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Entries from February 2006

3rd Service

Yesterday was awesome if I must say. We had our 3rd service in the morning and our first

bible study in the evening. The atmosphere is beginning to feel more and more like a ‘sitting room’ as we add sofas one by one. We have 5 sofas so far and hope to get a total of 15. It really seems to be making a difference in the attitude of those that come. What a blessing. I can’t wait to have the coffee tables so we can have tea during the service to keep these ‘comfortable’ people awake! Ha ha!!

In the evening, over HALF of the church showed up for the bible study! It was a wonderful, intimate time of discussion. Very casual, all about Jesus and not about US--just how I imagine the early church must have been!

After the bible study, everyone just hung around for about an hour for fellowship and more discussion about what we studied (the history of the bible itself). Then several people walked with us to our house and had more fellowship time and dinner. It was great!

~Kate

Service_1


Sunday Report

Sunday went so good. We had a good turnout, and people are warming up to us. We also had a Bible study in the evening that was well attended. We looked at the history of the Bible, and had a informative time. Well my battery is critical to I will keep this brief. More later.

P.S. Sometime over the weekend our blog reached the 2000 visitor point. I know for some of you that is like nothing, but for me it is a milestone.


Tearing Things Apart!

Hello all you people out there! I just wanted to let you know that we are settled in our new house now. It’s so close to the church! Which is wonderful.

Also, our goal for next week is to tear down the stage in the church!! Yeah! We want to change the “I’m the preacher. You are the audience.” feel of worship meetings. So we’ve arranged our sofas and our temporary benches in to a circle and put everyone on the same level.

Picture_024_1

Well, I just wanted to say hi this morning that is all. We are taking the kids for a swim at a hotel near our house today. It’s usually freezing water, but lots of fun!

~Kate


Looking forward to Sunday

Kenya_flag Greetings from Nakuru Kenya!

I am looking forward to this Sunday's service. This will be our third service in Racecourse Nakuru, Kenya. We have been sharing about community, and this week we continue the theme with the specific vision of our church/community. I am putting a copy of it in this post.

                                               The Sitting Room's Vision

The Sitting Room’s primary reason for being brought into existence is to provide community. Community is a place where people come together to get to know one another. We come together to worship our God, to hear messages concerning our God, to offer prayer to our God, and we come together to meet each other’s needs. Our community exists for us. We strive to be like the first church and have someone write of us that there were no needs among us. We admit to not having all the answers to life’s questions, but we are willing to ask them with you. We understand that there will be needs that at times will be overwhelming to the community, but we are willing to be overwhelmed with you. Our community is here to serve and love each other, and by doing so, we will also be serving and loving our God.

Any person is welcome to fellowship with us. There are no membership requirements. Faith in Jesus Christ is not mandatory, but it is what binds most of us together. The community is made up of all kinds of people with all kinds of ideas about faith and what to do with it. We do not restrict expressions of faith, and we ask for the same in return.

The Sitting Room holds to the tenets of Pure Christianity and holds no specific doctrines otherwise. We believe that there is a God. We believe that mankind needs redemption from sin. We believe that Jesus Christ provided that redemption for us. We believe that God’s gift to us is eternal life.

The Sitting Room recognizes the need to reach out to the suffering of the world. Our first outreach is to meet the needs within our community. When there is a need among one of the members of the community, then we will do our best to meet that need. We also understand that there are many people in the world suffering. We desire to reach out to them all and provide what relief we can.

The Sitting Room will participate in humanitarian outreaches whenever God enables us to do so. The Sitting Room also accepts the Great Commission that Christ gave us. He wants us to go into all the world and make disciples. We do not define disciples as converts but rather as people who follow Christ. We will do our part in the Great Commission.

The Sitting Room has adopted a communal leadership structure. No one person is in charge, but instead a group of believers govern the church. We feel that most churches have too much government, and so we strive to have as little as possible. We want individuals to be free to worship and seek God in our fellowship. The leadership of The Sitting Room exists to guide believers in their journey with God. The leadership will also do mundane things such as make and keep schedules, plan events, pay bills, and any other things of that nature. The leadership is responsible for serving the members of The Sitting Room by praying for them, comforting them, teaching them (in other words by shepherding them). The Sitting Room is set up to be a place where anyone can freely worship and seek God.


We are missionaries

Just wanted to post a list of current needs and projects. We are missionaries living in Kenya, and we do all our own fundraising. In fact we really do not do much traditional fundraising, but instead try to get our message out to as many people as possible. Right now this blog is the number one tool we are using. So please take the time to read this list, and consider if you could be a part. If you cannot or do not want to, please continue to read the blog and pray for us.

Family needs (and some wants)

  • Rent on our house (about 140 U.S. dollars a month)
  • Utility bills
  • food (really important for growth and sustaining life)
  • entertainment (now some people may wonder why missionaries need entertainment, but well I am not going to try and explain here)
  • emergencies (they happen from time to time no matter how much I pray against them)

Ok obviously if I keep thinking of it I can always add more to the list, like this book: Candorville: Thank God for Culture Clash by Darrin Bell. Actually my book list is very long and includes non cartoon books.

One thing the kids really love is receiving packages full of goodies that we cannot get here. Like what you ask? Well if you are in the U.S., Europe, Australia, or anywhere outside of Kenya anything you can get from Walmart or whatever your local supermarket is we cannot get here.

Ministry Needs

  • Rent on the building (about 140 U.S. dollars a month)
  • Utility bills
  • Food for the hungry and medical assitance for the sick and on and on (60% of Kenyans live on less then a dollar a day so the need is extensive)
  • materials for teaching nutrition, budgeting, history, reading and writing, and so on to adults
  • books for the library
  • about $10000 dollars to set up a small internet/computer school
  • money for a home to house patients in the late stages of AIDS who can no longer care for themselves or their families can no longer or will no longer care for them

Thank you for considering this project and for your prayers. Of course you can email me for more details.

