It’s quite ironic that following our last newsletter on “security concerns in Nairobi” that we would be writing on the same topic once again.
On Wednesday the 16th of October last month, we were driving home after our mid-week church service. We noticed the lights were out in both houses as we drove down the steep rugged road. Jamie came running out of the gate asking us to go back as they had been robbed. It seemed so surreal as Jamie and Natasha had only arrived at the house 10 minutes before we did. When the thieves saw our car’s headlights in the dark, they fled into the nearby field thinking we were security or police.
Our girls, Bianca and Sophia, hid at the floorboard of the car and were terrified. They wouldn’t come out until we reassured them the thieves had left.
Natasha and Jamie lost their purses, jewelry and phones, but luckily they weren’t physically hurt. There were 5 robbers, one of whom was armed with machine gun. They kept waving the machine gun to Natasha and Jamie’s heads. Natasha said that Candy, our 4-year-old Jack Russell terrier, was growling and kept attacking the thugs. The robbers poisoned Candy to stop her from attacking. Our night guard was beaten in the leg by the robbers, but other than that he was hardly injured. We found Candy dead in our garden! Our girls were heartbroken to know that their beloved dog died.
Once we got in our house, we noticed our room lights were not working and the light socket breaker had been flipped off. We had plumbers and construction workers in our house earlier that day, so we suspect that one of them may have organized the robbery. They had disabled our panic alarm systems from functioning. We are extremely thankful that God spared our lives.
We feel that the Holy Spirit was warning us though, as a week before one of the women at our church called me and told me that the Lord woke her up in the middle of the night asking her to pray for my family and I. She said she didn’t know specifically why but she needed to pray for us without ceasing. I also had a dream on Monday night: Satan was telling me how mad he was at me, and especially angry at Dave, and that Satan was planning to kill Dave. Then on Wednesday morning, Emily Brady, our missions coordinator, called us while we were on our way to church asking what happened in Nairobi, but we had no idea why she was calling because nothing had happened yet. The robbery happened later that night.
So I feel the Lord gave us many reminders to pray as He was allowing something to happen to us.
We also see how God’s hand protected us: Usually our girls go home in Jamie’s car after church on Wednesday nights. But this specific Wednesday they decided to stay in our car and the Lord spared them from the terrifying incident. We Praise the Lord!
We are continually taking our thoughts captive. We are trying not to think “what if” too much. Instead, we are choosing to recognize God’s Loving Hand that protected our family. We can truly trust the Lord.
No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the Lord. (Isaiah 54:17)
Gods Timely Help
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every prayer of ours was answered immediately? God is Sovereign and He answers prayers in His timing: Yes, No and Wait. Sometimes we just have to trust and wait for the Lord’s answer, for “We know that all things will work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
This month God did answer prayers for two boys at Calvary Chapel Nairobi. Interestingly, they are both named Michael.
The first Michael has been attending our church for the past 6 months. Eleven years old, he is one of the kids that has been coming to our church all by himself without his parents. This little boy has a servant’s heart and usually stays back after church to help stack chairs and clean the church. He was in our Children’s Christmas Play and the Sunday school teachers sent the kids with invites to give to their parents.
Michael told one of his Sunday school teacher that he was sad to take the invite as his mom could not attend, and that she is so sad all the time that she does not even leave her bed. Michael and his older teenage brother cook and take care of themselves as their father left them along time ago. So we prayed and God answered our prayer as Michael’s mom came to see the Children’s Christmas Play that Sunday. He was over the moon with joy.
Twinkle and some of the other women at our church encouraged his mom to keep attending church and to attend women’s’ Bible studies. She has been attending church and, as Michael reports, her demeanor has changed since she has been coming to church. Praise God.
Please continue to pray that Christ would become the center of this family’s hearts and lives.
The next little Michael is only 8 years old. His mother received Christ as her personal savior 6 months ago and has been attending our church since then. A couple of months ago, his mom came to Dave and asked him to pray for her older son, Michael, as he performs poorly at school and has been running away from home.
Dave and Pastor Nicholas talked to the boy and prayed with them. But in the following weeks, the boy kept running away from home more frequently. The mother also told us that her husband is an alcoholic. Little Michael told us that the reason why he was running away was because both his parents were physically abusive to him. Their neighbors also confirmed to us that this was indeed true and the neighbors had to sometimes intervene to stop the boy from being injured. Also we were told that Children’s Services came to intervene once but the parents ran and hid until they left.
