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Missionary Update: The Radfords in Kenya

Dear praying friends,              January 6, 2009

We hope this update finds you each doing well and busy in service for our Lord. It is hard to believe that 2008 has come and gone. May we truly make the best use of the time that God gives us, and be good stewards of the ministry opportunities that God provides. This update will share current ministry opportunities as well as prayer requests.

This past month, we did a lot of praying in regards to the ministries in Kenya. We truly believe that God will lead and guide His people when they seek His direction. Psalm 48:14 says “For this God is our God for ever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death.”

We thank the Lord that we now have another ministry opportunity in Kitale Main Prison. There is a section of the prison called Annex prison, which currently has around 90 prisoners, but has a capacity for 150. I have previously desired to have a ministry in this section of the prison, but have been waiting on the Lord to show me if this is an avenue to pursue. Psalm 62:5 states “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.” There is currently an opportunity to extend the ministry to this area of the prison where I have previously had no ministry. Please pray for me this month, as this ministry begins. I will be sure to update you often on the progress and needs of this ministry.  Also, I have recently opened an extension of the prison ministry to those prisoners who were in the
training but were released before finishing. Many of the prisoners have asked me to consider an outside prison ministry for those who have been released, and we have now been doing this ministry for a few weeks.  Those who have been attending are faithful in the churches and have a real desire to continue to learn and serve the Lord. Also, the pastor of the church where this ministry is held is very supportive and feels that many of these men have potential for further ministry opportunities as the Lord leads them.

Attached is a photo of myself and a former prisoner whose name I cannot mention for confidentiality reasons. He assisted me in the ministry since 2002 and was recently released. Please pray for each of the prisoners, for the Annex prison opportunity, and the outside prison ministry. Please also pray for them to be encouraged and continue to grow in the Lord.

nathan-radford-prison-ministry

Finally, the Lord has opened more opportunities for me to be involved in the churches here in Kitale. I have been able to go on church visitation, attend pastoral leadership meetings, and also attend the Bible Institute within the church. I am very thankful for these opportunities within the churches and am asking the Lord for even further opportunities. In closing, please be in prayer for our family and our health. Malaria and other diseases are concerns, but we know the Lord will protect us and keep us safe. God bless you and thank you so much for your interest in the
ministries in Kitale, Kenya.

In Kenya,
Nathan, Carrie, and McKenna Radford  

Contact Information
P.O. Box 4150
Kitale, Kenya              
East Africa 30200             
email:naterad [at] yahoo.com

Scripture @ Sunrise 10.30.08

This is what our kids went over last night in their class, but I think it has an excellent message for everyone!

The Short Adult Version: “Being a Christian is like is like being a pumpkin. God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. Then he cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc., and then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.”

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This is a longer version:
(Based on Liz Curtis Higgs’ book – for those that do not have the book. The book is so much fun to read though; I recommend getting a copy. Liz has such a special way of writing, and there is such a rhythm to the story. She has also added a Scripture on every page!)
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Today I want to tell you a story. It’s a special story called a ‘parable’. A parable is an earthly story that has a heavenly meaning. In the Bible there are many parables that Jesus told so we could understand His teachings better.

This is a story about a farmer and a pumpkin.

The Farmer lives wa-a-a-a-ay out in the country. On his farm He has a pumpkin patch.

Pumpkins are really special. They start out as small oval seeds that grow into big, orange pumpkins. The farmer plants the seeds, waters, and cares for the pumpkin vines and patiently waits as they grow.

Finally by October there are big, orange pumpkins in his pumpkin patch! Some are tall and lean, some are short and round, and some have bumps and lumps. But they are all pumpkins and all were planted and cared for by the Farmer.

One day the Farmer chose a pumpkin for a special project. [Sarah’s edit: add Ephesians 1:4 and discuss how God chose us!=doctrine of election!] He brings it in from the field and washes it off. You have to be careful with pumpkins; they’re tough on the outside, but if you drop them, they break into pieces!

The Farmer takes a large knife and cuts a hole in the top of the pumpkin. Inside there is yucky, slimy pulp waiting for Him. That has to go! He cleans it all out and throws it away – never to be seen again.

After that He gives the pumpkin a new face! He cuts two triangles for eyes, a square for a nose, and a big, wide smile!

Then He does something really special. He puts a small white candle down inside the pumpkin and lights the wick.

How that pumpkin glows! As people pass by, they see the smiling pumpkin and smile back. They know that once again the Farmer has taken a simple pumpkin and changed it into a glorious sight!

The Meaning of the Parable:

Just like us, all the pumpkins were different. But there was something the same about every one of them – that yucky, slimy pulp on the inside!

The yucky, slimy pulp is like the sin that’s in us. Romans 3:23 says: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” That’s every single one of us.

God has made a way that all our sin can be forgiven and washed away. God even says He’ll cast them as far as the East is from the West. Romans 5:8 says: “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

John 3:16 goes on to say: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

After cleaning out that pumpkin, the Farmer gave the pumpkin a new face! The Bible says God can make us a new creation too.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

Then came the really special part. The light was placed inside that pumpkin and it glowed for all to see!

2 Corinthians 4:6 says: “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”

And Matthew 5:16 says: “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” So we can become like that pumpkin – a glorious sight for others to see the love of Jesus!

