The first half of the year has been hard. We have faced a number of big challenges in the ministry lately, but the hardest part has just been the demand on my time. I have felt like one person doing the work of ten.
New leadership was taking over one of our orphanages. The Bible Institute was going through a major overhaul. The school was facing a budget crunch and in need of new vision. The Daniels were moving their things out of our house leaving us to settle in more. All the while I was trying to continue my normal duties, fix a vehicle that has been a disaster, start more discipleship and evangelism locally, manage our finances and paperwork, and keep moving forward with church planting in Northern Kenya. Oh and we had a baby.
There were days where if I am honest, I woke up asking myself why am I here. At points there was so much tension and misunderstanding that it was hard to bear. I have seen that disunity is one of the major tools of the enemy. At times, all I could see was the perfect storm coming together and it felt like everything was going to go up in a big ball of flames and then sink to the bottom in a glorious display of failure.
Then there were times when I had nothing to do but look to God. He reminded me why He brought me to Kenya. He brought people in my life at just the right time with just the right message. One evening I collapsed in our recliner exhausted. I pulled out my phone to browse Facebook since it was too early to go to bed and I was desperate to pass the time. Our youth director had just posted about how sometimes we are too busy doing stuff for God that we forget to spend time with Him and enjoy Him. I went back to the bedroom and prayed and worshiped and instantly felt revived.
I am so thankful for the Daniels and the support and freedom they gave me to make changes and push things forward. I appreciate the pastors and leaders who showed me my faults and taught me how to work in a very different culture. My love will always be with the Brown family who walked together with us through these things for 7 months and became our family. I wouldn’t have made it without the senior staff members at the school who showed unbelievable faith and commitment when their leader had none. And most of all I could not have made it without Abby who has been there every step of the way.
Faith is what saved the day. I had to come to a point where I would let go. I had to realize that all these ministries are for God and in His hands and it is not my job to worry about them. I was like the disciples in the boat on the Sea of Galilee. All I could see was the storm and I thought disaster was the only outcome. I needed to learn that Jesus, and not me, is in control.
I remember so clearly sitting in the office of our assistant principle. He wanted to quit. His reason, people had become so consumed by the problems and had lost their faith in God. I am so glad he listened to my pleas to stay and that he gave me the strength that day to declare that no matter how big the storm Jesus would deliver his people if we trust Him.
The last couple weeks have been pure joy. The new leaders at the orphanage are showing more maturity and people from the community have started donating to help lift up the home. They just brought some new blankets and painted the dormitories.
We decentralized the Bible Institute and created a number of branches. This helped lower expenses so that it can be more locally funded while giving local churches more control over their church planting efforts. It also creates more room to train more pastors, and we are looking at adding a seminary level training course for our senior men.
We are having to run a tight ship, but we have the school budget crunch under control. We have made a lot of improvements and have a vision for the coming years. Staff members have banded together and we have seen God’s faithfulness.
All the little things are coming together. This week my dad has been helping us build a dining room table and plan out closets. Every day our house feels more like a home. My mom has been working with the teachers and providing fresh ideas. She has worked tirelessly on teaching aids.
I have learned more to keep my focus on Jesus and not just doing things. Even though my wife will tell you how messy my office is right now, I feel more organized in what I do and more confident about how I lead. There even appears to be some light at the end of the tunnel with the whole vehicle situation.
For this half a year, I have been light on the communication and updates. Part of it has been because I did not feel right airing all of the problems. Part of it has been that I have just been exhausted at the end of the day. This blog serves as both a thank you to all of you who have supported and prayed for us during this time and as a testimony of God’s faithfulness to deliver us from any storm or trial if we trust in Him.