The Mestlers' Kenyan Connection
The Mestlers' Kenyan Connection  

Most recent prayer letters

September - October 2021

 

Dear Ministry Partners,

 

    Hamjambo (Hello) to everyone from Thika, Kenya.  We want to share some highlights with you of God's blessing on our ministry here in Kenya.

     Little by little the government has been removing COVID 19 restrictions, and all of our ministries are pretty much back to  normal.  We praise the Lord that worship service attendance at Zion Road Independent Baptist Church is over 100 most Sundays, and we recently had a baptismal service.

    Because the government school schedule has been changed to make up for lost time in 2020, our students had very short term breaks of only 10 days to two weeks.  We adjusted to that change, and rather than having a week of Kids' Bible Camp (V.B.S), we had two 3-day Kids' Bible Camps (July 20-22 & October 6-8). They were two of the best Kids' Bible Camps we have had, with 80-110 children attending and 12 children counseled personally about their relationship to Christ.

    In a previous prayer letter we mentioned an artist named Daniel Mukuna who accepted Christ as Savior in March.  He continues to grow in Christ and is faithfully attending the Independent Baptist Church in Thika.  In August we began a neighborhood Bible study in his home.  As a result, two other adults, Pius and Christin, have trusted in Christ.  A dozen or so children also now attend a weekly Bible club.

    Looking ahead to 2022, we are prayerfully planning to plant a new church in a western suburb of Nairobi called Gikambura.  Three families who have moved to the Gikambura area are requesting that an Independent Baptist Church be started there.  We have begun looking for a plot of land we can purchase to place a tent on for a meeting place early in 2022.  We estimate the cost of the land to be around $50,000.  We praise the Lord for some promises we have already received of help with the land purchase.

    In September we visited Arizona for three weeks to participate in three mission conferences.  We also much enjoyed some family time with our children and seven grandchildren.

    In early November we are looking forward to our pastor, Ken Endean, and his son Dr. Kristopher Endean being with us to teach at Independent Bible College of Ministry and to preach in our churches.

    We are busy, but very happy in our ministry here.  Thank you for your faithful prayer and financial support that enables us to serve the Lord in Kenya.

 

                                                               The Mestlers in Kenya for Christ

 

We praise the Lord for ...

 

The home Bible study begun in our resident town of Thika with three adults trusting Christ as Savior.

 

Well-attended Kids’ Bible Camps (V.B.S.) in July and October with 12 children counseled for salvation.   

 

Please pray for…

 

$50,000 needed to purchase land for a new church plant in a western suburb of Nairobi called Gikambura.

 

Outreach to the parents whose children attended our Kids’ Bible Camps.

 

Continued spiritual and physical strength equal to our busy ministry.

 

 

 

May-June 2021

 

Dear Christian Friends, 

 

     Greetings in Christ from "cool" Kenya.  Because we are south of the equator, it is the beginning of our "winter," meaning that early morning temperatures are in the mid-50's.  When we see the 115 degree F temperatures in our home state of Arizona we are thankful to be serving the Lord in Kenya!

     God is able to take small things and turn them into big opportunities.  It all started with the purchase of a picture frame from a local artist named Daniel.  When we saw some of his beautiful oil paintings in his studio, we arranged for him to paint a picture of our chuch.  The day we returned to pick up the painting, Daniel said to Mike, "Pastor, you have to help me.  Alcohol is destroying my life!"  Mike told him that Jesus Christ could deliver him and promised to meet with him soon.  The next week we began an Exchange Evangelism Bible study, and at the end of the first lesson, Daniel professed faith in Christ.  Daniel has not been drinking now for about three weeks and has been to Sunday morning church services twice.  We praise the Lord for the power of the gospel! (Romans 1:16)

Please pray that the Lord will continue to strengthen him as we do a weekly discipleship Bible study together.

