Thursday, August 30, 2012

Naomi



We are on our way home now, after 2 months in Kenya. (Update: We are now home.)  I am conflicted with wanting to stay and wanting to be back with my family. Of course the best of both worlds would be to be in Kenya with my family. But then, I'd have to leave a part of my family back in Kenya as well. It seems any way I slice it part of my family is not going to be with me whether I am in Kenya or not. So what do I do?

After boarding the plane in Nairobi, God gave us a companion to be with until we left London.  Her name is Naomi. She is a Kenyan woman of 60 years. She has four children, all grown up and on their own. Her husband has passed on and she is on her own, too. Naomi was a teacher for a while after her husband died but before that they lived in one of the outlying villages. They had a house and a shamba (farm) where she raised their children.

Now Naomi is trying to find her way without work; she had to sell her house and business because of a long bout with meningitis that kept her hospitalized for a long while. She was now traveling to Chicago to stay with her nephew.

When we met, she found her assigned seat after being located in the wrong one during boarding. She sat on the aisle seat in the row Zach and I were sitting in. She is a large woman so between her and I we took up most of the row. Poor Zach. I raised the arm rest between us so I could give Naomi a little more room. Little is the operative word here, as you know if you have flown in the economy section of an airplane lately.

Since the flight was a night-time flight we talked a little while and then tried to get some sleep. Sleep was sporadic and more tiresome than restful. When the lights were brought back up and we were served breakfast, she started to ask me questions about what to do when she got off at London. Questions that indicated she had no idea of what to do or where to go to find her connecting flight to Chicago. I heard God say, “You have a Kenyan woman here who needs your help.” Yes, we did. God was right. I told Naomi we would lead her out of the plane and help her find her connecting flight. You could see the relief in her eyes and a smile came over her face.

As we exited the plane we moved through the maze of escalators, people moving ramps, hallways and found our way to the bus for Terminal 3. London Heathrow Airport is large and spread out between 5 terminals. Masses of people in front of us, behind us and all around us. The bus was packed but we arrived at Terminal 3 and moved through another set of mazed paths to security. After passing our security inspection we arrived at the American Airlines check in area. We waited for Naomi as the agents drilled for information about who, what ,where, when and why she was there and her final destination.

We wound ourselves into the massive waiting area to wait for the posting of gate assignments for our next flights. We talked more about our lives and how God had brought us together to help her to reach Chicago and her nephew. We realized we had a divine appointment that God arranges for us. So we didn’t waste the time we had. We exchanged contact information and I asked if I could take her picture. She was more than willing to let me. (see above)

I sent Zach out to find water for us all and check on gate times. I was carrying a small envelope of UK change for the London airport needs while we were there. I gave Zach the change and the rest of our Kenyan shillings to pay for it. He exchanged the shillings for UK money and found us two waters and a Dr. Pepper for himself.

Naomi told me her nephew said not to bring any money and he was quite wary of people in airports, believing the worst of being robbed or taken advantage of while traveling. I can’t really blame her but this time God had other plans So God said to give her the change Zach had left over. It was only 4 pounds 27p but I knew she could exchange it for about $8 in Chicago. She was overwhelmed that we would give her anything and started to tear up.

Our gate assignments finally were posted so we headed out to our connecting flights. Naomi’s was gate 36 and ours was 26. As we approached 26 we asked if we had time to go to 36 and come back. The attendants assured us we would have time. So we continued to gate 36. Upon arriving we confirmed this was the correct gate and sat down with Naomi. I asked her if we could pray for her and she accepted. We thanked God for His divine assignment and asked if he would allow us to meet again. We also ask that He protect Naomi and bless her. We hugged her and parted ways.

As we walked back to our gate I said to Zach, “Now, what are the chances of that just happening?” He said, “God set that up for us to help that woman.” He surely did and we were blessed in the process. All we had to do was to be available and look for what God was doing. It would have been real easy to overlook Naomi and just go our way but God had other plans. We are glad He did.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Week Six & Seven in Nakuru

Laundry Day Wash
The days are all running together here. Last year it happened the same way. One day just transitioned into another and before I knew it, it was time to go home.

Starting on Sunday, August 5th, we stayed at home and had fellowship with our household and ate lunch together afterwards. We were wore out from the previous weeks activities and needed a little down time. Later that day I met with a man to talk about different work for him to do. We reviewed his business plan and previous experience and explored some possibilities for him to looked at what it would take to do that kind of work again. Right now he works 7 days a week without time off till the end of the year.

Later that afternoon we talked about budget and income, Looked at expenses and income potential for the rest of this year and into next year.

