Engaging in Reality (an intro to the AC Summer Newsletter)
“So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.” 1 Thess. 2:7-8
The gospel on a page can never substitute for a life engaged.
Every year a team from the US travels to Kitale, Kenya to participate in Africa Connect’s work with the Kenyan partners on the field. We encourage our American AC team to spend time on the ground, so they can better represent, with personal conviction, the work of AC. This year, the team of eleven was a wonderful mix of veteran missionaries and newbies, led for the first time by Caleb and EvaJoy
Senecal, as Bob and I had to return to the States for my medical treatment. Their visits ranged from 2 weeks to 3 months, and represented five different churches from three states.
These trips are hardly “mission vacations”. Team members serve our Kenyan partners in their daily work, loving the kids, sitting in their dark slum homes, worshipping in church, digging gardens, buying supplies, crying, laughing, playing and praying. Despite our best efforts and planning, nothing can prepare them for the shock that so many live every day in seemingly endless suffering. Americans find themselves exposed, exhausted, stretched to the limit, and then somehow renewed, nested in a cross cultural team that finds unity in the overpowering love and eternal purpose of Christ. This is discipleship on the field.
The work seems not only difficult, but impossible. But, it’s in the impossible, that God shows up, and oh, the rewards of partnering with His heart! This issue focuses on team testimonials. As you read, keep in mind that Greg, Sue and Eva are sharing one story out of a complex weave of the unexplainable; it all brought them home changed, in a way that’s hard to explain with a mere few words.
Mysteriously, in the midst of want and despair the lights of Joy and Hope radiate more purely, and discoveries are made in emptiness that can never be found in the proverbial Land of Plenty. Many discover in Kenya Who God is and who they are in a brand new way. Our hope is that in joining hands with this mission your life and your church will be enriched through partnering with God in pouring out His life to the broken, poor and needy.