     The beginning of May the Kenyan government lifted the COVID 19 restrictions, allowing us to resume church services while observing social distancing and other precautions.  This time attendance at Zion Road Independent Baptist Church quickly returned to normal.  We have had two Sundays in June when attendance has been over 120.  For July 20-22, we are planning a three-day Kids' Bible Camp (V.B.S.) which we had to postpone in April due to the COVID 19 lockdown.  Would you please pray that we do not have a third lockdown?  Last week thirteen counties in western Kenya were put in lockdown, but this time Nairobi was not in the area affected by the surge.

     The end of May we enjoyed a two-week visit by our son Nathan and our grandson Grant.  Nathan is now the president of International Baptist College and Seminary in Chandler, AZ.  He taught a modular class at our Bible College in Nairobi.  It was our grandson's first visit to Kenya, and we were able to take him on a wild life safari at Amboseli National Park near Mt. Kilimanjaro.

     The last year and a half have been very different as we, like everyone else, have had to face the COVID 19 challenges, but we are still seeing God do amazing things.  Thanks for praying for us so that those amazing things keep happening!

 

In Kenya for Christ,

Pastor Mike & Gail Mestler (John 3:30)

 

We Praise God for ... 

 

   The profession of faith in Christ of Daniel Mukuna and the initial evidence of his having truly been born again.

 

  Excellent Sunday worship attendance at Zion Road Independent Baptist Church including several first-time visitors.

 

  The recent visit of our Son Nathan, and grandson Grant.

 

Please pray for ...

  

  The spiritual growth of Daniel Mukuna as we do a weekly discipleship Bible study together.

 

  Several children to receive Christ as Savior during our Kids' Bible Camp (V.B.S.) July 20-22.

 

  The prevention of a third COVID19 lockdown due to the current surge in the virus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

March - April 2021

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

     We have much to thank the Lord for as we slowly get back to "normal" after the COVID 19 ministry restrictions last year.  All our church services and ministries are functioning again while we still take health precautions, such as requiring the wearing of masks.  Children's Sunday school attendance is around 35-40, while on some Sundays we have over 100 people attending worship service.

     We have not held a VBS for over a year, so we are getting prepared to have one April 12-16.  Our school students will have a seven-week break this spring.  This is the only opportunity we will have this year for special children's and youth ministries.

     We began a church plant in December 2010 in the village of Raganga in western Kenya.  Pastor Charles Okari has been faithfully pastoring this rural village church.  On Sunday, March 21, Raganga Indepedent Baptist Church was officially recognized as being independent of missionary support.  Please pray that this congregation will support Pastor Charles and his family. It was a joyful time as we celebrated with the members of the church in an independence-recog  nition service.

     By the end of March, we will be completing our first trimester of day classes at Independent Baptist College of Ministry (I.B.C.M.).  COVID  restrictios in 2020 required us to have only virtual clases, so now the faculty and students have been rejoicing in being back together again. Because of the interrupted school schedule last year, there were no graduating high school seniors last November.  We, therefore, also had no first-year students enroll at I.B.C.M.  We are anticipating some new students joining us for second trimester in May.  Mike will teach two classes while Gail continues to get books into the college library system.

     In early March, Kenya began to experience a third wave of COVID 19 infections.   Sadly, there have been several deaths of prominent Kenyans in recent weeks.  Please pray that we will have wisdom developing our ministries, while aso protecting our members' physical health.

     Asante sana (Thanks much) for continuing to faithfully support us with your prayers and giving.  We rejoice in all God is doing here in Kenya.

 

                                                             In Kenua for Christ,

                                        Pastor Mike and Gail Mestler (John 3:30)

 

We praise God for ...

  The successful completion of day classes for the first term at Independent Baptist College of Ministry,

 

  The baptism of two adult ladies in February. Mama Irungu and Mama Rebecca,

 

  The recognition-of-independence service of  Raganga Independent Baptist Church on March 21. 

 

Please pray for ...

  Wisdom to deal with a third wave of COVID 19,

 

  Kid's Bible Camp (VBS) April 12-16 and Youth Outreach April 19-25,

 

  New students to enroll at Independent Baptist College of Ministry in May.

