Eldoret, Kenya, Africa, Tuesday, July 21, 2009~
Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ! (Or as they say here, Jambo! Habari Gani? M'zuri sana, asante sana! Translation, that means, Hello! How are you? I am fine! in Swahili!)
I am Pastor Bilkey, and this finds us in the little Maasai village of Eldoret, which is northwest of the capital city of Nairobi. We have been here in Africa for the past few days; we have at least another week and a half to go before our work is completed.
It is quite cool here, actually, and quite arid. Not bad most days, but at night, it gets downright chilly, to the point of needing blankets and heaters to keep us warm as we sleep. We sleep in furnished cabins or, if none are available, we sleep in the open, underneath the stars, and pray that no predators find us or eat us.
We have been having services; our first ones were Saturday and Sunday. Never have I seen so many needy, hungry souls! And the response to the altar calls after the services have been nothing short of extraordinary! The presence of the Lord has been awesome; we have even seen some people delivered/healed!
Case in point: a woman brought her little baby son to the altar for prayer on Sunday morning. The little guy was clearly sick: pale, in a weakened state, skinny to the point of emaciation. He looked terrible. I and my partner, Tobias Mwatumbwe, laid hands on the child; we prayed for him, and right away the little guy perked up and started laughing. The woman started screaming out praises to the Lord; she immediately knew her child had been healed. It was incredible! There wasn't a dry house at the church building!
Another girl, this one in her teens, was possessed by demons. She was crying, screaming in a terrified state; it was frightening to witness. Tobias and I laid hands on her; she bucked and thrashed as we ministered, prayed over her, but we didn't give up until the last demon had left. She then started crying and laughing and soon was running all over the place in a fit of pure joy. She flung her arms around our neck and in a flurry of Maasai tongue, she began praising the Lord. She had been delivered, too.
Who knows what the Lord has planned in future services? It is exciting to think about! :)
Yesterday (Monday), it was a day of rest; we had been going nonstop since stepping off the plane. I didn't get out of my bed until noon; I was a real sleey head. My wife didn't get up until three. And our kids didn't rise until four. LOL
Seems we just got to bed when it was time to get up; we were right back at it today, sharing the love of Christ, praying for people, helping build a church, helping the Maasai people learn about Christ and ministering to them in all areas of their lives.
Some of the stories we've heard so far would break your heart. Some were so tragic, like the little boy named Isaiah who was an outcast of the village he lived in, simply because his parents couldn't afford to get his burned face fixed. The child's face was a mass of scars; he had difficulty in eating and was pitifully thin, not to mention, extremely shy. He couldn't have been more than three years old.
We offered to pay for the boy to get his face fixed. Oh, how the parents cried! Oh, how we cried when we realized just how needed we were here in Kenya! It was miraculous!
I am sure the parents, Osomo and Tahiwe, are still crying with joy at the prospect of their only child getting the miracle they prayed so hard for! The boy will probably go to Nairobi next week, where doctors can evaluate his situation and then repair his damaged, burn-scarred face to the point of where he would look like any other three-year-old little boy.
We felt we had to help, so we did it out as an act of obedience for the Lord. "Bless others, and you will be blessed", as it says in the Word. This is the love of Christ in action; this is what we hope others will see as we share the gospel.
Well, it is time for lunch here. We are getting hungry. We are going to a Maasai celebration; they are holding a special welcoming lunch for us. There will be much music, dancing, joy. We are looking forward to it; the Maasai people seem friendly enough. We will get a clear taste of the Maasai way of life; it is going to be very interesting, not to mention, educational!
I will write in here again soon; if I don't write while we are in Africa, I will most certainly write again when we return to America with a full report on our trip. I pray the Lord continues to provide, bless, sustain us as we go about doing His work for those who need it most! May God bless you always, and please keep those prayers coming; we appreciate any and all prayers we do get! Thanking you in advance~
As always, Pastor Bruce Bilkey, Christ Community Aseembly of God Church, Nashville, Tennesse (writing via Kenya, Africa). :)