"I am the Light of the World" - John 9:5
Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!
It is hard to believe that the Kenya team and I leave on our journey in less than 10 days. It will be such a joy to see our beloved Pastors Job and Hudson again. It was a year ago this week that they joined us for Mission:Possible. Cindy Pratt and I were just reminiscing about how powerfully Pastor Job prayed at the choir concert, and here we are again, celebrating the concert this week.
As we prepare to go to Kenya, I have been thinking of the impression many people have of Africa. Americans tend to think either of "deepest, darkest Africa" or of Discovery Channel wildlife documentaries. The amazing thing to me, having been there many times, is the brightness of the light - the light of the Lord. Churches in Africa are growing faster than anywhere else in the world. Even in the face of extreme persecution in places like Nigeria, Christians are boldly proclaiming their faith. Even in the midst of severe physical poverty, the spiritual richness they have is awe-inspiring. It was so different from what I saw in the States, of physical wealth yet spiritual poverty, that led me to want to become a Pastor here.
Perhaps the saying would be more accurately "Deepest, Darkest America." It grieves my heart to see how broken we have become - broken families, broken communities, broken government. People are turning to anything for comfort except the Lord.
It is into this darkness the Light of the World has come. "The people walking in darkness have seen great light" (Isaiah 9:2). Jesus Christ is the light breaking forth. He is the only one who can heal broken marriages, the broken hearts of abused children, the brokenness of addiction, and the brokenness of our nation. He is the one who can shine light into all these dark places. As the darkness grows darker, the light always grows brighter.
We at MLEPC have the privilege of reflecting that light from a high hill. We have long been the Twin Tower Light, the Bright Beacon to shine with the light of the Lord. The challenge now is figuring out how to do that in this changing world. To shine the light now, we can't just be far away with a searchlight. We have to be up close with a flash light. Jesus didn't stay in heaven to shine his light - he entered into our world and got close to people to share his light. And he has given us his light to shine on people, one life at a time. As Christ was light incarnate, light in human form, we need to be that light to our neighbors, to love them as ourselves.
Please do keep praying for the Kenya team as we prepare to share the light in Kenya. As strong as many Christians are there, many young people still need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. And many of those with spiritual riches still need help with the basic things we take for granted, things like clean water and sufficient food and schools for our children.
May God shine His light brightly through each one of you wherever you go, driving away the darkness with the glory of His presence.