Friday, December 4, 2009

African Update # 14 2009

                    Another Fine Day

Today was spent visiting folks during the day and teaching them in the evening. We actually got to visit 6 different families before lunch. Some of them were neighbors of the people we scheduled to see that day. If the current trend continues we are going to have to get a second tent.

The mosquitoes are getting worse because we have had a lot of rain. The good side of that, is the rain greatly reduces the dust. It’s a real tossup as to which is more annoying; the mosquitoes or the dust. On the way to the teaching last night we wondered if anyone would be there, because it was pouring down rain. As we pulled up to our little meeting place, there they were; wet, but smiling and singing. There were ten or so wonderful, dedicated ladies and men, who had walked a mile or two just to hear the teaching. When I pulled up I wondered if I would have walked those two miles in the pouring down rain to hear my teaching. The answer sadly is; probably not.

Yet I don’t think they had come to hear my teaching. They had come to hear God speak to them. I taught about the importance of God breaking us, in order to release the sweetness of His Spirit that is inside us. They listened intently and then we prayed. After we finished, each person came up and thanked me with the two sided Kenyan hug and grateful smile.

What surprised me was Joel. After the teaching, he walked up to me, smiled and said, … “that was a good word”. Later outside he said it again, ... “that was a really good teaching”. I could tell he had received something from the One who loves him the most. Earlier that afternoon, Joel had come in my room and asked if I wanted him to go with the rest of the youth to the meeting place. They had arranged a meeting to rehearse some skits and dancing, that they were preparing for our Christmas Celebration. He indicated he would prefer to stay home, but would do whatever I asked of him. Between the practices and the meeting that night, it would have meant him staying in that little building 4 or 5 hours. He knew the kids wanted him to come, but it had been a very busy day already. I told him that he must make that decision, but I would be ok with whatever he decided.

A few minutes later, I heard him going out the door with Simon and Lloyd. Joel was becoming a servant of Christ. He put himself aside, did the thing he did not particularly want to do, and walked outside a disciple of Christ. I believe that is why he heard His Father speak to him that very same night. Joel’s decision that night, was not the first time he had to make a hard decision to follow Christ. When some of his best friends left the Village to pursue the world, they would call him up and try to get him to join them. Yet, he then, as well as last night, united his faith with his works. The result, is a young man who is growing in the faith and becoming a fellow worker in the establishing of God’s Kingdom in Nakuru Kenya, Africa. Amma and I are blessed to be on this adventure, with this very wonderful young man.

George and I have been hard at work hammering out the details of our Micro-Financing program, called FISH. (Financing Indigenous Self Help) The name is associated with two thoughts. First the adage … “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Secondly; the story of the young man bringing his few fish and loaves to Christ, who multiplied it to feed the 5000. In keeping with God’s directive not to build this church with money instead of faith, we have labored to find ways to inspire people to be practically responsible for the well being of their fellow brothers and sisters.

We have laid a foundation of seeking the Kingdom of God first, and everything else later. God knows our needs. We have also taught that them, you do not own a teaching unless you are practicing it. The Kenyans are responding with zeal. They want to be equipped to make war on the poverty that surrounds them, by working with their own hands. They just need some help to get started. Hence the FISH program was born.

Most of the loans will be anywhere from 5 to 8 thousand Kenyan shillings each. That is about seventy, to a little over a hundred dollars each.    We are not charging intrest on these loans but asking that they give a certain percentage of the profits back to the church. The applicants will be chosen within the clans (home groups) by their peers and clan leaders. Clan leaders will provide the weekly oversight. The greatest considerations will be given to the widows with children and or any other hardship case. Each will have a definite amount and time period, to pay the loan back. All transactions and other considerations, will be handled by the clan leaders with weekly reports and funds being given to George, which will be placed in a Church bank account each week. Strict records will be kept.

The program will hopefully accomplish several ends. One; quickly increase their own income and help our brothers and sisters take care of each other. Two; promote helpful interaction between leadership and people. The scriptures indicate that he who is faithful in matters of money will be faithful everywhere else. We need to know who is going to be faithful and who needs help. Three; give the people a chance to put in practice what we are teaching.

We are fully aware that this will cause problems, but we think they will be good problems. We are also quite sure their are bugs that will have to be worked out. There will be special considerations, and people will have to deal with their envy and greed. Yet some of our best learning experiences in the Village, have come out of our having to be accountable to each other.

Please continue to pray for us, as we strive to hear His voice. From my perspective it is a flat out miracle that we have progressed this far, so quickly. With the unbelievable cultural and language differences, we have to completely rely on God, to help us understand each other's words and hearts. We painfully found out that if George and I aren’t completely clear (in total harmony), before going in to a meeting it can quickly become a disaster.  Although if  we are together, though we may not understand what each other is saying, the Spirit of God gives us peace and leads us into all truth. It is actually amazing.... Grace.

Well that’s all for now….Bwana Asi Fiwi ! Much love ….your sent ones.

No comments:

Post a Comment