That was the name given to me in Swahili, by a group of church planters and community workers whom I accompanied this afternoon. The reason being is that there was a thunderstorm and apparently, I had brought the rain with me from England. 🙂 Thus, the rain man.
I’m in a place called Kimilili, which is in Western Kenya. I arrived in Nairobi on Monday Evening after seeing my friends in the Netherlands. Tuesday morning, I travelled to Kisumu, the city where so much of the violence happened during the recent troubles in Kenya. You would be hard pressed to find the evidence of such troubles. That does not mean that they did not happen, rather that it has quickly been cleaned up. Although there was a restaurant that had been burned to the ground. The owner was from the wrong community.
My main reason for coming here, was originally to attend a conference. However, the Lord has His ways of guiding you to the correct place. Instead I’ve come to visit and learn from the work of icFem, a kenyan mission agency based here in Kimilili.
Now why do I say I felt guided here. Some of you know that I’m looking at and believing that the Lord wants us to pioneer a new form of mission (for us anyway) in NW Zambia and possibly elsewhere. Mission that will honour Jesus, raise the rural Church and enable them to reach and help the communities they find themselves in.
So I come here to Kimilili, to find a mission with the same values, the same heart and is oh so good. Today, whilst not hearing anything ‘new’ I have been encouraged beyond belief, by the dedication and expertise of these dear brothers and sisters of mine. What is new, is that the work they do was birthed in the rural areas and has all of the hallmarks of a move of the Spirit. That excites me. So my head today has been full of ideas and strategies, bouncing ideas off people. praying, meeting people, listening (a lot!) and getting to grips in my head about what needs to be done.
It is no accident that I am here. This is a proving ground for the vision I believe I have received, a little boot camp to see others that are travelling on the same path. The reason I was guided here is to see, learn and to receive. It is sometimes easy for me to get discouraged in Africa. Sometimes situations seem hopeless. The darkness that covers whole nations and areas seems very dark indeed. Today has given me hope and proof, that this battle can be won, it can be taken forward, lives can be changed on a wide scale and the Lord’s kingdom can come.
I have been received by a man called Solomon Nabie, who whilst being quieter than me, obviously has a fierce intellect and a deep spiritual fervour. I am impressed by him and his thinking. Most of all though, is his humility, it shines through all of his work. Please pray for him and the work of icFem. It is important.
So I am here at this point. I do believe in my heart is is like being at the top of a ski jump, before you race down and hurtle off the end. My main fear is that I am not up to it – a common fear of mine. My main fear is that I do not have the faith or the caliber to carry out this task. It seems so enormous, so difficult, but also so necessary. The Lord does not speak for nothing, and he has spoken so that I can respond. My heart says Yes, my mind recoils a little in fear 🙂 Please pray for me in that, that I will grow in faith and certainty of the promises that the Lord gives.
Before I left Holland, I went out for a walk. I believe the Lord has told me personally this year to walk with him in Africa, wherever I am. So I went out for a walk…
As I walked it began to rain, it began to pour – and I was getting soaked. Water was literally running off me. I was praying as well – I often do when I am walking outside. I felt God speaking of his water, of His Spirit walking and running through our lives. To be soaked in His Spirit and being a source of life. Maybe being the Rain Man is not such a bad name after all.
We’re all Rain Men and Rain Women…… Let Him Rain In and Through your life to everywhere you walk.
Please pray for me on the rest of this trip, being away from home I never like even when it is necessary, but also pray that the purposes, resources and thoughts of God himself will not be far from me as I, together with others walk towards his perfect will concerning the mission he has called us to.