Friday, September 7, 2012

New Journeys Begin

It was cold and rainy day in Njoro, just outside of Nakuru, this past week as I traveled up from Nairobi to join our staff and key student leaders at Egerton University. The group was gathered in small one room apartment going over the Gospel presentation using the Bridge Illustration and verses. Excited and nervous we reminded ourselves to "simplify" & not use "christianize" when we talked to students in their rooms. I prayed over our group, asked God to use our words, our bodies to further His Kingdom. We split into our groups and packed 17 people into the 4runner, so we didn't all have to walk to dorms in the rain. My partner was Kennedy. Kennedy, is a young man who just graduated from Egerton this past May with his degree in electrical engineering, but set aside the work force to spend a year training with ACO as an intern. Kennedy spent the month of June with our US college students doing the cross-cultural discipleship/hands-on ministry experience that Kerry & I lead each year. He stands about 6'6" and might weight 120 pounds, soft spoken and we joke with him that he's a study Bible... he knows the references, but forgets what the verses say. He's way ahead of me in his scripture memory and in his reference remembering. Kennedy and I were assigned to work through block 37, knocking on each door and seeing if we could talk to whomever was inside. The fist door was a bunch of guys about to head to the kitchen to cook. All believers and all interested in finding a Bible study to attend. Kennedy took their names and numbers and will begin a study on their hall next week. The second door had four guys all laying on their beds and listening to their phones. Invited in, actually Kennedy just knocks and walks in (reminds me a the Roossien house during my high school days in Plano), we start talking to the young men. This room was my turn to share the Gospel, so i jumped in with a question..."if someone asked you how to get to heaven or how to get to hell, what would you say?" I loved the first young man's response, "for hell, just sin a lot". Hadn't thought of it that way, but pretty much thats a great way to explain it. After the other 3 responded and I was able to get all of their names and majors I asked if I could share how I'd answer the question. Looking into their faces, keeping the mood light, asking them to read some verses as I talked through my explanation, we made it through the Gospel. I had encouraged and reminded the group in the small apartment during training that at some point in each room they would have to present the challenge, have to be confrontational. The young man sitting to my right was from Kissi, a Maissi area. The young man is probably to only one from his village at University. When I asked what he thought, he said that Romans 10:8-10 was something he wanted todo right then. The other 3 needed to think through things a little more. In front of 3 guys he'd known for two day the young man prayed repeating after me to accept Christ as his personal savior! Talk about brave, not falling into peer pressure, not worrying or being ashamed of the Gospel! Kennedy will follow up with him in the weeks and months to come. I'm looking forward to seeing him grow in his faith. That night 9 students accepted Christ (a young man in the next room prayed with Kennedy). 12 in the first two nights of one on one or small group presentations of the Good News. We choose as a ministry to share the gospel this way because its what works for our ministry. It takes longer because our group has to literally knock on each door and share 4 or 5 times each night, but we've seen its an effective approach. This next week I join our staff on the coast to encourage them and knock on doors with them..... I can't wait to see what God will do through us there. As we were sitting on the stairs outside the student center that night after the group was done someone said, "you know it fun to faithful, even when its terrifying". I know you're circumstances might not allow you the freedom to knock on an office door today or a neighbors door, march in and share the Gospel. But I want to encourage you to be faithful, "even when its terrifying", even when its outside your comfort zone. You weren't left here after you accepted Him as your Savior to be decoration. Blessings, Tom