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The Browns – Tom, Ali, Crescena, Bez, & Ber
December 7, 2013 9:11 am
Published in: Uncategorized

photoI took someone home today.  A father, mother, son, and 220 kgs (about 485 lbs) of supplies crammed into my small airplane so we could climb above the smog of Nairobi, above the dust and dirt of the 12 hours they would have spent on the road, and fly the hour and a half to land on the small airstrip carved out of the desert that they call home.  They were welcomed by several local people, although not as many as you might expect considering that they have lived there for over 25 years.

For many of us from the west, we might question how 25+ years of ministry would yield such little “fruit.”  For indeed, there is no local church established, and you can count the number of local believers on 1 hand.  Many might judge them, their ministry style, or any number of things to try and explain the situation to include blaming the dominant religion in that area for its social, religious, and physical antagonism to anything “Christian.”

Regardless of how you might explain the past, what is interesting is the fact that antagonism towards Christianity falls away in the face of the power of God.  In the last year or so, this family has begun to see miracles occur among the local people.  They have watched people be healed, delivered from demonic oppression, and witnessed, or been told about, other miracles happening in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.  Whatever the circumstances of the miracle in question, there is one common theme.  The proclamation of the gospel; the good news of the kingdom of heaven.  This family ensures that there is no room for anyone to give any explanation for these miracles other than attributing it directly to Jesus, and each story is accompanied by truth from the Bible about His character and life.

This has opened doors (literally) that were previously closed.  This has created an interest in the people to know more about this Jesus who heals, who cares about their lives in real and tangible ways.  This has created a recent invitation for the entire story of salvation to be shared with the elders of the village.

It doesn’t look like any church plant that I’ve seen; but this is admittedly a different environment than any I’ve seen.  What is does look like reminds me of what I read about Jesus and His life.  Throughout Jesus’ life and the early church the proclamation of the gospel and miracles were joined at the hip.  People didn’t understand the full picture, but they believed in Him as something; teacher, healer, one who raised the dead, one who cleansed lepers, one who made blind see and deaf hear.  And they were drawn to Him because of it.  They followed Him, and as they followed, they witnessed with their eyes, and heard with their ears the proclamation of the good news of the kingdom of heaven.  The good news that heaven’s kingdom was brought to earth; that it directly affects who we are and how we live each day; that we could be free from a horrible curse that is the consequence of sin; that Jesus is the one and only, perfect and complete path into this kingdom through which we have life abundant now and for all eternity.  And eventually, after watching and hearing the culmination of this salvation story in Jesus’ death and resurrection, they finally understood what it all meant; they finally believed in Jesus as all of those things and, most of all, as Savior.

This family that I took home today is helping people to see this salvation story.  The local people have now come to believe in Jesus as a healer, as one who protects and returns cattle (their livelihood) from the dangers of predators unscathed.  They are coming to belief in His power where other power falls short, and they are following to answer the question “who is Jesus?”  We hope and pray for the day when they, like the first disciples and believers 2,000 years ago, have the eyes of their hearts opened fully to believe in Jesus not just as a healer or someone who has power, but the Savior who is the healer of bodies and souls corrupted by sin, and has all power, and to whom they owe their very lives.

Matthew 10:7-8

And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.

One Response to “The Kingdom”

  1. Lynette Craner Says:

    Dear Ali and Tom,
    I am so encouraged by your ministry and your faithfulness to live out your faith consistently. It is a real example to me.

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