Part Three: The End of My First Year

8 09 2013

I landed in Dar es Salaam ready to get started, but things did not go as planned.  I am reluctant in this last post in this series.  There is so much that I simply cannot relate to you.  I would like to, but I am still working with many of the people that were part of my learning experience and some of that information causes me concern over relationships I value.  Perhaps it is better in a book published years from now.  But not too many details here.

Marc Carrier, my recently visited mentor in Kenya, was running at light speed when I left.  His model at that time included seminars teaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, Luke 10 evangelism, the church in the house and discipleship.  Basically, applying the methods of our King Jesus Himself.  Jesus selected disciples whom He poured His life into.  He taught them the Kingdom Ways, Kingdom entrance and then He sent them out training them to go out in twos sharing the Good News.  Jesus sent out the 12 then He sent out the 70.  We have no reason to believe these were the only times He sent them out with clear instructions to preach the Kingdom Gospel, baptize, heal the sick and proclaim the Good News.

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Marc was being hosted in churches and by leaders all over Kenya and had a team of brothers and sisters that went with him on these trips to do these teachings.  After the first day and a half they took out people and went two by two and demonstrated these methods in person, practically modeling the evangelical part.  He did this every week and literally lead hundreds to the Lord and into repentance and baptism in a pretty short time span.  Many Kenyans spoke English and he was surrounded by potential translators and disciples ready to assist him in just a few months.

I hit the ground, not only inexperienced, but in a culture that spoke Swahili and tribal languages and were very traditional in their Christianity and their tribalism.  I had no translator and indeed had no idea where they would come from.  My model of taking a disciple, or man of peace that would become my translator, into the field on one on one evangelism was quickly smashed.  I interviewed Christians and learned right away that NO ONE wanted to jump on a bicycle with me and take a tent and head out into the bush.  That is just not something a new disciple, translator nor newly met brother wants to do.  I had people that loved what I shared but were NOT going to leave their families and go off with me.  Tanzanians are a very traditional people and everything in their tradition screams for them to fit in and cooperate with existing systems in society and in traditional church.

I hired a translator and started doing seminars like Marc.  After three or four I decided to go back to those churches and follow up and examine their progress.  There was none.  Tanzanians love to invite Muzungus in to speak and teach them.  They love rallies and tent meetings, big events and big productions.  That is what the Western church has taught them.  Frankly, they were a bit disappointed I did not come to do crusades.  That is what they wanted. So even when the listened to me teach and clapped and praised the seminar, the gains were short term.  They were amazed as we went out door to door sharing the gospel.  One brother in particular was astounded.  He had never seen anything like it.  We went out and lead a group to Jesus in repentance.  I taught we DON’T then invite them to church but rather we then go to them lead them in repentance, baptize them and get them to invite their friends, family and neighbors to come to their homes and learn about their new faith.  We plant a house church right there with those new believers and then disciple and train them to do the same thing.  We led Muslims to Jesus that first day.  The Psator returned to his church that afternoon and announced he had never seen anything like it.  He had tried to get to those same people for years.  I later found out that his efforts were to go out and invite them to come to church.  To Muslims, he told them that Islam was wrong and they needed to come to church and become a Christian.  I, on the other hand, simply shared the gospel of the Kingdom of God.  That there were two kingdoms.  Jesus was the  King of the Kingdom of God and Satan the king of this world system.  I shared about the cost of becoming a disciple and invited them to repent and enter the Kingdom of God.  The did.

I then instructed the leader to go to them the next day and take them bibles, as promise.  Then he was to schedule an immediate meeting to invite their neighbors to attend, in their home and begin the training I had demonstrated.  And oh yeah, baptize them.  Water baptism is an event that needs a bit of planning in Tanzania as in most parts, water is 200 ft down and not readily available for baptizing without a long journey.  This requires planning and transportation.  I had to go to anther seminar and would have to leave the follow up to this brother. I returned 10 days later.

I immediately wanted to know how it went?  Not so good.  We led  them to the Lord on Thursday of that week.  The leader never took them the bible.  He never followed up at all.  He told me they did not come to church Sunday so he decided they were not serious.  I immediately went and took them the bibles and got a Christian lady next door to begin meeting with them to do training.  These new believers were so poor their children played in the yard naked.  I asked the leader why he wanted them to come to his church?  He somehow did not digest anything I had taught and simply wanted these and other new believers to come to traditional church.  He had no intention of following my instructions.  Although he agreed with my teaching while there, it was evident he had no interest in house church.   I asked him if he really thought that someone who had naked children was going to come to his traditional church where some members drove cars and everyone dressed up like princes and princesses for each service.  I tried to explain how this was just one of the many reasons he needed to disciple them there. In their homes where they lived.   I soon learned that almost everywhere I went people enjoyed the seminar, were shocked at the response in the field but then never followed up on the teaching that I brought.  They simply wanted some new and exciting lessons from the Mzungu and had no intention of really changing anything or even trying anything new.  This was repeated over and over.

