Friday, 31 July 2015

Why are Aussies choosing to become full time missionaries


From the Bible Society of Australia - link to their article.

Travel and short term mission key influencers for becoming a full time missionary



MISSION NEWS | Tess Holgate
Friday 31 July 2015
Three Australian scholars have published an article in international journal Missiology on the reasons why Aussie Christians are deciding to become missionaries. Three main factors were found to be most influential: interaction with missionaries, participating in short-term mission trips, and being exposed to the world and its needs.
Richard and Evelyn Hibbert and Tim Silberman interviewed 42 missionaries, exploring the broad range of factors that have been influential in their decisions to serve God long-term.
“God is still calling people, [but] I think the language has changed,” says Richard. “People are more and more talking in terms of conviction that this is the right thing to do. People in the past have had something very dramatic happen to them, they felt that God spoke to them in a certain way, and this still happens today. But today it’s more about that sense of conviction, however that comes.”
The study shows that amongst Australian missionaries, conviction to pursue long-term mission is generally a product of three main influences.
First, all participants in the study revealed that other mission-minded people (whether missionaries, pastors, family or friends) had an influence on their decision to become a missionary.
“Nearly half the interviewees first became interested in missions through a missionary who was visiting their church. Seeing, hearing and talking with a missionary seemed to make the possibility of being a missionary themselves real to them. Hearing missionaries talk inspired them to get involved in mission themselves,” the study reads.
Second, a little less than half the participants indicated that a short-term mission trip was important on their journey towards long-term missionary service. Some of these trips were taken to raise the individual’s awareness of the need, while others were more directed, attempting to answer the question of “how they would fit as a missionary in a particular part of the world, a particular kind of ministry, or a specific team”.
Third, around a quarter of respondents said that exposure to the world and its needs influenced their decision to become missionaries.
“Exposure to new people and cultures enabled interviewees to begin to empathise with people from another part of the world and perceive their need for the gospel.”
“Potential missionaries need as many opportunities as possible to connect with experienced career missionaries. Providing contexts that are positive towards missions and that foster these relational connections seems particularly conducive to the mobilisation of future career missionaries.”
In order to raise up the next generation of missionaries, Richard says we need to expose Christians to the things that God is doing around the world, and the ways in which he is showing his glory.
- See more at: http://www.biblesociety.org.au/news/travel-short-term-mission-key-influencers-for-becoming-an-australian-missionary#.VbsHmEd5KUI.blogger

Sunday, 1 February 2015

This just simply sums things up right now.

It is well with my soul


Thank you Lord!

Contentment, Discipline and Obedience

During my last trip to Kenya I spoke at a church about contentment and discipline. That day I was focusing on financial freedom in Christian but now, months later, God is teaching me a lesson about contentment and discipline, about obedience.

Two passages from the Bible come to mind about contentment.

Matthew 6:24-34 NIV
"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. [25] "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? [26] Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? [27] Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ? [28] "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. [29] Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. [30] If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? [31] So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' [32] For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. [33] But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. [34] Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Hebrews 13:4-6 NIV
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. [5] Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." [6] So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"

Here, in Hebrews, the Word of God speaks of contentment. Certainly we may deduce from that context that contentment, the grace of contentment, for those who are married is to be found in the way of living in their marriage in obedience to God. That is the way we experience contentment in all of our life.We must be content.

Contentment is the grace of being satisfied in the Lord's provision. Contentment is faith which understands that my life is not by chance but that it is all controlled of God and that God has purposed an eternal love to save me and to work all things for my good. Contentment is having your heart set on the kingdom of God and enjoying the peace of God in your soul. That is contentment.We have so much! Yet we are filled with discontentment. The cure for our discontentment is not a monastery, but we must look to how we live in our marriages, in this blessing.

A covetous man cannot see God's blessing. And covetous men and women are angry men and women. They cannot have what they want and they blame each other that they cannot have it and they have much strife.To experience God's blessing in a marriage we must practice contentment with what the Lord has given to us.

