We go to them. Saturday/Sunday February 15/16—Kitale, Kenya Much of our team mission work in Kenya is high in travel and intense teaching times. Yesterday, we slowed the pace to enable our U.S. team to add the most important, though often missing dimension of missions—touch.
Saturday, was spent preparing for the graduation celebration at Seeds High School on Monday. This will be our first graduating class so we are pulling out all of the stops. The ladies from the Bellevue team went shopping with our local ladies to buy decorations and all that is needed to make special days special.
As we sat in the spacious new dining hall at the high school, I watched as the U.S. team found small groups of kids to decorate with, play chess or just sit and talk. Usually, our Kenyan students only see us from the platform. How little they can learn about us and we about them from that perspective. Often it is not our teaching that is needed, but our touch. I watched the ministry get personal yesterday. It will bear fruit over the next several days here in the Kitale region. It’s Sunday….time to go to church! Sleep…a gift from God that reminds us—we are not God.
Normally, sleep on Saturday night in Kenya is sparse and interrupted. The drone of bass thumping discos and the hooting of vehicle horns fill the night air until the wee hours of the morning. But last night was quiet. It was a gift! The local disco has closed down. The late-night revelers did not fill the streets below our open hotel windows. A full night of sleep was desperately needed by the jet- lagged U.S. team…and me. This morning I accompanied pastor Kent (Belleuve) to the local market. Pastor Richard has developed a relationship with the owner. He has set aside 15 minutes on Sundays before the doors open to customers for his employees to hear the Word of God and to be prayed over. I smiled this morning as Pastor Kent shared the Good News. I was overwhelmed by those who came to tell me that since my last visit (6 months ago), they had trusted Christ and been baptized. This is the front line of ministry. This is the vision. Taking Jesus to the community….Not, trying to attract the community to the Church building. The Great Commission is in action in Kitale.
Seeds High School, Kitale, Kenya.
Everyone wants attention. Personal attention. Personal touch. I’m not just talking Kenya, or the mission field, or orphans in a children’s home. We were made for relationship. With each other and with God.
There is so much to see in the ministry here. The temptation is to try to make sure the short-term teams get to glimpse a bit of everything God is doing. But, when we do that, ministry becomes “missional tourism”. The team gets cheated. And our Kenyan ministry partners really get cheated. So, days like today are vital. I am watching the transformation from ministry spectators to ministers. It’s why we come. To be the Body of Christ. Touch, taste, smell, see, hear, speak…love. As I write, we have returned from our first Sunday morning in Mathare. The team split into four teams and scattered into the neighborhood churches. Faith levels were tested as many inexperienced missionaries prepare to stand and testify, preach and teach.
It was a God filled day. But….my fatigued mind and eyes cannot do the retelling justice tonight. When I wake I will write. Now…it’s time turn on my fan, crawl into my Kenyan bed, close my eyes and let the video loop of the day replay as I drift off to sleep. Your partnership is the foundation from which we spring. Your prayers = our fuel.
By grace, your brother,
President/Founder Light Ministries, Inc.