Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Last Post from Africa

This will be my last update from Kenya, as I fly away from Africa in a few hours from now.

After we left Sombo, near Garissa, we left on a nine hour, over night bus ride to Kapingurria which is in the north- west. It was a dramatic change in climate from the desert town of Garissa. There are huge, blue mountains in the distance and everything is green.

Kapingurria Bible Centre, where we were staying, was luxurious compared to all our short-term homes. There are red-brick houses, running water, electricity (most of the time), and even a small kitchen for our use. The compound was built by Icelanders and Norwegians, which explains where the money came from. We got to know an Icelandic couple while we were there named Fanni and Fjolner.

While in Kapingurria we visited the local churches, taught at bible studies and pastor's conferences, and recieved a lecture on the Pokot tribe. We got to know many of the street kids in Makitano, playing fottball with them, teaching them, praying with them, and helping those of them who are in school with their homework. . One day in town we ran into 10 or 15 of the boys and offered to all get chai, mandazi, and chipoti together. We got a few odd looks from the restaurant owner, but we are used to this by now.

We visited two local schools, teaching on honosty and the armor of God. The class I taught was extremely shy, but I think we did well, and it was alot of fun. I find it easy to teach children as compared to adults because they are much more openand have not had so much religion stuffed down their throats.

On sunday we visted a brand new church for the Pokot people, which is hours from any civilisation, on the border of kenya and Uganda. Later we also visited even more remote villages, showing the "Jesus" movie and visiting a couple of new churches. We were greeted by a large crowd of Pokot people, all wearing their traditional dress of huge bead necklaces and brightly colored clothing. they sang and danced along side, behind, and in front of our Land cruiser, escorting us into the church. After a lunch of Goat stew with ugali, they performed three traditional pokot dances for us. their music is very raw and beautiful, and their instruments are their feet, whistles, bells tied to their ankles, and skin drums.

We also visted the local hospital, praying for all the sick people, and the local prison, sharing a teaching, testimonies, and praying for people.

We have just gotten back from our debriefing in Mombasa. it was an incredibly relaxing time by the Sea. We stayed at the Mombasa YWAM base for a week before returning to Nairobi. We will be finishing our debreifing in iceland, and I will be back in the States on the 1st.

Thank you so much , again, for all your prayers.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


For the past ten days I have been living in a small community outside of Garissa called Sombo. Sombo is way out in the desert (it was incredibly hot), and the only people who live there are small villages of the Watta tribe, living in grass huts. Garissa and the surrounding villages are much more heavily influenced by Islam than Nairobi.
The Sombo project was started by a man named David, who we stayed with while there. The muslims allowed them to settle right in the middle of the villages because they can offer what they would not get in any other way; free education and medical treatment. Obviously this presents a huge opportunities, as the Kingdom of heaven has settled right in the center of all the villages and the children who go to school there are presented with Christ's love and the gospel.

Much of our work in Sombo was practical. Clearing a plot of land and putting up and fence for a camping ground for visitors, and working in the Garden which provides food for the school kids.
We also felt we were really there to pray, so while there we had a 48 hour prayer time. Just asking God what His thoughts are for the place, getting words of encouragement for the staff, and asking Him to provide for Sombo's many needs.
Some of Sombo's needs that you can pray for are a new water pump and pipes, finances for a new secondary school building, enough food to feed the students for free ( when they run out of food the kids stop coming since some of them walk miles to get there every day and cannot walk home on an empty stomache in such heat.)

we are in Nairobi for the day, but in a few hours we will head out again for a nine hour bus ride to Kapenguria. We will be working a lot with local tribes there as well. We will be there for three weeks before heading back to Athi River for debriefing.

Please continue praying for us in these last weeks of outreach. Sorry this blog is not really detailed, but It seems I never have very much time on the internet these days. Also, you can read the team blog at for more details and what not.

Thanks for your prayers and love!

Monday, January 24, 2011

From my Diaries

I almost do not feel prepared to write about Nairobi. i have found it difficult to translate my experiences and encounters, emotions, sights and sounds into legible thoughts. The vast, endlessness of the shabby make-shift market shacks and the chaotic sea of people is stifeling after the peacful Athi River. Everywhere we go are crowds of begging street kids, and we spent a lot of time getting to know them and bringing them fruit and vegitables.
The street kids all live outside of the city center, because the policemen here, who are merely theives and opressors in uniforms, armed with automatic rifles, beat them and chase them off the streets.

