Kenya Journal September 2022 Edition 15
NO APPETITE – The reality sets in.
Saturday, September 4, 2022—Crowne Plaza Hotel- Nairobi, Kenya Changing gears is one of the toughest parts of ministry in third-world environments. I’m not sure there could be a more dramatic shift than the past 12 hours.
This morning, Pastor Harrison and I took breakfast in Lodwar before returning to Nairobi. We had dry toast and eggs with no yolks.
We didn’t order egg whites for our health. There is not enough nutrition for the chickens in the Turkana area to produce a yolk in the egg.
I don’t post many picture like the one on the cover of this journal. I have dozens of them. I probably should share them with you more. But honestly, the abuse of humanitarian aid fundraisers over the years and the accompanying jokes about starving kids in Africa has intimidated me. I know how to manipulate. I have plenty of effective tools to use if I want to manipulate our partners and supporters. I’d just rather God speak to His people instead of me.
I had dinner tonight with Harrison and some of his family in Nairobi. Our Kenyan pastors minister mostly in slum areas in Kenya. They don’t go out to eat. Some of you generous partners always make sure my pockets are heavy with shillings so I can treat these servants of God. It’s one of the most enjoyable things I get to do while in Kenya. They love getting dressed up and going out on the town. Who does’t?
I texted Teresa just as we sat down to eat tonight to share the photo of Harrison and Christine. Teresa and Christine have a bond that goes back many years. Teresa’s texted response: “Enjoy! Tell the I said to order from right to left.” I am an obedient husband so I did that very thing. But, I noticed Harrison did not order his normal T-bone steak. In fact, he reluctantly ordered a bowl of soup and half liter of cold water. I didn’t say anything or ask any questions. I didn’t need to. When you rub up against the abstract poverty, hunger, and thirst that we left in the desert a few hours ago, the appetite seems to disappear. This is my life on the mission field. Going from poverty level to Western wealthy hotels within hours of each other. The sling-shot effect on your mind and soul is very real. When it is your first time, it’s too real.
Harrison and Christine minister in a slum in Nairobi. Most Western teams I take there think it is the worst place they have ever seen. It probably is the worst place they have every seen. But, they haven’t been to the desert of the Turkana. And, neither had Pastor Harrison until this week. I finally talked Harrison into getting some fruit as Christine and I cruised into the deserts. I’m not the world’s best dinner conversationalist. But, tonight I could need keep the dinner conversation tennis ball bouncing across the net. Harrison couldn’t hit it back. All he could say was, “they have no food. They have no water. They have no shoes. They have nothing.”
On the flight back to Nairobi today Harrison and I began to craft a plan to involve his leadership team from Nairobi. We plan to send a team from each of our strong/mature churches to the Turkana area once a quarter for leadership training, humanitarian aid, and moral support for Pastor Benjamin and evangelist Florence.
Harrison is exhausted tonight. He didn’t sleep well in Lodwar. As soon as our plane landed he dashed off to officiate a wedding here in Nairobi. Then, he joined me at for dinner. I pray he has fallen asleep by now. It is almost10 P.M. here. Tomorrow is Sunday and a typical full day of ministry for all of us. But, I know his ministry wheels are spinning as he seeks God’s plan and provision for our friends who are once again going to bed thirsty and hungry tonight. What can you do? Pray. Pray for Harrison and our other Kenyan leaders. There is a fresh burden for them to help their own people. I think that makes God’s heart smile. It sure does mine!