We knew we had to do something. There was no relative who could help. We prayed and asked God for wisdom on what to do. One of our church leaders suggested we put the boy in a boarding school as we meet with the parents and disciple them. We found the cost to be too high. So we kept praying. The same day, one of our friends who has been volunteering at a children’s home suggested we take Michael there as they also had an affordable primary (elementary) school. Also the home was for kids who were from troubled homes.
In our discussions with the parents we agreed to take the child and place him in boarding school for a year and during that time the parents had to agree to a weekly counseling session. We are happy the parents are willing to meet. Pray for the mom as she is a new believer. We want to show them the Agape love of Christ and also win the dad for Christ, as we believe God can truly change people.
So we checked out this home and were glad to find out that its directors are Christians. So with the local Chief’s permission and the parents’ consent we were able to take Michael to the children’s home. Please pray for Michael and that God would change his Parents’ hearts and the family would be reconciled soon.
Please pray for both Michaels mentioned.
Please pray that God would provide for the purchase of a new/used 4×4 Land Cruiser.
Pray that God would continue to protect our family.
Pray that God would give Twinkle wisdom as she ministers to a woman who just came back to the Lord.
Facebook: Calvary Chapel Nairobi, Kenya
Horses and Chariots
The houses we were renting were under the impending threat of being demolished by the government to expand the Southern Nairobi Highway. So the hunt for new housing commenced.
It was difficult to find homes in Nairobi in our budget but we thank God that He opened doors for us to find a new place thats only a 20 minute drive from the church. In the past it used to take us about an hour to get to church.
Since we had been robbed in our previous 2 homes, we wanted to ensure that we had good security in the house. Security is always a concern here in Nairobi. In Kenya home invasions, robberies and carjackings are very common and most people have 24 hour security guards guarding their homes, as well as razor wire fencing around the walls of their homes, metal gates on doors, metal bars on windows and “safe havens” in the houses. But all the places for rent in our budget did not have any such security measures in place. So with the help of Far Reaching Ministries we were able to secure a night guard, panic buttons (when pressed a security team of 5 comes within ten minutes with one police man caring a G-3 or AK-47), razor wire, motion lighting, safe rooms, bars on all our windows and doors, and our 2 small dogs that make a lot of noise if some one is to close to our compound. Though we do take some comfort in these things. We remember Psalms 20:7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God. We will trust in the Lord. Amen! For surely, God is our Shield & our Protector. Only He can truly protect us from harm like no other. We were blessed to find 365 verses in the bible that call us to “fear not”, that is a verse a day not to fear for we are protected by the Creator of the universe. O how good is our God! On the day we moved into our new house, there was no water, electricity, no street lights and it was pitch dark. To our delight our neighbors brought over lanterns and candles. It was such a blessing.
We were in disbelief when we first heard the news that the airport was on fire. Dave imagined it was a little fire in one of the kitchens in the airport. However when we saw the pictures on the Internet and heard that the roads to the airport had been closed down this is when we realized how massive the fire really was. It took the Kenyan fire fighters an entire day to put out the fire in the arrivals side of the airport. The fire rekindled it self that same night. All flights to and from Nairobi were cancelled for 2 days and when the flights resumed they resumed in the small domestic wing of the airport. As I type this newsletter the chaos has still not been settled, travelers are still staying in tents as only some international flights are able to take off. This crisis affected our bible college as one of our students flights were canceled due to the uncertainty of when the airport would be operational again. Please pray.
Evangelism outreach in Nairobi: Christ commissioned all his disciples to share the gospel of salvation. In the past few months, Dave along with a small group of people from our church has been going out every Tuesday morning to preach the gospel in various areas of Nairobi. We have faced such intense spiritual warfare every single time, but we praise God that His gospel goes forth unhindered each time. We have times of “open mic” where we ask people in the streets to ask us questions they have about God, Jesus Christ, and the bible. Our aim is to give biblical answer. We have had many interesting questions. This usually draws a crowd and some have given their lives to Jesus. We also have had live worship on the side of the streets which has drawn crowds and has given us a huge opportunity to evangelize the people. We also hand out flyers inviting people to church. One Tuesday evening, Dave’s phone wouldn’t stop ringing as many people were calling asking for prayer as they had surrendered their lives to the Lord that day. Praise the Lord!
Pastoral Ordination: Dave ordained Michael Kibe last month in recognition of the work that God was already doing in his life. Kibe has been part of our church for the past 7 years. Currently he is serving in Tonj, Sudan with In Deed and Truth Ministries. He has been teaching the bible to the locals and the foreigners on Sundays and doing various ministries there. We Praise God for Kibe! Please pray that God would use him mightily for His glory.
- Please pray for Good health for our family.
- Please pray for our weekly evangelism outreaches in Nairobi.
