Appointed as career missionaries in April 2015, Eddy and Amanda Simmons work among the Samburu people group of Kenya.
Kenya is located on the eastern coast of Africa and is touted as 40% evangelical Christian. However, at least 30 unreached people groups numbering close to 5.4 million individuals populate the country. The Simmons will live in an isolated region of the country using chronological Bible storying to share the gospel with the unreached, semi-nomadic Samburu tribe.
The Simmons have significant experience working among the Samburu using orality as the basis of their methodology. They also seek to meet some of the physical needs of the Samburu among whom they work. Amanda took a missionary medicine intensive class to be better equipped to handle medical needs.
Eddy describes his childhood as Norman Rockwellian: church, family meals, and joyful holiday celebrations. His mom hosted Child Evangelism Fellowship Bible clubs in their yard. These led to him recognizing his need of salvation. He was eight when he accepted Christ. After rebellious teen years followed by marriage, Eddy and Amanda moved to Texas and became part of a church that practiced discipleship. There his love for the Lord and the Word grew and his faith matured.
Amanda grew up in an entirely different scenario—a tumultuous home life with alcohol, strife, and a workaholic father as the hallmarks of her non-Christian family. Even though unsaved, Amanda’s mom encouraged her and her sister to attend whatever church they lived near. In her teens, that congregation was Episcopal. During a church youth retreat, the priest led her to understand she could never be good enough for God. He explained that Jesus bridged the gap between her sin and a holy God. Amanda accepted Christ as her Savior that evening. After meeting Eddy at age 18, and many theological debates, she began attending church with him.
Eddy and Amanda married at age 19 and were baptized—together—the same year.
Eddy and Amanda were married in 1982 and soon moved to south Texas. After several years in various churches, they became members of a Southern Baptist church that stressed discipleship and personal Scripture reading. Eventually, Eddy recognized a call to ministry and discovered God had been working in Amanda’s heart as well. They moved their two sons to Wake Forest, North Carolina, and he attended Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Eddy began pastoring in 1995. In 2002, now with four sons, the Simmons felt led to the mission field. They served the Samburu people from 2003-2007 under the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. In 2006, they returned to the States to address Eddy’s health issues that were a result of their time in Kenya. After months of medical solutions, and uncertainty concerning the future, they resigned from IMB.
The Simmons returned to the pastorate. During the following years, Eddy and Amanda’s study and practice of reading through the Bible each year led them to question their understanding of eternal security. As a result, they found Free Will Baptists. Eddy pastored Faith Fellowship Free Will Baptist Church in Matthews, North Carolina, October 2011 to August 2015.
After several short-term mission trips to Kenya, the Simmons agreed they needed to return to full-time ministry among this people they love. More than 600 Samburu have come to faith in the last few years through their ministry. Discipleship and leadership training are needed for the work to blossom into a reproducing church among the Samburu people.
The Simmons have four adult sons—Nathan, Josiah, Seth, and Micah, and one granddaughter, Selah.
Faith Fellowship Free Will Baptist, Matthews, NC
Updated September 21, 2016
Update January 25, 2017
- We praise the Lord for the generosity of His people! We have received over $20,000 in giving toward wells in response to our Year-End-Challenge! So, we now have over $45,000 to begin drilling wells. That means that we can move our drilling plan to March/April of this year instead of October! Clean, accessible water for the Samburu. Thank you!
- The donations have from Missouri, TX, NC, VA, OK, SC, WNAC groups, church building funds given to wells instead of building, coins given by children, coins given by church members (creative – they used discarded Gatorade bottles and passed them out for the members to collect coins for water – $1,400 given in coins), bake sales, etc. ( Sorry if I missed your state – trying to remember)
- We moved to Kenya on Jan 16 and arrived on Jan 17 with all 11 pieces of luggage arriving safely and undisturbed. Pretty amazing since we forgot to label most of the luggage with our name and address. The check-in process was so chaotic, that we for got to put tags on all of the unmarked luggage. Plus, they changed us to a different flight and we literally had to run thru the airport to catch it before the gate closed. Whew, that was close.
- We will be staying in the capital city, Nairobi, for a couple of weeks doing paperwork – driver’s licenses, work permits, visa extensions, health ministry approval, vehicle registration, shopping, etc. Please pray for favor with the government!
- Praise for progress with some of our tasks to be completed in the capital city, Nairobi: We ventured out today using local transportation (overstuffed vans) to get to a center where we could work on our driver’s licenses and phone needs. Praise the Lord – we were able to apply for our new licenses, no test or driving involved to qualify. (Scary since we drive on the wrong side of the road here and on the wrong side of the car) We had kept our old licenses from when we lived in Kenya before and that really helped. We should be licensed drivers again tomorrow after 10. We also were able to get our phones set up on the Kenyan company Safaricom and to get some equip that will help us in trying to get better signal in Barsalinga, a real challenge. We also did some shopping and got in some good exercise going up and down may flights of stairs and walking back and forth to the transport station (don’t think anything but dirt spot on the road).
- Amanda got some great Kenyan coffee at Java House.
- Please continue to pray for rain in Barsalinga and all of Kenya. Severe drought. The wells cannot come soon enough.
- Pray for our bodies as we adjust to altitude – we are at about 6000′ above sea level and will be living at about 3,300′ above sea level. Nairobi, the capital city is cool and somewhat tropical.
- Pray for our vehicle to run well as we travel up to Barsalinga in a couple of weeks. Our good friend Joram Mwangi, has done a great job preparing it for us. We just need to get some new tires and we will be good to go.
- For our family in the US. Hard to leave them!
- Grateful for your prayers!
- Rain, rain, rain (Some rain, people returning to the area with animals – KEEP PRAYING!) Dec 27 update
- For grace as we finish preparations to move to Kenya on Jan. 16, 2017, Lord willing!
- For our 4 boys and their families that we will be missing soon.
- For growth in the lives of the new followers of Yesu
- Against spiritual darkness – witch-doctors, non-biblical traditions
- For leaders to gain confidence in sharing w/ others
- For baby Munyani, Mama Lilibo, Jackson, Eunice, Jonathan
- That God would move on the hearts of individuals and churches to partner with us in prayer and financially