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July 2014

I Was Part of a Miracle in Kenya


"Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity." 1 Timothy 4:12

I was standing on a stage in Chera, in front of 350 Kenyans, and I was shaking. I was more terrified then I had ever been before. My voice was weak, and the audience expected everything else about me to be weak as well. I was not a man, as they were used to, and I had never preached before in my life. I was a girl, a young girl of fourteen in a foreign country. Seemingly nothing qualified me to be the main speaker in a series of evangelistic meetings, except for the fact that God had called me. I clung desperately to that knowledge, prayed for His strength, and continued.

In fact, we all did. Our group consisted of mostly teenagers and a few parents from the Kailua SDA Church in Hawaii. When the local pastors and elders first met us, they admitted to feeling strong apprehension. And yet we all plunged ahead, trusting that the Lord would fill in what we lacked. Pastor Rob Lloyd had organized this ShareHim trip most likely knowing the odds, and if he could continue in faith, then so could we.

The devil fought hard against us: technical issues, fatigue, scorn and criticism and sickness. But the Lord is stronger. One night, I was sitting on the ground after my sermon, exhausted. My translator said to me, "You are tired, Annika." And I smiled.


"It's okay. You are doing the Lord's work." I took that to heart. And every night, despite each of our eight sites' difficulties, the top floor of the Godka Hotel was alive with our chatter and renewed energy because of what the Lord was doing for us.

The dedication of the people of the local Adventist church near my site was so inspiring. Many of the members were present at every meeting, even if they had to walk miles each way, and they all sacrificed time and energy to help in any way that they could. The men such as my technician, my driver, and my driver's brother, an elder in the church, took time off their jobs in order to be completely devoted to these meetings. Before I even arrived, they were going door to door and studying with the people of Chera, preparing them. When asked about it, again I received this answer. "It's not hard. It's not hard. We are doing the Lord's work. It's not hard." That is the mindset of the church. The sacrifices they have to make are not hard, for nothing is too much compared to what Christ did for us. How much better would churches back home be if this was our mindset, too?

After over two weeks and eighteen sermons, everyone from each site gathered in one place to witness 118 baptisms, with a large number of others still completing Discover lessons and on the road to baptism. Around forty people from my site were baptized, and more than twenty others were taking Discover lessons. Chera was also one of the two sites where a new church was planted and continues to grow.

Our whole group on this ShareHim mission defied all expectations and doubts. God deliberately used us, young and inexperienced, and made us strong through His power. He used us for something great; we were part of a miracle. And it will forever be etched upon each of our lives.

- By Annika Northrop, Kailua, Hawaii

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