- Please pray that God would provide for us to purchase a new car, if He so wills, as our old one seems to be dying & we keep replacing all the parts frequently.
- Please pray for Pastor Michael Kibe as he ministers to the people of Tonj, Sudan.
Kenya Cell 011-254-734-761-822
Love in Deed
We were all in a place of waiting on the Lord. The land that was previously available to purchase was no longer available. Plane tickets were bought from States to travel to the DRC, a good plan was in order, the only thing we needed was to find land to purchase for Calvary Chapel Baraka. The Lord had us all praying and our faith was increased as we witnessed the Lord answer our prayers. The Lord provided sufficient finances and the perfect piece of land at the very last moment. On June 17th the CC High Desert Team and I departed to The Democratic Republic of Congo. The day after we arrived all 11 of us began to co-labor with the nationals. We moved many piles of large stones and cut down a very large hard wood tree with an Axe. After the first four days of working the footings for the perimeter walls were done for the church compound. So now it was time to receive the bricks and they arrived on an old beat down Hino dump truck and we would stand forming a line and pass the bricks down till it was stacked nicely where the masons needed it. The next challenge was to straighten rebar then cut it and bend it into squares by hand for the concrete posts. The concrete was mixed by hand, it was a tremendous amount of work turning all that lake sand, stone, concrete and water mixture. We were so blessed to have Lake Tanganyika near by, as we had to roll 55 gallon drums down the hill to the lake to fill them up. The hard part was rolling them up the hill back to the job site. We all looked forward to a nice cold shower in the evenings. By the end of our trip we had all the footings done, and 3 of the 4 walls were standing. The mission was a success the wall was up and it would be used for the security of Gods people. It was awesome to work side by side with Pastor Ibrahim the Senior Pastor of CC Baraka as well as all of his workers. We did experience a huge language barrier with the Congolese people but working hard along with them helped us build relationships. Some of the hired masons received Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior and were baptized the next Sunday afternoon. Our prayer is that they saw our love for God in our servanthood just as we saw their love for God in their servant hood. As you are serving your neighbor in love you are demonstrating you are a disciple of Jesus. “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” 1 Cor 4:1
- For relief for Twinkles back and neck pain.
- Pray for the Calvary Chapel Harvest Team that is coming out to serve with us in August. We will be doing a Medical Outreach, VBS, Evangelism, and Outreaches.
- Pray for a good mechanic for our vehicle.
- Pray for our worship team as we are going through changes.
- Pray for Pastor Michael Kibe as he is ministering is Sudan
- Pray for Pastor Ibrahim his wife Musoka and his 10 children.
- Pastor Ibrahim’s wife is very sick please pray that the doctors would have discernment as they diagnose her.
The Women joined in on the choir practice of CCBaraka
Calvary Chapel High Desert Served At Calvary Chapel Nairobi, Kenya too.
As we gear up to journey back to Kenya we will be crossing over many seas and travel thousands of miles by air. We leave behind not only family, and friends but also better health care that go along with all the comforts of America. Many of our family and friends have asked us why we choose to go back? As better roads and health care in the US could help Twinkle’s health.
We tell them that God has given us a peace in our hearts concerning returning to Kenya. We understand that it is God’s will for our lives right now and we want to be obedient to God.
Back in February, God was clearly leading us to go to the States for better treatment for Twinkle’s illness, we hesitated to leave as we thought we would be at better service to the people of our church if we stayed during the Kenyan elections season but if we had not left then some people in our church might not have taken the opportunity to rise up to their calling to lead various ministries at our church & bring glory to God’s name. God’s ways are surely higher than our ways and His plans are better than our plans for ourselves.
As we head back in obedience to God we believe that He would be our Helper, Provider and Protector. May He use us for His glory. Thank you for your prayers and financial provision for our family and ministry. May our God richly bless you.
In the Love of Christ,
David, Twinkle, Bianca and Sophia
- For good health for our family and that we would re-adjust to life in Kenya quickly.
- For God’s protection to be over Dave, Jamie and the team from CC High desert as the head to Congo in June.
- For Twinkle and our children’s protection while Dave is in Congo.
- For CC Nairobi that we would keep Jesus as the focus in our lives.
- For a quick recovery for our family from the jet lag.
