I am sitting under a tin-roofed verandah in Kitale, Kenya. As I type, the birds are singing and roosters are crowing. The sights, sounds, and smells of Kitale bring very special memories to my mind.
My family used to live, and serve, here as missionaries as part of a church-planting team. My daughter, Kathryn, was born here. My daughter, Karissa, was baptized here! This little part of Africa has played a major role in our lives.
One of the things I remember being fond of is the wintertime weather. It’s not like the U.S. Highs reach into the 70s with evening lows in the 50s. Everything is green, and the corn is tasseling as it grows to nine feet tall! In a culture that lives from one harvest to the next, there is hope for a bountiful year.
However, with my senses alive to all that’s around me, I heard something new just now. The one o’clock “call to prayer” sounded just beyond the compound where we are staying. Muslims are observing Ramadan, their holy season. Seeing the influence of Islam in Kenya (supposedly a Christian nation) is sobering. Yes, the work of spreading the Good News is not done!
It’s a work that I started helping in the early 1990s. Our church planting team began accelerating its work with the help of a simple filmstrip series from GNPI. Intentional teaching, coupled with Sin in the Camp, helped grow a relatively small network of churches to more than 30, and later as momentum grew, to 120! Down the road, I’d gladly join GNPI to help build its regional center in Nairobi, Kenya.
As any father would, I look back fondly on the memories of my children as they spent part of their lives in Africa. I must admit, though, I have that same fatherly feeling as I think, perhaps, God used me and the work of GNPI, in some small way, to help His church grow in Africa.
Let’s continue working and praying together to finish the work God has given us to do around the world.