Saturday, December 19, 2009

Safari Story

Here's a great story about the safari Dustin & I just went on. We arrived at the Tsavo East Park at around 11am. The plan was to drive around looking for animals to see (Elephants, Gazelle, Impala, Zebra, etc.) until about 1pm when we'd arrive at the lodge where we would have lunch. We saw a few animals, it rained a little, and as I was standing up with my hands up in the back of the safari van with the raised rooftop getting wet from the cool raindrops and the cool breeze lacking the humidity of the coast, I realized how draining the Mombasa humidity can be and how refreshing this was.

We came to the road for our lodge, but there was a river running through it so we went the long way. Our driver was in a hurry as we were late for lunch so he sped on through the bumpy road. We were going much too fast to see anything so I continued reading my book. The nice young German couple were standing up in the front, their hair and faces becoming redder and redder with the African dust kicked up by other vans in front of us. Suddenly I hear a scream and see a small yellow thing flash in front of me and I feel a little splatter on my face. I looked to my right to see a beautiful, yet headless, yellow bird on top of my small, black N. Texas dufflebag. A small pool of blood gathering next to its missing head.

"Ahhh!" I said.

I picked up the bird's body and hung it over the side of the van. I was going to drop it, but then decided it would be best to document, thus the pictures. One of us finally said what everyone was thinking, "Where's the head?" The young German woman looked down to her feet and screamed, "Ahhh!" We all laughed a little more, took a few pictures and had a good story.

Brown-Outs: Reflections on the Universal Church in Kenya

All of Kenya electricity operates out of one company: Kenya Power & Lighting. It is run by the government and is very unreliable, so much so that many have called it, Kenya Power & Darkness. Black outs are frequent, candles and flashlights always ready. You never know when it will go, and once it goes you never know when it will come back, anywhere between 20 seconds and 12 hours. But the strangest kind are what Dennis Omondi calls, 'brown-outs'. The fan makes one revolution every 5 seconds, the lights are dim and pulsating, and it confuses appliances so much that it is better to turn it off.

Brown-outs. Somehow, it describes the state of the Church in Kenya. "You are the light of the world...let your light shine before others that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven" (Mt. 5:14,16). It's a bit dim here. Some pastors, some churches, and some 'Christians' are like those confused appliances - it would be better to just turn them off because they are doing more damage than good. Some have no light to shine and therefore no good works to give God glory. If you take the church in Kenya as a whole, it's average is a brown-out. But if you start digging deep, looking for a few good churches, a few good men and women that shine with the brilliant light of Jesus Christ in all they do, there is hope for both Lighting and Power in Kenya.

Some have told us,
"You mean that the pastor of your church isn't all about money and offerings? He's not greedy for power, riches, and fame? That's weird."

"I've never been to a church that preaches God's Word for what it actually says!"

People from our church, helped raise over $2500 and some traveled 1000 km across the country to be present for Evan's burial (for the full story of this faithful man's death, click here) in Busia. They left with 14 people and returned with 4 or 5 people. Why? Because the family turned on them in anger looking for someone to blame and judge for such a tragic and awful event. The light of Christ shined bright by the few into the brown out of the many.

Pray for the church in Kenya, that it might truly be a city set on a hill. Pray for our local church, Word of Life Fellowship. Our church is maturing but is not lacking in its own occasional brown-outs.