Thursday, December 6, 2007

Kenya Update - 12/6/07


• 8:30am – Willie picked me up at the BTL to go to the camp.
o We laughed and laughed as we listened to a Kenyan talk radio program where the callers were debating with the host which is more important money or love…One caller said “love don’t pay no rent” and another said “money don’t keep you warm at night, unless you got lots of it to use for a blanket”…our drives over to camp and back have become a lot of fun as we talk about different things that the world thinks are important, and then compare them to what God’s Word says. Willie has become a real encouragement to me, today when he picked me up he had a big bottle of spring water that he had bought sitting in the front seat for me…That was a huge thing for him to do…It was a very nice gift, and I thanked him over and over! I felt bad taking it, but he insisted.
o Again the church was rocking when I got there, and I had a good time worshipping with the teens…the worship times have really helped me get in the frame of mind and spirit that I need to be to communicate God’s Word with them…today both sessions went extremely well! I could tell they were listening and understanding…There were several times that I could tell that every one in the church was locked in to what I was saying…it was an amazing feeling because I knew the Spirit was at work in their hearts…that’s all because of prayer right there, because it sure it isn’t in my power!
o The games today were even better than yesterday if you can believe it…they used tires, and wood, and rope and rocks, and sticks and a cart that people use to carry things around town in…I saw so much creativity today it was unbelievable…I then found out that a youth leader named George is the mastermind behind all of the games…he’s very creative and very much a behind the scenes type of guy who is having a blast watching his “creations” come to life, and the campers enjoy them so much…I pulled him aside and tried to encourage him to keep honing his skills because he’s really good…he kind of played it off and said “nah they’re just games” to which I gave him my whole “tool in the toolbox lecture” and he began to beam with joy to think that things like games can be used for the kingdom! I love speaking words of encouragement to youth leaders, it’s so fulfilling!
o The sun was really hot today, in fact I think I got a good burn, but it was worth it as I got a chance to play some basketball with the guys…it’s been a while since I’ve played but it was starting to come back to me as I mixed it up with my fellow hoopers…they have a whole different style of play than I do…they like to do things like…jump high, run fast, steal the ball quickly etc. I seem to have adopted a very different style that includes things like…staying close to the ground…pacing myself & turning the ball over quite often…I like to call my style of play “patient and controlled” which is also known as “Old & Slow”…it worked, I connected even more with the teens, that was my goal! As we were going to the next activity one of the guys said “Brent, you’ve got the body of an American Football Player” which I thought was a pretty cool thing for him to say, then I realized I think he was actually telling me to give up basketball and stick to something else that I was more suited for…so the rest of the day I wondered which position he was referring to…it couldn’t have been running back, I’m too big for that & I already went public with the fact that if anyone was a runner then we’d have to find something else in common because I’m more of a sitter…Then I realized…duh, I’m in Kenya, the home of just about every marathon champion the world has ever known…that was a dumb thing to say…so I guess he meant some other position (I think it was probably a big old lineman, but in my mind he meant quarterback…at least that’s how I choose to take it.)
o The leadership seminar was really great today…not because of anything I did either…the whole seminar time was taken up with dialogue about what we’ve been learning…one leader would ask a question and before I could give an answer another leader would jump in and take a shot at it…the whole time was like that, each leader chiming in with their ideas and applications…as a teacher/facilitator that was very gratifying for me to see that…they were not relying on the “answer guy” they were formulating their own thoughts and then sharing them with each other…Sylvester told me later that that kind of interaction is what he’s been praying for a long time, because it shows that leaders are starting to “Get It” and have confidence to speak up and help each other. He said today was a huge win for the ministry!
o I had several great conversations with teens and leaders, many of whom I haven’t had the chance to really talk with yet this week…the conversations were deep as well…not just the regular stuff like “so, how do you like Kenya?” Or “What’s the food like in America?” or “Do you think Barak Obama has a chance?” I’m serious, I’ve been asked that like 10 times because his family is from Kenya from the Looah (sp?) tribe that hails from the area near Lake Victoria…The questions were more like “I really want to tell my friends about Jesus, but I’m afraid” or “There’s this group of teens in my town that are very tough and very mean but they need Jesus, how do I go about telling them?” Good stuff like that! I think God is working in these kids’ lives as they are starting to think this whole “Be The Change thing” just might be possible!
o Keep Praying Everyone! It’s working!
o Tomorrow is the last day of camp…I’ve never been good at goodbyes at the end of a spiritually moving camp week…I always kind of lock up and “nod & smile” and move on…I really want to end well and leave the door open for future ministry connection with these guys…please pray that that would happen!

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