In the passages above there is one key to this great truth. The key that unlocks the way to true contentment.

Matthew 6:33 NIV
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

This is a lesson we must all apply daily to our lives. A discipline that I struggle with, time and time again...... "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness..." if we get this right then there is a promise attached, "and all these things will be given to you as well."

True contentment only comes through obedience, obedience to God! This is true in every part of our lives. At the moment, I am learning this is especially true in marriage.

I thank God for the gift He has given me in my gorgeous wife, Linda.

Proverbs 31:10-11 NIV
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. [11] Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.

Proverbs 31:26 NIV
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

Proverbs 31:29-30 NIV
"Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." [30] Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Thank you, thank you, thank you

My almost 3 months in Kenya this time has been amazing!
God has richly blessed me and often it has been through people.
So many people have helped to make my time here a blessing to others and to me.
As God has blessed me through you, may he richly bless you.

●For all who visited me during my time in hospital here.
●Pastor William Eyika of Elyon Christian Mission, for the generous provision of a car for my use during my time here.
●Joshua Maraka, of Chosen Children of Promise for all your assistance.
●All the team at CCP, for your friendship and hospitality - making me feel a part of your team.
●My many friends at Lifespring Chapel, for your encouragement and support.
●Stella Mwangi, for helping me coordinate everything, for your encouragement, support and continuing friendship.
●The local Pastors, who invited me to share the pulpit.
●Covenant Guest House, for once again making me feel at home.
●New and old friends, for filling my life with joy.
●My family in Australia,  for understanding my need to make this trip, for all your love and support.
●God, who made it all happen and continues to abundantly bless me.

Inaweza Mungu ambariki awabariki

Asante sana

Friday, 21 November 2014

Such mixed feelings

My time in Kenya this trip (nearly 3 months) is almost finished. I fly back to Australia on Sunday (tomorrow).

Why am I torn between two places?

I know that I am missed back in Australia,  especially by family, but God has given me a passion for ministry on Kenya. Even though I have not yet left Kenya, I find myself thinking about how soon until I return, praying - Lord, show me the way.

I know that I have said it before about my time in Kenya, each time, it is a life changing experience. I have learnt so much about myself, my gifts and my talents but mostly about reliance upon God.

During this trip, God has blessed me in so many ways, confirmed my ministry here and that has increased my desire to move here.
I look forward to returning to Kenya soon.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Last Minute Changes

On these last few Sundays here in Kenya I have been invited to preach at a number churches.

I normally prepare well in advance and have everything ready 4 or 5 days in advance.

However, these last two Sundays although this has been the case, God has prompted last minute full rewrites.

Yet again, what appears to be my theme verse for this trip keeps coming to mind.

2 Corinthians 4:7 NIV
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

Monday, 10 November 2014

So Different

Today I attended two very different churches.  This morning I preached at Christian Family Worship Centre at N'gando.  It is a vibrant church full of music, clapping & dancing.

Tonight I attended All Saint's Anglican Cathedral in Nairobi.  They still use the 1962 Book of Common Prayer and they have a choir, complete with robes.

Although the styles are very different,  they both worship the one & only true God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of everything.
Today, both of these churches fullfilled the mandate given in Heb 10.

Hebrews 10:23-25 NIV
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. [24] And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. [25] Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another---and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Bwana asifiwe, Bwana asifiwe tena!

Saturday, 1 November 2014

The truth about Halloween

I came across this information and I must share it. I know many  people might not agree but hopefully it will make some people rethink their involvement.

Thank God for His Grace! I truly believe that once you come to the knowledge or revelation of something, you are then responsible....... In doing research, getting information from people and gathering information from various sources, my mother and I came across some startling and very eye opening facts about the origins of activities, from what we use to consider a fun and harmless time of the year.

Did you know..............

      Trick or treating and wearing costumes were first done by the Druids to keep themselves safe from evil spirits?

