4-Hole Hitters

Not everyone on your team can “hit it out of the park.” But, “power hitters” have their role in Kenya as well. Tasia Slum, Nairobi, Kenya—Saturday, February 22 Above is Pastor Harrison with 10 leaders from his 11 church plants. That’s right! I said 11!! I don’t care where you are ministering, that is way above average.

Harrison and Christine are the “poster couple” for ministry anywhere. Smart, faithful, hard-working, and attractive. Were their ministry in the U.S. they would immediately be hired by a megachurch.

Harrison is a preacher extraordinaire. Well over six feet tall, booming baritone voice, complete command of both his native Swahili and English, college and Bible school trained…he is the complete package.

Christine?…Well, she’s just a touch better than Harrison. Those of you who know me saw through my titling of this journal entry. College baseball season has started in the U.S. (without me, again). I wake up in the wee hours of the morning to check the score of my son’s college team (coach).

Chris (son) and I were texting the other day. He asked me how it was going. I was spending the day in one-on-one staff meetings with our pastors. Most of our staff is amazing and doing a great job. Most…..not all. I think I had just finished a particularly unpleasant meeting when he texted. My response to his question, “how’s it going?” “Well son,” I said. “They can’t all be 4-hole hitters, can they?” His quick reply, “No. No, they can’t.” The 4-hole hitter in baseball is the run producing machine. Usually the hitter with the most power. Definitely the hitter with the greatest potential of “hitting one out of the park.” But, very few baseball games are won by just hitting a single home run. You need others to get on base so the home run produces
multiple runs. You get on base with singles, doubles, running out ground balls and bunting if you need to. In other words… fundamentals.

Our Kenyan staff believes in and practices fundamentals. Prayer, evangelism, discipleship, worship, integrity. They “get on base” a lot! And, “batting averages” tend to be pretty high with our staff.

But when guys like Harrison step to the plate, you know something exciting could happen at any moment. Something exciting has happened indeed! Harrison and his wife Christine have produced more reproducing disciples than any other single leadership team in our ministry.

Harrison and Christine are the “poster couple” for ministry anywhere. Smart, faithful, hard-working, and attractive. Were their ministry in the U.S. they would immediately be hired by a megachurch.

Harrison is a preacher extraordinaire. Well over six feet tall, booming baritone voice, complete command of both his native Swahili and English, college and Bible school trained…he is the complete package.

Christine?…Well, she’s just a touch better than Harrison. Those of you who know me saw through my titling of this journal entry. College baseball season has started in the U.S. (without me, again). I wake up in the wee hours of the morning to check the score of my son’s college team (coach).

Chris (son) and I were texting the other day. He asked me how it was going. I was spending the day in one-on-one staff meetings with our pastors. Most of our staff is amazing and doing a great job. Most…..not all. I think I had just finished a particularly unpleasant meeting when he texted. My response to his question, “how’s it going?” “Well son,” I said. “They can’t all be 4-hole hitters, can they?” His quick reply, “No. No, they can’t.” The 4-hole hitter in baseball is the run producing machine. Usually the hitter with the most power. Definitely the hitter with the greatest potential of “hitting one out of the park.” But, very few baseball games are won by just hitting a single home run. You need others to get on base so the home run produces multiple runs. You get on base with singles, doubles, running out ground balls and bunting if you need to. In other words… fundamentals.

Our Kenyan staff believes in and practices fundamentals. Prayer, evangelism, discipleship, worship, integrity. They “get on base” a lot! And, “batting averages” tend to be pretty high with our staff.

But when guys like Harrison step to the plate, you know something exciting could happen at any moment. Something exciting has happened indeed! Harrison and his wife Christine have produced more reproducing disciples than any other single leadership team in our ministry.

They have sent out teams of 20 church members who have planted 11 vibrant churches in Kenya. Of those 11, 3 are in the sin-soaked, muslim stronghold of the port city of Mombasa. We have tried for over 15 years (unsuccessfully) to plant a church there. None have survived. Mombasa is a wicked city. Not unlike Corinth or other port cities of the New Testament. It was the home of Kenyan slave trade. I have stood on the granite auction block where slaves were auctioned to the highest bidder then marched to the awaiting ships in the harbor. So many feet have passed across that stone that there is a groove, inches deep from the foot traffic. Mombasa is where wealthy Italians and other Europeans come for “holiday” (vacation for we Americans). Sex holidays are marketed to the visitors. Male and female prostitutes are abundant in Mombasa. Kenya’s abundant crop of marijuana finds its way to the streets of Mombasa. It is a lawless city. Last year, the 3 new churches baptized over 200 new believers. Doesn’t sound like a very big number…unless you have been to Mombasa.

But it’s not just the astronomical numbers coming out of Harrison and Christine’s ministry that get my attention. It is the solid spiritual depth of the leaders they produce. Doctrine is sound. Faith rivals Hebrews 11 fame. Evangelism would make Billy Graham proud of these preachers. Small groups and house churches are producing a depth of fellowship that draws as many to Christ as the gifted and trained preachers do. 4-hole-hitters!

When smart coaches get athletes with off-the-chart natural ability, they resist the natural coaching need to “tweak” something in their performance. Great coaches watch the amazing talent on display, walk over to their “freak” player after a great play or swing, pat them on the back and say, atta’ boy! There were a lot of atta’ boys given out today.

I think the most valuable thing I brought to the table today was a session on how to baptize “speical cases.” A “special case” in baptism is those who are extremely large and hard to handle physically, those terrified of water and the whole baptism experience, the physically handicapped, and the elderly. There were lots of notes taken, lots of phones out videoing and more than a few outbreaks of laughter. I think they especially enjoyed my demonstration with our 6 foot 8 inch pastor. They didn’t need the fundamentals. They got them on the first pass. They practice them daily. They have gotten better with every “at bat.”

Harrison & Christine—Kenya “4-hole hitters”

The church was a sauna today. Enclosed iron-sheet buildings in the summer equatorial sun are brutal. This church has expanded to use every square inch of the plot it sits on. You can reach out the window and touch the building on both sides (think New York City). That means, no ventilation, no breeze. I know I’ve had a good time preaching in Kenya when the perspiration begins to run into my shoes. The pair I wore today may need to be burned. They are on my hotel balcony as I write. One last Sunday to preach in Kenya tomorrow. As you go to bed, I am getting started.

Remember:
your prayers = my fuel.
By grace, your brother,
Mike Curry—President/Founder Light Ministries, Inc.

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