Thursday, June 22, 2017

Pastor Fredrick Simiyu Dome Visit Report

Pastor Fredrick Simiyu Dome
Visit Report

This began for us on 30 May with a call from Pastor Fredrick Simiyu who was in California at that time.  He had attended our Empowering Leaders Conferences in western Kenya in 2013 and 2015 and wanted to know if he could come here.  Following a quick email for session concurrence, we set up a special Wednesday service and meal.

The plan was that each location would host Fredrick and then send him to his next engagement.  That was the extent of the planning for his trip.  The pastor in California provided his transport into this country (round trip ticket) and to Kansas.  I think he used miles.  This pastor had 7 members in his church.   That’s where the provisioning ended.

I received a call from the pastor in Kansas requesting that we pay for his transport here.  He had no provisions and no congregation.  We did.  The pastor in Kansas had no congregation and no other ministry connections; therefore, Fredrick had no ministry engagements.  He also was not able to book any other engagements beyond Burns Flat.

Burns Flat was the first place that he was able to talk with more than a handful of people.  In the course of his time here, it was revealed that there was no pre-trip planning.  Fredrick thought that he knew enough people in this country that he could just arrange visits day by day.  His concept of logistics was minimal. 

We had extended conversations about the parable of the talents with the plane ticket here being the trust, as well as considering the cost before building a tower, with the building being engagements where he could accomplish what he thought the Lord wanted him to do.  He understood the biblical teachings and hopefully, made application in his own ministry.  I assured him that God still loves him as much as ever, but that for the trip to produce more fruit than this one visit, he must embrace the lessons learned.

I commended Fredrick for stepping out in faith but admonished him for not putting the huge trust of a plane ticket to work by ensuring things were in place before leaving Kenya.  I explained how detailed planning and confirmation provide flexibility once on the ground.  We had several hours of discussion which I followed in writing for his consideration.

Fredrick realized that there is a difference between a Facebook friend and a partner in ministry, albeit too late to turn what amounted to mostly an American vacation into a full month of ministry. 

For our part, our congregation was extremely generous in many ways.  We covered all expenses, provisioned him with a computer, website, business cards, camera upgrades, and all transportation to here, from here to his next destination, and all in and around travels needed, and more.  Gifts in kind included lodging, clothing, wristbands, luggage, copies, laundry, and gifts for his family and more.  We completed our generosity by providing him two towels for his use instead of the Kenyan model of one towel for two people. 😊

General and Financial Summaries follow:

General Summary
Arrived Burns Flat – Wednesday 7 June 1:30 am
Meal & Service – Wednesday 7 June 6:30-9:30 pm
Prep for Sunday services and search for next engagement:  8 June -10 June
Sunday services X2, Attended Sunday School, Search for next engagement – 11 June
Searched for next engagements – 12 June
Departed for San Bernadino CA – 12 June 11:45 pm

Financial Summary
Total cash offering:  $1653 (Two love offerings & money given directly to Tom)
Estimated Gifts in Kind:  $645
Cash gift
Gifts in kind
Domain established:

Fredrick’s Email:

Friday, June 16, 2017

Walk a Block for Jesus

Walk a Block for Jesus scheduled for 8 July 2017 – Save the Date

Here is the thing.  You will actually walk more than a block.  We are planning on 100 believers to walk 100 blocks greeting people that they meet, giving out GOD LOVES YOU – LOVE ONE AN0THER wristbands, praying for the entire block or the school or the business or someone who asks for prayer.  Many people will walk the same blocks.  It’s not about metrics.

It is about sharing good news and fellowship and going into the world as we have been commissioned to do.  We have gospels and wristbands to give away, and a new twist for this year as well.

What’s that?

We will invite the people that we meet to walk with us for a block or two or for the entire morning.  Those people get an additional wristband that reads Walk A Block for Jesus 2017.

