Thursday, April 26, 2012
Part 2 … Why we stay.
I remember us flying into the Nairobi International Airport and me feeling something close to terror as I looked over the sea of strange faces and not being able to understand anything that anyone was speaking. I could not believe we were in Africa. That was the first time I wondered… what are we doing? There would be plenty of other times I thought that as well.
After some deep soul searching several months later, Agai started talking to his friends and neighbors about the life he had heard us talk about. They became excited and began to gather together to inquire if they could experience God’s corporate life. Soon Agai called us and said… “I have thirty five people gathered here and all of them are asking how to live the life you talked about …. “What do I do?” A month later and the number had grown to sixty.
Fortunately we had prearranged to be picked up by a fellow American. He was visiting Kenya at the time and had agreed to meet us in the Nairobi International Airport and drive us to his house in Nakuru. After retrieving our luggage he led us to his car and introduced us to his Kenyan driver in whom two days later would take us to Kisumu. The tall lanky young Kenyan was called George Agai Olendo. It didn’t take long for us to start loving him.
During the next week Agai didn’t speak much, but during the long journey to Kisumu he would listen intently as we spoke to our American friend about the amazing life we were living together in Tennessee.
After we arrived in Kisumu and had visited the pastor in Kisumu we became unsure about our involvement with him. Something didn’t seem right and later we would providentially find out that he was not who he claimed to be.
We then asked God … why did we come to Kenya? Why did we spend all that money? It would be months before we fully comprehended that though we had made our plans… the Lord was directing our steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
After our short visit we decided to stay the night in a hotel in Kisumu and get a fresh start in the morning for the drive back to Nakuru. Before retiring Agai our driver came to us and asked …. “Can the life you’ve been living in Rose Creek Village be lived here in Kenya?” Shammah spent hours telling him …. “Yes, but only if you’re willing to give up everything for the Kingdom of God.” We talked about the present state of Christianity and the differences that could be easily seen in the biblical precedent. He said he knew that was true.
Because of the work the Lord had been doing in Agai’s heart he understood what we said. Was Agai the open door? After a few more days Agai drove us to Nairobi and having said our good-byes we flew back to the states. Yet George Agai Olendo never left our hearts and our message … never left his.
And so it began.
Several tumultuous years later there are now 80 or so people in Nakuru who are seeking to grow in the corporate life of Jesus Christ and demonstrate the Kingdom of God in their city. There are 20 or so teenagers seeking to dedicate their lives to revealing the Kingdom of Christ to their generation. There are 25 pastors currently we meet with who are seeking to know why the Christianity they have been involved with for so many years bears little or no resemblance to biblical Christianity. That doesn’t sound too impressive but to us it means the door has swung wide open.
Why is all this happening? The scripture says that God is always looking for someone whose heart completely belongs to Him. When God finds such a man or woman he begins moving all His resources to strongly support them. (2Chron. 16:9) We believe we have been sent by our heavenly Father to bring 'Life Support' to George Agai Olendo.
Inside this young man’s heart was a consuming desire that overrode and ruined everything else in his life. It is what allowed him to hear us. It was the same desire that overrode everything in King David’s life as well. That one consuming desire was to be with God… in His house.
One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple. (Psalm 27:4)
As to the importance of that house being established in the lives of every disciple T. Austin Sparks can testify:
“Before the real meaning of the fulness of life can be known and entered into, or manifested and expressed, it is necessary for the House of God to be in clear view. The Holy Spirit has to do first of all with the House of God. That is what He has come for. That is the Spirit's object in this dispensation. Be careful not to be swung away from the object of this dispensation! There are all sorts of other interesting and fascinating things, about the future and other matters, which are not the present object of the Holy Spirit, and people are caught with the fascination of these side-lines and side-shows. They become occupied with them and are led right off the track of the Spirit's specific movement in this dispensation. Let it be understood that it is the Church, the House of God, which is the Spirit's object, and that we shall not come into the value and benefits of the full tide of the Spirit, unless we are in line with the Spirit's object, the House of God.” T. Austin Sparks
That house is now being formed in a few of the disciples of Nakuru. They are learning to dwell in each other’s hearts and to bathe in the wisdom that comes from doing so. This blog is for the purpose of sharing with all our readers the joy of the continuing construction as it happens… in Africa …in that House. This is why the blog is called 'African Praises'.
Please pray for us as we travel to Kenya. Pray for the spiritual power and resources to accomplish all we see that God wants us to do. Pray for us and everyone everywhere who is involved in the work of spreading the message of God’s incredible love.