|Welcome to James' Study|
|"On Me One-sy"
Ministry in Kenya, Africa
July 18-29, 2004
I really cannot explain from whence it came, but once upon a time I had a pith helmet. Spending time at my grandparents house in East Texas, I remember playing in the woods wearing that pith helmet. I also remember that when that hat was on my head, finding Dr. Livingstone in the jungles of Africa was of highest priority.
If other kids became involved in my play, then they became Henry Morton Stanley to my Dr. Livingstone. I also remember that on the Saturday afternoon movies Johnny Weismueller was Tarzan (and the only Tarzan, mind you) and my grandmother would call me inside to watch the King of the Jungle. When the movie was over, some unsuspecting Texan could hear the cries of the King of the Jungle mix into the search for Dr. Livingstone in the Big Thicket of East Texas.
My other grandparents lived in Tennessee. I remember hearing stories and praying for families who served as missionaries in Africa. One of these families came from Zambia and I spent the summer with a missionary relative very close to my own age, and though I cannot recall them directly I know I heard many missionary stories of real people who actually lived in Africa. Also, I can recall spending a few days boxing up some donated items that were being sent overseas and thinking, "a missionary will be handling these, giving them to other people," and I worked with a kind of awe that I was really doing something important.
Earlier this year I was walking through the booths and displays at our World Christian Week, our annual missions conference at Columbia International University and one small table and display caught my eye. A sign was placed over a box and a few brochures were arranged on the table. The sign said something to the effect of "please donate books to build a library for our students at Ahero Evangelical School of Theology in Ahero, Africa."
Being a bibliophile, I was intensely interested as I have resources to direct toward the endeavor. A little investigation brought me into contact with a Seminary student named Benard Ondiek, who is also a Kenyan pastor. We spent some time together and talked about the Bible Institute he founded as well as an orphange and his desire to train pastors in ministry. In one meeting Benard just asked "Will you come to Kenya to speak at a Pastors' Conference?" Immediately in my spirit I knew to say "yes", so I did.
What you are about to experience is a glimpse of what God brought about in sending me to Kenya, Africa.