Eventually, I was invited to a very poor area and meet some pastors who had almost no building and only a handful of members.  I shared my usual message but I stayed to model the teaching for weeks afterwards.  I eventually began to feel this was God’s plan for me.  I moved in with one of the families and became one of them.  I shared all my meals with them, and simply did life together.  Eventually, I told them I wanted to move to the area and that lead to a wonderful opportunity.  They gave me a small piece of land and then came the big surprise.  Due to a family difficulty they became aware some distant family members wanted to sell their plots of land on their shamba, or small family farm.  They had been denied this request by Babu the leader of the clan in this tribe.  The Meru people have a strong tribe and adhere to the old ways.  They mostly dress Western but very modestly.  The distant family members were told they could not break up the family plot by selling to strangers. They jumped on this new situation of Babu giving me land and letting me move on the property.  How could they be denied the right to sell their land when he gave me land right in the middle of the property.  Me, a stranger. The solution?  I would not be a stranger.  I was formally, at least from a tribal way of thinking, adopted by Babu and become his son.  Now all Babu had done,  was give his own son land.  The right of every son.  To hold the deed to land on the shamba.  I am Wameru.

From there I began to plant the first house church then another and another.  We have four good ones now and others in the works.  Not long after this I was invited to come and do a seminar in Kenya.  I meet with a small group of pastors and held my normal seminar.  But like Tanzania, these were not middle class pastors with middle class congregations.  These were pastors that lived and worked in the slums.  They had terribly small and poor church buildings and congregations.  They had stagnated in recent years.  The prosperity gospel had a strong foothold in this area with promises of a way out and riches for all.  But of course the pastors of those churches moved out of the slums as soon as the congregation began to grow and “sowed seed”, money, in hopes of riches.  I later visited a couple of those prosperity teachers that now lived in very wealthy neighborhoods in what can only be described as mansions.  Well at least the prosperity gospel worked for them.   Some opened multiple churches and members flocked to them.  Pastors that were not interested in this get rich gospel were left with dwindling congregations and few ideas on growth. So these guys were looking for answers.

I assured them my teachings were not going to make them rich.  But that if they joined in the work of the Kingdom in a meaningful way, that the teachings of Jesus were the only way to go.  Jesus, I assured them, left the roadmap for Kingdom expansion.   I left but had no idea if they would follow up without me being there, as that was the case in Tanzania.

After about two months they called and said they had 6 house churches.  They were excited.  I quickly scheduled a return trip and found that actually, one pastor had 6 house churches and the other 9.  They admitted they were not prospering  financially but the Kingdom of God was exploding.  We trained more on discipleship and evangelism.  Then, if you have followed my facebook and blog post something amazing happened.

We meet with the leaders of each house church after another month or two to learn of their challenges.  I quickly learned that these folks were applying these teachings seriously.  The house church leaders were literally further impoverishing themselves by helping the poor, widows and orphans in their area.  Just as we taught.  You see we teach obeying Jesus.  Sacricifial giving, turning the other cheek, loving our neighbor, making disciples.  Caring for widows and orphans.  These ladies were taking their earnings and spending them on the body.  My kind of ladies.   I noticed several churches had at least two members that had job skills and in fact little businesses in the slums.  Many sewed.  I asked those that had skills, what they needed to grow their business.  For example the sewers needed an overlock machine.  A device that puts the finishing touches on clothing taking them from that home made look to the look of a well finished product, desirable to all.  These ladies had to pay someone else that owned a machine to do this work.  Owning one of these machines would cut their overhead and because they could now finish their own clothes and it would also create a new revenue stream by using the overlock machine on other peoples clothing.  I saw my opportunity.  I asked them if they would be interested in teaching other women to sew and in return I would buy them on overlock machine.  I did this in faith as I had no money for such a purchase.  They agreed. I further stipulated that once the other, newly trained women, got good at their skill I wanted the established sewers to give their old machines to these new ladies and I would buy them new ones.  I was confident that if I blogged about this the Lord would place it on the heart of others to give for the machines.  I was right.

Later we inserted a new product line of purses and things exploded.  Now some of my ladies are actually hiring unsaved people from the area and training them as well and leading them to the Lord.  I never saw that coming.  Then the newly trained house church members learned to share their faith.  And now we have over 30 house churches.   People that came to Jesus 6 months ago are now going out two by twos and leading others to the Lord.  Hopefully, starting new house churches.

Later Marc Carrier, my in country mentor, came to Nairobi and shared for about 30 minutes, our mission and the Gospel of the Kingdom, with a brother that worked among Muslims leading them to Jesus through one on one evangelism.  I began to visit with him as he stayed in the same missionary house I stayed in, when visiting Kenya.  To him it was a safe house.  He had fled another country due to persecution and was living there.  He had been poisoned, beaten and put in a comma by radicals. I began to work with him each month and now we have 7 house churches in the refugee area.

