Having just recently returned from Kenya, my heart is stirring with all kinds of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. The thing that stands out the most was God's faithfulness throughout this entire trip. Seven months ago, the Lord led Jim (PPM President) and me to book flights to Kenya even though we didn't have any contacts in Kenya yet. For the following six months, we have been hosting video calls with African pastors. One contact from the church our family attended in Florida opened up key partners that ended up being the perfect fit for what we were looking for.
Fast forward to last week and I just stand amazed. We were able to meet with over 120 pastors (not counting church leaders and members). I'm not sure that our meetings could have gone any better.
We methodically explained the birth of Praying Pelican Missions, why we do what we do, our methods, heart, and vision for the future. We shared how the Covid-19 pandemic caused us to search our hearts and dream of a way to have the entire big "C" Church represented on the mission field, empowering everyone from every race, country, tribe, and tongue to go serve another local church on mission.
I was able to share how taking your church members on a mission (just like Jesus did with his disciples) can build leaders, grow disciples, allow your congregation to participate in practical ministry under the authority of the local church, build trust in the Lord, and build unity among your team members. I used an illustration of throwing a ball of red yard from one person to another to show how powerful serving another pastor and his/her church can be and how we can truly catch more fish (souls) together as God fashions His net of networking churches.
We continued by challenging the pastors and invited them to respond to the call from Isaiah 6:8 “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” I wish you could've heard the cries and prayers going out as the pastors replied "Here am I, send me!"
I truly believe that a paradigm shift took place through those that attended with us last week. You could feel the passion and excitement as we empowered them to not wait for the American church to come to them, but instead, pick up and go by giving authority to their congregations and watch them rise. I feel like what we did was simple, we told them they could do it, and we believe it!
One pastor told me "I've gone on mission by myself before, but I never even thought about bringing people with me to empower them in ministry."
We were humbled as we were wrapping our first meeting in Naivasha as the pastors there declared that they wanted to "send" us to Mombasa for our next meeting! They took up an offering and are committing to "go" themselves to serve the churches in Mombasa as well.
Along with the large meetings, we also spent one-on-one time with pastors. We were introduced to Pastor Paul who trains 24 pastors over a two-year period. He's such a man of integrity and has a God-given drive to see those he mentors go on mission, even creating a mission-type internship for each pastor to complete before graduation.
Our primary contact in Kenya, Pastor Francis, was all set to accompany us on our entire trip, but a medical emergency with his wife removed him from being able to go with us. He helped get us in touch with Pastor George who accompanied us on our trip to Mombasa and ministers with us as well.
At the tail end of the trip, God allowed us to spend an afternoon with Pastor Francis, his family, and some of his church members. I was thrilled to finally meet him face-to-face after countless texts, virtual calls, and voice memos being shared back and forth. What a man of God he is!
We look forward to exploring what it looks like to send Kenyans to Kenya and beyond! We are dreaming and praying for the next steps to empower Kenyan churches to go serve on mission, serving another local church in their own country or around the world. It's attainable and very close!