Tonight, someone really special to our family is on a flight to Brazil. I called and reminded him it is one of my dream destinations! We laughed and he quickly reminded me that it is a much cooler time of the year and since it is a business trip, there is little time or chance of fun. So I posted this photo of The Christ The Redeemer looking down over Rio de Janeiro to keep me dreaming. If only my Christian mission was set for BRAZIL, I would be packed and ready within an hour!
This week, our Bible Study Group discussed our roles and responsibilities are, as Christians, to our community. We began a new and very exciting study on Everyday Church, by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis. We looked at 1 Peter 1:13-2:8. This week’s chapter was asking us to identify our role in our own community and how we impact it for Christ.
We all live in Nairobi and travel across the city every weekday, to a variety of jobs and schools. Our experiences are diverse and we have similarities in coming to terms with our new life in Jesus Christ and the changes we have made to live according to Christ’s call. We listened to the men recounting how they had make new friends with similar values to be certain of their walk with Christ. The ladies in the group found that they maintained the same friends, with some who have not as yet made the choice to share our faith. As a whole, we made adjustments and changed our thinking, our behaviour and outlook. We all agreed that we are still growing. It never stops and that is Bibical! How refreshing?
How do we see ourselves in society? Sometimes we feel marginalized, behave differently and in some cases, are viewed as strangers in the land. We love Church and attend a very vibrant, ‘focused and real’ Vineyard Church, here in Nairobi. The central focus is reaching our world with the love and truth of Christ. The Holy Spirit is central to our missional life. We believe and trust that everyday brings us the opportunity to live in mission and we experience and appreciate the adventure of each divine appointment, with people who need to know and live in the love of God.
One of us shared how they met an elderly neighbour in their block of flats, a few years ago. Their neighbour came every chance he had, to sit and recount his 40 years in Kenya, after serving in the British Army overseas. He was widowed in his 50s and found himself on his own, after his children left home and began their adult lives across the globe. He told them how much he missed them but was sorry they were too busy to look him up. Eventually, he resigned himself to their distance and began a new life, once he met his Kenyan wife and her young son. He settled down but was quickly diagnosed with chronic heart trouble, so he sought a second, third and many more opinions, desperate to survive and watch his young, adopted son grow. In frustration, he opted to self-medicate, in spite of the his wife and son’s pleas. One evening, our friend arrived home to find that their kind neighbour had been sent to hospital, weakened and critically ill. She and her family prayed with his family. Sadly, he lost his fight within two weeks, which still came as a shock to everyone. Looking back, she realized she never shared the blessing of knowing Jesus and why He was central to her life. “I missed that opportunity and cannot understand how I did!”
We prayed that God would prompt us, every chance we have to share about Him and His love for us. We prayed down the spirit of fear and self-doubt, believing that as long as we know that our mission in our community has nothing to do with our personal strength, and everything to do with the work of the Holy Spirit! Only then will our heart, plans and actions be for good, to fulfill our call to tell everyone about Christ. So Nairobi has to be my new Rio, as long as Jesus determines it to be. I am more than happy to have this privelege and enjoy the adventure in Christ and in community!