These are a couple of good friends who just took their first overseas mission trip, and their reflections.
From August 15-30, 2013, Pastor John and Janet Lindblom of the Radisson Evangelical Free Church, (Radisson, WI) were privileged to minister as part of a US mission team to Kenya. After flying into Nairobi, they spent their two week stay visiting churches around Naivasha, Nakuru, and Eldoret.
Throughout this trip, the American mission team was refreshed by the Lord’s strong presence in the Christian nation of Kenya. How wonderful it was: to hear people speak of the commitment of their Christian President; to see recently persecuted people now walking victoriously in forgiveness through Christ; to meet so many young but mature pastors; to witness 3 or even 4 generations of a family worshipping together (and continuing to pass on Biblical family names like Samuel, Leah, Jonah, Miriam); to see children and youth ministering in song and dance; to share in fervent prayer and worship with sincere believers of all ages; to see so many Christian stickers on vehicles and Christian names on storefronts! Proverbs 14:34 says “Righteousness exalts a nation” and surely Kenya will know the favor of the Lord as she continues to openly follow Jesus.
In contrast, the American team often spoke sadly of the decline of Christianity in the USA. Like the church in Ephesus, over the past 50 years America has “lost her first love” for Jesus. The United States has pridefully turned her heart to lean on the arm of the flesh, and the pursuit of idols of pleasure (entertainment, material wealth, drugs and alcohol), and the open endorsement of immorality and wickedness (sexual promiscuity, abortion, homosexuality, divorce, corruption, violence). As the rest of Proverbs 14:34 says, “sin condemns a people” and as Galatians 6:7 warns “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.”. Having brought herself under God’s judgment, America is now beginning to reap what her sin has sown.
As Kenya celebrates her Jubilee of 50 years of national independence, the mission team urged Kenyans to learn from America’s spiritual mistakes. We prayed that neither cell phones, nor cars, nor Western/Eastern/European ideologies, nor any other worldly distraction would keep Kenya from continuing to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33)! For our beloved America, we came back with an urgent understanding of Genesis 26:12-18. Just as in that Bible account of Abraham and Isaac’s time, we are in a day when enemies have come and filled in our Christian wells, attempting to cover up the truths of the Word of God. Now is the time in America that we Christians must labor together to unstop our spiritual wells, so our children and our children’s children can once again drink of the pure Living Water of Jesus Christ.