International Missions

A JOURNAL OF MISSION TO KENYA

Monday, 21st May, 2012

Briefing, Orientation and Prayer at about 4:30pm on Monday, 21st May, 2012.

Members of the team gathered for a time of orientation, briefing and prayer.

Tuesday, 22nd May, 2012

We departed Jos at about 3:00pm on Tuesday, 22nd May, 2012, after a brief prayer and arrived at the home of our hosts in Abuja, Mr. & Mrs Salvation Philip, to warm welcome, great fellowship and a sumptuous dinner!

Wednesday, 23rd May, 2012

We had a great and inspiring devotion, led by the Archbishop at about 6:00am the following morning, after which we cleaned-up, had another sumptuous meal for breakfast and departed for the airport at about 9:00am

Our Air Ethiopian flight took off at about 2:10pm from Abuja and arrived at Addis Ababa at about 7:00pm. It was largely uneventful.

Our flight schedule to Nairobi was changed in Addis Ababa which resulted in the misplacement of our luggage.

Thursday, 24th May, 2012

We arrived at Nairobi at about 1:30am with only our carry-on luggage.

After a brief rest, we huddled together for morning devotion, prayer and preparation for ministry at 7:00am

The Archbishop’s first talk commenced at about 11:00am on Understanding Revival.

The text was from Rev.1: 17-20.  He explained that the apostle John, the writer, ‘fell down as though dead’ until the Lord touched him and revealed Himself to him. John, therefore, experienced revival. Other men with similar experiences were Daniel, Ezekiel.

He went on to share the testimony of his personal conversion to Christ

In reference to the theme text, Ps 85: 1-3, he shared the following signs of revival: favour; forgiveness of sins; the wrath of God averted.

Favour – During previous revivals, God showed favour to great men like William Wilberforce who relentlessly campaigned against slave trade until it was abolished, Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, who was the first indigenous African Bishop to bring the gospel to Nigeria

Forgiveness of sins – Our sins are forgiven. We should live lives that are consistent with this fact

The wrath of God averted – During revival we would see God withdrawing His wrath, and turning away from His fierce anger.

We were informed that revival is a gift of God. God is ever ready to give it. He is looking for one who is hungry for it.

The talk ended with a time of fervent prayer for personal and church-wide revival.

Exposition on Ephesians

The Rt. Revd. Joseph Wasonga, Bishop of Maseno West Diocese gave an exposition on the book of Ephesians, following the Archbishop’s talk:

He informed us of the pattern of the exposition as follows:

Introduction: Encouragement and reason to remain deeply rooted

Chapters 1 -3 : God’s plan for spiritual renewal

Chapter 4 -6:9 : True spiritual renewal leads to right conduct. Unity of the body of Christ. Living in the light. Living by the power of the Holy Spirit. Spirit guided relationships – marital, filial/family, employment.

Chapter 6:1-20 : Our role in spiritual warfare.

He explained that Jesus is central in God’s scheme. Without Jesus, there is no blessing, no revival.

Blessing refers to our position and relationship with God, forgiveness of our sins, hope of eternal life

Eph 1: 12-14 refers to the role of the Holy Spirit. Those who are saved are sealed by Holy spirit. It expresses our identity – whose we are. We do not belong to ourselves. We are protected by the Holy Spirit. He is the sign of God’s authority over us and through us.

He asked the question, ‘What does it mean that God owns me?’

Answer:  My total allegiance is for God. I am totally surrendered to Him. I am an instrument for God’s purpose.

Eph 1:15-23, 2:1-10 refers to the Spirit of restoration, revelation, wisdom, hope. It includes a prayer that the eyes of our hearts may be alert, awake. We need this so we can be revived to fulfill God’s purpose.

We were reminded that we are God’s masterpiece – Eph 2:10

In sympathy over the misplacement of our luggage, Ms Grace , the ACK Guest House Manageress took the rest of the team out, without the Archbishop and gave everyone an envelope with KSH 5000.00, to enable us make purchases that would meet our basic needs until our luggage arrived. This was very gracious of them.

Evening Revival Service

Evening Session: Dr Nwiti led the evening revival session during which he espoused the importance of revival beginning with the family. This was followed by a time of prayer especially for families.

Evaluation of the day, 24/05/12

Analysis :

The archbishop’s personal testimony was a vital component of the message.

The challenge of traditional structures and ecclesiastical titles spoke to many.

