Some have asked me why I returned to Kenya so soon after my last trip. The answer is simple: there is a national election there this coming August, and things get focused on the election, which can sometimes be a bit tumultuous. So it was either wait until my next trip, which is in October, or go now to fulfill a promise I had made. I opted to go now.
My promise was to Pastor David Koech that I would come and conduct some leadership training in his area of Kenya called Kitoben, which is close to Tenwek Hospital in Bomet. Pastor David has recently been promoted to the head of the Bomet district for the Africa Gospel Church, which includes 22 churches, one orphanage, and 17 schools (12 primary and 5 secondary). The churches have spiritual responsibility for those 17 schools, and visit them all regularly to counsel and pray. They also plan special youth events throughout the year (by the way, click on any picture to enlarge it).
I was blessed to see 225 people assembled for my leadership training sessions, all seated and patiently waiting for me to arrive on Wednesday, May 10. I had prepared an outline (with fill-in-the-blank format) and had purchased a copy of my book Life is a Gold Mine: Can You Dig It? from my Kenyan publisher. Since I recently revised that book, I took an outline of the revisions to distribute. I am so glad I did, for the participants treated those outlines with special care. I taught for a total of 14 hours with a Kipsigis interpreter from Wednesday through Saturday, and I was surprised at how attentive and engaged the people were! I had to contribute $1,300 to have this training, which included a generator, tea breaks, and lunch every day for four days. The books cost $1,200, but the $2,500 we invested was money well spent (that, of course, does not include my airfare or hotel expenses).
I had also taken an overhead projector, so I could project the answers to be put into the blanks in the notes, and I left the projector there for Pastor David to use. He was so blessed and excited that he would be able to use it to show videos in the local schools. I taught on The Price of Leadership, and covered topics like biblical leadership, time management, purpose, goal-setting, and faith. I had more than a few tell me they had never heard any of that material before, and it all made a significant impact on their lives and ministries.
I stayed over for Sunday and preached to a youth church, and then returned to the church where we had held the training to preach. I spoke to the youth about David and Goliath and the church about Hannah and her faith to give birth to Samuel. I then returned to Nairobi where I had meetings until I departed last Thursday.
This was one of my more difficult trips as far as logistics and travel went. Every one of my flights was delayed, the first one to the extent that I did not arrive in Kenya on Monday night but on Tuesday morning. That meant I spent two nights on a plane to get there. When I got over to Bomet (four-hour drive from Nairobi), I made the mistake of drinking every cup of tea that was handed to me, even if it was late in the afternoon. I was waking up at 12:30 or 1:00 AM and could not get back to sleep and could not figure out why. Then it dawned on me: It was the tea! I actually went through two nights without sleep, which made for interesting days of teaching all day with an interpreter. Your prayers and God's grace got me through, but I did sleep 10 hours the first night I got back to Nairobi.
I have made a commitment to help Pastor David secure a printer and paper, which will serve at the printer for the entire district and the churches and schools therein. I also helped with his new car payments. He was in desperate need of a car to traverse the hills and dirt roads of his district. He also has an orphanage of 74 children, some of whom have AIDS and need emergency medical treatment at all hours of the day or night. Before his car, he was having to rent a motorcycle taxi to transport the sick children down the hill for the 30-minute ride to Tenwek Hospital.
I will be sending out my summer fundraising letter next week, but in the meantime, I need your help to continue the work we have established in Kenya. There is the need of the printer, along with the issue of rising food prices (the cost of corn and sugar has almost tripled over the course of the last few months). I ask that you search your heart and make a decision to help our brothers and sisters who are doing so much with the little they have. They have been faithful, and I would suggest that it is our duty to invest in their work out of the abundance that we have.
You can give through my website or by sending a tax-deductible check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. Every penny I receive goes to our partners in Kenya as the Lord directs us to give according to their needs. Thank you for your attention to and help in these matters, and I pray you will find it in your heart to help with a generous contribution.