Sometimes God surprises you from out of nowhere. Sometimes God lets you see a vision being fulfilled. Sometimes
God just wants to remind you that if you are faithful to do what He asks of you, He’ll pour out blessings. Thursday was one of those days. Pastor support in Kenya has always been an issue. In a country where the average person makes $2-3 a day, it is difficult for a pastor and his wife to pay for housing, church meeting space rent, food and school fees. On a trip here in 2009, God began to give me a vision to come alongside these men and women and help them to find ways to generate income to support their families. After a year or so of ‘percolating’, I began the Tentmaker Initiative. The apostle Paul was a tentmaker by trade. As he went on his missionary journeys, he fell in with the local tentmakers and worked with them from time to time to support his travel. If we could help these pastors get some small businesses started, perhaps they could get to the point where money and food to eat was not such a daily concern and allow them to focus more on reaching the lost.
We raised some money and, using some microfinance principles, made some small loans to some 20 different pastors. The project met with some success and some failure. Then last year God led me to some training material created by two business professors from Baylor University. “Message in a Bottle” allowed me to teach 14 business lessons using a Coca-Cola bottle. Today in Kimbiri I was priveleged to be able to teach it again. However, before I could even get up to speak, God had already poured out several blessings. Four pastors from around the area had travelled to that small village to surprise me and be with us. At the conclusion of the teaching, they all got up to give testimony to how God had used that teaching from last year. Pastor Peter’s family from Bungoma is baking sweet bread and rolls and selling them in the market. Pastor Daniel’s family operates a small shop and he has helped several of the widows in his church get started in a business. Pastor Isaac failed in his first attempt at business, but after he heard the teaching last year he went back and started again. This time he is doing well. Not only is he supporting his family, he’s caring for the three children his brother left when he died last year. These are just a couple of the success stories I heard this week. Let me encourage you. If God gives you a vision, no matter how small, act on it. The blessings you receive are tremendous!
We finished the afternoon in Kimbiri with discipleship. Several of our team ‘got out of their comfort zone’ and shared their testimonies, read scripture and taught. Lessons were taught on overcoming hardships God’s way and being wise stewards of the resources God has given us. These lessons translate in any language.
As I write this we are travelling again. For the umpteenth time we’ve been ‘diverted’ over to a dirt road. My kingdom for a road grader!