Top 100 what I love about living in Nairobi. #96

I love connect.

Every week we have connect in our home. I enjoy our time together. Everyone is excited for the future of our group. Every week we get to see new faces, these people arrive as strangers but leave as friends. As time goes on we know we will become family.
It's heart warming to see the way our group is becoming closer and closer friends.

Top 100 what I love about living in Nairobi. #97

I love that I get 2 Father's Days each year.
This Sunday was Father's Day in Kenya. My kids wished me a happy "fake" Father's Day as Father's Day in Australia is in September.
You can never have to many big days to celebrate in a year.

Top 100 what I love about living in Nairobi. #98

I love hospital ministry. 

Three of our connect group visited Kenyatta hospital. We first dropped in to see two abandoned babies. We were fortunate that the chaplain gave us three packs of pampers and a box of soap. We gave a pack of nappies to the nurses for the abandoned babies and some soap. 


Then we were about to walk past a ward that had two ladies and two babies. They called out "don't walk by us just because we a few". Then they told us about the cancer the babies have and pointed to the many empty beds in the ward telling us that those babies died one by one. It's was heart wrenching to think that they have seen others not make it whilst their children still have a tough fight ahead. We encouraged them handed out a few things prayed and moved on. 


The older kids were touching my white skin and hair. They asked why is my hair so strange. Maybe it's time to visit the barber!


Three wards later we were out of time, nappies and soap. The three of us felt sad to have to go but we were pleased to know that we had made an impact by encouraging in prayer and visiting. 


We will return to the wards next week. 

Top 100 What I love about living in Nairobi #99

I love that we can watch our children play sport.

We have been able to watch Gabi play inter school hockey and Thomas play inter school rugby.

I builds up the kids as well as being and enjoyable outing for us as a family. Last Saturday there was a rugby tournament just down the road from our apartment. The kids school entered two teams. Gabi took part as team manager. Thomas team was not old enough to complete so he came along as a spectator. The senior team were the defending champions and lost in the final game. Great effort rugby was the winner.

Greg.

Top 100 What I love about living in Nairobi #100

I love to run in the streets. Nairobi is at high altitude, 1800m above sea level. If you have ever tracked your fitness level via VO2 my score at sea level is 43. In Nairobi currently its 39. I am effectively 10% less fit.
I can run slow knowing it's doing me good. I don't have to push the pace. In fact the opposite is true. I need to constantly slow down. There is a saying amongst runners, if you can run slower do run slower. It helps increase kilometres without hurting the body.
I look forward to the days when I am fit at Nairobi's altitude then get to run at sea level.
The temperature here is very mild so I get to run in a nice climate.
The streets are full of people even at 6am. I get to greet people as I run past or even chat to a fellow runner if we are going in the same direction.
Nairobi is very hilly. I can run very steep inclines or mild long inclines depending on where I choose to run. This is a great leg work out particularly is I chose to do short sprints up and down a hill.

Greg.

New Year in Nairobi


We have been in Kenya for the past few months. In this time we have met some great people. Kenyans are very friendly, it’s easy to strike up conversations on the bus or in a cafe. People are keen to assist when you need help. 
The church in Kenya is very traditional. Many men wear suits to church. Thomas made a comment that all the music is at least 50 years old. This is causing a disconnect by young people. Many are Christian but do not want to attend church. We have an opportunity to reach these people by establishing a relevant church. 
Society has it’s moral weaknesses. The failing that seems to affect families the most is adultery. It seem to be a common problem. 
The city of Kenya is crowded with 6.5 million people living here but it remains a special place to live. 
Kim and I visited the main public hospital to see what ministry needs are there. Long story short there are plenty. We are in the process of gaining long term permissions to minister at the hospital. 

Greg.

Misunderstood causes of disease cause people to be alienated in their time of need.

We recently visited one of the largest public hospitals in Nairobi. This is a place where some of the poorest people from all over Kenya receive their medical treatment. The hospital is over-crowded with some wards having 2 people in each bed and other wards with patients lying on the floor for weeks of their stay because there are insufficient beds. 
Many patients diagnosed with cancer receive their first treatments there, and then never return to the hospital as they simply cannot afford the transport to and from the hospital or the treatment. Other patients are the bread winners of the family so their children are at a loss as to how to survive whilst mum or their guardian is in the hospital.
Another hurdle commonly faced is the stigma of returning home to the village after being in hospital, only to still be sick. In a place where it is commonly thought that sickness is caused by witchcraft, a cancer patient returns to be shunned by their community in a bid to prevent others from being affected by the curse. This is such a very sad situation when the patient needs love and kindness the most, they are rejected and feared.
Please pray for these people and guidance us as we prayerfully consider the best way to effectively minister to patients in the hospital.

WHO YOU ARE TRUMPS WHAT YOU DO!

Over a decade ago I was in a tough situation and not happy about it. I prayed and asked God what was going on, why was I wasting time on this when it had no long term results? His reply was a simple "I care more about who you are than what you do." It's remarkable how many times I have recalled that response over the years.

Looking back I can see the work God was doing in me. I was not the person He needed for the future plan He had, but by His grace, I am closer to being that person now.
I have become a person who is willing change anything for the sake of reaching the full potential that Jesus sees in me. A result of the way we lived for many years is that we have lost the desire to be surrounded by possessions, this has simplified life so much. In leadership I have grown and developed. I realise that personal growth in our strong points is an important focus as Jesus can use your skills and combine them with His grace and do so much more than either by themselves can achieve.

