DNOW 2019 was epic!
We began planning for it last semester, and to be honest, we were a bit anxious. It’s our biggest student event of the year and takes a LOT of energy and time to organize. Last year left us utterly exhausted and stretched us nearly beyond our physical and mental capacities. With an even smaller staff to work with this year, we were worried!
With prayer and the help of our new Bluesky director, we joined forces with our Bluesky co-workers on the other side of Nairobi to collaborate on a combined DNOW event.
We changed things up a bit: We booked a nearby retreat center (Brackenhurst), to cut down on food prep and transportation logistic. (a.k.a. Shanna didn’t have to make a bazillion hamburgers and Nate didn’t have to hand-draw maps for bus drivers!)
We kept some things the same too: We continued our valued relationship with S.W.A.T. Ministries – a team of college students out of Athens, Georgia who come to Kenya each year to help lead DNOW. (They are amazing!!!) We asked Shawn Koonce, a fellow missionary in Nairobi (and Nate’s former youth pastor) to be our speaker again this year.
The weekend itself was amazing!
We hit capacity with nearly 100 students in attendance. Our theme was “Shine” and Shawn did a phenomenal job sharing with students about the “lightbulb moment” of understanding the Gospel, the need to shed light on our sin through repentance and accountability and how we can be a light in our community for the sake of Christ. The students (and leaders!) really connected to the messages throughout the weekend and were able to discuss them further in small group sessions.
We played some crazy upfront games… (let’s just say some of our props included: blindfolds, raw eggs, corn on the cob, a power drill, a very chewed up Snickers bar, and a can of sardines!!!) We also had a fun afternoon of large group games, scavenger hunts and coke floats!
We are so thankful to God that things came together in the planning phase. Even more so, we are grateful to Him for the impact DNOW weekend had on students’ hearts. We can plan all we want, import all the American candy and do the silliest of games, but at the end of the day, it is God who touches hearts and changes lives!
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
2nd Corinthians 4:6-7