 

 

January - February 2021

 

Dear partners in ministry,  

     We greet all of you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the first time in 2021.

     We arrived safely back to Kenya from the USA on January 7.  After celebrating Thanksgiving with family in Greenville, SC, we traveled to see Mike's 99-year-old father in an assisted-living home in Birmingham, AL.  Little did we know that our visit with him on November 29 would be our last time together with him.  Mike's dad passed on December 15 after a short bout with the COVID 19 virus.  We were so thankful the Lord had led us to be in the States at this time.  George Mestler, Jr. was a career Marine Corps officer who served his country in both WW2 and the Korean Conflict. 

     On January 25 the government of Kenya finally lifted the COVID 19 restrictions on churches holding children's classes.  We will therefore be resuming junior church on January 31 and Sunday school classes on February 7.  We have really missed the children and are thankful that the suspension has finally ended.

     Our co-workers, George and Lexie Binoka, are continuing the South Sudanese Bible study fellowship they began on the property of Zion Road Independent Baptist Church in October.  On January 24 they moved their meeting time from Sunday afternoon to Sunday morning.  This was a meaningful change, since we know of no other Sudanese church group meeting on Sunday mornings.  We are purchasing a tent to give them their own meeting place.

     Day classes at Independent Baptist College of Ministry (I.B.C.M.) resumed on January 11.  We have been teaching by video and online since May, so it is refreshing to be face-to-face with the students in a clssroom  once more.  Mike is teaching Introduction to Public Speaking, and Gail is busy getting the college library back in shape.  In 2020, due to the pandemic, there was no graduating class from high school in Kenya, but we are trusting the Lord to give us new students in our second term.

     Our fifth Annual Missions Conference is planned for February 26-28.  Our church members are being challenged to give each month to support 
African church planters.  This year we are also praying that the Lord will call one of our Zion Road Independent Baptist Church families to become full-time, church-planting missionaries.

     Once again, we want to thank you for praying and supporting our ministry here in Kenya.  The Lord uses you to make it possible for us to serve in the country we have grown to love so much.

                                                                  In Kenya for Christ,

                                                      Pastor Mike & Gail Mestler (John 3:30)

 

We praise God for ...

  Our safe return to Kenya on January 7 after six weeks in the USA,

  The resumption of children's Sunday school classes after almost ten months of COVID-required suspension,

  The opening of our Bible college day classes in January.

 

Please pray for ...

  New students to enroll at Independent Baptist College of Ministry (I.B.C.M.),

  That during our February 26-28 missions conference a church couple will be called to a church-planting ministry,

  Effective evangelizing and discipling of children in our Sunday school classes and junior church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October - December 2020

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

   As we near the end of 2020 we are thankful for how the Lord has enabled us to overcome the challenges caused by the Covid19 crisis.  God has promised us that Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (Romans 8:37)

   After 17 weeks of suspended church services we began worshipping together again on July 19.  Over the last three months our Sunday morning worship attendance has grown from around 50 to over 100.  With a few exceptions, most of our families have become faithful again to the ministry of Zion Road Independent Baptist Church.  We also praise the Lord that only a couple of our members have been infected with the Covid virus, and no one has had to be hospitalized.

   In October, George and Lexie Binoka arrived in Kenya to begin their church-planting ministry,  They have begun a Bible Study Fellowship for the Sudanese refugees in our housing area.  For the past month they have had over 30 Sudanese attending each Sunday night.  Their goal is to establish a South Sudanese church with the assistance of some of the Sudanese members of Zion Road Independent Baptist Church.

   Over the year we have been gradually completing the construction of the second floor of our church building.  There are now three appartments upstairs providing housing for our assistant pastor and his wife and for our property caretaker.  There is also a guest apartment that we use on Saturdays and on other occasions.   We had a thanksgiving and dedication service on Sunday, November 15, with over 130 people in attendance.

