sent me a message and said to me, “Pastor Ron, The Census forgot about these people, but God did not forget them.” He has used this testimony to show the people that God loves them. Our mission and People to People have helped them with food and clothes. We believe for many new souls for the kingdom from this forgotten people group. Hallelujah!
Ron and Sharon Wooten