“When a child is not feeding well, you have a malnourished child. When a Christian is not feeding well, you have a malnourished Christian.”
We were admonished with these words in a recent morning devotion at the clinic given by the Kenyan Pharmacist and regular attender of our church, Kyalo. These words were particularly evocative as we sat in the midst of patients that were already arriving for treatment; against the reality of abounding feral children with distended bellies who’s diets consist mostly of corn mush (posho) and the leftovers from beer production; alongside the failure of a program to get extra protein to malnourished children because mothers were selling the food for profit. I took these physical reminders of our depravity as a warning against a parallel spiritual neglect of our souls.
As a missionary, our profession is to spread the word of the gospel, or as Kyalo put it, to feed the people. Christ calls himself the bread of life. We are commissioned to feed upon and serve to others that living bread. By neglecting this responsibility, not only would we be failing professionally, but spiritually as well.
As I mulled and considered his words, I mentally went through the list of ways that our mission attempts to satisfy the spiritual hungers of our congregation and surrounding community, as a check for our ministry and my own involvement. I thought our supporters would benefit from a peek at the list.
During the week, the pastors lead bible studies in local villages including Nakathain, Atedeoi, Akuyem, Nakaale, Naturakan, Naminyit and Nariko. They walk or bike to the various sites and spend time sharing the scriptures through a particular Old Testament story. Every Friday at lunch, the same story is told to our mission compound staff. Our mission leads a study in a local church in Namalu (the closest rural town), which also includes a health lesson. Monday through Friday, there are devotions for both the clinic and mission compound staffs at their respective locations which includes scripture readings and prayer. We have fellowship specifically geared toward refreshing the missionaries on Wednesday and Sunday evenings. Also a program on Monday afternoons geared toward children that are not attending school. And of course, the Sunday morning worship service.
I hope the above description gives you a better concept of our weekly routine and efforts to feed the spiritually hungery in Karamoja.