Monday, December 16, 2013


It is a great joy to sit by still water, on a quiet summer day, and drop something in the water to watch the ripples; and it is fascinating to watch rain hit a puddle and see the multiple ripples going out and touching each other.

In the past couple of weeks, I feel like I have been watching ripples going out in the Marketplace Ministry.  And it has been a great joy, as well as fascinating.

Friends Women Conference, sitting out in the hot sun.
While the pilot project that I am working on is to work specifically with three churches from three denominations, one of the outlying factors we are monitoring is how this will impact denominations.  The Friends/Quakers Church has written Marketplace Ministries into their strategic plan and are beginning to push it out to their churches.  Two weeks ago, I was asked to speak at the Friends Women's conference, with over 500 women in attendance, regarding Business as Mission.  Then, this past week, I was contacted by the Friends Youth Conference to speak to 1100 youth (youth being defined as up to 35 years of age) regarding Business as Mission.  Apparently the youth heard good things about the talk with the women and wanted to have me present at their conference.  I traveled there with the General-Secretary of the Friends Yearly Meeting for Western Kenya and heard him speak of how this is gaining excitement throughout the region.  They want to send another group of trainers to the next Training of Trainers in February, including from their newest region of Lodwar.  Lodwar is the region where both oil and water were just discovered.  It was so exciting to hear the talk after the presentation amongst business men from the church as they debated how best to roll this out and get the church engaged.  They really own this work and continue to push forward to make it happen!  I sat back and watched the ripples with joy.
Friends Youth Conference

Additionally, last Sunday I had the opportunity to invite the newly hired Marketplace Ministry Coordinator, Alfred Kibairu, to teach the class in Kakamega on Cost Analysis (which has been historically one of the more difficult classes for people to feel comfortable teaching).  He rocked it!  He did a better job than I would have done!  More ripples.

Then on Friday, we had a mentoring meeting with the Kitale group, but we also had a farewell lunch for the principal of the Africa Theological Seminary (ATS).  So, I sent Alfred and Jeff ahead to the meeting and I remained behind to say a few words at the lunch.  When the lunch was over, I texted Alfred and Jeff to see how it was going and decide if I should still go, even though the time was almost up.  They both said that everything was going great and there was no need for me to come.  That felt great! More ripples.

There are multiple drops in the pool.  And as the ripples are spreading out, there are equipped people to carry it forward.  Considering that when I started this work in January I was by myself, I am encouraged that just 11 months later, there is a team and a denomination pushing this forward.  And not just pushing it forward through me, but pushing it forward on their own.

Watching the ripples go out, quietly, on their own, growing wider as they go.  A great joy.  Fascinating to watch.
This is a singing group from the newest Friends Church in Northern Kenya, made up of refugees from Sudan, DRC, and Somalia, as well as Kenyans.  It was beautiful! (If you don't have time to watch the whole 1.5 minutes, skip to about one minute in.  Great voices praising God!)

Another great joy is that my children are coming to Kenya tomorrow and will be here for a month!  We will celebrate Christmas and New Years together.  They will then take a class at ATS which will count for their interim class at Calvin.  I get them all to myself - with no jobs to distract them, or friends, or even TV!  I can't wait to see them and pamper them for a bit. Plus I think they are ready for some warm weather!