Great Awakenings Spring Newsletter
Greetings in Christ! June 11-25 we will be traveling to the nation of Kenya in East Africa to come alongside fellow ministers of the gospel and reach the lost. It is a land slightly smaller than the state of Texas and sits on the equator. The nation is bordered by five other countries; Somalia (northeast), Ethiopia (north), South Sudan (northwest), Tanzania (south) and to the east they have a beautiful tropical coastline that is connected to the Indian Ocean.
Land wise, Kenya is diverse. The northern part is dessert like, the central is one of the most agriculturally productive locations in Africa, and the east is tropical. The famous Mount Kilimanjaro (29,314 ft) sits on Kenya’s southern border.
Nearly 40 million people call Kenya their home, which is made up of 42 ethnic groups, each with their own language and culture. Even so, English and Swahili are their official languages.
Some of the ethnic groups make up the nation’s historical natives and over the centuries Kenya has been ruled by the Arabs, the Portuguese, and Great Britain. In 1963, they finally gained independence becoming their own nation.
KENYA’S SPIRITUAL HISTORY
Legendary African missionary-explorer, the Englishman, David Livingstone once said, “I would rather be in the heart of Africa in the will of God, than on the throne of England, out of the will of God.”
Spiritually, Kenya was impacted by the mission work of Livingstone, as well as Peter Cameron Scott (founder of Africa Inland Mission) by the East African Revival and other evangelistic efforts through the centuries. Today, they have freedom of religion and are 82% Christian despite being surrounded by Muslim majority nations. However, only 7% attend church regularly. Even so, because of the high Christian rate and freedom of religion, Kenya has become a central location for Christian mission organizations who work throughout Africa.
Set featured image 2In Kenya, there are over 2,000,000 Somalis. Many are in the capital of Nairobi, while others make their home in the northeast, along the border of Kenya and Somalia. Since Somalia is one of the most dangerous nations in the world, Somalis living in Kenya are the focus of many evangelism efforts.
My pastor, Grant Clay, and I will be part of a team of approximately nine people traveling to Kenya. The trip is being organized by ELLS International (Equipping Leaders for a Lifetime of Service).
Pastor Stan Meyers, who founded ELLS, used to be a missionary in Kenya. He developed it around what he saw were some of the greatest spiritual needs for the body of Christ in the rural areas of East Africa. Consequently they organized training conferences for pastors, evangelists and other church leaders. They focus on equipping them to do inductive Bible study, expository preaching and teaching, culturally appropriate preaching and teaching applications, to provide effective pastoral leadership and to be strongly biblical in all their ministry functions.
Our team will be holding conferences in four different cities and our days will be comprised of teaching during the daytimes and preaching during evening church services.
Collectively, they expect hundreds of Kenyan church leaders to attend these events. ELLS has been doing these conferences for years in the same areas. Set featured image 3
My role will be to do teaching in the area of evangelism and model evangelistic preaching.
Additionally, my Pastor and I will be spending time with Pastors Moses and George Muguro. They have a focused ministry on Somalis living in Nairobi. We will be learning about their work to explore some potential future ministry.
THE PASSING OF BILLY GRAHAM
When I learned of the death of Billy Graham I was deeply saddened like millions of others. He was living giant of Christian history. I count it a privilege to be alive during his era of ministry.
My mother turned to Christ during his famous 1957 New York City Crusade. My father met him while attending one of Graham’s Schools of Evangelism. I was honored to be part of the Institute for Emerging Evangelists that learned from the Graham team, and was a part of Mr. Graham’s final crusade in 2005.
In First Corinthians, the Apostle Paul urges his readers to follow his example. Clearly, part of making disciples is learning from other disciples. This means what to do, and sometimes what not to do. Living in the public eye, Billy Graham has been an example to many of how to live as a disciple of Jesus.
His son, Franklin, said his dad had cards around the house with Galatians 6:14 on it, “. . . far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”
That is something from Billy Graham that I want to model. Keep my focus on Christ and off of myself and the things of this world. Praise God for his example. Set featured image 5
Slave of Christ,
President & Evangelist