A View into East Africa and Beyond
by Ron & Sharon Wooten
Greetings to all our supporters, prayer partners, family and friends.
We do trust you are well in the Lord and experiencing His Blessing, Favor and Presence. Sharon and I want to thank you again from the bottom of our hearts for all you do for us as missionaries. We are still in awe, after 17 years of being missionaries, how God connected us to each of you and that so many have been partners with us in missions since the day we started in January of 1994. God bless you and keep you; may His face always shine upon you.
Since our last newsletter, we have probably been the busiest we have been in our lives. We have traveled all over Africa, not just East Africa, because of Sharon’s position as the Africa Director of Women’s Ministries. This is General Conference year in many countries of Africa, so she needed to be at many of them for elections. As I type, we are sitting in Malawi after just finishing the second General Conference and Women’s General Conference in two weeks. The first one was in Johannesburg, SA. I, Ron, went to Zambia to preside over their General Conference last month as well but Sharon had to travel back to U.S. with her mother Gailya List. Gailya got very sick just days before her furlough was to begin. World Missions did not think it was good for her to fly back on her own, so Sharon accompanied her and spent two weeks taking her to doctors. They finally determined she had some bad infections that were causing her issues, and she is much better.
Also in August, Sharon had 4 weeks, back to back, of Women’s Ministries conferences. We of course could not make them all, but we did all we could. We were on the road throughout Kenya where Sharon taught, preached and equipped women in WM training. In a few of the conferences, they even let me get up and say something as well. I may not always get invited to speak at the Women’s meetings, but Sharon is always asked to speak at the Pastors’ Conferences. Must have something to do with how gifted she is at speaking! I am honored to be there for her, and to try and take care of her the best I can. God has blessed me!!!
Janene, our last born, also got to be with us this past summer. After she finished her junior year, (can’t believe our baby is a senior at Emmanuel College) she joined us to go to Hong Kong for the IPHC World Conference. We had some special people make this possible. Janene and I were supposed to go to China for her senior trip when she graduated high school. We had our Visas and tickets booked, but because of a family emergency we had to cancel the trip. We prayed God would bless us to be able to take her again. He answered our prayers. She also traveled with us in Kenya for ministry and was able to go to Rwanda for a week to work with The Tignors, IPHC Missionaries serving there.
Some other highlights and prayer requests:
1. We are still pastoring the International Church in Nairobi, Calvary Worship Centre. Even though this has been so much work for us and takes a lot of our time, it has been a highlight of ministry as well. We have seen so many things happen over the past few years showing us God’s favor. We now have 6 services each Sunday in 5 languages and have people coming to the church from probably 20 different countries. A few weeks ago, the worship team in our English service had 8 different nationalities. A lot like heaven. We preach missions here just like we do in the American church and this month we did Faith Commitment Sunday. We have taken over $1200 a month in pledges to support the 7 Kenyan families who are working in unreached or poverty stricken areas of Kenya and South Sudan. This more than doubles the faith commitments we have taken in the past. The church is packed every Sunday and we need to go to multiple English services, but I have not gotten a clearance from the Lord on this and just want to be in His will.
2. We are still working on the “PHILIP AND GAILYA LIST CONFERENCE CENTRE” in Nairobi Kenya. We have the walls up to the level of the first floor cement slab. I really need your prayers. We have had to stop the construction at this point. This is the most expensive element of the building and will take us $30,000 to complete. We began this by faith and I even told my contractor that he had to understand I was building that way. When the money was there, we would work. When it finished, we had to wait on God. This is the first time we have had to stop since starting the foundation. To date we have spent around $40,000 and God has provided everything we needed. Help us pray for a miracle to take place to finish this center in honor of Gailya for now 53+ years of service in Africa and counting, and in memory of Philip’s 50+ years of service.
3. Sharon is working on beginning a new ministry for women that she has wanted to do for many years. The time has not been right, but it seems like now is the time. God has raised up some very qualified women in our church here to work with her, and they are formulating the details of the program to start after the first of the year. It will be a program directed at single mothers and women in marriages that are troubled. The goal will be the build the women from the inside out with spiritual training and healing, and also equip them with skills to help them make a living and sustain themselves.
We are excited about all God is doing in our ministry and in Africa. We have so many challenges and opportunities. We are constantly praying for God to lead us to the ones that are of Him and not just the ones we think are appropriate. Again, thank you for your constant prayers and support. We do not take it for granted and we do pray for you often.
Photo Credit: Ron & Sharon Wooten