We have a long way to go.  But we have come far.  I have learned I cannot teach alone.  I have to model.  I have to demonstrate what I teach.  When I do, like Jesus did, people get it.  If I want them to share with widows, I have to share with widows with them.  Want them to use the proper teachings in discipleship? Then you use the exact methods you want them to use, with them, all the time.  Jesus let the disciples watch Him do it, then he sent them out.  Hands on real discipleship.  We are not meeting oriented, we are disciple oriented.  Go into all the world and MAKE DISCIPLES.  Not converts, not believers, disciples. Disciples who make disciples, who make disciples.   Pray for me as we continue on this adventure in the Kingdom of God.  I am just a student.  I have so much to learn.  I am flawed, but God is Great.  And yes God is Good.  Especially here in Africa.  And I can’t help but add, He is good to me.

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The Hunter, Turned Hunted and then to Hunting Again

25 06 2013

Mohammad was sweating over the bomb he had planted and did not explode.  It was his third attempt to get the timed device to go off.  His other 5 team members were tired, sleepy and irritable.  They had tried and tried to carry out their mission to blow up this bomb and kill Israelis.  Finally, Mohamed, exhausted decided they could not succeed.  He returned to his base camp with the Mujahedin.  He was berated for returning alive and told he did not have faith.

It is hard to believe this is the same Mohammad that would go on to be beaten and put in a comma for sharing the Gospel.  Later, his wife would abandon him and his children and she would return to Islam.  But he had miles to go before he would arrive at where he is today.  Planting house churches in East Leigh among refugees from the Sudan, Ethiopia, Eretria, Kenya and Somali.  First, he would burn many churches and beat Christians for their faith.  He hated the Israelis, Americans and also the Sunni and Shia Muslims from other tribes.

It was during one of these beatings that a man told him that Jesus loved him.  He returned to his religious leader and told him of this statement and asked how this man could say this.  His leader told him Satan used this as a trick for Muslims.  Why would Satan want him to feel loved?  He was not convinced.  Later one of his students had come to know Jesus.  Mohammad learned of this and went directly to him.  How could one of Mohammed’s own students in the Islamic school he taught at become a Christian?  The young man shared that as a Christian he knew he was going to heaven and had an assurance that emboldened him to share his faith even in the face of sure persecution.  Mohammed longed for assurance of his salvation.  He questioned why women would almost certainly go to hell in Islam.  He loved his mother and this frightened him.   How could Allah hate women so?  Mohammed wanted this assurance; he wanted to know there was hope for his mother.  He asked how to become a Christian.  The young man led him to the Christians that had led him to Jesus.  Mohammed became a Christian.

Now this former Muslim Imam who had studied in Saudi Arabia and served in the dreaded Mujahedin was like one of the very people he persecuted.  He was driven out of his country and went to Kenya.  He boldly preached the gospel with the same zeal he had for Islam.  He began preaching crusades in the cities and speaking out against Islam.  He was captured and beaten, left for dead.  He was in a comma and given diplomatic asylum by the U.N.

A missionary persuaded him that he would surely die holding crusades to reach the Muslims and lead him to sharing one on one with seekers.  He went to a traditional seminary and learned the Western theology in another country.  But he still sought answers on how to reach Muslims using these Western models.  Church buildings, with meetings centered on a preacher in a pulpit trying to train up believers seemed like a method ill suited for his ministry.

I meet Mohammed and began to share a different type of Christianity.  The Christianity of the Early Church.  The value and strategies of the Church in the house and the importance and model Jesus set, of making disciples instead of converts.  We have been partners every since.

But we need your help.  I need two safe houses.  One for the glue boys to sleep in, inside the Muslim communities we are reaching out to.   One where men turning to Christ could flee during times of persecution.  I need a second one for the women with children who are thrown out on the streets by their Muslim husbands when they come to Jesus.   A place to safely make disciples and baptize new believers.  We need funding for equipment and training, to equip these men and women to support themselves while they learn to share their new faith.  Some will certainly return to their home countries to lead others to Christ.  Many simply can’t return due to the nature of their asylum documentation.  Will you stand with us as we stand with these our new brothers and sisters?

I have two former Imams who need your help in reaching the Muslim world.  Go to this web address and make a donation.  http://kingdomdriven.org/glenn-roseberry .  Their world will never be the same.





Counting the Cost Among the Muslims

27 05 2013

There is a price to pay for my brothers and sisters that come to Christ in Africa.  In Tanzania, if a man makes his living making alcohol and comes to Jesus, he must abandon his profession.  That is a step of faith for a person to leave a thriving business and move out in faith trusting Jesus to provide.  But for the Muslims we reach out to the cost is much higher.

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I was at a house church meeting this week in East Leigh.  It is an area inhabited mostly by refugees.  We meet in a building owned by Muslims with a mix of believers and seekers.  Seekers are Muslims that come to our meetings and want to learn about Jesus.  This week a woman we will call Ruth was sitting in our meeting.  She is from Yemen.  Most of her family was there as well.  There were seven people in this little 8×12 room.  We sat on the mattress in the floor and on a bunk bed.  Others just on the floor.  It took a minute to quell the little boys from their excitement over a Muzungu being in their room/home.