      Bobbing for Apples was done to obtain favor with the evil spirits. People would kneel around a tub of water filled with apples. The first person to get an apple without using their hands, would have good luck and favor from the spirits for the coming year.

      Bonfires originally came from these nights of human and animal sacrifices where they would throw the remains of the bodies into the fire. The next morning all that was left were ashes and bones- thus the name bonefIres- bonfIres.

      If this information is not enough, here are 10 more reasons that Kerby Anderson, an author, broadcaster and CEO of a Christian Think Tank Ministry, gives us.

10 Reasons Christians Should Not Celebrate Halloween.

1. October 31st. Has long been known as "The Festival of the Dead." The Celtic tribes and their priests the Druids celebrated this day as a marker for the change from life to death.

2. Halloween today is performed usually by adherents of witchcraft who use the night for their rituals. Witches celebrate Halloween as the "Feast of Samhain" the first feast of the witchcraft year. Being a festival of the dead, Halloween is a time when witches attempt to communicate with the dead through various forms of divination.

3. Christians should not be involved with occultic practice or divination. Note God's command against divination in Deuteronomy 18.

4. Occultist believe Halloween is a time of transition between life and death. Some occult practitioners...believe in lying on the grave and listening to the message from the long departed.

5. Occultist also taught that spirits and ghosts left the grave during this night and would seek out warmth in their previous homes. Villagers, fearful of the possibility of being visited by the ghosts, would dress up in costumes to scare the spirits on their way. They would also leave food and other "treats" at their door to appease the spirits.

6. Occultists also would try to scare away the spirits by carving a scary face into a pumpkin. Sometimes the villagers would light a candle and place it within the pumpkin and use it as a lantern.

7. In some witchcraft covens, the closing ritual includes eating an apple or engaging in fertility rites.

8. Schools are removing any religious significance from Christmas and Easter. Isn't it ironic that most public schools still celebrate Halloween even though it has occultic origins?

9. Participating in Halloween gives sanction to a holiday the promotes witches, divination, haunted houses and other occultic practices.

10. Christians should not endorse or promote Halloween in any way. "The night is nearly over; the day is almost near. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light." Romans 13:12

Source

Friday, 31 October 2014

You never know

You never know when and where something you do or say may have an impact on someone else.

Yesterday we finished the day in the office by celebrating the birthday of two of the staff. I was just returning from teaching a class elsewhere  and I missed the first part of the celebration which was Kenyan tradition of "showering"  them with blessings. Well actually, they get a bucket of water dumped over them (bath day).😊

As I arrived at the office they were all enjoying cake and sodas. Then everyone declared a blessing for each of the birthday ladies. I was the last in the cirlce so I was asked to also pray for them after declaring God's blessing for them.

In some of the blessing from previous people I had heard the phrase "desires of you heart". So, I picked up on this and quoted Psalm 37:4 NIV
"Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart."
As I have said on previous ocassions, the best translation for this verse is that if we delight ourselves in God, he will fill our hearts with His desires, replace our desires with His will. As we delight and trust in God and his will it becomes our desire, only wanting what pleases Him.

This morning as I arrived at the office I was greeted by one staff member who said that God had used what I had spoken yesterday to speak deeply to her life. She had gone way and meditated on it.

You never know when something we say or do will be used by God to speak into somebody's life.
Jesus himself said that we would be His ambassadors. The questions to ask ourselves is what type of ambassadors are we, good (given honour and glory to Jesus) or bad (bringing disgrace to His name)?

Remember, it is all about Him, not us.
2 Corinthians 4:7 NIV
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us."

God is good!



Tuesday, 28 October 2014

View of area around CCP office in Kawangware

Just thought I would share a few quick photos that I took while installing a wireless network unit 10m up a tower on the roof of the CCP office in Kawangware. 
The photos give you an idea of the mixture of dwellings in the surrounding area.
Two photos just give you an idea how high up I was on the tower.






Monday, 27 October 2014

What a week!

