Africa Missions Trip 2011
Hey all, we are doing fine and now resting in Nairobi. Our plane
leaves Thursday night. Here is the rest of the update of what has
been happening. I miss you all so much,
As I mentioned earlier, we arrived in Nairobi at about 9:30 p.m. By
this time both my body and mind were tired, stressed and confused.
Just 9 hours before we were ready to give up on the whole trip and go
back home. But this is not what the Lord wanted for us. We are
traveling with a group of nine which consists of myself, Lisa, my two
boys Matthew and Caleb, Lisa’s mother and father, Sterling and Gloria,
my daughter Alicia and her husband Michael, a Kenyan native, and our
Upon seeing at least one of our suitcases, we had hope that soon the
others would follow. But they never did. After searching for an
hour, and dealing with a very annoyed baggage agent, we decided to go
ahead and leave the airport for our evening destination. We were met
at the airport by Michael’s uncle and family and a driver with a van
hired by Michael’s uncle who owns Crane Travel and Tours in Nairobi.
They specialize in tourist travel and safaris. Our driver Ramyus
(pronounced rahm-use) has been our faithful companion this whole trip.
We stopped on the way at a local market that I later found out is
similar to our Walmart stores, called NakkuMatt. We picked up some
personal care items, and headed for our place of rest. Michael’s
other uncle is Pastor Ibrahim Omondi, and he is a church planter and
oversees a few ministries in Africa including an orphanage. He lives
just outside Nairobi and has a guest house where we have been staying.
We finally picked a bed and tried to go to sleep about 1 a.m. As
tired as I was, sleep did not come until 4 a.m. During my time laying
there awake, all the anxiety began to catch up with me and in my
weakness the Adversary made his presence known to me that night. I
endured several hours of extreme anxiety nearly to the point of panic.
I wanted to grab everybody, get back on a plane and head to America
more than anything and I couldn’t stop it.
After eating a light breakfast, Michael and I headed to what started
out being the worst place I have ever been in my life, the slums of
Kibera, Africa’s 2nd largest slum. We do not know of such a place in
America. I was scheduled to preach in two different churches that
morning. Not churches like you or I have been to, but tin roof and
wall churches with hand made wooden benches. The first church I went
to was just a short way into the slum. The smell and the shock of so
much poverty was overwhelming to me, it was another layer of stress
that I didn’t need. Satan said, “get out of here, you don’t belong
here!” That changed the moment I set foot in this church. The people
were friendly and happy to greet the American pastor whom some had
seen on DVD. I preached and God blessed.
The pastor who had set up these meetings has become a good friend of
mine, Pastor Tobias Oloo. When we left the first meeting place, we
followed his car out of the slum area and stopped at a local gas
station. I was relieved to be out of there. He came to our car and
said to me “Pastor Hoggard, now you come to my church in the heart of
Kibera.” He had a warm and excited smile on his face, but all I could
do was gulp.
Upon reentering Kibera, we had to stop at the outskirts and pick up 3
security members (policemen for hire) each armed with AK-47’s. No I
am not making that up. They rode with us into the interior of Kibera.
There is no way I can describe for you what I saw, smelled and feared
there. The worst of all possible living conditions, yet it was filled
with people who lived there. Upon reaching the church, once again as
soon as I stepped inside, the presence and the joy of the Holy Spirit
was there. Several pastors and saints from other churches were there
in attendance I preached to them from Ephesians 6. God was there and
our ministry was received very well among them. It was beginning to
occur to me why Satan tried so hard to keep us from going there.
Darkness hates light.
It was now Sunday night and I am once again having difficulty
sleeping. Only 4 hours at the beginning of the evening, and I lay in
bed for the next 6 hours with the same near panic I had experienced
the night before. Though now very weary, we made our way back to
Kibera for more preaching and teaching. I got to spend a couple of
hours with some pastors in the area who, after speaking with me for a
while were convinced that I was not like other American preachers or
evangelists whom they did not trust. Again, the meeting was joined by
pastors, saints, and of course the Holy Spirit. It was at that
meeting that it finally dawned on me why I was there, and why the
Devil did everything he could to stop me. Near the end of the
meeting, one pastor asked why a verse in his bible seemed to be
missing. This opened the door for me to tell them the truth, and you
know when that door opened I walked right through it! Needless to
say, we are going to send genuine King James Bibles to the churches in
Kibera! American churches have sent cheap NIV and other false bibles
to Africa, and many African Christians never knew the difference, they
had no one to teach them.
The same was true for our next stop, Kitale (thank God our luggage
arrived just before leaving for this town in Western Kenya.) I
preached at one church in the country that met in the front yard of
some one’s house. Most of them did not have a Bible, and the pastor
had an NIV that was sent to him. We are sending Bibles to that
church. The next stop was a church near where Michael grew up, in the
corn fields outside of Kitale. The tin roof church was full of mostly
men, and they received the word eagerly. It was during this meeting
that 3 of those men were saved. Afterward, about 10 men came up to
the front of the church and wanted me to pray a blessing on them,
which I did, each one individually. I didn’t know this at the time,
but they were all amazed that I did not ask for money in advance to do
this, which apparently is the practice of some “pastors” in that area.