   Independent Baptist College of Ministry has been having virtual classes online and  by video this term.  Mike has taught three classes since September.  We expect to be able to resume normal classroom instruction the beginning of January 2021.  We really miss the face-to-face interaction with our students and are looking forward to being back together as a college family.

   This is our year for being with our family in the States for Thanksgiving and Christmas.   We will be in Greenville, SC, the end of November and in AZ during December.  We will be reporting to a few of our supporting churches, but this is just a short trip, and we will be back in Kenya in early January for the start of the first term of the Bible college.  Thanks for your faithful prayers and financial support of our ministry.

                                                  In Kenya for Christ,

                                   Pastor Mike and Gail Mstler (John 3:30)       

 

We praise the Lord for ...

-Safe arrival of the Binoka family and the beginning of a Sudanese Bible Study Fellowship,

-Dedication of the second floor of our church building that provides staff housing,   

-Baptism of Maurine and three children on November 22.

 

Please pray for ...

-All of our families to return to faithful church attenance after the Covid 19 church-services interruption,

-Resumption of children's Sunday school classes and children's church in early January,

-The protection of our church family during the Covid 19 pandemic.

 

 

August / September 2020

 

Dear Ministry Partners,

     Greetings in Christ from Kenya to everyone.

     Like other ministries in America and around the world, we are gradually getting back to normal after months of government-imposed restrictions on public worship services due to the COVID pandemic.  Over the past twelve weeks, attendance has been gradually increasing, and we now have almost eighty adults and youth together on Sunday mornings.  We are not allowed yet to hold children's Sunday school classes or children's church.  Schools are still closed in Kenya but are planned to reopen in January.  We expect that church children's ministries will be permitted at that time.

     Our Bible College (I.B.C.M.) is still in a distance-learning mode.  We are using ZOOM sessions and prerecorded video lessons to teach.  Most of our students have remained committed to their studies, and a couple of them have actually increased the number of classes they are taking due to the self-study format.  Mike is teaching two one-week modular classes and two ten-week courses this term  We expect to be back to on-campus classes in January 2021.

     We have had two recent professions of faith in Christ in unusual circumstances.  While having a pedicure at a local hair salon, Gail shared the gospel with the beautician named Jane.  Jane professed faith in Christ, and Gail is now doing a weekly discipleship Bible study  with her at a local ice-cream parlor.  At the same shopping center, we gave gospel tracts to a security guard named Joan, who has also accepted Christ as Savior.  Both ladies work on Sundays, so please pray that they can have a change in their work schedule so they will be able to attend worship services.

     One effect of the COVID pandemic has been that apartment buildings are not allowing non-residents to enter.  Therefore, on Sunday afternoons we are retraining our church members in using the Exchange relational evangelism method to share the gospel with their neighbors.   One of our men has already led a business customer to Christ!

     We are anticipating the arrival of a new missionary family, George and Lexie Binoka, on October 10.  We have hundreds of South Sudanese refugees living near our church building, and the Binokas plan to begin a Bible study group with the goal of planting a South Sudanese church in the future.

     In September, Mike was able to travel with a few church members to a remote village in Western Kenya to teach a Bible Institute class.  It was refreshing to see how eager these brothers and sisters in Christ were to learn God's Word.

     Thank you for being an important part of our ministry here in Kenya.

                                                                In Kenya for Christ,

                                           Pastor Mike & Gail Mestler (John 3:30)

 

Please pray for ...

 

lifting of restrictions on children's Sunday school classes and childen's church,

 

effective evangelism of youth on October 10 & 11 during a youth-emphasis outreach,

 

resumption of Bible College on-campus classes,

 

adjustment of the Binoka family to life and ministry in Kenya.

 

 

 

March / May 2020

 

Dear prayer partner,

  Hamjambo (Hello) to everyone from Kenya. 

