It has been a great several days meeting people that I will stand long behind in God’s Kingdom reward program. Not only many faithful Kenyan pastors who toil faithfully with almost no support, help or comfort (not to mention little training or encouragement) but also meeting many people who have quietly served decades making Tenwek hospital in Western Kenya an amazing place. They are new to having the Pastors conference on their grounds and it is truly amazing to see what they have developed here to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the Kenyan people. Tenwek’s motto is, “We treat, Jesus heals”. And treat and share truth they do. This “little missionary hospital” has grown to be one amazing place, now doing surgeries as complicated as knee/hip replacements, open heart, eye surgeries and cancer treatment and research. They have their own nursing school, community service program that teaches preventive care and abstinence, and so much more. It is now staffed by 600 Kenyan doctors, nurses and administrators with about 7-15 US docs who live here with their families. It is amazing to watch these families live amongst the people. It is like stepping back into the 50’s watching their kids run barefoot with homemade bow and arrows/spears/toys over grassy Kenyan mountains that are lush, green, and full of trees/loud birds. They learn to swim in the river at the bottom of the hill and play like kids should play: free, without an Xbox, and full of imagination. Folks make their own butter and can’t wait to invite you into their homes that are filled with children, the peace of Christ, simplicity and joy. Beautiful to be around.
If you know me at all I don’t like to use the term missionary when I am talking about anything other than a normal believer who is being faithful wherever they are, but if you think of what it must have been like to wade into the African frontier and bring light and hope to the tribes of Western Kenya, I am getting to know some of the saints that did it and some of the new generation who are now continuing to support what is now, as it should be, largely a work done by native Kenyan believers. Every patient and person accompanying a patient is individually loved on and receives care and truth. Over 10,000 treated so far this year and all without government assistance. It is the top hospital in the region and one of the best training schools in Kenya for multiple medical disciplines. Followers of Christ doing what they should as they should in a place so marked by peace and simplicity you envy it. As i said …I will gladly stand back as these friends receive their eternal reward.
Meanwhile, at the conference I am loving and motivated by hundreds of men and women who sit crowded on hard wooden benches for 10 hours a day, soaking in everything we can give them. Teaching on servant leadership, conflict resolution, the problem with tribalism in the church, forgiveness, discipleship, preaching/teaching, reconciliation, role of church in crisis, and forming a nation and more. They take short breaks for tea and worship that would make a dead man dance. My heart is full…especially knowing that all my friends in Dallas are seeking to live as missional lives and taking advantage of their mission field littered with Xboxes, excess, and anything but rolling lush green mountains. May peace, joy, love, and simplicity (you can drop the homemade butter) abound in your home and may you live so faithfully that I can’t wait to stand behind you as I watch the Lord celebrate your faithfulness.
Got word from Rick and Chad today that the first day of their conference in Sudan went well. I look forward to joining them in next 36 hours as I wrap up here. Jumping on a small bird (cessna) off of a valley airstrip with our faithful friends at Mission Aviation Fellowship- more great guys who have chosen to live here solely to transport guys like me to places it would otherwise take hours to drive. They say they are the donkey and we are the Samaritan that seems to love our neighbor. Grateful my donkey has wings and these guys jump in with me in prayer everytime I jump in one of their planes.
Don’t know what your mode of transportation is going to be today but I pray you are the good samaritan and love your neighbor with truth and grace wherever you go.
Privileged and grateful.