India Update 3/18/12

It is Monday morning in Mumbai, the 4th city on our five-city journey. Perry and Chris left Friday evening to go back to the USA and Charlie’s wife joined us.  Geoff Jordan will meet us here in Mumbai.  On Saturday in Hyderabad, Davidene did a seminar for ladies – many of whom are in the network of Sister Teresa who was a close follower of Mother Teresa and is one of the key ladies in all of India.

I finished the pastor seminar that morning to a wonderful group and a great response.  Then that night we had a very well attended workplace seminar where  a number of the attendees had a radical shift in thinking. It was great to see my friend , Vijay Burton, and the members from his FCCI group of leaders (which has been meeting now for six years).  I heard their stories of life change.  That is what it is all about – Jesus transforming the lives of leaders.

I also met with the other group that PKD Lee started four years ago and is still going strong. I spoke twice Saturday night, so that only made 4 times for the day and God enabled me to do it.  I am gaining strength as I go and the spiritual energy and life of seeing fellow laborers is invigorating.

Sunday morning, we continued our whirlwind Charlie Abro tour by flying to Mumbai. Charlie is one of the true servant leaders that I have met anywhere in the world and radiates Christ with his humble service.  He is connected all over India and we have now done 6 seminars in 4 cities in the first 7 days. It has gone on without one major problem of any kind.

We then got a 3 or 4 hour break for the first time in a week.  Last night, we had a workplace seminar for a 100+ leaders and were helped by our dear friend Rajeev Menon.  I got to see some people whom I first met with Cade Willis and Bobby Mitchell some 6 or 7 years ago.  This included Father Anthony D’Souza who is 86 years old (and looks 66); he is a humble, joyful, Godly leader, still travelling the world speaking for the Haggai Institute, the Pope and others.

Last night I needed a break and asked Davidene to say a few words on living with a driven leader.  Well of course she hit a home run.  The response from young men and many women and across the board was amazing.  Father Anthony told me that I need to have her  address the pastors – which we will do.  Pray for her to be well received.  There are major issues here just as in the USA in the marriages of leaders like us.

The whole concept of shepherds, horses, and sheep is really sweeping across these leaders’ thinking and they love the other analogy of frogs and lizards.  We give each pastor a CD-ROM and the book and we sell the book to business leaders. Most purchase the book for themselves and maybe another one for their pastor.  This will help build hundreds and thousands of bridges between pastors and workplace leaders across India.  The response has been wonderful.  I just wish our pastors were this responsive in the USA.

Your prayers have made this trip a huge blessing in seeing God work to radically change the thinking of many key leaders and it is truly a movement of the Holy Spirit in changing a religious mindset.  Pray that these pastors in Mumbai will have the same enthusiastic response that we have had in the first three cities.  This call to equipping and relationships and discipleship is a challenge to build leaders NOT just a church.  It is a huge shift in the current way of thinking and local pressures. So pray for help in this spiritual battle.  The hearts of these pastors are ready and open.

Appreciate you!!

Kent

India Update 3/17/12

Pray for strength and endurance as I teach 5 times today (starting Saturday).  The issue is not so much my breathing capacity as it is the energy and passion that I use and The Holy Spirit speaking through me; the spiritual battle of us bringing truth to pastors.  It is exhausting but rewarding as they seem to be really getting it.  God is revealing Himself and His truths about equipping and discipleship, horses, leaders, and relationships to these pastors and leaders in attendance.

On Thursday we had more pastors the second day again; the reception was great.  That night the business leaders in attendance included one man who I had met previously in the US; he came 300 miles that day.  Another sharp young man has followed me and our FCCI  and has  been modelling his ministry in the software industry after it.  He is leading many groups of people in his profession there in Chennai in the same model.

I met with other key ministry leaders and offered to just serve them.  They asked for my long term strategy for India and I said that I have none. I believe in divine appointments with no agenda, instead seeking to equip other leaders and serve them.  This gives great freedom and creates powerful partnerships.

Yesterday, on Friday morning, we woke at 230 a.m. and were at airport by 430 a.m.,  flying out at 6am and arriving at Hyderabad at 7 a.m.. We were at the hotel by 8 a.m. and speaking by 10 a.m.

Perry and Chris spoke most of morning and left for the airport, heading back to the USA at 3 p.m. We will miss them.  They did a great job.

We had a great crowd yesterday and the best reception yet.  Like I said, they are getting it.  And it is a work of God and your prayers that this message is being so well received by these pastors.  As you continue to pray, please pray for application and courage for them as they seek to equip leaders and go against the trend of building churches by building disciples instead. This is God’s timing for India and this horses equipping message.  I will say again that I have never seen God work with such power.  How I pray that our churches in the USA would quit playing games and make disciples and go out instead of go in.