  Like all of you, since late Mach we have been learning a new vocabulary - COVID, pandemic, and social distancing.  The end of March the Kenyan government closed all schools and restricted public meetings to no more than 15 people.  We immediately began a weekly broadcast that is posted on YouTube.  In May we added a weekly children's Sunday school lesson.  We have been encouraged at the large percentage of our church members who listen each week. We also have begun a weekly Friday night ZOOM Bible study group.  We are thankful that our church members have been faithful to give through electronic money transfer to our church bank account.  Each month the Lord has enabled us to meet all pastors' salaries and other expenses.

  In April we were given a gospel tract related to the COVID pandemic, and  recently while at the supermarket, we gave one to each of the cashiers and baggers.  As we left the store, we turned around to see five young men all eagerly reading them.  We have not yet heard of a profession of faith in Christ from the tracts but are trusting God that some have responded in faith.

  Our Bible college has shifted this term to distance, self-study courses.  Due to limited and expensive access to the internet here, most of the course work is being done by lesson study sheets that are completed and returned each week.  Since no international air flights are arriving in Kenya, all our scheduled American guest teachers have had to cancel coming.  Mike has been spending many hours each week preparing a Master's level course on expository preaching to fill in the gap left by one of these cancellations.

  In the midst of the crisis, we have been able to continue construction of our church-staff housing.  The end of March our pastor Henry Juma and his wife Mary moved into their apartment.  Our caretaker, Edward, moved into his apartment in May.  We have finished enough on the guest apartment so that we will be able to use it for Sunday school classes once our services are resumed.

  Each month President Uhuru Kenyatta holds a public meeting when he announces the measures to be taken for the next 21 to 30 days.  The next announcement will be on July 6 when we are trusting to hear that church services will be allowed.  However, we are expecting some necessary precautions such as social distancing and the wearing of masks.

  It has been a strange time for us, but we are thankful to know that our God is greater than any crisis we face!  We know that many churches in America are struggling financially, so we much appreciate your faithful commitment to our work here in Kenya.

                                                                                           In Kenya for Christ,

                                                          Pastor Mike & Gail Mestler (John 3:30) 

January / February 2020

 

Dear partners in ministry,

   Can you remember when as a child or teenager you had a sudden growth spurt?  How exciting it was to grow a couple of inches in a year.  God has blessed us in the first two months of 2020 with a growth spurt at Zion Road Independent Baptist Church.

   Evangelistic Outreach - Most Sunday afternoons we do door-to-door evangelism using an approach to sharing the gospel known as Netcasters.  In recent weeks as many as 20 of our church members have been reaching people for Christ in the streets and apartments of the neighborhood near the church. Almost every week has seen at least one adult professing faith in Christ.  Please pray that we can effectively  disciple these new beliervers.

   Church Attendance- Our Sunday worship service attendance has increased from around 120 to 140 each week.  When our high school students are home from boarding school the attendance is around 160.  Our members are very encouraged to see the church auditorium filling up.

   Building Progress - The staff housing on the second floor of the church auditorium is shaping up.  On March 8 we had an harambeee (special offering) to complete the project .  Our church members sacrificially gave over $4,000.   Our goal is to have the apartments for our caretaker, our assistant pastor and guests completed by this June.

   On a personal note, our son Nathan was chosen last August to be the new president of International Baptist College and Seminary in Chandler, AZ.  Mike was invited to be the speaker at Nathan's official installation on February 23, 2020.  We make a quick ten-day trip back to our home church in Arizona for this special occasion.  We paise the Lord that both our children and their families are actively serving the Lord at Tri-City Baptist Church. (III John 4)

    Tri-City Baptist Church is planning to send a summer mission team to Kenya in June.  This team will have a music emphasis, and we plan to hold a seminar for our local churches in Kenya to assist them in developing godly congregational and choir singing.

   Many of you have no doubt heard about the locust invasion in Kenya.  They are not yet in the area near Nairobi, but crops in other parts of the country have been devoured.  We are looking at potential famine in parts of Kenya  and increased food prices everywhere.  Please pray for God's intervention to stop this plague soon.

   Once again, we want to thank you for praying and financially supporting our ministry here in Kenya.

