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10 Days of Revival in Nairobi

Day 1

Two things always stand out in Nairobi – color and dirt.  There are plenty of both, and somehow the contrast seems to go together well. 

These people love color.  A snapshot of any crowd will produce a riot of reds, yellows, and greens, set off by bright whites.  They are drenched in a symphony of color; rich in sensory tone and visual contrast.  It is the visual music of the African soul.  Whatever their personality traits that you may see on the outside, this is something that comes up from deep inside them.  It’s something that I can sense, but as a white guy that can’t dance, I will probably never be able to fully grasp.

The dirt, however, is ubiquitous – from the roads and alleys, to the blanket of dust that covers the whole city like a muted haze.  The dullness of this reddish brown dust makes the colors you see in the people all that more brighter – almost as if the dust is the canvas that the culture of this bright and colorful people is painted upon.  It would take a poet to say it the way it should be told, but hopefully you get the picture.

This dance of contrasts in Africa speaks to something in their soul which not only rises to meet overwhelming challenges in their lives, but to use those challenges to build strength into their spirit.  It’s hard to explain, but it may be that the enormous challenges they face are their biggest blessing.

The little congregation that I have come to visit here has been facing it’s own challenges and I have been able to witness one of their first great victories.  For months, they have been meeting in someone’s home, but that has imposed limitations upon them and they are ready for their own place.

I didn’t expect that I would be the catalyst that would precipitate a new church, but they have been waiting for me to arrive before taking the next step.  Today’s primary goal is to find a place to hold services.  They have found a small room to have services in but have been waiting for my approval before renting it. They had already started in the neighborhood passing out Gospel tracts that have given the location and time of tomorrow’s service -- and they don’t even have the place yet!  Talk about faith!  Or is it just an African substitute for presumption?  Either way, we have to rent a place today or we will be out of luck for services tomorrow. 

It struck me later on how easy this has been  – we started a church with a vision, a little bit of faith (or presumption, depending upon how you look at it), and a few shillings. And the next day, just like that, we have a church. 

Great works of faith, I believe, are accomplished with a determination to succeed and a willingness to take chances, just as much as they are established by faith and belief.  You can believe all you want, but at some point, you have to be willing to take a chance, push through to your dream, throw caution to the winds, and just go for it!  The worst that can happen is that you will fail, only to get up and try again.  I have noticed that when the Lord is in something, it happens cleanly and decisively, and this is one of those times.

So here we are. These people have no money, no equipment, not even any chairs, but they have a church.  I believe that God bestows special blessings on a faith that has the courage to believe God and press their vision upon Him like that.  It is difficult for those of us who have had everything freely handed to us to fully understand the glory of winning the victory after facing these kinds of challenges.  The process forges them into Christian soldiers with the hardness of iron faith and a determination to do great things for God.

It also makes them capable of believing God for miracles.  They expect the supernatural because they have won that birthright through the desperation and the necessity of reaching Heaven for sustenance.  They just plain need God more than we do, while we are like the Church of the Laodiceans in our lack of desperation.  And that’s what makes the difference.

There is one more thing that they have that we don’t – their overcoming victories have given them a zeal that builds the fire that is upon the altar of their hearts.  Each victory encourages them more, and stokes up the fire’s intensity.

We will see how this all plays out in services tomorrow.

 

Day 2