I trust Abrahim that we are safe.  He says it seems safe to him.  But really we just trust that the Lord will protect us from harm or give us the grace to endure any hardship.  Just before we came into the building some Arab looking youth, pulled up behind me and honked loudly.  Honking here in really just communicating.  Unlike America where most honking is in anger.  We honk to let people know we are coming, especially when we will pass close by.  Bus drivers honk to see if you need a ride.  Friends honk at friends.  But this was different.  These young men honked and yelled loudly at me.  Here the pedestrian does NOT have the ride of way.  But I was literally almost on the curb.  The reason I was not on the curb was a vendor had set up product there.  As they passed they glared at me and hollered again.  I am the only Mzungu for blocks.  I say to them amani kaka.  Meaning peace brother.  This is a term used here when someone is getting very exercised over something and you are saying, basically, there is nothing to be angry about.   These men did not take this as it was intended and got more angry.  Abrahim basically told them there was no problem and that we were leaving. They stopped the car and yelled more.  We entered the building and quickly forgot about them.

After I taught on Mark 12 and Jesus telling the teachers about the greatest commandment of all, to love the Lord our God with all we have and give Him our undivided attention and love our neighbors as ourselves a sister spoke up.  I had ask for questions trying to have a dialog.  She shared a common theme among seekers.  What happens if I give my life to Jesus and my family cuts me off from my finances.  You see many come to the city to seek a better life and the family at home funds them for a while so they can search for jobs.  Others are run out by war and family members support them as they live here in this refugee area.  Since they are Muslim, when their family finds out they have become Christians they are cut off.  Of course we have lost three brothers and sisters here to the harsher reality of murder by radicals.  So I realize that other problems will be on their minds as well.  They never asked about that.

I share that when we step out to embrace Jesus as our Lord and Savior and surrender everything to Him we are in His loving hands.  We trust Him to provide for us practically, as we seek His Kingdom first.  I am ask a more pointed question. What will YOU do if I become a Christian.  I reply that she will be my sister in Christ and that the body of Christ will help all we can.  I explain to her that I am poor.  I came poor, I live poor, among the poor.  I help all I can.  But I can’t guarantee her I can meet her obligations.  She will have to trust the Lord for that.  She said I know you help others that come to Christ and get them off of the street.  I share that I can only help anyone because the Lord answers all our prayers for provision.  I have no bank account to draw out of for the newly saved and  homeless.  I help where I can.  I tell her sometimes I can only help a few.  Our source is the Lord.  He is faithful.

I cannot save nor help every person that comes to Christ in this Muslim area.  But God can.  He can meet the needs of every one of them.  But we struggle sometimes.  They don’t eat as much as they want sometimes and sometimes we trust Him when it seems hopeless.  But He is faithful.   I can’t protect them from harm.  But I can ask God to.  Sometimes God saves them almost miraculously.  Other times He gives us the grace to suffer and still love our enemies.  She must trust Him because He is God.  He loves her.  He died for her.  While she was still a sinner.  The brothers have been sharing with her for weeks now.  But she has small children.  If she steps out in faith it is not just her she has to trust Jesus for.  She has to trust for her whole family.

She asked me these things because one of our brothers just had this happen.  He is raising two young boys.  His aunt sent them to him so they could go to Kenyan schools.  She was paying him a little to watch over them, their school fees and giving some food money.  Two months after finding out he was a Christian, she cut him off AND left the children still in his care with no money.  Life is hard here sometimes.   He was sitting in the room, next to me.  He is also reaching out to the glue boys in our area.    He shares with me that at first it was just an assignment I had given him.  Now as he prayed for them he was coming to love them  in a special way.  I suspect he is coming to love them like Jesus loves them.  His group of glue boys has grown from two to seven in one month.  Still no repentance.  Just love and rice.  But we are praying.

I just left him 5000 Kenyan schillings.  Enough to buy a wheelbarrow and some fruit.  He will begin to sell fruit on the street as a vendor.  If he works hard it will replace his funding his family just took away and he can feed the boys the aunt left in his care.  I bought 10 Kilos of rice and gave him about half what he needs for rent.  It is a good start here.  About 60 bucks.  I charged him to work hard, pay his own way and earn enough to bless others.  He is growing in the Lord right before our eyes.  He is no longer, that new Muslim brother, that just came to Jesus.  He is now my trusted brother and I am connected to him.  We’ll call him Peter.  We hug and embrace.  We hold on a while.  I tell him I love him.  I tell him you love him.  He knows I cannot support him.  But he knows his brothers and sisters in Christ in America have given so he can have this chance.  He knows he has been entrusted with an important ministry.  Please pray for Peter and Ruth.  Pray for the Lords protection and provision.

