It was on our first whole day in Sipili that our team was to have our fist good understanding and taste of aspects of life of many living in East Africa and especially in the villages. It began on the roads to Sipili outside of a town called Nyahururu. We had just finished a long day of holding our ministry clinics and crusades. There were about 10 of us in each Matatu(bus) and we would be traveling what is normally 1.5 hours but not this evening. We were about to be totally emerged and submersed when it began to poor down probably the heaviest rain I had ever seen. The roads became mud, no they became red clay and it took us 4.5 hours to reach our lodging that night. This continued to be the ride for the week. A few flat tires later, dead batteries, locals and teammates pushing us out of the mud under the dark but stary sky. We were stuck and nearly tipping over with each pot hole in the road hit, we made it through the dark those good 3 days of this Indiana Jones coaster - Kenya Edition. We had taken a plunge. We were challenged and we were stretched. The enemy was prowling around to see what may stop us in our tracks early into our stay, literally!! This offered a time of patience as well as new experience of listening, watching, learning and yes a lot of praying, worshiping and laughing at ourselves along the way. Much happens on the roads in Kenya which are many. This is not just a saying. The roads tell many stories, I'm confident of this and now have quite a few.
This may have been quite the experience for us and adventure to say the least but to the locals, this was every day life and most would be doing it in the dark not in a vehicle but rather on foot after a day's work in the field or at school. We started our journey in Kenya on a good foot, being humbled and being tested. After all we had just talked about Gods sufficiently and provision during our crusade, so the question back to us was, is He really?" The answer, yes, and we were abundantly grateful to reach our lodging at the end of each day safely, giving thanks to our trusted drivers who spent two weeks with us David and Fredrick and of course the gracious locals who decide to help a bunch of us Americans make it through these long days and dark stormy nights. So how could we understand these people more? How could we start to connect with them deeper? One answer. An Understanding through experience. I believe God does not further our life in spite of our circumstances but rather IN and BY our experiences. This view left the invite to a daily adventure and room for praise as well as choice of joy each day and night. We may have left with few bruises, but we're safe. I will admit that those car rides will be part of the trip they will not be missed as dearly but the lessons taken, we can now keep. I am learning that this is a daily choice for us all and many of those I have met have that same choice each day. Press on with joy or sink in red clay and pot holes of life in sorrow? We were awakened and eyes opened with this exposure. We have alot to learn but my God's strength we kept on and were forced to be taught in the process. Nothing is ever wasted.
We covered much land and many kilometers in 2 weeks and the first area of ministry was Nyahururu and sipili located near the beautiful Thompson Falls and hippo pools. This is where we had the honor to dedicate pastor Peters church, meet his joyous wife who is a teacher and their sweet children as well as did village outreach, school visits, VBS, pastors conferences, crusades as well as a prayer and medical clinic. We were fortunate to provide access for longer term emergency care for a very small baby who more then likely would not have made it.
Mama Gloria was the next visit. Wow what a heart she has. This woman started a small school in the middle of her village. Children who are unable to attend school and also those with disabilities are able to attend the shed sized room next to her home, which is now her school house; one filled with a lot of love, vision and faith at that. We dropped off many school supplies for the education and care she is providing and are now praying for blessings for mama Gloria and growth for the school and continued favor with the system. She truly is making the most of every resource, every moment and fully putting her faith in action. I was both blessed and challenged at this visit.
"Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him and He will do this." Psalm 37:5
Our next stop and stay for a few days would be further into the Mt. Kenya region of Nanuki . Our stay here reminded me a lot of the movie Tarzan, rooming in baboon territory. While here we continued our visiting the 4 primary villages in our two weeks. We dedicated 3 churches along the way as well as prayed for 3 other properties of land which now occupy land as potato fields. In its time and the near future with Heaven's provision, we anticipate buildings of worship and places of discipleship to spring up from the good soil.
The last stop as the trip was winding down was Nakuru. Our lodging was not far from Lake Nakuru and although the last tail end of the trip, this was one of the most challenged times. Many were not feeling 100%, some running low from a full almost 2 weeks and we knew this would be a time of enduring and pressing into the Lord that much more. "Apart from him we can do nothing. "John 15:5 In turn we prayed, we partnered and we trusted. There was much in store here. At the end of the week while saying our good-byes, it was evident that we were not alone. We had an incredible few days of continued crusades, VBS and outreach as well as the strength to do all set out. We had many healings durning these days such as sight to the blind and mobility as well as Salvations. We thank Jesus and his heart for broken and dying world and using people like us to partner in his work and love.
One story to highlight was of a young 21 year old gal who I and new friends and siblings in Christ from Nairobi met on a home village outreach. We shared the message and hope of Jesus and forgiveness offered through faith in Him and had the honor to walk her through receiving Him into her heart. She was ready to be born again. The Nairobi team and ministry will be following up with her in the days to come if not already. This is also the village we had 350 kids raise their hand and choose to except Jesus in their heart as their Lord and Savior too. The ministry missions team from Nairobi not only served along side us but also brought epic dance lessons to us wazungus and new types of praise, dance and worship from their tribe. We are still learning but making progress; and yes, it is still quite the site to see our best attempt. However, for the record, no one is watching or cares we are enjoying the unity and ability to worship one God in freedom and as one. We had a great time making new friends and finding family in the Lord while praising. We dedicated Pastor Joseph's church the Sunday we left, met his beautiful family and became rather attached with his joyous, goofy and happy 5 year old son. They are such neat people seeking God's will and transforming hand in their community and all they meet. The time spent here was fruitful and they will all hold a great deal of space in our hearts, prayers and memories. They all send their greetings and blessing from Kenya to you back home to you!
We left shortly after seeing pastor receive his new 'pike pike.' This was a paid off motor bike that he now owns to commute on. This was a moment to never forget. I know I won't loose sight of his wife's happiness and tears that surfaced. Pastor was speechless and filled with abundant thanks. Thank God for his committed work for the kingdom. Ephesians 3:20 - there is no limit to what we may ask and expect, God is able to do more then we can ask or think and imagine. We ended on a strong foot, tired but filled and thankful.
Please partner in praise and prayer for:
Praise- church plants, Salvations and 350 children in one VBS receiving Jesus in their hearts. Pray they know Jesus as Savior and seed of faith grow
Continued prayer for all the people, pastors and Nairobi team