February 1 Message From Your Pastors

What I learned in Kenya

Most of you all know that Karen and I had the privilege to spend two weeks in Kenya and visit the good work being done in Muhudu village through our church’s support. I learned a lot during this time–I learned just how much difference 10 dollars a month can make in a Kenyan orphan’s life. I learned about the faith that these kids display in spite of how little they have in material things, I learned how amazing Maurice and his wife Nelly and all the Jumbas still in Kenya truly are. I learned that driving in New York is nothing compared to Nairobi…. but the lesson I wanted to focus on in this note is how our Kenyan friends use what they have to move forward in life and to accomplish God’s vision.

They do not let resource-deficit keep them from striving to reach their goals.  Everywhere we went, we saw inventive uses for what they have. Everything gets re-purposed and re-used. Nothing goes to waste, because every resource they have is needed. If you have an old tire, it is now a toy to roll down hills; if you don’t have bricks, you do have dung and clay. And you definitely eat the whole fish.

Everyone here in America, including even our families that were recently in refugee camps, have more resources than the orphans in Muhudu village. Access to healthcare, free education, safe roads, variety in food. But many in our church, relative to other Americans, still have less than would make life easy. Orchard Covenant is filled with generous people, but we still do not have a lot of margin in our church budget, and there are things that are underfunded. Our numbers on Sundays are up from the past few years, but smaller than would make the church feel like it has the people resources needed.

Yet, God desires us to use what we have been given. We are called to not let resource-deficits define our mission and vision. Jesus promised that those who are faithful with little show that they can be faithful with much, but if we are not faithful with little, we show that we cannot be trusted with much.

To be faithful, we may need to repurpose our people in multiple ministries. We may need to be creative about how to serve the giant number of kids and youth in our church.  We may need to burn the candle on both ends to make it to worship after a long shift at work.  We may need to give more than is comfortable.  And give away more than is comfortable. We may need to be faithful to invite people into our church home even though it is humbler than the church that moved onto Boston Road.

But God has promised that if he calls us to something,  he will also equip us and resources us to do the good works that he has prepared us for.

We are rich, because we are part of the household of God.  And he invites us to share in his blessings by using whatever he gives us to accomplish the mission and vision that he gives us.  Even if that means doing more with less.

Praise God, and may he bless us this year as we stay faithful to his call,

Pastor Nick

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