God introduced several new players to the Kenya project, and He also removed several with a specific reason in mind. The communication barrier is greater in Kenya than Malawi. Even though English seems to be spoken fairly well, people struggle with understanding details in conversations. Regularly, things are repeated three or four times and even then misunderstood. My tendency to speak quickly only contributes to the confusion. Understanding cultural differences, and making sure word meanings are correct, is necessary. Jared had established Echo Kenya with seven board members; four of which we did not know. Unfortunately, one that we did know ended up being untrustworthy, so we removed five of the board members. We replaced them with myself, Martin and Samuel. This left two vacant spots. Little did I know that God had a purpose for that.
Watching Martin in action for several days continues to solidify the wonderful choice that God has made for our organization. He has the ability to be a lion and a lamb in the same conversation. Seeing him interact with the children at the orphanages also reveals his character and love. There were so many unexpected situations revealed to us in the last week that we would have never guessed. Only by the power and presence of our Lord and Savior could such things happen. Because of an overheard conversation several months ago, we ended up at another orphanage. From the onset of going through the front gates, we realized what a great deal of love and care had been poured into the facility.
Within just a few days, it was obvious that people knew I was here. I was receiving emails that continued to try to deceive me in any way possible. I actually shut down the website for a few days to pray about the kinds of details I have been posting. I found out that they had been reading my blogs and were now to try to figure out what I am doing. After a few days of prayer and meditation, God continues to reassure me, “Stay the course.” This is my third attempt in Kenya and God once again has filled the gaps where we were lacking. Linda, the lady that was running the orphanage came here from America over a dozen years ago. She is the same age that I am, and I believe she said she was from North Carolina. Henry is the Kenyan man and pastor that has helped Linda from the beginning. He is one of the few trustworthy people.
Several years ago, a wealthy Neurosurgeon from America sent a man here, named John. Through him, they poured millions of dollars into this area, and many pastors scammed them. Someday, I may write a book on this whole situation, since it is quite amazing. With the help from the Neurosurgeon, they were able to construct a very nice facility. Through the process, they dealt with a great amount of persecution from people within the community. God had tempered them as Iron, by many trials. They became well-versed in dealing with the locals. They encountered so many problems that they ended up in the office of VP of Kenya. Finally the tides changed by the hand of the Almighty and things begin to go in their favor.
Much of the facility was completed and even a feeding program for local schools was established. Trucks, vans, cars and other vehicles were provided as well. After several months of planning and getting to know the street children, their first big milestone had been achieved. They were able to take 27 children off of the streets in one day. Needless to say, this was a very sleepless time, getting these children to settle into the new environment of the orphanage. What a monumental achievement this was. This clearly shows the determined nature and toughness that existed in these brave souls. They now have 42 children staying at the facility. Three years ago, the situation with these children had drastically changed.
John was murdered in America. Apparently a business partner of sorts had borrowed money from the organization and this somehow led to John’s death. After this, the doctor got a divorce and his new wife did not want to support anything in Kenya, any longer. As a result the funding stopped. For the last three years, they have been struggling to continue on. Forty-two orphans are still housed here. Immediately it became obvious why God orchestrated this encounter.
Since I am blessed with a little bit of handyman skills, I was given plenty of opportunities to exercise them. Finding tools suitable for different jobs is nearly impossible. We searched for hours for a ladder but to no avail. We will be building a couple of them in the morning. I feel a great deal of peace and harmony with God, staying at the orphanage. It doesn't even matter that there are people all around this community plotting against us.
My original intention was to spend half of the time in Kenya, and the other half in Malawi. Yahweh had different plans. After four days or so in Kenya, the Holy Spirit hinted that I may be staying here for the entire trip. On day six at 3 am God revealed his plan. The orphanage has a large building on one end that is not being used. The Lord wanted Echo Kenya to occupy the space. I was directed by the Holy Spirit to wait for Linda to have peace about the situation. She set up a time when Henry and I could meet with her. She told me she would like to give us a 100-year lease, free of charge. The building is quite large and has great potential. I cannot think of a bigger blessing than to have our pastor training facility located inside of an orphanage. We will be able to share resources and manpower to glorify God.
Many fellow believers have come against the idea that we are operating in God’s will in Africa. I pray that love and peace would prevail and that unity would be restored in the body. Our Heavenly Father has made it abundantly clear for Echo to continue on its journey. He also revealed to me that there is a spiritual component that we cannot understand at this time, but much of this has been revealed to me. Every Echo plant is intended to have a fully functioning body of believers who are united in Christ. We can love one another through any situation. These groups that will successfully do this will see the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to a magnitude never seen before. So I encourage you brothers and sisters whatever group you are in, do not sow discord. Only those in harmony under the Lordship of Jesus Christ will experience this outpouring.