Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Jonah and the Fire of God (Part One)

The book of Jonah is not only story of past events.  The book of Jonah is also a prophecy of the end times.    If you understand the book of Jonah, you will also understand the end times.    Jonah is a symbol of the end-time church.  In the book of Jonah, we find a prophetic picture of many end time events, including the purifying of a victorious, end time church, the rise of the beast, and the final harvest. 

This message is part one of a teaching about Jonah that I have been giving in conferences in Africa.

Jonah Flees the Presence of theLord

Jon 1:1-17
(1)  Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
(2)  "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me."
(3)  But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

Jonah represents the end time church.  In the story of Jonah, we read that God called Jonah to “Arise, go to Nineveh…and cry out against it..!”   When this call came to Jonah, the Bible says that he arose and fled from the presence of the Lord to Tarshish.  

Monday, December 17, 2012

Update on Ukunda Mission School

Well, I have not done a very good job of keeping this blog updated.  People have been asking me about how the school is progressing.  Unfortunately, we have faced a number of delays that have kept us from starting the school as quickly as we desired.  Fortunately, everything is still moving forward, in spite of the delays.

In September  I took my wife Ilona to Kenya for the first time.  This trip was partly our yearly holiday together, but it was also an opportunity for Ilona to meet the ministry team that will be working together to start the school  Ilona has a real God-given ability to "read" people.  She can almost immediately tell me more about people than I would ever discover on my own.  She often tells me who to trust, and who to be careful with.  She helps me understand the character and giftings of people that I am working with.  She often predicts what people will do before they do it.  This helps me know how to better work with people in a good way.  So it was a great to have her meet the team, and to have her give her "seal of approval" to each of them.

Ilona at airport in Frankfurt, Germany

Ilona and I eating dinner at the beach in Kilifi, Kenya

Ilona stayed a more than a week with me in Kenya, before returning to Belgium.  We enjoyed our time together.  After she left, I held a pastor's conference in Eldoret, and continued to work on starting the school.

We were planning to start the school with a small number of students in a house that I bought that was adjacent to the main building plot.  Unfortunately, we have faced a lot of challenges in obtaining the title deed for that house.  I won't go into details, but it seems it will be a rather drawn out process before we can rebuild the house and use it for our purposes.  At this moment, we are making plans to proceed with the school with or without the use of that house.

The Lord spoke to us clearly about the need for united intercession to see this school birthed.  What we are starting is not a small things.  If this vision is fulfilled, many poweruful ministries will be birthed that will imact Africa and other parts of the world.  There is a spiritual battle going on around the school, trying to stop the vision from becoming reality.  The Lord instructed us to bring the entire minsitry team together to hold united, focussed intercession on the plot of ground where the school will begin.  When I return in Jenauary, I will bring the entire team together to do this.  I believe that as we do this the Lord will open up a way for us to go forward.

As we reach the end of 2012, could you keep us in your thoughts and prayers?  We need financial support, prayer support, and other kinds of help.  If you would like to give towards this ministry, you can do so simply by clicking on the paypal button on this blog.   Any help you are able to give is much appreciated.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Victory of Stephen

This message is a part of a series of teachings that I have been giving in conferences in Africa.  This teaching describes one of the most amazing spiritual victories that has ever been won.  During the days of the early church, a spiritual victory was won by one of God’s servants, Stephen.  This great victory changed the entire world.  It is even possible that this great spiritual victory has affected every believer today. 

The War in Heaven

To understand this victory, it is necessary to look beyond this natural world, and into the realm of the spirit, into the heavenly realms.    There is a battle that takes place in the heavenly realms that surround this earth, to determine who will rule over this earth.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mission to Hola and Wenje

Preaching in Mtwapa

A few weeks ago, when I was preaching on the streets in Mtwapa with Rose Jeffa, a young man heard me preaching and insisted on meeting with me.  I was traveling in different parts of Kenya, and I wasn't able to meet with him immediately, although we spoke on the phone a few times.  The young man's name was Francis, and he was an evangelist.  When he heard me preaching, he felt very strongly that we needed to  work together.  

Of course, in Africa, there are many people who want to have contact for many different reasons, and it is not always easy to know how seriously to take someone, and whether or not you can trust them, especially someone whom you just met on the streets.  But finally after a few weeks of telephone conversations, it worked out to meet with Francis in his home near Mtwapa.  I discovered that he was a very sincere Christian, whom God was using powerfully.  Francis told me that he was ministering in the Tana River District, an area where there has bee a lot of tribal clashes between the Pokomo and Orma tribes.  He invited me to accompany him there to see his ministry and to minister together.   I told him I would try to do so, but first I needed to go to Nairobi.  


