"hi Ellen, I read your comment about moving to Houston. Houston is a big city. Depending on what part you end up and we may have opportunity to meet. Check our calendar at www.homechurchhouston.com for meeting times and locations. I hope we can meet…"
"Ha. I guess it feels like another country some days around here. I didn't realize anyone was still on simple church other than nigerian scammers. The funny thing is I skype with dan and steve on wed night. Those two are still going strong. Had…"
"Message to member in this group:
Considering that my family and I moved to the NW side;
Considering that Jeff and Melanie moved to another country;
Considering that there has not been any activity on this group in many months
I move to…"
"Hi Joe and Ellen,
I saw that Ellen just joined up with our Houston group, and in looking at her page I read your comments Joe. I understand your path all too well from similar experience. In fact I moved my family from California to Texas…"
To our fellow brothers and sisters in the Houston and surrounding areas: We would like to invite you all to a get together on April 17th at Harris County Precinct 4 Burroughs Park from 12-5. This is a link to find out more information about the park:http://www.hcp4.net/parks/burroughs/index.htm. We will have the pavilion that holds 250 people. It is just outside of Tomball off of 249. Here is a link to a…See More
Chance...! yes, it's me - the same Dena Brehm ... how delightfully FUN to have you find me here! Stil enjoying this marriage -- that baby is now almost 3 ... and SO much has changed for us...! All good.
I remember you well ... you had your own dramatic stories of relational living and close fellowship -- it was inspiring! Are you still with those guys?
The fire has begun in Kenya.
Once again I want to sincerely thank you for standing with us in prayer last week when I requested for the same. I had no idea how our first Simple Church experience would be like. I’m so humbled as I report that your prayer for us was answered. Twenty people had agreed to attend; thirty six came! My living room was filled to capacity, with some standing by the door. I had asked the Holy Spirit to lead and He was so faithful. I bear witness to His almost tangible presence that nostalgic evening. Those two hours! Most of the people present were, like me, born and raised in church, while others gave their lives to Christ in high school or college. Sometimes back they stopped fellowshipping at their respective ‘churches’ because they found not what they were looking for. It’s worse when one is working or in business and gets regular income! Some backslid as others remained in their homes, wounded and confused.
I had asked favor from the Holy Spirit to help me not speak against the established church or going personal on any issue in this very important meeting. The Spirit led us! When we sang “Amazing Grace”, (which to me now is an anthem for sinners) everybody just stood and then knelt. We all wept so bitterly without anyone’s influence but the Holy Ghost Himself. He convicted us without any man’s or woman’s hand. This went on for over 45 minutes. We then held each other’s hands and just prayed for one another! It was so enriching. My goodness, this is what we had been looking for, some of us for so many years! There wasn’t any interruption. After this, Madam Priscah (a colleague) stood and read this scripture-2Cor 11:20-21 “In fact you put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or pushes himself forward or slaps you in the face. To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that.”
This part of scripture came with so much force; the voice so clear, that the Lord had started a movement in this house, that will lead to a Revolution in the body of Christ in Kenya and Africa. We parted ways so lifted up, refreshed and enlightened.
Since schools had closed for the August holidays, I traveled to Kitui via Nairobi on Monday (the following day), on my way to visit my wife, Roseline, who is an accountant and works in the Eastern Province. Tuesday night we had a gathering in Nairobi city. I had phoned informing some friends about the simple church and my intention that we meet at one of my friends’ house. Twenty four people attended, among them two pastors. Unlike the meeting at my house, this had some challenges that I know the Spirit wanted me to be aware of. It almost became a bickering contest and I found myself engulfed in this morass. This group will be meeting Friday nights at a restaurant. I’m worried because I see narrow agenda within the group. This is why I think we need to training. We need to know how to handle simple church, being religious and artistic we are. We’re people that take things to the extreme; wrong things or right things. If the beginning/foundation be right, the right extremes will resound in every corner of this globe. As I prepare to host another meeting tomorrow down here in Kitui town, I’m praying for partnership with other parts of the world- brothers and sisters with experience in the simple church. I want them to come forth and help us.
I read about two young people staying with Jon Dale in the US, to learn and bring us what they’ve got. That’s great. It sounds wonderful coming to the West for training. People in Africa would love that! But I feel it would be more thoughtful if the West came to Africa and met us and talked to us in our homes, villages and cities. The impact would be more profound, am sure! These pioneers would go into annuls of history as people who wrought a new beginning in the body of Christ in Africa. This is what the Lord has put on my mind, and I know it’s the right path.