A 2004-ish rendition of carved pumpkins from our annual chili supper which is no longer really annual.
A 2004-ish rendition of carved pumpkins from our annual chili supper which is no longer really annual.
A lonely uncarved pumpkin outside the cottage at Henry Clay's home.

A lonely uncarved pumpkin outside the cottage at Henry Clay’s home.

Scripture @ Sunrise 10.13.08

Summing Up Sunday!

“Therefore, brothers,be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” -2 Peter 1:10-11

Today was another glorious day in the Lord!  The devotion this morning was kind of “up for grabs.”  Wayne and my dad both grabbed it and even had the same thoughts!  (That’s not odd, that’s God!)  It is so true that we often let our possessions possess us…at least I know I do.  I have included a picture of my notes (yes, notes) from this devotion!

The Sunday School lesson today covered a lot of stuff, but I think what I got most out of it was this…Many people question why Jesus did not heal all the people at the pool, but really He did not even have to choose to heal the one man He did.  This ties hand-in-hand with my salvation.  Why in the world did He choose to love me?!

This morning’s message was a great reminder to be diligent in making my calling and election sure.  It’s easy to doubt your salvation when you start wandering off and are not walking as close to the Lord as you should be.

I had a great time with Hannah and my dad on the way to this afternoon’s service in Wilmore at the Veteran’s Center.  Wayne brought an excellent message on Joseph and the providence of God.  (I really wish I had remembered to take my notebook in, but I did not.  Grrr.)  There were 50 people there total.

After a flute lesson and a splendid car ride with my dear Sis. Jennie, I arrived back at church.  What a wonderful surprise to see the Bratchers!  They are sooooo sweet and I admire them so much!  :o)  What a great example of faithfulness to follow: 50 years in Brazil next July!  The sermon tonight focused on being a servant.  Personally, I thought the ear thing was the most interesting because I never realized it is such an important body part of a servant (listen>obey…).  Interesting!

I hope these notes are legible enough to be beneficial!

I love you all bunches!  :o)

Isaiah 58 (September 30, 2008)

We were blessed Tuesday, September 30, 2008, at our Isaiah 58 Ministry. Although we had only about half the people we normally have (it’s getting a little chilly outside now!), there was more interaction between our members and neighbors than there has ever been before. We hope the Lord will grow the seeds that were planted and those that were watered. May he always be glorified through our lives.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Isaiah 58 (September 30, 2008)“, posted with vodpod

New Attitude Slideshow

Here is a slideshow from our trip to Louisville for the 2008 New Attitude Conference. Hope you enjoy! 
(Click on the picture to jump to where you can see captions.  Some of these were really fuzzy and indistinguishable because it was really dark in there!) 

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “New Attitude Slideshow“, posted with vodpod

 

 

 

Welcoming the Month of May with Spurgeon

A Thought to Welcome the Month of May

I often read the “Good Morning” page on the Way of the Master website.  They have morning and evening Spurgeon devotions featured on that page from another website.  His devotionals are always thought-provoking. 

Here is the one from this morning:

“His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers.”

 Song of Solomon 5:13

Lo, the flowery month is come! March winds and April showers have done their work, and the earth is all bedecked with beauty. Come my soul, put on thine holiday attire and go forth to gather garlands of heavenly thoughts. Thou knowest whither to betake thyself, for to thee “the beds of spices” are well known, and thou hast so often smelt the perfume of “the sweet flowers,” that thou wilt go at once to thy well-beloved and find all loveliness, all joy in him. That cheek once so rudely smitten with a rod, oft bedewed with tears of sympathy and then defiled with spittle—that cheek as it smiles with mercy is as fragrant aromatic to my heart. Thou didst not hide thy face from shame and spitting, O Lord Jesus, and therefore I will find my dearest delight in praising thee. Those cheeks were furrowed by the plough of grief, and crimsoned with red lines of blood from thy thorn-crowned temples; such marks of love unbounded cannot but charm my soul far more than “pillars of perfume.” If I may not see the whole of his face I would behold his cheeks, for the least glimpse of him is exceedingly refreshing to my spiritual sense and yields a variety of delights. In Jesus I find not only fragrance, but a bed of spices; not one flower, but all manner of sweet flowers. He is to me my rose and my lily, my heart’s- ease and my cluster of camphire. When he is with me it is May all the year round, and my soul goes forth to wash her happy face in the morning-dew of his grace, and to solace herself with the singing of the birds of his promises. Precious Lord Jesus, let me in very deed know the blessedness which dwells in abiding, unbroken fellowship with thee. I am a poor worthless one, whose cheek thou hast deigned to kiss! O let me kiss thee in return with the kisses of my lips.

Compliments of CCEL

Tulip at Henry Clay\'s Home

The Tate Family’s Website

Our newest missionaries, the Tate family, have a website now! 
I strongly encourage you to go and visit their little corner of cyberspace.  Be prepared to shed tears of joy for the sacrifice they have made for the glory of God.  It’s very touching. 
You will find a lot of news, letters, pictures, and more…
Keep them in your prayers!  4/5 of them have already been bit by the malaria bug (pray that little Amy doesn’t get it!). 

www.TatesInAfrica.com
Be sure to click on “Visit Our Virtual Space” in the upper right corner. 

The Tate Family