Who you are is an important starting point, there are enough fallen leaders that have set out to build the Kingdom of God, I don't wont to become another. What I want is to be someone that makes a significant impact in building God's kingdom therefore who I am is the foundation as God will direct my steps in what I do.

Greg

Busy street.


NEW SEASON


I have my bags packed and I am ready to head back to Africa early tomorrow morning. I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas morning. I don't think I have ever been so excited to see what God is going to do in my life.

God has been asking me to stretch my faith and believe bigger. I journaled on Matt 19:29 this morning and I asked, "God really, you want me to increase 100 fold what I left behind?" I left a church which I had a big vision for, bigger than the church currently is 11 years later. Can God really expect me to stretch my vision 100 fold, the answer is yes, He can and He is.

I am excited, knowing that I can't do it by myself, therefore God has to do it through me. I have been challenged to read, pray and worship more. This is drawing me closer to God and affecting me in the most positive way.

I do understand that working out this vision is not as complex as I tend to see it and if I take one day at a time, looking for the potential in people and I continue to work hard to draw it out of them, at the same time doing what is important to grow the ministry and myself, God will take care of the rest.

I thank the people who have encouraged and inspired me recently, you have had a profound impact on my relationship with Jesus, which is the most important relationship we can have. I am on top of the spiritual mountain and that is the place I should be when about to embark on a new season. I think I might even be able to climb a little higher.

Who would not want the joy of walking in God's will for their lives, there is nothing better!

A REFLECTION OF FURLOUGH


I always start our furlough with mixed emotions. In the rush to leave Africa - have I got everything done? Can we really afford to be away for so long? Where are we going to stay in Australia and how are we going to get around? Do we have sufficient finances to be there? This is balanced with the excitement of knowing we will be catching up with family and friends and meeting lots of great people along the way.

In the past 6 months I have visited a different ACC church every weekend to share what we have been doing for the past 3 years. These churches are in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. I have spent 12 weeks apart from Kim and the kids and have been to  ACC National Conference. I have spoken in schools and taken part in my own graduation from Alphacrucis College. The response has been tremendous and this encourages me to return to Africa with a renewed energy.

We have managed to sort out 3 years of neglected affairs and realised how behind we are with technology. Health checks have been caught up on and I even had the chance to experience shingles and am pleased to say I was completely over it in about a month. We were able to catch up with so many friends, both old and new, and there are many who I didn't get to see, but realise that's true for all of us.

Living out of a suitcase is ok, as I don't need much stuff to feel comfortable, the difficulty is trying to keep in a routine of exercise, prayer and bible study whilst moving around. I did get to discover the fun of mountain bike riding on good bush tracks. I was slaughtered on the squash court by a mate that I was once competitive against. I don't think 11 years away from a game is great preparation.
People have been very generous covering many of our costs and blessing us enormously. If it was not for these people we could not afford to do what we do and it's a very humbling experience.

I have spent a lot of time seeking new ministry partners which gets mixed responses from people, ranging from disdain to respect. I have met new friends and have had many awkward discussions with people who can't seem understand what we do or why we do it.

In short I don't know where the spare time went in the past 6 months but I do know it was fun, exhausting and quick. I have discovered things about myself that I need to work on and have been challenged by God to think bigger.

When you ask me how am I enjoying my holiday I smile and say it's great to be back, whilst thinking to myself, "I would love a holiday." Furlough is nearly over. So long Australia - Africa here I come.

GOING HOME?

In two weeks I fly from Australia back to Africa. It has been so good spending time with everyone here, and am looking forward to getting back to a continent that I love so much. In returning to Africa we start another three year journey. It's interesting to mark our lives by three year terms and in the next term it seems we have so much work to do and so little time to do it.

I am constantly amazed by God and I ask Him, why me? Who am I, for the creator of the universe to choose, to be part of His vision for Africa? God wants to bless the nations and has asked if I would be willing to help Jesus carry that out. God can use anyone to do what I do, but He chose me.

The underlying message for me during this time in Australia has been that God is about to amaze me with what He does, that my thinking is too small, and my faith has not stretched to believe for what is coming. The surprising part is that Kim tells me I dream too big, and if I tell people what I am believing for they will think I am crazy. So here I am being crazy and thinking as big as I can and God is saying it's still too small.

Pray that God will grow my faith and that I can keep up with what He is going to do over the next three years.

Greg.

UPDATE ON OUR PROGRESS




At this time Kim, Gabi and Thomas are in Kenya. The kids really wanted to go to ACC National Conference earlier this month but thought that getting back to school for the beginning of term was more important. I know right, I have the best job being a dad, both our children want to do well so they are self motivated. It's so cool when I get to say, "Hey guys, don't push it so hard , Mum and I don't care about your results, your best is great",  when in fact I am pumped on the inside that they do work so hard. Being a pressure release is so much better than being an enforcer.
Kim is staying at the school helping out where she can. I will be back in Africa and will meet Kim in Zimbabwe on June 7th en-route to Mozambique. We have a quite a bit to sort out in southern Africa before heading to Kenya to join a short term mission trip in September.
Please pray that we have great meetings in Mozambique and are able to prepare well for our transition


Greg

FUTURE WORLD CUP PLAYER?