Browse Month: April 2010

Monday Musings(special Tuesday edition) 04/27/10

Going where few others have gone before…

Rarely can one say that you have been where few others have been before but last week’s safari into the Samburu and Turkana regions of Kenya give me the opportunity to make such a claim.

Taking four days to travel 700 kilometres, our Toyota Land Cruiser climbed mountains, manoeuvred valleys, pushed through desert sand and crawled over volcanic rock.  Breath taking scenery, exotic wildlife, unexploited land and remote villages made this past week a journey of a lifetime for Ron Hills and me.

Under the leadership of Bishop Bonifes Adoyo, CITAM (Christ is the Answer Ministries) and the Nairobi Pentecostal churches (a product of PAOC missions) have become a missions sending agency themselves by planting 35 churches in these desert regions.  Five full-time missionary couples and a number of short-term missionaries work with great passion to bring the love of Christ to unreached people in numerous villages across the region.

Water purification continues to be a major concern in these areas.  The well that you see us drawing water from is situated in the Chabai desert.  Recent tests of the water have shown that they are polluted with arsenic and mercury.  This may explain the 100 plus cases of throat cancer that have been reported in the last two years as well as the mysterious death of goats who drink from these same waters.

So, going where few others have gone before has not only allowed me to see what most people only see in a National Geographic magazine, it has reminded me of how much we take for granted in Canada.  The next time you open your cold water tap, remind yourself that women in the Chabai desert are drawing water from a polluted well.  The next time the pastor in your church raises a missions offering, before complaining, consider contributing because maybe, just maybe, you will be helping to send a missionary to some place you yourself would find hard to go!

Until next time…

Don
“Taking risks for Kingdom impact!”

Monday Musings – 19/04/10

A cup of clean water…

Well, RTC in partnership with Ron Hills has passed the first test toward water purification on the Continent of Africa.

On Wednesday of this week Ron and Bishop Adoyo filtered water that was drawn from a watering hole used by farm animals.  Using a water purification system that Ron assembled back in Canada, they put the water through a crude but effective process of filtration.  As you can see by the picture, the results were amazing as dirty and disease filled water came through the system crystal clear.  Presently we are awaiting the test results to see how much of the bacteria have been filtered through the system.  So, for now we have a cup of clean water, but our goal is to have a cup of purified water!!!

Today, Ron and I leave for a five day trip with Bishop Adoyo into the Turkana and Marsbit region of Kenya.  In these semi-arid conditions we will spend time with the Samburu and Rendile tribes.  Driving by day and tenting by night we look forward to braving the Kenyan elements (not bad for a guy whose idea of camping is the Holiday Inn Express).  While there, Ron will use available resources and materials found in the area to set up another test of the purification system.  We will take as much video and pictures as we can so that you can live the experience with us.

It has been suggested that we are in for the trip of a lifetime so put your seatbelts on (be assured we will) and keep watching for details.

Until next time…

Don

“Taking risks for Kingdom impact!”

Monday Musings – 12/04/10

Team Renewal Award…

The South and East Africa retreat ended yesterday here in Mombasa and in just a few hours time MJ and I return to Nairobi to begin another week of ministry.

On Saturday night, global workers who are new to the field received a “Team Renewal Award”.  MJ and I are amongst six couples who are new on the continent of Africa.

First, it is an honour to join an incredible team of global workers that are spread all across the Continent of Africa.  Their passion, commitment, vision and faithfulness are an inspiration to those of us who have joined forces with them.  Second, it is sobering to join a team who do not see what they do as sacrifice but as privilege.  Throughout the week we did not hear complaint or concern, regret or remorse, rather we heard stories of courage and care, rejoicing and reward.

It has been said that children are a reflection of their parents.  MJ and I had the privilege of spending Friday morning with the youth of the global worker families.  We were so impressed with the attitude of these young men and women, some of whom will have to leave family to go to boarding school three months at a time.  It was neat to listen to the youth who have had field experience talk so positively in front of those who are new to the field.

Canada, you can be proud of your global workers who are on the front lines here in Africa.  We have been amongst some of the finest this week!!!

We are honoured to receive a “Team Renewal Award”, MJ and I pray that we can live up to a global worker bar that has been set very high by the team that already exists here on the Continent of Africa.  Indeed, it is a privilege to serve!!!!

Until next time from Kenya…

Don

“Taking risks for Kingdom impact!”

Monday Musings – 05/04/10

Out of extreme poverty…

Today, MJ and I find ourselves back in Nairobi.  On Wednesday we, along with Ron Hills (our humanitarian partner) will join about 90 other global workers for a five day retreat in Mombasa on the beautiful Indian Ocean.

Easter weekend brought to an end sixteen incredible days on Zambian soil.  During those days RTC experienced the fulfillment of its two main goals.  RTC seminars encouraged and equipped one hundred and seventy five pastors and church leaders to return to the simplicity of an Acts 2 church while Ron Hills empowered people toward self sustainability through the preparation of farm equipment and road repair at the Trans Africa Theological College.

As a result of discussions that took place in six different locations across the Kitwe area, struggles in Zambia and the Zambian church can be summarized in three categories:

1)      Poverty

2)      Leadership integrity

3)      Structure and Constitutional issues

Last Thursday, in our final seminar, I decided to hit the poverty issue head on.  We discussed how it was time for the church to be the head and not the tail.  In the midst of poverty, the church has an opportunity to model self-sustainability by teaching the community it serves how to develop micro-enterprise opportunities.

This is the vision that John and Ruth Kerr have at TTC (Trans Africa Theological College) in Kitwe.  They are presently teaching the students agricultural and sewing skills and hope to teach masonry, welding and wood working skills in the future.  As graduates leave the college to plant churches across Zambia, not only will they take skills with them, but in turn can use those skills to teach self-sustainability to the communities they serve.  MJ, Ron and I have discussed with John and Ruth ways that RTC can come alongside TTC to work together toward this goal.

Recently, I read the comments made by a student from the Molson School of Business who sat in the lecture of Norman Hebert, a successful business man in Montreal.  This is what the student said:

“Two key points mentioned in the presentation today caught my attention…he can write a check for a donation, but he would rather get to know the cause and meet the people along the way. I think that’s awesome. Also, the question about inheriting the shares, he said how he wanted to earn them (not just inherit them). I think that attitude is a ‘key success factor’ for this company; it seems to be in his blood, to want to be the best and work hard for it. He took nothing for granted and worked his way to his position and it definitely speaks volumes of his commitment level to want to take the business to the next step.“

 MJ and I believe that the `key success factor` for RTC is to get to know the people of Africa that we `meet along the way` and help them to be the best they can be and work hard toward self-sustainability.

The words of the apostle Paul to the church in Corinth have been in my heart all weekend.  “Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.” (2 Corinthians 8:3)

Pray with me that the same thing can happen to the church in Zambia and on the continent of Africa!

Until next time from Kenya…

Don


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