Wait, Nairobi's Not on the Way to London, Is It?

Wait, Nairobi's Not on the Way to London, Is It?

Posted on April 06, 2016

BY KEITH CARLSON, PASTOR OF OUTREACH & CARE

Recently Aaron Elliott and Pat and Maya Laurent joined me on a trip to Nairobi, Kenya to visit Todd and Angelin Fisher and our friends at Nairobi Chapel. I love Nairobi – a beautiful, leafy, dynamic metropolis sitting at 6,000 feet in elevation on the equator. I feel like it is perpetually sunny and in the 70’s. Nairobi is a center of commerce for all of East Africa. It pulses with life (and traffic). And Nairobi is an important stop on our quest to plant a vibrant, multi-cultural church in London, England. We are committed to planting this church with our sister church, Nairobi Chapel, which means that we will blend some of the best people and ideas from both of our churches to birth this new church. To that end, Todd and Angelin Fisher, along with their kids Lola, Sophia, and Jack, were sent by Grace to live in Nairobi for 5 months before they ultimately move to London in June.

                

 
We spent five very full days on the ground in Nairobi filled with out-of-this-world hospitality, lots of tears, great coffee, deep reconnection with friends, lions (yes there was a lion loose in Nairobi during our visit), two birthday parties, worship at Nairobi Chapel, giraffe kisses, evangelism on the streets for a new Nairobi Chapel church plant, and an all-day staff retreat with the Nairobi Chapel staff. But that doesn’t even scratch the surface because, once again, God surprised us with His utter faithfulness on our trip, both personally and corporately as we saw prayer after prayer answered on the trip:

  • We learned the Church of England Diocese of London will sponsor Todd’s visa for a role of partnering with Rev. Adrian Beavis at his church, St. Luke’s Church Redcliff Gardens and additionally partnering with Bishop Ric Thorpe, who directs the church planting strategy for the entire Church of England. In other words, our very specific prayers of the last 5 months have been answered better than we could have ever imagined, positioning our effort directly in the middle of the most exciting church planting movement in all of England! Todd and the team will spend the first year in London serving Rev. Adrian and his local church, St. Luke’s and helping it thrive, learning the culture of London and the Church of England, and helping to shape the church planting strategy of the Church of England. What?!?!

  • Additionally, we learned that Rev. Adrian and St. Luke’s will apply to sponsor Pat and Maya Laurent so that Pat will serve in a role alongside Todd and Adrian.  Seriously?!

  • Not only that, we learned that Pat and Maya hit 100% of their financial support goal, so they are fully supported going to London!  Mic drop.

  • We reached deep peace and joy on a plan for the next two Gateway City church plants after London.  Hint: think down under.

  • And we met the pastor and his family who will be the lead pastor for one of those plants.  Hint: you will love them – their 4-year old daughter sort of stole my heart!

  • I experienced my first afternoon of a truly authentic Kenyan goat slaughter, skinning, butchering, stuffing, roasting, and eating.  Pastor Oscar taught me how to do it all, with an impish, slightly wild, almost scary, grin on his face.  I know, selfish prayer, but this was my 5th trip to Nairobi, it was about time!

  • And finally, we saw how God is shaping Todd and Angelin and their children during their time in Nairobi. They are learning how to be the “other.” And it’s hard. But they are embracing their calling and welcoming how God wants to shape them in the process as they prepare to move to London.

Comments

Praise the Lord for his provision. Trying to find the link "Think Down Under" can't wait to hear more news about my home town xxx

Posted by Faith Oxley on April 6, 2016 @ 6:02 pm

Posted by Heather on April 6, 2016 @ 9:51 am

Posted by Heather on April 6, 2016 @ 9:51 am