Update from Africa Nazarene University

April 10, 2009 at 4:25 am 1 comment

Hello from Kenya!

“Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5).

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:8).

I hope that God draws you especially close to His heart today as around the world Christians are remembering the Passion of our Lord and the price that He paid to redeem the world from the bondage of sin. I hope also that you find time today to reflect and focus on what that sacrifice means for your life.

We will be having the first Good Friday service of the University Church at noon today. I will be speaking, but the focus is on the cross and Pastor Gift Mtukwa will be sharing communion for the first time in his ministry. It will be a memorable time for all present because of this being another “first” for the church, but more importantly for the reason we gather.

This week I have been living off campus in a little town called Machakos, and teaching a class on Christian Beliefs. Machakos is about a two-hour drive from ANU (depending on the condition of the roads and the traffic). The group I am teaching is made up of public school teachers who are trying to get their degree in education from ANU. They are a delightful group, mainly from the Akamba tribe and each day they begin our class time by singing me a song in their mother tongue. Naturally, I have to ask for an interpretation to find out what they are saying, but the harmony is beautiful and like most Kenyans I have met, they quickly become a group that is easy to love.

It’s a little lonely in my room between classes, but since I haven’t had a lot of time to prepare, plus the fact that I have never taught this subject before, I need the extra hours to get ready for the next day’s class. So far it seems to be going well, but I guess I won’t know for sure until I get all the tests graded from the final exam. In any case, by next Friday it will all be over.

The students of our main campus and town campus are gathering daily now to take their final exams. Since I am not around during this time I can’t experience it with them, but my thoughts and prayers surround them. Tension is high and fear of failure is very real. So much depends on the outcome of these tests and everyone is very focused on the possible rewards and consequences. Their life situations can change literally 180 degrees should things go badly. If you could breathe a prayer on the behalf of these students I know they would appreciate it.

As our choir finishes their exams they are starting to leave the campus one by one. We will not see them back at school again until about a week before they leave for the US. That last week will be filled with lots of practice and last minute planning. Hopefully, by that time I will be in the States and successful in my attempt to get my CDL so I can drive the bus for the group. I plan to pick them up at the airport in Indianapolis on May 28th, so we trust all will go well on all fronts.

Please keep this tour in your prayers. This project is costing over $50,000 (plane tickets, lodging, food, ground transportation) and right now it is a really big faith venture for us. We know that the recession is hurting a lot of people back home and here as well, but we also know that the Lord hasn’t brought us this far to leave us now. We are convinced that when all of this is said and done that it will be a lesson in trusting God that our students will never forget.

While I am on the subject of finances, just let me say thanks to all who are a part of the Church of the Nazarene and for the support that they give to missions. Like all parts of international work, the mission program of our church has great challenges facing it financially that are in many ways unprecedented. Your faithful support of the World Evangelism Fund makes it possible for so many missionaries and support staff to continue to spread the message of Scriptural Holiness to 156 world areas. I know that the natural tendency is to think of work closer to home first¾and certainly that is very important¾but your faithfulness to the global picture is also vital. Thank you for being there for us. We don’t say it nearly loud enough or often enough, but we are grateful far beyond what we able to express. We are proud to be “deputized” to be your missionaries! This is your ministry just as much as it is ours.

Last week I received an e-mail from a youth pastor named Michael Pence, from Bedford, Indiana asking me about how to involve his teens in missions. He seemed so concerned about them looking beyond their own little world and grasping the big picture of God. I told him about our coming choir tour and encouraged him to bring his group to where we were going to be on his district so we could have some time of interaction with his kids. He worked part time at the church and at night in a factory to pay the bills. On the way home from church last Sunday with his nine-year-old son he fell asleep at the wheel, flipped his truck, and landed in a flood-swollen creek. Both he and his son drowned in the water. His wife stayed at church following the Palm Sunday service to practice for an Easter Cantata never thinking that by Good Friday both her men would be buried and she would be looking at the cross alone. Life is sometimes so very hard and I hurt and grieve also with this lady for a brother and son I never met, but whose ministry struck a chord in my life. Good Friday and Easter is going to have a totally different meaning this year for her. Please keep the Valley Mission Church and Mrs. Pence in your prayers.

Well, once again it is time to go. My hope and prayer is that you will have a wonderful Easter weekend and that the Risen Lord will meet with you in a very special way this Sunday.

Be blessed and be a blessing…

Randy and Mary Jane James
Africa Nazarene University
Nairobi, Kenya


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Update from Africa Nazarene University Update from Africa Nazarene University

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Carlos Ouma  |  April 21, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    This is quite sad to hear. Take heart dakitari God makes ways where there seems to be no way and the way he works we can no tell we just have to listen to follow His will. I am personally praying for the familly of the pator.


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