Not Mine But Thine
A hundred people were crammed into a tin building. It was my second day in Africa. Everything was new. I was attempting to soak it all in. The singing portion of the service began. One boy in particular stood out. He did not look Kenyan. He was much poorer than the other children. But there was a joy bubbling within him that put a smile on my face just watching him sing. Later, I would learn the boy’s name, Thon.
Thon is one of the godliest young men I have ever met. It was my third time in Kenya this last April, 2019. Six years had passed since that first encounter. Thon is now 17. A remarkable humility clothed him. He was still beaming with that same joy. Following is a excerpt from Thon’s biography, written by a lady in his church.
“Back in South Sudan, Thon enjoyed going to church, although as he puts it, he did not have a good reason to be there.
His first experience with getting saved was walking up to the church’s auditorium and water from a bucket being poured on him. He did not go through any biblical counselling prior to this or even afterwards. What this would mean though, was that he could now take part in singing and learning new songs in Sunday school together with the rest of the children.
Thon was from a Catholic background and as it was, he got saved when water was poured on him from a bucket. Thon was ever so excited about church growing up, and always wanted to be in one.
Back in Nairobi, two weeks had gone by since they had settled in Kasarani, and his cousin saw the need of going to church. The following Sunday morning, they got up and went about looking for a church.
They walked past a church that was near their home and soon found themselves at Zion Road Independent Baptist Church where they were welcomed with outstretched arms! They felt at home there and made it their church.
Thon was now almost eleven when they joined the Sunday School at Zion Road. During children’s class, they were given some drawings to color, of which they took home and Thon’s other cousins that had not gone to church with them on that Sunday were motivated to start going.
A year later, Thon decided to sit through a preaching session during the main church service instead of going to the children’s class. By then, he could understand some more English words, and that glorious day may it be remembered that the angels rejoiced, for Thon received the Lord as his savior! That day, he learned that water could not save, but only the blood of Jesus could. After the preaching, Thon met with his Sunday school teacher who explained to him the way of salvation.”
Thon has a burden to pastor. There is a possibility of partnering with Thon and Kor a year from now to plant a South Sudanese church in Nairobi.
Update on the Survey Trip
God’s grace was profoundly displayed during our six-week trip to Kenya. God opened many doors. We finished building the first story of the Safari House. There are 10 Kenyan local churches with whom we now have a relationship with and who are welcoming us back to work with them. Our IBM team (Josiah Wambua, Mike Mestler, and I and our families) is tighter than ever. We had our first official Gospel Safari, a group of 14. We are preparing for our first church plant a year from now. We made many, many friends. God blessed this trip. Thank you for your prayers and continued support. Thon is an example of the kind of person you are indirectly investing in by allowing us to go to Kenya. It is the young people of Africa that will be the dividends of your temporal and fiscal investments in our ministry, young people that we can train for a lifetime of ministry in East Africa.