We need a new model and Jesus is it.

Thanks for your prayers.  After Saturday we will have done 27 of 50 sessions – a little over half way.  Pray for Davidene today as she speaks to the pastors’ wives.

Kent

India Update – 3/14/12

When you are on the go from morning to night, the days begin to blur together. We had pastor classes yesterday in  Bangalore and had more the second day than we did the first day.  And, it turned out that our first day numbers were
bigger than we even thought.

We went to the airport in the afternoon and arrived in Chennai at our hotel about 9pm after a wild ride from the airport. The huge city of Chennai is in the south, and there are many believers and churches here with much more freedom than the north. Also, Christians are pretty serious here and not as many “nominal” as in the north.  Our seminar to pastors did well here on Wednesday – great reception and participation. We will conclude the pastors session Thursday morning,  then tour a Business as Mission software firm, wrapping up with teaching the marketplace seminar until 9pm.

A short night’s sleep will be followed by a 3am wake up for the trip to the airport and a 6am flight to Hyderabad early Friday morning.  Speaking 3 or more times a day allows you time to speak and eat and sleep and little else. I took two daytime naps (which I never do);  when you speak, it is emotionally exhausting. Yet, God is allowing us to connect with people here and we sense the prayers of many.

We believe that a number of pastors will catch the vision of equipping their workplace horses.

So please continue to pray for God’s power and filling and wisdom to say the right things both privately and publicly. Pray, also, that these leaders will follow up on their commitments to equip others.

Kent

India Update – 3/12/12

Thanks so much for your prayers which were felt today in our first day of classes in Bangalore, India.

One business leader and his pastor travelled over 400 miles for the 2 day session. We met at the large Campus Crusade group with probably 120 attending (which were nearly all pastors and a few ministry leaders). We met a couple of men leading new workplace ministries.  The spirit of the leaders was great and they had excellent questions between sessions.

We sensed a good reception although we were presenting what would have been hard stuff even for the USA.  Many do not show a lot of facial expression as they listen. Perry and Chris did very well and it appeared that we complemented each other and really blended well. We gave them a strong challenge to equip their people, particularly their strong “horses”.

We will see who returns tomorrow in the half-day conclusion. We will return to Bangalore  for the workplace session the last Saturday of the trip.  We will then fly out late afternoon tomorrow and do it all again Wednesday and Thursday in Chennai. We will follow this with a night session and a flight to Hyderabad at 5am Friday morning.

My health and stamina appeared good – and I felt good – but I was tired after speaking 3 times today.  I have some days ahead of me where I will be speaking 5 times a day – which will now be a challenge.

There was a mix up in travel to the site this morning, but we made it.  The enemy may still try to be disruptive but he has failed to slow us down.  The unity and enthusiasum on our team is great.

Appreciate your encouragement,

Kent

India Update – Prayer Requests 3/11/12

Here are some last minute prayer requests as we begin our classes here in Bangalore, India, Monday morning or Sunday evening your time.

  1. Stamina –  with a couple of teammates unable to be with us at the last minute, I will be speaking 12 of the next 13 days and about 40 times total. So I am claiming 2 Cor 12:9, which assures me that I am able to gain His strength and glorify Him in my weakness.
  2. Health – doing well, but schedule will be challenging.  Breathing is good.  I am down to only a 25% increase in steroids vs. 6 to 18 times the normal dosage  over the last month or two.  Long term my disease is in remission but the damage to the airways remains and the reduction of steroids takes months.
  3. Side Effects – two of the many side effects of massive steroids are being irritable and always hungry.  These lead to anger and gluttony.  Not good.  Pray that I will be kind to Davidene and those who serve us and be disciplined in eating.  After losing weight in January, the massive doses that I took negatively impacted my weight the last few weeks due to the cumulative effect. So pray for patience and discipline for me.  Davidene has been great.
  4. Finally,  pray for discernment to determine which leaders to spend the extra five minutes with or sit with at the many meals or be able to invest in the future.  I want to be on the lookout for the FEW key leaders and not to take too much time with the “hangers on”.  Jesus mastered that and I must continue to gain that wisdom in order to make some Lasting Investments here among these pastors and workplace leaders.

Your prayers today for Charlie, Perry, Chris, Davidene, and me are greatly appreciated.  May we glorify Him!

