Sunday, March 24, 2019

"I had to come to Africa to hear an American woman speak about 'Work as Worship'!"

This was a quote from an El Salvadorian woman who joined the ICM-USA team to do some work in Kitale, Kenya.  She has lived in the US for twenty years and joined our workshop for the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) on Friday morning.  She was amazed by this message which had eluded her in the church.  It's amazing to see how God weaves His people together from different walks of life, in different parts of the world!
As I mentioned last week, we had the privilege to present the message of Discipling Marketplace Leaders to the ACK Kitale Diocese (Anglican) this past week.  This diocese has 62 parishes, with each parish having about five churches, and a total of 97 priests.  This is about three hundred churches with approximately 4000 members.  The Diocese voted unanimously to accept DML as one of their ministry partners as it became clear that we would help them achieve various aspects of three of their main goals:  spiritual, societal, and stewardship.  It was an exciting time with these priests who interacted with us with great enthusiasm for the message.

The Right Reverend Dr. Emmanuel Chemengich, pictured with Dr. Walker, is the Bishop of this Diocese.  Prior to becoming the Bishop, he was the first African head of ACTEA which is the accrediting body of theological education in Africa.  Prior to that, he was the principal of Africa Theological Seminary, where I have been teaching since 2013.  So we go back a ways. Not only is he a wise, godly man, he also has a great sense of humor.

Bishop Chemengich gave the Commencement Address at the ATS graduation on Saturday and he said a few things that I would like to reference here.  He reminded the graduates that the first person they must lead is themselves, and that requires self-discipline.  He defined "self-discipline" as doing what you NEED to do even when you don't WANT to do it.  He reminded us that most marriages, pastors, leaders, businesses, etc, fail mostly because of a lack of self-discipline than any other issue.  It is critical that we learn this.  He reminded us that having a good start (good education, a loving family, etc) helps, but a good finish is dependent on self-discipline.  To have a good finish takes courage, and he reminded us that you will never see courage in someone who is comfortable.  To learn courage means you will be uncomfortable.  This was a good message not only for the graduates but for all of us.

We also had the privilege of giving out Africa Study Bibles to all the priests in attendance from the ACK.  Below we have some pictures of the Bibles being given out by Dr. Walker as well as Rev. Dave Champness (President of ICM-USA).  Again, we are so thankful to those of you who donated to this!  Allowing people to study the Word with notes that were designed for their context is of great importance.  Not having that is like people from North America reading a Study Bible that was designed for China.  It doesn't really fit.  We pray that this Bible will be a blessing to those who have received it!

I am now in Ethiopia where I will be for about four weeks yet.  We start by teaching at the Evangelical Theological College, and then will go into a training of trainers for DML, followed by some workshops.  Thank you for your prayers!