We mentioned in our last post that David had some things to share regarding their time in Kenya. We have found this very encouraging and we trust that it will spur you on in your walk with Jesus.
You may be interested in a recent visit a brother in the Lord and I made to a remote region of Kenya.
The story begins about 15 months ago when I was contacted by Jim (not his real name), who had read Stan Firth’s book Custom and Command. He was very taken with the book as it helped him to hear clearly what God was saying to him in regard to the church life he was involved with. After emailing each other for over a year he invited us to come and live among them for a brief visit. What followed was a wonderful experience for us.
Jim was being groomed as a worship leader in a local structured denomination, but his heart had been telling him that there must be a better way. As it was, he had a lot of involvement with many of his neighbours on a daily basis, helping them with their crops and other farming related issues. He was very well respected for his farming skills but more for his character. He always reached out to befriend others and to love them in the name of Jesus. When there was violence after the elections a few years ago, he and his wife took in three orphaned girls and is housing, feeding, clothing and educating them in addition to his own three children. He has no steady income except that which is generated from the couple of acres of rented land on which he grows corn and has a few cattle and some hens. At the moment he feeds 10 mouths plus those who visit for fellowship every day.
When the Lord spoke to him about church being a relational issue he started to see that church for him was already on his doorstep. In the last couple of years he has been seeking the Lord and, together with a number of other locals, has started to live in a special way. None of them have material goods more than are needed to stay alive. Very often they do not know where the next meal will come from. All of them have lived through trials and difficulties where they have despaired of what the future holds. In spite of this what you meet are joy-filled faces and people who are aware of the Lord and other peoples’ needs more than their own.
Religion, in the sense of religious observance, is not evident but living faith and fellowship fills every moment.
Being there we felt wealthy in terms of this world’s goods but extremely poor compared to the riches of care and love in which these people live. The Lord is so real to them in every aspect of life and He speaks to them in the most normal of ways. They really do understand what it is to have His word in their hearts and on their lips.
They help each other with the daily chores, they share meals, come together and stay overnight if the walk home is too dark and dangerous. Sleeping on the floor is quite normal! I mean on the hard floor! Jesus is the reason for their lives.
I observed that there were 3 equal piles of corn-cobs in his store after the harvest. He explained that one third was for their own food till next year, another was to sell and pay for school fees, the third was to meet the needs of others!
We were privileged to meet others around the area who also live in a similar way, some in greater freedom than others. They told us of many more who are starting to live like this. The thing that amazed them about our visit was that white men could feel so one in heart with them and not want to take control of them or manipulate them! One of them joked with me that now he was sure that the gospel would be preached in all the world if the white man can understand this relational way of living!
Pray for these precious people whom the Lord is taking care of. What He is doing is very special and it is happening without the sound of a hammer!
David Rice, Ireland