It has been a little over 6 weeks since we arrived in Kenya.
What a whirlwind it has been.
With the start of a new school year, opportunities for youth ministry have also started.
Currently, we have two weekly events going for students:
SUMMIT: Every Sunday night we have youth group for high school students. It usually begins with hang out time, group games, snacks (which many of the students make!!!). Nate shares a lesson from Scripture and then we break into smaller discussion groups. This semester, we are going through the book of Philippians together.
COVENANT GROUPS: Along with a team of volunteers, we lead small group Bible studies with students (usually) before school. It is a great time to get to know and disciple students, dig deeper into the Bible, and enjoy some Java House coffee!
We are in the process of starting up a middle school youth group (“Mountaineers”) next month, as well as seeking out opportunities to get to know students at extracurricular events. We are encouraged at how quickly we’ve been able to get connected with students. It is exciting to see what unfolds in the ministry God has entrusted us to!
With that being said, we want to heart-check ourselves, to make sure our motives are aligned with God’s.
The other day I was reading about Paul’s ministry to the Thessalonians and couldn’t help but take note of his humble view of ministry:
4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. 5 For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. 6 Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. 7 But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. 8 So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.
1st Thessalonians 2:4-8
As we are getting adjusted to a new country, new culture(s) and a new youth group, this passage of Scripture is a helpful reminder of our ministry’s purpose and the humility it requires.
It is so easy to get caught up in the numbers and fixated on the desire for students to like us. In a way, it’s as if we are the new kids at school and we want to put out a good first impression to convince everyone to like us. …a good first impression isn’t bad, we just don’t want the “desire to please man” to replace our “desire to please God.”
In addition, as missionaries who moved to Africa for the sake of the Gospel, Satan can quickly twist our motivations to be self-glorifying. This hasn’t been a significant struggle for us yet, but I can see it becoming a temptation if we don’t keep our motives for ministry in check. Our hearts are set on humbly serving, just as Paul did to the Thessalonians.
Even as we write this blog, our desire isn’t for the world to see ‘what awesome Christians we are’, but simply to communicate with you: our supporters, friends and family, what is happening in our ministry so that you can know how to pray and hold us accountable to the work we’ve been called to.
We’ve been entrusted with the Gospel, just as Paul was, and our prayer is that we keep our focus on pleasing God, no matter how many like us or where on this earth He calls us.
- We would serve with humble hearts
- More male volunteers for Covenant groups
- More connections with secular schools so we can reach those students
- A lot of transition is taking place as some BlueSky staff are moving home
- Praises for how Summit (HS youth) has gone so far!