Giving thanks for “Africa 2015”

Nairobi Seminar, Alice translating for Willie Ruth
Washing feet, Orucho
Washing feet, Orucho
Some new partnerships in ministry
Some new partnerships in ministry, Kakamega
Rejoicing in dance
Rejoicing in dance, Jinja, Uganda

When I look back on the trip to Kenya & Uganda, I am filled with thanksgiving for what God did and is doing. I keep thinking “Who am I to have been used by the Lord to bless and challenge pastors and church leaders in far-away places?” I think back to when I was much younger, offering myself to be available to serve in any way…He took me up on that! This especially comes to my mind as I wash the precious worn feet of those who sacrifice so much to take the Good News to those in more hidden places than we were.  At the end of each of the four seminars, we washed the feet of the participants to demonstrate, as Jesus did, the servant heart. It is a powerful time, in so many ways! The discussions were challenging with really good questions, based in real lIfe. Some things are uniquely African, other questions reveal how we are so much alike in our emotional needs, sin, and need of a Savior!

Pray for the pastors and leaders as they work to implement discipleship in their own settings…they need God’s wisdom in every step! Fortunately, that is promised when we ask for it!

Maturing Toward Christ-like Character – Africa!

Orucho sem.2In anticipation of teaching our Discipleship Training Seminars in 4 locations in 4 weeks (Kenya and Uganda), I get excited all over again! My trip begins this Thursday July 9th!

The goal is for pastors to be trained so they can train those in their churches and other pastors, to the end that they all would increasingly mature in Christ-like character to the Glory of God!

This is a big goal and can only be done in the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit. We’re just a small part of what God is doing in their lives!

The Lord ministered to me the other day with the passage in Luke 12 v.32, “Do not be afraid little flock for your Father has been pleased to give you the Kingdom.” I love being part of his “little flock”, those he has chosen and nurtured.

Yet, I’m sobered by the surrounding warnings of what NOT to be anxious about…those who would kill my body (v. 12:4), defending the Gospel before authorities (v.11), all kinds of greed and hypocrisy (v. 1 & 15), concern for food and clothing, (v. 22)…things that capture the heart and distract from serving Him.

Back to the promise of the Kingdom… I’m captivated by wonder in thinking of the Kingdom! Jesus will be King and he will rule “in character” with holiness, justice, righteousness, truth, compassion… those who have come to him, like a child, for salvation will be transformed into his likeness, there will be no more sorrow, pain, brokenness…!

We can see that its fullness is not here yet but we are charged with being his ambassadors! We are given the same power that broke open the tomb (Ephesians 1.18-21) to stand firm, speak boldly, showing radical sacrificial love, demonstrating a different kind of rule. This begins in our hearts and grows, strengthens and multiplies with others to increasingly glorify God and the Risen Jesus Christ! Time to worship an awesome God!

Pray with us that the Lord will give us wisdom in teaching and answering questions in the seminars and in conversations along the way, for health and safety (but if He choses to use those challenges, that we would handle them well, to His glory)!

-Mary