Hebrews 4:12 says, “the word of God is living and active…” and I have never experienced the truth found in those words until this Go Near trip. Three weeks ago, I came to Kenya with no expectations, just trusting that the Lord had called me to come. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It’s not normal to quit your first “grown-up” job out of college to go on a three week trip to Africa with a lot of people you’ve only met once. But I don’t think anyone ever accused Jesus of being normal either. God called me to step out of my comfort, and trust his plan for my life, his perfect timing, and his faithfulness. And he did more than I could ask or imagine [Ephesians 3:20]. I cannot explain this trip in any other way except for saying I had the amazing pleasure of seeing the word come alive. If I had to sum up the trip (which is very hard since I have three weeks worth of stories) I would use the words of John 1:14, which says, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” We have seen his glory. We have seen his grace. And we have seen his truth come alive. It is one thing to say and believe “The Bible is true” all my life and another thing to get to see the words come to life.
Here are some ways:
1. The joy found in the children at ABC is only explained as the joy of the Lord, and it is truly inspiring from the moment you walk in. They embody 1 Peter 1:8-9 that says, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” These children understand the importance of salvation, and Jesus is their Savior in ways we cannot understand. Their joy is glorious.
2. When we were in Maasai land, I talked with Jacie about how what we were seeing really brings the bible times to life. Maasai land has many, many old traditions and is in a very rural part of Africa. We spent our days at a school with no electricity and no real toilets, where it was totally normal for a sheep or goat to walk by. Jesus talked about shepherds and sheep many times, and we got to see who he was talking about. One day in Maasai land we went door to door or mud hut to mud hut to proclaim the good news of Jesus and to encourage and pray for people we met. That night we had the amazing experience of being a part of a real African revival church service called just because we were there to preach.
“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12)
3. Psalm 9:18 says, “But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.” As we visited the homes of people in the slums we were able to remind them that they are not forgotten, and we were able to see that their hope will never perish. We so look forward to the day we will meet our friends again in heaven when all of our needs are satisfied fully in Christ.
4. We walked into several prisons to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, and we never walked out of a prison without seeing a prisoner be set free [Isaiah 61:1]. The Lord allowed us to see him break their chains as they accepted him in their hearts and proclaimed with their mouths that he is their Savior and the Lord of their lives. As we walked in together as an army for the Lord, “the Spirit God gave us [did] not make us timid, but [gave] us power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
5. These past few weeks by the grace of God I was able to walk alongside a team of people living out James 1:27, it says “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Several times we talked about how it will be hard to go home. I think that is mainly because we have tasted true religion that God loves so much. At home, we are so easily polluted by the world. We pray that the Lord will open our eyes to the physical and spiritual needs at home and that we will walk boldly in his calling for us there.
6. And last, I believe every day I have seen John 10:10. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” The devil did not want us here. He did not want us to go into the prisons. He did not want us to pray in people’s homes. He did not want us to rescue seven children. He did not want us to boldly proclaim the gospel. BUT GOD. God sent Jesus so that we could have life to the full, life abundant in Him. And we praise his holy name for that.