Every Monday we do our grocery and supply shopping where we run for groceries and other necessities we need for the week. I managed to get a haircut and so did Abba at the Nakumat hair salon. They give head and neck massages here when they cut you hair. For a little extra you can get you hair washed as well.

We met with one of the local pastors we know, really like and respect and talked. He considers us his friends and fellow workers in the Lord. He is interested in doing things with the youth and finding ways to align with us in common works for God. His son is also going to school for Web Design and communications. Likewise he is helping to get training for people with computer skill needs. Later we had lunch at Guava and met with another pastor for a discussion about the Friendship pastors meeting and things that had been going on there. He suggested we reorganize the friendship and set out some guidelines for those who want to be a part of it. He is concerned about some of the other pastors in the friendship.

Tuesday we spent the day resting. Abba and Amma went out to lunch. I stayed home and worked on some projects, and reports for a meeting the next day.

Wednesday we had a meeting with a few men we know here to discuss direction and our current position of ministry here in Nakuru. We want to continue to meet pastors, preach and teach, partner with other churches and organizations for opportunities to teach and bring some hope to those who have lost hope.

Thursday, we met with two pastors, Thomas and James about spiritual matters in the church and project ideas in their respective ministries. James gave us a layout for a ministry registration in Kenya and we agreed to meet next Thursday for lunch again. They are very helpful and dedicated men, wanting to make sure we are taken care of. It is a refreshing relationship with the two of them.


Later that night, Jason and Esther and their 5 children, 2 grand children and daughters-in-law came over thinking we were doing supper for them but it was really scheduled for Saturday evening. We fellow-shipped, sang songs and had popcorn and masala tea. We had a great time and we all agreed that Saturday night we would have another great time of dinner and fellowship, Their children's names are: Mike, Sam, Darlene and Monica. Sam is married to Irene and Mike is married to Rachael.

Friday, Joshua came over to lead us to a visit with his land. We drove to see Joshua's land (1 acre) southeast of Nakuru where some of the poorest people live and need assistance with education and living in general. We took pictures, videos of three families and an interview with Joshua in the corn field. We received a live chicken as a gift from one of the grand fathers who is caring for 7 orphaned boys. Another woman has three children she is trying to take care of with no income. Another older couple are caring for three boys and are struggling to feed them. There are more than a couple miles of road where people are living in the same condition. They all need assistance with the very basics of living.

The power went out Friday night so we ate a candle lit dinner and went to bed early.

Saturday, Abba to spoke at Nakumat for an employee meeting. This was his second time and he was invited to speak every Saturday morning. He accepted. This is a great opportunity to speak to 160 or more employees. It's like being invited to speak at the Super Walmart in your local town.

I tried working on some mission reports and do some video uploads but my computer kept crashing. So I had to do some trouble shooting and some repair work to get it to work again. Windows 7 on an old computer doesn't always work like you expect it to. I may have to reload XP when I get home.

Jason and Esther’s family did come back over for dinner and visit. In spite of them being late they all showed up and we had a great time. They are a great family to know and love. I was informed I would be teaching the next morning and Abba would be preaching. Nothing like the last minute timing. NOTE: It went well and they loved everything we shared. We went out to eat afterwards at our favorite outdoor restaurant called Kokeb. Of course we had to take some pictures.

Monday the 13th was a regular shopping day again and we managed to stuff a full days worth of working on fixing things up and running around picking this and that up till we exhausted ourselves. Good thing we got some rest the prior week.

Tuesday I spent most of the day doing blogging and working on another report for the mission team. Abba and Amma went into town to pay bills and meet with the pastor of one of the churches that Amma is teaching a health and nutrition seminar at on Saturday.


Pastor Elvis(right) and Friend
Wednesday was laundry day and we spent a couple hours meeting with Pastor Elvis (yes his name is Elvis) talking about spiritual matters and he wanted to encourage us. The last time we met with him was at his church building and he was making plans on fixing up the place. This time he is moving to a piece of land that will allow them to expand and grow into a building they are putting up. He is a very positive and uplifting man. Never as a bad word to say about anything and always filled with faith and encouragement for us. He sends texts several times a week to just let us know he is praying for us and to share some word of encouragement.

Thursday was another day of meetings. First with two businessmen who want to help us get a mission front established to put us in a position to minister where and when we want. Also to help us with registrations and other legal matters that we need to have here in Kenya. What a blessing they are to take their time and effort doing all they do for us.

Right after that we met with James and Thomas again for lunch. We had a relaxed time, talking about their churches, people in general and how the Gospel is sometimes ignored and sidestepped so often. We talked about how the church has departed so far from where the original early church was at and how they did things then. We want to return to those simple and meaningful measures of worship and service to God.

The next evening we met at Jason and Esthers house for a Bible study they had asked us to do with them and their family. We talked about principles from Watchman Nee and the basics of a spiritual man. We took tea afterwards and made our way home.


