This weeks Secret Church conference deep in the interior bush of Kenya, was a setting surrounded by God’s creation from the plants, bushes, trees and flowers to the unique sounds of the birds.

This week’s Secret Church Conference

Yet, the greatest blessing was spending time with Gods people there.

People who have lived their entire life, toiling the soil for their daily bread. Living day in and day out surrounded in this peaceful part of Gods world.

In the years I’ve been serving here taking Gods Word to the remote areas, I’ve been told many times that I am the first missionary to come and stay overnight with the people in their villages. That other missionaries come and will only stay during the day, and then they return to a hotel for the nighttime.

I did not set out to be different from other missionaries. In all reality, I didn’t know I should consider whether or not to stay in the bush. I thought that was why I came to Africa, to reach those yet not reached.

Its not easy or the most comfortable thing to stay in the bush in a hut for several nights. Yes, you sleep with lots of different things around you; chickens, snakes, rats and lizards. You most often sleep light because of what might decide to spend the night with you.

You don’t shower the whole time you’re there because showering means you have to go outside to do so. Outside with some sort of shoe that doesn’t matter if it gets wet, yet, will expose your feet to things like the parasites I just healed from, although the parasites I had that made their home in my feet came from a mattress not the ground).

You don’t have clean water, so you eat only what you’ve brought and drink only bottled water. You walk a very fine line in not offending by not eating the food prepared for you, as hospitality is a great gift from the interior bush peoples.

For those days, there is no toilet, only a hand dug latrine. Believe me, I have become very creative in ways to have privacy when needing to relieve myself. I’ll spare you the details 🙂

Although as I’ve described it’s not easy, yet it has been one of the most rewarding things I have experienced as a missionary. You come to a much better understanding of the people you are serving when you sleep in their homes. The night hours before bedtime are wonderful as they sit around and share about their lives. It’s the most personal time of the entire week.

It amazes me that everywhere I have gone I hear the same words, “You are the only one that has ever come and stayed with us in our homes”. Last year I stayed in this same village in the same home as the year before. I spent this week with the same people I spent time with last year. This is something we’ve been doing this entire year. Every Secret Church conference has been held back in the same area as it was last year. This was intentional on our part as our desire was to build on the foundation of the first teachings last year.

This was the story I was told this time. While there last year, the villagers hearts were more open to the Secret Church teachings simply because I became one of them while I was there. In times past, other missionaries had come through and the villagers were polite and open to their messages, yet because they wouldn’t stay with them they did not take seriously what was taught. In the past year after our time there, sound doctrine from Pastor Platts teaching had been taken very seriously; much spiritual growth had taken place.

The additional words that were added on this week were: “You were the first to come and stay with us, and now you are the first to return to stay with us. No one has ever come and taught us, then returned to teach us more. The teachings from Pastor Platt that you have brought to us, changed our lives forever and will change the generations coming behind us.”

Friends, at this moment God wrapped His loving arms around me and I knew through His grace and His goodness I had accomplished what He sent me here to do.

For some time now I have known God was calling me back to the states once I finished the scheduled for this year. I’ve not questioned His directions, although there have been times when I’ve second guessed myself, wondering if I have accomplished His plans and purposes.

You see, when you serve in a dark place spiritually like Africa, you are constantly aware of the spiritual needs around you. It’s overwhelming to think you can truly make a difference because the need is so great.

Hearing those words that the generation we were blessed to bring the teachings to, committed to seeing the generations coming behind them be taught the truth. This was confirmation that my time here is coming to a close as there are hundreds of villagers now throughout Kenya coming behind our work here, continuing on.

Until just a couple of weeks ago I thought I would finish our Secret Church conference schedule, then as previously planned, work with an unreached group for the remainder of my time here this year. Yet, the door of working with this unreached group has closed completely.

In just a month, I will finish our Secret Church conference schedule and leave Kenya to return home, where I will serve my family and the Lord wherever He tells me to serve.

In the weeks ahead I would ask you to pray for me as each week at every conference I have to say good-bye to those I’ve grown to love here.

When you pray, please thank God for those who have made our work here possible. Pastor Platt and the entire Radical (Secret Church) team, as well as each one of you that have faithfully prayed and/or financially supported me these 3 years.

Pray that I will have godly wisdom and discernment in hearing/seeing and knowing God’s next steps for me once I am stateside. This season of my life is ending, but God is by no means finished with me.

This won’t be my last update, however I wanted to be sure and let everyone know of the upcoming changes where you can be praying.

Also, I have a couple of other prayer request. Please be in prayer for my son Bryan, grandson Stephen and the Blackshear Place team leaving out on a mission trip later this week to Argentina. This will be my grandsons first international mission trip.

Please pray for my lifelong friend that I grew up with, Deborah Mitchell Plott. She was diagnosed with breast cancer this week. As per her request please pray in agreement for complete healing; for there to be no cancer anywhere else in her body; for her blood pressure to regulate and for no anxiety.

Deborah is a precious friend, a godly woman that I’ve always loved. Please add her to your daily prayer list as well as your church/Sunday School prayer list.

As a reminder, don’t forget the Secret Church 13 simulcast is this Friday, March 29th. You are invited to participate at my home church, Blackshear Place, as well as First Baptist Woodstock, or check the website for other locations and listings. Pastor Tom and his wife Beatrice will be spending the night with me as we watch live from Kenya. Of course for us it will be 2am – 8am with the time difference!

Love to all,

Joy Breedlove

Missionary-East Africa