Since I have been serving here in Africa, God has allowed me to share the gospel everywhere I go and teach. All along the way there have been those who pray and accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, but today is a day I will not soon forget.

I taught today in a bush church in the middle of nowhere. The church meets under the shade of a tree, there are no structures at all. They have been meeting there for over 2 years now and the church is growing. They have started an orphan school that holds class every weekday under the shade of that tree. They have about 60 orphans that come every day. They sang a song for me when I arrived. Where they are standing is where both church and school are both held.

Orphans Being Taught Under The Shade Of A Tree

I had a great lesson prepared and was so excited to get to teach it, but when I arrived Holy Spirit began to give me a completely different direction to teach. I wanted so much to be obedient and follow the new direction, but I will be honest, I was unsure because I was not prepared to teach what He gave me to teach. I had no study notes or in-depth background information on the passage, yet what I did have was a love for the scripture He gave me. A passage of scripture that has been an encouragement to me time and time again. James 1: 2-4 Count it all joy, my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

When we arrived and the meeting began, they had scheduled several women to give their testimonies. One young woman still in her twenties just buried her husband Sunday. He was working as a night guard and someone murdered him. She is left as widow with 6 small children and absolutely no one to turn to other than this church. Another young woman also still in her twenties buried her husband just a short time ago. He was killed in a motor cycle accident. She too was left as a widow with 6 small children.

Out of the 100 or so women who were there today, one third of them were widows, every age was represented. As I heard their stories I began to understand Holy Spirits prompting of the verses in James. After I shared what I was led to teach I shared the gospel and 15 people surrendered their lives to Jesus, what an incredible experience. Not because of the numbers but because of the realness of the Lords presence there. For anyone who thinks you have to be in a church building to have church, they should have been there under that tree with us today! We had church!

I also want to share another salvation story that happened last week at a different bush church. A man wandered into the church while I was teaching a group of women. He came in while we were having a question and answer time. He sat quietly and listened for a long time then he got up and walked up to where I was and told me he had a question. He told me that his wife had recently burned to death in their hut. He said the images of her dying were overwhelming him and wanted to know what I could suggest to help him. I began to ask him if he had a relationship with the Lord and he stopped me in the middle of my asking and said, no, but I want to and I want to have one right now! What a joy to share the gospel with this man who was hurting so deeply.

This is our new brother in Christ in between me and Pastor Francis

He left that place a changed man and although I know his wife’s death will continue to be hard for him, he understood that he now has Jesus to help him through those hard times.

This week began a new weekly teaching time for me here in Busia. I have been excited to start teaching a class each week and have the opportunity to get to know the women here better. I was not at all prepared for what I found when I arrived at the church to teach. Already in the church were 30 teenage girls with their bibles, pencils and paper waiting on me to teach. There were also women present as well, but those girls came ready and were so excited to be taught! We had a wonderful time together and are very excited about the weeks ahead.

This week here in Busia our church is holding an open air revival in the most Muslim populated area here. Many have come and heard the truth and surrendered their lives to Jesus. Please pray throughout the rest of this week that all who hear the truth this week will listen and believe.

Last week I was back in Kenya for 3 days. It was one of the best trips I’ve had. I was invited to teach leadership skills to a group of Pastors who were training for their upcoming ordinations. The host family that provided me a place to stay were so sweet and the place they made for me was special. I could tell they had put so much effort in their provisions for me.

Jimmy, Tom and Benedicts

We had such a good time. I have been waiting to share with you about Tom until I had some pictures of him and his family.

Tom and his family in front of their new church building

Tom is a young Pastor. It was such a joy to see him be ordained on Saturday.

Tom’s Ordination

He grew up as an orphan and his testimony is filled with a childhood of abuse to the extremes. Yet, because of that he has the deepest passion you can imagine for the orphans he is now serving as their Pastor. He and his precious family are such an important part of my life. I don’t get to see them as often because of the distance we live apart, but when I do, I love being with them. He traveled by foot today to come and join me where I was teaching. It is so wonderful to hear someone calling me Mum here.

This past week in Kenya when all 3 of them were with me, I heard Mum a lot! They and Bryan and Dana have started communicating and it seems they all are growing to love one another. Bryan told me when I first came here that he wondered how many new brothers and sisters he would gain while I was here! He knows his Mom well!

Benedicts wife and Toms wife not only call me Mum, they call themselves my daughters and their children all call me Grandmother in Swahili. I still miss Bryan and Dana and their families more than you can imagine, yet, I am so thankful God has sent me adopted children and grandchildren to help fill the emptiness in my life here. Through all of them we are becoming a unique blended family. I don’t guess the day will ever come that we’ll all be together in one place until we get to heaven, but I’d sure like too! I would love to have a picture of everyone together! What a treasure that would be!

Love to all,

Joy Breedlove

Missionary – East Africa