It cost to become a Christian here.  Sometimes it cost all you have.  I walk outside and the young angry men are gone.  We stroll down and look for good places for his fruit stall.  Then I leave to head back to my safe and secure house where the missionaries stay here that visit.  They stay behind of course.  It is their home, now.  It is becoming a bit like mine.  I am still a stranger here.  I am white.  To people on the street,  I am a silly Muzungu who is where he does not belong.  But to some others,  I am their brother.  And they are my brothers and sisters.  With them I am at home.  Everyone of us must count the cost.  And all of us are asked to give “everything”.  But here “everything” can get very practical.  Very day to day.

If you would like to share in this ministry I welcome you to donate.  A little goes a long way.  It changes lives.

http://kingdomdriven.org/glenn-roseberry  click here to make your tax deductible gift.  But above all pray.

 





My Week in Nairobi

17 04 2013

As many of you know I went to Nairobi this past week with a couple of issues in mind.  One to check on a new brother who was formerly a Muslim and had been attacked  by radicals.  We will call him Caleb.  Caleb had hospital bills and perhaps a home that had now been compromised to the radical Muslims.  Hospital bills and a new residence were financial issues to be dealt with.  The other reason I went was to purchase the Overlock sewing machines for my sisters in the house churches in Mathere and Kayole.  I am so appreciative of all my brothers and sisters that have contributed and made these efforts possible.

I began in East Leigh where many of the persecuted live.  As always we have to be flexible.  This is the underground church.  We stagger our times to meet and choose our meeting places carefully.  My mere presence compromises some of their secrecy.  Trust me there are few white people that go here.  I have NEVER seen another one on my visits.  This is where the bombings occurred around Christmas.  We recently had a sister murdered here by a machete attack.  My short term mission group coming in a couple of months will not be  coming here.

We ride the crowded Matatu mini bus to East Leigh.  We arrive at a brothers home and he is not there.  We find he has headed to the meeting place ahead of schedule.  This is not a bad idea.  We meet up and enter the restaurant.   The food is excellent here and it is one of two safe restaurants we go to when I come.  For 10 bucks we have two huge platters of food for four, that could have fed eight.  Four sodas and six cups of coffee while we talk.  I am surprised the Caleb speaks some English.  He is from Ethiopia.  His wounds are looking good but he is sore in the ribs and his broken nose is giving him problems.  My dad had his broken many times and I tell him that it will get better but straightening it is just as bad as getting it broke.  He seems to decide to leave the now crooked nose as it is.

Another brother, Kevin, updates me on his work with the glue boys.  These are small young boys that spend their days begging, stealing and sniffing glue.  I have had Kevin simply loving them and feeding them and telling them of Jesus.  They go to the Catholic church to eat all the time.  They are told of Jesus, but to them He is irrelevant.  They sleep in alleys, move around a lot and all carry knives.  It takes him days before they trust him with a name we think is real.  More days till he knows where they really live and a bit about life.  The police round them up regularly to find out about crimes in the area.  The glue people are responsible for most snatch and run crimes.  They will rat on each other for a few hundred schillings.  They will stab someone for a thousand schillings.  It is said they will kill someone for a thousand schillings.  How much is that?  Around  eight dollars and thirty cents.

Keven is also from Ethiopia and like Caleb has little education and cannot find meaningful work since Kenyans don’t really care for refugees and would rather hire someone from their tribe or at least a real Kenyan.  We talk about buying a wheel barrow and buying some pineapples and bananas and selling them on the street. A good business and if you add some bottled water you can make a decent living.   We think we can do this for about 6000 schillings.  We decide to investigate.  For now the brothers will receive rent from us for two rooms.  About 60 dollars.  They will let some others live there with them and sometimes have as many as eleven in one room.  Kevin has nine living with him now.  He charges them all a bit to stay and then can buy food.  They cook right in their rooms.  They open the door to let the smoke out as there are no windows.  They are so thankful.  They smile and tell me of the glue boys, thank me profusely for the rent money and I give them some to buy more rice for the kids.  They tell me that they are feeding them about three times a week and still have five hundred schillings left over from last month.  I tell them to keep it.  We go to Kevin’s room and talk of making disciples, loving like Jesus loved and laying down our lives for these glue boys.  No one want to work with them.  They stink, they lie, they steal and they are just little boys.  They are just the least of these.  They all carry knives and they use them.  Kevin is learning how to share with them.  I can’t be directly involved and I truly regret it.  A musungu ( white person)  is viewed as nothing but a silly, stupid rich person to be fed a line and get some money.  My presence in this instance is problematic.  I watch from afar and disciple Kevin for a while.  His true mentor is a former Imam that is my contact.  We pray and I head back home.

Next it is the slums.  On my last visit I visited called all the house church leaders together and meet for three days.  Day one was teaching on the Kingdom of God.  Day two on the teachings of Jesus and Luke 10 evangelism.  We were to go out and witness the next day but it was during national elections and there were many murders in Mathere where we were going and I got over ruled by the pastors.  So we spent the day talking about challenges in the house churches.  As you might imagine they are legion.  Of course the main one is financial.  Eight to ten people living in a 10×10 room.  The women make a living watching each others children and taking turns walking the rich neighborhoods looking for work cleaning floors or washing dishes.  The men look for jobs as laborers. Over 50% of Nairobi lives in the slums.  At least that is what I am told.   About 20% of my house church leaders also run a small business.  Sewing, selling vegetables and making a flour taco type of food called a chipati.  Some are very good at it but spend all their profits feeding their house church members.  Sharing and sacrificial giving is the African way.  To accumulate money for yourself while your friends, neighbors and family struggle is not normal.  The ones that live that way quickly exit the community.  They move off where they don’t have to be around family members that are in constant need.  The more Westernized they get the quicker they move off.

