On short notice I was asked by my old friend, Bishop Samuel Munai, to be a keynote speaker at a three-day conference at Lake Nakuru, Kenya for a thousand pastors. Laurie gave me the “okay,” and on August 21 I left for Kenya, East Africa, for my ninth mission trip to Kenya.
My previous trips had been to teach at Manna Bible Institute outside Nairobi, Kenya, appear on radio and television, and consult regarding the formation of a Christian Law Program at Africa Nazarene University. Last year I also spoke to around 600 people at a pastors’ conference for the Nairobi Region for the Pentecostal Evangelistic Fellowship of Africa (“PEFA”), an African denomination with over a hundred churches in greater Nairobi. This year was the semi-annual conference for all PEFA pastors in Kenya, and there are some 3,000 PEFA churches in Kenya.
I arrived in Nairobi late Saturday night, August 22, and spoke to over 1,000 people the next morning at South B All Nations Gospel Church in Nairobi. Monday was a three-hour drive (if you leave early enough to beat the traffic) from Nairobi to Kabarak University at Lake Nakuru.
One of three speakers at the plenary sessions, I was asked to speak on “Evidence That Demands a Verdict.” My Monday message set the stage: “Christianity’s Future in an Anti-Christian World.” On Tuesday the topic was “The Case for the Bible,” and on Wednesday, “The Case for Jesus.” I also spoke at workshops on Tuesday and Wednesday, teaching on “The Trinity,” “Lost Books of the Bible,” and “Pastoral Ministry in the 21st Century.”
After my keynote addresses, some gave me the nickname “Verdict,” because the messages ended with the verdicts, based on the evidence, that the Bible is reliable and that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the world. It turns out that around 1,300 pastors (including a few wives) attended the conference. There was significant response to the messages, and my call to bring apologetics (“evidence why Christianity is true”) back to churches, Sunday schools, Bible schools and seminaries. Many wanted copies of my power points that I had prepared that I showed to the audience to illustrate my points.
Upon my return to Nairobi, I met for a long time with my friend, Bishop George Muguro, who was one of my students in the Doctoral program I taught in June at Multnomah Biblical Seminary in Portland, Oregon. George had tremendous insight as to why PEFA needs to incorporate apologetics in its curriculum at all levels, or else many young people and the educated will fall away or will not come in the first place if church services focus on emotion to the detriment of thinking, reason and evidence. Although the churches in Kenya are not that much different from the churches in America, in that the average American Christian cannot give well-thought-out answers to skeptics’ questions any better than Kenyan Christians can, Kenya has yet to be bombarded with the anti-Christian sentiments that are rampant in America. However, the universities in Kenya have the potential to become the seed-bed for doubt, skepticism, agnosticism and atheism just like they are in the United States.
My visit paved the way to pursue placing trained Christian apologists at Kenyan universities to defeat the anti-Christian teachings before they take root. This is the vision of Ratio Christi, and we ask for your prayers as we pursue the training and calling of apologists to the universities in Kenya in order to strengthen believers and to reach out to those don’t believe or who have misconceptions about Christianity. Please join Laurie and me as we target universities in Kenya and around the world, as we seek to redeem campuses from anti-Christian attitudes that undermine the gospel, changing them to places where, in the marketplace of ideas, the truth of Christianity is freely and fairly presented.