September 27, 2019
Greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ,
Upper Room Baptist Chapel has been driven out of its location. We have been meeting in a building in town for the past year. October 21st is our one-year anniversary, but we will not make until then before we will in a different location.
During the month I was in the States taking Amy to college the directors of our building invited another church to move in across the hall from our church (and doesn’t charge them rent either). The door of this other church is literally four feet away from the door to our room. When I returned to Kenya, I promptly experienced the problem firsthand. When we gathered to worship on Sunday the church across the hall was playing music on their speakers and it was so loud, we could not hear each other in our room, even when we were yelling at each other. I knew I would have to try and solve this problem as soon as possible. I met with the caretaker of the building and requested a meeting with the other pastor. The other pastor did not even show up to the meeting even when he promised to attend. When he finally did show up to one of our scheduled meetings the suggested solution from the caretaker and the other pastor was that we, the Chapel, change our meeting time from 10am to 8am. I was not happy with this suggestion. I felt like the other church should alter their times because we had already been meeting in our room for almost a year. The other church has refused to make any changes and the unbearable noise has continued without any change as well. The directors of the building do not seem to care that this conflict is ongoing, and they refuse to take up our cause. It is my opinion that the directors want to drive us out in order that the other church can take over our room (since I spent a lot of money making our room nice). I have taken the matter to the people of the Chapel. We have met together many times to try and find solutions to this problem. We are approaching any solutions to this problem with the following Biblical principles: 1) Do everything out of love, 2) Glorify God in everything you do, 3) Let the world see your good works and glorify the Father through you, 4) Don’t let desires cause wars among you, 5) Allow yourself to be defrauded before “going to court” and 6) Let each of you think of others before yourselves. The bottom line is that I am trying to teach my people that we do not want to let the world see us fighting with another church. We would much rather “be defrauded”, as Paul says it, than to harm the Kingdom of Christ by fighting with other Christians, even if we think those Christians are not acting very Christ-like.
Taking these principles in mind, plus the fact that the directors of the building seem to be against us and we cannot get any change from them, the people of the Chapel have unanimously decided to find another place to worship. And, almost immediately upon making this decision, we were able to locate a place. Starting on the first Sunday in October we will be meeting at the school facilities of Milimani Christian Homeschooling Community, the school which Julie helped get started and now ministers as head-teacher. All of the directors of the school are our good friends and two of them are also weekly attendees at the Chapel. I believe the Lord has already blessed us by providing us with this new venue and I believe he will continue to bless us ongoing because we are trying to glorify Him above everything else. Beloved, the building where we have been driven from is not a big deal. The money invested in the other room is not a big deal. The opposition we are faced with is not a big deal. Meeting to worship under a Mango tree while trying to sort out the conflict is not a big deal. But, glorifying God IS a big deal. And this is what I want my people to do above anything else.
I know that not everybody will agree with our decision. Many might wish us to fight for what we consider our rights. I understand that. I get it. But please consider these things: 1) This is a very delicate situation, 2) The Chapel is a new mission work that we do not want to see Satan destroy, 3) I am a foreigner and alien in this country, 4) God does not want to see his people fighting, 5) God will bless those who follow his ways, and, 6) God is still in control of His Kingdom and this world. We will try and continue to trust in Him. Finally, rest assured in the fact that we have lost no attendees of the Chapel over this matter, nor over the decision we have made. The decisions were unanimous, and all are happy with them and are excited to see what God will do with us in the future.
Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie, Amy, Josiah & Chloe
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