This is not just for the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
This is not just for people in Burns Flat.
This is not just for people who can walk.
This is for everyone who professes Jesus as Lord and Savior.
OK, I’m in.  What do I do?

Meet at the Burns Flat Cumberland Presbyterian Church (just north of the traffic light).  This is for all who believe in Jesus Christ.  We will go into the world, for these couple of hours that will be Burns Flat, and pray block by block, leave gospels at houses, give out wristbands to everyone we see, invite those that we see to walk a few blocks with us, and then meet back at the church building for lunch by noon.

This is for all believers regardless of the name on the outside of your church building or if you are not connected to a church.  Come, let us walk together.

What if I can’t walk very well?
We also have some support positions available such as driving and resupplying walkers with water and gospels, preparing lunch, clean up afterwards.  If you want to participate, there is a place for you.  Also, if you are on a walker or a scooter, you are welcome to participate.  This is not a race!
What if it is very hot?
Expect it to be hot, it is July after all.  Dress accordingly, drink plenty of water before you arrive and while you are walking.  Again, this is not a race.
What should I wear?
Please wear clothing suitable for walking.  If you have a Christian tee shirt or cap, you may want to wear it as well.
What if something happens while I am walking?
Every group will have plenty of phones and a watch will be maintained on the church phone.
What if I can’t make it by 9 am or must leave early?

If you come late, come to the church building and we will connect you with a group already walking.  If you must leave early, please inform your group leader and the person on watch at the church.  We do account for all who come to walk.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Worship Times

We worship all week long.  Our very lives are given sacrificially to God.  That is our real worship, but we do gather frequently to worship together.  


  9:00 am – First Light (Contemporary Service)
10:00 am – Christian Education (Classes for every age)
11:00 am – Worship Service (Traditional)

Wednesday (September through April)

6:00 pm – Meal (No cost – provided by the church)
6:30 pm to 7:30 pm – Classes for every age

Come and worship with us.
Come serve the Lord with us.
Come grow in grace with us.

See you soon!

You have been EGGED!


Thanks for checking out more about our egging.  You were egged by the Young Adult Sunday School Class at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.  We hope you enjoyed the candy eggs in your yard and hope your family had as much fun picking them up as we had putting them out.

 Why would we do this?  

We would like to invite you to our Easter Services.

Sunrise Service begins at 7 am.  It is followed by a delicious breakfast that the men in our church provide.  Our only other service on Easter will be the traditional worship service at 11:00 am.  Any attire is the right attire at our church!

Here are our typical worship times for the rest of the year.


  9:00 am – First Light (Contemporary Service)
10:00 am – Christian Education (Classes for every age)
11:00 am – Worship Service (Traditional)

Wednesday (September through April)

6:00 pm – Meal (No cost – provided by the church)
6:30 pm to 7:30 pm – Classes for every age

We hope to see you soon!

I'm not sure about this.  What if I don't know anyone?  It's been a long time since I have been inside a church building.

Here's the deal.  You will be welcomed and feel welcome.  In fact, most people who come tell us that they stayed because they felt at home here.
Here's an idea.  If you can't make it to our Easter Services and are in the twenty or thirty-something range, then start with the Young Adult Sunday School class that meets at 10 am beginning the following Sunday and continuing through the year.  

They won't meet on Easter Sunday, but for the rest of the year they gather at 10 am and try to figure out how to follow Jesus in this crazy century.  Besides, the people in this class are the ones who egged your yard!

Current class members are:  Kendra & Derrick Walker,  Ashley & John Reeves,  Kristy & Trent Denbo, Paul Kiser, Garrett & Laci Stegall, Robert & Kristy Plaza, Colleen Leftwich, Victoria Glover, Des Simmons, Sam McConnell, Paul Green, Jennifer Fisher, Marcee Hose and teacher Kathy Stegall.