When visiting the slums, i feel a lot more peace. And as we walk through the streets crowds of children follow us chanting "how are you! How are you! " Because it is the only english they have learned in school, and it is actually what they call white people. I suppose because we are always asking it.
The living conditions in the slums are not good and are unjust. The gap between the rich and poor is enormous, and the rich treat the numerous, huge slums as embarrasing eye sores and nothing else.
Yet the people living in the slums have so much joy, and I really enjoy hanging out with them.

two nights ago I met a young guy named Douglas, and he was asking if the conditions in Nairobi, and in Kenya, were what I expected. I also asked him what he thought about the condtion of his own country. He explained about political corruption and violence, mass poverty because of lack of jobs, the need for good education for everyone and not just the rich, and the problem of the great divide between rich and poor.
I agreed with him and got to tell him a bit of my own world view. How change can only occur when the individuals spirit is changed by Christ. No people have ever been able to make significant and lasting social change towards justice. People are unjust by nature, and so we must change our nature by putting on Christ's. If the individual has real hope living inside of them, their lives are completely changed, and quality of life if better, even if their living conditions remain the same.
He commented how rediculous Americans are for talking about change and putting so much hope in Obama, which was refreshing because most Kenyans are have blind hope in Obama, mostly because he is from Kenya.

Douglas seems to have a really level head and is really aware of the problems around him, where many kenyans ignore them or except them. I think that he could potentialy be a really influential person.
I asked if I could pray for him, and I told him what I thought I saw in him. I hope to talk to him again over tea one evening.

Monday, January 17, 2011


I arraived in kenya ten days ago and have been staying at the YWAM Base at Athi River, which is in thwe middle of the bush bush, so I have had no internet.
This has to be short beacause I am at a internet Cafe right now in Nairobi, and I am a poor man.

My first days in Kenya have been amazing. Athi River Base has a wonderful community and I got to know a lot of the people there very well, as well as another DTS team from Germany who was staying at the same time.
I have kearned somucgh this past week just from talking to people and hearing there dreams and visions and the way they love people. The interdependent way of life here, with everyone helping to get things done and encouraging eachother and just worshipping with everything that we do, is the way that followers of Christ are built to live.

We have done alot of practical work this week. We helped with our freind Able's project, which is to build a village where married couples come to live with one or two of their own children and then they would adopt 8 to 10 orphans. This would give these children a chance to grow up in a normal family setting, with two good parents who establish strong roots in Christ for them. We helped by planting a garden and some mango trees and to cement a water well and chop the grass.

We also went to an orphanage called "Springs of hope", where helped paint their chapel, and others of us helped cut their grass, or played with the kids and helped with the babies. The woman who ran the place had a lot of caring and compassion in her eyes, and as we told her each of our names, she recalled one of her children with the same name who had lived at the orphange at one time or other (except Thorgills).

For two of the days we helped a woman named Angela who has a dream of building an orphange on a few acres of land she has bought. We helped by planting lots of shade trees, mango, and banana trees, and a shamba for flowers. It was beautiful to hear her faith in God's providence for her orphanage. And he has already provided clean water on her land, while all the wells around that place are salty.

On sunday we also visited a church in a town called Makitano, where Benjamin gave a teaching. It was a very interesting experience in the small aluminum shack church, with the preacher shouting for four hours in to his old, crackly speakers. They were very welcoming though, and it was amaing to see the Holy Spirit working in them.

Today we arrived in in Nairobi. It is pretty hectic here, but I really like the hostel we are staying in. We will be staying here for four weeks and then move north to a town beside Lake Victoria called Kusumu. While in Nairobi we will be helping with a ministry in the slums and visiting the orphans and widows.

I have been doing really well this first week. God has been teaching so much with the people I talk to and the culture I am living in, and just all the sights and the sounds. I wish i could write much, much more. Thank you for your prayers, and continue to pray for our team, for unity, that we will go where the Spirit leads, and know how to love people well. Also fow health, as some kind of flu was going through the whole group last week, but we are all feeling better now. Continue to pray for financial things, that God will provide everything and work out all the kinks.

I love you all so much! I will try to write more details later.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

News/ Support Letter for KENYA

Dear Family and friends,

Hello from Iceland!
My first two months of Discipleship Training School have been more than I could have expected!
We students spend most of our time in Cafe Rot, the coffee shop run by YWAM in Reykjavik. I work in the cafe as a barrista which is an excellent way of getting to know the people who come in for coffee. There are a lot of teenagers who come in everyday from opening to closing time, so I have built some really good relationships with some of them.
One of our regulars named "Smurfy" (I can't pronounce his real name, but everyone calls him Smurfy) , told us one day that the reason why he came in to the Cafe everyday is because he feels genuinely loved and cared about here, while most people just think of him as "weird". I have been praying for Smurfy since I met him, and one night me and my friend Simon asked if we could pray for him and he agreed. I got to witness him invite Christ into his life! He is still struggling with a lot, but i have seen Smurfy's change in his face. I can see real joy in his face for the first time.

