Reaching the Rift Valley

Ted & Kim Rabenold have served in the Rukwa Valley as well as being dorm parents at Rift Valley Academy (RVA) in their past few months of service in Tanzania.

 Ted and Kim have especially enjoyed their role as dorm parents at Rift Valley Academy. Their 21 girls are graduating in just a few days from being juniors in High School to next year becoming seniors!

“It has been great to be their dorm parents. Next school year I [Ted] will be teaching Swahili 3 and Pottery 1 (go figure? I love it!). Kim will be involved with teaching remedial reading and/or grade school gym.”

Training and development of beekeepers and community development has continued in Kenya at Rift Valley. Ted has nine students who have purchased with their own money, baited and placed seven bee hives in the forest below Rift Valley Academy. Most of the hives are already occupied and all nine young men who are working with him on this project are interested in working in Africa as Missionary-Community developers.

“It encourages my heart to be developing the next generation of men who will change and impact the face of Africa.”

Over 25 students and some of RVA’s staff have worked with him on this project aimed at improving the lives of local people. Ted has been extremely encouraged by the support and interest. The project started slowly but now 12 local people, including the District Police Commandant and one woman, have hives and are making more.

“We will continue to share the Gospel boldly with each one we meet so they have no doubts why we love the God of creation!”

Three weeks ago Ted came back to Kenya from a trip to Kapenta, Tanzania. The goal of the trip was multi-faceted: to prepare the home for Jason Ullyottt and his family who will be taking over the work of the physician at the Kapenta Health center for a year while the Guilzons are on home assignment, to work with beekeepers from the Tree of Life organization in harvesting honey from the beehives in the valley, and to supervise the set-up of another oil press on the property north of Kapenta. The positioning of these oil presses has made many farmers happy in the valley and have given them a way to process sunflowers and get cooking oil without having to import it from outside. Diversification of agricultural crops is the only way that farmers can survive in Africa. The goal as Christian believers has been and always will be to stand by farmers and provide assistance and training that helps them to diversify their yearly income.

“We pray that God will allow us to live out Matthew 5:16, ‘In the same way let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”‘

Ted also had some great opportunities to preach in Kenyan churches and spoke three Sundays ago to over 300 adults in Old Kijabe town at the African AIM denominational gathering. He challenged those assembled to not seek what blessings they can get from God, but to passionately pursue God Himself.  Will we as men and women let God sit upon the throne of our lives and worship Him there? Or will we place ourselves on that throne looking to what we think will satisfy us?

It is a good question for all of us to think about and meditate on throughout our everyday lives and not just when we are in the middle of a great sermon or when we are doing our devotions but during every minute of our lives. Are we “passionately pursing God Himself” as Ted says, and not just seeking what blessings we can get from God?

Praise God for Colton as he is getting married the 28th of July to a very amazing, sweet girl named Anna Rose. The Rabenolds will be visiting the USA for a rather short month for the celebration which will be in Oklahoma. Colton and Anna will be traveling to Tanzania shortly after the wedding as Colton has been hired to work in Arusha as operations director of a company involved with growing, producing and transporting agricultural products in Africa and abroad.
Please pray for the new marriage of Colton and Anna and for the many travels of the family. Please pray for the continued ministry of the entire Rabenold family in Kenya and Tanzania.

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