Simple Church hits Kitui town
This was the third fellowship we’re opening in just one week. Each one them is unique in her own way. Here in Kitui, we had two meetings- Saturday and Sunday night. The first one was attended mainly by Roseline’s (my wife) colleagues and three locals. Thirteen people attended. They came expecting a preaching from me because last December I was invited and ministered at the Deliverance church on Christmas day and many were blessed. The Spirit has told me to be very careful in simple church fellowships because there’s tendency for religion cropping up and people idolizing the speaking that has a tint of charisma (I have some of that), which in turn manifests the inordinate and dangerous favoritism that many Christians bestow upon teachers in so many churches today, with characteristic imminent dangers of trusting themselves and their teachers over Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
I had thought my wife had understood the right church dynamics as revealed in and practiced by the simple church movement, after the many emails and lengthy conversations over phone, but I’ve never been so wrong! It was expedient to rise up and explain the Christian Manifesto of proper church protocol, which entails the headship of Christ Himself under directorship of the Holy Spirit, proper use of money, no salaried elders, proper giving, governance under consensus and understanding of God’s direction through the Spirit etc, as opposed to the lip-service that the traditional church has largely paid to Jesus for nearly two thousand years. Without emotions and personalized gait that I normally command in my speeches, and in a low composed tone, expressly given by the Spirit for that particular gathering, I laid down what the Lord expects of our fellowship with Him. I could feel the still small voice speaking to each one that was in that place, followed by a look of conviction on their brows. As I started humming “All to Jesus I Surrender” people started worshipping the Lord but unlike in the first meeting at my house in Khasoko, where there was crying, here there was that quiet, calm serenity in the room. Without much more, they accepted to come back the following day (Sunday) for more.
Now, let me briefly explain about this town known as Kitui (which you can also find on googleearth.com). It has a population of about 50,000 people and is located in a semi-arid area. No meaningful economic activity goes on here except some irrigation agriculture sponsored by NGOs and government. There a lot of suffering amongst people and this is exacerbated by the ongoing prolonged droughts in the country. The conditions that people live in have humbled them to the floor. Talk about living by faith- many people here need that faith to live for another day!
So on Sunday (yesterday) thirty one people came. I could read a yearning to be told some more from a ‘teacher’, and following a given church program, the trend they’re used to in their respective “churches”. I had to be helped by the Spirit of God! Among attendants was a pastor from a small church in town, who kept referring to me as ‘pastor’. Well, I didn’t rise to talk again as expected. Those that had attended the previous night’s fellowship stood and bore witness to the truth, that the body of Christ in Africa has done so much work for the Lord and long forgot Lord of the work! The spirit of conviction held all captive, and the pastor stood at started repenting on behalf of the clergy, for preaching the gospel of manipulation. His was worse; he consented, because he has no ‘elders’ in his congregation and runs all programs with his wife (who was also present). He blames it all on ‘poverty that makes desperate people do desperate things to survive.” That fellowship never ended. We move on tomorrow (Tuesday) night.
Definitely, these are seminal times in the history of the body of Christ in Africa and the world at large. “Do you not say, ‘Four months more, then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” (John 4:35). I feel in the Spirit that this anointing is all over the world. The Lord is reclaiming His headship over His body. Oh our responsibility! The mighty tide of God's Spirit is sweeping by us, in its prayer-directed course. There is a river (of salvation) the streams whereof make glad the city of God (Psalm 46:4). It is time to "get together," and plunge in, individually and collectively. Fly to the rescue of God’s people from the claws of religion, clergy, cults and dogma. Do not fear! I pray for you. Let the fire that’s consuming here consume the whole earth; and let the truth reign. For our God is a consuming fire! Arise O LORD and let your enemies be scattered, in the Name of Jesus Christ.Amen!
Bro Jim Nduruchi.
I remember we were friends here but you went quiet suddenly, without any word. I was perplexed and put everything in the Lord. I do review my friends after sometime and remove those that do not communicate, so after sometime, I removed you. This is not pride or despisement. I do it because of the high value that I place on my friendships. We live in an age of gross individualism, where “friendship” has taken a totally different meaning. It’s mostly manipulation. When it’s from Africa, the intention has been some $ or so. It’s marred with materialism and coated with pretense. The body is Christ has experienced perhaps the worst forms of hypocrisy. I bleed inside when I think about some of the things I have both seen and heard.
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