We will be sending Bibles there too.
Now it was on to Rongo, in southwestern Kenya. This meeting was set
up by Mama Jo, an American missionary woman who has been in this area
since 2004. She was recommended my video on DNA, and after watching
it, began to show other pastors in the community. Our ministry
already had a following there when we arrived. Saturday, I preached
and taught all day at an outdoor meeting of about 200 pastors and
believers. Again, the Lord opened the door for the Bible translation
issue, and now many of them know that they have been using the wrong
Bible. Some, however, walked away in disbelief and anger, just like
in America. We are going to assist Mama Jo in distributing Bibles and
DVD’s in this area.
Sunday morning I preached at the Trumpet of God church, another tin
roof church, pastored by Pastor Achilla, a godly and sincere man who
loves the Gospel and loves the KJB. From there we traveled to Pastor
Oloo’s home territory some 40 miles away and deep in the African
country side outside of Migori. It is a very poor farming area, but
we met at a church in the afternoon full of warmhearted and loving
people. After the service I was presented with a goat by one of the
elders of the Suna people who live in that area. Yes, a real live
goat. Baaah, horns and all! I was relieved when Mama Jo said it was
ok to let her keep it with her other goats.
We are now back in Nairobi, the preaching part of our tour being
finished, and we will spend the next few days being tourists. My
anxiety and fears are gone, and there is no mystery to me now why we
were not wanted here by our enemies. Our God has begun a revival
here, and He will continue it according to His will, I am so humbled
to be part of it. There are still hungry Christians in the world who
want to know the truth like we do. Please pray for them, they will
never leave my heart.
We are headed today to Kitali.
Pray for our meetings there.
everything is going so far. I can tell you that the Devil has fought
us every step of the way since we left on Thursday. Our flight from
St. Louis to Chicago went smoothly, but after that, the problems
began. It all started with bad weather between Chicago and London.
This caused our plane to be stuck on the tarmac for over 5 hours! Our
layover in London was only supposed to be 2 hours. By the time we got
to London, our flight to Kenya had already left. We were directed to
the American Airlines desk and after about two hours of working with
them we were told there was a flight to Kenya the next morning using
Al Italia. In the meantime, American Airlines set aside three rooms
at a local hotel in London. Our visas allowed us to leave the airport
during this time. Alicia, Michael, and Matthew spent this time riding
a double decker bus!
We woke up early the next morning (3 a.m. London time) and headed back
to Heathrow airport. When we got to the Al Italia check-in desk we
were told that American Airlines never confirmed those seats, and they
were no good. This left us stranded in London. We rode the
Underground (London train system) to a different terminal to discuss (
a mild term) our options. After two more hours of "negotiating" with
them we were told that our options for going to Kenya involved going
to either Dubai or Nigeria. With all the children and the possibility
of being stranded again, this was not an option for us. The next
available direct flight to Kenya wasn't going to be until July 10th.
By this time I was very discouraged, tired, and emotionally weak. I
was prepared to purchase tickets on the next flight back home. The
Krispy Kreme doughnuts at the airport didn't help much, but I was glad
to have them. I was working on an alternative plan that would have us
tour London for a few days and possibly have a meeting with some of
our friends there.
In the meantime, Michael called his mother in Kitale, Kenya to tell
her the bad news. His grandmother, one of the dearest saints I have
ever met, told Michael that she prayed and God told her that they were
going to get on a plane today for Kenya.
5 minutes after that conversation, the lady at the American Airlines
desk said "I don't believe it, I just found nine seats on a British
Airways plane leaving at 10:20 today!" We have 9 people in our group.
It took an additional hour and a half to work out the details, but we
literally ran to the correct gate and boarded the plane just 4 minutes
before take off.
We used the time during the 8 hour flight to rest and arrived in
Nairobi at about 9:20 p.m. (this is 8 hours ahead of Central time).
It was then that we discovered we had no luggage.
Our driver picked us up and we stopped at a local market to pick up a
few items to live on for the next few days.
We have been staying at a missionary training center just outside of
Nairobi ran by Michael's uncle Pastor Ibrahim Omondi. I have more to
tell of the Devil's opposition to me here and also of the great things
God has done with our ministry in one of the poorest areas of the
world, the slums of Kibera. (do a Google and youtube search of this).
Suffice it to say that last night was the first full night of sleep I
have had since Wednesday night, and we finally got our luggage last
night as well.
Please keep us in your prayers, our labor is hard here, but God is
bringing the increase.
PS...Be sure and check out our Bethel International Ministries website, click here.