East Africa Report

On September 19, 2023

Dear Thrive Partner,

Your prayers matter! On so many occasions as I travelled with our international Thrive partners in Kenya and Tanzania it seemed as though we could feel your prayers carrying us.

I met my friends Yuriy and Olga Drozhzhin in Nairobi and we travelled together across the country to the lakeside town of Mbita. There we reconnected with the work of the Victoria Watoto Fund, founded by our friend Alloyce Leonard. The school and feeding program brings daily meals, quality education and hope for the children of this area.

Alloyce, Yuriy, Olga and Mark

Our friend Pastor John Gombe hosted a three-day leaders conference in his church. The highlight for me was to be able to give hundreds of booklets entitled Make Disciples out freely to these pastors. These materials, printed in English and Swahili, were funded by another Thrive partner, Capstone Bible Institute.

Some of these pastors work in very remote areas and are so excited to be able to use these materials to multiply healthy Jesus followers in their regions. Praise God!

One of the great moments of the trip was when we rose early one morning and travelled to a little fishing village where we were able to preach to and pray for the fish workers as the boats came in at sunrise with their catch. You can read the blog below to hear more about this beautiful moment. 

Back in Nairobi we ministered two evenings to a small group of very hungry and dedicated leaders who are actively training church leaders in the city and beyond. These meetings were in cooperation with another Thrive partner, Pneuma Leadership Institute and my friend Pastor Nicholas Saoke. Again, we gave out hundreds of Make Disciples booklets and trained them to use them.

Nairobi Pastors who have trained hundreds
of leaders in the last three years. 

Yuriy and Olga are so great to travel with. They hold up well under difficult circumstances, they are spiritually minded with positive attitude and great stamina. My teaching and theirs fit together like pieces of a puzzle. As they departed for Russia, I flew to Tanzania for the second half of my trip. 

I met a team from Trinity Community Church, Knoxville in Kilimanjaro and after a night’s rest we set out for the Massai village of Kirya. The progress being made in the village is so encouraging. Within the last three years, we have seen the drilling of a well, the foundations for a new church building, the first fruits of the farming project, and with the coming of electricity in the village last year, the construction of a mill house for the purpose of processing corn and rice—the staples of nutrition for the community.  

The team worked together so well to present a conference that focused on teaching the book of Ephesians, a women’s conference aimed at making disciples, a medical outreach as well as doing home visits and helping with general needs. The people of Kirya are so welcoming and so appreciative of whatever we can come alongside and help them with. 

We gave out 1000 “Make Disciples” booklets

Conference crowd in Kirya Church

The trip ended with two pastors conferences in the towns of Himo and Mwanga. Many of the pastors also attended last year’s conference and were so grateful for the teaching and the continued relationship. Many serve in very remote places in the mountains and do not get access to Bible training. We gave out 500 Make Disciples booklets at these conferences as well. 

Rural pastors at conference in Mwanga

None of this would be possible without your generous hearts joining together in the work of Thrive Ministries. Together we are multiplying healthy leaders worldwide.

God Bless,


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