Monday, May 20, 2013

A Week of Blessings

This has been a very busy week...but a week of blessings indeed.

Let me start however by picking up on a picture from last week - the mystery picture.  Thanks to all of you who made guesses!  The most popular guess by far was some sort of animal dung to be used for burning.  One person did come up with the right answer but confessed that she had consulted a Kenyan to find out, so that didn't count.

The picture is of sugar molasses, which people can eat in small amounts or it can be used for animal feed.  Some people put it in their tea.  To be honest, I have not sampled the one I bought.  What was surprising to me was that these were not covered in flies or ants...there were some bees that had made holes and were inside...but sugar molasses out in the open air, no plastic to protect...hmmm. 

On Wednesday and Thursday, from 8 pm - 12:30 am, we were privileged to join a training by the Marketplace Chaplains USA.  This is an organization that I came in contact through fellow Madison Square Church member, JoAnn Swart.  They have over 2500 Chaplains in four countries that are sent into various businesses to work with the employees.  I was able to attend their training in January and have remained in contact with them since then.  This is an option of Marketplace Ministry that I have presented to the pastors in my classes - to reach out to businesses in their areas that may not be engaged with their church - for encouragement and prayer.  The pastors that were invited to attend this training were those who indicated interest in this ministry for their own church.  From right to left, Pastor Leonard Ashivaga, Pastor Alfred Kibiaru, Pastor Manasseh Lumwagi, and Pastor John Matui.  It was a late couple of nights for us, but a very good discussion about the potential for this ministry in Kenya.

On Saturday, I traveled to Mosoriot, about 2.5 hours from Kitale, on the other side of Eldoret.  I went with a pastor from my second class, Pastor Stephen Barchok, to the Community Baptist Church.  We had a training for 54 business people, addressing Business as Mission and then spending some time on Basic Business Principles.  It was a good day, made better by an energetic and engaging group.  They would like me to come back in September and begin a full training with them, making Mosoriot one of the twelve cities we hope to impact.  Additionally, a pastor traveled to this training from Kericho, Kenya, about five hours away.  Interestingly, I have never heard of this city before, but in three days, I heard about it three times from different people.  So, I may go there in September as well for some exploration.  September seems to be getting pretty busy already!
Pastor Stephen Barchok on the left of me - everyone drinking Chai.
They gathered outside in a big circle and I had to around and greet everyone.  They then "dressed" me in some Kenyan dress and gifts, which was fun. 
On Sunday, May 19, 2013, the Marketplace Minister Commissioning was held in Butere Miracle Center Marketplace.  This is the first of three commissioning services in a row in different churches.  While I have taken part of many such services over the years, this is the first time that we did it from within the Church.  It was a holy and beautiful service.  I will tell the story in the pictures below.
The Pastor led the responsive reading, with portions for the congregants and other portions for the Marketplace Ministers.
The sixty Marketplace Ministers Commisioned, making their commitment with the support of the Church.
Each person was anointed with oil, being told, as Jesus said, " the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."  Many wept as they were anointed.  Being affirmed in their calling is a powerful thing.
We then offered communion to the Marketplace Ministers.  I am serving with "Mama Bishop."  The person we are serving is Moses, an amazing worship leader who has ministered to me, and is the owner of a small provision shop.
Those who met the requirements were given a certificate - forty businesses in total.

Testimonies of the impact of the Business Training on their businesses, by five members, selected by the class.
I had the privilege of bringing the Word at both of the morning services. 
I like this picture - I was giving the certificate to the Pastor of the church, Rev. Samson Ibrahim Makokha.  We have enjoyed working with each other and have become friends.  This picture captures the warmth of welcome that I receive when I arrive in Butere.  I call Butere my second home in Kenya...and the Butere Miracle Center my first church in Kenya. 
The group picture - a fun and happy group.