We expressed appreciation for Kenya’s spiritual heritage – the great East African Revival. The reference to it was very appropriate and seemed to allow a ‘homing-in’ of the message. The following observations were, however, made:

Absence of youth.

Relative absence of men

Lessons for the Church:

Invest aggressively in young people. Ensure ‘local content’ – the owners of the land, the people amongst whom we live.

Reject a gospel that has any semblance of oppression. Any message that does not set its recipients free is not the gospel. How has the diocese of Jos impacted on the Anagutas, the Beroms, Bassa people and other indigenes of Jos and its environs?

The need for training in character development for our people – orderliness, propriety in all that we do, was expressed.

We agreed on the need for change in our mentality and orientation about the gospel and life generally.

The need to review our motives in service was also discussed. Is it truly an opportunity for us to offer ourselves and what we are or have to the Lord or do we hope for some reward? How many people are willing to serve for nothing?

We took time to pray before the Lord asking for forgiveness where we have failed and asking for true revival within our diocese, and His continued blessing on our mission.

Friday, 25th May, 2012

Devotion at 7:00am with sharing from Hosea 6 by Ven Justice reminding us of how God sometimes woos us to the wilderness where He would show us Love and cause revival. This was provided guidance for us in our prayer for the revival program but also had a message for us in our particular situation. We were reminded by His grace of our being out of our comfort zone as being a wilderness experience and our loss of our luggage as an opportunity to forget materials and worldly wealth while concentrating on God.

We prayed for the program, for His grace, the Archbishop B.A. Kwashi, who would be speaking, for ourselves for our country and Jos diocese and for our luggage.

The Archbishop’s talk started at about 11:00am on Embracing Revival

Embracing Revival

John 6: 66-68

The message highlighted the need to embrace Jesus and everything He stands for. The message was followed by a call to commitment which saw a crowd of people in front seeking a touch by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit moved among His people. Conviction was obvious people could be seen weeping openly.

The Evening Revival session was led by The Rt. Revd. Joseph Kanuku, Diocese of Machakos, Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK).

He took his text from: 1Sam 2:1-12

The portion of scripture read referred to a time in Israel when the word of the Lord was rare. We were reminded that when the word of God is rare, nothing happens.

We were challenged to be available to be used of by the Lord. Order and Class were expressed as recognizeable obstacles in the Anglican Church.

We were reminded of the need to move out of our comfort zones in order to evangelize.

In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God is calling us to turn from our sins and pray, seek His face.

A strong note of warning was sounded at the conclusion of the evening session thus: God can use others if we refuse to do His Will.

Saturday, 26/05/12

The Archbishop’s message this morning was on: Growing in Revival

The passage of reference was Psalm 85

The New Testament’s requirements for revival were clearly stated as:  Conversion, Commitment and Consistency.

We were reminded that it is impossible to be revived without Jesus.

To embrace revival is to embrace Jesus, to embrace the demands of the gospel life.

Luke 9:23 reminds us that without conversion one would not be concerned about people going to hell.

Commitment: Jesus said whoever would come to Him must first deny himself and take up his cross

Consistency: Jesus states the act of denial and carrying of the cross must be DAILY – in the message we share, in the hospitality we express and in our character.

Exposition on Ephesians– Bishop Wasonga

Eph 6:10-18 – The gates of hell shall not prevail. We are victorious at last!

The team was hosted by the acting Nigerian Ambassador, Ambasssador Nath  Kolo. Over dinner, we shared fellowship, discussed the Anglican Church of Kenya and its vital opportunity to influence the nation of Kenya. The Archbishop gave practical advice to the provost of the cathedral, the Very Revd. Julius Wanyioike, his wife and The Revd Canon Naomi Waqo on how to move the work of God forward. He shared his strategy in Jos with them and encouraged them to invest massively in young people.

Review Meeting 26/05/12

We reviewed the day, thanked God for His grace and favor, the outpouring of His spirit, and the graciousness and generosity of the Kenyans and our Ambassador.

Sunday 27/05/12

We met at about 7:30am.

We took time to pray for all the services ahead and the Revival meeting in the afternoon

Revival Service at 9:30 am. Pentecost Sunday

The service went well – a Holy Communion Service

The message came through the Archbishop, who preached on the epistle for the day Acts 2:1-21

Vs 1-4: Unusual Experience

Vs 4-13: Unusual Communication

Vs 14-21: Unusual Evidence

At the end of speaking for  25 minutes, there was an obvious thirst for more. There was great response to the call for people to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit in order to be transformed. People trooped to the altar to receive ministration from the priests of the cathedral.

