Missions Journal- Kenya, September 2017- Entry 6
Let me catch those of you that haven't read the previous entries up to speed. I just recently returned from a 10 day trip to Kenya. I had anticipated putting journal entries on this blog while I was there but I did not have access to the internet. I have been back in the US now since last Thursday. Since I was not able to update you during the trip I am posting all of my journal entries now in reflection. I hope that these are beneficial for you and give you a look into some of the blessings and struggles of international missions. Now, let us pick up where we left off.
In the last entry, I was on my way to the airport in Kisumu to return to Nairobi. I arrived in Kisumu with no issues, I boarded the "Alicia Keys" and off to Nairobi I went. After arriving in Nairobi I rendezvoused with the two other pastors from the US, Bruce Short and Mike Reid. We had arranged to stay with a large Baptist church in Nairobi. It was very late at this time so the pastor from Nairobi took us to our sleeping quarters and we turned in for the night. The next morning Mike travelled to a town just outside of Nairobi to preach. Bruce and I stayed in Nairobi to attend church at Trinity Baptist Church.
So, if you are keeping up, Perry is still in Kotiang, Mike is in Thika (outside of Nairobi), and Bruce is with me in Nairobi. All of us were to meet up in Murang'a that evening where we would be for the rest of the week. Well, that didn't happen. The government of Kenya is in turmoil right now. There was a new presidential election a few weeks back that caused some internal strife. So much so that they removed the president from office two days before we left the US to travel to Kenya. So there are many riots and demonstrations all over Kenya due to the political turmoil, most of them centring in and around Nairobi. The demonstrations on that Sunday turned so bad that all of the roads around us in Nairobi had been shut down. We could not leave. So Mike travelled on to Murang'a alone, Thika is far enough from Nairobi that on this evening it was unaffected by the demonstrations. Bruce and I waited for Perry, who was supposed to arrive late that evening back in Nairobi from Kotiang. However, Perry's flight was cancelled due to bad storms in the area and was rescheduled to fly out early the next morning.
So, the plan went from all of us being in Murang'a to one person in Murang'a, two in Nairobi, and one in Kisumu. Our team was spread out all over the country by political demonstrations, and natural storms. Why do I share this part of the trip with you? I am glad you asked!
It is to show you that no matter how diligently you plan for things we are in control of very little. Sometimes God has to remind us who is in control to keep us humble. We have to stay close to Him so that when things don't go our way that we will praise Him anyways! Most of Jesus' ministry on earth was during the interruptions of His life. Many of the individuals he healed and the crowds he spoke to had come to Him or gathered as he was going somewhere else.
The Great Commission at the end of Matthew 28 gives a command. The command is not to go, it is to "make disciples". The Greek word that is used in Matthew 28:19 that we have translated to "go" is "Poreuthentes". Why is it important that we know this? It is important because this word is a participle not an imperative. It is not the command in this verse! The command is to make disciples, the word translated to "go" literally means "as you are going". So many times we want to wait until we "go" to make disciples. Jesus was making disciples as He was going. Many of the key points of His ministry recorded in Scripture were acts performed as He was on His way to another place.
It would've been easy for us to sull up and to get stressed out because our plans fell through. However, we have to get to the point in our lives where we don't get so focused on the ministry that we are going to but to ask God to open our eyes to the ministry opportunities that present themselves to us "as we are going".