Missionary Update: The Radfords in Kenya [January 2013]

Nathan and Carrie Radford serve the Lord in Kitale, Kenya. Their main ministries include indigenous church planting, a prison ministry, and a hospital ministry for mothers with premature babies.

Dear praying friends,                                    

Lord willing, by the time you receive this prayer letter, it will be the year 2013. I know at this time that many people make “New Year’s resolutions” for the upcoming year. My prayer is that we would make resolutions to follow the Lord closely this year, be committed to serving Him, and reaching the lost with the Gospel message. Would these be good resolutions for us to follow this upcoming year? I think so, and I hope and pray that these would be some of the goals for this year. May we have more zeal to serve the Lord this year that is ahead. Romans 12:10-11 says “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.” This update will share ministry progress as well as prayer requests.

Before discussing ministry, I would ask prayer for two specific things. The first is our work permit. To legally continue in the ministries here in Kenya, a work permit from the government is needed. These usually expire every two to three years. Our permit expires in April of this year. Please pray that if it would be the Lord’s will, that the renewal of the permit would be granted with no issues or problems. We have heard of other permits having problems, so this is why I ask prayer for this specifically. We know the Lord is in complete control, and we trust Him with it. What a comfort it is to know that God is sovereign, nothing takes Him by surprise, and we can trust Him with everything in our lives. Psalm 115:3 says “But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.” Thanks for prayers for this.

Also, the election of Kenya is drawing near. As you may recall from the previous election, the country had unrest and certain areas were dangerous. We praise the Lord that during the last election Kitale was calm and peaceful. I believe the election is scheduled for March, so please pray for the whole election process, that it would be done fairly and that it would remain peaceful.  During our recent missionary community meeting we discussed the election and it was recommended to have additional supplies at home to last one to two months. This way, in case of any unrest or problems, we would have our necessary supplies. Even while Kitale is usually peaceful, other communities on the route from Nairobi to Kitale aren’t and this causes problems for the delivery trucks, thus a shortage of supplies.  How thankful we are to have a close missionary community who takes care of each other. We are truly blessed. John 14:27 says “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” What a great verse for us to know and claim, wherever we are or whatever situation we are in.

The church plant in the village of Shangalamwe is continuing along. There have been definite challenges along the way such as high dependence on the missionary, and I am so thankful for my good friend Roger Tate and our co-laboring in this village.  I thank the Lord for his family’s willingness to live and serve here in Kenya. Life here is difficult as we are often homesick, lonely and experiencing culture fatigue but what a blessing they are not only to us, but so many others.

Please pray for this church in Shangalamwe, that they would follow the Scriptures in their faith and practice. There are many requests such as that they would recognize the authority of the Word of God and follow it wholeheartedly. Also that they would have a heart to serve others and that they would seek to be independent of us and rely on the Lord. Please pray also for us as missionaries, that we would faithfully teach the Scriptures in love and that we would be an encouragement to this church. Please pray that we would be a good example before others and be the “salt and light” that the Bible calls us to be. There are so many things to pray about, and these are just some of the current prayer requests. A quote I like is “There is much to pray about and nothing to worry about.” We will keep you updated of this ministry.

The Annex prison is continuing along well. We are now near the end of the “Firm Foundations” course. It has been exciting to watch the growth spiritually in these men. The next plan is to teach the men how to study the Word of God inductively, verse by verse, chapter by chapter. In this way, Lord willing, when they are released, they can go and teach others in their areas and villages. These men come from all over the country, and when I discussed this option with the men, they were very excited about it. I thank the Lord for the cooperation of the main office and the chaplains. We will keep you updated of this also.

In family prayer requests, one of our current requests is for playmates for our two daughters. Unfortunately, it has not been very easy for our children to have other children their age to play with. Most of the missionary children here are older. So, a big family prayer request is that our daughters will have children their age to play with. There has been a recent opportunity for them to go weekly to a nearby children’s home to play with the Kenyan children, and this has greatly helped. However, it would still be good for them to have American children to play with also that are their age. We would appreciate prayers for this, as this is specifically for our children.

In closing, may we all be zealous for the Lord this year. We do not know the day the Lord will return. It could be anytime. If the Lord were to come today, would He find us faithfully serving Him? I hope and pray so. There is no better time to serve the Lord than right now. I pray that we would be the living sacrifice the Bible calls us to be. I will close with Romans 12:1-2, which says “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

God’s blessings to each of you.

Nathan and Carrie Radford
P.O. Box 4150
Kitale, Kenya
East Africa 30200

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