Ever watch one of those videos in which they show you the secret meaning of usage of some product that you have been using for years and all of the sudden you’re like: Whoa! I had never thought of that. Often it can be some click bait YouTube video entitled this will blow your mind or you’ve been doing this wrong…or this will change the way you think.
In 1 Corinthians 12:14 and following, Paul makes a similar claim about the body of Christ…but let me get back to that in a few moments. It is Thursday morning now, and by the time we arrived at Migingo Baptist Church (C.B.E.M.) there was a pretty significant crowd gathered. There is a lot of anticipation and excitement. They know that today there will be free medical services and medicine given to help their children and even some of the caregivers of the Migingo Church congregation. Here there is no building, just a pair of tents set side by side for today’s gathering.
Like Jaboni Baptist, the church we visited on Day 4, this church is also made up of disabled persons. It is a crowd of around 180 or so people and there is lots of smiling and anticipation. After we arrive, the sound system is hooked up to the tired but very functional Honda generator. Bare wires are delicately placed directly into the American style 2 prong plug and the other end looped around the prongs of an outlet strip that has been to many of these kinds of events. It takes us many tries to get the system up and functioning but eventually some familiar tunes begin to play and the excitement builds. Across the street a small fruit and vegetable vendor haggles with locals and men are adding cement to a home that is under construction, smoothing the wall and ceiling with a wet mixture. The sounds are faint in comparison to the crowd gathering.
As the music continues to play, people continue to come and find a place under the tents that have been placed side by side and by the time we begin, there is a group of almost 275. Standing, sitting, some of the disabled persons have a condition so severe, they and their caregivers are lounged on wicker mats that have been placed at the rear of the tent.
The pastor is an earnest man who left a well paying job to provide care for their disabled child, a move that nearly cost him his very life after losing so much he had to resort to begging on the streets to make provision for his family. His name is Pastor Mwalimi Kaingu. Now with renewed purpose and a God given second chance, he is a pastor serving his congregation faithfully along with his wife. Their house is next to the tents that have been erected in a small clearing amongst their family corn. He and many others are introduced as well as the American and Bulgarian team and it is proudly announced that we are ministering to these people from 3 continents: Europe, North America, and Africa.
A song of worship is sung by a man and an elderly woman with visual impairments, the crowd becomes vibrant and worshipful as we prepare to hear from the Bible. Pastor Gary shares from the Word about how we ALL, every one of us, have an important role to play in the Kingdom of God and are enabled to do so by the Holy Spirit who also calls us to repentance. A very short altar call is given and over 50 people commit their lives to Jesus Christ for the very first time. This person are encouraged to keep their hands raised so the pastors can make note of whom they need to follow up. We clap and celebrate their new found faith and it is encouraged that they join us for the baptism service that will be taking place in a couple of days at the local beach.
Things transition and we announce that seed money will be given to 7 individuals. The first 5 are given by the US and Bulgarian team. All prayerfully walking through the crowd and carefully selecting those to whom the Holy Sprit is leading. Two of the team members have both selected the same man, confirmation that this man is favored by the Lord to receive a gift. Lester on, we would discover that CBEM had also selected this same man “Ibrihim” to receive a gift. Ibrihim already has had plans to become a mechanic and has been working for many months to make this happen and this gift of 1000 shillings puts him i=on the right road. A man in a type of hand pedaled bike is also selected along with a couple of others who come to the front to be prayed for, then counseled by Pastor Mwalimu and Pastor Danny (of Jaboni Baptist) who will follow up on their progress and offer accountability. These gifts are to be used to make provision for their families not squandered in vice and the pastors will help follow up with that. (Check out the more information to find out more exciting news about the program they are starting).
There are many who receive medical treatment and advice and after they are finished it is nearly 5 pm and the team is very tired. SO much medicine has been given out that it will be important for them to use provided funds to “top off” the essential items needed to fight infections and malnutrition from things like hookworm etc. Evans and His wife Florida and their team are exhausted from the amount of people they have seen but they are in good spirits and thankful for the help of some of our American team who have served faithfully alongside taking blood pressure, weight, etc.
1 Corinthians 12:24-27 But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
What a wonderful promise. Even those who may be persons with disabilities they have a role to play in the Kingdom and the pastors who lead them (also being disabled) are the encouragers of their faith giving opportunity for community and to now also provide a living. Those who have received Christ have gotten something much better than a financial gift, they have been given eternity.
It has been a long day for all of us and good lala is very much welcome. Thank you for taking a moment to join us in prayer and by reading this blog. It is an honor and a blessing to include you. It has also become much more difficult to think clearly enough at the end of the day to post. LOLz. Blessings and “Jambo” from Kenya.
It was announced while we were here at CBEM that they are planning on starting a career center by the Masha prosperity in which the disabled persons will be able to be trained on site in various crafting such as bead, leather, and wood to make items that can be for sale. They will also be able to house materials as well so that they are not lost or stolen by others. This will be very similar to the career center that we saw for the woodworkers on Wednesday.