Thursday, August 30, 2007

living holy

Today I was able to accompany Staci into Nakuru town (the Baby Centre is located a short distance outside of town) on a shopping trip. Later we returned to town for the weekly Bible study gathering of a Young Professionals group Staci’s part of. The group was begun by members of a large Africa Gospel Church congregation in Nakuru, but it’s open to and attended by folks from other churches.

It was very nice to gather with Staci and about 10 Kenyan Christians for a real Bible study. They’re going through a study book on Living a Holy Life. Our study passage tonight was Colossians 3: 1-17. Good stuff. Substantive discussion.

We didn’t get to spend a lot of time chatting outside of the discussion time, but for my benefit everyone introduced themselves at the end of the study (while we drank chai and hot chocolate) and told me where they worked. It was quite an accomplished group (Young Professionals is aptly named): a banker, someone who works with a Christian child sponsorship organization, a transportation company guy (runs a matatu company), a woman working for the National Hospital Insurance Corporation, someone working for a micro-enterprise loan company, a couple accountants, and a man who works in college campus ministry (works for FOCUS, an Intervarsity Christian Fellowship international arm).

As I’ve talked with both Americans and nationals here about some of my observations of the spiritual climate of Ghana, many have confirmed that those same kinds of wrong theology (i.e. liberation theology and prosperity gospel type stuff) are quite prevalent here in Kenya as well. Those things are taught in the States, too, so it’s not like we Americans never receive wrong theology, but it feels more prevalent here. Wycliff, the youth pastor at Ngata AGC Church next door to the Baby Centre, suggested astutely--while he, Staci and I chatted the other night--something along the lines of Africa, and Kenya specifically, probably heading the same direction as the U.S. but years behind because the U.S. shed its colony status much longer ago. African colonies have only been free for about 50 years. It was interesting to think about that factor as well as to be reminded that the U.S. shares with several African nations the status of being a former colony.

In any case, it was really neat tonight to see that there are Christians here, as there are in the U.S., who really want to live godly, holy lives and are digging into Scripture with other believers toward that end. There is meat here, to be sure. Please pray that those meaty Christians will be able to be salty Christians as well. May that salt be spread far and near.

From Colossians 3:1-17: “…Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all…Beyond all of these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful…Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

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