Amma taught her Health and Nutrition Seminar on Saturday and there was a good group of ladies that were anxious to know more about how to eat and live healthy. So many people here are so poor they can't even afford to eat a healthy balanced diet. Amma taught them how to think differently so they can buy the better quality foods and keep their families healthier. That was also the day the city shut off the water to the house. There was some confusion about what the landlord had originally built for water access in the 70's that now is considered illegal by the water department. We did eventually get the water turned back on. It was quite a fiasco.

Today, Sunday the 19th, we spent another day at home and fellow-shipped with our neighbors and friends that came over. We had lunch at a restaurant the is called the Oyster Restaurant but they don't serve any oysters. I think they just thought it was a cool name for the restaurant. Tonight we have about 9 girls sleeping on our living room floor. They came over after dinner and ate popcorn, watched a movie and are having a slumber party.

It's after 11 here now so I will plug in some photos and call it a night for this blog post. Hope all of you are well and rested like we are. Pray for us that this last week will be a prosperous and blessed week for us and all those we will be sharing with. 9 days and we will be back in the states.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Where Do You Share the Gospel?

I have to ask the question "Where do you share the Gospel?" because it is such an obvious question, yet such an overlooked one for Christians. 

John the Baptist was referred to as "one crying out in the desert". Jesus Christ walked from town to town proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God. He preached in the synagogues, held gatherings on hill sides, taught from a boat, went into homes, the market place, and even called forth the dead. He sent his disciples out two by two. He said the fields are white to harvest, but the harvesters are few. He told his disciples to go out and make disciples of all nations. The Apostle Paul preached in multiple cities across Asia Minor and the Mediterranean Sea area.

With such an example from the scriptures we could do much more if we put our minds to it. There are many more places to share the good news of the Kingdom of God. Men and women of God go into the whole world today sharing the Words of God and spending their time ministering to the lost in multiple ways. Their entire lives are given to the work of the Gospel. They have given up lives of pleasure and wealth to make themselves available to those who need much more than they can ever give. But they do it gladly.

So what's your excuse? Where do you share the Gospel? or Do you share the Gospel? 

I guess the answer to those questions depend upon whether your life belongs to you or to the Lord. For those that belong to the Lord there really isn't any excuse for not sharing the Good News of the Kingdom of God other than you are trying to save your life and live it in a different way than what Jesus has instructed you to. As a disciple of Christ you should always be ready to give the reason for your love of God and show your dedication to Christ by introducing people to Him. That's what the men and women of the early church did. Their lives were all about Christ.

We have had the privilege of sharing the Gospel here in Nakuru, Kenya for the past four years. This year we have expanded our tent pegs and gone out even farther, into the highways and byways of Nakuru. One particular place we have been fortunate to be invited to has been a local supermarket center much like Wal-Mart in the US. This supermarket center is called Nakumat and there are approximately 160 employees there who WANT to have us come and share the Kingdom Life message with them.

As my friend, brother and fellow worker in the Kingdom so eloquently put this into demonstration of what is going on here:
"Imagine this ... First ... after arriving in the forth largest city in America, you begin to share with two men at a breakfast your burden for the church to begin walking in first century Christian living. Next time you meet for breakfast, there are sixteen new pastors asking to hear more. Three weeks later, there are over 20 pastors each asking for you to come to their church and share anything in your heart with their people. Originally you had come to this city to help one church hear and see the things God has done, now there are scores of churches wanting to learn. 
video
Then weeks later while you are shopping at a Super-Wal-mart, out of the blue your wife meets a man who begins to talk about Christ and His Church. After a short talk she calls you to meet him. Upon meeting you connected with him almost instantly. You then find out he is head of the Christian fellowship of the newest and biggest store the city. He then proceeds to ask you to come and teach 160 employees that gather for spiritual devotions on Saturday morning before work. 
You do so and they are so excited that they ask you to come every Saturday morning and teach. Their leader says that when you taught that day, the whole store was buzzing about the Word of God that came. This includes the Muslims that were there listening. One (Muslim) even came up and thanked me for the teaching! 
Now  the word is starting to get around that someone is teaching new and wonderful things, and High Schools begin asking that you come and share with their students.... hundreds of students. Your wife is being asked to teach women about everything from Christ to Health care. Pastors are begging her to come and preach. Which she respectively declines but says she would love to teach and train any of the women.
All the while your are getting invitations to visit worthy ministries of men and women that are not just seeking money like so many, but desire counsel and advice on how to continue with God.
This is what we have been experiencing the last 3 months in Nakuru, Kenya."
So, may a venture to ask the question again? 

Where do you share the Gospel?