Nena Jackson will give her reflection on the Kenya Mission Trip this Sunday, August 7 at 9:15 am in the Kinloch Room.
What a Joy! Many of you have met Pastor Simon Mwaura and can imagine what a joy it would be to spend time in Kenya getting to be ‘up close and personal’ with his ministry, God’s Grace for All Nations (GGFAN) and his orphanage, Home of the Good Shepherd. Well…we are here to proclaim that the joy is beyond what can be put into words! We were blessed with an opportunity to go in June and would get back on a plane tomorrow to go back. Our team consisted of Kristi and Brianna Smith (16) along with Leah Varnell (15) from Birmingham, Alabama and Nena Jackson. It was such a delight to travel with two teenagers and see their perspective in this beautiful country.
Our mission trip had two main purposes – the first one was to offer Vacation Bible School for three orphanages (Home of the Good Shepherd and two other neighboring orphanages – Home of the Good Samaritan and Rehoboath Children’s Home – that are closely linked with Pastor Simon’s ministries). Our Vacation Bible Schools taught a parable using photosynthesis for fruit trees to share God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The children all made a fruit tree puppet and performed a puppet show on the final day to demonstrate that they could share God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit with others using this parable. We also had a time for all the children to accept Jesus as their Savior and a separate time for each of them to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
The second purpose was to provide Alpha training to 16 pastors from different regions of Kenya. We spent three days training them on how to run Alpha and spending a good portion of time actually having Alpha together. We were able to give several of the Alpha talks (Why Did Jesus Die?, How Does God Guide Us?, Why and How Do We Pray?) and have excellent small group discussions so they could actually run Alpha. We spent the final day of training giving the Alpha Holy Spirit talks and concluded with a mighty filling of the Holy Spirit. It was truly a time that we will never forget because the Lord ministered to all of us in a mighty way. These 16 pastors will now begin Alpha courses plus will be training other pastors on how to run Alpha. Nena also just received word that they have already planned to train all the GGFAN pastors plus all the pastor students that are in their ministry school – PRAISE THE LORD! We are praying that this will be another ‘loaves and fishes miracle’ so that many Kenyans will receive the good news about Jesus and the Holy Spirit through the Alpha tool.
The Lord did something else that was truly amazing. Four weeks before we left Nena received an email from the Alpha Burundi Director, Jean Claude Ngiyimbere, whom she had not heard from in months and months. He heard from the Lord to find out if she was coming to Africa and, if so, to join her. She shared with him that she was coming in June and he ended up being a part of the Alpha Training. It was so amazing to see two countries that St. Michael’s loves so dearly come together in the name of Alpha. Only the Lord could orchestrate something so amazing!
We can’t wait to return next summer to Kenya and be a part of one of their Alpha courses! Want to go with us? You will not be disappointed…we promise!
Nena Jackson, Brianna Smith, Kristi Smith, Leah Varnell