We hope you make it to celebrate with us this Easter morning, but if not, come join the young adults at 10 am and see what happens.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Blessings

Christmas Blessings

Christmas is a time to count blessings.  Today, as your pastor, I count among my blessings the incredible trust given to me by God and realized in this congregation. 
I am trusted to proclaim the truth and that means good news.
I am trusted to balance truth and love as people struggle with life, an impossible task without the wisdom generously granted by God.
I am blessed to shepherd a body—a very willing body of believers—to take God’s love into the world.
I am blessed to serve among those called out of the world, set apart for God’s special purpose, and then sent back into the world as his commissioned.
We are not always on time as the world would define such things, but we are always timely responding to the Spirit’s leading.
This congregation is not large but its love is far reaching.
The church building is not ornate but what goes on here bears good fruit.
The sanctuary is no cathedral but it is the warmest of places to gather in worship.
The people may not be rich as the world defines such things, but they are generous with all that the have.
The worship service seldom appears to be a well-oiled machine often proceeding with multiple hiccups in the course of a Sunday morning, but what is offered to God is genuine.
Wednesday evenings may appear chaotic at times, but children have come to the place where they know they are loved.
People come all during the week wearing signs that read, “I need help but don’t want to change the way I live.”  Praise be to God for the work of his Spirit that does far more than I can do in these situations.
People come and call at hours when there should be nobody on the premises because they are hoping beyond hope that there is a way out of their situation.  The way is Jesus.   If they will only accept my invitation to come and talk and hear of God’s love.
Today, I count my blessings that God trusts me enough to minister to the lost and the disconnected and to continue to equip the saints for their most vital work in the days and weeks ahead.
Today, I count my blessings that God has called people to provision this body for its work in the world.
Today, I count among my blessings that I witness enough victories in ministry that the apathy and ambivalence of so many does not overwhelm me.
Today, I count as my blessings a denomination that sings Whosoever Will May Come, knowing that our loving Father continues to call the wanderers home.
Today, as in every day, I rejoice in the Lord and not in the circumstances of the world.  I pray for and reach out to those who only find a temporary happiness in the circumstances and things of the world that they too may know the joy of the Lord.
Today, I count among my blessings that the yoke of my Master is easy.  I can bear it and not strain under its weight.  I rejoice that he has given me purposeful tasks that require me to apply the gifts and talents with which he blessed me and these things are not burdensome.
Today, I count my many blessings with producing fruit for the body of Christ among the best of them, as it enables me to live fully by giving completely of myself to God by helping others.
Today, I count being a living sacrifice as a true Christmas present knowing that the more I give the more I live.  God is good and his will for me is perfect.
It is good to be God’s servant and to live trusting him as I live out my salvation in the special trust he has given me as pastor.
I am blessed and pray that I am a blessing to those that God has placed in my path.

Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Do not read this if you are anchored to your comfort zone

It’s been a tough year.
We just can’t.
Maybe next year.
Expenses are up and profits are down.

If I were to start a list of the top 10 or 100 reasons why people said that they couldn’t help with this year’s WOFCC fundraiser, these would be near the top.  These answers come easily for some and harder for others, but the common denominator is that we could all give a little bit, even if it was only $25.

Yes, things have been tight in western Oklahoma these past couple of years.  We did well while the rest of the country struggled and now with oil prices down, we have lost quite a bit locally.  But we are not without.  We are still people of means.

We live indoors.
We have food to feed our families.  Sometimes we eat out.
Our power is on.  We have gas for heating and cooking.  We take hot showers and baths.
We drive to work and to Walmart.
We still have our satellite radio or download our tunes to our phone a buck or two at a time.
We still watch the Sooners and the Cowboys and the Thunder on television. Occasionally, some even make it to the game.
We seldom think about whether we can afford that convenience store coffee or Coke.
We still put fuel in our vehicles and plug a handful of quarters to wash those vehicles every once in a while.

We may have less but we have not hit the bottom, except perhaps in our thinking.  We think that we have nothing left to give.

