Thursday, July 22, 2010

Walking in Kicheko

Walking in Kicheko was not that difficult. It was the seeing that proved to be no easy task. Kicheko means "mocked" and this name serves as a direct indication of how the residents here feel about themselves and how they are viewed by many in the community. Fountain of Hope Church in Syokimau is changing this perception as they open their hearts and arms to serve their neighbors in Kicheko.
Why was I troubled by what I saw in Kicheko? This community was literally a series of rooms built and held together by whatever could be found at the time of construction, whether it be sheet metal, cardboard, spare lumber. The pieces were leaned against each other, forming living spaces that were less extravagant than what the "family pets" enjoy in the U.S. I took note that my bathroom is larger than most of the living areas of these homes. Piles of garbage, in plain view, mark every step. Flies, dogs, and chickens share the open spaces.
In the middle of these horrible living conditions, the light shines in the faces of the children and the Fountain of Hope church members that live here and have been rescued from the dominion of darkness. They are alive and well as they walk and put their hope in Christ, rather than in their circumstances. I was blown away as I heard church members talking about how they wanted to help those around them in need. The focus was not on simply bettering their own situation, but bettering so as to help their neighbors. This is a God-focus and a lesson our Western churches can learn from our brothers and sisters in Kenya. As we build buildings, they are building the Kingdom.

Find your local "Kicheko" and serve there.

Clean up the sewage and trash, not just in the streets but in the hearts as well. and keep yourself from being polluted by the world (James 1:27)

Broken Toys and Smiles of Life-Kenya 2

Day one at Fountain of Hope Church, Nairobi found me strolling the grounds, taking in the Kenyan air with each breath, looking for God in the simple flowing moments of living. A single boy, wearing the blue shirt that all the boys wear, played in the dusty yard next to the church. He joyfully kicked a flattened ball of surgical green. His time of play and enjoyment was not tethered by the faultiness of a non-bouncing ball.

He stopped and graced me with his smile as I snapped this picture. It is a great reminder to me of how God uses us. I am full of faults, a ball with no bounce. Yet, through Him I can still smile and be part of the celebration of life. The world is imperfect, but in Christ all is being made perfect.

Kenya- Beginning thoughts

Enroute to Nairobi, Kenya the plane descended to Washington, D.C., the capital city of this country that I call home. From this aerial view, my attention was drawn to the presence of swimming pools of all shapes and sizes in most every yard. I knew that this would seem like a different planet from what I would be seeing over the next week as I visited my brothers and sisters in Africa. Though the lives of the residents are polar opposites, God still holds it all in His hands and desires for All people to enjoy Him and to find freedom in the Cross of Christ. Why do so many still not believe? is the question that I find myself returning to time and time again. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing my experiences in Kenya with all of you and this question will be answered in various ways along with answers to its counterpart question of Why do people believe? Both are important questions.

Sitting uncomfortably in my airplane seat, I was comforted by knowing that one day the very clouds that I was flying through will burst open and Jesus will be known by all and all will acknowledge that He is Lord of Lords. He will gather His people and the "not yet" will become "now". I will at that time be truly home for the first time. But for some it will be too late. Don't be one of those. Turn to Him today.