A Pastor's Perspective 11-07-2023

It is good to be back home in Fayetteville after spending a week in Kenya. A good trip is something I am always up for, and this trip to Kenya was my fifth in Africa and the sixteenth country I have been privileged to spend time engaging in international efforts on the ground. In all these travels and the exposure it has brought, I have never been around a ministry with a more impressive scope or impact than Missions of Hope International (MOHI). Each day on the ground became better than the one before. My gratitude for our church and Susie’s leadership in partnering with MOHI increased daily. I found myself once again asking a question I have asked in similar situations, “Why me, Lord? Why do I get to be in a place like this around such godly people doing such significant work?” Then my prayer shifted to perhaps a better question, remembering something that Richard Suggs has reinforced in my heart recently. I stopped asking “why” and started praying, “Father, What do you want me to see here? Or is it that you want me to simply be here?”
   MOHI started over 20 years ago when a young college student named Mary took her first walk through the Mathare Slums of Nairobi. Mary had grown up in Kenya, but just like most Americans are, she was also shielded from the extreme poverty in her country.
   The walk marked her in such a way that she believed something should be done, that something could be done, and that she could be in the doing. This a hallmark of true world changers and difference makers: Anyone with a heart can see something should to be done, and anyone one with a clever brain can see something could be done, but it takes someone with a courageous call to actually take action; to be in the doing; to advance the Kingdom.
   So, this recent college graduate started a school in the slums of Mathare. The year was 2000, and the number of children was fifty. Fifty points of hope and light in one of the dark places on our planet. These fifty children would receive an education, food, medical help, and most importantly, the good news of Jesus because Mary saw something could and should be done; then she answered the courageous call to take action and do something—changing the world for 50 children. Eventually her husband, Wallace, would leave his lucrative job as an accountant with Price Waterhouse to partner in this courageous call.
   Today, twenty-three years later, those 50 children have grown to over 23,000 students in 35 schools stretching from urban slums to remote rural villages. Yearly, MOHI puts about 900 young adults into the Kenya workforce.
   The roots of our involvement go back to a group of young ladies on a college mission trip who took a walk through that same slum and said in their young and righteous hearts something had to be done, and thus began this partnership for which I am grateful.
   However, the question I am compelled to ask today is, What is in YOUR surroundings, circumstances or environment that you know should change and could change if you answered a courageous call?
Looking forward, Blake




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