 

PRAYER REQUESTS:

The end of the locust invasion in Kenya.

Successful completion of staff housing by June.

Planning for music seminar in June.

Continued growth in the attendance and ministries of Zion Road IndependentBaptist Church.

July/August 2019

 

Dear Prayer Partners,

 

     What a great couple of months of ministry God has given us in Kenya! We want to share with you some of the highlights.

     We have been busy since June with the construction of the second phase of our church housing project. This will provide apartments for our church pastors and caretaker on the second floor of our church building. The Lord saw us through the critical work of pouring the concrete pillars and ceiling. We plan an another harambee (sacrificial offering) in November to complete the apartments to be occupied early in 2020.  Asante (Thanks) to everyone who gave to this project.

     The highlight of the “summer” was the wedding of Pst. Jimmy Mugo and Hanes Juma on Aug. 3. We have known Hanes since her birth and Jimmy since he was an elementary school student. This very committed Christian couple are already having great ministry with our children and youth. We look forward to how the Lord will use them in the years ahead.

    In early August Mike was part of a four-man team who made a survey trip to Ethiopia. This was to assist a young missionary intern who is considering a future ministry there among Somali refugees. The high point of the visit was meeting the pastors and members of an Independent Baptist Church who were won to Christ out of Islam. It was encouraging to see how God has enabled them to remain faithful to Christ amidst a great deal of persecution, including the burning down of their church building.

    On Sat., Aug. 17, our Bible College will be holding our annual Youth Day Seminar. This year’s theme is Youth Ministering to Youth. All our preachers will be young men who have already begun preaching. Please pray that our church youth will invite their unsaved friends to this special event and that several young men and women will receive Christ as Savior.

   Our house will be the scene of a children’s Sunday School picnic on Sat., Aug. 24. The Zion Rd. Independent Baptist Church college age group will be running the event. It is a reward for our faithful Sunday School students and also an evangelistic outreach to new children.

   We appreciate all of you who pray and give to allow us to minister here in Kenya.      

 

                           EARLIER 2019 PRAYER LETTERS

 

May 18, 2019

 

Dear Christian Friends,

         Hello to everyone from Kenya. Asante sana (Thanks much) for praying for us. Here is a short update and some words of praise and prayer requests:

PRAISE- For the past month we have been hosting the Binoka family- George, Lexie and their 9 month old baby Maylee. The Binokas are on deputation with our Mission, International Baptist Mission. They plan to join us in Kenya in May 2020. The Binokas' initial ministry will be assisting our local churches to evangelize and disciple college and university students.
                We have begun discipling a couple of new believers in preparation for baptism. Please pray for the spiritual growth of Wilchester and Evans.
               
PRAYER REQUESTS:
1) Children's Teachers Seminar on May 25. We are praying for each of the churches we have invited to send their children's teachers.
2) Harambee (Sacrificial Giving Sunday) on June 9. This is to raise about $5000.00 to continue on our building project which is staff housing at Zion Rd. Indep. Baptist Church.
    

Dear Prayer Partners,

 

     What a great couple of months of ministry God has given us in Kenya! We want to share with you some of the highlights.

     We have been busy since June with the construction of the second phase of our church housing project. This will provide apartments for our church pastors and caretaker on the second floor of our church building. The Lord saw us through the critical work of pouring the concrete pillars and ceiling. We plan an another harambee (sacrificial offering) in November to complete the apartments to be occupied early in 2020.  Asante (Thanks) to everyone who gave to this project.

     The highlight of the “summer” was the wedding of Pst. Jimmy Mugo and Hanes Juma on Aug. 3. We have known Hanes since her birth and Jimmy since he was an elementary school student. This very committed Christian couple are already having great ministry with our children and youth. We look forward to how the Lord will use them in the years ahead.

    In early August Mike was part of a four-man team who made a survey trip to Ethiopia. This was to assist a young missionary intern who is considering a future ministry there among Somali refugees. The high point of the visit was meeting the pastors and members of an Independent Baptist Church who were won to Christ out of Islam. It was encouraging to see how God has enabled them to remain faithful to Christ amidst a great deal of persecution, including the burning down of their church building.

