Preached: Mars Hill Church
Reading: Gen 12:1-9
Date: 18 Oct, 2015
I am a Christian today as a result of the work, calling and ministry of a Scottish missionary. In 1922 a man by the name Mr. Ernest Carr was touched by God to support the establishment of mission station at Chogoria of Meru, Kenya. By April of that year 1922 seventy (70) ox carts carrying building materials left Nairobi on the 150 miles trek to Chogoria. In October of that year, Scottish missionaries by the names of Dr. and Mrs. Clive Iven arrived with an evangelist teacher provided by the Kikuyu mission station.
About 90 years ago, three men and a woman took a step of faith in obedience to go and evangelize among the people of Mwimbi and Chuka with a population of over 30,000. I attend this Church today as a result their ministry for they obeyed God and moved to the place the Lord had called them to preach the good news of the kingdom. In pursuit of God’s calling, they moved from familiar ground, and broke camp with their families in obedience. Obedience to God brings blessings from the almighty which trickles down to individuals, families, communities and nations.
Over 15 years ago I moved to the United States of America. I sold a piece of land in Kenya in 2001 to use the money for travel expenses in pursuit of God’s calling. God is not a respecter of person. I was so moved and humbled one afternoon when the Lord spoke to me calling me to be a missionary to the orphaned and the poor children in Kenya. Here I was, a young man, who was already poor, and personally has witnessed a lot of poverty, diseases, conflicts and disputes. Time fails me to tell you my childhood stories and experiences. I grew up in a family of 15 children. Most of the food we ate came from our garden consisting of mostly corn, beans and other vegetables. Sometimes we had to go without food, and lack of food makes it difficult to walk. Your legs become so difficult to carry. Clothes were insufficient. I wore my first leather shoes when I was going to high school. With all the baggage of my poverty, the Lord called me and I rededicated my life for the ministry among the orphans and the poor. As I pursued theological studies at Erskine Seminary in South Carolina, I knew I had a ministry and work cut out for me among orphans and the poor children in Kenya. With God’s help, I am glad that I broke the camp and moved to a nation that was unfamiliar and foreign to me. I did not know anyone. The Lord provided solitude from my family and friends so that he can give me a new direction in life.
From our text this morning, we have read how Abraham was called by God to move forth from his homeland to a place that God would show him. Abraham lived in the city of Ur of the Chaldeans. This city had its own civilization which was not centered on God. Abraham was called by God to Canaan where a God centered, moral nation would be established.
Abraham’s father, Terah, left Ur to go to Canaan but settled in Haran instead. Why did he stop? It might have been his poor health, climate or even fear. However, that did not change Abraham’s calling. Abraham had respected his father’s leadership. The call originally made at Ur was repeated again in Haran (the present day Syria).
Sometimes God’s will comes in stages in our lives. Just as the time in Haran was a transition period for Abraham, sometimes God may give us transition periods, times of waiting, to help us depend on Him and trust His timing. What is the Lord calling you to do? It could be to preach, teach Sunday school, mentor and provide role model those younger than you.
My call in life is to care, to show love and kindness to the orphaned and destitute kids in Kenya. With the help of churches and Christian friends from the states and in Kenya we have rescued hundreds of children, and have built two children’s homes. The help of $30 the sponsors give every month, we have been able to provide food, clothing, school levies, and medical care. Other people in the states have given money to purchase a piece of land upon which the orphanages are built and land for the future expansions. With the help of friends, many of the destitute kids have joined school including primary schools, trade schools, secondary school and others in the university.
Abraham was told by God to leave his country, relations, and father’s house to a land the Lord would show him. The almighty God promised to bless him, make his name great, and bless those who bless him and curse those who curse him. Abraham with his wife Sarah, his nephew Lot and all their possessions left for Canaan. Abraham moved to the Promised Land with faith and trust on the Lord’s promises. When the Lord made a promise of making him a great nation, he did not have a son.
God always connects obedience with blessings even when he does not sketch out the full details of what blessings may be. The Lord appeared to Abraham only after he obeyed his voice by moving to Canaan. The Lord reveals Himself to us when we obey and trust him by faith. As Abraham faith grew, so did his details of God’s promises. ‘In you all the families of the earth will be blessed’. This promise was fulfilled by the coming of Abraham’s seed, Christ. (Gen 3:8; 16) God had blessed Abraham with goods, heard, flocks and people. The Jewish nation started with Abraham and his descendants Isaac and Jacob. ‘I will bless you and make you a great nation’. This promise was fulfilled in Abraham’s temporal blessings. (13:2, 24:5) spiritual blessings (21:22) and fame 23:6. The relationship between Abraham and God was so close that to bless or curse him was an effect to bless or curse God.
The call for us today is to arise and move, to break the camp and move to the Promised Land. Reflect on the calling of God in your life. What is the Lord calling of your life? What are you on this earth for?
What is the vision for your life? Someone once said that the greatest gift God ever gave mankind is not the gift of sight but the gift of vision. Sight is a function of the eye, vision is function of the heart. That vision is what I regard as the calling and the purpose of God for your life. Anything substantial or noteworthy came and comes into being inspired by the power of vision. I mean everything, whether political, social, economic, architectural, medical were all inspired by the power of vision.
