BOB'S BLOG

February 20, 2017

The sun was already hot in the early morning sky. As our group walked in single file, the pungent stench of the open sewer running next to us made it difficult to take in a deep breath. Even though we were the strangers here, we were greeted warmly, yet cautiously, by the friendly faces sticking out from row after row of the patchwork housing units we passed.

Located 5 kilometers from the city center of Nairobi, Kenya, with its more than 1 million residents, sits an area known as Kibera. It is the largest urban slum in all of Africa. We are here for one reason: we are on our way to church.

In our hands we carry a tool that has never been used by this par...

February 6, 2017

Their neighbors knew them as warriors. Convinced that other tribes had more than they, the Bawm tribe residing in the Chittagong hills region of Bangladesh, was constantly on the warpath. They were feared as a tribe that never took prisoners. They pillaged and burned down villages as quickly as they could get to them.

Missionaries were warned to stay out of the area. The Bawm warriors were headhunters. When missionaries finally arrived in the Chittagong hills, the tribe’s number totaled 26,000 people. They did not trust the missionaries, their new religion, and their educational plans. They were fearful and filled with a mindset of scarcity. There were...

January 19, 2017

The rain was falling hard as the small group of believers huddled close to the center of the meeting room they used as their church. They needed to stay away from the sidewalls which were made of small sticks and branches held together by mud made from the clay that surrounded the building. The closer they sat to the center of the room the drier they stayed. The thicker patches of thatch on the roof lessened their chance of getting wet by today’s relentless downpour.

Once again the pastor in this small Ugandan village requested that his congregation find the resources necessary to build a building out of brick with a sturdy tin roof. And once again the...

January 5, 2017

Dorothy has lived her entire life in the Bundibugyo District of Uganda. This fairly small strip of land is located in far western Uganda along the river which separates Uganda from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In 2001, the Congolese army attacked the village of Bundibugyo causing Dorothy and everyone else in the village to flee for their lives. For the next two years these people found themselves living in a refugee camp, using all of their abilities simply to survive. During this time of living within a displaced persons camp, Dorothy’s pastor began teaching her and the congregation that he led to begin using what God has trusted them with for...

December 6, 2016

In the small village of Sugapahari in rural East India, six children and their parents worked tirelessly, day after day, as indentured slaves. They toiled in the fields, digging, planting, harvesting, and tending to the animals. At the end of each evening they receive their payment from the Landowner: a small bowl of rice to share. Then they go to sleep, all eight of them, in a one-room shack, a little larger than an SUV. When the sun rises they do it all over again.

How did this happen? It all began three generations ago, when the grandfather borrowed a small amount of money in order to buy sacrifices to appease an evil spirit that was plaguing his fam...

November 14, 2016

Dust kicks up from the sandy footpath as Cornelius and seven other men hike from one small village to the next. Under the heat of the midsummer East Indian sun they notice that not many are working today in the fields just outside the small village in which they are arriving.

Setting up under a tree near the middle of the village, Cornelius and his team began acting out stories from the Bible. The louder and more animated they become, the larger the crowd that gathers. Over the course of the next two days they will tell stories from creation to the cross. The crowds are captivated and transformed. Some are Hindu, some are Muslim, and some are Animists,...

October 19, 2015

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It was Daniel’s first time visiting the workshop on effective stewardship and local fund development. Daniel had been a clergy member for almost 10 years with the Anglican Church of Kenya in his small town of South Kinangop.

Like most of the pastors of the Anglican Church of Kenya, Daniel’s salary had been cut drastically as a result of a drop in funding that had been provided by a benefactor from the West. Desperate for a way to get paid, Daniel approached the workshop with an eagerness to learn. Much of the conversation surrounding this three-day workshop was focused on the funding of minis...

September 10, 2015

At the deepest level, discipleship and effective stewardship are interwoven into the same rope of Christian formation and maturity. In Matthew 28:20 Jesus challenges his disciples to “go into all the world and make disciples,” This statement could be read as, ‘go into all the world and help people become effective stewards;’ disciples who will effectively steward all that God has trusted to them.

God’s people are to become the type of people the Apostle Paul is writing to in Romans 12. Paul challenges the Roman believers to break from the molds that surround them and are vying to squeeze, shape, and form them. Minds and mindsets are to be transformed an...

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