Calvary Baptist Church
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Mestler

 

Mike and Gail Mestler have been serving in Nairobi, Kenya, since April 1993. In order to pursue the burden for missions that the Lord had given them, Mike resigned from the Bernalillo Independent Baptist Church in Bernalillo, New Mexico, where he had served as assistant pastor until 1982, then as pastor until 1989. It was at this church that he met Gail and worked under her father, Bill White, who had planted the Bernalillo church several years earlier. Mike believes that the experience in pastoring this young church has helped prepare him for church planting in Kenya.

The Mestlers chose Nairobi as the site of their church-planting efforts, and in May of 1994 they founded Christ's Independent Baptist Church in a residential section known as Lucky Summer Estate. The population of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, has risen to over three million as job-seekers from all over Kenya have made it their home. The booming 3.1% per year population growth rate in Kenya also helps contribute to the opportunity that Christ's Independent Baptist Church has to minister to many new residents in Lucky Summer. Over half of Kenya's thirty-one million people are children, and the church is hard pressed to keep up with the need for space for Sunday school and children's church. The church's other outreaches include men's and women's fellowships, a youth group, and a young adults' ministry.

At the present time about three hundred people attend Christ's Independent Baptist Church, meeting in a permanent, six hundred-seat auditorium officially dedicated in September 2001, which Pastor Mestler anticipates will be filled to capacity within five years. The auditorium, Sunday school building, multipurpose building, and parsonage are all located on half an acre of property owned by the church.

In March of 2004 Zion Road Independent Baptist Church was begun as a branch work of Christ's Independent Baptist Church. At the present time the new congregation is averaging in the nineties. After having met in a rented school building for several months, the church is now meeting in temporary buildings on its own property.

Although eighty-two per cent of Kenyans call themselves Christian, many are only nominal in their commitment to Christ. The Mestlers believe that the people at Christ's Independent Baptist Church, however, have demonstrated real spiritual growth by their faithfulness in hearing God's Word and doing what it says. This has been demonstrated by their willingness to do the right thing even when it has not been convenient. Assistant Pastor Ben Ingala and his wife Consolata have been shining testimonies of believers who are standing firm. Pastor Ben has not only been diligent in his daily duties at the church, but he has also led the church while the Mestlers are on furlough. The Mestlers are also thankful for the recent increase in attendance at prayer meeting as the church, faced with problems of security at night, decided to meet in small groups in the homes of various believers. As a result, both attendance and the number of valuable opportunities for service for faithful men in the church have increased.

The Mestlers have been sent to Kenya by Tri-City Baptist Church, 2150 East Southern Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85282, where Dr. Michael Sproul is pastor. They are serving with Tri-City's mission board, International Baptist Missions, under the leadership of Dr. David Sproul. International Baptist Missions is a fundamental, independent Baptist mission board with missionaries serving in Mexico, Singapore, Romania, Poland, Italy, Spain, Lithuania, India, and the United States, as well as in Kenya.

Mike and Gail's children, Rachel and Nathan, spent several years in Kenya but are now married and living in the States. The family's birthdays are Mike--February 10, Gail--December 5, Rachel--January 28, and Nathan--May 10. Mike and Gail's anniversary is April 15.

You can contact the Mestlers at P.O. Box 64701, Nairobi, Kenya 00620. Their telephone number is 011-254-0733-768155, and you can e-mail them at mestler@internationalbaptistmissions.org. Their Web site is www.mestler.org.

You can keep up with news in Kenya by reading The Daily Nation at www.nationaudio.com.

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