Back to Kenya

March 15, 2009

Kenya. Home away from home. This April (2009) will be our third annual trip to Kenya. It will be like returning home. Meeting our dear Kenyan Brothers and Sisters for the first time two years ago made us feel more than welcome. They made us feel at home.

There is something to be said about being on an entirely different continent, on the other side of the world, in a foreign culture, among people who speak another language, where poverty and disease are rampant. However, the very first Sunday we walked into a Bible believing church in one of the slums of Nairobi, which happened to be Easter Sunday, was like coming home. And I’m not talking about home as in where we live most of the year in Southern California. I’m talking about our heavenly home.

Faith, hope and love radiate from our Kenyan brethren. Their style of joyful worship ushers believers into God’s powerful presence. God does inhabit the praises of His people (Ps. 22:3). Although we come to minister, their praise and worship minister to us. We wonder how we became blessed to share in their joy. We want to bring them back to the U.S. with us to teach the American church a thing or two.

Anticipating our next venture to Kenya, which begins April 1, we know to expect the unexpected. The many hours on a plane will be tiring. The roads and traffic in Nairobi will be challenging. The availability of electricity will be unpredictable. The dust from the roads, long hours, and food may bring illness. However, our joy in serving will be remarkable. The rekindling of friendships will be touching. The fellowship with Manna Bible Institute students will be precious. The new relationships we form will have lasting impact. After teaching classes at Manna, preaching in three churches, speaking at women’s conferences and on Nairobi radio, we will leave feeling like we’ve made a difference for Jesus. Humbly we will feel like we received way more than we were able to give. Living out our faith, we are transformed.

 Returning to Southern California, we will linger over the hundreds of photos we will have taken, holding on to the vivid memories and lessons. With great excitement, we will hardly be able to contain ourselves as we look for opportunities to tell anyone and everyone about our experiences with anyone who will listen as we ramble on and on. It is an amazing thing to go on a mission trip. Amazing. It has the power to change us, forever, if we let it.

These are not some high hopes. It is the reality of life spent wanting to live out The Great Commission and follow Jesus. To think, even these earthly rewards, joys and experiences, pale in comparison to what waits us in eternity for those spending it as joint heirs with Christ.

Do you know Jesus? He says, “Behold, I am coming soon. My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.” Rev. 22:12. People get ready. Jesus is coming.