Today George, Boniface and I traveled to the refugee camp at Kakuma to meet with Pastor Stephen Lobolia and a diverse group of pastors and church leaders. These people are refugees from Burundi, Congo, and South Sudan. We spent some time with them, singing, sharing, and encouraging them through the Word. Because there were so many languages present, Toposa, Jie, Congolese, Burundi and Turkana, we had to translate everything at least twice, sometimes three times, but it was clear they were blessed by our time together.
The young man below is Marino, a Toposa refugee from South Sudan. He was a soldier who became disillusioned by the constant fighting and killing and eventually fled to Kenya, winding up in Kakuma. But in South Sudan he was also wildly popular as a singer called 'Cruel King'. Pastor Stephen, who knew of him and his singing, found out he was in Kakuma and arranged a meeting with him. Over a period of weeks they became friends as Stephen shared the good news of Jesus with him. Through that friendship, Marino came to Christ and is now on fire for Jesus! Along with many of the young men in the photos above, Marino is being discipled by Pastor Stephen on a weekly basis in his church. Their goal is to return to their homelands to share Christ with their people. Please be praying for this work that is bearing fruit in the desert.
Michael is the Director of Pastoral Development for API USA - a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing hope and healing to the people of Kenya through the gospel and works of service. Michael has been married to his wife Kim for 40 years and Kim is the director at CareNet Puyallup. They have four adult daughters: Eliana, Hilary, Paige and Michel-Ann; and four great son-in-laws: Ben Sansburn, Tom Dykstra, Justin Hartford, and Robert Velasquez; and six beautiful granddaughters: Ava, Miren, Charis and Eden, Indira, Aurora; and one handsome grandson, Atticus. Michael loves family, good books, great coffee, teaching and preaching. He is also a proud member of the 12th man and still holds out hope for the Mariners.