Nothing quite prepares you for Africa! ‘We will show you the real Africa’ Edward Buria told us. They did: the bits the tourists do not see. The poverty, the daily struggle to live, the filth, lack of health care and education, the smog, the basic living conditions encountered by the majority of people, the injustice around. It is all quite overwhelming. Yet in the worship times these people who have next to nothing sing like they have everything.
Together On A Mission
Geoff, Carl, Ellie and I arrived in Nairobi and then went on to the New Frontiers TOAM conference in Meru. Around 3500 leaders were booked in but a last minute change of venue meant only 1500 could attend. This was still an impressive group of leaders. The influence of the conference however goes even further beyond the immediate context, they broadcast weekly on Saturday morning breakfast TV to a regular audience of 20 million and even the sessions I did will be broadcast!
We also had chance to see some of the projects we as a church helped start through our Christmas offering. This was moving as our money is making a real difference, the fish farming and grain stores in particular were really exciting projects. There are plans to multiply these projects and I hope we can continue to help such things to happen.
| Creating relationships
The churches overseen by Edward and his apostolic team are robust, growing and impacting the communities around them, we can learn so much from them.
In this season of transition within New Frontiers, joining hands with other spheres and ministries across the nations is going to be more and more important for the future of New Frontiers, we need to create relationships on mission together.
300 Praying Kenyans!
I was moved to find out that 300 Kenyans have been praying for us here in the East of England and our work into Northern Europe for over a year now, following the conference many more expressed a commitment to increasing this prayer on our behalf. The way Edward feels we can help them is that we can supply teaching ministries to help train the considerable number of young people coming through into church leadership.
It was also encouraging to know that as a team we were a blessing to the folk in Kenya. Carl and Ellie were in Africa exploring various options to see if God may be leading them eventually to Africa. Geoff also was a huge support to me and blessing to the conference. Edward spoke so highly of all of our team, it was encouraging to me to think our DNA of relationships and serving was able to communicate cross culturally.
As we start an autumn season let us learn from our friends in Kenya. They pray, they work hard, they do not know the meaning of giving up and they have seen fruit from this mind set. Edward and Frieda will be with us for our October ‘together@eastofengland’ conference. Please do book in for this as I am sure we will look back on this conference as a key point of increased momentum for us in church planting, mission and community impact.
I believe God wants us to see more people saved, more people healed, more released from bondages by the liberating power of the gospel. We are God’s ambassadors and our prayer as leaders is that God will equip and empower us more and more.