Back at Bridgeworld

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It has been wonderful to be back at Bridgeworld College this week. It has been a very full week, teaching Preaching Apocalyptic Passages: Studies in the Books of Daniel and Revelation every day from 9.00am to 3.30pm. The class has been very well attended.

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I was pleased to present 45 students and several members of Bridgeworld’s support staff with Africa Study Bibles this afternoon. The highlight, however, was presenting an Africa Study Bible to Bridgeworld’s own Professor Lois Semenye, a contributor to the Africa Study Bible. (Click on any picture below to open slideshow.)

All that’s left now is grading all of the exams, submitting my grades to the registrar, and packing for my return trip on Saturday night. A very big Asante Sana! (thank you) to all those who partnered with me on this trip, and especially to those who purchased an Africa Study Bible for a brother or sister here in Kenya. Words cannot express how excited and appreciative students have been to receive a copy of the Africa Study Bible.

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Marafiki (Friends)

IMG_1244Last Friday morning I traveled across Nairobi to Bridgeworld College in Karen. As most of my time last week was spent indoors or inside compounds at Deliverance Church and the Wang’ombes’ home, I was eager to get out and explore Karen on Friday afternoon. So, after greeting the staff at Bridgeworld, taking tea with Dr. and Mrs. Lee (principal of Bridgeworld), and getting settled in my guest room on campus, I borrowed the office car and visited our old neighborhood and the places we often shopped. There was one friend, John, our gardener, that I was delighted to meet on the street. There were some others, herds of Maasai cattle that can create traffic jams, that I was not as delighted to meet again.

I was grateful to spend time on Saturday morning at the prayer garden where Findley is buried. I was glad to see that the rose bushes we planted, though not in bloom, survived the drought, and I was again deeply grateful for the counseling center’s kindness to our family and for their care of Findley’s grave.

Saturday afternoon I reconnected with Phil & EJ Blohm, dear friends of ours in Nairobi. We enjoyed a late lunch together before attending a Hillsong concert that evening.

Sunday morning I worshiped and preached at St. Matthew’s ACK, our home-away-from-home church in Karen. It was wonderful to see so many friends. (Click on any picture to open slideshow)

Because the service included both a baptism and the Lord’s Supper, it was a bit longer (2 1/2 hours) than usual (2 hours).


I was delighted to see the school that the church is building. (Click here for an earlier post about and pictures from the construction.) The first two classrooms are now complete. Because they will begin using them tomorrow, the congregation had a special time of prayer in them after this morning’s worship service. While we thank God for these classrooms, we know that there is still much work to be done. The church hopes to complete two more ground floor classrooms yet this calendar year and four first-floor (aka second-floor in North America) classrooms next year.  They are also praying that by the end of next year, when all eight classrooms are complete, they will be able to purchase a bus for the school.

Finally, on Sunday evening I enjoyed tea and dinner with Guy & Susan Rainsford, our across-the-street neighbors in Karen. Our girls especially enjoyed their time with the Rainsford’s daughters Josie and Rehemma during our time in Kenya last year.

Tomorrow my one-week intensive course, Preaching Apocalyptic Passages: Studies in Daniel and Revelation, begins at Bridgeworld College. Classes will be held Monday through Friday from 9.00am-3.30pm. Please pray for stamina and endurance.

School of Preaching 2017

IMG_1149.jpgToday is the final day of at the School of Preaching 2017. It has been a full but truly delightful week. Sessions have been held each morning, Monday to Thursday, from 8.30am-12.30pm. Along with daily lectures on the book of Daniel, I taught sessions on expository preaching, preaching Christ from the Old Testament, and sermon design and delivery.

35-40 people attended the sessions each morning, and all who attended morning sessions received an Africa Study Bible from a brother or sister in North America. Asante sana!

The School of Preaching also includes evening sessions from 6.30-8.30pm. During these sessions, I preached a sermon (45-60 minutes!) on a passage in Daniel, demonstrating what was taught in the morning sessions. Over 130 people have attended these sessions each evening, including a former student from Bridgeworld College and his bishop.

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Former Bridgeworld College student Philip Masiolo and Bishop Florence

Peterson and Ann Wang’ombe and their family have been wonderful hosts during my time in Kahawa Sukari. Peterson is the pastor of Deliverance Church, where the School of Preaching is held. I look forward to returning the hospitality, and possibly the birthday party – I was with the Wang’ombes for Ann’s birthday; Peterson will be in Pella over Graeme’s birthday – in a few short weeks when Peterson comes to Pella.

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Tomorrow morning I travel across Nairobi to Bridgeworld College in Karen, where I’ll be teaching a one-week intensive course, Preaching Apocalyptic Passages: Studies in Daniel and Revelation, from September 11-15. Being in Karen over the weekend will give me the opportunity to spend time at Findley’s grave, with the Blohms, dear friends of our family who live in Nairobi, and to preach and worship at St. Matthew’s ACK (our home-away-from-home church; see the second half of this post).

“Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.” (Eph. 6:19)

 

Karibu Kenya!

I received a wonderfully warm Karibu (Welcome to) Kenya last Friday evening. After 20+ hours of travel, I was grateful to meet Lee, a staff person from Deliverance Church – Kahawa Sukari, at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. I was also warmly welcomed by Pastor Peterson & Anne Wang’ombe when we arrived at their house, where I will be staying this week. Though it was late – nearly midnight when I arrived at their home – they had a delicious dinner prepared.

The biggest news story in Kenya on Friday was the Supreme Court’s ruling regarding the country’s recent presidential election. I first saw the news while waiting in line to clear immigration and customs at Kenyatta Airport. Citing irregularities in the reporting process, the Supreme Court declared the recent presidential election null and void and ordered that a new election be held in two months. That a court would declare an election null and void is a first, not only for Kenya, but also for Africa. Given the violence that followed the 2007 presidential election, people are anxiously watching and waiting to see what happens. So far things have been calm. Things appeared quite normal when Peterson and I drove through downtown Nairobi on Saturday afternoon to pick up Africa Study Bibles for the participants at this week’s School of Preaching.

This morning I preached at the English and Kiswahili (with a translator!) services at Deliverance Church – Kahawa Sukari. The church is currently decorated with the red, white, green and black colors of the Kenyan flag. Pastor Peterson explained that especially during election seasons people are easily divided along tribal lines. Politicians are known to exploit these divisions. The church includes strong supporters of both presidential candidates and members of many tribes. The national colors are meant to encourage people to identify themselves as Kenyan before they identify themselves with their particular tribe. Especially after the violence of 2007, people are anxious to promote national unity and peace.

IMG_1089The English service also featured two Egyptian missionaries who are visiting Kenya. They both currently live in Muslim-majority country in the Persian Gulf region. I was very convicted by their deep appreciation for the freedom of religion in Kenya. Both noted how openly Kenyan Christians talk about their faith, something I rarely experience in the United States. They also spoke about how privileged they were to be involved in street evangelism and crusades in Kenya, something that could not happen in their country of origin or their current countries of residence. Such things could surely happen in the United States. Why don’t they? There is so much we can learn from our Kenyan brothers and sisters!

I will be at Deliverance Church this week Monday through Thursday for the School of Preaching. Sessions will be held each morning (8.30am-12.30pm) and each evening (6.30pm-8.30pm) from Monday through Thursday. The topic is: “Dictators and Dreams: Studies in the Book of Daniel.”