Prayer Letter September – October 2010

Dear Supporters and Friends,                                                     September–October 2010
We want to thank you for your prayers for our family as we have been traveling. We have spent the last six weeks in New Mexico, Texas, and a few meetings in Missouri and Arkansas. God has kept us safe while traveling over 17,000 miles, and we have reported to a good number of our supporting churches. We have also been in 16 new churches and 6 of them have promised to take us on for support. Autumn is wonderful time of the year to be in the States, but with it comes cooler weather. Over the next month, I will be traveling to meetings alone, and the family will be staying with Tonya's parents in East Tennessee in order to help them get caught up in homeschooling. The kids have done great on the road, but it is really hard to keep a good schedule!
The work in Kenya is doing well, and the churches have continued with all of the special meetings that are planned from year to year like: VBS and Ladies' Camp. We have been able to talk to them from time to time in order to encourage them in the Lord. And nearly every time, they express how they want each of you to know how much they love you and thank you for being a part of sending the gospel to them, in order for them and their families to be saved.
There are two ministries in Kenya that we would like to highlight the future goals for you in order to raise funds for these goals to be reality.

Orphan Ministry (click here to see our brochure)

We have already mentioned our new Orphan Ministry in earlier prayer letters and on our website, but we have inserted a brochure with this letter to help with the breakdown of getting this project started. The total need of financial support for the first couple of years (in order to be able to help any orphan that is brought to us for help) would be in the range of $20,000. This amount would include facilities that could take care of almost 100 children in various locations, and assist in the monthly care for them in a Christian family environment. You can help through VBS, Christmas, School offerings, special church offerings, monthly support, and prayer for God to supply the need. 

South Nyanza Baptist College

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We are also trying to raise funds for setting up dormitories (beds, mattresses, and sheets) and office supplies, as well as monthly support, to accommodate the growth of the college for the upcoming year. God has blessed the churches that we have been able to start with men and women that are hungry for the word and burdened for the world around them to be saved. My goal is to see over 100 students in the college over the next couple of years. But we need your help to make this possible. Please read the attached letter, see the progress that has been made, and pray about helping with one of the needs mentioned. Please consider the college for monthly support as a separate mission project of your church.  Thank you for your prayers for our family and ministries. 
Luke and Tonya Shelby

Missionaries in Kenya

Mission: The mission of South Nyanza Baptist College is to train pastors and leaders of Local Independent Baptist churches to have a better understanding of the Bible, and to equip them to serve the Lord in the ministries of their local church. We also endeavor to produce men who will have a vision for the thousands of villages that need a Gospel witness, and to develop laborers within local churches to plant churches in other villages around them.

History: The college started in May of 2001 with two students meeting in a church in Kisii. A few months later, we opened a branch that met simultaneously with other pastors in the village of Sadieda. In 2003, all of the pastors were combined at Bible Baptist Church in the town of Rongo; and classes were held under a tent for three years, training men from around the region. Then in 2007, it moved to Calvary Baptist Church in Kisii, where it has continued to grow in the major city in our region.
Currently: South Nyanza Baptist College has a total of 52 students that are attending the Three-Year Program and the Pastoral Seminar Program. There are more than 20 on a waiting list to start classes in January 2011, and we have 12 students of the Three-Year Program that are scheduled to graduate by the end of 2011.
Future Plans: By 2011, we need to be able to rent a portion of a complex. This will help us to set up classrooms, dormitories, and a kitchen to accommodate the students while classes are in session. The rental property below is also up for sale but at a really high price. We are praying that getting in the door by renting a small section to accommodate our needs right now, will help in the future if we need to buy, in order to expand.

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The complex is located on the main highway between Kisii and Kisumu. It is about 20 minutes from Kisii town. This is a satellite photo from google maps. The bigger part of the building is two story on the right and on the left. And we are looking at renting the section on the right.

This section is big enough to set up dormitories, classrooms, and it can be used for our Church Conference, Pastor's School and Ladies' Camp that are held annually; We also have a church that we planted in this area in 2004, they would also be able to use this on Sundays.
It will enable us to accommodate any size of church or college group that would come to visit us from the States for a short term mission trip.

Needs:
Monthly support $500 (Rent, utilities, upkeep, staff, supplies)
Bunk beds ($100 ea.) x 50= $5000
Mattresses ($20 ea.) x 100= $2000
Office set up costs.

South Nyanza Baptist College
Three-Year Program

The Three year course is set up to give basic Bible knowledge to Christians in their local church.
Currently, the three-year program is operated one week every month for nine months out of the year to correspond with the usual school year in Kenya, with breaks in April, August, and December.
Each subject has a total of 18 hours of class time, and a homework time of 2-5 hours per subject.
Each subject is available in the language of Swahili in a simplified format.
A Three month period of classes covers 4 subjects, which equals to 12 subjects in a year and 36 subjects in the three year course.
Students are only accepted at the beginning of each year which runs from January – December.
Students must have a clear testimony of salvation, baptism in a Baptist Church, one year of attendance in a Baptist Church, and the recommendation of his pastor to be enrolled.
Students are required to give an account of daily Bible reading, prayer requests, tithes and offerings, weekly visitation, attendance, and serving in their churches in a Christian Service Notebook in order to continue to be enrolled in the college. One half of their total grade for each class is given from their Christian service in their local church.
Students pay their own transport each month to attend classes. We give them return fare home at the end of the week.
We provide room and board for the entire week (Monday – Friday) that they are in classes.
We provide them with printed and bound notebooks (depending on finances), or they take their own notes.
A final exam is given at the end of each subject and grades are determined as followed: Quizzes = 20%, Assignments = 20%, Final Exam = 10%, Christian Service 50%.
A diploma is awarded to them upon the completion of the 36 subjects at a graduation ceremony.

Pastoral Program

The Pastoral program is set up to equip pastors for the work of the ministry in seminary form.
Students are required to have completed the three year course at this college or another approved Baptist college before moving to the area.
Currently, the classes are offered three times a year during the break months of the three-year program: April, August, and December.
Each subject has a total of 12 hours of class time and 5-10 hours of homework.
More Subjects will be available in the future.
A monthly work report notebook is used to give an account of weekly tithes and offerings, visitation, salvations, baptisms, attendance records, and other ministries of their church.
Students pay their own transport each month to attend classes. We give them return fare home at the end of the week.
We provide room and board for the entire week (Monday – Friday) that they are in classes.
We provide them with printed and bound notebooks (depending on finances), or they take their own notes.
Completion of the class is determined by a final essay, attendance to the class, assignments, and completion of their notes.
Recognition is given to those who continue to be trained on a yearly basis, and ministry opportunities are available to those who are faithful like: Teaching in the College, Prison Ministries, Camps, and Evangelistic teams to start new churches.
Ordination of some of the pastors, which we have been working with, is scheduled to correspond with their church's organization in the near future.  

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