Trying Times, Strengthened Faith

Nathan and Carrie Radford serve the Lord in Kitale, Kenya. Their main ministries include indigenous church planting, a prison ministry, and a hospital ministry for mothers with premature babies.

September 30, 2016

Dear praying friends,

Another month has come and gone, and we are nearing the end of 2016. It is hard to believe that another year has passed by so quickly. I am reminded of how short life really is and how we need to be involved in serving the Lord while there is still time. Now is the time to invest in eternity. I hope and pray that we will be focused on the spiritual things that will last forever. Colossians 3:2 says “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” May this be the sincere desire of our lives.

Some of you do not receive the prayer letter by email, so if others have already heard of the unrest in Kitale recently, please bear with me. I want to briefly explain what has been going on so people will be informed and know how to pray not only for us, but all those living, working, and serving in Kitale. Earlier this year, over about an 8 week period, there were repeated break in attempts at our compound. The thieves tried to enter several different ways, from breaking the wood fence on the back, to cutting the hedges around our compound, shining a light late at night around our gate, shaking our gate, etc. We praise the Lord that they never gained access inside the compound, but they tried repeatedly. This was going on in different parts of Kitale, but we felt that we were being targeted specifically.

I (Nathan) tried to get to the bottom of what was going on, as this is very unusual for Kitale and nothing like this has ever happened over such an extended time period since we have lived there. We talked to a neighbor who knows the culture, and he said he believed the thieves were after something specifically on our compound. What? We don’t really know. There is nothing of high value on the compound that belongs to us, just our normal living items. When we moved into our compound, there were several holes that were covered up. One theory is that the thieves believe something of value was buried on the compound by a previous tenant. This would make sense. In fact, the first time the thieves came, they were asking to collect their items from the tenant who lived there several years prior. I contacted this tenant myself and he said he left nothing of value on the compound and knows nothing of what is going on. So, it is all very mysterious.

After I (Nathan) left to come home just a few weeks ago, there was another attempt where they were trying to cut the barb wire on the back fence, but our day guard managed to catch two of them. They were turned over to the police and will be disciplined, so we hope this will be a deterrent to the others. Please pray for everyone in Kitale now, as this is abnormal and we need to pray that all these thugs will be caught soon and justice will be swift. God is in complete control and we trust Him. I definitely feel that spiritual warfare is a major challenge while on the mission field, and satan will do anything to try to discourage us, derail us, or oppose us. I take comfort in a verse such as John 16:33, which says “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” These were definitely trying times, and trials, but the Lord has used it to strengthen our faith in Him. We have since received a good report from our day guard that nothing has happened in the past few weeks, so we are praying that this will be over soon and go back to normal. God is in control, at all times, in all circumstances.

Please pray for our family, as we are going through many adjustments. One good adjustment is that our daughters are going to Calvary Baptist Academy in Hurricane, WV. This will be good for them, teaching them time management, getting their homework done in a timely manner, and having friends to relate to while we are here. It will also be good for them to get used to having teachers in a regular school setting, along with all the activities that go along with being in school. I am sure mommy misses having them right now, as she enjoys homeschooling in Kenya, but we both agree this is a good thing for them to have now while we are on furlough. Socialization for missionary children is very important, and is one of the major challenges of missions. This time of socialization will teach them many things, and will be a good experience for them. Please pray for them now, and as they continue along through the school year.

I (Nathan) am in the process of scheduling churches for furlough. We plan to be here through at least April of next year, so if you are interested in scheduling a meeting, you can reach me at: naterad@yahoo.com.

Please pray for each of us while we are in America for our furlough. It is great to be in our home culture, where we are used to how things are, speak the same language, etc. However, we miss our compound in Kitale, our animals, and our friends there. God is so good to help us during each time of transition, and He is so faithful. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 says “But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.” Thanks so much to each of you for your interest in missions and your encouragement. We appreciate you all so much.

Serving in Kitale,
Nathan and Carrie Radford
Furlough Address:
56 Lobo Lane
Culloden, WV 25510

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280
Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.

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