The power of God is palpable; just reach out
It’s been a week and I have wanted to get something out in writing to let you know how it is going out here in Africa, but my schedule has been so intense. By the time I get back to my room and take care of the basic stuff, I am too exhausted to think, never mind write a letter.
I’m worried I will forget a lot of the wonderful things which have happened so far if I don’t hurry up and start writing it down.
I will be in Kenya for six weeks – three weeks in Nairobi and the surrounding area; and three weeks in other cities all around the country.
Each day I am at another church, preaching a message, sometimes twice a day.
Each day the message is different, but the results are the same.
My first service was in one of the refugee camps where people who were displaced by the recent violence in Kenya have gathered.
They have lost everything in the destruction, including in many cases, their families.
Orphans are everywhere.
There were 1,500 orphans in this one camp alone and this is not one of the largest refugee camps here.
More than 5,000 people were killed (the news in the U.S. told us only 900) and the shock from this insanity still has these people reeling.
We came with some food and basics, but it was when we handed out Bibles that the people went crazy.
I emailed a short video clip of them mobbing me, to Cindy, my wife, which only shows a bit of it.
Bibles are more precious to these people than anything else.
I have heard several accounts of people running into their burning houses to save that one most precious possession – their Bible.
And then, when one person has a Bible in these camps, he will sit outside and read it while sometimes as many as 200 people gather around to listen.
I’m not making this up.
This is really happening.
So when they heard they could get their very own Bible … it was pandemonium!
Unfortunately, we didn’t have anywhere near as many as we needed, but we left them with a ray of hope that God has not forgotten them and there is a way out of the darkness.
It is like that everywhere we go.
When you stand up in services and ask how many have a Bible, only four or five will raise their hands.
We have learned to start giving the Bibles to the pastor and let him take care of it.
First, it eliminates the wild crush of people trying to get one. Second, it places the pastor in charge of ministering the blessing to them.
I will be gone the next day, but he is the one who must continue to lead them, so we want the Bibles to come from him, not us.
Besides Bibles, I have also been giving them bundles of Gospel tracts for them to go out into their community and bring in the lost.
This place is in such desperate need of something to believe in, something that will give them hope, someone who can save them from the darkness. A small invitation to come to meet Jesus Christ finds fertile ground in the despair of the slums which surround these communities.
But the need is so great that there is never enough to go around.
So far, I have handed out more than 200 Bibles in this first week alone – and that is with us trying hard to be conservative with handing them out.
I still have five weeks to go.
If I had one thousand Bibles, it would not be enough.
I want to tell you all about how supernatural the services have been, but I have to leave for this afternoon’s service.
Briefly, though, I want you to know the Spirit of God comes down in each service and fills up the room.
The power of God is palpable.
You can reach out and touch God.
Things happen; chains break; hearts open; and it feels like we are shattering glass every time.
Wait until I tell you about yesterday’s service!
But that will have to wait until next week.