Counting the Cost

The Daily Nation, is a local paper here.  I subscribe to their mobile service so that I get text messages of late-breaking news.  Usually headlines are of corruption in government, or yet another fatal traffic accident.  However, yesterday

morning during church service a message came that made me stop and think…

altar at Nairobi church attack

“ ONE WORSHIPER (sic) dead, ten others seriously injured in a grenade attack at God House of Miracle Church in Nairobi, Ngara area.” read more

The attack was credited to Al Shabaab, the Somali branch of Al Qaeda.  I know last week the American Embassy put out an alert that there was an increased danger and for Americans to be alert about their personal safety.  And yes, I appreciate the comments from several of you on that issue.

Foreign-field missionaries often talk about “counting the cost” and there are many – leaving family, the sacrifices of living in a country that is not your own, etc.  Yet, this brings things to a whole new level.  I remember just before leaving the USA having to make sure that I had all the legal paperwork in place.  At the somewhat  tender age of 34 (depends on your perspective) I’m having to contemplate my death.

Am I ready to face that?  Am I really in a place that I can say, “If I die tomorrow, I’ll be happy with the legacy I’ve left? Have I made an impact for His Kingdom instead of my own ambitions?”

So many questions that have no good answers.  All I know is this; Jesus has called me and His call is this: “Take up your cross and follow me.” *  Being a disciple of Christ is not for the faint of heart, for we are told unless we are willing to give up everything we cannot be called His disciples. Luke 14:26-33

Then why do it?  Because the eternal is greater than the temporal.  What is gained is impossible to measure against what is lost.  We are made for the eternal and this life is but a brief dot at the beginning.  I choose to invest in the eternal where I will spend the majority of my life, rather than making sure I’m comfortable in this short time I will be on the earth.  St. Paul puts it this way “The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God…”

Looking death in the face is not fun, but I have the hope of eternity with Him.  My goal is to “…have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by Life or by death.  For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.Philippians 1:20-21

*Matthew 16:24-27, Mark 8:34-38, Luke 9:23-26

Numbers and Values

50 collage

$50. What is that worth?  Its not a trick question.  The value of anything is what people are willing to do for it.  If you make $10/hour, $50 is pretty much a full-day of work.  If you make $100/hour, its only 30 minutes, and probably isn’t as valuable.  What if you make $2/day?  Then you’re looking at almost a full month of work.  $50 is very quickly worth a lot more.

13.  A number that is misunderstood.  There’s even a real phobia – triskaidekaphobia.  Elevators don’t have a number 13. Most high-rises skip from the 12th to the 14th floor. In Jewish culture it is the age of maturity when boys and girls demonstrate they are becoming men and women. 13 is just the between of 12 and 14.

I am at the intersection of 13 and $50.  I’m thirteen $50/month supporters away from being “fully funded” to return to Kenya.  For me that $50/month means being able to pay my health insurance bill, a third of my monthly grocery bill, a pair of glasses, a trip to the dentist, internet accessibility… Each $50 is very precious and appreciated.

Want to know more? Email me.  Want to partner? Click here.

Thanks!

Oh – if you’re into my brand of pondering, check the almost daily mini-musings at blipfoto.

Home for the holidays – or being grateful for highspeed internet

So I’m in the US ‘til sometime in January. And yes, praise the interwebs, there is high-speed internet everywhere, well except in the car. Though if you include web on the phone, its even there. Yet I have not been blogging… why? Well as my social media guru friends have told me, sometimes you just have to really participate in life, not just report on it. So there you have it – I have been participating in life.

There’s been flights from Nairobi to New York and meeting new friends from Australia along the way. Surprise attendance at Lighthouse my first Saturday back, and enjoying everyone doing double-takes at my appearance. A road-trip to see family for Thanksgiving with lots of hugs, great conversations, and too much food.

And now I find myself sitting in a coffee shop in Lancaster, PA. After meetings at the office, I have free time to sit and ponder why I’m here at this time. I didn’t expect to be here now, my plans had me in Nairobi until March. Yet circumstances conspired to bring me home early. A big reason is fundraising.

Its time to think outside of the box… if traditional missionary fund-raising isn’t working, what will? How do I make up the deficit of $700 per month? I don’t know – feel free to message me with ideas if you’ve got ‘em. Living internationally presents some interesting challenges that I wouldn’t have in the USA. I can’t just go out and get a job at McD’s in Nairobi (there is no McD in Nairobi) or at the local grocery store, or temp in an office at last minute notice.

So I’m here in the US without a return ticket to Nairobi, yet that’s what I want to do more than anything. Go back to my friends, church, community and job in sunny warm Nairobi. To be able to tweet about visiting slums, distributing food to famine victims, and helping people start small business to change their communities.

Feel free to hit the “donate” button over on the right if you want to be part of the process or click on the about page for more details on how to partner.