Sunday, October 27, 2013


Well, another week has come to an end here at Ukunda Missions School, and it is a good time to stop and thank God for what He did this week.   Here are a few things I am thankful for:

First of all, I am thankful that two students were rescued from drowning this week.  Their story is described below.  I am thankful for the joyful atmosphere that was in the school that night as we worshiped with their rescuers. 

I am thankful for the teachers here at UMS.  I think that God has sent us better teachers than I could ask for, men who demonstrate what they teach.  I have been very happy with each teacher who has come so far, and with those who are coming.  Enos Martin, John Harris, Joa Ephraim, Alejandro Colindress, Dennis Perdomo, Katana Baya, Tony Ngwatha, Anthony and Cindy, and all the others, thank you.

I am thankful for the Sunday morning worship service this morning.  About 70 people attended, many of them new Christians.  I listened to one man testify about how God had healed his leg.  He was a drunkard who was unable to go to work because of his leg.  Now, he demonstrated his healing to his coworkers by lifting heavy stones as he testified to them about Jesus Christ.  There were many similar testimonies this morning, by people whose lives have been changed by the Lord.  Even Moslems are beginning to turn to the Lord. 

We faced other serious issues this week, which I will not describe here.  Now, at the end of the week, I see  them settled, and peace and unity among the students.  The students are now taking a few hours out in the community, following up with new believers.   

I am thankful for Timothy. a student here at UMS.   Sometimes I think Timothy doesn't enjoy classwork very much.  Written tests and Timothy don’t always match very well.  But no written test can measure the faith that is in a man’s heart, or his true potential.

Timothy pretending to study

This week Timothy needed to go home to pay the school fees of his children.  He asked permission to leave school for a day, and set off on his journey although he didn’t actually have any money to pay the school fees. 

Somehow, Timothy got lost.  As he followed the footpath through the bush, he saw that ahead of him was a group of nearly 50 young men taking drugs under a tree.  Timothy felt fear.  He was convinced that these men were likely to beat him and rob him of the little that he had.  But as he walked closer, he felt the Holy Spirit stirring in his heart, telling him to get out his bible and preach to these addicts.  So Timothy took out his bible and began preaching.  Instead of becoming violent, the young men listened intently.  They started telling him how tired they were of the life that they were living.  In the end, ten of the young men prayed a prayer of repentance with Timothy, as they gave their hearts to the Lord. 

Then Timothy felt that the Holy Spirit was leading him to give what he had to the young men.  So he emptied his traveling bag, giving away his shirts, socks, and other items.

Afterwards, the group of young men escorted him to the place where he needed to go.   As Timothy approached the bus stop, people stared at the gang that was accompanying him.  So Timothy traveled to his home.  When he reached the home, he resecved a message on his phone that someone had just deposited a gift in his “MPESA” account, enough to pay the school fees for his children. 

I am thankful for the presence of the Lord this week in the school.  I taught this week about the love of God, and the cross of Jesus Christ.  The cross is the ultimate example of God’s supernatural, agape love.  The cross is extreme humility, for the sake of love.  It is obedience unto death, because of love.  I am thankful for the clarity of God’s word that came forth this week.

I am thankful because God is doing something here at Ukunda Missions School.  Every day, I can see God’s mighty hand, if I can just open my eyes to see.  

I am thankful that this week, I am going home to be with my wife and children.  .  

I am thankful for Ilona and the children.  When I call home, my wife tells me about the steps of faith that they are taking.  Sometimes Elisa moves under an amazing grace as she leads worship and plays the guitar.  Ruby has been praying for her friends and testifying about Jesus.  Julie is doing great, riding her huge horse Woudschap without fear.   As much as I am gone, I am very, very thankful that God takes care of my family in such a wonderful way.  

This lady looks absolutely gorgeous after I've been traveling so long. (and also when I haven't been traveling)

 I am thankful that this week, I am going home to be with my wife and children.I am thankful for powerful, committed staff who will keep things going while I am gone.  I am thankful that the Lord has supplied the finances that we needed to get this far, and that he will supply all of our future needs as well.  I am thankful to be working in such a beautiful part of the world.  I am thankful for the faith and commitment of the students who have been so dedicated to doing the work of the Lord.