Twice a week we have a Teen Center in the basement of Cafe Rot. We simply invite teens to come and we play cards, watch movies, play music with them, and talk and listen to them. Just love on them. There is a lot of depression and drug use in Reykjavik, so I think one of the the best things we do here is provide a safe, drug free place for these teens to hang out and be loved and listened to.

I have learned an incredible amount in the past two months of lecture phase. God has been tearing out old beliefs of mine and lies which I believed about myself, and building up boldness and confidence in my true identity which is hidden in Christ. This whole process has been painful at times, but Christ has shown me that this is what the transformation of my mind looks like.
One of the things God has been teaching lately is to always come back to the simplicity of my faith in Christ. Our whole mission and reason for being on this earth is simply to love people; sacrificially, unconditionally, and unyieldingly. We are not here to create converts but to appeal to people's souls by Christ's love through us. To be the Kingdom of Heaven and present to everyone as it is, with its irresistible love and peace and hope.

Some of you have probably heard that our DTS team has decided to go to Kenya, Africa for outreach! We will leave on January 5th for Nairobi and stay there until mid February. In Nairobi we will be working with ministries already in the city and visiting the slums on the out skirts of Nairobi. We will be planning activities with the kids there and just playing with them. We will also be working a lot with people who have AIDS. Encouraging them, praying for them and with them, and just letting them know that they are truly loved.
After the first month in Nairobi we will start moving around to different , smaller cities around Kenya. In one city we will help build a school, and work with some ministries which we have connections with. We still do not have a ton of details about everything we will do in Kenya, but everywhere we go we will be salt and a light to the people around us simply by carrying the hope, joy, and love which we have from Christ. I am Incredibly excited to see everything Christ will do through us!

Obviously, our outreach to Kenya will cost money. With plane tickets, housing, food, and transportation, I need still about $1,200
However, God provided all of my lecture phase fee , and I am completely confident that He will provide the everything that I need! We have a good Father!
If any of you would like to donate towards my outreach you can send checks or cash to the address below, or just give it to MariLynn or Richard Ross and they will make sure it gets to me.

More importantly than money, I need prayer support. I have seen in the past couple months how important it it for us as a team, to be covered in prayer. I am so thankful to those who have prayed for me while I am in Iceland! I have seen so much blessing and providence because of it.
Specific things to pray for are: finances to come in for everyone on the team, for Cafe Rot and the ministry here, for the teens who come in , to break the strongholds of depression, drugs, alcohol, sex abuse, apathy, and hopelessness which are so strong in the city of Reykjavik. Also for Smurfy, that he will be completely healed and for strength.

Revival in Iceland is not going to start in the churches, but in coffee houses like Cafe Rot and in the one-on-one conversations, and in the arts, and in the restoration of the family, and in relentless, steady, unchanging love.

Thank you all , again, for your love and support! Both in prayer and financially. Your e-mails and facebook messages have been really encouraging! I love and miss you all so much! If you would like more regular updates, you can visit my blog at:


In Love,

Nicholaus Ross


Nicholaus Ross

1314 Newman Avenue

Nashville, TN 37216

Please make checks either payable directly to me

or, if you prefer, make your check payable to:

“Priest Lake Christian Fellowship”.

Please indicate “Nick Ross YWAM” on the check. Thanks

E-mail: john.nicholaus@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hello everyone!
A lot has happened in the past couple of weeks, so i will not be writing about all of it. But I will try get as much down as I can while Im still feeling motivated.

Two weeks ago we took a road trip to the eastern side of Iceland to a small town called Egilsta∂ur. I saw some the greatest beauty of my life on the trip there. We stopped at the Glacier Lagoon both ways. The glaciers are always moving, so it always looks different and more beautiful. The Sea shore was breath taking there. The enormous, vividly blue waves crash into huge blocks of ice on the shore.
We stopped for lunch at a tiny town called Vik. The people in the coastal towns keep very much to themselves. They are not as used to speaking english as the people in Reykjavik, and when you ask them questions there answers are very brief and soft spoken. Icelanders are such beautiful and tender people.
The weather was pretty extreme for most of the car ride. The wind was so strong that our van often got blown to the other side of the icy street. We only got stuck in the snow once though, when we tried to go over a mountain, rather then around it. The van would not go any further once the snow got a few feet high, and we had to get out and push it out of the snow banks when we tried to turn around. Thorgills is an insane driver.

Egilsta∂ur was one of the most peaceful places i have been. The speaker spoke of the Father Heart of God. The Father has been getting to the roots of old hurts and insecurities in my life. It is very much a time of tearing out the old and building the new and real in my heart. It is a painful process, but Jesus has shown me that this is what the transformation of my mind looks like. I was glad to spend the thick of it in such a beautiful and quiet place. Egilsta∂ur was all the winter beauty and peace I need. I think I will live there when Im old and retired. I could have sat at the window with my coffee forever, looking out at the snow and mountains.

