“We will be there at 9am. Be ready”.
We had been invited to tour the Kenyan Baptist Theological College.
Meet with the principal and staff.
Tour the grounds and facilities.
but what happened was so much more
As we started the drive out of Nairobi, Bert was explaining what we were seeing.
“It’s not uncommon to see four people piled on the back of a motorcycle.”
“See that building that’s painted like a giant Kotex box? Have I got a story for you!”
“These Muzungus? They pretty much control the road.”
I couldn’t keep up. She was giving me the play by play and all I could do was watch as it passed me by.
“We are going to pull over here in a minute so you can see the Great Rift Valley.”
It was foggy, but you could see for miles and miles.
There is a dormant volcano.
A road that will dump you into the Atlantic Ocean if you follow it to it’s end.
Rows and rows of shacks where locals are selling wares.
This woman was sharing the history of the valley that she has sketched out on a piece of soap stone. Some little animal figurines. Desperate for us to buy something.
The shacks were perched up on the side of the mountain. You walked out on boards to look over the edge.
Some had slid down the side of the mountain.
Others looked like they were being held up by faith.
We continued the drive towards the college. Miles and miles of tea fields, corn, vegetables.
Stands boasting beautiful fresh fruit.
Animals grazing on the side of the road.
When we made it to the college and I stepped onto the campus, tears filled my eyes.
You could tell they have been praying daily over the grounds.
You could tell that this was a place of ministry.
With each staff member we met, their gratefulness overflowed.
The grounds are beautiful, the views phenomenal, but nothing compared to the joy that lit the faces of the faculty.
Moses, the music professor, took us to his office and classroom.
20 violins had been donated to the college and he explained that Kenyans had a knack for picking up stringed instruments. It comes naturally for them.
They come from different regions.
Pastors, lay leaders, churchmen and pastors wives who are desperate for knowledge.
They come for what they call “holidays” so that they aren’t missing work and ministry in their own homes.
Right now, the curriculum is geared so that Music and Bible are offered together and not one or the other, because they have found that native pastors need training in both.
Ministers wives have a separate course that is geared specifically for them.
The men graduate with a diploma.
They are right now working with a seminary to establish a program worthy of a degree.
As we walked all over campus, Jack and Bert would introduce us to the workers and staff.
One in particular stood out to me .
We rounded the corner on the pathway headed to the main office/library and there was a small break in the row of hedges. A man and his wife, who had a little girl strapped to her back, greeted us with big smiles, They exchanged back and forth in Swahili for a bit and then Jack noticed that Maureen, the daughter, wasn’t feeling well.
“She has malaria” her parents told us. Her little eyes looked exactly like my own kids do when they are feeling bad. She lifted her head to see us and then snugged back down into her mom.
Jack asked them if she had seen a doctor and if there was anything we could do to help. They told us she had and that they were just watching her, like all parents do,
“Can we pray for her?”
As my little preacher man moved in close and placed his hand on her back my eyes filled with tears because I have seen him in this setting so many times. Praying over our own kids, our church kids, our community kids. That she would be healed, that she would come to know Jesus and that she would grow up to be the woman that He created her to be,
This kind man who has sought God over every single part of this trip, including making some decisions that I even fought against because he knew it was the right one for our family, listened to the Holy Spirit. It didn’t one time cross his mind not to love on this baby girl just like he would our own.
We prayed hard about what God had for us on this trip.
Where He was sending us.
What He had specifically planned for us.
Our hearts cry has been to be completely used up for His glory during these 20 days.
We came to Kenya because we knew we were supposed to. And believe you me, up until the minute we boarded the plane, it was a struggle.
We begged God to release us from this trip.
To close doors and take the desire away.
We cried together.
Called on our friends to pray with us and over us.
But He didn’t answer in the way we thought He would.
We offered to Him our blank slate, praying that He would fill it as He saw fit, and He did.
God has graciously allowed John and I this time to learn, grow, experience immense heartbreak and gain a new perspective on missions and ministry.
To answer all the questions that have been asked about our schedule and why we are here:
We are here because God told us to come. And we are doing our very best to obey. Does that look different than what you might want it to? Absolutely.
Does it look different than I want it to? Absolutely.
But our job isn’t to question where He is sending us, but to just simply obey.
Our divine appointment today was God breathed.
And I can’t wait to see where He sends us tomorrow.