I Cor. 16:9  “For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”

Dec. 31, 2007

Etago CLC – Capsule Summary
This year a lot of work was done on the orphan school at Etago, Kenya, which is up to 92 students with four teachers. Mission Helpers Larry Hansen, Loren Hansen, and Russ Schmitt worked with the children and on the building. We have to thank God that this effort to help aids orphans began and is continuing. The four teachers work for less salary than normal school teachers receive. But this is the way the church has always been with sacrifice mirroring the great work of our Lord Jesus. The Etago men had their first two day seminar of study and we pray that this can be a yearly thing. They are also trying to start a monthly study of all the leaders. As our Lord promises, continue in My Word so then you are truly My disciples. There are also a couple places where the ECLC leaders are trying to reach out. It is possible that two men will be going to the St. Peter’s Seminary in Himo, Tanzania in January. This will require a concerted effort on those two men’s part as well as for those who support them in prayer and money. Pray that all these efforts are crowned with success by our Lord, as He alone can.
CLCKN – Capsule Summary
Centered in the Nairobi area of Kenya this is the newest of our fields with Charles Gikonyo heading up the work. It has now grown to  include over  1488 souls.

This next year we will start to have studies at two teaching points for at least 18 preachers to go over our teachings in a theological education by extension approach. This brings the teachings to the men in  locale where they are instead of taking them away to a seminary for study. We will be supplying all teaching materials to the three men who will be in charge of the teaching.

A very ambitious translation project is underway. They have started to translate the catechism into Kikuyu and Kamba. In addition to this we will be having the fourteen pamphlets on our differences with other churches also translated into these two languages. These two languages are of two major tribes in Kenya. We thank God for the gifts of the men which allow for this translation work and for the teaching.

This is an outgoing church looking for new places  at which to herald the Good News. There is some work among the Masai. A year and a half ago work was started in areas near Mombasa with now six stations numbering about 200 souls. About two and a half years ago two men started to learn about the CLCK and now want to be a part of it. They serve about 100 souls. God bless these outreach efforts of our brothers. Mombasa is a strong area of Muslims. May the Gospel be proclaimed to these people by our brothers.

Open Door (part 1)
The Open Door
“And when they arrived, they gathered the church together and declared all that God had done with them, and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.” Acts 14:27

What is an open door for mission work or outreach? In Rev. 3:8 we learn that the Lord set before the church at Philadelphia an open door which no one could shut. On Paul’s second missionary journey there was definitely a closed door in Asia Minor. “And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them…” Acts. 16:6-7 We today though are not privy to a direct message from God as to a specific open or closed door.

For us we should go back to the Great Commission given by our Lord to His church and repeated in all the Gospels. We are well familiar with Matthew’s record in Chapter 28 of how as we go we are to make disciples of all nations. In chapter 16 of Mark’s Gospel the words of our Lord remind us again about going and that in the process we are to preach the Gospel to the whole of creation. Luke records the resurrected Lord’s words to His church in the prophecy in chapter 24, “repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name to all nations.” John records the scene that Easter evening when the Lord said to His apostles, “I send you.” In John’s twentieth chapter the Gospel writer reminds all how the church represented there by the apostles has the precious proclaiming power of the forgiveness of sins in Christ Jesus, repeating the Master’s very words. The assumption, the injunction, and the prophecy is that we will go.

Another assumption, too, is to treat the world as an open door. Read through the contexts of the previously cited chapters and see no limitations. Wherever each of us is it is as a witness to Christ, as one who declares the wonderful deeds of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. As it is with the individual, so it is with a group of Christians. We have been given the power of the Gospel of forgiveness. This is the compass and stabilizer four our group’s movement, as well as the heart for the individual’s life’s trip.

In life’s Divine Manual besides the direction being given us geographically, the will of God is explicitly stated. He is forbearing, “not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Pet. 3:9 Our God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Tim. 2:4 Not only do we go and witness knowing it is God’s desire, it is also a fact. God in Christ has forgiven all mankind their sins. “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us.” 2 Cor. 5:19-20 As ambassadors for Him we seek an audience for His Word. If they will not allow us to speak or if upon hearing they reject it, then the door would appear closed. But notice that we make the attempt to present the Gospel message as His emissaries. We see the closed door demonstrated after the attempt to give the Good News by those of the seventy, “But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off against you; nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.'” Lk. 10:10-11 On Paul’s first missionary venture after an initial receptiveness at Antioch in Psidia they “stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and went to Iconium.” Acts 13:50-51 The door closed for a time. But then Paul returned to that city of persecution as well as the others strengthening the souls of the converts.

In sending out the twelve the Lord also said the same to them as He did to the seventy on the closed door, “And if any place will not receive you and they refuse to hear you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet for a testimony against them.” Mk. 6:11 In that of the twelve and of the seventy the clearly stated assumption prior to the marking of the closed door is that they went and sought to gain a hearing for the Word. In Paul’s case at Antioch of Pisidia he and Barnabas were there, had preached, and the Spirit had converts. Then the door was closed.

How can we today determine if a door is open or closed to the Word? There will be no vision of a man of Macedonia beckoning to a certain place in a dream, nor will there be a divine revelation of the Spirit to stay clear of yet other places. All the world we should assume is the open door until we see through the exercize of common sense that the place, town, district or nation is closed to the Word. Individually also we should assume there are far more opportunities (open doors) to witness through than we have taken advantage of.

Pastor Koenig