Monday, May 31, 2010

Perfect Ending in Nairobi

today was the perfect end to my mission in Nairobi. we woke up and were ready to leave for a game drive at 5:30 AM but multiple delays and one exploded van engine made it to where we didn't start our safari til after 8:00. we were annoyed but we knew we were in God's hands and we knew we still would have several hours in the park. we began to pray that God would reveal the wonders of His creation to us and show us the best animals possible. God is amazing and wants us to be happy and He showed me this in a big way today! i prayed to see lions, within five minutes we drove up on two adult females just walking down the road! they weren't hiding in the bushes like normal several hundred feet from the road, we followed them for a few minutes within a few yards of them until they went back into the tall grass where we couldn't see them. i then prayed that God would send an adult male lion, He sent three! when we drove up and saw them about 50 feet away from the road in the grass, they actually got up and began walking toward the road. we followed them for about 10 minutes and right when we thought they were going to walk off the road and hide in the tall grass, two of them decided to lay down and rest on the road in the shade of a tree!! we took some epic pics and they will be posted later. we watched them rest for about another 10 minutes and were able to inch up within 10 feet of them. they were watching us very intently and noticed almost every move we made in the open top vehicle we were in. this shouldn't have happened, to see two separate lion prides walking ON THE ROAD right in front of you in one game drive is one in a billion. and if we would have began our drive as planned at 6:00 in the morning we would have driven right past these lions and never seen them at all. but God knew when the lions were going to show up, and he put us right where we needed to be to see them... after the lions, i began to pray that God would bring out the only major animal in Africa that i have yet to see, the rhino. so of course he let us see three! they were pretty far away and we couldn't see them very well, but you don't want to be very close to those guys anyway! finally i prayed that God would let us see a giraffe close up, because they are probably the most beautiful animal in the world to experience up close. and of course God did, we saw a giraffe in the distance and were happy, but then we realized there was a side road that could take us right up to where he was eating. we spent about 10 minutes just taking pictures and watching him eat right in front of us., we also saw cape buffalo, most of the deer types, and many interesting birds, but that experience with the lions was hands down the best part of the drive. after this, we went to an orphanage founded by a couple who live in san antonio called the "Jesus. hobbs house of hope." the kids were great and we spent a couple hours playing and talking to them. then it was time for all the americans to head to the airport but me. hopefully they are on their way to amsterdam and then to Texas. i will be leaving tomorrow morning on a 6 hour bus ride to another part of Kenya called Kisumu, where i will be spending a month doing lots of different types of missions and staying with an american missionary couple named the mclemores.

so please pray that the other 5 americans get home safely, and that my 6 hour bus ride doesn't turn into a 24 hour bus ride like it sometimes does in Africa. also please pray that i can hit the ground running in Kisumu and stay strong and healthy. thanks so much for all the prayers. i love you guys!

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Saturday, May 29, 2010


so yeah, remember when i was praying that God could find a way to keep me ministering in Kenya for an extra week... well he has... plus another 6 weeks!! thats right, i won't be coming home with the rest of the team tuesday. i will be riding a bus to kisumu and spending a month with a missionary couple i met for the first time on this trip! isn't God soooooo amazing. kisumu is a large rural area/city where 4 of the DSEA NEST team members live and do most of their evangelism. we came into contact with the mclemores through a mutual acquaintance a few months and DSEA evangelists scott and dan stayed with them in kisumu for a few weeks while doing a project. we met up with them here in Nairobi for a few days and they invited me to stay with them for a month and reach many schools and thousands of students for Christ. this is a good idea because the DSEA is doing another major project in Tanzania in early July, so i will stay in Kisumu until i leave straight for Tanzania and begin this other major three week project. so it looks like i will end up spending 9 weeks in africa this summer! i am very excited and know God is going to continue doing wonderful things... i of course love and will miss all my amazing friends and family back home, but God has me here for a reason and i will now have even more amazing stories to tell everybody about when i get back :-) please pray that it doesn't cost too much to completely change my flight plans and that God will work out everything for his glory when it comes to getting my where i need to be and when i need to be there. thanks so much!

in Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Friday, May 28, 2010

My First Crusade

today was great! i only did one school today because i was leading a crusade tonight. the school was awesome, they had about 200 high school students including a small christan union and a principal who seemed like a Christian but who was not very good at expressing his thoughts and beliefs. anyway, they were incredibly attentive and VERY responsive. about 125 raised their hands that they prayed the sinners prayer for the first time and want to turn from their sins and give their life to Jesus! i spoke to the student who was in charge of their christian union after the assembly and he had this amazingly glazed over look like he had been hit by a semi-truck. i've seen this look several times before because it is the look of someone who has been praying for years to see his classmates and friends come to know Chirst and then just watched 125 of them do it in one day! he said the CU usually has about 20-25 students at its bible studies, but he said he now expects at least 100 each coming week. i pray that God will give him and the local pastors strength and diligence to handle all these new believers.

so i lead my first major crusade tonight and it went very well. it was right in the middle of a large slum in a "clearing," which basically means there was just a smaller pile of trash there than anywhere else. there were probably 200-250 people that stopped to listen including about 75 kids under 10 that came to sing and dance when they heard the African music a local church was helping us provide. we had to use an interpreter because the young kids and the uneducated only speak swahili. my stepmom then took the stage and sang a couple songs and my friend margaret gave a 5 minute testimony. amy sung one more song and then it was my turn to speak. it was amazing to look out at the crowd and notice the diversity. there were the 75 kids i mentioned earlier, but there were drunks half passed out in the alley, people selling things at the market, a few parents watching the children go crazy, and old and broken people listening intently to what was going on. the kids right in front of the stage grew progressively more rowdy as i gave the gospel and the people in the background simply continued to go about their business selling and buying so i was beginning to wonder if anybody was really listening to what i had to say. but i began to notice the people scattered in the middle of this place that were really listening. i gave the full gospel and then did the sinners prayer and quite a few raised their hands along with every kid in the front lol. i wasn't sure how to do an alter call because all the kids piled up in front of the stage, but thankfully the interpreter took charge and got a few of the people there from his church to shove the kids out of the way and make room for the 25-30 people who received Christ. he then went over everything i said again in swahili and sent these people to the counselors he brought from his church. many of them were crying tears of joy and truly looking like i know i felt the day God saved me!

i am now pretty much done for the trip. however, i will be speaking in one deaf school tomorrow which should be an awesome experience. i will also be preaching at a church on sunday and probably giving a short testimony at the crusade my dad is leading the next two days. we also found out that because our fkight out on monday is at 10:00PM, we will be able to do a game drive and visit our friends at the hobbs house orphanage that day. GOD IS GOOD!!! please pray that we can finish strong this trip and continue to lean on God for everything that we need. thanks!

