Discipling a Young Man in Rafiki

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.

May 4, 2018

Dear praying friends,

Another month has come and gone, and we are now nearly halfway through 2018. Time truly passes so fast, and may we use the opportunities the Lord gives us to serve Him faithfully. This update will share current prayer requests, as well as family news.

In regards to health, I (Nathan) recently had to have some moles removed after being seen by a dermatologist. There is a decent hospital about an hour and a half away from Kitale, for which I am very thankful. There is a history of melanoma (skin cancer) in the family, so it is wise to be seen and have moles removed when necessary. I am healing well and would ask that you would please pray for me, as the sun is very hot here, and I do my best to wear good sun screen and protect myself. Please pray not only for me, but also for the entire family with any possible health issues. The doctor does not seem concerned and I trust Him for the results. It is all about trusting God, using wisdom, and relying on Him day by day here, with everything. He is so faithful.

The girls are now back in school after a month off. This was a great month for my wife, as she could homeschool them and get them caught up in various subjects. It has been difficult to try to figure out the system of a Kenyan school and the best ways to help the girls keep up with American standards, but we are starting to get the hang of it. We really feel our daughters need socialization with other kids their age and some of the experiences a school offers, especially for learning some independence and gaining friendships in this culture. While it has been difficult to find the right balance, we have prayed and sought wisdom from others and feel the girls should continue to attend the school as much as possible. Please pray for them, for socialization, and for adapting well to the culture here. They have done well so far, and we continue to pray.

I (Nathan) have started a discipleship course with a younger Kenyan man in Rafiki, a nearby village.  It is about half an hour from where we live on windy, dusty (or muddy, depending on the season), pot hole ridden roads. So far, I have been able to proceed well through the teachings and ask that you would continue to pray for our time together. As I have shared before, this term I really desire to go out to village areas, off the beaten path, to use the Swahili language, and train younger, qualified Kenyan men God would raise up. I know that God is in control and trust Him each step of the way.  After building a foundation with at discipleship course, the next goal would be to train the man in church planting. I recognize there will be men who will not work out for one reason or the other, but I desire to be faithful, give it my all, and trust God for the results. I would greatly appreciate your prayers and for the Lord’s help each step of the way. I am reminded of verses such as Luke 1:37, which says “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”  Also, Ephesians 3:20, which says, “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” Anything is possible with God, and I thank Him for that.

Please pray for us in regards to travel safety around Kitale. It is now rainy season and the roads are becoming very muddy and slippery. Large trucks drive on our road, which causes large ruts and potholes to form, making it a challenge to drive. God is in control of all things, even our going out and coming in. He is so faithful.

Blessings to you and we appreciate you,
Nathan and Carrie Radford

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

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280
Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
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Missionary Update: AJ & Barbara Hensley in Brazil [February 2016]

The Hensleys have spent nearly 15 years serving in Brazil. They run a vocational school and orphanage in Caraguatatuba and have also established a church and mission points throughout the city.

February 11, 2016

Friends and family,

Well, I am at a point that I don’t know where to start: so here goes. We were in the States for Christmas and we were traveling on a buddy pass and because of the weather in another location, we were bumped two days straight. But in the end we were able to get back to Brasil in time to pass the New Year with the Church.

Now I will digress to December 2015. One of the reasons we were in the States was because I had to have a biopsy on my prostate. My number was high and when I did the test it proved to be aggressive cancer. The doctor said that my body needed one month to recoup before he could do the surgery to remove the prostate. With this in mind we decided to return to Brasil to get the Church moved to the new building. What an AWESOME blessing!!! We were able to do 1000 little chores and with 1000 more, we moved. We are now in the new building and I preached Sunday before we returned to the States for my surgery. We were back in the States for the surgery on the 25th. The surgery was a success, but the cancer had bled through the prostate into the bladder and the urethra tube. So now I am recuperating for 6 months to be able to come back to begin 30 days of radiation treatment. So we will go back to Brasil for the 6 months and see what we can get into. The only thing is that the doctor says that I cannot do any work. So it looks like I am demoted to the supervisor role.

While we have been here doing all these doctor things, Barbara’s mom, Reba Baker, went home to see the Lord on February 5th. Barbara and I would like to THANK each and every one of you for your prayers and your love that has been shown to us during this time. The AWESOME part of this is that we are certain of where she is. She had such an AWESOME testimony of Christian faith and service. She will be greatly missed.

Because of the time we will have to spend in the States, I led the Church to call a Brasilian Pastor. This will allow me to do my treatment knowing that the Church will have good leadership. This also lets me be able to concentrate on the other ministries of the Church, such as visitation, small groups, discipleship, seminary and the others.

So as you can see, the next few months before I start the treatment, we will be very busy. God is so AWESOME—we know that He will take care of every aspect of our lives and the life of His Church.

So our request is that you keep in your prayers our Church in the transition of pastors, my treatment, the work that needs to be finished on the Church building, and our travels to the States and back to Brasil.

Our doors are still open for you to come see what God is doing here in Brasil. Give Barb a call and set up your visit.

In His service,
Aj and Barb

Aj and Barbara Hensley
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Missionary Update: The Radfords in Kenya [November 2015]

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.

November 1, 2015

Dear praying friends,

We hope this finds each of you doing well and thank you once again for your faithfulness to missions, whether through prayer, visiting the fields, or sacrificially giving to the Lord’s work. We sincerely appreciate each of you so much and thank the Lord for you. This month, I want to take a little different approach in the prayer letter, as it is a real prayer request for us, in regards to our health, especially that of our children, McKenna and Camille. I will be sure to keep you updated on the ministries in the coming months, but I felt that this is really where we are right now. We want as many to be informed as possible what has been going on, and we covet your prayers.

