Thursday, January 17, 2013

Spreading the Gospel In Africa

Last week a team of 15 people and myself went out to plant a church in a remote village in Kenya, Africa. This is the first time I had ever been part of a church plant. I was anxious to see what would happen. I had read a lot of articles and books on Church planting strategies. I had listened to a lot of highly educated people talk about how to plant a church and how NOT to.

The interesting thing though, was that these people did not do any of that stuff. We did no advertising at all, we didn't call any people, we didn't have a big name speaker, or anything that I thought we would. To be honest I was very skeptical. On the first day we went out to share the gospel, I thought to myself, "Nobody is going to come to this." All we did was build a stage out of some old rotten wood. Then our worship team got up and just started praising God. Some time passed by, and I was walking up on the stage to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. To my amazement, I got up on the stage and over 200 people were sitting on the ground just waiting to hear my message. I could hardly believe my eyes. We did this for 4 days, and we had more people every day. By the last day over 500 people were coming to listen to me preach. I was overwhelmed with joy. I was just thinking how much trouble back in America we had getting people to come to things like this. It was so difficult, but here we did no advertising at all, and people came from all over the entire village just to hear the message and good news of Jesus.

There is now a church planted in this remote village called Vumilia. It is the first Church that this place has ever had. It made me wonder why this was so successful here, and similar efforts I had been a part of in America had been so "unsuccessful." I started to think about why these people were so receptive and opened to hearing the gospel. I asked some of the Kenyan Church leaders and here are some quick bullet points summarizing their answers:

1. These people have never heard the message of Jesus, so it is completely new to them.

2. People in Kenya have a very communal based culture, as opposed to the the individualistic based culture we have in America. So, if someone goes to hear the gospel, then the entire village goes. It's just their culture to go hear a guest when they come.

3. Less distractions. I come from a place where almost everybody has cable television, Iphones, Ipads, Ipods, the internet which I'm using right now... and a lot of other things to occupy our time. I'm not at all saying these things are bad, I use them daily. But out in these remote villages, like the one I went to, they have none of this stuff. So people are much more likely to come and attend an event like this, since they don't have many other alternatives on how to spend their night.

Finally, I just want to say that I'm so impressed and overwhelmed with joy that the people over here are so willing to hear about Jesus. These people are living in extreme poverty, and have very hard lives. So they are searching for a savior. SO I just praise God that these people are hearing the Gospel. It is Jesus who draws people to himself. Not good speakers. I can't wait to see more people give their life to Christ through the miraculous power of our God.

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