Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Is It Possible?

Here I am in Nairobi, Kenya getting ready to welcome a mission team that will be working in the Kibera slum, visiting orphans, spending time with blind children and enjoying a safari on the Masai Mara. I love Kenya and the Kenyan people. I love bringing Americans here to open their eyes to the larger world.

One special side benefit to this trip is that I had the chance to meet with the General Secretary of Church Army Africa (an Anglican mission agency) for the whole continent of Africa. Richard Mayabi and I got talking about how to move people out of poverty and into self-sufficiency through a whole new way of doing church. It's a dream come true to meet someone at Richard's level of leadership who is committed to engaging the church to lift people out of poverty with micro-business, micro-finance and other strategies that bring accountability and ownership.

Richard has connected me with Mark Royster from Kentucky to join the conversation about the possibilities for Kenya and beyond. It's almost more than I can hope for to think we might actually find a way to bring the church back into the center of people's lives. This conversation coupled with my reading of The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novogratz, founder of the Acumen Fund, while flying here has my head swimming with possibilities. Can't wait to see what God's up to.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Back to Kenya

Next week I'll be in Nairobi, Kenya. This is my fourth visit and first time since 2002 that I'll be going with a missions team. I love Kenya. The people of Kenya are so wonderful. That's a broad generalization and the truth is there are Kenyans who aren't wonderful. But the ones I've had the privilege to work with are amazing.

Maybe that has more to do with faith than nationality. The Kenyans I know live out their Christian faith every day. It drives who they are and what they do. In Kenya you'll hear Christian music on the radio mixed right in with secular music. They don't separate faith from life. It's all rolled in to one big ball. The true, relational nature of faith is tangible.

A week from Sunday I'll have the honor of preaching at a church in Nairobi. I don't feel adequate to the task. There is so much I need to learn about genuine, intimate relationships with people and with God. And I feel like my friends in Kenya are way ahead of me on that. Maybe I'll tell them much I admire the way they live out their faith. We in the west could learn a lot.