About 10 months ago, our daughters were complaining of stomach aches. We heard all morning “Mommy, my tummy hurts.” Not knowing exactly what to do, we did the only thing we knew to do at that time. We took them to the various medical facilities in Kitale for testing. We tested for all the basics, such as malaria, typhoid, amoeba, etc. The conclusions we received were that it was amoeba and we got them started on the medicines. Well, the stomach aches continued and we felt it necessary to go to a much bigger hospital in Eldoret, about an hour and a half from Kitale. We saw various doctors there also, and again, the conclusion was that it was amoeba, although they prescribed a different medication and different period of usage. (10 days rather than 5 days) We did this, and things got better. For a while. A couple of months things were good and fine and we thought the problem was resolved. Well, about a month and a half ago, the tummy aches started again. We have been to all the main hospitals/doctors in Kitale and a big hospital in Eldoret, and are still having the issues.

We’ve recently found a decent pediatrician in Kitale. Dr. Musabi is new to our area and has done a good job thus far with treating children. She ran multiple tests on McKenna but each was inconclusive. She referred us to a pediatric gastroenterologist in Nairobi. This is the first time we have had a referral, so we are thankful for Dr. Musabi. Our doctor in Nairobi has run numerous tests on both girls, including one to test for inflammation that was sent to an international lab. This test came back extremely high for McKenna and high for Camille. The doctor insisted McKenna have an endoscopy and colonoscopy.

Well, these procedures were delayed for five days as McKenna developed a cold. Finally the procedures were done and we are currently in Nairobi waiting for results to be returned to us. Camille will not have an endoscopy or colonoscopy as her test levels were lower than McKenna’s. We are praising the Lord that the tests revealed no major issues for McKenna, but most likely some kind of infection or food allergy. We pray the results would be definitive and come back soon. Oh, and yes,  while we have been away, one of our big guard dogs we have had for 10 years most likely had stomach cancer,  and she is no longer with us. Very sad for all of us.

All in all, it has been a very challenging past few weeks. We know the Lord is in control of all things and we trust Him. We hope and pray to get back to Kitale soon to our life there but we are waiting on the Lord and seeing how to finally get these stomach issues treated. While we don’t understand everything, and it has been a very difficult last few weeks, we trust in the Lord and know He will take care of us. His ways are not our ways. I will finish with a couple of verses that have comforted me during these difficulties. Psalm 115:3 says “But our God is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased.” God does whatever He pleases and He is on the throne. Romans 8:28 says “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”

All things work together for good to them that love God. Even when it’s difficult. Even when we don’t completely understand. He has a plan and a purpose, and He is working it out in His timing. I’m sure many of you are going through difficulties also, and I hope these verses are a comfort to you as well.

Looking forward to updating on the ministries next month, but felt it was necessary to let you know about the health situations in the family and how to pray for us. We love and appreciate each of you so much. Remember, God is in control. Always.

Nathan and Carrie Radford

P.O. Box 4150
Kitale, Kenya
East Africa, 30200

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Missionary Update: The Radfords in Kenya [June 2015]

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.

June 1, 2015

Dear praying friends,

We are now halfway through the year of 2015, and there are many things
to update you about. This will share ministry progress, as well as prayer
requests for current health issues.
In a previous letter I mentioned that our daughter Camille has contracted amoeba.
It is nearly impossible to prevent it completely, as ingesting just one drop of unfiltered water can transmit it. We do all we can to prevent it and stay healthy, such as watching where we eat, using
water filters, drinking bottled water, etc, but sometimes those actions aren’t enough and a person contracts it.

McKenna has also recently contracted it and so she has started medications to eradicate it.
We are so thankful to have a good doctor here in Kitale who has been here for over 30 years, seems knowledgeable and provides good medications.

Right now we are in the “waiting stages” to see if these medications will eradicate the amoeba, or if we have to go to an IV stage, which is the last resort. We are praying that the regular medications will take affect and the IV will not be necessary for either of the girls. We would appreciate your prayers for our daughters at this time. A verse that comes to mind at this time that is comforting is 1 Peter 5:7, which says “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” It is a daily battle to stay  healthy here and we would appreciate your prayers.

We have been praying for friends for our daughters to play with. Recently, our daughters have begun playing with a couple Kenyan girls from a local children’s home. Maggie and Daisy have been coming over to spend time with our family on the weekends. All 4 girls have gotten along well and this has been a blessing for our family as well as Maggie and Daisy, so we are so thankful for them. We continue to pray that other missionaries with children would come. God has been faithful to answer prayer.

In ministry news, the group at Robinson is continuing along and we are proceeding
through the foundational teachings. Recently I had the opportunity to teach on “What does it mean to really follow Christ?” We looked at examples from the Scriptures of those who did not follow Christ for various reasons, including misperceptions such as following Jesus will make all my problems go away, following Jesus will make my life easier, following Jesus is for the weak, etc. As I got to John 6 and explained that many people originally followed Jesus for the “loaves and fishes,” (to have their bellies filled), there was some laughter, as many in the meeting knew that this is a real issue here in Kenya. I continued to explain that others followed Jesus because they saw His signs and wanted to “get” something from Him. In the end, many disciples refused to follow Him and deserted Him. This was teaching that was necessary for the people here to understand. We desire to have those who follow Jesus for the right reasons, not for what they will get, or misconceptions they have. We will continue, Lord willing, to teach the truth in love, trusting the Lord to work in His time and plan, and leaving the results with Him.
My friend Roger Tate and I desire to be faithful, entrusting the results to the Lord. 1 Corinthians 4:2 says “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”

We thank you each so much for your heart for missions and your prayers and sacrificial
giving. Thank you for your faithfulness, and may the Lord bless you abundantly.

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

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