Living for Something Greater
I recently went for a mission trip to the Lower Tana River region. God is doing an amazing work in the communities around these areas and there has been such great growth in people coming to the faith.
I came back to Nairobi from a remote village in the Coast thinking about how ungrateful I had been in the last couple of months. I think this is what happens when you live in a somewhat big city, where everyone seems to be encircled by their own worlds, busy chasing dreams and caught up in the “rat race”. How easy it is to get caught up many non-essentials. Probably the last time you saw your neighbor was a few months ago, more surprising if you managed a ‘hello’ but who wants that suspecting look you get from trying to be kind, so you decide to just live it all alone. Live your life, catch up with your crew on WhatsApp and your perfect “friends” on Facebook, go to work, back home and do it all again the following day. But is this all there is to life?
On the other side, if you’re a Christian, running away from the norm, the lingering motivation is that Christ died for so much more than what we are experiencing. Therefore, what will our lives account for, in light of the price He paid? To make it more personal: What are you doing differently? Is your walk in Christ reflecting in the lives of the people around you? How are you a blessing to those that God has put around your path?
Well, if you can’t answer these questions, not to worry. It’s a process and if you could journey with me in this article, I pray that it would spark something in your heart, a desire to see God made manifest through you to the people around you, that you would love in the same intensity that He has loved you and your heart would break for what breaks His.
I recently went for a mission trip to the Lower Tana River region. God is doing an amazing work in the communities around these areas and there has been such great growth in people coming to the faith and walking the journey of becoming disciples. I had exciting encounters. I met a man who received Christ in the last quarter of last year, and is now discipling a group of 6 believers who are also in the process of starting their own discipleship groups. Young and old Muslim Background Believers (MBB) who have received Christ early this year have started reaching out to their families and communities. Their excitement about their journey with Christ was palpable. What’s moving is that the church (people) in these areas don’t give excuses. Most churches meet under trees and yet how fervently they express their faith. Others have to cycle or walk for more than an hour to gather with the rest of their communities to fellowship. Indeed the saying “The church has moved outside the building” rings true in such cases.
Muslim background believers are now sharing the gospel with their families and the communities around them, not because it’s convenient, but that they can’t contain their experience of Christ to just themselves. But above it all, they are obeying the command “Go and make disciples”. I asked myself when last I missed an opportunity of sharing my faith because of the fear of what my neighbor would think of me. In some of these areas, sharing the gospel would mean excommunication or would cost some their lives; what excuses are you giving?
On the flip side is that the communities around these areas have gone through dehumanizing conditions; until the rains in the past few weeks, they had a drought for five years and because of this many had lost their livelihood. They live in abject poverty, in mud houses with an average number of 8-10 people per homestead. They are pastoralists and because of the drought have gone into charcoal burning as a source of income. Most are uneducated attributed to the poverty levels and lack of awareness of what is happening around them. There are also cases of early marriage, but again, this is a consequence of foundational issues that have remain unresolved for decades.
It’s unfortunate that most people and Christians in other regions of Kenya are unaware of the dire need of many communities in the same country. Have we gone into a comatose state where we have become centered on our worlds that we have forgotten that there are people around us with real issues?
In light of all this, are we missing it? Are we missing the heart of God? What have we become as the church when others die for want of the gospel and other basic necessities while we live in privilege? We all have struggles, seasons in life that take us under, but since when did we lose our sense of seeing the greater need around us? I think this is largely a call to me, to all of us, to see what God is doing and strive to be a part of it. There has to be more to life? Don’t you think? Your life was meant for more, to impact lives, to make a difference in people, what other better way to be remembered than to have people recount the stories of their lives and how much you stood with them in certain seasons. A great number of people have died for the causes they stood for, what will it cost you?
So, the main question is, what do you want to be remembered for? Let’s go deeper still, how will God remember you?
Juliana Kabua is a Film Producer based in Nairobi, Kenya