Barnyard Guest House - We arrived at Rongo in the mid-afternoon and were met by Charles Ngoje, a former student of ours from our days with the Nairobi Great Commission school back in the 1990’s. Charles had worked for two tours as a missionary in Moshi, Tanzania and in the interim period as director of the NGCS extension programs. Charles had developed into a respected leader and was now again working both with NGCS extension program and the Winyo Missions Centre.
Charles took us to the local Catholic guest house where we checked in. He recommended that we get settled in, rest and in the evening join others out at the village of Winyo where the workshop and meals would be served.
On finding our room, we discovered that the establishment would have been better named the Squeeze Inn. There was little room to turn around, hang clothes or towels. However, it did have clean sheets, running water and mosquito nets for which we were very grateful.
The place had a number of cows tethered on the grounds and thus had a strong barnyard odor that wafted into our room. One cow was within reach of our bedroom window. She seemed to have a strong urge to join in fellowship with us in our room. Bossy, as Nancy nicknamed her, insisted on trying to enter through the window on several occasions, the ring in her nose rattling on the glass.
God blessed our four days at Rongo. It was hot the first day of the workshop, but as is so often true in Africa, the heat was bringing on the rain. The second night a heavy lightening storm moved in and it rained most of the next day, a great blessing for the area farmers who had experienced a long dry spell. The downside of the storm was that the power was knocked out for most of second day, forcing the staff to use wood to cook our meals.
Thirty-two people came in for the workshop from as far away as Kisumu and Nairobi. Some of these were people were former students of ours at the Nairobi Great Commission School back in the 1990s. Others were were leaders in other churches and ministries who were dissatisfied with the status quo and ready for new perspectives and principles that move them on to a new level in missions. Some had been missionaries in other countries and were still infected with God’s compelling call to reach the lost. Of the groups we have trained or recruited for training over the past three years, none had represented more diversity in terms of ethnicity, gender and religious background and none had been more obviously prepared by God for this training at this time. It was a tremendous encouragement to work with such people.
Going back to the Bible for the principles of disciple making is a challenging process. It forces us to reexamine views and practices that we have accepted and taken for granted and been vested in for a long time. Accepting the new perspectives that come from this process requires a willingness to count the cost and pay the price of change and to sacrifice vested interest, control and to focus on our God-given role while trusting the Holy Spirit to do His work. To be continued ...