Honoring Leaders who Honor Others

February 19, 2009

I spoke in chapel at KIST again today. My point and purpose was twofold. I wanted to challenge the students to pursue honor as their primary pursuit as leaders rather than power. Power is everything in Kenyan culture. Power also is responsible for the prolific corruption at every level of leadership in Kenyan culture. As students training for ministry I suggested that they can choose to say, “I am, I have, I deserve this position and can do with it whatever I choose” or you can pursue honor which requires you to surrender your will and ambitions and realize that “my confidence is my God and my faith sustains me.” The other purpose of the message was to show them what honor looks like. I asked the faculty, staff, and administration to come to the stage and face the students. I then read a rewritten version of Paul’s introduction to Philemon.

I will always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers because I hear (and have seen with my own eyes) your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all these students. I pray that the faith you share with us all may deepen your understanding of every blessing that belongs to you in Christ. I have great joy and encouragement because of your love, for the hearts of the students have been refreshed through you, my brothers and sisters.

Then I asked them to spread out across the front and sides of the room and requested that the students join one of these leaders who had modeled honor to them, lay their hands on this person and pray a prayer of thanksgiving over them. It was so cool to watch. Lunch back at the house followed chapel. Chris Smith (Principal Don Smith’s wife) told me that she was so thankful for that time at the end of chapel and that she just cried as the students prayed for her and Don and their kids and their ministry at KIST.

Ronald and I ran again this afternoon. He finally confessed to me that he is a national runner. For those of you who know something of running, he’s done a 27 minute 10k and a 1:05 half marathon. Ridiculous. Great conversation after the run. A number of other students from a class (in which I guest lectured today) came over to join us. We talked together for about a half hour before heading our separate ways for dinner.

I have to share this from an email I received from Erin today.

Yesterday, out of the blue when we were eating spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, Luke said, “Daddy eat meatball?” I laughed so hard. I said, “Daddy probably isn’t eating meatballs right now. Daddy’s in Kenya.” To which Luke replied, “Daddy at Ganma’s house?” I said, “No, Daddy’s in Kenya.” His reply was, “Daddy Kenya gee-affe (giraffe) el-phant, ze-ba.” He was still muttering it when he went to bed last night, “Night night Daddy Kenya gee-affe, el-phant, ze-ba night night Joey, night night Cha Cha…” He is so funny!

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