Update 2 from John Lewis in Africa, May 2019

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Dear friends and family, my last report came out of being here only a day or two… Since Monday I have been in teaching and meetings and preparation between 10 to 14 hours a day. Thanks to God that I am doing well and thanks for your patience for my report to you about what’s happening.

Here’s some highlights and it’s a little longer than normal…

A smaller group than expected (30) showed up for the first two days of orientation to the Kingdom Story approach. But in many ways I am glad: those who decided to come made up a more intimate and committed cohort. After those 1st two days, those willing to be facilitators were invited to come to the next two days of training (Wed and Thurs) that would begin their Certification process to be trained facilitators. Again, the KS experience is not just putting in a video and answering questions afterwards nor is it, like it in Africa, mostly the pastor talking at the small group, preaching at them sitting down instead of standing up. 
 
It’s a big paradigm shift, yet it’s almost like coming “home” for a people culturally steeped in story. 
 
Many say they wish they had heard about this years ago…
 
About 15 of the Mon/Tues group committed to come to the Training conference, and were joined by another 10 from the same orientation conference I did last August.

Included were two coworkers from Malawai, one graduate student soon to return to Nigeria, five pastors and staff who work regularly in Nairobi slums, and three Sudanese leaders (one returning Episcopal Bishop). 
 
Then there was all the different churches involved (Healing Fire of Christ, Holy Ghost Power in Pentecost’s Preaching, Christian Miracle church of the Jericho way…ok I Might be exaggerating about 20% here on the names); all together God brought together a truly diverse group-except, of course, that they were all black 🙂

I was definitely the minority.

Let me tell you one story of a Sudanese brother named Joseph. 
 
Joseph attended the KS conference last August here in Nairobi, and was excited about taking the KS to the Sudanese refugee camp in western Kenya called Kakuma. The refugee camp is so large it’s divided into subdivisions; it’s really a city. Joseph travels there several times a year on school holiday, and spends weeks there teaching and sharing the Bible, trying to build up young Christians living there. He is a college student here in Nairobi, just starting his next semester. 
 
The timing of this KS conference and our having dinner together last night was perfect.

Over our Lebanese dinner, he went on to tell me that he had taken the two KS lessons we had experienced last August and had been teaching those same two lessons to many different groups in the camp. They have loved it. Five of the participants gave their life to Jesus after one group did the Creation story lesson together. 
 
He is particularly focusing on young people who respond well to this approach, and is eager to get more training and more lessons from me so he can go beyond Genesis 3 and the Fall 🙂

His commitment to his call touches me deeply. His family was all killed by Muslim invaders from the north over a period of 10 years. In addition, he has been miraculously supported in his college years, just enough to get by, but does not have any long term advocates or surrogate parents. He told me over and over that money doesn’t matter, that he was called and he would do whatever it took to bring the truth of God in the Bible to the people in this camp.
 
 In fact he said when he didn’t have enough money for the two day bus ticket to and from the camp, he sold his laptop in order to get there. Then he lifted up his phone and said, “when the semester ends in July if I need to I will sell my phone in order to buy a bus ticket to get there.”

It has been on the heart of myself and Kirk Parker, the Sudan team leader of UPPC/KS’s East Africa volunteer, that we would have a way to share the KS with the Sudanese. Going to Sudan itself may be a few steps away, but supporting Joseph in his call to the camps may be near indeed. I have arranged with our bishop friends from Sudan as well as with one of the deans of Joseph’s college here,  to try and come alongside and mentor him before he graduates next year. 

Joseph appears to the world to have nothing, but he has everything.
 
I am passing on pictures that are attached. They give you a small window into some of the meetings I have had this week; there is as well a picture of Joseph and I together. 

Thank you for your prayers… I leave for Meru, the second city and leg of our teaching tomorrow. So many things have happened, so many doors are opening.