| Built to reach edible leaves in tall trees
This morning John Carey and I took some “comp time” and visited an African game park just outside of Nairobi, while Teryl Hebert and Danny Allen started the first day of their pastors’ conference. A few thoughts on our experience at the game park:
1.) When you see your first wild zebra, it is very exciting. After you have seen about two-hundred of them, they are just more boring zebras. So many experiences in life are like that.
2.) If you ever have the opportunity to travel to Africa to visit a wild African game park, stay home and watch the Discovery Channel instead. It is better and cheaper.
3.) I wonder what God was thinking when He designed the skins of zebras. (It sure wasn’t about camouflage.)
Not exactly blending in: His skin seems to say, “Here I am, lions!”
John and I also saw our share of wildebeests, giraffes, impalas, and ostriches. No elephants or lions. After three hours of looking at animals, we headed back to civilization to look at people and join the pastors’ conference in progress. When we arrived, Danny was “shucking corn,” which is apparently a Louisiana expression that means “preaching up a storm.” Both Danny and Teryl are passionate and persuasive when they talk about biblical fellowship, discipleship and house churches. A few years ago, Teryl reorganized his traditional church in Baton Rouge into about ten house churches. Danny is one of the pastors who serves in one of those churches. The result has been increased fruit, fruit that is now growing in Kenya.
It was obvious that the 100-or-so pastors and leaders who attended Teryl’s and Danny’s conference were readily receiving their messages. Several pastors had traveled a day to attend the conference and one had come all the way from the nation of Rwanda.
I had to sneak away from the conference to meet with two gentlemen who are responsible for printing and distributing the English, French, and Swahili translations of The Disciple-Making Minister in East Africa. To date we’ve given over 30,000 copies to African pastors in four African languages. A fifth African language translation is underway.
When I returned to the pastors’ conference, it was Teryl who was “shucking corn,” and the pastors were loving it. At the end, everyone who attended was given a copy of The Disciple-Making Minister.
Directly after the conference, I met with six precious church-planting pastors whom I had previously promised a bicycle to help them go further with the gospel. Those bicycles will be provided by means of our Mobilize a Minister Fund. I cannot describe the feeling I had as I met with those six pastors. There they stood, grown men all wearing frumpy old suits and ties (as do most African pastors), thrilled about the thought of owning their very own bicycle, something they could never afford. And there I was, feeling unworthy to stand in their presence, receiving their heartfelt thanks for something I had very little to do with. I would have been honored to wash their feet.
Today I also closed the deal on a few more small-business start-up grants for Christian widows(including a $600 grant to Suzanne, mentioned in the last two day’s blogs). I also made promises regarding sending funding for just about every opportunity that has been personally presented to me since I arrived in Kenya (including any I’ve already mentioned in my blog). One that I wanted to tell you about was a pledge, using our Critical Medical Needs Fund, to help a young boy whom I met yesterday at Peter Kingoro’s orphanage. His eyes were swollen, bloodshot and obviously infected (his photo is below). I had asked if he had received any medical attention and was told that there was no money. Now, praise God, there is money, thanks to many folks who are reading this. Please pray for little Jeff Wanyonyi.
Early tomorrow morning John and I depart for the nearby nation of Burundi, where Teryl and Danny will meet us on Wednesday once they finish their conference here. We’ve had a wonderful time in Kenya, and I’ve been so blessed to be an extension of your compassion here.