Monday, April 23, 2012

Part 1 Here we go...and why.

In less than a week me, my wife and a young teenage friend will be flying halfway around the world to Africa.  When we arrive everything in our lives will change…. Again. We will be eating Ugali (something akin to dry grits with the consistency of the rice in sushi), goat meat and fried rice. We will be living with our Kenyan family in an apartment next to the poorest, major crime filled area in Kenya’s fourth largest city, Nakuru.  

Our time in Kenya has already been a little frightening. In just over a year we have  experienced a major city riot in which people we know were shot and killed, a friend was killed by a hit and run driver, and one of the people we live with was kidnapped, beat up and robbed. These are just some of  the struggles we have encountered in Nakuru. 

A few days ago it dawned on me that we are working in the inner city. Somehow, I never realized that we were working in the ‘inner city’.  We are not used to so much physical violence happening around us. It's a major change from our life in the Village. (click Village to see what I mean)

Some people might wonder why the Lord would lead us to work in such a drastically different environment as the east African country of Kenya down in the inner city of Nakuru. I know I have. Nakuru is so very far away, so terribly expensive to get to and has such a vastly different culture/lifestyle than anything we have been accustomed to.

Beginning a work  there has involved years of short trips  just to understand the culture and now this very far away work is requiring us to learn to speak the native language of Swahili and possibly… even move there.  

Our staying in Kenya for six months has prompted us to wonder ….  ‘Why are we doing this, isn't there something closer we can do?’ Why are we traveling half way around the world to serve?

While packing our suitcases I felt our Father gently remind me why this is happening in Africa. The answer is simple but not obvious. It's not because there aren’t plenty of needy people close by. There is. It’s not about us being burdened to work in the inner city. We weren’t. It's not the place we felt we were ‘called to’. It wasn’t. It wasn’t even the ‘ministry’ of our choice. It still isn’t. Yet we know He placed us there. 

So why the inner city of Nakuru, Kenya?  Well; to be honest it’s all Agai’s fault. Let me explain.

When we think of ministering somewhere, we don’t think of potential numbers or even the needs of the masses. For us it’s all about individuals. Specifically those individuals in whom God is drawing to Himself. Those who spiritually speaking are; ‘Crying and asking the way to Zion.’ (Jer. 50: 4, 5) We also know that our Father's eyes roam the earth to find those whose heart belongs to Him. (2 Chron. 16:9) 
We think He found another one.

 We were sent to Nakuru’s inner city slums because of meeting a wonderful young man who loves God named George Agai Olendo. We are currently in Nakuru because of what we discovered inside of Agai’s heart. Our calling to Africa began there. It was through Agai’s heart that we have bonded with Kenya and her people.  Let me attempt an explanation of how this happened and who this man Agai really is.

I remember various times celebrating at a RCV Ingathering (one of our annual week long spiritual celebrations) or being at a Passage (celebrating the transition of a RCV youth to adulthood) or even during our Sunday worship. There we would either sing or state how we would go anywhere in the world to find and help those looking for the Kingdom of God.  We had no idea of what that meant; but to the best of our knowledge we really meant it. The most interesting thing is that the Lord God heard us.

We had already been across the United States and traveled as far away as England, Scotland, Burma and India looking for anyone who would be interested in moving in the corporate life that Christ had given us.  Yet not finding an open door in any of those countries we decided to help the other indigenous ministries in their work with Indian and Burmese orphans. We are to date… still helping them.  But … we continued to look for that open door and one day… we found it in Nakuru, Kenya.

Some of you know the Story of how we met Agai. Our journey began with a pastor in Kisumu, Kenya looking at the RCV website and by email asking us if we would come to Kenya and share our life with the people in his church. We wondered… is it possible our Father actually wants us to travel so far to find an open door? With much fear and trepidation we joyfully said we'll come. (To be continued in a few days!)


  1. This is wonderful Abba :-) Thank you! Looking forward to following your 2012 journey to Kenya :-)

  2. I love reading your blog and everything that God shows you. Thank you for all that you share so the rest of us may learn how to further The Kingdom of God.