Delron was invited to Kenya to minister with one of the first young African men to finish his studies at Indiana Christian University. On this trip to Africa, he was especially impressed with the people’s great openness to the gospel. He found Christian programming playing on the television in the airport and in a bank where he stopped to change money. In a couple business offices he visited, Delron noticed Christian magazines scattered among the usual fare of reading materials in the lobby. It was also impossible to miss the number of billboards and handbills advertising evangelistic crusades. It seemed as if the whole nation was hungering and thirsting after righteousness; and we know that God Himself has promised that people like that will be filled. We did see a great response to our ministry there, but we knew that this was only the beginning of something much greater on God’s agenda. As he left Africa, Delron was excited and rejoicing for the seeds that had been planted there; but he knew that seeds must be watered in order to see them sprout and a harvest come. His impression of the condition in Africa was that there has been a lot of evangelism, but now is the time to follow up with teaching so that the church can grow and develop.
In his newsletter about that first mission to Africa, Delron wrote, “The trip went very well. When we arrived in Kenya, the customs officer wanted to charge us a one-hundred-seventy-five-dollar fee for bringing in some musical instruments that were to be gifts to a local church. Just when we thought that there was no resort other than to pay, an officer walked up and told to agent to let us do though with no fee. We were met by about twenty people at the airport. They were a really great group of men and women who had taken a week off from their jobs for the outreach and crusade. Many of them had come from other cities to do the mission. They were sleeping on the floors of the homes of the ones who lived in the area. The plan of each day was early morning prayer, seminar session, evangelism, and the open-air crusade. There was a local church that was sponsoring the crusade. Each day was focused on a different area around the church. The evangelism and the crusade moved to a different location within a few blocks of the church each day-a housing area one day, a market area the next. Between the door-to-door visitation and the crusade meetings, there were an estimated a hundred people per day who came to the Lord! In addition, there were a number of healings and deliverances. There were two Muslim mosques in the area. One of the Americans actually went inside one of the mosque grounds and distributed tracts. I guess it’s easier to be brave when you don’t know what you are doing! There was one funny thing that occurred when we were doing the house-to-house visitation. We started sharing with some people outside their house; before long, there was a large group of people gathered in the courtyard in the center of the apartments. Now, you have to think third world when I say courtyard and apartments. I’m talking about a dirt and concrete opening between the two-room cement-block caves the people call home. About six or eight of them decided that they would like to accept the Lord. I reached out to pray for the first one in line, and she was slain in the Spirit. The open drain ran through the courtyard, and she was headed right for it. We were all grabbing her trying to save her from falling into the sewer. We did manage to rescue her, but we lost the rest of our little flock. You should have seen them scatter. They all disappeared into their houses as fast as rabbits into their holes! I was impressed with the openness of the nation. There were lots of big church buildings everywhere. Even in the business offices in town, I found gospel magazines sitting out on the literature tables in the waiting rooms. In one bank and in the airport, the televisions were playing Christian channels. All over town, there were posters for revivals and crusades on all the buildings. We were in Nairobi for the anniversary of the bombing of the American embassy and attended the ceremony honoring those who were killed in the blast on August 7, 1998. It brought back some memories of several of ICU students whose lives were spared. One was in the building applying for a visa to come to the US, but he was at the other end of the building at the time of the explosion; so he was uninjured. One had an appointment for an interview for later that day; so he hadn’t arrived yet. Another was caught in traffic; so she was “late” for Tower Ministries Newsletter arrival, but on time to save her life! Psalm ninety-one really works! I did have a chance between meetings to travel to one of Kenya’s national parks at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro where I saw all sorts of animals: giraffes, hippos, zebras, lions, and-of course, elephants. We also went out to a Musai village to see the way the primitive people live in their mud huts. I came back on Friday the thirteenth but it wasn’t so unlucky. The airline upgraded me to business class and seated me next to a Kenyan student who is studying in London. He was a very young Christian and was happy to get to share with me. He said that it was the first time anyone had ever really explained the Christian life to him. In London, I had a stopover to spend some time with the director of the ICU affiliate college there. On the way back to the airport, we got stuck in traffic and barely made it back to the plane. Out of London, I had a whole row of seats to myself so I was able to stretch out and rest. The plane was late into Chicago, but the flight to South Bend was delayed, so I still made it–thank the Lord, since it was the last flight of the day.”
After leaving Rwanda, Delron spent a two days in Kenya where he spoke at a couple meetings; however, Peggy spent an entire week there, so let’s invite her share about the ministry in that nation. “This was my first trip to Africa. My adventure was quite different from Delron’s. I went into the villages outside Nairobi while he traveled to the larger cities in Zimbabwe and Rwanda. The Lord took me totally out of my comfort zone. For example, several drunk men came into in one of the churches where I was preaching. They tried to disrupt the meeting but ended up getting saved and delivered from alcohol. On another day, I went from hut to hut in a village where the people had never heard about salvation; many of these villagers came to the Lord. They couldn’t believe that a white woman would come all the way from America to tell them about this Jesus. I shared with them that this was God’s way of showing them how much He loves them. It seems that almost everyone I came into contact with–even when I wasn’t preaching–came to the Lord. People in restaurants, workers in hotels, and even some men who stopped to change our flat tire were eager to accept the Lord. One unusual thing that moved me was the common sight of caskets being carried on the roofs of cars. I learned that the daily death toll from AIDS is over seven hundred victims. This shocking reality gave me a new awareness of the importance of evangelism in this needy country. Thanks to your joining with us to fulfill the Great Commission, we will see many new souls in heaven someday.”
While traveling between Zambia and Uganda, they had a very long layover in Kenya. Rather than just sit in the airport, they decided to hire a cab to drive them into town for dinner. As they were leaving the airport property, they were amazed to suddenly be in the presence of giraffes and zebras. Since Nairobi National Park actually borders the airport grounds, these animals frequently migrate right up to boundary lines. Peggy said that she figured that the animals were just being polite by coming as a special welcoming committee to greet them. As Delron jumped out of the car to photograph the animals, Peggy took the time to share the gospel with the cab driver.