WOW!
 What a week - all good, just very busy.
My aim was to blog at least every few days but the week has been so busy that it has been difficult to find time to gather my thoughts and write them down. So, here is a brief recap of the past week.

Last Sunday I traveled to LifeSpring Chapel, Syokimau and caught up with some friends. As usual from Lifespring (either campus), the sermon was great and the whole church service amazing.
Most of the week was filled with various meetings, looking at IT issues for CCP, getting a wireless link installed between the CCP office and the CCP Academy (Community Centre), interviewing two ladies from the Kenya Help scholarship program (an amazing interview - check out http://tiny.cc/yijdox), attending a Graduation dinner and ceremony for one Kenya Help scholar (well done Ann) (two other friends also graduated at the same time), attending AFLEWO (aflewo.com) and finishing the week with time at Lifespring Chapel, Embakasi (another clear message - from Pastor Zeph and God). I then spent the afternoon catching up with Rhi, an Aussie from my home church who is interning this year at Lifespring Chapel, Embakasi.

Oh, and to top it all, the Principal from Elyon High School at Dagoretti Corner informed me that his wife had a baby on Monday and they have named him "Rob". This is such an honour and particularly here in Kenya. Please pray for this little one. There have been a few complications but we hope that I can pick them up from the hospital today or tomorrow.

All in all, a very busy week but everyday I have seen God at work both in my life and the lives of those around me. I am truly blessed. Thank you Lord!

God is good!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Scholarship Interview

Yesterday I had the privilege of interviewing two of recipients of scholarships from Kenya Help.

The response from these two young ladies was nothing short of amazing.  The main focus of the interview was "How has the scholarship changed your life?"

The interview is a must see in its entirety.

I hope it will inspire and encourage you.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Mashujaa Day

Mashujaa Day (Heroes Day) is a national day in Kenya which is observed on October 20 to honour Kenyan heroes who contributed towards the struggle for the country’s independence.

Post independence national heroes and heroines such as those in the business sector, sports and arts industry among others will also recognized on this day.

Initially, the day was dedicated to the nation’s founding father, the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. It is the day he was arrested in 1952 on suspicion he was the leader of Mau-Mau fighters.

However, the makers of the new Constitution felt it should be renamed Mashujaa Day because there were other patriots across the country whose contribution in the fight for independence was equally important.

This year’s celebration comes at a time when the country has had a difficult year with a myriad of challenges ranging from insecurity, ICC trials of the President and his deputy among others.

Today especially, pray for Kenya and its people.  Pray that peace will continue and above all that God will continue to bless and grow Kenya for His glory.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Elyon High School - Day of Prayer

What an amazing day!

It was called a Day of Prayer. It was to celebrate the senior students (Form 4) as they finish high school and commence their exams next week.
Truly done "Kenyan style", the day was full of praise, worship, music, entertainment by students, speeches, teaching from God's word and of course a meal together.
I was one of two guest speakers and without planning on our part, our messages meshed together so well. It was truly a God ordained connection.

This video is of the senior students entering the hall - Kenyan style.
Pray for these 37 young people as they sit for their exams and begin their lives beyond high school. 

Elyon 2014 Form 4 Procession: http://youtu.be/QmvUP_r-Sdo

Friday, 10 October 2014

An Example to Follow

Soon the final High School exams begin for Kenyan students. Elyon High School at Dagoretti Corner in Nairobi always strive to set good example for the students and indeed the community. Today is a one of those times when they show the importance of having the right priorities and that our Christian Faith is not an isolated or compartmentalised part of our lives but must shape our entire existence.

Today at Elyon High School, all classes for the entire school are cancelled and the whole school community will spend the day in worship and prayer. The day of prayer will have a focus on the Form 4 students (those facing their finals) but will also be a day of general prayer for the whole school community.

What a great example to Christian schools everywhere - dedicating a whole day for the whole school to pray for the students as they begin their exams. What a wonderful way to demonstrate our priorities.