We got invited over for tea by the family who runs the guest house we stayed in. It was so nice to just sit in a home with tea and cakes and good conversation. The husbands name is Unnar, and his dream is for Egilsta∂ur to become a place where christians can come and be re energized and clear their heads. To find there direction again and go out from a place of strength. I think his dream is realized.

Coming back home was a bit overwhelming. Living in a cafe is a bit like having strangers in your house, constantly. I love it here, but it can get exhausting. I have gotten back into the rythm of things here the past week.

This past week the biggest high light was getting to witness some friends of mine record their first EP with their band called Mukkalo. Many of you will be getting their EP for Christmas. They are opening for Bombay Bicycle Club in London next month, so you should go if you happen to be in London.

Thank you all again for all of your prayers. Something to pray for is that my, and many of us students finances will find their way to the YWAM bank account. I sent a bank tranfer, but the banks here are so messed up that we are having trouble finding it. But God has provided this far, and I dont believe He will be thrown off by problems with the bank.

I love and miss you all!


Friday, November 5, 2010


This weekend I took a long walk to SjÖl, the Sea. She is especialy beautiful here. All of Iceland seems to have a dark-light contrast. It makes the shadows deep and dramatic, and the patches of light seem to protrude. The landscape here is beautiful, but very serious and raw. It seems old. Like the wrinkled face of a stern, elderly man.
Wednesday was the first real snow. Only two or three inches, but it was so beautiful.

Last week Patrick DeJohgn spoke on discipleship. One of the days he talked about surrendering everything to Christ. The whole idea of "losing your life to find it". People pretend to be very comfortable with this idea, but when you point out the less-obvious things and rights which this implies we must surrender, they begin to get defensive and make excuses why they should keep just these one or two things. I don't just mean other people, I have acted the same way, of course. "Surly Jesus wouldn't ask that of me."
My right to dream, to plan my life, to have any back-up plan whatever, to one day get married and have a family, to protect that family,to self-preservation or self-defense, to travel, to own any possessions or money, to have a job, to have a house, my right to an education or to educate others,to have any polital power or opinions or to express those opinions, to have any spiritual gifts or talents, my right to live on this Earth at all.
These are (in a nut shell) what we consider our lives to consist of, and yet we are told we cannot be a disciple of Christ and find true life when we hold on to any of these rights. And when we surrender them, we are not neccesarily promised we will get any of them back. I would go so far as to say that if you give these rights to Christ in full expectation that He will hand them right back, then you are not really surrendering them. That is not trust, that is a feeling of entitlement. And we are not entitled to anything when we are Disciples.

I have been told all my life that if I do not save up money and act responsible with what I have,and do not invest my money in insurance companies, then I am not being a good steward with my money. But this is all the wisdom of this World. Why does the Church so often forget that Jesus' Kingdom is completely upside down? The more we give away, the more Jesus promises to always provide for us in abundance. I would much rather trust in the Father that He will provide for my financial needs if I get hurt and have medical bills, then in a corrupt insurance company. Jesus certainly did not spend so much time or effort on money as we feel we must. When He needed some money, He simply caught a few fish and pulled it out of there mouths. We cannot be a Disciple of Christ if we hold our finances in our own hands.
I have also been told that in order to be successful in life, i must go to a college so that I can get a nice career. Patrick told us about so many young missionaries who, knowing the call on there lives, they decide to put it off until after they finish school so that they will have a back plan in case Godś plan does not work out. I have felt this myself, but it is rediculous to hold on to our own back up plans with the excuse of being ¨responsible¨. This is not responsible, it is a lack of trust. It is a something we feel we can fall back on in case God does not really have a plan in mind. I am by no means saying that going to school is, in any way, a bad thing. And i am not saying I will never go myself, but I do think it is necessary to be willing to not go to school, and when I know Godś plan, to not have any ¨plan B¨ of my own. And I will not go to college because of fear of losing scholarships. If God wants me at a school, will He not provide for it, scholarships or no?

These are just a few things God has been teaching me about.

Something to be praying about, if you like, is for a friend of mine called Smurfy. (I dont actually know his real name, but everyone calls him Smurfy)
Smurfy comes into Café Rót nearly everyday. He used to worship the god Thor, but recently we got to pray for him and he invited Christ into his life! One day he came into the café and told us that the reason he came in everyday is because he felt genuinely loved and cared about here.
Anyway, Smurfy is schizofrenic and is having a hard time finding a job as well. I think there is a lot of spiritual warfare in his life right now as well, which has been really overwhelming him, as he has just become a christian. So if you think of it, just be praying for him. He has a really beautiful heart.

Anyway, I love and miss you all! Bless.