Saturday, 7 January 2017

Beginning with Questions

Revealer of the Unknown

I am so blown away by our God, there are days that just thinking of who He is and that He loves me makes me want to sing! (And I did, by the way, I'm pretty sure my neighbors may think I'm crazy now... Oh' well). This morning I was reading in Daniel, the passage where Nebuchadnezzar tells all the wise men to declare to him not only thee interpretation of his dream, but also the dream itself. My mind was baffled as I saw how God used this situation to illuminate all the wisdom of the day and make Himself the last one standing.

This is the God we serve. The God who declares mysteries and makes known revelations. Daniel Chapter 2:19-23: “Then Daniel praised the God of heaven 20 and said:
‘Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
    wisdom and power are his.
21 He changes times and seasons;
    he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to the discerning.
22 He reveals deep and hidden things;
    he knows what lies in darkness,
    and light dwells with him.
23 I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors:
    You have given me wisdom and power,
you have made known to me what we asked of you,
    you have made known to us the dream of the king.’”

Knowing that the same is true today; for God is the same yesterday, today and forever, I am filled with excitement as I dream about the future. I know that there are great things to come and He has a plan, which, I believe, He wants to reveal. In the next couple of days, I purpose to take time away from my schedule to seek Him on what it is.

One of my dear supporters asked me the other day, what was my purpose in coming to Nairobi and how have I been working towards fulfilling it. I was a little taken aback by this question because it revealed that I have not clearly communicated these things to you. Please forgive this shortcoming. In the words ahead, I will attempt to clarify any misunderstandings and articulate my goals and how I’m working towards them.

My purpose in coming

First, I am not here in Kenya as your typical “missionary.” Meaning I am not living in a hut, going out each day pass out tracts to unbelieving villagers. Much to the contrary, I am living in the outskirts of Nairobi (a very developed and growing city), and working at a church to learn from them ways we, in the states, can do things better.

Back at the beginning of this year, the leadership at my church, River Run (RR), approached me and asked if I would be interested in helping them build a stronger partnership with Nairobi Chapel (NC – one of the churches forerunning the church-planting movement in Africa, who is working to partner with and plant churches across Kenya and around the world). I would do this through going on a staff exchange; meaning that I would spend one year with NC, learning their DNA and culture and working alongside them, in exchange for them sending one person to do the same at RR.

Overlooking the fact that I was not staff at RR at the time of this conversation, we discussed that my goal would be to go and learn about NC’s internship program called Kinara. Through this year-long internship program, they train leaders for ministry work *mainly to equip ministers to fuel the church plants. During their program, they work across all departments at NC, while simultaneously taking classes on leadership, Bible, godly character, and discipline. The goal in my learning about this internship program is to be well-equipped to start one similar at RR, when I return.

Up until this point, my involvement with the program has been slightly limited due to other responsibilities I had taken up at NC in the New Believers’ department. I had been helping disciple new converts, modify the teaching documents, and help create a training program for the Pastoral Care department. Moving into 2017, I am going to be managing the calendar of events for the Kinara department. This will give me and inside-look into how things operate and a hands-on way. In addition to helping the department in this way, I will be taking time to synthesize what I learn into a program that will be compatible in the American context.

Currently I am praying through what that will look like. I have several questions for how the ideal program will run. Please pray with me in regards to:

-          Who is our main target of people for internship? Is it people who are in school? Graduates?
-          How long the program will run (4 months, 7 months, 1 year, etc.)
-          What will be the objective of the program (ideally, where will we send interns after they are through? Is the goal to prepare them to be ministers in the corporate workplace, to be missionaries, to be church planters? -the answer here will help determine how classes are structured)
-          What classes need to be taught? -This will follow who our target audience is, if it is Bible school students then we don’t need to teach certain things then if it was High School graduates/
-          Where will the instructors come from? NC uses seasoned pastors and teachers to lead the interns in weekly classes, what does this look like at RR? Do we collaborate with other ministries? Which ones?
-          Where is God calling us to evangelize/minister? The internship program here has many different avenues for interns to evangelize in schools and around the country through missions.

These are the questions I am hoping to find answers to in the next season of my time here. Looking at the task ahead, I am holding my peace by remembering that I serve the same God as Daniel, the same God who is the great revealer of mysteries. He is the One with the answers because He has already written the future. 

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