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Almost Finished in Kenya

sorry i didn't get to write yesterday, the internet was down. anyway, the last two days have been completely epic! i spoke in 10, yes 10 schools to a couple thousand students and hundreds if not over a thousand confessed that they are turning from their sins and giving their lives to Christ!!! this was expected and exactly what we were praying for, so i want to talk about something that was unexpected. i spent the day with an amazing kenyan man named pastor samuel. he had a very tough and poor upbringing. he had tuburculosis growing up and his family didn't have money to pay for care. he was abused by family members that said they would help take care of him. but when he was 12 years old, he gave his life to Christ and he was healed miraculously from his disease and he decided he would dedicate his life to serving the Lord! he went through school while serving in the church and eventually started his own church that he still pastors. this church also operates a orphanage/primary school that has about 150 kids. samuel pastored for 10 years until 4 years ago when God called him into evangelism as well as pastoring his church. he has been doing all he could to get into schools and prisons along with doing as much street corner evangelism as possible. he struggled for several years and his family went to bed hungry many nights, but he persevered in his convictions that God wanted him doing evangelism. this man is now going to be on dsea staff and we will begin helping to fund him as he goes around africa sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ! he will now be able to take advantage of the tremendous amount of open doors that my dad's ministry provides. i believe there are currently 4 men on the dsea staff that reach over 100,000 people for Christ per year, but i believe samuel will be the fifth! as long as we can continue to get him a couple hundred bucks a month... one day when samuel was doing street evangelism, a drunk man with one arm began to cuss at him and tell him that god is either worthless or doesn't exist. but samuel began to minister this man and found out that he was formerly the head of a gang that bough and sold firearms and drugs but got kicked out when he lost his arm after a fight. after several meetings and much counseling, he gave his life to Christ and overcame his alcoholism and many other problems. he now runs an orphenage in the heart of a slum that has thousands of kids running wild because they are orphans. i visited this orphanage after speaking to my last school of the day and my heart was completely broken for them. they have 90 kids they are feeding, housing, and putting through school 100% on outsider funding. they have virtually nothing but the clothes on their backs and these kids sometimes go multiple days without getting an actual meal when the funding is low. but this man still teaches them about Jesus no matter circumstances they are in. i broke down in tears when we left this place thinking about all the money i've spent on frivilous, meaningless things in my life and wish i could give all of it to this man so he could better take care of these orphans. i'm making a call to both my small group bible studies to make a small sacrifice and pledge a few dollars to this orphanage a month. this will help more than words can say to get these children out of the deplorable circumstances they are in right now and at least insure that they have enough food to survive. i know times are tough in america, but it is less than nothing compared to what these orphans face every day. i know you don't like being asked for money, but please find it in your hearts to give up going out to eat once a month so that these kids can have something to eat at all. thanks so much for taking the time to read this. i really hope everybody can find it in their hearts to give a few bucks to this great ministry. money goes so far when buying rice or cornmeal overseas.

anyway, we have one more day of schools and the first two crusades are tomorrow. i will be giving the main message at one of them, so please continue to pray for me to let God's word to flow through me and that i can just get my flesh out of the way and let this happen. thanks again for all the support~stocky

P.S. i got filmed while speaking to a high school today, so i hope to be able to post it eventually. it probably won't happen til i get back to texas though.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ministry Getting Better

today was amazing! i spoke in 4 schools that had about 1200 students. the response today seemed better than yesterday but still not quite as good as i pray they will be in the next few days. only God knows but i would guess 350-400 students gave their lives to Christ today, i could really feel the holy spirit working through me and everything came out very clearly while i was speaking. the first school we were supposed to speak in had to cancel because a government person called all the teachers into a meeting, but God is amazing and much bigger than that! we noticed a school next door that wasn't scheduled this week and it turns out it is an elementary school with 600 students and a high school with 150. we asked to speak to the high school and they agreed to let us. it went so well they begged us to try to find time later this week to speak to the elementary school students as well! we also were able to reschedule the school that was canceled today for when we were supposed to have lunch tomorrow. who needs lunch when there are people that need to hear about Christ? margaret will be doing 5 schools tomorrow, i have no idea how many students this will be, but we needs lots of prayers for strength because we will be leaving at 6:30 in the morning and will be out til after 6:30 at night and probably won't have a chance to get a meal all day. i know that God is amazing and he will provide above and beyond all the strength we could ever need! thanks once again for all the prayers, you guys are awesome!

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Monday, May 24, 2010

First day in Schools

day one of school ministry down, four more to go! beka and i spoke to 3 schools and the group spoke to 9 total. several groups were majorly late arriving to schools but praise God none of the schools decided to cancel :-) this was a good first day and good practice for the rest of the week. the first two schools we spoke at were Christian schools and one was an elementary school, so we didn't really hit the Hell-fire and brimstone part of the message i usually get so into lol. the third school was great though, it was a public high school with about 300 students who all listened incredibly intently to the gospel, even the 10-15 muslims who were there! however, i am noticing a few things about this culture that are very different than other places that i've ministered. it is usually almost impossible to keep people from raising their hand at the end of the message that they want to receive Christ as their lord and savior, but here in Nairobi only about 10-15% of the people have been raising their hand at the end. the entire crowd is listening just as intently and you can see in their faces that they know they have sinned against God and deserve to go to Hell. but for some reason they just seem hesitant to make a public profession of faith. we would all much rather see 30 people genuinely give their lives to Christ than 300 just raise their hands and not mean anything by it. but we will continue to pray for guidance as to how we can better reach these people. we need to hammer Mark 8:38 "if you are ashamed of me on earth, i will be ashamed of you when i get back" and hope it speaks to their hearts... i am going to 4 schools tomorrow in the same neighborhood that i will be leading a crusade on friday. these schools sound like they are significantly larger than the schools we spoke in today. i should be giving the gospel to almost 2000 people tomorrow! so please continue to pray that God will open up doors and hearts to the gospel. and also pray that we can more effectively show these people that eternal salvation doesn't rest on merely being a "Christian," but rather on a deep personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the decision to turn from your sin and to give your life, trust, and faith to Christ alone. thanks!

