Hamjambo MaBebe na MaBwana, (Greetings to my Sisters and Brothers)
Sharon and I trust and pray that you are all doing well and that God has been with you and your family.
The days we are living are challenging, but they are also, in many ways, very biblical. We see "signs of the times everywhere," as Gordon Jensen penned in his hymn, "Redemption Draweth Nigh," in 1970. We are watching and looking with great anticipation at what is happening on God's timeline. We must still follow his commands, "to be busy about the Father's work" and "to go to the ends of the earth until the end of time."
I pray we don't get caught and reprimanded like the Acts 1 disciples when the angel asked them, "Why are you standing around looking into the Sky?" We still have a great job to do before the clarion call comes, and we are still excited to be here in Eastern and Sub-Saharan Africa, representing our Lord, our church, and each of you. Thank you for all that you are doing and have done to assist us through your prayers and faithful partnership. God is moving by His Spirit, and we are seeing people saved, new churches planted, and more men and women called into His ministry.
Church Roof Challenge
In this newsletter, I want to update you and hopefully challenge others to help me continue this very successful program we began many years ago. About eight to ten years ago, the Holy Spirit gave me an idea to begin challenging our bishops and pastors here to start building more permanent buildings. Over the years, many missionaries have built beautiful buildings all over Africa. I knew I was not a builder as many of my predecessors were. I also observed that when a missionary would completely build a church or building, the pastors would see the buildings as them belonging to the mission, which resulted in them not taking ownership to care for and make repairs on the buildings themselves. Almost all permanent building had been done by missionaries. When churches were built by pastors, they were usually made of mud and sticks.
I began to challenge leaders to trust God to help them build more permanent buildings while they continued to worship in their present churches. I made this commitment to them that if they would build with cement blocks, stone, or brick, then I would try to raise money to help them get corrugated iron sheets to put a sturdy and permanent roof on their buildings. I stipulated that as God helped me raise up supporters, I would help as many as I could put these strong roofs on their buildings.
Through the first few years, we only had a few people catch on to this program. However, the Lord helped us cover most churches in the first years. After about four years, pastors began to realize from the examples of their fellow pastors that they could build permanent buildings in the rural areas. To my amazement, we began to have ten new buildings in a year, and it has continued to grow. They have actually outgrown my ability to help them, and some have gone on to raise funds after building and have put the roofs on themselves.
I have probably 20 pastors messaging me that they are ready for roofs now. One great testimony is of the pastor of our first IPHC church in Kenya and all of East Africa. He has just taken the challenge to completely remodel and enlarge the building that they have worshipped in for more than 40 years. You can see the photo below where the Irongo IPHC Building in Chavakali, Kenya, now has new walls and a beautiful new roof.
A New Church Roof Challenge
The roofing challenge was so successful that I have been completely overwhelmed. In the past ten years, we have covered around 40 churches. As I mentioned above, in 2022, I have close to 20 churches that have requested assistance. I am now at the point where I cannot begin to cover the full cost. Now, I am trying to help purchase the roofing sheets, and the church covers the rest of the roofing. The praise report is that they are doing it, and their trust and faith in God is increasing. My new challenge is to raise up more people who will help these pastors in Eastern and Sub-Saharan Africa to roof their churches.
The average cost to buy iron sheets for churches is $3,000. Smaller churches run about $1,200, and we have some larger ones that go over $5,000 for the sheets. We are trying to make sure they get better quality materials when we have the option. Some countries do not have access to heavier grade roofing materials.
The new church roof challenge is to ask churches, Sunday school/Bible study classes, small groups, youth groups, children's churches, families, and even VBS programs to help us put roofs on churches.
Please consider taking on this faith challenge to raise money to send for these many churches that are in need of roofs. Would you be willing to take on the challenge? God can help you to do more than you thought.
If you feel that you cannot give toward or raise funds for a whole roof, and you would like to offer to help with church roofs, we would welcome any assistance you can provide. I have attached a few pictures of new churches needing roofs as well as a few we have finished below.
How to Give Toward New Roofs
If you send your contribution via mail through your local church, earmark your check East Africa Roofs – #11517P, or you can mail it directly to World Missions Ministries, PO Box 12609, Oklahoma City OK 73157. Make your check payable to IPHC WMM and earmark the check to East Africa Roofs – #11517P.
Finally, you can also give online with a one-time gift or set it up to support this ministry monthly at give.iphc.org/project/east-africa-church-roofs.
Thank you, as always, for your prayers and your partnership. We bless you all in the name of our Lord.
Privileged to be able to serve,
Ron & Sharon Wooten