Thursday, March 29, 2007

Responding to Needs in Nairobi

I hadn't actually intended to participate in a blogging fast, but it just turned out that I managed to go almost a month without posting anything. I did want to share an update on our church's involvement with the KidsHeart Africa project in the Korogocho slum of Nairobi. I had mentioned previously that our pastor and children's minister were traveling there to do an assessment of the needs and the possibilities of our church's involvement in helping to meet those. They had an outstanding experience and came back excited about some ways we could make a significant difference in the lives of the children through providing them with expanded, more permanent school facilities.

Word & Way ran an article about our churches involvement in their most recent issue, written by Janis Mansker, our children's minister. I'd encourage you to take a few minutes to look at it.

Pastor Euticals who heads up the school was won to Christ through the efforts of some FMB missionaries when he was a teenager. He felt called into the ministry and has chosen to continue ministering to the children of this slum area, many of whom are AIDS orphans. Our church has responded with overwhelming generosity to this project. We had been challenged to give at least $10,000 by the end of the summer to receive a matching gift in that amount from an anonymous donor in our congregation. On the first Sunday of the offering for the project, we received more than $33,000 with pledges over a 3 year period of more than $165,000. God has blessed our congregation with folks who respond generously to needs as they are shared.

We're also gearing up for a Summer of Service where we are planning to engage in all kinds of different service projects in the greater Kansas City area. We've been busily compiling and fine tuning a list of 208 ideas that were generated in a church-wide listening session we held on a Sunday evening about 3 weeks ago. It's exciting to see the enthusiasm that is growing among our members as we step out of our comfort zone a bit and seek to meet the needs of others around us.

5 comments:

GuyMuse said...

I was wondering where you had gone? Glad to have you back online!

The "Church finds ministry in Nairobi slum" article was interesting and find it encouraging to hear your church is giving to what appears to be a worthy project. It's always amazing to me how God takes care of his own in such awesome ways.

We too are gearing up for the summer with volunteer teams headed our way. With 2008 being the year that South America will be highlighted by the IMB, we expect there will be quite a bit of activity from here through the end of '08.

Gary Snowden said...

Guy,

I've been following your interesting discussions on your blog of late. I appreciate your insights. I didn't know that the IMB was planning on highlighting S. Amer. in 2008. That's a bit of a shift from what we were hearing in our final term in Argentina before we transferred to Mexico City. Everything coming down from the regional office at that point was about developing an exit strategy so as to leave the work in the hands of nationals so missionaries could presumably be relocated to 10-40 Window countries.

GuyMuse said...

Yes, it is true that S. America is back on the IMB map! I am not sure why all the sudden interest generated for our part of the world, but am simply happy that the pendulum has swung back our way for the time being. I would anticipate a lot of media attention for S. America in the coming days, similar to what was done for W. Africa.

The emphasis, as I understand it, is not so much that we N. American M's go to 10/40 but that we begin mobilizing local national brothers and sisters to be the ones going to 10/40 countries--which makes a whole lot of sense!--and something I would love to see become a reality with each passing year. We even have full time M's in each country assigned to work towards this end!

bryan riley said...

Just stopping by because I've often enjoyed your comments elsewhere. Godspeed.

texasinafrica said...

Gary, I really enjoyed reading about your church's work in Nairobi. I'm also so glad to know that you're partnering wtih local ministries - that's exactly what so many African churches need.