I pledged on my last visit to write about the needs there and see if the brothers and sisters in America would join them in this service and buy additional sewing machines and fund vegetable stalls and buy more supplies to expand their fledgling businesses.  Not to prosper these business people.  But rather, we identified those people sharing at the greatest level of sacrifice and determined to help them.  In returned they agreed to begin to train the others on their skills.  Sewing, buying and selling used clothing and other skill sets we could identify.  This trip was the time for me to fulfill the commitment.  Thanks to your generous giving I am purchasing four sewing machines.  Your are funding a used clothing business, purchasing 80 kilos of rice for the hungry in our churches and purchasing supplies like needles, cloth and thread.  These are not loans.  These are investments into the lives of people that are sacrificially giving to our brothers and sisters.  I cannot loan to someone that is giving all they have for others.  With your help, we join in their giving.  It’s that simple.

One last note.  There is a business model in Tanzania where women with Aids are making handbags out of flour sacks and coffee bags.  They are then sold in the shops that cater to tourist.   We are going to do the same, in Kenya.  Soon we will have pictures of the bags and purses.  I wondered if you would be interested in buying them or selling them in your church or to your friends for gifts.  Many of you give Christmas gifts.  These would be perfect.  The sewing machine for this ministry model is being delivered next week.  We hope to begin sewing right away.  Let me know if you would be interested.

Thank you all for allowing me to serve these people.  I am not the one giving.  I am not the one sacrificing.  In fact, I am having all the fun.  You and your generosity are making a difference.  You have heard me say this before and if you keep reading my post you will keep hearing it.  I am you. WE are serving the least of these.  My prayer is that if someone ask you what you are doing for the Kingdom you will say with complete confidence that you are feeding the poor.  You are visiting the sick and you are serving the least of these.  You tell them you have sent and are supporting a brother named Glenn.  He is your agent for the Kingdom in Africa.   You are feeding orphans, because many of my house churches are feeding them.  And you are providing the rice.  You are clothing children, blessing widows and spreading the Gospel.  You are reaching out to the unloved glue boys.  The hopeless ones that if we can’t reach in 6-10 months will have ruined their precious minds on this glue.  I hope that your giving here inspires you to do the same in your neighborhood.  Trust me the poor are just a few miles away.  The lonely and the needy.

God bless you my brothers and sisters in Christ.  And thank you for the privilege of being here to serve the Kingdom.  For our King, and for your His faithful Church.  Please pray for us.





New Opportunities In Africa

24 01 2013

I am very excited to share with you three opportunities for ministries her in Tanzania and Kenya.

Opportunity One: As many of you who watch me on Facebook know I was sick and had to go to the hospital.  It is the same one I visited for a sick worker several weeks back and learned that the hospitals here, and in fact most of the third world, don’t provide anything but medical treatment.  What is wrong with that you ask?  No food, no water, just a bed, blanket and medicine.  If you begin to grow week because you live too far from family to have a caregiver come and stay with you and feed you and get you water, they pop an iv in and try to keep you going till you are over the illness then you are OUT!

I was alarmed to learn that this is all they can afford and they admit that many are in great jeopardy of malnutrition and severe dehydration.  They are staffed by nuns and have a very clean neat facility and routinely watch patients needlessly suffer.

During my visit I got Dr. Panga to agree to call me on day two if no one had shown up for a patient.  I believe that meeting the needs of these sick people does two things.  Opens the doors for the Gospel and fulfills Jesus clear command to visit the sick and help the poor.

Opportunity Two:  I am returning to Nairobi to again reconnect with the persecuted Muslims that some of you provided housing for last quarter.  We were able to house over 19 people over four families.  Some were living on the streets having been kicked out after coming to Christ in countries like Somalia  Sudan and Ethiopia.  I am returning and they have twelve more in need that last time I talked.  We took almost a thousand dollars last time and met with the believers and they told me to tell you, they loved you and that you may have literally saved their lives.  I am asking you to contribute again.   I have pledged 200.00 so far and hope to exceed last years donation.

Opportunity Three: Now that I have a house in Usa River I am starting a fellowship with believers that we have lead to the Lord through repentance.  I have been reaching out to the alcohol brewers in the area.  They are despised by their families and live in filth.  Few are allowed contact with their family and seldom even get a decent meal.  I have felt that the passages about the love feast in the NT and the statements from Jesus about having a feast and not inviting your friends who can repay but rather the poor that can never repay to come, provide a new direction in reaching these men for Christ.

