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Passport, jacket, wallet... We're going to Kenya.


The ministry of shopping.
There is something about a new dress and new shoes with ladies. The smile is spontaneous and irrepressible. New clothes don’t make the lady. She is inside there all the time, dressed in rags or as royalty. But, a new dress invites that inner beauty to surface for a smile.

Teresa tells me that one of her favorite expressions of my affection for her is when I take her shopping. She says she is treated differently by the sales people when I am with her. She feels special and pampered.

Special and pampered is good. I think everyone needs to experience that feeling from time to time. Especially those faithfully serving the Lord, living in poverty, on the “backside of nowhere.”

New, expensive clothes for slum pastors and their wives. Perfume to wear into a slum church that reeks of raw sewage. New shoes splashing through mud and refuse in the slum streets. And smiles. Smiles on faces which should be frowning and sulking over the squalid living and ministry conditions. It’s a paradox.

Grace…always is…a paradox. The undeserved— received by the unexpecting– supplied by the unseen— but oh so ever-present Father.

Encouragement. Refreshing tired feet. Strengthening weary arms. That is what we try to do when Teresa and I take teams to Kenya.

Americans think it is our teaching and training, our preaching and programs that these faithful indigenous missionaries need most. Nope! They need what you need. They need what I need. They need a hug. They need some hope. They need to sit at a nice meal that God has provided and hear our stories, and tell us their stories. They need to hear that they are not alone. They need a friend who is neck-deep in the same spiritual struggles they have to whisper in their ear, you’re not crazy! So, in a few short days Teresa and I will leave for Kenya.

One of our faithful partners, Jeff Moser (Bellevue Baptist, Memphis/The East Africa Project), will be on the ground in Kenya with two short-term teams. They will be multiplying the work that Teresa and I have shared with them and so many others.

A new team will join Teresa and me from Germantown Baptist (Memphis). They will get to experience what God is doing in and through our partners in Kenya. Who knows? Maybe they will feel led to join us in refreshing and strengthening our African partners? We will preach. We will teach. We will pray. We will listen. We will talk. We will hug. We will cry. We will dream together. We will confront and correct. We will encourage and admonish.

And, we will go shopping!
Somewhere, someone is reaching for their checkbook hoping to buy a new dress or a suit in Kenya.
Or, they are waiting for one of my famous manipulative punch lines asking you to go into your closets
and inventory your excess. “Ask the Lord what He would have you do…” (Oh, make no mistake—I
can lift an offering!)

But…the need has already been met. I am carrying with me a cash gift that will supply all 32 of our inancially supported pastors/ evangelists and their wives with a $100 shopping spree during our visit.
Unsolicited, a dear friend and ministry partner contacted me during Christmas. She asked if we still
bought new dresses for the wives and suits for the pastors. I told her we did. But then I quickly told
her that the ministry had grown dramatically since we had last talked about this. I did that to soften
the blow for her. This dear lady and her husband go back with us to pre-Kenya days. They were
among some of the very first to help us bless our Kenya partners with new clothes, meals, and hotel
stays. Then, we had six pastors and wives. Today, there are 32…and growing.

This dear lady I write about is a widow. Her husband (one of my dear friends) died during Covid. She
told me that this year would have been their 50th wedding anniversary. I told her it was our 50th
anniversary as well. She said she really felt impressed that in honor of their 50th wedding
anniversary, her husband would have loved for them to give the money they would have spent on
their celebration to buy new clothes for our Kenyan pastors and wives.

$3,200 is a lot of money for most of us. But, I have lost the edge of anticipation in my writing, haven’t I?
You already know how this story comes out, don’t you?

In a few days, at the end of one of our training sessions or perhaps at the close of dinner one night, I
will stand to address our Kenyan partners. I will tell them, once again, that they are loved. Loved
deeply by God. And loved deeply by me and all of our faceless/nameless partners who so faithfully
support them month after month. And, as I close my remarks, Teresa will reach into her bag and
grab 64 envelopes holding personal notes of encouragement and shillings to be used only for new
clothes and shoes for themselves.

I’ll have someone record the moment. Maybe I’ll post it on the website.
My speech will be inconsequential. The eruption of joy, shouting, and laughter that follows will be
incomparable. I wish you could hear it.

Once again, God reminds me…”I have plenty! I know where all of Solomon’s gold is
buried. And, if I choose, I’ll call for some of my wealth that I have deposited in the
bank account of a widow to bless my servants and glorify my name.”
I love this job! Being God’s delivery boy is the most fulfilling calling I could ever imagine.

Kenya Wish List

Jehovah Jireh!
God completely funded our 2023 budget and met every pressing
need we had. We enter 2024 focused on the ministrytasks at hand,
not the balance in the bank!

  • Monthly budget increase Light Feeding/Academy $400 mo.
  • Mount Elgon dormitory mattresses $125 (ea.)
    We purchased 25 mattresses last month. We have need of 76 40 additional mattresses @
    $125 each or a total of $9,500 $5,000.
  • Teresa’s business class airline ticket to Kenya $5,600
  • February Kenya trip/conferences/training $17,500
  • Feeding stations paint/refurbishing (3 locations) $3,000 ea.
  • Complete roof at Agnus’ church (Kisumu) $2,000
  • Balance owed for plot purchase Tasia Church (Harrison) $37,000 $5,000
  • Landscaping/Prayer garden—Mt. Elgon Training Center $30,000
  • We enter the last days of 2023 with a significant budget deficit.
  • We are spending A LOT OF MONEY on the upcoming Kenya trip. I’m
    not going to give you a figure. Just ask God if He deposited the payment
    for some of the expenses in your account.

God is at work in Kenya and around His world. Join us, as we join the Father, in His work.
Your prayers = our fuel.