After completing things in Nairobi, I boarded a bus and set off for the town of Hola where we had agreed to meet, Hola.   As I was preparing to leave, I felt some uncertainty.  A good friend told me he didn't think I should go.  On the way, a policeman also warned me not to go to that area.  Of course, the question goes through your head, why should I travel alone to such an area just to meet with a young man whom I had just met on the streets?

The main reason that I decided to go is that we are called to send missionaries to difficult places.  I believe that God has called me to start a missionary training school that will send missionaries to many difficult areas around the world.  How can I send missionaries to such places, if I myself am not willing to go?  The least I can do is go and see what is happening.  And so I set off.

Bus Ride to Hola
When I arrived in Hola after a long day of travel. on very bad roads.  As we approached the town, my bus sideswiped a truck, breaking a lot of windows on one side.  I took a motorcycle taxi into town.  
Broken windows

For two days I ministered with  Francis in Hola.   During the day we counseled and prayed for people, while in the evenings we held meetings in the courtyard of a house.  I discovered that Francis has a powerful ministry.  Many people were being healed and delivered from demons.  About 50 people wer gathering each day to receive ministry Francis has a strong gifting of word of knowledge, and healing.    There were many testimonies of healing and deliverance.  

Francis ministering in Hola
After ministering in Hola for a few days, we moved on to Wenje, about fifty kilometers further down the road.  Wenje is a small town without electricity.  It sits on the banks of the Tana River.  

At River Tana with Francis and Michael
Canoe Ride.  River Tana is supposed to be full of crocs and hippos, but I only saw  their tracks.
In Wenje, the atmosphere   seemed different.  Many people were fearful, because of the recent clashes between the Pokomo and Orma tribesmen.  The people we ministered to were Pokomo.  They were farmers.  The Orma were Islamic cattle herders.  The Pokomo feared them, because sometimes they were able to acquire guns.  They could bring their cattle onto a Pokomo farm, the cows could destroy everything and if the farmer complained, his life could be threatened.     A few weeks earlier, three Pokomo farmers were killed by the Orma, and the Pokomo reacted in a brutal manner.  The young Pokomo men formed a militia, and trained for war with their primitive weapons.  At night, they surrounded the grass huts of the Orma,  set them on fire, and hacked the inhabitants to death.  They murdered 52 Orma, mainly women and children. 

Now  tensions were very high, as the Orma planned their counterattacks.   Yesterday morning, Orma warriours surrounded a distant Pokomo village  and killed twelve people.  In Wenje, the the grass huts of the Orma were located only about one kilometer from the mud huts of the Pokomo.  It was rumored that militiamen had visited the Orma village to try convince them to attack their neighbors in Wenje.  So the young Pokomo men of the area were joining militias and preparing for conflict.  

African militias can really be terrible.  Young men who join these militias are often initiated into the militia through  the use of demonic rituals and oath taking.  They often form blood covenants with the ancestral spirits of their tribe.  As they do so, they open themselves to demonic control.  This is one reason why tribal wars can be so brutal.  The militiamen have all participated in witchcratft, and they are not in their right minds.   The can commit terrible atrocities without remorse.   I write quite a  bit on the causes of war in Africa in my book "Transforming the Heart of Africa

Michael, Timothy (Francis'brother) and Francis outside a church in Wenje

While we were in Wenje, someone was going around collecting money to "close" the village.  "Closing" the village basically meant buying witchcraft that would protect the village.  A special porridge was prepared that would protect the lives of those who drank it.  The porridge was supposed to turn the bullets of the Orma into water.  

We continued holding meetings in Wenje, praying for the people and taking some through deliverance from the witchcraft that they were involved in.  This morning, when our meetings were finished, I planned to continue my journey  towards the coast where I needed to meet with my friend Mbali and arrange some things in Ukunda.  However, when it came time to leave, I discovered that it was not so easy to do so.  The only bus going in the direction I wanted to go had left very early in the morning.   So I needed to ride a motorcycle taxi for 70 km to the next town Garsen, where I could get another bus.  The problem was, the motorcycle taxi drivers feared to go to Garsen.  The dirt road passed through several Orma settlements, and the drivers were not willing to go there.  One told us that even if I paid him ten times the normal price, he coudn't be convinced to go.  

