Sunday, August 30, 2009

Complete Update of the Trip....Sorry it took so long

Time sure has flown by this last week. I cannot believe that it has already been a week since we got home from Mombasa. It seemed like just a few days ago we were training the African pastors at the pastor’s conference. I am going to write a massive chronological blog about all that happened while we were over there, so here goes!

About 30 of the 39 team members who went to Africa left from America on July 30th. We flew from Oklahoma City to Washington, D.C. to London, Nairobi, and finally to Mombasa. The travel over there went pretty smoothly until we reached London. We sat on the tarmac for about an hour which caused problems when we reached Nairobi. Our luggage was checked all the way to Nairobi, but once we got there, we had to recheck our luggage on to Mombasa. Everyone was scrambling trying to get all of the luggage that we brought and make it to the plane as soon as possible. Amazingly enough, we got all our luggage except for about 3 bags, which arrived a few days after we reached our destination.

On Saturday, we gathered together as a group for the first time in Mombasa and everyone introduced themselves. It was so great to hear how God had brought together everyone to form such a unique group to fulfill his purpose. We had people from ages 13 to over 70 from different backgrounds; students, teachers, preachers, salesmen, veterinarians, and many other various professions were represented. None of that mattered because all of us were there to do one thing: Tell others the wonderful good news of Jesus Christ!

We unpacked all our supplies and spent Saturday and the afternoon on Sunday getting everything ready for the registration of the pastors on Monday and the training that followed. On Saturday afternoon we had some time off before supper. Some people stayed and worked on equipment, others took a nap or prepared for their classes, and a few decided to walk along the beach. David Fagala, 16, and Austin Hill, 15, decided to take a walk along the beach. As they were walking along the beach they met a few of locals. They shared the gospel and one man accepted Christ! PTL! It was such an encouragement to see two young men sharing their faith so openly. Several members of our team shared the gospel with many locals where we stayed and many became Christians.

On Monday morning, John McCloy, Wayne and David Fagala, and I went to where the pastors were staying and worked on Peavey speakers. We retrofitted the speakers to have rechargeable batteries rather than the disposable batteries. The new rechargeable batteries will save the pastors approximately 10% of their monthly support that they spend buying new batteries. John, David, and I worked on the speakers on Monday and Tuesday in the courtyard area behind the school where the pastors would receive their training.

The rest of the team came to the school later that afternoon and helped register the 230 pastors and 83 pastors’ wives who had come to receive training. The pastors were so excited to be there to learn about how to become more effective witnesses for Christ. On Monday night we had our first church service together. Oh how I wish you could have been there to worship with us! The Africans worship God so freely and passionately that it makes me wonder if we need to learn the true meaning of worship. They sang, clapped their hands, and danced for joy. It was a blessing to be a part of it. The highlight of the night was when we gave each of the pastors and their wives a brand new Bible in their native language, Swahili. Some of these people were receiving a Bible or a complete Bible for the first time ever. Some were crying, some were dancing for joy, and some had smiles on their face that looked like they had won a million bucks!

For the next four days (Tuesday-Friday) we had the pastors’ conference. Each morning we had a worship service before classes and every evening after classes were over we met again for worship. One of the American men would preach and we would sing songs of praise in English and Swahili. Marty Hooper led the singing and he was wonderful. Marty is an evangelist who goes around the world preaching and singing music. The Africans loved him and he did a great job singing with the pastors and leading us in worship. He is passionate about worshipping God, and in fact, taught a class one of the days about worship.

Many of the Adult men and women on our team taught during the conference. Every day there were five classes for the men that were an hour long. The women met together as one large group and taught the ladies about how to be pastors’ wives. I had the opportunity to sit in and help record tapes for the classes. The American teachers did a phenomenal job teaching. I learned so much in the few classes that I got to sit in on and would have loved to have gone with the pastors to each class.

We recorded each class that was taught at the conference. Discipleship, How to have a Bible Study, Biblical Doctrine, Preeminence of Christ, How to give an invitation, Evangelism, and other classes were held to train the pastors. Some of these classes we take for granted over here because there are schools all over the place. The pastors in Africa do not have the luxury of going to seminars, conferences, and other training institutes that we have here in America. So, we recorded all 20 of the classes that were taught at the conference on cassette tapes. Each day we would take the tapes back to where we were staying and make copies so that each pastor could have an audio recording of the lectures. At the end of the training we gave them the tapes and they were happy to get them.

On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday the young people on the trip (Me, John, David, Austin, Tate, Sarah, Megan, and Noel) each had an opportunity to go to a local Christian school and talk to the children. They were as young as 3 and as old as probably 14. Each day we would talk about salvation, forgivness, having a quiet time with God, and purity. The children were great listeners and it was fun getting to spend time with them. I there was more than 150 children who gave their life to the Lord.