I have been asked to speak today at the day of prayer. Specifically, I have been asked to bring a word of encouragement to them from God's word. It is a wonderful privilege to be asked but also a huge responsibility. Please pray for me as I share from Phillipians 4:4-9.




Thursday, 9 October 2014

Pray for Vanessa

Today I left early to drive a CCP sponsored 9 year old girl, her mum and the CCP nurse (Mable) to a distant hospital where they offered to review the girl for neuro surgery. As it turns out it was too complicated for the district hospital even though this week they have a team of neuro surgeons from Canada.
They ended up referring her to the welfare program at Aga Khan Hospital. So we went there to start the process. The board at Aga Khan Hospital will make a decision on Monday. Please have many people pray for Vanessa.  She turns 10 next month but is the size of a 6 year old. Without surgery on the brain tumour soon she may not last long. She is deteriorating quickly. She had a fit in the car on way home. It was so scary.
Please, please, please pray for this girl and that the hospital board and doctors will make the best choice to help this young girl.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Training - full swing

Well, it has been a very busy week but again an amazing week.
Training sessions are in full swing with daily sessions for the teachers at CCP Academy and two mornings a week for the CCP office staff and then on Saturdays we have a morning session for the CCP volunteers. I have been greatly impressed by the enthusiasm of some of the "trainees". They realise that is is an opportunity to upskill themselves and are grabbing hold with both hands.
Opportunities that "in the western world" we take so easily for granted, are not often available here. It is a privilege to serve these wonderful friends.

On a more personal note, I keep coming across the same passage from the Bible. It has popped up many times and in many places during the last two weeks.
2 Corinthians 4:7 NIV
[7] But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.













Tuesday, 30 September 2014

All clear

Today, I finally received the all clear from my doctor here in Nairobi.

It is such a relief to put all that behind me. God carried me through it all.

Today was a busy one. I started early this morning leading the devotions at Elyon High School at Dagoretti Corner for the entire students and staff.  What an honour it is have them keep asking me back to share a from God's Word.

The rest of the day soon filled with sorting IT issues for CCP, investigating some new ideas to help the CCP office in the future and of course travelling to visit to the doctor.
Thanks to Pastor William Erik a from Dagoretti Corner for the provision of car. May God continue to bless you as you serve Him.

All in all, a great day. Thank you Lord.

God is good!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

The desires of your heart

Psalm 37:4 NIV
[4] Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

This Bible verse appeared on my phone today and it reminded me how many people I know who misunderstand this wonderful verse and abuse its intention.

It is not saying that if we delight in God then he will grant our selfish wants. Yes, God does promise to provide for our needs but this verse in not even speaking of that characteristic of God.

It is saying if we surrender to God and delight in what He delights in, then He will change us and our desires will conform to His Will.

In the context of the rest of this Psalm we can see that it was written by someone who has learnt throughout life to trust and totally depend upon God; to delight in God's ways and wait for Him to show blessing.

If you are game, ask God to fill your heart with His desires and then watch the transformation in your life.

We serve a mighty, mighty God!

Settling back down

WOW!
What a start to this trip. During my time in hospital I learnt so much about myself and trusting God completely.
Since leaving hospital on Wednesday I have tried to settle back down into what I came here to do. I have spent the last two days (albeit shorter days) in the CCP office fixing a few IT issues and preparing for the staff training sessions that I will be commencing next week. With the down time during my illness it means I will need to spend a fair bit of time this weekend getting up to speed ready to conduct the training sessions - presentations, assignments & exams to compile.

I still need to visit the hospital on Sunday for a follow up blood test and then a doctor's appointment on Monday. Please pray for continued healing and health.

Oh, and I still have no word on my lost luggage.

Have the events of this past week weakened my desire to be here?
No! I do truly believe this is the time and place that I am meant to be.

This is the scripture that keeps resounding in my head........
2 Corinthians 4:7-9 NIV
[7] But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. [8] We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; [9] persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.