On March 2, I depart for Kenya accompanied by 16 other people. Of those 16, 9 will be going for the first time, while the other 7 are returning veterans. We will visit orphanages, churches, libraries, schools, and also participate in a leadership conference (we will help in the kitchen, with registration, and anything else our hosts require). I will be speaking at the conference.
I have been asked why I take people to Kenya every year. My answer is simple: When God wants to speak to someone, He often takes them on a trip. When people travel, they pay closer attention to their environment, and thus God is able to speak to them more clearly and through the new scenarios they will encounter as they go. A wonderful example of this is little Felix, whose story I would like to share with you.
A few years ago, we visited a ramshackle nursery school that was a converted livestock pen. We had met Susan, the main teacher, on a previous visit and wanted to go by and say hello. While we were there, we met a young boy named Felix. Felix was almost deaf, and had a dilapidated old hearing aid inserted in one ear. Felix could not attend that school, for when he did, he could not hear what was being said. There was no "special needs" education in that old cow barn.
The Lord "spoke" to several people on our team to help Felix, which they have done faithfully since then. They have not only tended to his hearing needs, but also to his education. Below is the report I got from Pastor Peter this past week, along with some pictures. (I include the picture of Felix and his school to show you the condition of the "schoolyard"; click on it to enlarge and see what I mean.)
Dear Dr. John,
Our boy Felix is doing well and his school fee for the term is paid. Special thanks to Sue and Janet for empowering Felix.
God bless you.
God could not have spoken to Janet and then Sue if they had not been on the trip to Kenya. Because they went, God was able to connect them in a special way that has changed the lives of Felix and his family.
Now I am counting on God speaking to you through our experience. When we go in March, we will encounter more needs like the one we confronted when we met Felix. There will be heart-breaking cases of need that we cannot meet in our own resources, no matter how much money we raise. Yet, there are things we can do with the money God supplies, and that's where your help is urgently needed.
Your gift between now and March 2 will help us help the children, widows, and orphans whom God has placed in our path. I promise you that every penny you give will go directly to the needs in Kenya. Not one cent will go toward administration. You can give to Felix and those like him by giving through PayPal on my website or by sending a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882.
Help me gather a large fund for this trip that we can apply and invest as God speaks to us along the way. I promise to give you a full report, and I also promise that we will communicate your love, and the love of God, to the people we meet. Thank you and may God speak to you about the role you are to play in this trip.