EchoAfrica Trip 2.0 Day 4 - Kenya
Around 3 am this morning, I was awoken, my awareness quickly embracing the power of the Almighty. I broke into questioning God right away. “Heavenly Father let all my decisions be guided by You.” Then I went on to ask about Duke, “Is he a key person to work with?” Then the images flooded back into my mind. In each one, he was wearing an apron, and was head chef preparing the food for everyone. I even watched him cutting vegetables and adding spices to a dish he was preparing. When asked if I could speak with him, he replied, “Please give me 15 minutes so I can finish this dish.” This man has a servant heart for sure. This matches in every detail to the prominent characteristic in Tony. They both have a great passion to cook and serve others. The very first time I saw Duke, he was wearing an apron and bringing food out for us.
The similarities between these two people are uncanny. I think God is just messing with me to see if I am paying attention. The thought even came to my mind, “Are you getting it yet? I suppose I can change his name to Tony if I have not given you enough signs yet,” God seemed to say. As I sat here weeping, and listening to the revelation song, I am in awe of our Creator. I fully anticipate even more markers giving me better focus on the direction of God’s will. If reading these stories does not strengthen your faith, you should reread the chain of events. The chances of probability make it nearly impossible for so many similarities to line up, unless you are God of course.
Today I met Duke’s mother, whose name is Luth. Unfortunately, she was unable to speak English, so an interpreter was necessary when she spoke to me. As if the cake had not been frosted already, she was very similar to Tony’s mother. I had mentioned to a few people that I wondered if God was wanting a similar scenario to play out in Kenya. I am still not sure yet, and I do not want to jump to any conclusions. I do know this, God’s will is unfolding in Kenya.
A few times today, I spoke at the gathering. I told Pastor Doug, “Unless the Holy Spirit gives me something to say, I am not talking. I did speak a bit, just as I felt prompted. They were not lengthy blurbs, however, they focused on the necessity of strong leadership. Everyone seemed quite receptive, and I believe they understood how important Biblical leadership was. I also took a bit of time to explain what was going on in Malawi. Logistically, there are more challenges in Kenya, at least from what I have seen on my initial visit.
The main reason for this trip to Kenya is to verify sincerity, truthfulness, commitment level, trustworthiness, and most importantly the need. There is no question that they have a great need for training. I do believe the majority of the people I met love the Lord. The little bit of teaching that I did was absorbed faster than a sponge. They would go outside and talk about what I said in groups of three or four. Then come back and speak with me. Many of the basic essentials for starting their walk with Jesus were missing. I did experience some fairly powerful preaching. Just think what would happen if someone gifted like Pastor Rick shared God’s Word! The Holy Spirit can move in them in a mighty way.
The journey to get to Kisii is not an easy one. The congestion is quite high in the larger cities: small motorcycles were zipping in and out of traffic everywhere. We had to pass through the city each day, going to the village church. Our transit time was just over an hour. I observed many, many, near accidents. This environment certainly would not suit a timid driver. The unbelievable amount of speed bumps was a daily nausea stimulus. I have never seen speed bumps the hulking size that these were! If I were a young child, I could pretend it was some kind of an amusement ride! They have become the most unpleasant thing in my sight as we approach them. Maybe tomorrow I will say, “Praise Jesus” every time we hit one.
I talked with Elijah and Doug about the importance of having Duke share in leadership responsibility. For the most part, they had already identified his commitment to the Lord and he was an active part of the leadership team. I even went as far as asking them if Duke rose to a leadership position above them would that be an issue. They both eagerly accepted that possibility. I confronted Doug one more time about hiding something. He did confess that there was something he had not told me. He had confronted another pastor about committing adultery, as it was an unresolved issue. Apparently, the situation was not received very well by the other pastor. Even in his explanation, there was a measure of humility and concern.
There really is not a reason that I can find not to move forward. I met with the leadership for several hours this afternoon. They had many questions for me, like I did for them. I love these people already, it was really pretty much instantaneous. When I am in investigation mode, it may not be apparent. God has made a provision for some seed, fertilizer, and food for the widows.
I made a decision not to return tomorrow because we could only dedicate an hour or so to converse before the long return trip to Nairobi. Apparently, there was some flooding yesterday, and one of the roads was blocked that we had traveled on before. Some of the people are still stranded in their vehicles. I was thankful for the village security chief for sharing that information with us. Elijah wanted me to stay in their house with them next time. It was probably 18’ x 18’, and 18 people sleep in there at night. I was inside two of their homes, and they treated me like family and demonstrated great joy and happiness for the little that they had. I envy the simplicity of their lives. Without so many distractions of the world they can find joy where it should be. In their relationship with Jesus Christ and with their family and friends.
They carried on conversations amongst themselves in their native tongue, and it was almost as if I could understand each word they were saying. I did not feel uncomfortable in the least. They would occasionally glance over at me with a smile as if I knew exactly what they were talking about. The relaxed feeling amongst all of us was incredible. I was able to use their indoor toilet. They actually purchased toilet paper because they knew I was going to be visiting. This was a luxury for them that they could not afford.
Continually, I am troubled by the excessive waste of elaborate church buildings, sound systems and other wasteful habits that we have mastered in the U.S. I am referring to myself as one of the chief culprits. Jesus gave us clear examples of what we should do with money. You can find opportunities everywhere if you just choose to look. I promise you, the day is coming that God will ask what we did with the talents He gave us. A second house, multiple cars, and lavish vacations are unneeded things we could live without. None of these are the answers that He is looking for.
The digestive tract assault caused by unfamiliar bacteria finally caught up with Rick. This is a common occurrence. The bacteria makeup of local water is different than what we have in the U.S. Thankfully, he is feeling better this evening, because he will be preaching Sunday at Pastor Felix’s church. I can hardly wait to get back to Malawi to observe the excellent job that the team is doing. Hopefully, we can capture some footage and share it with everyone. All who have been involved are astounded with what is happening. It is magnificent to watch God’s handiwork.