At 11:30am, a Eucharistic Service Presided over by the Archbishop of Kenya, The Most Revd. Dr. Eliud Wabukala, the archbishop Benjamin Kwashi brought the message powerfully expressing our need for the Holy Spirit in order to be set free

The response was remarkable. There was evidence of the coming of the Holy Spirit as, for the first time known, to Archbishop Wabukala, people spoke out loudly in tongues during the church service.

Evening Revival Meeting

There was so much joy expressed during the meeting.

One could sense the presence of the Holy Spirit giving freedom of expression.

The message was from Judges 15: 1-5

The archbishop expounded the story of Samson, his special birth and call to a specific mission.

He felt cheated by the Philistines and decided that he needed to teach them a lesson, so he took his time to deliberately think through a plan which involved recruiting foxes, pairing them up by tying their tails together and setting the tails on fire. After which he released them into the farms of the Philistines to destroy all their crops. We learnt the following lessons from the passage:

– Recruitment: strategic recruitment of young people

– Recovery: Need to recover lost grounds. Do not play with sin!

– Change

At the end of the meeting, young people who were making commitments to be recruited as agents of revival were asked to come forward for anointing and prayer. The atmosphere was charged. The presence of God was almost palpable. A few young people ‘fell under the Anointing’.

Church leaders, elders and members of PCCs were asked to come forward for anointing, the Singing group, Divine Voices and the Clergy were also anointed. The high point was the humbling sight of the  Archbishop and Primate of Kenya, The Most Revd Dr. Wabukala leading the other bishops present to be anointed as ‘Commanders’ of God’s Army. There was an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and great joy.

Appreciations were expressed to all the Speakers, session moderators and all who contributed to the success of the Divine Conference. When The Most Revd Dr. Benjamin Kwashi was called to receive a token of appreciation, the whole hall erupted in a standing ovation in appreciation for all that the Lord had done through His servant.

The youth took to the dancing floor as the singing group led with the Nigerian song ‘Igwe’ and others, while the adults moved out of the hall, following the closing prayer.

We had a brief review afterwards, took time to pray before the Archbishop left for visit with his daughter, Nendelmwa and ministry in Uganda in the company of Dr. Hannatu Kwashi.

While he was away, the rest of the team took time to do some strategic and critical thinking and planning for domestic and foreign missions in the diocese of Jos.

The Ugandan team returned to Nairobi on Wednesday, 30th May, 2012 with testimonies of open doors and the outpouring of God’s Spirit, Power and Love in Uganda. The Archbishop ministered at the University chapel Service, the Divinity school and gave a few lectures to separate classes of undergraduate and postgraduate students. There were, at least, 50 responses to the call to receive Jesus Christ as Lord during the Chapel Service. There were opportunities for personal ministry to people in need, and to visit with Nendelmwa, the Vice Chancellor’s family, Prof. and Mrs John Sanyionye, and Missionary Clergy from the Diocese of Jos, The Revd. Tunde Yusuf and his family.

The team departed Nairobi on Thursday, 31st May, 2012, at about 6:20pm after a time of prayer and fellowship with the Provincial Secretary, The Revd Canon Rosemary and  the guesthouse manageress, Ms Grace and her team. We had a stop-over in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, overnight, which provided yet another avenue to learn about the mission opportunities in this great land of Cush.  The trip from Addis Ababa to Abuja lasted about 5 hours and saw us landing at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at about 1:20pm on Friday, 1st June, 2012. After clearing all our baggage, which thankfully arrived intact, we stopped over briefly at the home of our Abuja Missions family, the Philips for a delicately and tastefully arranged lunch before heading back to our beloved city of Jos and the comfort of our families.

This had been an awesome experience, walking with God and seeing Him work out His purpose in and through us.

The call to domestic and foreign missions is URGENT!

One Response to International Missions

  1. Sara says:

    Hi JohnI hope you all enjoyed the Rock Night I did think of you all the way from Whitby, North Yorkshire.Is this an anunal event or hopefully more regular?I was also interested in Rt Rev S Cottrells comments in the Gazette 23rd for fitting the church into today’s busy society. As you know I walk with the ramblers on a Sunday but I have actually prayed for rain so that I can come to Hassenbrook one Sunday but all we get is beautiful sunshine thank you God Im not complaining honest. But I look forward to seeing what you and St M’s are doing apart from Sundays. See you soon. Love Kim

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