Update 4 - Understanding God's Missions 2018: EchoMission 3.0
Since Tony and I had spent several hours with these people the day before, we were very surprised at the turmoil that was brewing among them. The importance of understanding the nuances of the culture is critical. I failed in this area and will be much more careful in the future. After talking with the pastors inside and realizing that we needed to leave, it became increasingly difficult. The people would press in on us, making it almost impossible to move. We calmly pushed our way back to our vehicle and Heidi was still talking with the deceitful pastor. I could tell by the dumbfounded look on his face that the authority of God was talking through Heidi. Most likely, he had never experienced anything like that before and it must have been shocking for him. All of us were still able to enter the vehicle. As we drove away we pondered the extraordinary circumstances we had just experienced. A few more moments in that environment may have caused certain harm on us . Fortunately for us, God was on our side, and the vision that Pastor David had became a reality. While driving away, we prayed that harmony would return to the villagers, but that evening, the opposite happened.
The little shop that Duke had put together as a means of supporting his family was ransacked. My understanding is that even church members and pastors participated. The revelation of the message of Pastor Jared, Heidi and Tony was profound. God had given them an unbelievable unity in what they spoke. The congregation still did not yield to that message sent by God. Instead, the lawlessness of the enemy prevailed. Even after stealing everything from the store, they were bound and determined to track Duke down and cause bodily harm. We met up with Duke later on that day, and God made a provision for him to travel to a safe area. That evening, Pastor Jared and his wife Grace came to the hotel where we were staying.
The day before, Tony and I had gone to the church and met Pastor Jared for the first time. God identified him as the director for the Kenya division of Echo Africa. That very day I told him to ask the Holy Spirit for direction concerning his involvement. As with Tony, I knew the selection had already been made. Now it was just a confirmation of the Holy Spirit in his heart to show the second witness. We had a marvelous time with them during our evening meal. They had never eaten in such a fancy place. To us coming from the land of plenty, it was very ordinary. This was a significant indicator of the humble existence that they lived daily. Heidi, Tony, Jared,Grace, and myself all felt very comfortable moving forward with Echo Africa in Kenya. There was no question that the need was tremendous. God provided some provisions for Jared to help his family and begin the preparation for God’s plan to unfold in Kenya. They bought a cow and named it Echo, how funny. Oh yeah Tony has a new dog at the mission house. It is a female dog named Joy.
Because of the urgency to get started in Kenya, Pastor Jared will be flying to Malawi in a few days. In October, I will be returning with my friend Chad. We will spend the majority of our time in Kenya, Lord willing. Jared is also staying in close contact with Duke. We were able to attend the school that Grace and Jared had started. It is unbelievable to experience the circumstances that they call normal. In fact, compared to Pastor David’s school, it was a bit more elaborate. I am so excited to see how God is going to move in Kenya. I believe the challenges will be considerably more than they were in Malawi, but all things are possible through Christ. Now it was time for us to head back to Nairobi. It had been great to stop by the school that Jared and Grace had started and see the children.
On our way back, we would be passing by a game reserve. Not knowing if we would have an opportunity to see the animals in Africa again, we stopped in. We drove around inside the game reserve for maybe three hours. What great joy it was to see many different animals in their natural environment. We marveled at the creative powers of Jesus as we watched the beauty and splendor of the animals. The opportunity to view them was a true blessing, but my thoughts constantly were going back to Duke and the situation in Kisii. Please pray for Duke and his family that no harm may come to them.