Travel Diary 12: TOPIC: ABOVE AND BEYOND

Dear ITEM Partner,

I am about to spend my last night in Africa for this trip. As I reflect back on the trip, I think of the verses at the end of Ephesians 3, which read, “Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think—according to the power that works in you—to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen”

Like so many other trips, I go with plans and expectations and God goes beyond what I had planned or expected. This trip was no exception.

MONROVIA, LIBERIA
This was the first time I’ve been with the team in years. And the first time ever since the untimely, unexpected of our first coordinator. Peace Guankeh is the new coordinator and brought together the ITEM team. As we sat and talked, and got reacquainted, I was very encouraged to hear them tell of their commitment to Bible exposition and how they are applying it in their respective churches. Prince is actually the youngest of the team members but is teachable and highly motivated. Pray for him, that God would continue to build him and refine him.

NAIROBI, KENYA
Expectations
Here is where God truly exceeded expectations. I knew I would partner with Nathan, and Henry Johnson to conduct our Bible and theology seminar to approximately 50 pastors outside Nairobi. I knew I would be speaking at an apologetics seminar (tomorrow, Monday). I also knew that I wanted to have a meeting with the Vice Chancellor of ILU (Intl Leadership U, which was Nairobi Intl School of Theology when I taught there for five years as an adjunct prof 1998 to 2003) about me donating part or all of my library to the school and them, in return, offering us a corner on the campus to call an office so we can register ITEM in Kenya. Those were my expectations.

Over and above
The impact of the seminar was extraordinary. The host pastor challenged the attendees to use the material stating that they would have to pay a lot of money to get this at school and this cost them nothing. The bishop who helped organize the seminar is promising to follow up with his pastors and
send me reports. A Bible school teacher who attended told us this was a high-level seminar and not link any others he had attended. Henry, Nathan, and I added different emphases and strengths to the instruction.

The apologetics talk is tomorrow.

But the real over and above started with my nostalgic stroll to ILU (formerly NIST). I only wanted to show Henry the campus. And it ended up being an experience of the providential plan of God. From this visit, I met the school librarian and told him of my dream of a partnership. He was
optimistic and excited about the potential donation of books. Then I talked to the Vice Chancellor (unexpected call) and he was also upbeat and we are scheduled to meet here Monday morning and talk more. Then I met with Dr. David Ngaruiya, a former student, and ended up talking about a
partnership to train untrained pastors.

That was followed up yesterday morning with Kevin Muriithi who is involved with Apologetics Kenya mostly about tomorrow’s seminar but the discussion went much broader and we ended up agreeing to work together to establish a network of apologists here in Kenya.

To God be the glory!

I still hope to share a few more of the questions we were asked at the seminar. Hopefully tomorrow after the apologetics workshop.

One prayer request. Please pray that I’ll speak to the issues here in Africa more than those in the west, in this topic of apologetics. Thanks.

Heading for home Monday night from here!

By His grace and for His glory!
Steve

Here is the link to the photo album. Click to go there. Added a few pictures of the ground here at Biblical Guest House.

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