Kenya Journal August 2022 Edition 6

THE HEART OF MINISTRY Training them up, sending them out.

As Pastor Christiano and I walked up the hill to our vehicle he said to me: “the ministry represented in that room we just left will outlive us both.” I couldn’t agree more!

We just finished our first day of training with the young pastor/evangelist trainees at the Kenyenya Ministry Training Center. I can give first hand testimony that the future of field ministry work in East Africa is bright indeed!

I have never been as impressed and inspired by a group of young men and women as I was today. We spent the morning hearing their “story.”

The testimonies ranged from those raised in a Christian home with pastors as fathers, to those who found Christ by hearing the Gospel on the streets through their drunken and drug fogged stupor. Regardless of their past, their future is in the same direction—toward God and His calling.

I’m not sure if it was their boldness, confidence, faith, energy, or their amazing grasp of the scriptures (in such a short time) that impressed me most. I am not responsible for this amazing work, Christiano is. Pastor Christiano is a scary judge of talent and gifting!

Our training time today was not lecture and note taking. It was a running dialogue as we interacted with each student about their journey. We came to the conclusion that Jesus was on to something when he put that rag-tag group of disciples together. If God loves the whole world, we need people who speak the language “of the street” and understand the world God is sending us into. We need pastor’s kids and former drunks and druggies. We need men of peace and former brawlers. I believe God gets special pleasure in using folks like I was with today (and me). It just leaves the world speechless when He oozes His power through every pore of their ministry being.

The tea time this morning was a special time for bonding. I no longer saw an American team and a Kenya team. I just saw a team. The quiet and shyness of the early morning was soon replaced by laughter and animated conversation. Fellowship was our common bond. There is no substitute for it in ministry teams!

After more training time, we broke chapati together. Chapati is African fry bread. I have never been anywhere in the world that did not have some variation of this Wonderful comfort food. It was a perfect compliment to our bowl of lentil stew. After lunch, four teams were formed and off they went, on foot, door-to-door sharing the Gospel.

As I watched them disappear past the banana trees, I found my heart sad and glad. So glad that we were able to put skin on our training so immediately. Sad, because I remember vividly the many days of door-to-door evangelism in America that have now gone by the wayside.

The spiritual
hunger level in
Kenyan
churches is off
the scale.

The report session was glorious. The most important thing is, all returned…smiling, laughing, talking and more full of energy than when they left. Our American team from Texas is now accepted by this African community. Neither will ever be the same! My mind was taken to a place in the future as I sat in the quiet of the training center. A day is coming when my body will no longer obey my commands to go, at least at this pace. I asked the Father for a gift today. When/if the day comes when my body fails me, if my mind is still

intact, let me spend my last days here teaching in this place? I have no greater joy than pouring my life and experience into these, my indigenous replacements. The team in Kenya is going to be strong for many years to come. God has built a very “deep bench” with this team It is a good thing! We need more churches today than we have trained pastors to send out. We need an unlimited number of evangelists. This population dense country is one of the ripest evangelism fields I have ever walked in.

I am headed to dinner. I’ll be quiet and listen. I wish you could be a fly on the wall. Pastor Patroba is on his way from Tanzania. He is bringing the recently converted Catholic Priest with him. The students don’t know this story. I’m going to let the former priest tell it in person tomorrow at the training center. Agnes just arrived from Kisumu. This widow oversees our work in the strategic Kisumu region (Lake Victoria). When her pastor husband Peter died years ago in a car wreck (on his home from an evangelistic outing), Agnes raised their sons, held the church together, and continued to train up young pastors and evangelists. She is THE authority on women in Kenyan ministry. I can’t wait to hear what God says through her tomorrow. Thanks for sending me. I plan to keep going until my body and the money runs out! I plan to finish empty!

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