Saturday, Sunday and Monday after the conference we had the open air meetings. The open air meetings give the pastors the opportunity to go out and use the tools that they have learned to witness to people on the streets, in the marketplaces, and throughout the city of Mombasa. The pastors and the American team were divided into four teams: red, blue, green, and gold. Each team went to a certain part of the city in the morning and afternoon.

The pastors were ready to go each day. They would be clapping and singing songs on the bus as they drove to the place where they were going to witness. We prepared a kit for each pastors’ that consisted of an evangecube, tracts, and decision slips that we gave them when they got off the bus. The men went out two-by-two, just like the men did in Luke 10 to spread the gospel.

The Americans and about ten national pastors would stay in one location and set up a platform on the back of a pick-up truck with a sound system. From there one or two of us would give our testimony and then one of the men would preach. I was on the green team with John, David, Wayne, Diane, L.B., Marie, Jeanie, Elias, his wife Christiana, and Rachel. When an invitation was given the national pastors would speak to those that came forward.

The first two days of the meetings the American teams ran the platforms and did the preaching, and then on the last day we turned it over to the pastors who had observed the first two days. They were able to take the equipment out and get it set up to preach. The pastors that we were with did a great job. Martin, Henry, Elias, and Ezra were some of the men who preached. They were all powerful speakers and you could tell that they were filled with the Holy Spirit when they spoke.

On Sunday, we had the opportunity to join a church in Mombasa and do our meeting with their church service. It was really sweet to be a part of a worship service halfway around the world. It was a little bit different than a service here in the states. One of the differences is the singing and dancing. The Africans love to sing and dance. A lot. They danced non-stop for about half an hour or longer. Diane and David jumped right in there with them and danced for about thirty minutes. It was great to see them dancing with the kids. John and I took part of the dancing for about five minutes but we could hardly keep up with them so we got out of the way haha.

Mombasa is an area that is different from many of the areas that Reaching Souls has went to teach in the past. For one thing it has a very large percentage of people in the city who are Muslim. Three or four times each day we would hear the Muslim call to prayer (I never could heard it, but everyone else on the team heard it many times). It served as a constant reminder for many of us that we were in a hostile environment at times and that we should be even bolder in our witness because many people needed to hear about what Jesus Christ did for them.

The following paragraphs were written by a good friend of mine that I met on the trip, Glynis Crawford. She is the Director of Communications for Reaching Souls International. She is going to tell you about one of the 3,892 people who were saved on this project.


Against the constant backdrop of the Muslim mosques and the ever-present reminder over the loud speakers from their call to prayer, the lost were saved by God’s amazing grace. Hearts were changed, lives were changed, and destinies were changed. Just like Husein.

Something Strange Happened On The Way To The Mosque….Closed Mouth & Open Eyes!

Saturday August 8th marked the second of the three days dedicated to conducting Open Air Meetings in the predominately Muslim areas around Mombasa, Kenya. We had already seen almost 2,000 people come to Christ as Savior. However, no one on the project – Nationals or US Team members were expecting what was about to happen.

It was a typical mid August Mombasa afternoon – temperatures were in the mid 70’s. The sun was shining, and the streets were teeming with people. The teams were at various locations preparing to preach the Gospel. This particular afternoon was a life changing afternoon for one special young man – Husein.

Husein woke up early Saturday morning – this was his routine. He had a very important task to accomplish – it was his responsibility to call his fellow Muslims to prayer. All over Kenya – you can hear the call to prayer as the speakers blast the invitation several times a day. When Husein got to his assignment however, he could not speak. He knew he was supposed to call the people to prayer – and he tried again – but nothing would come from his mouth. So – he just started walking the streets. In the early afternoon, Husein could hear someone preaching about Jesus. He started walking in the direction of the preaching. While he was on his way to the meeting, he encountered one of the Leadership Development Institute participants. It was in this one-on-one witnessing encounter that Husein came face to face with Jesus. Husein accompanied the LDI participant to the Open Air Meeting – Elias was giving the invitation, as the meeting was coming to a close. Husein made a public profession of faith at that Open Air Meeting. After the service, Elias was spending some time doing follow-up and gave Husein the admonition to go home and tell his family, especially his father that he had accepted Christ. Husein knew that this decision would be a costly decision in terms of his earthly family and life to this point.

