October 2012 Prayer Letter

Dear Supporters and Friends, October 2012

We want to thank you for your prayers and support for our family, and our ministries that God is continuing to bless. Over the last few months it has been very busy, and it has been difficult to get a letter out. Electricity and internet have also been a problem in trying to get a letter out. I know that it has worried some about the lateness of our letter; so we have tried to give you a few of the highlights, and we will fill in on other details later. I know that this is a long letter, but please pray for God’s continued guidance in these areas of our ministry as well as for our family.

Orphan Ministry Update:
We are now feeding over 40 children on a daily basis in two of our village churches (Kuresoi and Sidundo); and at the Orphan Home Project in Sidundo, the buildings now have windows, doors, and locks on one dorm building and the kitchen/dining room.  In May, we also discovered that there was already a well dug on the property more than 20 or 30 years ago.  So we re-dug it; and the water supply is enough for the college classes and even for the orphans, once we are ready to start housing them on the property.  Our plan is to start with 10 boys and to work through the things that will be needed to take care of them.  We will be meeting shortly with the guardians of these boys, whom we think would be the most needy, to prepare for the boys beginning in January.  Please pray that the necessary funds will come in on a monthly basis to care for this ministry.

Current orphan support: At this time, less than $100 per month is coming in specifically for the orphan ministry.   We are currently using close to $350 on a monthly basis for just our feeding program.  We have received a few large offerings throughout the year that has enabled us to continue working on the project buildings in Sidundo a little each month, as we continue to help the children in our feeding program.  Our plan, for housing ten boys, will need more funding by January.   Please try to help on a monthly basis, as we try to move forward in the goal helping these precious children in our village churches.  We are praying that the Lord will enable us to visit each of these 40 children individually in the coming weeks, in order to give them a Christmas package filled with food and many other needed items.

Bible College, Graduation, & New Students for 2013:
We are finishing up the 2012 year of classes, and we will be having 5 graduates, who finish the three-year course, this year.  Graduation will be on December 1st.  There are already 10 new students signed up to begin classes in January 2013, and we have several more appointments to interview others as well. Classes have continued to go well throughout the year in Sidundo and in Kisii.  We thank God for the faithful pastors who are helping to teach and train others.  There are several churches also who have not had students in our college this year; and before classes start in January, I will be meeting with them to encourage them in training up men and ladies to serve the Lord.

Calvary Baptist Sidundo:
Continue to pray for Calvary Baptist Church in Sidundo as they still do not have a pastor.  We are working with about 5 men who are called to preach, and they are doing very well in different areas. They are alternating the teaching in Sunday school, Bible Study, and the Preaching services.  Visitation is going well as the twelve students divide themselves 3 by 3; and the average attendance is running between 80-90, and several are being saved nearly every week.

A Busy August:
August was a full month for us. We had a week of VBS at Calvary Baptist Church in Kisii Town. And our Fifth Annual Ladies’ Conference was the last full week of the month. We had 38 ladies this year, and they came to Kisii from 8 of our churches for a week of refreshment and encouragement.  Our ladies from Calvary Baptist Church in Kisii did a lot of the teaching for this meeting, and it was a blessing to see their growth and willingness to teach others. It was a wonderful week! Please pray for Tonya as she continues to minister to the ladies in all of our churches, and pray for the Lord to continue to give us faithful ladies that are willing to serve Him in their own local churches and communities.

Tonya’s Medical Furlough & Update:
We want to thank every church and individual family that has been praying for Tonya’s health throughout this year. And we want to say thank you to each and every one of you who have helped with the expenses of her medical furlough. Tonya is currently in the USA receiving medical care due to some drastic drops in her blood levels. The doctors have been keeping a close eye on her blood for the past year; and after her last labs, they determined that she must return to the USA for further testing and treatment. After returning to the USA, the doctors have ruled out the need for a full transfusion, but have diagnosed her with an extreme B-12 and Folate deficiency. We have learned that these deficiencies are actually more dangerous than the Iron deficiency that we have been watching over the past few years. She is improving slowly, and she is scheduled to return to Kenya on November 26th. Please continue to keep our family in your prayers.

Luke’s Malaria/ Typhoid Update:
I know that we wrote about this, and many have seen the news on Facebook; and we thank you for your prayers.  For those who have not heard anything, I had a bout with malaria starting in June, then again in July where after several courses of treatment; I started feeling better.  It took two weeks to get some relief, I lost a lot of weight, and for several days I did not even know what was going on.  That was the worst part of it.  Then I was sick again in August, I took another round of treatment for about a week.  Then again in September with a bit different symptoms of being a bit sluggish during the day and severe chills every evening for about two hours and uncontrollable shaking again for about a week.  I was then advised by some of our Kenyan friends to get checked for Typhoid as well as malaria.  After being checked by a doctor, we were told that I had both malaria and typhoid; so I took the medicine for both, and I am feeling quite a bit better. The symptoms have not come back yet this month (October). We thank you so much for your prayers during this time. We praise the Lord for His healing and protection.
For Souls in Kenya,
Luke & Tonya Shelby
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