We are so excited to be serving in Malawi. We invite you to take this journey with us. Keep the beautiful people of Malawi in your prayers, and us too.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Planes, Trains, and Sickness

Planes, Trains, and Sickness
Learning new sports ministry games in Kenya
Luke here.  First things first, thank you so much for praying for me on the trip that I had from May 9-26 to Kenya and Malawi.   Despite some massive difficulties, the Lord truly moved in some profound ways in and through my life.  From feeling like my heart is going to burst out of my chest, to being held up in the Nairobi airport, God was with me and showed me more of Himself in the nations than I had expected.

United in prayer
For the first week of the trip, I was blessed with the opportunity to join with brothers and sisters from the USA, Kenya, and Malawi in Kenya for a 5-day training of trainers.  This time was incredible!  The Holy Spirit taught me so much from these Kenyan brothers and sisters who are literally on the front lines preaching the Gospel through sports ministry.  They are being persecuted, threatened and are facing loss of loved ones through religious persecution in Kenya.  Just spending time with these dear brothers and sisters for a week challenged my faith deeply.  Their trust in and love for Christ in the midst of hard times is something that I praise God for. They reminded me of Bonhoeffer’s words, “Suffering for Christ is the badge of the true disciple.”   
Brothers in Christ from Kenya
Luke & Fostance

Glory be to God for His work in Kenya through sports ministry and how there are hundreds of churches using sports ministry for making disciples of Christ.  And it’s happening!  The Spirit of God is sweeping across Kenya and thousands of kids with no hope are now seeing the great Light of the World through the Body of Christ.     It was such a gift to spend time in Kenya and be trained in the new Sports Friends Basic Training materials.  Here are some pictures of our time!
Coach Clement sharing the devotion
Team Malawi thoroughly confused from one of the new games ;)
Coach Shadrech from Malawi getting into the Word
Group photo in Kenya
As you might have heard, I got REALLY ill during this trip.   It began on my last day in Kenya.  I was having a lot of pain in my breathing and then threw up and spent the day in bed.  The next day, I was supposed to travel from Kenya-Malawi and I felt a bit better.  Praise the Lord for that!   But once I settled into Malawi, I really began to feel terrible.   I was doing a sports ministry field session and I went to show the players what I was talking about by running 50 yard sprint.  But before I could finish the run, my chest tightened up and I felt like I was breathing out of a coffee straw.  The shortness of breath were accompanied by overwhelmingly sharp pains in my right side.   As I drove the 27 boys home from the training, I was seeing double and really struggling to take a breath.  Scary stuff.

Monday and Tuesday came and went and I continued to feel awful.  I’m deeply grateful to the Body of Christ in Malawi who really took me in and watched over me.  I stayed with our dear friends Dave and Margie for a few of my worst nights of pain.  Dave is a missionary surgeon and really helped me in my deepest time of need.  Two of my nights in Malawi, I did not even sleep one wink because of the pain.   The doctors and hospitals did every scan and test they could.  They found an enlarged blood vessel near my liver, an enflamed liver and a kidney stone. But nothing directly with my heart.   So, as the days went on the Lord drew me near to Himself.  We had exhausted out medical options in Malawi and I just needed to get back to the USA for an EKG and more tests.  But the pain did not leave me the entire time I was in Malawi.  I could not run, could not coach, but I could pray and calmly talk and meet with many of our friends and sports ministry leaders. 

           Learning new games to bring back to Malawi

Although I was slowed down from the excruciating pain on my right side and in my chest, God used my time in Malawi to really connect with those I’d come to see.  Time and time again, the Lord whispered to me, “Be still…..Be still, son.”   I think the only reason that I was able to be still and trust in the sovereignty and goodness of God through this was because of your prayers.  There were times when I could not catch my breath and all I could think about was Becca, Lyzee, and Zeke.  The thoughts that were swirling around in my mind were not always pleasant.  At times I felt completely helpless.  But God was with me.  And He really did make His presence known to me.  On those 2 sleepless nights, I had some of the most amazing times of worship to the King that I’ve ever had.    The Lord gave me a lot of time to read His Word and connect with Him during these weeks.  I read through and studied in depth the book of Exodus.  Fascitnating stuff!  If you are having trouble with consistency in the Word or your interest in Scriptures is currently low, I highly recommend that you open the Bible to the book of Exodus and feast on God’s story.    God used this time massively in my life.  He showed me Himself through the brothers and sisters in Kenya, then He showed me about suffering physically like I never have before and how He is the ultimate cure.  Jesus is the cure to sin and death and we must run to Him today!

This is what we are all about
As an update, I am doing much better now.  I’ve been in the States for 2 weeks and am now feeling almost 100%.  The EKG and all the other tests did not show any problems.  Crazy.   I think that this could have possibly been some sort of spiritual attack on me while I was in Malawi.  Who knows?  God does.

Thank you for your care, prayer, and love. 

For His Fame,

Luke, Becca, Lyzee & the Zeke-man

“His strength is made perfect in our weakness”

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