It was about 2:00 a.m. Saturday morning, and we were flying east towards the Netherlands when I saw something amazing. We were cruising along around 30,000 feet, just south of the tip of Greenland when it happened. I was sitting next to the window unable to sleep when the woman next to me said “Look! Look! It’s the northern lights!” At first I did not understand what she was saying, then I looked out the window and said, “Wow!” It was like the colors of the rainbow were shooting upward from the earth’s atmosphere. It was an incredible site to behold, as all sorts of beautiful colors draped the top of our planet above the artic circle. (Image from Pixabay)
A SIGN OF WHAT WAS TO COME
As I witnessed God’s amazing creation through the northern lights, it would be a sign to me of what was to come. And that began as soon as I landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. It was about midnight on Saturday and I was standing in line waiting to go through customs. As I looked around, I saw how the entire area was filled with Somali Muslims. I recognized them from when I travelled to Kenya in 2018. Eventually, I turned around and introduced myself to a man. His name was Abe. As we talked he said, “We have all just returned from Mecca, this was my fourth trip there.” The pilgrimage is an essential part of Islam. We were able to talk about spiritual things, where he explained to me somethings the Koran has written about Jesus, and I was able to share with him, the gospel. I thought to myself, “Wow! What a beginning to my ministry trip.” Soon afterwards I was picked up and taken to where I would be living for the next week, and got to bed at 2:30 a.m., after very little sleep for nearly 30 hours. Then a short time later, I was up and preparing to preach the morning message at Manna Church, the campus church for Manna Bible Institute. (Image from Unsplash is of Mecca in Saudi Arabia)
A TIMELY CORRECTION
Then Monday began my teaching, the main reason for my trip. This was by far the biggest and most fruitful part of my ministry time. I was teaching the students for about six hours a day. At first it was a little challenging. I would ask questions of the class and not much response. They would break up into study groups and it was silence or they would not be giving the right answers when called upon. Then at a break, God sent a student that told me, “You need to explain things better. Many people do not have a deep knowledge of the Bible.” I welcomed his words and took them to heart. All of the sudden things began to change. Students started engaging better and catching the concepts I was teaching.
WE HAVE NEVER HEARD THESE THINGS BEFORE
I was teaching them how to preach like the Apostles, based upon a study of the Apostle’s sermons. On the first day I told them, “I will be teaching things that will challenge everything you have been taught about the gospel and evangelism.” And that happened. One student commented, “We’ve never heard these things before.”
I taught them how the Apostles preached a God-centered, righteousness of God gospel message versus a man-centered, Jesus loves you message. Paul wrote in Romans 1:16-17, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed…” They learned how the church’s first-generation evangelists exalted the nature of God, declared the works of Christ, heralded Jesus’ nature, preached the cross, pointed out sin, warned of judgement to come, proclaimed belief in Christ and declared the promises of the gift of forgiveness and of the Holy Spirit.
GLORY TO GOD
The results were amazing! All glory to God! They immediately applied what they were learning in personal evangelism after class. Every day they were seeing people come to Christ. Additionally, they were sharing what they were learning with family, friends, pastors, the Manna faculty and others. Consequently, every day more and more students were showing up. The college started to get low on food and had to find more space for students to sleep. It was incredible.
As the students have gone home, they have been applying what they learned. Additionally, the Manna church has been doing follow-up with those that came to faith in Christ. New people have been coming to church, getting involved in discipleship groups and will be getting baptized in the near future.
There is much more I could write about, like the evening open-air services we conducted in a field across from the college, or how right across from the campus is a Somali Muslim Mosque and school. It was built a couple years ago due to the impact the college and church was having in the area. I could also share about the children’s, youth and couple’s outreach, a pastor’s kids conference, or ministry at a driver’s license school. God provided so much to do in a short period of time.
For those who prayed, encouraged me along the way and financially supported, thank you for sending me.
Thank you so much for reading. I hope you have been encouraged and pointed to Jesus.
Servant of Jesus. Servant of Yours,
Great Awakenings, Inc