Husein heeded the instruction of Elias and went home to tell his father. His father met him as he came to his house. Husein's father began plaguing him with questions about why he had not called the people to prayer, and why he had not participated in the prayers throughout the day. Husein then told his father very clearly that he had been saved – that he had accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. His father had the expected reaction – he was infuriated. Husein's father insisted “If this is for real. If this is what you have really done, then you need to call the leader of the Mosque.” Husein did just that – he called the leader of the Mosque, with his father watching and listening and told him the account of his conversion to Christ. His father then told him – “We don’t eat dogs, and we don’t eat pigs…you need to go.” This father had just called his own son a dog or pig – and since they don’t eat those animals they had no use for their own son.
Husein waited until the time came for the 10PM prayers. Knowing that his father would be away from the house Husein made his way home for the last time. He planned to pack his things to start his new life with Christ. When he got home again, he found his sister there. His sister told him that all of his things had been burned except for a shirt and a pair of jeans that she had been washing – she had saved them for Husein. Husein spent that night all alone on the streets of Mombasa – but not really alone – for he was in better company than he had ever been – he was living in the presence of Almighty God.
When Husein awoke on Sunday August 9th he made his way to the church that was near the Open Air Meeting he had attended the day before. He participated in the worship service and when the invitation was given for anyone who had received Christ the day before at the Open Air Meeting to come forward for a time of prayer – Husein moved from his seat to the altar.
That afternoon, Sunday Aug. 9th (less than 24 hours after his conversion experience), Husein attended another Open Air Meeting. During the meeting, Husein approached Elias and asked if he could share his testimony. Husein was no stranger to these kinds of meetings – in fact a second part of his former life as a Muslim had been to attend these meetings and be a detractor and to hold meetings in which he would openly criticize Christ and the Christian faith. This time, he took the stage with a totally different – delivered – message. He stood before the crowd in the public market place in his own neighborhood, a predominately Muslim neighborhood, and said, “I want to tell you that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and He died and He rose again. I was against that. But I tell you it is true…I met Him.” Husein had met Jesus Christ!

That evening as over 325 participants in the Leadership Development Institute and 39 members of the US Team listened; Husein gave a vivid testimony of his conversion and faith in Jesus Christ. Later that night the national pastors rallied together to take a small offering that was used to buy Husein some much needed clothes. Our key national leaders met, and agreed upon a place for Husein to be taken to be cared for and discipled.

On Sunday August 16th, Husein attended church in his new community. Word had already spread about the converted Muslim that had moved to town. Every seat in the church was filled and there were many who were standing outside listening through the opened windows. Husein stood again before a mass of people he had never met and shared the same testimony “I want to tell you that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and He died and He rose again. I was against that. But I tell you it is the truth…I met Him.”

When God shut Husein's mouth – He opened His eyes. Husein now has eyes of faith – he has a Message to share. He is a life that was forever changed through the faithful witness of one man. Husein is one of over 3,000 that gave his life to Jesus Christ during our three days of Open Air Meetings. Husein is one that matters to God and one through whom God in mighty ways. Husein is one that you have prayed for, invested in, and ministered to as you have strategically partnered with Reaching Souls International.

--to see the entire Reaching Souls International Update for the trip click on the following link:


Praise God!!! Hallelujah!!! We are so thrilled about Husein and his story. The Bible says in Luke 15:10 “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

The angels in Heaven are rejoicing right now for the 3,892 people who we documented that came to the Lord by the end of the trip! Praise the Lord!!! It was so awesome to see these people come to know the Lord. The majority of the people who accepted Christ did so through the one-on-one evangelism of the pastors. This was a great encouragement to us and to them because they were able to see the immediate results of sharing the gospel.

We will probably never know how many lives will be changed by these pastors who will go back home and spread the gospel to their city, town, village, or local area. Your prayers and support were a large part of this project and for that I thank you. How sweet will it be when we all get to heaven and hear about the lives that were changed because of what the Lord did on this trip. Your prayers and support made this trip possible for me and the other members of this team. Thank you so much! I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to go with this group and my life is forever changed by what happened on this trip. I love Africa! Thanks again for all your prayers and support.

If you have any questions or would like me to come speak to you or your church in person email me at:

I would be more than happy to share with you what God is doing in Kenya. Reaching Souls is a great organization that is all about winning souls to Christ. If you would like to hear more about them and how you can be involved send me an email. If you would rather go to their website click on the link:


  1. Marcus, I love this blog! You're really an amazing young man, and I am so proud of you!

  2. It was my absolute pleasure to meet and serve with you in Mombasa! You are a treasure and I'm so glad to count you as a friend. Beautiful telling of our time in Kenya. Thanks!

  3. Marcus,

    You did a great job of detailing our adventure and I've shared your blog site with many of my friends. It was so wonderful to get to know you on this trip and I just know that God has great and mighty things in store for you. God Bless You!!

    Brad Adams

  4. Hey Marcus,
    this is Noel. Good post! I really enjoyed reading it, even though I was right there with you, its cool to 'see' it through someone elses eyes. Thank you :)

    be free