I got some wonderful email from the brothers and sisters from Kenya over the last few days. This has truly been one of the highlights of my year. We became aware of these people when they wrote me a couple of years ago wanting to know if I’d come to visit them in Africa. That led to a lengthy email exchange to find out how they felt I could serve them in coming. I sent them copies of my books and was surprised that they were so taken with my view of Father’s love and biblical examination of the nature of the church. The teaching caught on like wildfire among their entire community of churches and pastors. They translated some of Authentic Relationships and passed it out freely. I was blessed at very simple changes I saw them making to be more responsive to a less hierarchical structure of their group.
And, as Father would arrange it, I had a couple of people I knew traveling through Kenya and asked them to stop in and visit them and find out what they were about. I was assured by independent verification that they were who they were presenting themselves to be and that the man I was communicating with had a heart of gold and I could trust him.
Then a year ago Kenya erupted in tribal violence after a disputed election. Homes were burned, people brutally murdered, and thousands of people displaced. I wrote my new-found friend and asked if he was OK and if they needed anything. He told me he had 25 families who’d been displaced camped at his home. When I asked about sending money, he said no one had ever sent money to them before. We made the need known on this blog and my podcast audience a few times through the spring and summer.
Throughout the year year people helped us send over $30,000.00 to Kenya to help with these brothers and sisters. They have been so grateful and have used it all so wisely. To our joy, they not only used it for themselves, but also shared with unbelievers in need, and believers in other corners of the country that needed help as well. One of the high points of this year for me is this connection and how God has used it to build up the body of Christ, there and here. So many of have sent checks both large and small to share with our brothers and sisters in this time of need.
So I want to share my most recent contact with them. This one is about a translation of my article, “Why I Don’t Go to Church Anymore.” And this is from the head of a large denomination that encompasses a number of countries in eastern Africa:
We would like to thank you very much. Our translation team has completed the work we decided to take only parts of “Why I Don’t Go to Church Anymore”. The message is so touching and this message will benefit thousands of Saints across Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and some parts of Uganda. I have already send it out to Rwanda and Burundi through email. There are nine pages and we are praying if God can open a way that we may get our own photocopy machine and spiral machine and this can give us easier work to save thousands of money for photocopy. Then we will only buy photocopying papers instead of using thousands of money for photocopy. We are having around 200,000 church leaders who are in need of this material and this material will help more in rural areas, interior places and even in urban where there is misinterpretation of the word ‘church’. This message has changed totally my life and the lives of our congregation so we are praying that God will provide us with the photocopy machine that we may start immediately distributing to church leaders. I have put some copies in our offices that some leaders may photocopy. May the Lord bless you so much for what you are doing. If you may want to publish in the Internet you may do so because it is so needed worldwide. There are 39 million people who only speak and read Swahili in east and central Africa who will now be able to read it. Download Swahili translation here.
We also were able to send over $5,000.00 a couple of weeks ago. They had an opportunity to buy Bibles at a highly discounted price and wanted to distribute them free of charge. Here is their report:
It has taken some days to send you the feedback but I was working in the distribution of the Bibles to the needed people. We would like to appreciate very much for your large support towards us and since I told you earlier that we shall use the support in three categories.
1. We bought a plot to help the needy children especially those who were orphans that they may have education in this village called Bosnia. It is within Kitale in rural area. The history of this area were affected in tribal clashes in 1992 and they were chased from their land and there was one person who felt the sympathy and bought the land for about 5 acres and he divided to 51 families and right now the village is having around 1,500 people with more than 3,000 children. I have been going there regularly with the team and we have started the fellowship there two years ago. The people are very congested the life is also hard, no hospital or school within. Two years ago we started with them a prayer believing that God will expand their life so immediately the time you send the support then God reviled to me about the situation so we were there with the treatment for the children some food and lastly, there was one person who wanted to migrate from there and he requested if we can be able to buy his plot that we may extend the school so I decided to buy the plot so we are thanking God that the children of the area will have the place where they will be having education because we started the pre-school last year. Baby class up to standard one using only one building and it seems that God was answered their prayers. This is the starting point for humble beginning and in future we will extend as God provides. This school is having around 65 children where this building can accommodate. And next year if God will provide us with the structure, the number will be increased up to 200. May the Lord bless you so much for your wonderful offer to us.
2. We bought 237 Swahili Bibles since we bought at whole sale and this has already been distributed to 237 leaders who do not have even a new testament Bible
3. We managed to buy drugs of to help our brothers and the sisters. And the rest of the money I used for my orphans whom I stay with about 17 of them and for my family.
May the Lord bless you so much for the large support and for standing with us at the times of need.
This is one of those incredible connections that God brings about in his timing. As it has unfolded through the year it has been a great blessing not only to share with them but watch them grow in rethinking their paradigms. I’m praying about a trip out there next year and spending some time seeing what God has done and how we might further encourage his life and grace among them. And I am deeply grateful to all of you who participated with us in blessing this collection of brothers and sisters on the other side of the world.