Please keep in touch
Let Peace Reign
We remember like is was yesterday the 2007 Kenyan elections, when we had riots for three months. It was a time when we could not evacuate Twinkle because she was close to giving birth to Sophia. It was a time when we had a difficult time finding the essentials like bread, water, eggs and milk at the grocery stores. The church remained open and became a refugee for many hungry and hurting Kenya’s. We were preparing for more of the same uprisings for the 2013 presidential elections. We evacuated all non essential personnel and handed much responsibility over to capable nationals. I (Dave) was planning to stay and minister but was redirected by the Lord to go and seek other options in the States for Twinkle’s neck, back problems and pain. Once in the States, I heard reports that large crowds of people were lining up to vote. I became concerned, knowing it would take only a small spark to set off a riot. But everything was surprising peaceful. And I was elated by the actions of the Kenyans. We are also Praising God that when the newly elected Kenyan president was sworn into office the country remained at peace despite the fact that the opposition parties have filed a case in the Kenyan courts, accusing the votes were rigged during the elections. Also the newly-elected President Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate both face charges of crimes against humanity for past election violence at the International Criminal Court, Please pray for the new Kenyan President and pray that peace would continue to reign in Kenya.
Blossom Where You Are
Our hearts are filled with joy knowing that our church in Kenya is doing well. Pst. Nicholas is doing an amazing job at caring for and teaching our congregation on Sundays. Bernard Mabonga is teaching the Wednesday night service. Pst. Nicholas’ wife Phyllis has started teaching a women’s bible study through the book of 1 John in her home at Nando, this is the first bible study that Phyllis has ever taught in her life! Praise the Lord! Juma who is part of our worship team wrote and directed the Easter Children’s play at our church this past month. We are so blessed when the faithful people in our congregation begin to blossom and are able by His grace and by His strength to lead bible studies & ministries. “Lord have your way with us” Colossians 3:15-17
On a Personal note:
Twinkle’s health has continued to improve, she does have a bulging disc thats pressing on to her spinal cord and has bone spurs on her neck bones which are also adding pressure. However her pain level has improved and she is able to function more normally.
We have been sharing about our ministry at some home fellowships of CC Saving Grace. We also were able to visit with my dad’s family during Easter & our girls enjoyed catching up with their cousins.
We hope to return back to Kenya in midMay.
Thank you so much for your prayers and financial support for our family.
Dave, Twinkle, Bianca & Sophia Zavala
Our kids were blessed with a visit to Sea World. It was their first time at the park and they loved it. As parents it was fun to see our kids faces light up as they would encounter the different sea animals and watch the shows.
- Please pray for continued peace in Kenya
- Pray for healing for Twinkle
- Pray for Nicholas (assistant Pastor at Calvary Chapel Nairobi) as he teaches Sunday Services.
- Please pray for good health for our family as we have been falling sick.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
Dear Friends and Family,
We hope this newsletter finds you well. This month has been a bitter-sweet one for us as 2 people in leadership at our church were called to go and serve God in different locations. Michael Mwangi Kibe, who was a deacon at our church and a children’s ministry teacher received an opportunity to go and minister in Sudan specifically a place called Tonj. He will be staying in Sudan for 6 months then will come back to Kenya for 1 month. He will be working with “Indeed and Truth” on the ground. Please pray that he would be a good fit for the team in Sudan. God also opened the door for Gary (elder) and Chris Bailey to start a new ministry at Eldoret, Kenya. Calvary Chapel Nairobi will miss their fellowship but we are excited that God is using these gifted men and women to go minister to people in other areas of Africa. Praise the Lord!
A new semester at our Bible College has resumed, we are blessed that students from Uganda have also come to join this year. We have 16 students this semester.
We are blessed that Janet, one of our Kenyan elder’s wife has stepped up & is teaching weekly Bible studies in the book of Revelation to the women at our church. She is teaching very well. Praise the Lord!
Our daughter Sophia turned 5 years old this month! Praise the Lord! Sophia is an energetic, vivacious & a very adorable little girl. We Thank God for her.
Twinkle has not been feeling well a lot this month and her health has not been improving, she Has seen a few specialists, had many blood tests & many investigations done. We have spent almost every week day at the hospital or Doctor’s office. She was misdiagnosed with Fibromyalgia then the following week her MRI of her spine revealed she has Degenerative Disc Disorder in her Cervical (neck spines) in addition to her TMJ-D, explains the amount of pain she has been experiencing of late. She has been on many strong muscle relaxants and Pain killers and her health hasn’t improved. So after much prayer, we have decided to return to California to see what other option their are for her. We plan on returning to Kenya once her health improves. Thank you for your prayers and support
In the Love of Christ
David, Twinkle, Bianca, and Sophia
Please pray for peace in Kenya as Presidential election campaigns have begun, the elections will take place on March 3rd.
Please pray for Pst. Nicholas Ahondo as he pastors CC Nairobi in Dave’s absence.
Please pray for healing for Twinkle’s TMJ-D, neck and Sciatica.