Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

NY Times on Kenya and Our Response

woman in despair

Originally uploaded by dream awakener

The beginning of the article from the New York Times reads like this, “The sun somehow feels closer here, more intense, more personal. As Philip Lolua waits under a tree for a scoop of food, heat waves dance up from the desert floor, blurring the dead animal carcasses sprawled in front of him. So much of his green pasture land has turned to dust. His once mighty herd of goats, sheep and camels have died of thirst.”

This article confirms what we witnesses during our recent trip to Kenya. Kenyans are living in very difficult situations. There are a lot less green places than my last visit and each section of the country seems worse off.

During our past visit, one very thin pastor approached me and said, “JR, two members of the congregation I serve died this past week, one of them died of hunger.” That is difficult news to hear and see. As the body of Christ we are called to suffer with those who suffer and minister to those in need.

The needs of the area are vast, and it often feels like what we are doing doesn’t even scratch the surface. Yet I still move forward in hope that God can use the weak to accomplish His will, like the Unembraced and The Solis Foundation. My hope in these efforts is to be like a little leaven in God’s hand.

Hans Urs von Balthasar writes, “The dough to be made into bread is a lifeless lump of dull, inedible matter; but the yeast, too, is by itself completely inedible matter; despite the fact that it is the principle whereby the lump is to be turned into bread fit to eat. The yeast must be plunged into the dough; it must sink into it and disappear, in order that its energy may be released and the dough transformed into bread.”

As I am seeking to finish my MA at Fuller, my class this fall will be on Poverty and Development. I am looking forward to learning how to be a better a sign, foretaste and instrument in God’s hands to help our brothers and sisters who are in need, and all of the people in Kenya.

Please take a moment to remember those who are suffering today, and finds ways to participate with God in being part of the solution. I’m sure this next quarter I will be sharing a lot of what I’m learning in my attempt to participate with God in bringing relief to this area of the world and what it means to be leaven in God’s hands.

3 Responses to NY Times on Kenya and Our Response

  1. Great post JR. Thanks for sharing this. If you have a few minutes, check out this video and see a little bit of how Nuru is helping in Kenya too.


    You are doing great work, my friend, and I’m always encouraged by your heart.

  2. Terry says:

    Through Samaritan Purse’s Operation Christmas Child, we’ve gotten to know Arthur, a an orphan and young believer in Uganda. The richness of his faith has been a blessing to our family and your post helps me to understand a tad more about what life must be like there for him.

  3. jrwoodward says:


    Great stuff happening in Kenya with Nuru. That is awesome. I’m looking forward to connecting with you soon about all you guys are doing. I love the savings idea program.


    Thanks for sharing how you are growing in your understanding of poverty and how are you are involved.

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