I do not want anyone to give anything out of guilt, but would ask that we do a reality check.  We—most of us anyway—are still blessed.  We are blessed beyond what we comprehend and yet in our minds we sometimes forget how blessed we are and believe that we have nothing or little to give.

We should remember that we are blessed to be a blessing, not just to get by in this world.
Guilt must not drive our giving, but truth should speak to our very souls.  We can give and there are those who are struggling among us just to live.  The second part should speak to the first.

The WOFCC is often called the community care center.  We hope that everyone in the community will feel that they are a stakeholder in this ministry.  We ask that everyone who can contribute what they can.  That may be $100 or $50 pr maybe just $25.

This call goes out to businesses, churches, civic organizations, and individuals.  The WOFCC helps those that Jesus called the least of these my brothers.

You may tithe at church.  If you do you are in a very small minority.  Fewer than 5% of Christians tithe.  Some give less than 10% but about 4% give 10% or more.  God attaches a promise to the tithe.  Not only will the one who tithes continue in God’s blessings, but God’s storehouse will be full.

It is 2016 going quickly on 2017 and God’s storehouse is not full.  The Western Oklahoma Family Care Center stands in the gap to meet needs that the family, the government, and the local church bodies are not meeting.  The least of these brothers and sisters would go without if not for the WOFCC.

I do not want to evoke guilt in anyone, but I do hope that we will open our eyes to the fact that most of us are still blessed.  We are blessed in that we not only live at a good standard of living but that we can help those who live in poverty or just can’t afford insurance.

This is a call to the compassion and compassionate of our communities in Beckham, Custer, Roger Mills, and Washita Counties.  Examine yourselves and your situation and see if you could not part with $100 this week.  It may make a big difference in the year to come for someone who will otherwise go without food, power, medicine, dental care, or knowing that those who profess to be children of a God of love actually do love the least of these our brothers and sisters.

Your donations do make a difference.  To date, we have leveraged every dollar of donation and turned it into $1.50 worth of services.  That’s a good return on investment.  Your donations make a difference.  They make a difference right here at home.

Now is the time to make that donation.

You may donate online or by mail, but please donate, not begrudging the action, but cheerfully knowing that even in our toughest times we are still blessed to be a blessing.

Mailing Address:
PO Box 1727
Elk City, OK 73648-1727
Physical Address:
609 West Avenue E
Elk City, OK 73644


Tom Spence
Chairman, Board of Directors
Western Oklahoma Family Care Center

Monday, November 7, 2016

Dig into your discipleship

Board meeting tonight in Elk City.  Tuesday is election day--Wednesday for those of you who are voting for different people than I am.  Thursday is the Marine Corps Birthday.  Friday is Veterans Day.  Saturday the scouts pick up food from homes in Burns Flat and Dill City to begin our Ministerial Alliance Food Drive.  The missions room is ready to receive.  Sunday, we will gather to worship the Lord.

Whatever the day or the outcome of the election or however old the Corps lives to be, every day belongs to the Lord.  Our lives belong to the Lord.  It’s not so much what is on the calendar or on the dinner table, it is all about bringing glory to God.

This week our challenge is to dig into our discipleship and be fully convinced of how God has called us to live our lives in response to his incredible grace and mercy.  Our entire lives are to be lived as a sacrifice to God and we are to give ourselves fully to him.  That includes our mind.  He is the Potter and will reshape and renew our mind if we will turn away from the patterns of the world and trust fully in him.

God has given us the mind of Christ, but first we must set aside the mind molded by the world.  Then—in a life fully given to God and with a renewed mind—we will know God’s will for us.  And we should not be afraid of that will.  It is good.  It is pleasing.  It is perfect.

Take this week’s challenge to heart.  Dig into your discipleship and become fully convinced in your own renewed mind of how God wants you to live out your salvation.

Let’s get serious about following Jesus.  We will have the time of our lives!