Serving in Kenya: A Taste of Heaven

Serving in Kenya this year made me fall in love with my Lord Jesus Christ. My story doesn't really involve any drastic lifestyle change; I've always been going to church. However, it was an opportunity for God, with whom I had always thought I had a 'relationship,' finally got proper access to my heart for the first time.

I was actually dreading going to Kenya when I booked my flight ticket; not because I didn't want to serve, but simply because I felt that if God did end up touching my heart then I'd have to sacrifice so much worldly stuff that I loved in my life.

Arriving there, however, was very exciting: I was in a country I'd never visited before, with a really good group of friends out to do service and mission! Little did I know that God would completely unravel a whole new meaning to the word 'service' for me.

From the first night the Holy Spirit was convicting me through a talk that Anba Boulis' gave, to repent, (something I had been resisting for the past seven years,) especially before I started service the next day to allow my Lord Jesus to wash my feet before I wash those of others.

The main point that was constantly stressed throughout my entire Kenya experience was that 'service' without a deep, personal relationship with God is no service at all. I'm not going to lie and say I'd never known that fact. What was amazing though was how evident that fact became throughout our time in Kenya, as I and all my friends had witnessed.

After doing a couple of visitations, it really hit me how I genuinely did not know my Bible at all. The fact that I didn't have the slightest clue where any of the verses were that I wanted to share with the people we visited really troubled me! This led me to take my daily Quiet Time with the Lord more seriously; something I'd always been struggling with instantly became a requirement to me, and very quickly became a delight; a taste of heaven.

For the first time in my life I truly desired to allow God to fill my heart. Reading God's word was simply indescribable. It was a big wake-up call, and it showed me how shallow and fake my relationship was with Him. It allowed me for the first time to feel how my God loves me beyond imagination that He's willing to forgive me repeatedly even though I am the crown of thorns on His head. Verses like “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4-5) suddenly became alive to me. It allowed me to begin to understand how awesome and mighty my God really is.

Seeing how quickly God chose to reveal Himself to me moved me to tears. I wanted to glorify Him through my actions and my words and serving in areas like Maseno, Kisumu and Alego gave me that opportunity! God allowed me to witness His glory in home visitations, school visitations, prison ministry, children and adult baptisms, market preaching, church meetings and even within our own group! Every afternoon when the whole group would get back together, we'd all be in awe of our great God and I'd think to myself ‘I can't wait to see what you have in store for me tomorrow, Lord!'.

Ever since I've come back to London, God has been showing me how much our relationship means to Him and I thank God with all my heart that by His grace I am able to join David and sing "I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; before the "gods" I will sing your praise. I will bow down towards your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word." (Psalm 138:1-2)

 

St Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church in London is one of the oldest Coptic churches in the lands of the immigration, and one of the first to be supported and cared for by our beloved patriarch, HH the late Pope Shenouda III.

  • St Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church
    Allen Street, Kensington
    London W8 6UX