First Update from Africa

I arrived in Nairobi on Thursday evening at around 7PM. After collecting my luggage we made our way to the home of Pastor Adams brother-in-law. There we shared a meal with another brother-in-law a sister-in-law and their families, plus some friends who had learned there would be a white man from America staying in the home. Fellowship is so important in the African culture. The eldest brother-in-law took the lead and led us through a time of greeting. Each person introduced themselves, their spouse and their children. We enjoyed a great meal and much laughter.

On Friday we spent all day traveling. We had hoped to reach Mount Elgon to participate in the final day of a conference in which I had been scheduled to be the keynote speaker. The disruption of flights had caused me to miss the first three days of the conference. Unfortunately heavy rains slowed our progress and made the roads up Mount Elgon impassible. Knowing that we would not make Mount Elgon, we stopped in Eldoret for lunch and I was introduced to Pastor Margaret Maheri. Pastor Maheri is the administrator of our newest Redeemer Bible College in Eldoret, and she also hosts a radio program that broadcasts on Saturday nights to an audience of over one million people.

We finally arrived in Kitale around 5 or 6PM. Jet lag had hit me hard so I went to bed and told my hosts that if they didn’t see me at dinner, I would be alert again in the morning. Needless to say I didn’t wake up until around 5AM on Saturday.   Pastor Adams wife was afraid that they had offended me with the accommodations, I explained jet lag and promised to be at dinner from here on out.

Saturday morning we made the trip to Mount Elgon, arriving shortly after the conference closing session. The pastors were gracious and re-assembled to hear from me. We had a great time of fellowship and the word the Lord gave me brought inspiration to many of them. Mount Elgon had been ravaged by a violent clan that had pillaged and killed many a few years ago. People are now beginning to return to the mountain and new church planting is happening at a furious pace.

On Saturday afternoon we traveled to Eldoret. We had been invited to share a meal with Pastor Maheri. When we got to her home, we found her visiting with a friend. Within a few minutes this friend begin to speak with me and the Lord began to touch her heart. She told me that she wanted to find God, or for God to find her. I learned that her father had been a pastor, but he had died at an early age. When her father died, her mother left the family and this woman had been forced to grow up all alone. As we spoke the Lord showed me that this woman was angry at Him for taking her father. When I said this to her she began to weep bitterly. We spent more time talking about God’s love for her and in the end I prayed over her. She left agreeing to spend time pouring out her heart to God. I believe I will hear from her in the near future and that she will have a great story of restoration and redemption.

From Pastor Margaret’s house we went to the radio station. I begin with a youth program that ran from 10PM to midnight. The host, Tobias, and I had a discussion on the challenges that young people are facing. The Lord led me to talk about the compromises in the areas of sexuality and faith that young people are being asked to make. I also talked about the church’s shortfall in speaking openly on these issues, because they are taboo and uncomfortable. After this show was over I hosted Prayer Marathon with Pastor Margaret. Prayer Marathon is a 5 hour call in show where people share their prayer requests and they are ministered to over the air. During our 5 hours we had nearly 100 requests come in. Since Saturday we have heard from many people who were blessed as they listened in.

On Sunday I spoke in Pastor Adams church operating on 2 hours of sleep. The church is just about a year old and already has a congregation of nearly 70 people. We were joined by Esther Wachira, the wife of the pastor who had hosted me in Kitale during my visit last year. Esther shared a recent conversation she had undertaken with a lady delivered from witchcraft. This woman talked to her about the active opposition that she and her fellow practitioners took against the church. These individuals would go into churches and seek to create division in all areas of the church through the use of demonic activity. The one thing this woman told Mrs. Wachira is that the people in the church do not pray and therefore they are easy targets. Pretty sobering word isn’t it. Next an 8 year old orphan that the Wachiras are raising shared a word from Matthew 5. This young man is very astute and he became my buddy the rest of the day. After the service, we held a graduation ceremony for the students of the Redeemer Bible College that operates in Pastor Adams church. During the afternoon, several pastors with whom I had developed a friendship last year came by to see me. It was a great time for renewing our acquaintance.