A vision or dream to accomplish a mission from God calls for a sacrifice. The sacrifice comes in terms of finances, time, convenience and comfort. It was so painful for me to leave this country in 2006 to return back to Kenya. After staying in the states for five years I did not feel like going back to Kenya. Not because I hate my country but because going back to Kenya was going back to poverty, to misery, to a conflict torn country, going back to danger, leaving the land of opportunity and going back to the unknown. But the calling of God to minister and provide care to the orphaned children was so heavy in my heart. It was time to leave the comfort zone, the transition period was over. It was time to break the camp and advance in the lives of the devastated children to bring hope and dignity. We have seen the Lord’s hand of provision for the last eleven years. Many individuals from this church have been called to the same as well. Although they live here, their heart is there. I have their Kenya clothes in my house and they have been coming to work with the poor kids from the last eleven years. Their names have become common in my village and in my county. They have found a purpose and meaning in life by serving the poor who cannot return the favor. They do it for the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The Lord created each of us for a purpose, like Abraham discovered that purpose and fulfilled it. What is your purpose in life? What will you do for God in your life? Sometimes we forget and live in the transition period too long. Being in school is a transition period, you need to be visualizing on the big picture of your life mission, vision, dream and purpose. Abraham stayed at Haran with his father Terah but he kept in mind the calling of God, to Canaan, the promised land to receive God’s blessings. When you do God’s will in your life, the Lord will bless you materially, financially, spiritually, or in any way he may choose. Abraham was blessed with material blessing. He was the richest man in his generation.
I want to announce to all who are listening to me today that the time of transition and retreat in your life is over. Allow your comfort zone to be disturbed and allow God to bless you.
Break that camp and advance to the land of fulfilling the calling and purpose of God for your life. Dr. Clive Iven’s comfort zone was disturbed. Humphrey’s comfort zone was disturbed. Those of you who have been coming to Kenya for mission trip for the last nine year allowed God to interfere with their comfort zone of safety. They had to break the camp and advance to Kenya to share the Word and love of God with the destitute children.
Abraham’s comfort zone was disturbed; he was called by God to move from Ur, his native city, to Canaan. He did not know Canaan, but trusted in the Lord’s promises. It’s time to move towards God’s call for our lives. If you have stayed long in your addiction, living irresponsibly, harboring a defeatist mentality, thinking negatively, keeping aloof, postponing progress in your life and living without purpose–it is time to move towards “your Canaan” putting your trust and faith in God. Do not let the fear for your health, the climate of your current environment or any other setbacks that may deter you from trusting and obeying God. Today is the day to end your transition time and move on to another level of faith, obedient and commitment to God.
We face many challenges and setbacks which discourage us from fulfilling our God given mandates as Christians. It was a challenge for Abraham to leave his friends, family, relatives and homeland but God’s condition to bless him was to move first. Only after he moved God greatly blessed him.
The Lord is calling you today to change your attitude. The call is for you to move from the land of negative thinking and discouraging yourself and others to a land of positive thinking and being an encouragement to yourself and others and to a life of obedience to God.
The Lord is calling you to return to your dream and vision you abandoned. You can get back and recover the God given blessings you may have lost. Our Lord is a God of second chance.
Wherever Abraham passed through he erected an altar. He passed through Schechem in the land of Canaanite and built an altar to God. He proceeded to Bethel, pitched his tent and built another alter to the Lord and journeyed towards the Negev desert. To Abraham, alters symbolized a place for sacrifice and communication with God and notable encounter with him. Though built of rough stones, they remained in place for many years as a reminder of God’s promises and protection. Building alters helped Abraham remember that God was the center of his life.
At Kenya Connection Kids, Inc. we are trusting God for the future. We have many needs. One of our current needs is to build an exit orphanage house for the teenage boys so that we can separate them and put them under the care and mentoring of an adult man who will be responsible for teaching the boys how to manage and budget their money, run a household, buy groceries, wash clothes and other life skill before they move out and be on their own. When the boys or the girls move from their mothers house that will create room for more orphaned babies who desperately need the nurture and care of a mother. If the Lord calls you to partner with us and support this endeavor you are welcome. When we give to the construction of an Orphanage, it is like erecting alter for the worship of God. A place where the destitute children will learn about the Love of Christ and encounter Him as their Lord and Savior. The Bible tells us that Abraham erected alters for the worship of the Lord as he moved to the Promised Land. We have no resources, but like Abraham we have faith and trust in God that the Lord will provide. The Lord who has provided for the needs of hundreds of the children for the last eleven years will provide all that that is required for the future. Pray and trust God is with us.
Your public proclamation today to turn to God as your Lord and Savior can act as an altar to remind you of your willingness to obey God and trust Him in faith. Your inner change of attitude and fresh commitment to God can act as a reminder that you allowed the Lord to be at the center of your life. Service to others is service to God. The outer life of service to God in church is like an altar to worship and a reminder to yourself and others that you are different from the world.
The Lord is calling you to be His witness in the world. The younger people in your neighborhood are looking upon you for mentorship, direction, and role modeling. But what example do you present to them? Abraham was a big influence to all who were near and around him. You might be the only Jesus Christ they will ever see. Somebody observed that when you start to live, you find a purpose you can live for, suffer for and even die for. God’s calling for our life is that purpose. Abraham had found that purpose. Though small, the land of Canaan was the focal point for most of the history of Israel as well as Christianity. The small land given to one man Abraham has had a tremendous influence on the world history. Your faith and trust in God can give a new meaning to your life. Your faith in Christ, sacrificial giving, obedience and trust in him can be a source of blessings to your life, family, Church and the entire nation.
By faith in God a single man/ woman can have a tremendous influence and impact in his family, church, community and the world. A decision I made in the church to accept Christ as my Savior changed and transformed my life for good. I am so grateful and humbled before God that when I accepted the Lord call to minister among the poor orphaned children. Hundreds of lives have been changed and the kids have turned to Him and have given their lives to the Lord as their Savior.
May the Lord bless this church and all the people who have been giving financial help to the poor children in Kenya. The children send me with this message to tell you that, you are their heroes, they are grateful for all you have done for them, they know they do not deserve it, but you did it and are doing it for them. May your children and grandchildren never lack and your generation be blessed with prosperity and heavenly blessings.
Humphrey M. Kanga