Dec 14, 2008

Touched by the Villagers' Generosity

Today, Sunday, was a fairly busy day for us. We woke up early and got ready to go to church. Our host friends Dr. Matasi and his wife Ziporah had invited us to minister at their church here in Kitale. The name of the church is called Kitale Victory Center. It was started five months ago and has about 500 members at the moment. Dr. Matasi, an OB-GYN, is a prominent member in the church as well as in the city. He operates a medical clinic called Rapha Medical center, with a vision to develop a full fledged Christian hospital in the town. Pray with him that this vision which he has held for over ten years will come to pass. Since our arrival here in Kenya, I have felt that the Lord would like for us to encourage the people with a message of hope and restoration. I have shared this message now in three cities (Nakuru - Nakuru Christian Center, Nairobi- Nairobi Pentecostal Church Valley Road, and Kitale- Kitale victory center) as well as in my village of Eluuya and also with the nations' political leadership. Today I spoke from the book of Revelations Chapter 5, challenging the believers with the words of the Elder in the presence of God who commands John to (1)stop weeping and (2) behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Whereas we may feel disappointed because of our circumstances and luck of insight into our future; whereas we may luck understanding of God's plan for our lives, surrender to Jesus Christ ensures recovery of hope and purpose. In Christ, God has offered the Godself as the ultimate solution to our human predicament. The seated God who holds the sealed mysteries and destinies of all humanity and the entire cosmos is also the standing lamb that was slain and has overcome and is able to open the scroll. This Lamb of God has conquored and redeemed for God humanity from every tongue, tribe, language and nation. Kenya, like most African countries suffers from enough tribal related tensions. The message that Christ, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, has redeemed for God people from every tribe, toungue, nation and language and holds no regard for one group above another resonates with the pain and discomforts of the recent post-election violence in the country. His restorative promise is appropriate for a nation beleagured by the consequences of the violence. Because farmers were displaced from their farms, there is currently shortage of food on the market. Scarcity means higher prices for grains. Combine that with the harsh realities of the global economic outlook and what you find are a people who are hard pressed on every side. Even so the Gospel of Jesus Christ is always redemptive and blossoms in such settings. God is well able to grant believers the grace to overcome and to triumph inspite the harsh realities. He himself calls us to invest in eternity while remembering that we can never outgive him. On that note, Suzanne and I were greatly blessed by the generosity of the people in my village of Eluuya during our reception. Besides the dance and the rejoicing with us in what God has done, this people, who live on less than a dollar a day, openned their pockets to share with us financial gifts. They blessed us as they shoved into our hands and pockets their few shilling notes and penny's, wishing as well in our marriage and ministry. We were totally surprised by this gesture of generosity. Often in many places it is the reverse: the local people expect you to give to them since you are coming from the United States. When Suzanne and I eventually counted what had been given to us and converted to U.S. dollars, it was equal to 25 dollars. May the Lord bless them and cause them to prosper even as they have blessed us and added to our ministry to the nations. Finally, my wife has been having some severe pain for a couple days now due to a bladder infection. Thankfully, we are staying with Dr. Matasi and he has been very helpful in advising us on what to do. He prescribed medication for her to take and also advised us to drink a lot of water. Right now she is resting even as I write and I am praying that she feels much better by morning.