Update 10 - Understanding God's Missions 2018: EchoMission 3.0
Jared is now back in Kenya. We have already experienced two situations when leadership has come against one another, so a fair mediator is necessary. God identified Jared because he is well suited for this type of thing, and more. One of the groups that we had met had four men. They were involved with an orphanage, school, and a church. God’s provision allowed them to get 400 Bibles. Upon receiving them, one in the leadership insisted on selling half of the Bibles to raise money. That was not the agreement. They were instructed to have people do Bible memorization of certain chapters. Upon successfully completing this, people would receive a free Bible. Of course, each side was blaming the other for the problems that arose, so before Jared even returned, he had to deal with two situations.
Jared (Center) Duke ( right)
The first issue involved the people I met on my initial visit to Kenya. There seems to be a very strong tendency for people to turn against one another. I was almost treated as personal property for those that contacted me, and they grew jealous of my attention. Because of this, one of the individuals that I tried to help, Duke, was treated very poorly and many of his things were stolen by church members. Even the pastors themselves were involved. Not only that, they threatened his life with bodily harm until death! This however reinforces the fact of the great need for pastor training. As soldiers in the Army of God, we cannot turn away when things get difficult. Instead, we should have increased joy knowing that we can participate in God’s will.
Now that Jared is back in Kenya, we will be establishing Echo Africa in Kenya. God made it quite easy for us in Malawi. He wanted us to get our feet wet and see if we were sincere. The addictive nature of loving unconditionally only fortifies our desire to soldier on. There are three people, maybe more, in Kenya that will initially start the work of God there: Jared, Duke and Samuel, and maybe Pastor David. I trust that Jared is being directed by the Holy Spirit with who he should assemble on his team, just as it was with Tony. My responsibility is largely that of a scout. I am sent out to observe and identify. Many times, I rely on my flesh to get things done. God continues to be patient with me and guide me by His words. Tony is a great example of demonstrating wisdom. I see the same quality in Jared. What a blessing it is to be around such men as I grow in my understanding, that I do not have to rely on myself, but on God. Ecclesiastes 9; 16 NKJV: Wisdom is better than strength. There has been several times I have seen these two men masterfully demonstrate this characteristic.
Jared is also looking for a vehicle and some property to rent. I am a bit leery of buying anything used, based on the experience we had in Malawi. On top of that, the used vehicle market seems to be quite high-priced. A seven-year old vehicle with 130,000 km only costs about 20% less than the new one, so we will check out the options. I am happy to report that Jared has met with some of the men in the dispute. One of them that was accused of doing wrong has apologized and asked for forgiveness. Only time will tell if he was sincere.
Samuel, one of the drivers we had in Kenya, is also working with us. We were able to get some Bible tracts from the Kenya Bible Society. Samuel was able to talk to a group of construction workers, maybe 20 or more, and handed out Bible tracts. He prayed with them in our hotel room before we left Kenya. God made a provision for him to buy a computer and some additional funds to help him. I believe Samuel is a born again follower and he will be a fellow servant for Jesus. Ultimately, it is up to God, but I do believe He is beginning to show us that pastor training and Bible distribution are our main goals. The need for these targets are obvious. Moreover, the Bible instructs us to do such things. Matthew 6;23 NKJV: But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Echo Africa needs to be doing this daily. This means our pastor training and Bible distribution falls in line with furthering the Kingdom.