Grass hut of Orma people.  I took this photo off the internet, I didn't take time to get a photo as we drove past the huts this morning on our motorcycle.  
This boda boda driver wasn't afraid to drive us to Garcen
Finally, we found a driver who was willing to go to Garsen, if we took an extra person with us to accompany him on the way back.  So we set off, three of us on a motorcycle.  We passed through the Orma villages without any incident.  When I arrived in Garsen, I boarded a bus going to the coast.  I got off at Kilifi, and got on a motorcycle taxi, and told him to take me to a guest house.  After checking in tat ht guest house, I discovered that the guest house was next door to Katana's  electronic repair shop.  It was good to see Katana and his brothers and sisters again.
All in all, I am glad I went to Tana River.  I feel like God is leading me to key people with whom we will work as we start the school in Ukunda.  I think that Francis is someone who will  be able to lead mission teams into many difficult areas.  May God be with him as he continues to minister in Wenje and Hola.  

Katana's electronic shop.  Sign reads "Baya's Family Gospel Band"

Monday, August 27, 2012

Temporary Facilities for Ukunda Missions School

As we plan to start the missions school, we are faced with a number of challenges. We are planning to build a nice facility, with classrooms, dormitories, apartment, office and kitchen.  However, this project will take time.  If it is possible, we would like to start the school very soon, possibly even this year.  Therefore we need to find temporary facilities that can be used to begin the school with a small number of students.  

As we were coming to inspect the building plot, we found a group of young men sitting outside this house that borders our property, playing cards and smoking dope.  Actually, it is likely that harder drugs were involved, because the young man who owned the house was gradually tearing it apart to sell piece by piece. As you can see, he has started tearing iron sheets from the roof to sell.  Windows and doors have also been torn out and sold.  

As we talked with the neighbors, we discovered that the young man wished to sell his house.  The price he was asking was very, very reasonable. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Welcome to Ukunda

Diani Beach at Ukunda

Welcome to Ukunda.  Ukunda is the town where  we will be building our new school.  Ukunda is near some of the world's most beautiful beaches, as you can see.  People come from around the world to visit these beaches.  Ukunda is the town where many beach workers live, including hotel staff, prostitutes, and "beach boys."

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Here is a video Elisa made for her grandmother containing some scenes from her trip to Kenya and one of the songs that she wrote and recorded: "Storms"

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Why Kenya?

During a recent trip, Dennis Perdomo received a vision from the Lord.  He saw a map of Africa.  On this map, only one nation was outlined and named.  This nation was Kenya.  It was shaped like a keystone.  The Lord told Dennis that Kenya was the key to Africa.  If we reach Kenya, we will be able to reach Africa.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Meet John Mirara, Kenyan Missionary

On my very first trip to Kenya twenty three years ago, I met John Mirara. John was a school teacher in those days.  We only talked a for a few minutes together, but I still remember our conversation.  John told me that he had received a vision from the Lord.  He had seen a map of the world, and on the map was the name "Gujarat".  He felt that he was called to become a missionary to that place.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Last Days in Kenya

Ruby and Elisa flew back to Belgium early this morning.  I think they really had a great trip.  During the last few days, Elisa finished working on her CD.   We spent some time with my old friend Abednego Kanyia and his family. I gave Elisa her first driving lesson in Nairobi National Park, letting her drive down the dirt roads of the park as we looked for animals.  And of course, no trip is really complete until you have ridden an ostrich. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

New Experiences

This trip to kenya has provided a lot of new experiences for Ruby and Elisa.  they experienced new foods, a new culture.  They have met  a lot of new friends.  Especially for Elisa, she has been involved in public ministry much more than ever before, and has really conquered some of her fears.  

Today Elisa and I were given nearly an hour to sing and speak on Baraka fm, a popular Christian radio channel that broadcasts along the coastal region of Kenya.  Elisa planned to play some tracks from her new CD on the show, but when the CD was inserted, the tracks didn't play properly.  So Elisa needed to sing her songs live on the radio, playing her guitar in the studio.  

In fact, everything went very well, and we received a lot of positive responses.  We also ministered in a church today.  Tomorrow morning we will take the bus to Nairobi.

The studio at Baraka FM

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Public Testimony of Jesus Christ

My oldest daughter Elisa received an amazing ability to write songs that touch hearts.  In spite of this gifting, Elisa never seemed to be able to speak in public.  Every time she was asked to say something, it seemed like she couldn't put three words together.  Yesterday Elisa preached for the first time.  The setting wasn't ideal.  Katana stopped the van in the middle of a dirt road.  Rose Jeffa got out and began to sing.  A crowd soon gathered, and then Elisa sang and shared her testimony.