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Training Conference Report

today was great, we finished up our training conference. i gave the 30 minute presentation on preparing for evangelistic ministry i have been working on for weeks. i also gave another 30 minute presentation on how to do 1 on 1 evangelism and how to do specific evangelism for catholics and muslims that i found out i would be doing earlier that morning lol. i think they both went pretty well and many pastors told me they were blessed to hear the presentations and asked if they could have copies of the powerpoints and note sheets i used. i also found out tonight that i will be giving the sermon tomorrow at a church in the middle of Kibera, which is the largest slum in Africa and has over a million people. i have no idea if this church will have 15 or 500 people. i will be preaching on luke 7:36-50 and 2 corinthians 1-5 to show that we should rejoice because our many sins have been forgiven, and how a church that is poor physically can give as much or more spiritually.

please pray that i can be sensitive to the horrible situation these people are in while clearly presenting the gospel to them. thanks so much for continuing to support me and the team!

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell

Friday, May 21, 2010

it amazes me how it's always the things that you don't expect that touch your heart and move you the very most, and humbles you beyond comprehension. today i experienced a deaf Kenyan leading praise and worship at our training conferrence. he signed and danced out the words to "nothing but the blood of Jesus" while some sung in english and the rest sung in swahili. this was truly one of the greatest experiences of my entire life! this man has never heard a spoken word, but he is as fired up and in love with Christ as anybody i've ever met. his actions and facial expressions alone were able to convey his passion and love for Christ as well or maybe even better than the best sermon or song i've ever heard. it's moments like this when you feel like punching yourself in the face for ever having doubts that God can use you with your limited experience and abilities and the many times we complain about the circumstances we find ourselves in. i felt the Holy Spirit sweep through the room like a mighty wind and i couldn't help but to dance passionately and cry like a baby for about 10 mnutes after the song ended. in fact, i'm crying now while writing and thinking about this again :-) i'm so glad that i didn't have to speak right after this because i'm pretty sure i wouldn't have been able to do it. often, traveling missionary/evangelists fall into the incorrect view that we are somehow better than the local Christians and that they need our help to do anything. but it's only when we put ourselves on the same level and get behind them and help support them in their work that the Holy Spirit really moves... today was an awesome day. the conferrence went pretty well despite numerous power outages and technical difficulties. we will be doing the same thing tomorrow and i will be giving my presentation then. please pray that God will continue to move and that everything i say will be straight from him and nothing of my own knowledge.

this should be a link to the video of the "nothing but the blood of Jesus" experience. i don't know how well the personal experience will translate to video, but here it is and i hope it moves you the way it moved me

Thursday, May 20, 2010

In Kenya... Somehow!

there's no explanation for us actually being here other than God's amazing grace and provision. it isn't supposed to be possible for a flight to be delayed, then cancelled, then proceed on time with absolutely no delays to its destination. a little volcano and some ash is no problem for the One Who created it all. the world says the volcano stopped erupting "by chance," and that the winds changed direction "mysteriously" to allow our flight, but we know better than that. thanks everybody for the prayers, i honestly believe we wouldn't be here in Kenya without them.

we arrived last night just as planned. today we are meeting with local leaders and preparing for the training conference tomorrow and saturday.please pray that we can effectively communicate God's word to these pastors and motivate them to even more fervently seek to save the lost. we are staying at the Biblica (formerly international bible society) guest rooms and they have internet access, so i should be able to give regular updates on our trip and what we need prayers for.

thanks so much for supporting us, i know God is going to do great things these next two weeks!

In Christ,
Steve Stockwell