Sep 24, 2010

Orphaned Kids with Mt. Kilimanjaro-size Faith

Sammy speaks to several thousand believers in multiple services at NPC
Church, Valley Road, Nairobi Kenya on September 14th regarding global missions
For four nights, they had no electricity in their humble dwelling.  When we visited the Great Mercy Children's Center on the outskirts of Kitale town, Kenya on Tuesday earlier this week, the only food they had available was maize and beans cooked together.  
Pastor Ken Kimiywe, Sr. Pastor of NPC welcomes Sammy to speak
to his congregation during the missions emphasis Sunday.

For the most part, the children as well as their caretakers had been fasting and praying that God would provide some money for them to pay for electricity which had been disconnected as well as buy some food.  Other than that, they hardly showed any signs of distress. 

Some among the ninty three kids at the center are as young as two years old. The older ones are in their early teens.  And they all displayed such great faith and confidence in God's ability to supply for their need.  It stuck out to us like the majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro raising over the Savannah plains.

Children at Great Mercy Children's Center, Kitale, Kenya
show-off their prayer cards that accompanied a donation 
from SWIM partner children at Westwood Community Church,
Chanhassen, MN. Sept. 21

The walls as well as the roofing of their facility is made of tin.  It was almost noon time when we visited.  Inside the facility was hot and unbearable.  We could not bring our eight month old baby into the building.    The floors, although swept extremely clean are mostly bare concrete.   

In their dorm rooms, several of them sleep on the floor and share blankets.  It is more of a shanty than it is proper housing.  Yet the little boys and girls sat calmly and sung songs of praise to God and of welcome to my wife Suzanne, my sister-law Micah and I. 

Their caregivers shared with us the different stories of how each of the kids got there.  It was one miracle story after another.  
The humble dwelling that serves as the center for 
Great Mercy Children Ministries in Kitale, Kenya.

Finally we opened an envelop that I had been carrying around for almost two months of ministry in Africa containing cards prepared by SWIM ministries partner kids at Westwood Community Church.   The cards bore messages of encouragement and prayer for the kids of Africa in Swahili.  You should have seen the beaming faces as they each openned to see what was written inside.    

Micah Sunderman, Suzanne's sister, shares a message
of hope with Kenyan students at Eluuya Girls High School 
moments before Sammy invited them to receive Christ. 

Then as we sat with the director of the center in her humble office and learned of her faith and boldness, we could not help but appreciate what God is doing through their ministry.  As we prayed and consulted among ourselves, we decided to donate $ 300 that we had received from Westwood kids to help with our ministry while in Africa toward helping with the needs of Great Mercy kids. 

That is when the director broke down with tears of gratitude.  Until then she had not mentioned to us the need they were experiencing at the center.  She had not mentioned that the kids were fasting and praying for provision.  She had not mentioned that one of the kids was in hospital and they needed some funds to cover her medical bill.  
Hundreds of High School girls respond to the invitation to receive
Christ into their lives as Sammy Sr., Sammy Jr. and Suzanne
lead them through prayer of repentance.

But now amazingly, God had answered their prayer through our small gift.  Amazingly, the $ 300 dollars was enough to pay for the reconnection of electricity, pay the medical bill for the sick child as well as afford one different meal for the 93 kids.  This marked a perfect ending to our ministry here in Kenya.

Throughout the week and half of being here, God has given us plenty of opportunity to minister to different groups of people with different needs. 

From ministering to some 12000 believers during services at the high profile congregation of NPC Valley Road in Kenya's capital Nairobi to speaking to High School students at Kamusinga Boys High School and Eluuya girls High School, God's spirit has continued to work great things through us. 

 Following the services at NPC where I exhorted believers to consider seriously God's call to the church to be engaged with global mission, one young lady in her twenties wrote,

"As I write this I have tears in my eyes... n I don't know if they are of joy or guilt or anxiety? I am just not sure. I felt the same as you spoke. My eyes were full of tears as I sat in the balcony listening to you speak...I want to obey God into the great commission so badly and I am praying for direction on how I should proceed." 

Hundreds of students at Kamusinga High School,
Kenya pray with our team moments after we
spoke in their Sunday Service above.

With our mission here in Kenya complete, I just have one commitment here in Africa in the month of October.  I will be joining some 4000 Christian leaders from all the four corners of the earth in Cape Town, South Africa for the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization. 

Overall, God has allowed us to minister to some 80,000 people combined in Rwanda, Malawi and here in Kenya.  Of these, some 15,000 people have prayed with us to receive Jesus Christ into their lives as Lord and Savior. We thank our prayer partners for standing with us as we take the Good News of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth.  As the video clip below demonstrates, it is not always easy.  Yet the joy of seeing lives changed surpasses all challenges one may encounter.  To God be the glory!