Friday, July 27, 2012

Pastor's Perspective - International God of Mystery

King David wrote that, ‘The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it;”

In the last several months the Lord has proved as only He can, that He is truly an international God - sovereign and able to effortlessly cross borders and cultures and have His way – effortlessly. He alone is the international God of mystery!

Over six years ago a young man from western Kenya began attending the church I pastor with his dear young family. In my time with him, I quickly learned his extraordinary story. He had grown up in extreme poverty in a remote village. He was bright and ambitious and sailed through primary school. However, in his culture, secondary school was a luxury few could afford, requiring tuition, a uniform, boarding and travel expenses. Through the Lord’s graciousness, Anthony was sponsored! Not only did he excel in secondary school, but through the kindness of God and a gentleman from New York, attended university in Nairobi – a dream come true. It was while he was living in Nairobi that he met his precious wife Tricia, an American girl and wonderful educator doing humanitarian work there. They met, hit it off, and the rest is history! Anthony moved here to where his bride was raised, they married and began their family, and started faithfully attending and serving at FCC.

Anthony and Tricia shared with a few of us the overwhelming need back in Kenya; especially the plight of HIV orphans who were malnourished and unable to even attend primary school. We all agreed that something had to be done! With courage and love, they began a non-profit called Operation Orphans International. Over the years they have been able to feed, clothe, and sponsor countless orphans and be a blessing to Anthony’s former community at large.

Several years ago my wife Michelle traveled to this village with our daughter Emma. Last year I flew over and experienced it firsthand with several from the church. Seeing the sea of precious faces deeply moved us all. The task of feeding and clothing them was daunting enough – but how would they ever have the educational opportunities Anthony experienced? They didn’t have the funds. They didn’t have a secondary school nearby.

But God had a plan.

Several years ago Michelle flew to Brisbane, Australia with a few other women from the church to partner and serve with our dear ministry friend Bronwen Healy and the Hope Foundation. During a casual get-together one night, Michelle happened to meet one of Bronwen’s friends named Ryan Williams. Ryan heard Michelle mention the word “orphans” and lit up! He excitedly explained that he buildt dormitories and orphanages in his native Botswana, and has a strong burden for of all countries – Kenya!

Fast forward three years.

Michelle gets a message from Ryan that he for some mysterious reason unknown to him has a short overnight layover in San Francisco, and could we meet? I thought it was a stellar idea that could only get more stellar if we brought Anthony and Tricia. So we did. We all met at a restaurant near the airport, sat down and God did the rest!

So, as I type this, we have FCC people on the field in Kenya preparing the foundation for a secondary school right where the orphans live and go to school! In two weeks, a team from Australia led by Ryan will arrive and build it.

What I’m saying is – A guy from Kenya happened to be lavishly sponsored by a guy from New York. He happened to meet and marry an American girl and moved here. He had a passionate dream he happened to shared with some Californians. One Californian happened to meet a man from Botswana who happened to be in Brisbane who happened to have a heart for Kenya who just happened to have an unanticipated layover in San Francisco!

Did you get all of that?!


We honor, serve and worship an international God of mystery – and to Him be all the glory and praise forever!

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