I’m sending this from home, where I arrived last night (Sunday). So thankful to God for traveling mercies and trip mercies!
In the past 24 days, the following occurred:
- Nine flights (total flight and airport time was 57 hours)
- 32 hours driving on the road
- Ten different beds (which includes ten times packing, unpacking, and the favorite pastime of ironing),
- Seven two-day foundational workshops (112 teaching hours) in seven different cities in four different countries, training 620 pastors and church leaders
- Nine COVID tests, dealing with long lines, costing a total of $390 USD per person
- Countless meetings before, after, and during the workshops with DML teams, leaders of denominations and organizations, old friends and new friends.
Praise God for the strength and ability to get through all of this, relatively smoothly!
The last leg in this journey was in Nairobi, Kenya. Here, we met with a new DML partner, Life Ministries Kenya, which is the Kenyan name for Campus Crusade for Christ.
CRU (as it is known in the US) is not just about campus ministry, but it also works with churches and denominations, encouraging discipleship and leadership development, as well as church planting. The workshop in Nairobi was attended by many of the Life Ministry Kenya staff, including the National Director.
The message of DML resonated with them and they said that the time is right for this message, especially in this season of COVID where churches have lost significant amounts of members. One leader said, “The church has been caught with their pants down – they made the church all about the building and programs, and not about equipping the people.”
Other comments made at the close of the workshop:
Everything you are saying is in the Bible – and we have this same Bible…How did we not see it? (Justice Mediator and Business Owner)
I realize that I have been teaching everything wrong. I have been teaching scarcity and population control. I have learned that people are not the problem, they are God’s solution. Going forward, I will be changing how I teach. (Economics Professor)
The leadership of God’s church is shifting from the pastors and bishops to the leaders in the Marketplace. (Pastor)
We are excited to see what God can do through this partnership!
TIPS FOR COMMANDING THE ATTENTION OF AN AUDIENCE
For those of you on Facebook, you may have learned of the *shocking* experience I had in Mwanza, Tanzania. I am developing tips on how to command an audience’s attention. In Ethiopia, I fainted while teaching and was caught by my translator. In Mwanza, I was electrocuted and saved by my translator. All of this is a good (albeit humiliating) way to get the attention of the audience!
What happened was this: We were just opening the workshop with welcome and introductions, following which we would show a short video. While Pastor Anthony was doing the intro and welcome, I was making sure the video was ready to go. We were using two projectors – one for English and one for Swahili. I realized that the computer we were using for Swahili did not have the video on it, so I decided to switch HDMI cords to project from the English computer. I unplugged the HDMI cord from the Swahili computer and walked over to the English computer and unplugged that HDMI cord. As soon as I did, the current (220, not 110) started surging from one hand to the other, through my body. I began shaking. I tried to shake the cords off of me, but they were now stuck on my palms, attached like magnets. I called out, “Help me!” three times, while stumbling backwards and then falling to the floor. Pastor Anthony tried to pull the cord to get it off of me but it would not detach. He then grabbed my arm and was able to pull one of the cords off, which ended the flow of electricity. It took about 10-15 seconds. So, there I sat on the floor, and looking up, saw everyone gathered around with great concern. Yup. Embarrassing.
It was definitely scary for me, and I keep wondering what would have happened if I was alone – how could I have ended the flow of that current? But God is good, and I am fine! My doctor encouraged me to get an EKG when I could, so I was able to do that in Nairobi and was told my heart is “perfect.” But I didn’t touch the cords at that workshop for the rest of my time there!
It’s not unusual for things not to be grounded in various parts of Africa, and I’ve been shocked many, many times. But never for a sustained period like this!
For more tips on commanding an audience, especially if you are willing to be embarrassed, stay tuned!
The training in Nairobi, with the majority of participants from Life Ministries Kenya and the Africa Community Fellowship Churches.