It’s been an amazing week here in Kenya. I am settled in comfortably into a small hotel here after spending the past four days completing my first conference here. I am so excited to have a shower and a toilet, even if there is no toilet seat! The hotel has a little restaurant that I have found to be a wonderful place to sit and read. Their food although limited to what I can eat is good and tonight they made fresh passion fruit juice for me, the best I’ve tasted yet!

I am just not sure at all if I can express times this week when I felt as if I were in a magical kingdom. A kingdom filled with Christians displaying such a sense of wonder and excitement as I’ve ever seen over learning new things from the Bible.

I’m traveling with a generator, extension cord, DVD player, speaker, monitor and a white bed sheet, (our modern screen..haha) as well as 3 loaded ministry totes..of course which most of the weight is study Bibles and story cloths

The first story cloths delivered….

I am giving out. It has been worth it all as the week has ended and I’ve had time tonight to filter through the week and choose some of the things to share.

Each evening I would stop teaching discipleship and teach about whatever movie we were going to watch. We watched the Nativity Story…the story of Ruth and the story of Esther. Most if not all of these people had never seen a movie before. Because we had learned what the Bible said about what we were watching, it was genuinely more entertaining to watch the people as they watched the movie. I would have to say that being a part of bringing these Bible stories to life is just about one of my favorite memories since I came here. They cheered the good scenes and showed genuine concern during the sad parts.

I thought about a story Pastor Moses told me not long after I first came to serve in Africa. He said that one night he was showing the movie about Jim Elliott and the other missionaries who were killed with spears. Some of the people who were watching the movie thought it was all real and that they were under attack. Before Moses knew what was happening, things were thrown into the screen that was showing the movie.

Although my experience this week was much different, many times I sat silently in tears as I realized how special it was for God to allow me to be a part of such a tender moment, a moment when the stories came alive and ministered to their hearts. They will never forget learning about Ruth and Naomi, or the wonderful story of Esther, and most of all the story of the birth of our Savior.

Yet, there is one more memory from this week that will never leave my mind. I was teaching on eternal security and had spoken of the rapture. At the end of the class time I gave the opportunity for questions, and in the next few moments I knew that if I never served another day as a missionary, this moment would be worth it all. They shared that they didn’t understand completely this thing called rapture and wanted me to explain it to them.

This might seem bazaar that at a conference where many are Pastors that such a question would arise. Yet, you have to understand that many of these Pastors, especially the bush pastors who are far away from any major towns don’t have a Bible and the ones that do, only have portions of one. Very few have a complete Bible of their own.

This picture is the first 3 study bibles I gave out this week.

The first 3 study bibles delivered…

The pastor in the middle, Pastor Charles has never had his own Bible. Someone in his congregation has one that he gets to use when he preaches, but he has never had one to sit and read anytime he wanted. Most of these Pastors can only preach sermons they’ve heard preached before, mostly by teams who have held Pastors conferences for them.

What joy filled my heart as I realized that the mighty God I serve had given me the privilege of telling them about the second coming of Christ. To be perfectly honest, I was speechless, and knew I needed to take time to study where I could give accurate scripture references. They were thrilled as I promised them that the next day we would study about the rapture.

The next morning excitement began to build in all of us as we explored the scriptures referring to the rapture. While I was teaching, a memory from my early years as a Christian crossed my mind. My children and I attended Hebron Baptist Church and for a time on Sunday nights many years ago we would be in church service usually before the message began and one of the young people would yell rapture practice! It was great! I never remember it causing trouble, I remember it being something the whole congregation participated in! Immediately when we heard those words, rapture practice, everyone would jump straight up out of their seats as if we were being rapture right on up to glory!

It seemed appropriate that I should share this special memory as we learned about the real rapture that is really coming. I took my interpreter and told him what we were going to do, but nothing could have prepared me for what happened next. When the interpreter and I sat down and then jumped up and yelled rapture practice, the people really understood what we did and the next thing I know people are running all over the building hugging each other and shouting about how wonderful that day is gonna be.

I don’t know when we’re going to hear that trumpet, but as excited and memorable as the minutes were, it will not be anything compared to how they will really respond when that day arrives.

Oh how I wish we could get this excited in our churches in America! I believe our country would be a much different place if people understood as these bush people did that one day Jesus is coming back for us.

I spent four days with no shower/bath or toilet. I slept in a hut out in the middle of the bush

My host family for the week in front of their home…

and it was there where none of the comforts I wish I had were available, that God revealed Himself in a new an refreshing way to me.

I hope this memory stays fresh in my mind because it had been a long time since I’d done my own rapture practicing, since I spent time reading through the scriptures that tells us of that day. The one day of our life here on earth that we as Christians live for, shame on me.

Love to all,

Joy Breedlove

Missionary, East Africa