What a year 2011 has been! We have seen so many changes in our home towns, our country, and our world. When I hear “The world is getting smaller” the full meaning of that phrase doesn’t hit me until I start traveling abroad. I spent 5 weeks in Kenya this fall, and everywhere I went I would meet people who have lived in America, or have family living in America now. Many of these women are shopkeepers, seamstresses, those with large gardens and small farms. I was privileged to be with men and women who are hungry for God’s Word, its Doctrines, looking to Him in order to make some sense of the world they live in. At their core, they are just like American Christians with the same needs, and desires.
In Kenya, poverty is high, corruption runs deep in their businesses, government, and in some churches. The prevailing attitude is that of entitlement. You should get something from someone else, whether you are rich or poor. You should be paid for your time, transportation, meals, lodging, even for existing. While I was in Nairobi, I witnessed a large slum located on airport property, bulldozed in the middle of the night leaving thousands homeless. The next week a subdivision where homeowners had a title for the land, was bulldozed. The MP had sold bogus titles to them; it was airport property. This attitude has hurt the integrity, value, and self-esteem of the people who live in a beautiful country full of flowers, hills, tropical plants, and wild animals.
After the 2007 elections, sectarian violence broke out displacing and killing tens of thousands of men, women, and children. The election reflected the social disease that had been taking root for so long; the people felt the only alternative for constitutional change was a violent resolution. At the end of this election a Country that had been governed by a Christian majority, now had to share power with a U.N. mandated coalition government made up of Muslims. The Obama government sent $23 million US aid not to the Christians where it has traditionally gone, but to the Muslim coalition. They have a new constitution, with U.N. mandated goals, one of them being the empowerment of women. Traditionally women have not had any value in African society. They have the same rights as property, or animals. They are beaten, sold in to sex trafficking, brutalized along with their children. Children are to primarily spend time with the father’s family. The Son’s are to be educated; the women stay home to care for the home and children. Everything in life goes through the father’s family.
The society is now starting to respond to the needs of women and children, through the empowerment of women mandate. Kenya is now 51% female due to the killings, and these women are handling family finances, educating their children, and working where they can to help supplement the income of the husband, especially during these difficult economic times. They are changing the communities they live in, and gaining respect from their husbands at home. Many are widowed, and out of need are aggressively pursuing a business, their only alternative would be to become prostitutes, to support themselves and their children. Merry go round groups are started as small banks that they contribute to. They are raising and selling livestock, milk, fruits, vegetables, making baskets, jewelry, wood carvings, and have small kiosks as souvenir shops.
These are the men and women I had the opportunity to bring God’s Word too. My topic was the role of women in society – how God is using women to be His warriors, working with men to accomplish God’s Kingdom purposes. All presenters spoke about the end times we live in, and what that means for the Christian today. As Christians we will have to make the choice, we can no longer have 1 foot in the church, and 1 foot in the world. Our choice will be : 1) stand for Christ not compromising our faith and His message no matter the cost (even death) or 2) fall away from the faith and choose to be at the mercy of Islamism, Socialism, Communism which is Atheist. Similar to what the Weimar German Republic faced when Hitler was coming to power in the early 1930’s. Kenyan Christians will be making this hard decision as they vote in December 2012. They are on the verge of becoming an Islamic state, implementing Sharia Law. All human and individual rights are lost in Sharia Law. The people below, where I spoke, welcomed the challenge. They want more Bible knowledge, discipleship, and economic opportunity.
- Athi River Baptist Church Women’s conference – 200 attending
- Baptist leaders Conference men and women – 50 attending
- Nairobi Bishops Conference – 100 attending
- Mlolongo Baptist Church (main message) – 50 attending
- Baptist Women’s Conference for Rural church leaders – 100 attending
- Athi River Baptist Sunday English Service (main message) – 300 attending
- Athi River Baptist Women’s Business skills conference – 100 attending
Many of the women who attended, had never been to a conference before, they live without indoor plumbing and electricity. I saw deliverance from witchcraft, repentance from prostitution, and compromised living. The Pastor’s wives want additional training to better lead their flock. I believe the true church will become more unified globally as we move in to 2012. We need each other, to stand together and support each other against a common enemy – the “isms”. God is at work throughout our world, not a day went by I did not see his hand directing, leading, and providing divine appointments.
I have been asked to come back and help them start more merry-go-round groups for businesses. They want business training, Bible teaching, and evangelistic training. The Lydia Movement is the tool God is using to address the whole woman – spiritual formation, family counseling, and business development.