January 20, 2013 – Wrapping Up

The Jesus Altar church family at Langas

The Jesus Altar church family at Langas

Today was my final ministry day in Africa.  Tomorrow I will be boarding my first flight around 5:30 PM to begin the trip back home.  Today it was important for me to put the distraction of going home aside and finish strong.

This morning I was back at the church in Langas and the church was filled to capacity.  Pastor Margaret led the people in an extended time of prayer and worship before I spoke.  I spoke from James chapter 1 on the importance of standing firm in the face of trials and temptation.

After I had finished preaching several people came forward to thank me for spending so much time with them.  I was then presented with a gift as well as additional gifts for Scott and Nathanael.  I have yet to open my gift and will wait until my family can watch me.  After the gift was given, the worship team begin singing and during the song many came up and shook my hand, placing a monetary gift in my hand as well.  I must tell you, this was the most humbling experience.  I have spoken in multiple churches while I have been in Africa, expecting nothing.  Now I am in a church in the slums with people who have so little and yet they want to bless me.   I nearly wept over their generosity.

When the service was done, I took numerous pictures with the church and individuals from the church.  When the pictures were over, the children all sat down and were given a mug for water and they waited patiently for a roll that was about the size of a small cupcake.  For many of these children it would be their only meal for today, if not for several days.  These children endure so much, many of them are barefoot eaten up with chiggers.

We then departed and went to pray with one of the church families in their home and from there went to Pastor Margaret’s for dinner.  Over the course of the afternoon Pastor Meshack (one of the Bible school instructors who lives in Langas), Pastor Margaret, Margaret’s sister Kelly and I talked over a multitude of topics.  The most interesting; however, was an in depth conversation on whether birth control was right or wrong and the issue of polygamy (which is very common in Kenya and Uganda).

After dinner I returned to the home where I am staying and began making preparations for my departure tomorrow.

January 19, 2013 – Strengthening Relationships & The Face of Poverty

Pastor Margaret Maheri ministering to the children in Langas

Pastor Margaret Maheri ministering to the children in Langas

Today the morning started off with a couple of hours of conversation with Pastor Nimrod and his wife Priscilla.  We spent time discussing where the Lord has been leading each of us individually and we recognized that we have many shared experiences.  We also believe that the Lord is connecting for a greater purpose than just providing me a place to stay while I am in Eldoret.   For so many I meet and myself, this seems to be a time of transition.  This past Monday I felt the Lord speaking very clearly to me that 2013 was a year of transformation.

Pastor Margaret was going to pick me up at 11AM, but as is often the case with African time 11AM became 12:30.  Pastor Margaret is currently going through driving school so she hopes to become more punctual once she is able to drive.

After picking up Pastor Meshack and Apostle Adams we went to Pastor Maheri’s for lunch and spent the afternoon discussing the challenges in the African church.  We also spent time discussing how the “grey” areas of scripture are addressed here in Kenya.  This included conversation about alcohol, dress and worship styles.  This was a great conversation and very insightful into the mindsets of different groups of people.

This evening we returned to Langas once again, stopping first at Pastor Meschack’s home and then proceeding to the church.  There were about 10 children who came into the church this evening, so I told the story of David and Goliath.   Most of these children are very disheveled and one of them did not even have pants to wear.  Pastor Margaret gathered them around as they listened.

When the meeting was over, Pastor Margaret began to hand out candy to the children and they eagerly gathered around her.  She asked about their memory verses and encouraged them to learn those verses well.  As we were leaving I asked Pastor Margaret if most of these children had families or if they were abandoned.  She said the majority are abandoned and are left in the slums to fend for themselves.

From there Pastor Margaret took me to the home of one of the church members.  This mud house is the home of a mother with 5 children including one infant and a drunkard father who disappears for months at a time.  This home was so small that I could stand in the main room and stretch out my arms touching all of the walls.   When this mother had her baby she was having complications and Pastor Margaret had taken her to the hospital.  The bill was 8,000 shillings which the woman could not afford, so Pastor Margaret has been paying the bill a small portion at a time.

Even in the midst of such poverty, I marvel at the joy some of these people have.  At the same time I am saddened that their poverty is generational and few of them will every know anything else.

January 18, 2013 – Mzungus and Business

Horace and Phyllis Leister Tumaini Children's Home

Horace and Phyllis Leister Tumaini Children’s Home

I was blessed last night when I arrived at my host home.  I am being hosted by Pastor Nimrod Masau and his wife Priscilla.  Pastor Masau is the overseeing bishop for Faith Ministries East Africa, a pastoral equipping ministry.   Their home doubles as a ministry conference center so it is very spacious and their hospitality is second to none.  We spent the evening discussing the challenges facing the Kenyan church and our respective ministry work.

This morning I had the pleasure of connecting with Horace and Phyllis Leister.  I met Horace and Phyllis through their son Jake who attends church with me in Wichita.  The Leisters run Tumaini Children’s Home in Eldoret where they are responsible for over 20 children who were abandoned.  The Leister’s shared the stories of a number of the children and the miraculous ways that God has intervened in their lives.

After visiting the children’s home, I went to the business district of Eldoret where I spoke at a daily lunch gathering.  I spoke on the parable of the talents and challenged the audience to become better stewards of their skills and abilities.