Kent

India Update 3/10/12

We slipped into bed at the Bangalore hotel around 4am after a long day of travel.  I had forgotten what an adventure that international travel can be after two years of not doing it due to my health.  This day had it all,  starting off with my pastor friend, Randy, having to cancel due to illness (so we now know why God allowed him to have a visa issue in order to protect him from moving forward).  We will miss him and Peter from Europe, who also had to cancel at the last minute.

A 30 minute plane weather delay before we even left OKC was followed by a short mechanical delay before taking off.  We arrived in Houston only to be delayed again at the gate.  We got off the plane only 29 minutes before the international flight would depart,  but a empty cart was at our gate and a fellow passenger actually held open the train door.  I knew that miracles were at work.  We arrived at Lufthansa’s departure gate with boarding still going on and made our flight to Frankfurt.

At our stopover in Germany, I fumbled around to get the right plug for my breathing machine and did not use the converter correctly and burned up the machine.  My first big error in years of global travel and NOT good for my day.

We arrived in India on time after 27 hours of travel and the boxes of books and cds came right off the baggage belt.  Then, we waited for our bags as we figured they would surely now make it also.  Such was not to be!  The agent told us that they were still in Houston. All of our carry on’s were filled with needed medical stuff, electronic  gadgets,  and key documents, so we had NO spare clothes.

Our host Charlie was there to greet us even though we were the last to leave the arrival area at after 2am.  He delivered us to our hotel and presented us with a wonderful packet of materials prepared for the conferences including books, cds, workbooks, brochures, etc.

And Charlie saved me by finding a new nebulizer machine so that I could take my breathing treatments as soon as we checked in to our hotel room.

The city of Bangalore has 7 million people and is the second fastest growing city in the world behind Mexico City. We have a day and a half to rest and adapt to an 11 hour time change.

So, we are thankful for a safe trip and  that our flight was on time.  As we put our same clothes on again today we are grateful for our two bags which are coming tomorrow…hopefully….Yes, when you travel internationally,  you become grateful for small things.

More of our team arrives early tomorrow morning. Thanks for your prayers as we start our classes on Monday (which is Sunday your time).

Learning to be Flexible,

Kent

Leaving for India!

As Davidene and I  leave for  India today, here are some verses that you can pray for us over the journey.

These three verses represent my “life verses” that God has given me over the last 50 years.

Philippians 3:10  “ That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection.”  PRAY that as we face the challenges of the trip that we will know Him even more intimately.  ALL effective ministry flows out of the overflow (John 15) of our relationship with Him.  Pray that we will be speaking out of experience and not from just  theory.

Philemon 1:7  “Because the Hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.”  Pray that we will be a huge encouragement to these pastors and business leaders.  We will be sharing some principles that require a CHANGE in thinking and practice.  So, we want to present biblical truth and the methods of Jesus, but at the same time not overwhelm them or discourage them in the difficult tasks ahead of equipping other leaders.

Colossians 1:28  “So naturally we proclaim Christ.”  Pray that we will lift up Christ alone.  We do not want to share our opinions, our plans, or just our experiences.  We want to give them the refreshing truths that Jesus Christ lived out here on the earth and wants us to walk in naturally  each day as we seek to lead others.

Thanks for holding us up in prayer.  Our classes start Monday in Bangalore, which is Sunday your time.

Kent

Preparing to Travel to India!

Davidene and I leave tomorrow morning (Thursday the 8th) on our 27 hour journey to Bangalore, India. Our team members will be following over the next few days. Here are some last minute prayer requests:

  1. Please pray for one of our team members who is having a visa issue. Pray that it will be resolved today.
  2.  Davidene has been asked to address the pastors’ wives in some of the cities.  Please ask for God to give her wisdom as she presents biblical views on marriage and parenting while trying to understand the huge cultural differences between the USA and India.
  3. Pray for Charlie as he makes last minute preparation in each of the five cities.  Also, ask that God would touch the hearts of the right leaders to want to attend the pastor and workplace leader classes.
  4. Finally, ask that God would allow us to get 4 to 5 hours of solid sleep sometime on the journey so that we can quickly adapt to the 11  1/2 hour time change upon our arrival.

Thanks for your prayers and encouragement.

Kent

Thanks for Praying

If you did not believe in the power of prayer before you traveled for 22 days to four countries, then you would certainly believe after such a trip.  Your prayers and God’s provision led me every step of the way.  God showed Himself in so many ways.  Time and time again He opened doors to workplace leaders, pastors, and Divine appointments in each of the nations.  So, I want to genuinely thank you for your prayers and encouragement.

