138 Dirksen Drive, DeBary, FL US 32713
AIC Zion's church services, as we experienced last Sunday, are as beautiful, relevant, and scriptural as they are wild, unpredictable, and improvised. However, "Cultural Sunday" at Zion doubled the overall insanity of church today--making for a perfect send-off for our team.
The congregants came to church dressed in traditional African clothes instead of standard Western attire. We joined our brothers and sisters in Christ as they celebrated their heritages and worshipped in the style of their particular tribes. Masai jumping, Kamba leg-shaking, and other styles of dance blended together in perfect harmony as the words "praise Jesus" were exclaimed in countless indigenous languages. The refrain of the worship service was a chorus that ended with "praise Him the African way!" Matthew and Ben simultaneously "praised Him the American way" as Reverend Wambua commanded them to deliver one final performance of the Cotton Eye Joe in front of the entire church.
This morning, we were instructed to preach on topics of our choice. Ron discussed the seven habits of highly effective Christians in the first service, comparing essential aspects of Christian life--prayer, Biblical knowledge, service--to breathing, eating, and drinking. Matthew analyzed the topic of resentment and the challenge of following God even while others may lead sinful, yet more prosperous, lives. Ben compared Paul's encouragement in Hebrews 12 to "fix your eyes on Jesus" to the difficulties of distance running and the challenges of life on Earth. Meanwhile, the rest of the team taught in the classrooms. Wayne and Bill enjoyed quality discussion about business, respecting wives, and other topics with the men's group. Dee, Laura Wylie, Cami, and Laura Cabe taught in the children's classes. Matthew visited the young adults; according to him, this was a mistake since today's program included a half-hour of intense body motion workouts.
After church concluded, we exchanged gifts with Zion's pastors and staff, said a tearful goodbye to the few dozen students who attended church this morning, and drove through AIC Zion's gates for the last time. Before going back to our hotel, we met Reverend Wambua and his family at their home, where we enjoyed fellowship and a wide variety of snacks. We were able to see Reverend Wambua's miniaturized model for Lion of Judah School, which he keeps in his living room. The vision for Lion of Judah includes a primary school, high school, boarding facilities, and other amenities that will one day serve nomadic peoples in the Kenyan countryside--who generally don't receive education or hear the Gospel.
Tomorrow at 5:00am, we will depart for the Nairobi airport and bid farewell to Kenya. AIC Zion's staff has evaluated our trip to be one of the most successful from The Bible Chapel. We intentionally did not engage in physical labor such as construction--which could be more efficiently completed by otherwise unemployed residents of Mathare--and instead used our career knowledge to develop the teachers, pastors, and students of Zion. Our team contained experts in fields from computer science to violin, and by leveraging our abilities, we helped Zion attack its challenges from every possible angle.
Our team has recognized a handful of truths. We love Zion and believe in its ministries. We recognize that Zion still has needs and obstacles. We depart from Zion with a desire to do more. And, finally, we desire for each and every one of you to join us in supporting our friends at Zion.
Every one of you can pray--now. Stop reading for thirty seconds and approach the throne of God. Pray for Zion's leaders. Pray for its students. Pray for its teachers. Pray for safety, stability, and improvement for all of Mathare.
Did you pray? Good. Now, on to the next item.
Consider visiting AIC Zion on the next trip that The Bible Chapel sponsors. Reverend Wambua has requested for us to return next year with an airplane full of Chapel members, ready to serve, teach, give hugs, sing songs, and use talents for the glory of God. Is every moment of traveling to Kenya comfortable? Of course not. But Christians are not called by Jesus to live comfortable lives. Step outside of your comfort zone and visit Kenya; we guarantee that you'll want to return for a second trip.
Finally: help Zion financially. Remember, the relationship between AIC Zion and The Bible Chapel began with a few dollars of lemonade stand profit that God directed into the right hands. If you are interested in giving, contact .
AIC Zion has been able to grow because of the power of vision. By envisioning an oasis of peace in a desert of chaos, Reverend Wambua and others have followed God and impacted thousands of lives through faith alone. We, too, envision The Bible Chapel and its members rallying around AIC Zion in every way imaginable. Anything is possible with God. Join us; our journey to Zion is only beginning.
(Written by Ben Zeisloft, on behalf of the team)