My greatest challenge so far has been finances. Our transportation has cost much more than it did last year, and we have less to work with. We are seeking the Lord’s guidance to raise the funds necessary for us to finish out our speaking engagements.

My other big challenge (primarily mental) was the usage of the Kenyan squat toilet. Last night I put on my big boy pants and conquered my fears. May not be what you wanted to hear about, but the milestone was huge none the less.

Yesterday, I went to a local hotel to meet with the man who was my driver last year.  I had brought him a study Bible and Bible dictionary.    Pastor Adams had received several calls asking if we could do a meeting today with some local pastors.   We explained that we did not have any money to rent a room or provide lunch, but that we would meet with anyone who wanted to.   During the afternoon I ended up spending time with a handful of pastors who showed up at my table one by one.   It was great to see God work and we didn’t even have to spend any money.

Today we were supposed to head into Uganda, but we needed fuel for the van. Wouldn’t you know neither of my bank cards would work at the ATM today. So I figured I would go to the local cyber cafe and send myself a Western Union. The internet wouldn’t open the site (at 2 different cyber cafes). Finally Adams caught a ride back home and picked up a broadband card which he reloaded with credits. Finally this afternoon I got the Western Union sent to myself. Unfortunately we missed the first day of the conference, but we should be in place for the next 3 days. While we are in Uganda, Adams and I are going to make a couple of motorcycle excursions to visit some of the remote churches and pastors.

Africa Itinerary

Here is the itinerary for Africa:

Friday, Apr 16

~ 1p, Depart CC

Saturday, Apr 17

~ 7:25p (11:25a our time) Arrive in Nairobi, Kenya

Sunday, Apr 18

~Minister at David’s church, (Nairobi)

Monday, Apr 19-

~ Travel to Eldoret and have lunch with Redeemer Bible College students at Eldoret Technical Institute. One of the students wants you to dedicate her grandchild during that meal. The media will be present to take coverage and you will have time to share our vision on media on SAYARE RTV Eldoret.

Tuesday, Apr 20

~ Travel to Mt Elgon but stop at Kamukunywa at Pastor Peter Wasai who recently joined our network, then to Chebich where we will have our lunch and ordain Pastor Peter Wasai and Pastor Dan as we also receive them into the fellowship. After lunch, we will travel to Mt. Eglon.

Wed-Fri, Apr 21-23

~ Minster in Mt. Eglon, pastor’s conference in the daytime and preach publically in the evenings

Saturday, Apr 24

~ Redeemer Bible College Graduation, Kakamega (Mtunga town)

~ 10p-12a (2p-4p our time)- live youth show at Sayare (radio) (in Eldoret)

Sunday, Apr 25-

~ 12a-4a (Sat 4p-8p our time)- ministering and praying for peoples’ needs (radio)

~ 4a-5a (Sat 8p-9p our time)- Live Morning Devotion (radio)

~ Sunday service (10a-12p, 2a-4a our time)- at Pastor Adams’ church for service, will include a small graduation ceremony (1-2p, 5-6a our time) for Redeemer Bible College (in Kitale)

Monday, Apr 26

~ Travel to Mbale, Uganda via Malaba border

~ 11a-5p (3a-9a)- two sessions ministering to pastors and church leaders hosted by Bishop Patrick (Impact Ministries)

~ Sleep in Kapchorwa

Tuesday, Apr 27

~ 10a-11a (2a-3a our time)- Meet with students on Kapchorwa campus

~ Travel to conference venue in Chewower, arrive at 2p (6a our time)

~ Have lunch there, meet pastors as they arrive

Tues-Fri, Apr 27-30

~ Conference at church in Chewower

Saturday, May 1

~ Redeemer Bible College Graduation in Bukwo 10a-1p (2a-5a our time)

~ Travel to Kitale

Sunday, May 2

~ Sunday service at Driver John’s church (their chauffer for the two weeks) from 10a-12p (2a-4a our time)

~ have lunch and travel back to Nairobi

Monday, May 3

~ 10:20p (2:10a our time) Depart Nairobi, Kenya

Tuesday, May 4

~ 6:30 pm Arrive in CC

Please be in prayer for our students in Kapchorwa, Uganda as we learned of the death of one of their classmates this morning.