Stories from the north

Well, I’m off the Mozambique in a little over an hour so I thought I’d share briefly about our last OFM trip before our next one is underway. I love my job, by the way. I love getting to experience such a wide swath of Africa, how there is so much diversity in people, cultures, religion. And to see how God is redeeming people from all tribes, whether missionaries are there or not! We heard a lot of stories from our last trip, to a closed nation in the Horn of Africa, of how people who’ve never met a Christian or heard of Jesus have been spoken to personally by him in their dreams, telling them that he is the way, the truth, and the life. They wake from these dreams shaken and changed to the core, and after a great deal of secretly searching and researching him, have committed to follow him with their lives. The amazing thing is that you will find this story across Africa, particularly countries where it may get you killed to follow Jesus. The more extreme the persecution – obviously the less likely the people will get to hear of Jesus – the more likely Jesus will speak to them personally through their dreams. In other words, God will redeem his people in spite of what any government or religion might try to do to stop it. So, Ted and I had an amazing time in this last country, hearing these stories, and he did a great job writing about this, so I’m going to plagiarize him for the rest of this post:...

Nairobi, part 2

Friday, Aunt Shirley drove us around Nairobi, to a shopping area where we were going to meet with another director at AIM. On the way, we really got to experience some of the more rural areas around Nairobi. The poverty here was incredible, many many roadside markets, people digging through garbage, workers harvesting produce in the fields, people walking everywhere you looked. Where were they walking to? How long had they been walking? It seemed like we could be out in the middle of nowhere, not close to any town, but everywhere you looked you’d see dozens of people walking along the road. We met with “K”, one of the directors of AIM, and had an incredible time with him talking about the work they are starting in North Africa, and TIMO (Training in Missions Outreach)- an intensive, medium-term, immersive introduction to missions. After our meeting with K, we visited the Masai Market, a big flea-market-like weekly market, and we grabbed several souvenirs here. Later that afternoon, we hooked up with our friends, John and Joy Haspels. John lived next door to me at Sterling College, and Lesa and him had many missions classes together. It was great to catch up with him, and hear about the building project he is working on in Loki, northern Kenya. That evening, Katie and I attended a worship concert at a big pentecostal church in Karen, near my aunt and uncle’s. It started out pretty slow and boring, a bunch of drawn-out, old American worship choruses. Katie and I tried to leave, but the monstrous downpour of rain must have prevented the...

Return to North Africa

Since going to North Africa last September, I had been dying to take Lesa there, to see if she’d feel the way I felt, to see if the experience would be a dramatic for her as it was for me. It certainly was different experience this time… especially travelling with our 1 year old. Fortunately, Sydney did a pretty good job on the whole trip. She slept when we slept, and we brought a lot of baby food with us so she ate pretty well, too. Lesa’s sister Katie came with us as well, and was a huge help with Sydney and our 8 suitcases and giant guitar flight case. We were quite a sight at Heathrow trying to ride the tube between terminals carrying all of our stuff and Sydney. We arrived in XXXXX, Friday evening, and got checked into our hotel room around midnight. The next morning our group toured the medina, and went and visited with some other American workers there who run an college program. Sunday we taxi’d somewhere in XXXXXX, and met with the youth group for an incredible time of bi-lingual worship. We played songs that were known in both english and arabic, and they sang a lot of songs in arabic, and I played along on the guitar. Afterwards we had lunch and spent the afternoon playing games and hearing their stories. Really amazing stories, every one of them. I remember one girl said she had been following Christ for 3 months, but she wished with all her heart it had been 3 years. She was the only Christian in her city....

A Night in North Africa (a week actually)

Here begins a crazy story that is still being written… a story about how God has called my wife and I into overseas missions… a story that began a long time ago and as of Dec 29,2005, doesn’t have a specific direction! My wife has always been interested in missions… I’ve always been reluctant because I always thought of a missionary as someone living in a grass hut in a dirty dusty village trying to teach people without clothes how to grow corn. I know that didn’t really cover everything that happens in foreign missions, but I seriously thought that was a large part of it. I didn’t have much of a desire to live somewhere where I didn’t have internet, where I couldn’t speak English, and where people didn’t know all the words to The Joshua Tree by heart. My wife majored in missions at Sterling College, I majored in Computer Science and Music. She went on to study it in seminary while I raked in the cash as a web developer. At some point, God got our (mine, particularly) attention and called us unmistakably into full time ministry. We left our home in Kansas City and moved to South Riding, Virginia to work for a church, where Lesa and I serve as Creative and Technical Arts Directors (respectively). We love our church… really can’t stand the thought of doing something else. But God has a funny way of changing your heart and placing burdens in it that weren’t there before. Ha ha. We’re still figuring out the details, but here begins the story of my first overseas...
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