So what do we do. For Opportunity One We need funding for some cooking utensils and food so I can cook and take food to the Hospital for the sick.  It won’t take much just a few hundred.  I can probably keep it going after this initial expenditure from my budget but we will see.  God will provide.

For Number Two we simply need funding.  I would like to raise some additional funds and literally save the lives of people who are on fire to reach the Muslim world for Christ.  The brothers who serve these people live from day to day hiding and struggling for the Kingdom.  We cannot sit and let them risk their lives for Jesus and simply do nothing.  Will you help.

Number Three.  very simple.  We are just needing some additional funding for food and utensils.  Frankly One and Three can work together.  That is another reason they are perfect.  Food is cheap here and taste minimal.  I am confident that once I begin the ladies in my new house church will take up much of the cooking and I can take my translator and motor bike and minister.  We just need a 75.00 stove and some pots and pan. (I can’t cook over a charcoal fire).

That’s it for now.  You can go to Kingdom Driven Ministries and go to donate and give to Glenn Roseberry.  You may earmark it if you have a heart for a particular ministry.  I will comply.  God bless you in your giving.  I love you and appreciate you. Lets advance the Kingdom in obedience to Jesus direct command to help the poor,





Monday is Sunday

3 12 2012

Monday is Sunday

As I was striding along the street in Nairobi with my brother Ibrahim I felt a hand on my shoulder and someone say, “hey boss”,  I ignore it as I am frequently called to as “rafiki” friend or Papa or kaka, from people that want to introduce themselves and eventually ask, me for money.  But this hand persisted and then I saw Ibrahim stop and begin to engage another person.   The hand on my shoulder became firm, I turned to see some sort of Kenyan identification from the government but just like in America it was flashed so fast I could not read it.  This is a sure sign they don’t care if you can read it or not, but if they are asked in court after an altercation if they identified themselves they can say yes.  It is not for me, it is for them.

I am asked who I am where I am going and what I am doing.  My passport is demanded and it just occurred to me I never asked Ibrahim what to do in this circumstance.  I don’t even know if I have any rights to refuse to answer or question their authority in stopping me.  I glance over at my brother Ibrahim and see him answering questions directly and with great confidence.  He seems to almost be leaning into the officer questioning him, and announces he is a Christian.  Then it occurs to me it is most likely that they really want to know what I am doing with an Ethiopian or Somali.  We are near the area that was bombed just last month by radicals.  And Ibrahim fits the profile.  I am merely a curiosity.  He may be a suspect.

This is normal for Ibrahim, he has been arrested and his house taken in his home country.  He was beaten after a meeting where he preached in a crusade and many Muslims came to Christ.  He was in the hospital for a week afterwards.  So why is he leaning into the officer and proclaiming his Christianity?  They are looking for terrorist and he must ascertain he is a Christian or he could very well be taken in for lengthy questioning.  Being with me helps.  I say I am a missionary and that really helps.  After a while they are satisfied.  They are not the threat.  It is still yet to come.

It is Tuesday.  That is normally evangelism day.  But I have thrown the schedule off.  The week usually goes something like this.

Sunday, lay low and relax.  Stay in, as that is the day “normal” Christians go to church.   Monday is Sunday here.  Known and trusted believers meet for “church”.  No one carries a bible.  They are all refugees from persecution.  They are all targets for radicals.  And they are all radically committed to Jesus, and reaching the Muslim world for His glory.   They meet in a rented apartment.  They sing quietly.  Ibrahim has scripture written on a scrap of paper and will share his teachings and sermons from memory.  They will linger in fellowship.  They will stagger their leaving just like they staggered their arrival.  Not everyone could make it.  Some may have been followed so they simply go to market or stay on the bus till the next stop and then return home.    Tuesday is evangelism day.  All believers take this day to go and witness to Muslims.  Almost always one on one as Muslims are afraid to talk about Jesus in front of other Muslim as they might be informed on.  Ibrahim targets Imams and intellectuals.  You see he was an Imam.  He persecuted Christians and terrorized believers.  His turning point came as he beat a Christian who kept telling him that Jesus loved him and that he loved Ibrahim.  He hated himself for what he did, but continued on.  Later a student in the mosque of his became a Christian and came and told him of Jesus and that he knew he was going to heaven.  This stunned Ibrahim.  There is no assurance in Islam.  Only when someone dies in Jihad is salvation guaranteed, only one woman in a thousand will go to heaven and this bothered Ibrahim as he loved his mother and could not understand why Allah would most likely reject her.  So he asked this student how he could gain this salvation, and this new believer took him to the ones that lead him to Christ and Ibrahim surrendered to Jesus.

On Wednesdays all believers meet again for two hours of bible study.  This time they have their bibles and meet mostly in small groups.  Thursday is a day of inviting those seekers and new believers to fellowship.  This is when things are dangerous.  If a Muslim radical is pretending and the brothers and sisters don’t discern it there will be a price to be paid.  Ibrahim tells me if he dies he dies.  They all understand this is a risk and nothing can be done about it.  Not all can handle this pressure.  Ibrahim’s own wife was kidnapped and threatened and fled from Ibrahim leaving him with three children.  I am afraid that I can’t tell you anymore about that without endangering my brother.  Friday is just like Tuesday.  Saturday is a day of rest.