And I am thankful for you, friends and supporters who read this blog and pray for us and support us in what we are doing.  May God bless you abundantly.  
Vaughn Martin

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


I am very glad tonight to be worshiping together with the students and their visitors, instead of holding a funeral.  On Sunday evening, several students took a walk down to the beach.  Penina and Matthew Chege walked ahead of the others.  The tide was out, and they were able to walk far from shore in the sand and shallow water.    The other students didn't see where they had gone.

Many of the students of UMS come from "upcountry", far from the seashore.  Most of them had never seen the ocean before, and most of them don't know how to swim.

As Chege and Penina became distracted by the coral reef, they didn't notice that the tide had begun to come in, and the water was deepening.  By the time they realized what was happening they were in serious danger.  Panic set in, and they began struggling to stay above water.  As time passed Penina found herself in a place in which  she was completely unable to hold on any longer.   She released her life into the hands of the Lord, and sank for the third time under the water.

Three Danish tourists were relaxing on the beach nearby.  They noticeda commotion was taking place far from shore.  Eventually they realized that something terrible was happening, and they rushed into the sea with a raft to try and rescue the students.  By this time, Penina had been completely under water for more than 20 minutes.   They dragged her lifeless body to shore, and began giving her mouth to mouth resuscitation.

Penina came around, and began breathing again.  Eventually she regained consciousness, and she and Chege began to speak to their rescuers about their Lord, and about the school that they attended.

Today, the three Danish tourists  who rescued Penina and Chege visited the Ukunda Missions School.   They ate dinner with the students, and participated in the evening worship time.  It was a time of thanking God and them for saving the lives of Matthew and Penina.    They seemed to really enjoy the time worshiping with the students, and of course the students were very grateful to the three Danes for saving the lives of their friends.

Chege with Michael and Bruce.  Both are soldiers in the Danish army

Penina and Luga (Bruce's sister)

God works in mysterious ways....

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Opening of Ukunda Missions Church

This morning we opened Ukunda Missions Church here at the school.  It seems kind of strange.  25 years ago we came here and tried to open a church.  We arrived with no money, not even a shilling or a return bus ticket.  The first night we had no idea where we could sleep.  Finally, as darkness set in, someone gave us a room.  We preached the gospel for several weeks, and saw God touch many lives.  But no matter how hard we worked, the church never took off.  

Now, 25 years later, we were not trying to start a church, but one has started anyway.  Many people are turning to the Lord, and it has become necessary to start a church in the area.  So this week, we decided to officially launch Ukunda Missions Church.    This morning, there were about 60 people or so in attendance as we opened the church. Last week, John Harris prophesied that there would be a church in Ukunda of not less than 2500 people, so we still have a long way to go.

This woman attended church for the first time this morning.  She was powerfully touched by the Lord, and determined to give her heart to the Lord.  After the meeting, she insisted that we go with her to her home to help her destroy her business.  She was brewing a form of illegal alcohol, and felt convicted that she needed to destroy all of it.  Nobody mentioned this or asked her to do this, she was just absolutely convinced that she needed to do it.  

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

School Workers

Here are the workers that help the school run properly.  They cook, clean, and guard the school at night. 

Mama Rose is a cook at the school

Juma works as a night watchman

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Worship Time at UMS

Here is Katana Baya banging on a badly out of tune guitar and singing spontaneous praise songs with some students:

A Few Student and Staff Pics

Tony Ngwatha.  Tony is a powerful teacher of the word on staff here at UMS. When he teaches on intercession in a place, often the entire church will begin weeping for hours as the Spirit of God moves.  Also serves as a pastor to the students here, and works with Katan to organize outreaches

Katana, leader of a poweful worship band, small businesman.  On staff at UMS, leads students in many hours of worship and intercession and organizes the outreaches