We had finished four productive days of ministry in the bush of eastern Kenya, sharing the gospel with an unreached, unengaged people group. The Lord blessed our efforts, and many were added to the kingdom of God. There was one day left on this project and we were looking with anticipation to complete what God had placed before us. Little did we know the blessing to come.
The evening before we experienced a torrential downpour. The cool air was a relief after the heat we had encountered the last few days. But the rain had washed out and flooded the roads we needed to travel to reach our final location. Our in-country partners asked what we wanted to do. I believe they were exhausted and would have been satisfied to begin our return to Nairobi. These opportunities do not come often enough, and I wanted to find another place to share the gospel before we left. A new location was decided upon and we departed for the alternate site. A story about elephants crossing our paths would appear here but that will be for another day.
Arriving at the alternate location there were a few people, but more would arrive as we started our storying. As we shared, a very elderly man walked up and listened. Later he shared with us, he was 100 years old and had walked many kilometers, starting early in the morning, to encounter us because he heard there were people speaking about God and he wanted to hear. This is a story we have heard many times over the years, people walking great distances to hear the word of God. What I find fascinating is the decision to be at this place was only determined a short time earlier, we were not supposed to be here. Yet, he received information of where we would be and made a great effort to see us.
This day the man heard the good news of Jesus Christ, was moved by what he heard and prayed to accept Jesus Christ as his savior as did many others did. Pondering the events of the day I was struck by what had transpired in the 100 year life of this man, his living in a remote location in the bush country of Kenya, WWII, the Mau-Mau rebellion, Kenya’s fight for independence. The Lord brought him through many events, bringing him to this location and placing us there to present the gospel so he would have the opportunity to join God’s family. God works in wondrous ways and to think He used us to complete his plan in this remote area. I am humbled beyond description.
A new church was planted, our partners had a lay-pastor prepared to assume responsibility for the new believers. While the churches we have planted in previous efforts have remained strong and continue to grow, this church is the strongest and is growing robustly. Here again God has worked in a wondrous way, bringing us at the last minute to a location not on our plan, directing events for us to be there and allowing us the privilege of experiencing His mercy and grace to a people He loves.
What an amazing God we serve!
Written by Steve Gregory (short-term missions leader)