Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Sunday Services in Africa

Posting this quickly on the road from Nakuru to Nairobi using a Safari.com stick.  (Love this thing!)  However will probably have to wait til' I get home to post pics.  I've been having a hard time finding a signal in the jungle...hmmmm...wonder why... lol.  Leave it up to me to try though. 

Sunday was the last day I preached in Kenya – two services at East AG on Sunday morning. I love that church – the people are so dear to me. It is so clear why these people are so amazing – they have been taught by the best – they have such great leadership in Pastors Pius and Jane Tembu. I adore this couple – admire very much who they are in ministry.

Sunday morning we walked in and the worship had already begun – the sanctuary was filling up and the presence of God came in and five minutes into the worship I knew God didn’t want me to preach the message that was in my notebook for that morning. I only had my Message Bible (and I don’t preach from that although I carry it) and so I asked Bec for her Bible since I generally read from NIV or NLT when I preach and turned to the passage of scripture God laid on my heart for that moment, immersed myself in worship and got the clear message from God and when introduced, headed to the pulpit to bring it. I rarely if ever preach without ANY notes but this was one of those times God said do it. It went with ease…it was all Holy Ghost…He just said – go up, I’ll fill your mouth, just obey. Love when that happens. I passionately poured out the message God gave me for that moment which was about (no surprise here, one of my fav subjects – Pentecost and the harvest.) I had been so focused otherwise that I forgot my handkerchief when I went to the platform. There were moments of the message when I was so overcome I just broke down into tears, and that RARELY if EVER happens, but the spirit of God was just so real, I tell you… I had to have Becca come to the platform to bring both my handkerchief and my reading glasses. (I normally don’t need them as I enlarge the font on my message notes, but for this morning first service I had no message notes.)

When I was done God’s spirit just swept across that place. People were saved, filled with the Holy Ghost, the church came together as one in such a great way. Pastor Jane had asked me prior to preaching if I’d close with “I Need You to Survive.” It actually fit wonderfully with how the spirit had began moving. I exhorted the congregation about putting aside tribal differences – (reminded them that I have the honor of being a Masai and a Kikuyu – they loved that) and that we are all one in Jesus. By the way, another tribe asked me to join them today as well. I gladly accepted and my name has increased now once again. Anyway, the Holy Spirit did what He does so powerfully and at the close Pastor Tembu came to the pulpit and said, “ There is no doubt our sister heard from God. As some of you know, this is what I have been trying to get through to this church for SIX MONTHS!!! And she made it so exceedingly clear today – spoke it in such an understandable way, and today the spirit has moved mightily and WE WILL NOT BE THE SAME AGAIN! NEVER AGAIN!!!” Then he followed that up with “Pastor Deanna, you’re coming back!!” Of course, I’m counting the days.

Between services we went to the pastor’s office for breakfast and tea which is customary here in Kenya. There is a one hour break here between services. The second service, I was not led by the spirit to preach the same thing that I did in the first service. I preached the message that I had originally prepared. It was on breaking the bondage of offense, and there was no doubt that was the message for the second service. Again the Lord moved in a great way. Becca got some amazing video footage from the services.

After service we ate lunch with the staff members from East AG. It was a lovely meal and conversation and I dreaded saying goodbye. I was surprised and overwhelmed when Pastors Pius and Jane presented me with a gift after lunch upon leaving, and then Catherine – Pastor Walter’s wife, came in and gave Becca and I each a gift that the Lord laid on her heart to give us. We were just overwhelmed by their love. We shed tears and probably hugged AT LEAST 15 times (no exaggeration) and finally had to go as much as we hated to. We needed to get to the slums where Pastor Jane was waiting.

This deserves it’s own blog post so I’ll do it under separate cover, but I will just say that it was an amazing long day. My day started at 5:30 am, and we got home from the slums at 7 pm. Then we went to a fantastic dinner out with Bill and Barb. They took us to an Italian restaurant in town in Nairobi. Sharing time with them is always such a treasure. They are the best hosts I know and oh how they love this place. They have laid their lives down for it – over 30 years and still going strong. Oh how I admire them as well…they are amazing.

Slums post coming…stay tuned.

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