We arrive at a restaurant after traveling though horrible slums and putrid smells from the wet black streets.  We sit with our backs to a wall in the corner and Ibrahim surveys the room.  It is dim but clean.  He points out two men that appear to him to be Afghans and he does not like their looks.  We wait.  He will not give the signal for the others till he is comfortable with this location.  If he is not we will move.  We all remain flexible.  After about 15 minutes they each order a beer and take a drink.  Ibrahim relaxes.  Radicals here would never take a drink in public.  He sends a text or two and then makes a call.  Almost instantly one person enters and later another.  There were to be yet another but they caught the next bus and went home.  Something did not feel right to them.

One young lady sits down with us.  I am there to give them the news that the money that was given last month and earmarked for them is here with me.  They can barely contain their joy.  Many Somalis and Ethiopians that come to Christ have their homes taken immediately and can be killed.  They leave their homes with nothing and come to other countries but the radicals try to find them or alert others to look for them.  These believers had no place to live until you gave to provide them housing.  The local Christian community of refugees will supply the food.  Since they are refugees others won’t hire them but they can start a business. We will try to get brothers to make micro loans.  The goal is to get them self sufficient in four to six months.  Hard to do with many children.  I share the names of those who gave and they tell me to tell those that gave, that they love them.  I am certain that these believers will be praying for their supporting brothers and sisters faithfully.

The young lady tells of a story she witnessed in her village.  A Christian man was being beaten badly and the intention was to kill him.  Finally the attackers pinned him to the ground and poured gasoline on the man.  Another woman burst through the crowd before the radicals could produce a match and with her baby  strapped to her back she laid down on the man and shouted that if they were going to burn him they would have to burn her alive with her baby too.  She could not be moved.  Finally, they relented and left the man and woman alone.

We left an hour later together and were going to get a cup of coffee.  However, things did not seem right again to the believers.  As we walked the women would duck into alleys and change their head covering, first to the style of the Roma tribe of the Ethiopians when in their area and then in the Muslim style when we entered the Arab area.  Then back again.  Finally, the women announced they could not continue with us and as we pretended to go into a restaurant they snuck out a back door and we exited the front.  We did have our coffee and then walked a brother home.  They got onto me for eating some food from a street vender.  Hey, I love fresh pineapple.  They reminded me that in this refugee area over 40% of the people KNEW they had aids and there was no telling the real number.  Besides they said we are walking in open sewage.  I still wolfed it down and man it was good.

I could tell you stories like this all day.  Instead I will tell you thank you.  Thank you for allowing me to represent you and your determination to stand by your brothers and sisters in Christ.  I am you.  When I go to love the least of these, you are there.  When I hand them money for food and shelter, you are handing the money with me.  On judgment day Jesus will say, “when I was hungry you fed me, when I was in prison you visited me, when I was naked you clothed me.  Enter in to the joy of the Lord, my good and faithful servant.”  And he will be speaking to you.





In the presence of Giants: And victims of radical Islam

18 10 2012

In the presence of Giants

I am going to get into trouble for that title. But I don’t mind. You see for part of last week I was with brothers and sisters who serve on the mission field all over Africa. Some have orphanages, rescue ministries for abused girls, prison ministries and refuge ministries just to name a few. These are just the “helps” ministries they do and don’t include the mission of simply reaching the Muslims, primitive tribes, animist, villagers and city slum dwellers they live among. Some are wanted by radicals and have had people sent to harm them and their families. They hide others and themselves from radicals while continuing to witness Jesus love to the many Muslims open to the Gospel message.

A few have been detained or arrested, some have seen churches destroyed and even had friends and family members slain, for Jesus. None of these men belong to a large well funded organization or a nationally recognized charity. They are just men and women, perhaps like you. At some point in life they just gave it all up for Jesus and began “going” into all the world. Although every one of the individual ministries need help, there was no talk of such things in the meetings. We did not discuss funding or even talk about fundraising. Rather, we talked about the Kingdom of God and how to expand it.

I learned of ministries I cannot talk about in this blog or in public. Lives are at stake. And I also learned some things that I must do something about but need your help to address. Some of you have already been emailed about this issue in the last 36 hours but I must mention it again here. There are Muslim women that come to Jesus and then are thrown out of their homes to live on the street with their youngest children while their husband keeps the older ones. And that is if their husband cares for them. Some are simply killed or brutalized. Some are helped by churches and continue in the faith serving the Lord. But I was appalled to learn that many fall through the cracks due to economics. Some return to Islam rather than starve. No one asked me to contact you about it. There are just brothers and sisters discussing options, housing and how to serve these women on the resources available. I was told we are doing all we can. Well at least these guys are doing all they can.

I have a question. What are you going to do about it? Email me at midtownglenn@ gmail.com and let’s act together.

From my iPad in Africa