Wednesday, July 28, 2010

See My Post at HaMoreh


I was privileged to be asked to write a blog post for my good friends at HaMoreh Ministries - you can read it by following this link:

Enjoy! And comment on the HaMoreh page!!


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Quick Thoughts From Limuru

Hello All! I am having an absolutely amazing time in Kenya. I have a jam-packed schedule for the next four days and then I will be on my way back to the States. I thought I would take a little break from writing/researching and give you a little update- bullet point style.

- Skinner: The Kenyans love saying my last name. Almost every time they see me they yell, "Mike Skiiiinnnnnaaaaa!!!" It's pretty amusing.

- Felix: This is the firstborn of Linus (see picture)- the deputy principal at Kenya Baptist Theological College.

- Students: I should say friends. I love them so much - and they are going to do big things in the world. We have had a blast digging into the General Epistles and I have been honored to have many meals and cups of tea with them.

- Tea: Kenyans drink as much tea as possible. Seriously. Every meal - and multiple tea times during the day. And let me tell you, it is amazing. I'm planning on bringing a bunch back to the States.

- Resources: They have very little. Most I have met are either in legitimate poverty or seriously struggling and barely making things work. We have so many - we must share and support.

- Sugar Cane: On the side of the road in
Limuru, they have wheelbarrows of sugar canes
(see picture) - you can buy one and they cut it up for you. You chew it like an apple, pure sugar comes out in liquid perfection, and you spit out the fibery, stringy remains. It is easily one of my favorite snacks ever. It is supposed to be good for you too. If not, don't tell me otherwise!

- Hollywood: Tomorrow (Monday), HaMoreh is hiring a camera-woman to follow me around as I teach and preach and to do an interview. I am told I will be given the footage.

Love you all! More soon!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Life in Kenya

Hello all! I arrived in Nairobi last night and found myself at the college around 10:30pm. The flights were long and cramped - but for the most part perfectly fine. I had a good nights sleep (no malaria meds nightmares... yet) and woke up this morning at 7:00 with lots of energy and enthusiasm. What exactly is jet-lag? I felt super human.

But, jet-lag is apparently how you feel after teaching for four hours with faux energy. I am exhausted. The day was very good - the people here are great and there is a very nice American center with great food right by my cottage. The classes went well - the language barrier is trying, but my students are great and are very passionate about applying the Word. Pray for me - I am teaching six hours a day for most days the rest of my trip, will be preaching Sunday at a church-plant, and might be doing one or two chapels during my stay.

I'll try to post a video soon!


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Goodbye Texas, Hello Kenya!

My last great adventure of this summer will soon be upon me. As many of you know, Monday I will be heading to Limuru, Kenya to teach at Kenya Baptist Theological College and do some local preaching. I am going by myself but in partnership with HaMoreh Ministries. While there I will be teaching a course on the General Epistles and Revelation as well as preaching at local churches. Throughout my time there, I plan on blogging and posting pictures and videos on this site - so be looking out! I covet your prayers - and have included (by request) my itinerary below:

* All times are the correct time for location I will be in [Kenya time is 8 hours ahead of US time]
** I do not have any times for preaching, but I am expecting to do some chapels throughout the week (around 9:45 ish) and preaching at churches throughout the week (concentrated on Sunday)

Monday (7/19) - I fly out of Houston in the early afternoon.
Tuesday (7/20) - I will arrive in Amsterdam that morning, and after a short layover will take off for Kenya. I plan on arriving in Kenya late Tuesday night.
Wednesday (7/21) - Class from 2:00 - 4:00 PM. Class from 4:30-6:30 PM.
Thursday (7/22) - Class from 7:30 - 9:30 AM. Class from 2:00 - 4:00 PM. Class from 4:30 - 6:30 PM.
Friday (7/23) - No Class.
Saturday (7/24) - Class from 7:30 - 9:30 AM. Class from 10:30 - 12:30 (AM-PM). Class from 2:00 - 4:00 PM.
Sunday (7/25) - No Class. Probably lots of preaching.
Monday (7/26) through Thursday (7/29) - Class from 7:30 - 9:30 AM. Class from 2:00 - 4:00 PM. Class from 4:30 - 6:30 PM. I am planning on flying out of Kenya late Thursday night.
Friday (7/30) - I am planning on arriving in Amsterdam early that morning, enjoying a layover, and then flying out to Texas where I plan on arriving back home that afternoon.

Again- I greatly appreciate your prayers and cannot wait to share with you all about what God does during my time with my soon-to-be new faith-family members.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Camp Bridgeport 2010 (JH1)

My second great adventure of this summer was my week speaking at Camp Bridgeport, a very nice retreat center that holds summer camps for Methodist youth. I was invited to come and speak at one of the Junior High camps from June 21-26.

While I have spoken at lots of different churches, schools, and youth events- this was my first gig speaking at a full week of camp. That, combined with the fact that the youth were middle schoolers, (what I consider to be the hardest group for me to communicate to) meant that I was very excited and a little nervous.

It was also an adventure to get there. I was supposed to arrive on on June 20 to get to know the other staff and volunteers - but a lack of sleep, some sickness, and some crazy last minute work items kept me away until right before camp started on the 21st. I drove the 6 hours up to the camp, on 4 hours of sleep over the last two days, and stopped repeatedly unsure if I could keep going. A few faithful friends carried me in prayer- and I arrived safely.

For our week of camp, we were entrusted with just under 200 youngsters who quickly became valued friends to me. I have lots of great stories from camp, made lots of great friends, and was overwhelmed with how God continued to increase a love for ministry in my heart. There are few things as life-giving as watching and being a part of God's work.

To my Bridgeport kids- what was one (or a few) of the things that God taught you during the week of JH1 Camp? Comment and share!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Camp Blessing Texas - 2010

My first great adventure this summer was my week serving at Camp Blessing Texas, a camp for kids with special needs. I volunteered there last summer, had an incredible experience, and was looking forward to another rich time. I was also excited because this time I was taking two friends to experience the week with me- Adam McIntire and Zach Selindh.

It was, as expected, an amazing week. My camper was my little buddy, Spencer, who I had last summer and have gotten to know over the last year. Spencer is a 9 year old with autism. It was awesome to see how much Spencer has grown over the past year- using more words, giving more eye contact, showing more emotion. To the best of my knowledge, Spencer had an absolute blast during the week, and so did I.

One of my favorite memories from the week was the handshake that Spencer and I had (see picture below). It consisted of a bunch of alternating high-fives and fist-bumps, followed by me "head-butting" him in the stomach and saying "Boom!". He would always respond by smiling and saying "boom!" back.
So awesome. Another favorite moment is when Spencer figured out that I was willing for him to run at and jump on me and for us to fall to the ground. We did that for hourrrss and there were lots and lots of smiles and laughs.

In the end, the biggest blessing about spending time with Spencer is the way that Christ reveals himself to me and teaches me important lessons. Lessons about contentment, simplicity, joy, and trust. Matthew 19:14.