Johnny Brooks

Any money can be sent to:

Johnny and Kate Brooks P.O. Box 1113 Groves TX 77619-1113

Or via Paypal to back2kenya@yahoo.com

We recieve 100% of all money given for the project.


Moving Forward

Friday, February 17th, as we were loading up to move from our house in Lanet to our new home in Race Course, our missionary neighbor from California stopped by to say good-bye. He said he didn’t know we were ‘shifting’ so he asked me about our new location. I told him that it is very ‘Kenyan’. There is no dining room, no closets, no hot water heater, and it is very tiny, but it is near the church we’ve planted, and it is just like the ‘average Kenyan’ home. As I described it to him, he seemed very surprised. His response was, “Kate, you guys are moving backwards!” I laughed inside because I knew he just couldn’t see that it was a move in the right direction. Most people (especially other missionaries) won’t understand why we would give up our ‘comforts’ to reach these people. We are moving forward. We’ve gone from our ‘secret’ abode in Lanet with its luxuries: hot water heater, spacious compound, and complete privacy to a house right in the middle of the people we are trying to reach. Our house is just like most other Kenyans so they will feel comfortable visiting us, and it will give us a better opportunity to spend quality time with those in our ‘family’ at The Sitting Room. I think of our move as a step in the right direction. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Come join us for tea, will you? ~Kate


Racecourse Nakuru, Kenya

We moved (shifted as they say here in Kenya) to a neighborhood here in Nakuru called Racecourse. I met a former catholic priest who remembers the place actually being a race track, and he explained to me that is how it got its name. Racecourse is from what I can tell a middle class area in Nakuru. Middle class in Kenya is different then middle class in the West, but still the house we found is really nice. It is small, but it has three bedrooms and is in a self contained compound. Those two items are not easy to find in Racecourse. Most houses here are two bedroom and share compounds with two to three other units. We sacrificed all the space we had in Lanet, for the sake of the call. We needed to be close to the church and our people in order to be a part of their lives. Back in Texas where we came from the pastor could live miles and miles away, because everyone was close thanks to cars. No one who has come to our church has a car, including us. So we needed to make it easier for us and everyone else. We have not yet unpacked the camera, but as soon as we do we will upload some pictures. Yesterday’s service went well. We talked about church being a family, and hearing God in the whisper. I wanted to take pictures, but again we have not yet unpacked whichever box the camera is in.


11 Years

A few days ago we celebrated our eleventh wedding anniversary. I have enjoyed every part of the past eleven years. Neither Kate nor myself are the same person we were eleven years ago, but I love her more then ever. Thanks for a wonderful eleven years of marriage.


First Service

Today (Sunday February 12, 2006) we held our first service at The Sitting Room. It went really smoothly, and I could even imagine God smiling on us as we worshipped him with all our hearts. As people came in the doors (we have 3 entrances to the building) I could see the surprise on their faces as they saw the room. We arranged the benches in a circle (with our one sofa set mixed in there, too!) instead of the usual ‘audience/speaker’ way most churches do. And what really surprised them was that we didn’t use the stage that is in the building and there were no ‘special seats’ for the ‘important men of God’. Ha ha… Below is a picture taken before the service started: Picture_041 I know that numbers aren’t how we judge success, but just so you know, we had about 30 adults in the service. Johnny spoke on Community, and the people were so receptive. We’ll be speaking on community for the next few weeks and then move on to ‘The 5 Ws of Jesus’ (who, what, where, when, why). Since my kids are getting sleepy, I need to wrap this up, but I just wanted to mention that God gave us many miracles this week and possibly Johnny will write more on that later. Also, we are moving this week to a much smaller house nearer to the church so that we can practice being ‘family’ with our community! Ok, gotta go brush my kiddo’s teeth and get ‘em in bed! ~Kate


Church Update

Just to bring everyone up to date on the church plant. God has really blessed us. A friend of ours who has many churches in Kenya just gave us one of his churches that didn’t have a pastor. He gave us complete freedom to do whatever it is we feel God wants us to do! We told him all of our ‘strange to most Christians’ ideas. He embraced them and gave us his blessing! So now we are starting with a congregation instead of with empty seats. Plus, we’ve ministered at this church before, so the people are familiar with us… The difficult part is bringing in all the changes we have with out scaring them to death; however, yesterday we had our first service and it went really well!! Now, some miracles that happened are: The church building had past debts, and we didn’t want to have the building locked up on us, so God gave us favor and the owner gave us a NEW LEASE! We don’t have to worry about all the old debts. We are starting fresh and anew! Just like God, isn’t it? Also, the electricity had been turned off and the meter removed because of debts, and so the church had been looping power from a neighbor. We couldn’t have that! So we paid off the past debt and got the power back on! Praise God! Now we can have sound and lights! Also, we were looking for a house near the church and everyone told us there were none. We wanted a 3 bedroom house with only ONE house in the compound. Well, near the church, all the homes are 3 houses with 2 bedrooms in each compound. Johnny found a place just near the church that was a single 3 bedroom house in the compound, but the owners didn’t want to rent it out. They wanted to start a business there. So we prayed, and asked a friend to stop by and ask them again if they’d let us move there and with God’s amazing favor, they said ‘YES!’ So we are moving this Friday! Also, our current landlady has already found a tenant for the house we are in so we won’t have to pay her March’s rent here while also paying it at the new place! (We are supposed to give her one month notice). Well, thanks for reading such a long article. Be blessed with God’s favor! ~Kate