Kenya is certainly on my mind and my heart as we prepare for our upcoming mission trip. The only thing I have struggled with is teaching for the little ones. I've been teaching adults for many years, but it's been a very long time since I taught elementary-school-age children and I just couldn't seem to get a grasp on what the Father might want me to teach these children halfway across the globe, in a culture so vastly different than ours.
Well, God is usually not early, but he's NEVER late! I woke up with a start in the middle of the night last night and looked at the clock. It read 1:19. "It's been a long time since you woke me up in the night with chapter and verse," I silently prayed. I closed my eyes again and asked Him,"What book?" To my surprise I heard that still, small voice say, "James." When I opened my eyes again, the clock said 1:25. "Ok, Lord James 1:19-25. I pray this is your message for the children in Kenya.
"Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: you must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. But don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says! Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don't obey, it is like glancing at yourself in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect Torah that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it."
Hear and obey. Sh'ma! Of course! The God of Israel wants me to teach this ultimate Hebraic understanding: to follow Yeshua is a two-part process, hear AND obey! As I sat in the quiet stillness of my living room at 1:25 this morning, a song began to reverberate in my spirit. I could hear the pulsating rhythms of the African drums that so moved me when I was last in Kenya in 2005! And then the words came: Kusikiliza Roho! Kusikia na kutii! Listen to the Spirit! Hear and obey!
My cup overflows today -- I am once again about to fulfill my calling to the nations, going in the service of the King, with the great joy and blessing of having my husband John and two of my grandchildren with me! My fifteen-year-old granddaughter, Jayde, will be teaching over 1000 girls in the Nasokol school about purity and abstinence. My 13-year-old grandson, Jackson, will be teaching all the students also, and his teaching is "Keeping the Commandments: A Blessed Life." "If you look carefully into the perfect Torah that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it." Oh, how I love to watch God work as He weaves together the Scriptures, the music, the messages we are to carry!
I am typing out below our itinerary for the trip, as so many of you have asked for it. I know this will keep about 500 people in a huge canopy of prayer covering over us as we fly in planes, ride in busses from Nairobi to the north country of Kenya, and minister in two schools, seven churches, and the open marketplaces. Pray for us also as we spend our final three days (including the feast of Shavu'ot or Pentecost) ministering in Nairobi at the Open Blessing Church with my friend, Pastor Leah, whom I met on a bus in Jerusalem eight years ago! We so appreciate all of you who have made this trip possible, and will look forward to the awesome testimonies of God's Mighty Working Power, and all the things He is going to teach US as we go to teach others is Word!
We still have the privilege of teaching a bible study at the retirement home where my parents lived for seven years. Even though my parents are gone from there, the Lord has made it clear that this ministry shall continue, and we have about 15 faithful students, most of them in their 80s and 90s. They participate with much enthusiastic discussion and it is a profound blessing to see that well into the last days of our lives we can continue learning and growing in the Word of God!
We are in the book of Acts right now, and when I got to Acts 9:6, a question of my own heart was answered. In the midst of his supernatural encounter with the living Messiah, Shaul (Paul) falls to the ground in fear and asks, "Who are you, Lord?" Messiah Yeshua answers, "I AM Yeshua, whom you are persecuting. Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do" (Acts 9:4-6).
What follows is not an all-encompassing layout of the plan for Paul's ministry. The Lord does not sit him down and give him every step of his journey and tell him what the full plan is for his life! He gives him one first step: "Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do." As Paul is obedient to this initial direction to go into the city, blinded by the Light of his heavenly encounter and led by the hand of others, he is then given more steps, one at a time, until the fullness of his ministry is finally revealed to him. Note that these initial steps involve meeting and interacting with others of the faith. Paul stays in Damascus, not eating or drinking for three days (Acts 9:9) and then Yeshua gives direction to a man named Ananias to go to the house where Paul is and lay his hands on Paul, that his sight might be restored.
Notice that Yeshua chooses to use another human being to restore Paul's sight. What a clear illustration that as the Lord gives us direction, He will use others to come into our lives and help us see and understand more clearly! One step at a time, one person or couple at a time, He weaves His master plan for each of us to get the guidance and direction we seek, and to cause us to interact with one another to accomplish His purposes. Our part in all this is to "get up and go into the city," which means that we are only going to get one piece of the puzzle at a time. Our obedience to put that piece in place will get us to the next piece. Our longing to know the Lord and to serve Him will lead us to the next person in the network, and that person may be the one who will lay hands on us by the direction of the Holy Spirit, and give us the anointing and the direction for the next step.
This has all been marvelously modeled for us in the past two months, as the Father has brought entirely new people into our lives who have connected many "dots" for us. As we have continued to ask the question Paul must have asked, "Lord, what do you want me to do?" the Lord has most unexpectedly brought the people who could help remove the scales from our eyes and give us sight and understanding for the next step; but each of these steps takes us a little closer to the very FIRST question Paul asked the Lord: "Who are You, Lord?"
Knowing Him - Yeshua - the Messiah, the Creator of the Universe, the Redeemer of our souls - is the ultimate goal. Knowing Him intimately is the goal of each step we take, each dot we connect, each person He sends to tell us what we can do to serve Him.
Kelly Ferrari Mills