Friday, June 04, 2010

Update from Africa

Never was I so glad to touch my feet on Kenyan soil last night.  Oh my.  I am more excited than EVER to be here, and we received an overwhelming welcome which is what I've grown to expect with the people here.

First let me say I have several hundred emails in my box and on my facebook.  I have not answered any of them, and probably will not be able to.  It's not that I don't care -- I am so appreciative but just can't respond at this time and to be truthful, coming back to the states in the utter exhaustion I will be in, I don't know when I'll get to them.  But THANK YOU.  Thank you for caring and for all of your fervent prayers and love. I wanted to get that out of the way up front just for those who are wondering why I might not have answered when I normally do.

In the time I have to get on line I just have time to quickly blog and talk to my family on Skype if they are there.  I have also scanned messages for words of encouragement but that's it.  Now...on to a report.  Our plane touched down last night at 9 pm and we finally got to Dr. Bill and Barb's house (missionary hosts) at about 11 pm after getting our visa's, our luggage and making the long journey to the house.  It was raining which made it difficult and Bec and I had quite the time getting off the plane.  Landing in Kenya you literally get off the plane on stairs outside and walk outside to get to the airport.  It was pouring down rain.  We had to deplane in that mess and we were like drowned rats when we got into the airport but were just SO glad to be there, we didn't care. 

Just to show you how badly the enemy is STILL fighting to keep us from being here, on their way to get us at the airport, Dr. Bill and Barb were hit by a car.  Yes. I. Am. Serious.  A driver hit them and just kept right on going.  They are not hurt - they are fine.  But the back of the vehicle was hit.  They both mentioned how many "crazy things" were trying to stop them yesterday from coming to get us -- everything from them both having sudden physical ailments, to a part of their house where Becca and I stayed last night FLOODING!!!  They said, "we've never seen warfare like this...something is about to unfold."  INDEED!

Last night we took showers and I got to sleep at about 1:30 am and got up at 5:30 to prepare to preach this morning.  I was already exhausted but have come way too far to act like it!!! 

Seeing my Kenyan friends is just indescribable...a heavenly family reunion.  When Pastor Jane Tembu and I saw each other we just embraced for the longest time and she began to pray this powerful prayer and just held on and we shed tears, just so glad to be together.  It was the same way with Pastor Jane Nuthu...these two ladies are very special to me and along with Dr. Bill and Barb are largely responsible for bringing me to Africa all these times.  I was so thrilled and emotional to see so many that I love so dearly...this is what heaven will be like, for sure.

Upon getting up this morning God spoke to me to totally switch the order of my messages around and do tomorrow's today.  I just want to be in tune up to the minute and have the mind of God on how to move.  I also felt led to ask the music pastor at Buru Buru (Alex) to quickly rehearse some things with me beforehand for the altar time.  We did and just doing that we could tell God was up to something big.  Well He did show up, and thanks to Becca and Barb we got it all on tape!!  :)   Becca gave her testimony this morning and did a fantastic job (Barb taped that) and Bec taped the rest of what I needed to have taped and got some phenomenal footage of what happened in the altars.  The spirit was flowing in there so much, such an amazing chorus of love and unity and praise going up to God in those closing moments I thought..."he is going to split the sky any moment now...I'm going to heaven from Kenya..."  But alas we are still here and having another round of services tomorrow. 

I am hoping that when Dustin edits the footage we bring home that we can do some YouTube clips and show everybody just a glimpse of what took place.  This morning's first message was, "What Does He Have to Do?" and was a challenge to the women:  "what does Jesus need to do in your life to prepare you for your destiny?  What obstacle needs to be removed?"  (The Holy Ghost just showed up and did his thing and started removing hindrances, obstacles, bondages from people's lives.  Was awesome!)  The second message was, "I Need You to Survive."  The leadership team here had asked me to speak on some leadership topics and I chose this morning to speak about how as a woman leader you'll never make it without your friends...and what we need to look for in others, and then what we need to be for others.  I taught them a song at the end, "I Need You to Survive" by Hezekiah Walker and Alex helped me on it as well as the worship team and man the place just EXPLODED.  They were so excited about it, when we went into the hospitality room at the church afterwards for juice and goodbye's for today, there was a group of ladies waiting in there and they serenaded us with the song when we walked in!  They just can't stop singing it.  Pastor Jane T. came to me as I was getting in the car leaving and she said, "DO THAT SONG AGAIN TOMORROW!  IT'S AMAZING!!!"  The spirit of God just descended on the place when we sang it...can't really explain the atmosphere but the good news is we caught it on tape and I'm hoping to put it on the blog in the future. 

This conference is sponsored by the Kenya AG however they invited 20 other denominations to join in and I would say there were at least that many represented today. They announced all the ones that were there and it took forever to get through the list!!!   It's a women's conference but we even had men there!!  And they were very touched and blessed.  The turnout was awesome today despite the rain and mud.  People are hungry for God. 

There's nothing like ministering to people who are hungry for God.  I highly recommend it!  :)

I'm exhausted and existing on only a few hours sleep.  Becca crashed the moment we walked into our room here at East Africa School of Theology where we are staying.  I knew we'd be staying here during the conference and asked for my "usual room".  There is such sentiment for me with this room.  I've stayed in it each time and shed many tears here, had many powerful nights seeking God here in this room.  When we walked in Barb said, "You've come home..."  Yep.  It's my home away from home...for sure.  A place where I enjoy my "second family" all I can with each precious moment til' the next time.  Nobody can describe the love of the Kenyan people to you unless you experience it.  I told Bec to get used to being kissed at least 1,000 times a day on both cheeks.  Anybody starved for affection should move to Kenya...believe me you'd get plenty of it.   

There is so much to tell and I'm skipping so much for lack of time, but everything happened today from a spontaneously formed line and dance around the sanctuary in praise to God while the choir sang, to having a private tea with the leaders and just catching up and laughing and shedding tears and loving being together.  I'm enjoying my "home away from home" immensely and can't wait to see what God will do.  I'm preaching twice tomorrow.  They have asked me to speak specifically to leadership issues.  This is not just a "leadership conference" for people who are currently leaders but it is designed to prepare and empower ALL women for ALL that God has for them.  It's about going to the next level in your walk with God, your life, your ministry.  Tomorrow I'm speaking on honor and mentorship as well as the most important qualities a spiritual leader needs to develop.  I've got a few surprises up my sleeve...and I'm sure God does too.  Buru Buru AG has now changed their name to EAST Church and I am preaching there Sunday morning.  Can't wait to share more and am so appreciative of everyone's prayer cover.

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