    On Sat., Aug. 17, our Bible College will be holding our annual Youth Day Seminar. This year’s theme is Youth Ministering to Youth. All our preachers will be young men who have already begun preaching. Please pray that our church youth will invite their unsaved friends to this special event and that several young men and women will receive Christ as Savior.

   Our house will be the scene of a children’s Sunday School picnic on Sat., Aug. 24. The Zion Rd. Independent Baptist Church college age group will be running the event. It is a reward for our faithful Sunday School students and also an evangelistic outreach to new children.

   We appreciate all of you who pray and give to allow us to minister here in Kenya.      

 

January/February 2019

 

Dear Praying Friends,

        Greetings from Kenya!  We are happy to be back to Nairobi and are praising 

God for what He is doing in the life of the church as a whole as well as in individual lives.

       We had two special surprises in January and February as two wonderful, godly young people from Zion Road Independent Baptist Church proposed marriage to their sweethearts in front of the entire congregation.  Both accepted, and the church is delighted with the prospects of two more godly marriages within the year.

       Meanwhile, we have just begun putting a second floor on our church building for 1) an apartment for the Kenyan assistant pastor, and 2) two small apartments for living quarters for our custodian and a guest room for visitors and for us on weekends, since the church is forty minutes from our home. 

       Saving the best for last, we have just completed our fourth annual missions conference.  We had the privilege of having veteran missionary, Ted Daub, as our keynote speaker.  He did a wonderful job presenting the missionary mandate for workers and faith promise giving.  We did a SKYPE call to a Nigerian family, the Babalolas, who were on their way back home to Nigeria as church planters.  We then presented the Faith Promise program and were thrilled to see close to $200 promised on a monthly basis to missions.  We praise God that His people here are beginning to catch the vision for reaching out beyond themselves and even  beyond Kenya.

       Gail's recovery from her right-knee replacement surgery is on track.  She is making slow but steady progress by God's grace.  Thanks for so many prayers.

       

We praise God for

good attendance at Zion Road Independent Baptist Church and many first-time visitors,

commitment by our church members to give $200 monthly to missionary outreach, and

construction starting on housing for our church staff.

 

Please pray for

completion of staff-housing construction by July, 2019,

Gail's complete recovery from right-knee replacement surgery in January, and

godly wedding plans for Pastor Jimmy & Hanes and for Flevian & Jackie.

                           

                             With love to dear and faithful friends in Christ,

                             Your missionaries in Kenya,

                             Pastor Mike and Gail Mestler  John 3:30 

 

_____________________________________________________

 

Highlights of 2018

 

The week between Christmas and New Year's Day is always a time of reflection.

We are looking back at an outstanding year of God's blessings in 2018, and we want to share with you in a few words the highlights.

 

On the second Sunday of 2018 we met Eric and Verna O. at a shop across the street from Zion Road Independent Baptist Church.  They were looking for a church that teaches the Bible. We lead Eric to Christ in an evangelistic Bible study.  They were baptized in March and have brought several of their friends to the church.

 

We celebrated three anniversaries in 2018: Mike's 50th  year of salvation, our 41st year of marriage, and 25 years of ministry in Kenya.  God has been faithful to us in every way.

 

A pastor and his wife in Georgia introduced us to a Facebook friend of theirs, Grace and her daughter Alicia.  They were baptized in April and have become faithful membrs of our church.  We have begun a weekly evangelistic Bible study in their apartment.  Grace has brought about a dozen visitors to our services.

 

We held our first Christian Family Life Seminar in July with over 100 people sitting wall-to-wall in our garage.  Two days of teaching on Biblical principles of marriage and family living was very challenging and encouraging for our church members.  We are already planning for a follow-up seminar in Octobr, 2019.