The quality of the following video is pretty terrible, it was taken with my not-very-smartphone. Everything sounded much better live.  Many people were touched by the Lord.

After stopping here for about one hour, we moved on to the center of Mtwapa. here the crowd was much rougher, many drunks and prostitutes.   After Elisa sang, and Rose and  I preached, there was a real heartfelt reaction from the crowd.   Many people were touched by the Lord and began to  call upon his name.The police came, trying to stop the meeting because our permits weren't in order.  Nevertheless, many people experienced the presence of the Lord and received His word.

It has been a long time since I participated in this type of ministry in Africa.  I must say that I enjoyed it.  There was no need for advertisements, and the ministry didn't really cost much at all.  Yet many people who would not step into a church were reached.  May God give us grace to find ways to participate in the public testimony of Jesus Christ in Europe and America also.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Kenya Trip Update #2: Traveling with Rose

This is Rose Jeffa.  Rose is a well known musician in Kenya.  She likes to preach the gospel.  So she loads up a van with a few powerful speakers, and drives around looking for a crowd to preach to.  Then she gets out, sings a few songs, and starts preaching.   We joined her for a few days.  I admire her simplicity and boldness in preaching the gospel.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Kenya Trip Update

Its was kind of a long day of travel, lots of connections.  Here are Ruby and Elisa lying down on the floor of the airport in Addis Adaba, Ethiopia, waiting for their final flight to Kenya.  They look kind of grumpy to me.  

Here is Ruby at the hotel in Kilifi, Kenya after she got a few hours sleep.  We went windsurfing together yesterday.  It was kind of a disaster for me, but Ruby picked it up quickly and was soon sailing across the water.

Elisa is making a worship CD here in Kenya from some of the songs that she has written.  There is wonderful Kenyan family that has a worship band, and travels together in different parts of Kenya.  They are helping Elisa with her CD.  Here they are practising.  Today they are in the studio, recording.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Family Time in Kenya

I have been traveling in and out of Kenya for many years.  During the past few years, I have been spending up to five months of the year traveling, often in Africa, usually alone.  This week, I will be traveling in Africa with my two oldest daughters for the first time.  I trust that the trip will provide a good introduction to Africa for them.  I'll post a few updates describing the trip as we travel next week.

Elisa Joy Martin

This is Elisa Joy, my oldest daughter.  She has grown up a little bit since this photo was taken.   During recent years, she has become a powerful worship leader, writing many songs.  You can read her testimony HERE.  And  HERE is a video of her playing the piano and playing a song she wrote.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Blueprints of Ukunda Mission School

Here are the blueprints of the school we are planning to build in Ukunda.  This building will enable us to house and train approximately 25 full time students.  The plans include an apartment for the school principal and his family, a classroom, kitchen facilities, office, and dormitories (each bed shown on the plan is either a bunkbed for two or three people).
Estimated construction cost: $120000.  Please contact me if you would like to donate to this project.

Ukunda Missions School History

Ukunda Missions School

(This history was written in 2012, before the school began.  Now, in April, 2016 Ukunda Missions School has already graduated three classes of missionaries.  Five Mission Bases have been established in the Islamic communities of East Africa.  Our graduates are serving the Lord as missionaries in these bases and elsewhere.   Hundreds of Muslims are turning to the Lord.)

How it all started

The year was 1990. I was a nineteen years old college student who was excited about preaching the gospel and planting churches in Africa. Propelled by a mixture of Holy Spirit inspired zeal and the ambition of youth, I took several missions trips to Africa. I believed that if I just walked in faith, God would do great works through me.

Some remarkable things did take place in those days. During one six week college
vacation, a college friend and I decided to go to Africa to start a church. We chose a town near the coast that had few churches, a town where many people were bound by witchcraft and ancestor worship. My Kenyan friend Mbali helped us organize the mission.

Looking back now, it seems like foolishness to try to start a church during a college holiday. But we went in faith, prayed and fasted and the Lord brought things together. A team gathered around us, including a man who had left his job because God had called him to become a pastor in that town. We held an evangelistic crusade, and preached the gospel in the homes of that area. Many people were healed, and many gave their hearts to the Lord. When our vacation came to an end, a church had been planted in that town, a church that remains there to this day.