Our time in Turkey was brief, but we got to meet with some key leaders who gave us some keen insights into the Israeli – Palestinian issues. We did a small bit of sight seeing and were off to Israel and Bethlehem. Our team attended the Christ at the Checkpoint Conference (http://bethbc.com/christatthecheckpoint.html.) sponsored by Bethlehem Bible College. This gave me a deeper understanding of the issues and needed reconciliation between both sides.  We Evangelicals in the USA usually only get one side (the Israeli one) of this issue. I am now very much more informed on some of the issues and am praying for both sides to be reconciled in a peaceful manner.  Many are suffering in Palestine.  If some of the key issues are not resolved soon, the violence will continue. The conflict heated up while we were there, and the checkpoint was closed to local workers, was tightened up each day for 5 days, and there were demonstrations and a policeman was wounded.   As a business leader, I will try to help those who are trying to provide jobs for those living in the land.  We were allowed some special treats to be able to meet privately with key business leaders, farmers, and pastors.  I can not share with you publicly, but there is some unbelievable work being done among the Muslims in the West Bank with tremendous success.

An all night flight to Nigeria brought me to the huge city of Lagos (about 20 million people).  There I was hosted by a business leader Dominic, and a Navigator staff Dan.  In addition to private meetings, we had a Pastor’s Conference, a Workplace Leaders Conference, a dinner for Key business leaders starting a new ministry, and I spoke in a church on Sunday.  I was extremely well received and have some key invitations to return.  I was treated like royalty by my gracious hosts and experienced the challenges of the traffic in such a city.  We are going to partner in a number of areas with Dan and the Navigators and several other key ministries and churches.  There are many opportunities for discipleship and leadership training in Nigeria and other African nations. FCCI (Crown Companies in Africa) and other workplace ministries will be partnering in supporting several of these marketplace efforts through resources, visits, seminars, and encouragement.

Another night of flying took me to Nairobi, Kenya. A few hours after getting off the plane I was leading an all day Pastors’ Conference.  I gave them the biblical truths and they were amazed at the truths.  They were humble, teachable, and so open to what God was saying.  I have been received well by pastors all over the world, but the reception that I received in Kenya and Nigeria was tremendous.  God really worked as a result of YOUR PRAYERS!!

The Workplace Leader Seminar was equally well received and people stayed around for three hours afterwards fellowshipping.  From talking to local leaders I learned a lot about the violence of three years ago and the current political situation.  Pray that the NEW constitution of Kenya will be approved in a June election.  It is very important to the stability of the nation.  We had many key meetings, and my hosts, Simon a Pastor and Michael a young business leader gave me a wonderful experience. I met Simon in Amsterdam in 2000 and we have become dear friends.  My heart really went out to these leaders and their nation.

I will not be going to Asia in May as planned, and unless I go back to Africa, I will not be going overseas again until the fall.  During the next few months you can pray for the following:

  1. We are doing a Marketplace Retreat next weekend in Ohio, and some filming for classes at Western Seminary two weeks later, with a board meeting the weekend in between.
  2. Two new books will be out this month. Pray for God to give us direction in the initial distribution:
    Christ@Work Opening Doors in Your Workplace
    and Christ@Work In Your Transition from the Campus to the Workplace
  3. Please continue to pray for my health, which had the disease become aggressive in February and early March with the normal side effects.

I appreciate your support and friendship.

Your Brother, Kent

Ostrich Farm

I am packing up and ready to head to the airport but first I have to tell you about the Ostrich Farm…

I am staying at a remote resort which is on an ostrich farm.  The resort has 5 rooms in the main building and 15 huts;  they are in the process of expanding and building 24 more rooms.  I have been one of few guests but they are very busy at times.  I have eaten ostrich meat twice and it is good.

They have 700 ostrich now but can have up to 2-3,000.  It is the largest farm in central Africa and one of the largest in the entire country.  They breed them and the eggs are huge, weighing a couple of pounds.  They need a lot of care the first 30 days.  They go through breeder pens and are kept according to age.  By 3 or 4 months they are getting big.  By 8 months they can be harvested and used for their meat, their feathers, and their valuable skin. The white feathers are the most valuable and are used by men in weddings.

The ostrich can run 60 km per hour (36 mph) and can weigh up to 150 kg ( 330 lbs) or more.  You can get up to 40kg or 90 lbs of meat from one ostrich.  I got to see the red neck one and the blue neck ones which are used in riding.  One red neck got on his knees and spread his feathers for me as they do in the mating dance.  What a sight!!

The older ones kept for breeding are up to 8 to 10 years of age.  Their legs are magnificent and strong. Their nails are sharp and they have only two toes.

So that is a short course in ostrich education.  I enjoyed seeing them up close.

Heading home from a wonderful trip with many fond memories.