 

Thank you for your vital part in our ministry.  As you continue to pray for us we look forward to God doing even greater things in 2019,

 

In Kenya for Christ,

Mike and Gail Mestler (John 3:30)

 

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                      AN OVERVIEW OF OUR MINISTRY IN KENYA 

 

 

 

Mike and Gail Mestler

      Mike and Gail Mestler have been serving in Nairobi, Kenya, since April 1993. In order to pursue the burden for missions that the Lord had given them, Mike resigned from the Bernalillo Independent Baptist Church in Bernalillo, New Mexico, where he had served as assistant pastor until 1982, then as pastor until 1989. It was at this church that he met Gail and worked under her father, Bill White, who had planted the Bernalillo church several years earlier. Mike believes that the experience in pastoring this young church has helped prepare him for church planting in Kenya.

     The Mestlers chose Nairobi as the site of their church-planting efforts, and in May of 1994 they founded Christ's Independent Baptist Church in a residential section known as Lucky Summer Estate. The population of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, has risen to over four million as job-seekers from all over Kenya have made it their home. The booming 3.1% per year population growth rate in Kenya also helps contribute to the opportunity that Christ's Independent Baptist Church has to minister to many new residents in Lucky Summer. Over half of Kenya's fifty million people are children, and the church is hard pressed to keep up with the need for space for Sunday school and children's church. The church's other outreaches include men's and women's fellowships, a youth group, and a young adults' ministry.

      Christ's Independent Baptist Church was successfully turned over to national leadership in 2005. The pastor as of 2019 is Shadrach Munyalo who is serving faithfully with his wife Grace. The Mestlers continue in fellowship with the pastor and congregation and occasionally are invited to teach and preach at the church.

      In March of 2004 Zion Road Independent Baptist Church was begun as a branch work of Christ's Independent Baptist Church. At the present time (2019) the new congregation is averaging 120 people. After having met in a rented school building for several months, the church began in 2005 meeting in permanent buildings on its own property. Presnetly housing for the pastors and caretaker are under construction.

     Our third church, Sunton Independent Baptist Church, was planted in 2006. For the first time we were able to begin a church with national leadership at the beginning. The Kenyan missionary pastor is Lawrence Isoka who has been faithful in the ministry there together with his wife Rosemary.

     In 2010 we planted our fourth church, Raganga Indepedent Baptist Church, under the leadership of Pst. Charles Okari. Bro. Okari had a burden to begin a Fundamental Baptist church in his village in the western Kenya province of Kisii. His wife's name is Josephine. The church is projected to be indepdent of missionary support in July 2020.

    Together with four other Independent Baptist missionary families we began in 2008 Independent Baptist College of Ministry (IBCM). We are a Fundamental Baptist Bible College offering a 1 year diploma in Bible, a 4 year Bachelor of Arts degree and a  Master of Arts Degree. All our students are active members of local Independent Baptist Churches. As of 2019 nine churches have been started by graduates of our college. IBCM has an Enrollment in August, 2019 of 35 students.      

    The Mestlers have been sent to Kenya by Tri-City Baptist Church, 2211 W. Germann Rd. Rd., Chandler, AZ 85286 where Dr. Ken Endean is pastor. They are serving with Tri-City's mission board, International Baptist Missions, under the leadership of Dr. Larry Ball. International Baptist Missions is a Fundamental, Independent Baptist mission board with missionaries serving in Mexico, Singapore, Romania, Poland, Italy, Uruguay, Nigeria, Hong Kong , India, some Restricted Access Nations and the United States, as well as in Kenya.

   Mike and Gail's children, Rachel and Nathan, spent several years in Kenya but are now married and living in the States where they are active members of Tri-City Baptist Church.  Nathan is currently the president of International Baptist College and Seminary. The family's birthdays are Mike--February 10, Gail--December 5, Rachel--January 28, and Nathan--May 10. Mike and Gail's anniversary is April 15.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PO Box 64701 Nairobi Kenya 00620 mmestler@gmail.com 011 254 0718-862627011 254 0718-862627 Contact Us 

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