Afterwards I spent the afternoon with Adams and a young pastor and entrepreneur named Pastor Elisha, whom we had just become acquainted with.  Pastor Elisha purchased our lunch and then thanked me for my words to the lunch time gathering.  He said he had been wrestling with a business decision and that fear had been holding him back.  In my message he found a breakthrough and he was very excited.

This evening I returned to Langas and spoke on the healing of Naaman.  Tomorrow I will be meeting with the faculty at Rift Valley Technical Training Institute and then speaking in Langas again tomorrow night.

January 17, 2013 – Cultural Differences & Farewell to Kitale

Feeling like a king at the mzungu cafe

Feeling like a king at the mzungu cafe

Tuesday had been all about introducing others to our culture.  Yesterday demonstrated how different our cultures truly are.

Yesterday morning we were ready to go at 9AM.  Our driver John did not show up until nearly 10:30AM, taking us to breakfast at Adams’ home at around 11AM.  Once breakfast was over we found ourselves sitting around staring at the walls.  Adams left to go set up at the church for our 2PM meeting.   It wasn’t long before Scott, Nathanael and I grabbed out bags and headed down the road on foot, just to get out and move around.

2PM came and went with no one at the church.  Adams was embarrassed and discussed the differences between African time and mzungu time.  About 3:30 a small audience had formed and we got started.   I spoke from Mark 5 on the story of Jairus and the woman with the issue of blood.

When we were finished we returned to Adams’ house for the evening meal.  Adams was again apologetic about the service, but I explained to him that it wasn’t the late starting time that troubled us, it was the 6 hours of inactivity that was difficult for us.   It is interesting to see the American value of productivity in this setting.

This morning we met with Adams privately and discussed our thoughts and observations.  After our meeting we headed to his house for breakfast and we are now making our final visit to the mzungu cafe for a little downtime and souvenir shopping.

We will be leaving in about an hour and half for Eldoret to put Scott and Nathanael on their flight to Nairobi and then on to the U.S..  I will be conducting meetings over the weekend and meeting Horace and Phyllis Leister, who run the Tumaini Childrens Home in Eldoret.  The Leisters are the parents of Jake Leister, one of the elders at my home church, 4CI.


After arriving in Eldoret, we dropped Scott and Nathanael off for their flight and headed to Rift Valley Techincal Training Institute where I spoke to the Christian Students Union. I discussed the importance of standing firm and avoiding compromise in an increasingly hostile world.

After speaking to the students we headed to the slum area of Langas where Pastor Maheri has started a new work.  Langas is the type of third world slum you see in pictures on television.  Nothing but garbage everywhere.  Children playing in garbage heaps with raw sewage running all around their feet.   The road is littered with drinking establishments that serve alcohol made in crude stills throughout the area.  In the midst of all of this is a mosque that dwarfs the other buildings in the area.

It was getting dark, so I was unable to preach from my Bible.  I opted instead to talk about the call for such a church.   I will be speaking in this same location over the next 3 days as well.

Tonight I met Jake’s dad and was then introduced to my host, Pastor Nimrod Musau the Bishop and Administrator for Faith Ministries East Africa.  Pastor Nimrod also leads an equipping ministry that trains pastors and leaders throughout East Africa.  Tonight we had great conversation talking about the challenges facing the churches in this region.  Our conclusions were identical.

Tomorrow I am speaking at a pastor’s luncheon and then will return to Langas for an evening meeting.

January 4, 2013 – Arrival in Kenya

arrival in Eldoret

Arrival in Eldoret

We arrived in Kenya at about 6:30 AM.  After clearing customs we went to the domestic terminal at Jomo Kenyatta to check in for our 2:30 PM domestic flight.   We were told that that we would not be permitted to check in until 1 PM, so we sat in a waiting room until then.   None of us had slept more than an hour or two on the flight to Nairobi, so our weariness was beginning to catch up to us.

We finally departed Nairobi and flew to Eldoret on a turbo prop.  This flight included a screaming child who screamed almost 30 minutes of the 45 minute flight.   Fortunately we were all tired enough we slept through the majority of it.   We arrived in Eldoret around 3:20 PM, where we were greeted by Adams, Mary and Judah, who presented us with flowers.  We were also met there by Pastor Margaret Maheri and a small group accompanying her.  Finally we met up with John Juma, a great friend and pastor who is also in my opinion the best driver in all of Africa.

Once we departed the airport we went to Pastor Margaret’s house for tea and fellowship.  Pastor Margaret and her sister blessed us with their hospitality.  We also met several pastors while we there.   Once we had finished our tea we started on the road to Kitale.  About 20 minutes into the trip, Scott realized his passport was missing and we made a frantic search of the van and his baggage to find it.  Unfortunately his passport could not be found, so we returned to Eldoret airport to ask for assistance.  About 10 PM we headed towards Kitale once again.  All of us were now so tired that our bodies were beginning to hurt.

When we arrived in Kitale we stopped for a quick meal and made our way to the African Theological Seminary where we were staying.   Each of us was thrilled to be going to bed, we had only slept 3-4 hours out of 52 hours of travel.