Kenya Day 5

Today was another long day of ministry, meeting people and learning more about the area.  Back home, even though I tend to stay very busy, there is still more time to relax than what we are experiencing here.  We will probably need another two weeks for rest when we get home.


We have been traveling around the area seeing the country, visiting children and meeting community leaders.  We have been eating meals in homes and hearing stories of need but also God’s work and power in their lives.  Even when we get back to our Guest House our time is full of making more meals, debriefing our day, making plans for the next, and grabbing those moments we can to send a little information through the internet back home to family and friends.


Any of that is enough but there is still work to do in the evenings when we are hoping to get a few moments alone.  Most of our team are trying to journal and capture their memories and take-aways from the day.  Or we are also preparing for ministry needs for the next day.  Or we are cooking our meals.  Or we are sharing, praying, and reading scripture as a team.


All that said I just want to give a shout out to the team; Mark Wheeler, Cameron & Jessica, Anne & Mark Murphy.  They are all doing an amazing job of finding ministry opportunities and taking full advantage of each.  They are putting up with the sometimes unsettling differences in the culture.  They are finding the groove of being satisfied with whatever God has for us to do even if it was not what we were thinking or prepared for.  And they are doing an excellent job as we are facing all these challenges with grace and positive attitudes.  It is a great privilege to be together with them on this journey.


I think this is great training for us in how we should always be living our lives.  Not so much in the intensity of trying to do so much in the short time that we are here, but in the sense that we should be open to the work of the Kingdom that God brings into our life.  There is a saying that “We plan our life but God orders our steps.”  We are seeing that happen every day.


Today was a conference at Pastor Roger’s church, Shim Gospel Ministries.  He invited pastors from around the area along with his ministry team to come together for a day of worship, prayer, encouragement and instruction.  It was also our first experience of their style of a church gathering.  It was amazing even though it was a lot less structured or resourced than like we might normally be accustomed to.  It was not a large gathering, probably 25 people plus a bunch of kids, but they provided very energetic music and demonstrated a great desire to learn.


There was a sense of direction of for the day and an idea of a schedule but it was also a little less organized than we are used to.  However, Pastor Rogers and this rural Kenyan church are trying to bring in structure and introduce the people to the benefits of organization.  But that is very hard to do.  We might laugh at the idea of “Kenyan time” and wonder how a society even functions when you have no idea of when people will arrive for things like church or a job or a meeting.  However, when you have to walk 15 kilometers to get to church and you meet people all along the way that want to stop and talk with you, and maybe the rain washed out the road last night and you are carrying the plastic chair you plan to sit on, you have no idea how long it will take you to get to get there.  Everything about life is harder, takes more time, and has no room for error. It is just the way of life.  We are exhausted and finding it difficult to accomplish the things that we need to and we have a car, money, good facilities and team work.  I am amazed at how hard they work and what the can accomplish with so little.


Still they are working to bring in structure, planning, strategies, and various other attempts at organization.


Back to the conference there was an opening time of worship, prayer and introductions.  Then Mark Murphy, Pastor Wheeler and I all shared a message; 3 messages had been outlined just the night before when we found out that we were responsible to provide a seminar that could last from 9am to 11pm that night.  It didn’t turn out to be that way and we were thankful for that.  I preached twice and the two Mark’s preached once so that wasn’t too bad.


After the morning session, we had a lunch break.  Cameron, Jessica and Anne had gone into town during this time to buy mattresses, blankets and other supplies for children that just got sponsored.  How exciting for them to be able to be there when a child finds out about their new sponsor and begin to receive the support that they need.  We have said this before but sponsorship changes a life and sometimes even saves a life.  It truly makes a difference and to be here and meet the children that need that help, holding them in our arms, seeing smiles on their faces, is a reward that we could never properly express to the sponsors back home.  But we want to thank you for every sacrifice, every prayer, every gift that you have shared with your child.


Jesus said “It is better to give than to receive.”  The joy that we are experiencing as we are able to give this support to the children is overwhelming.  If my heart was as big as a 5-gallon container it would still be overflowing with joy and I am so thankful as I think of all the people who are back home making the support a reality.  God will bless you with overflowing goodness as well.  You may not get the chance to come to Kiminini and hold your child in your arms during your time in this life, but one day you will meet your child in Glory and you will receive the blessings of the difference that you are making in them.

Posted by Cary Peden

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