Tuesday, March 23, 2010

03.23.10 - mo loco attack

breakfast at U TOP IT Kailua Kona Hawaii

I don't know why but I've been thinking about Hawaii A LOT latley. Here's a hawaiian breakfast from a restaurant in town. It's called the mo loco attack.

It's made up of a pan crepe, fried rice, hamburger patty, egg, brown gravy with a side of spam and kona coffee too.

I've been real busy this week, but I'll try and get another Africa blog up this week.

In the mean time check out Seth and Jamie's blog. They are doing an awesome job of keeping us updated on their Kenya trip. They stayed in the same place we did when we got into Kenya. Jamie is a third grade teacher and is recording vlogs to keep her class updated!

JIM baker

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

03.16.10 - as promised another Africa blog SUNDAY morning

Sunday morning, Brian and Devo introduce themselves and are interpreted into Swahili to the congregation of over 600 people.

Worship was loud and joyful. Click here to see a video of some of the kids dancing.

Bishop John brings one of the students forward whose parents were killed in the election violence.

Second time preaching a sermon and I preached to a church of 600 in Kenya. I brought a simple message of God's love for them and their authority as sons and daughters of Christ. I also encouraged them to dream big dreams because we were all reaping the fruit of John Okinda's big dream.

Brian blows bubbles with some of the kids after the service.

Heather and Arielle are asked by the students to sing the US National Anthem... the students respond by singing theirs. Click here to hear them sing it.

Jess serves some of the female leaders in the church cookies. I will let Jess write a blurb about what she experienced here and post it soon.

While Jess and Anne were talking to the female leaders, Brian, Dave and I were talking to the pastors.

I was
utterly humbled by this group of pastors. When I asked them to articulate their struggles as pastors someone stood up and said that their main struggles were as follows...

1. Our congregations are made up or orphans and widows 2. They have not eaten and do not have money for food 3. They do not have clean water

The group was so hopeful and I reminded them that
without the supernatural intervention of God nothing would change. If Jesus could turn water into wine and He said that we would do greater things then maybe we need to be using our authority to be turning dirty water into clean water. A bold thing to say but it flew out of my mouth.

The group really wanted ownership of what they were doing and were not just looking for handouts. They were so grateful for the things that we were assisting them with but
desperately wanted to become self sustaining. We were handed a micro-finance proposal.

While we were there we were able to buy them
3 acres of land with a river running through it which will start them in agriculture so that they can be self sustaining.

During this pastors meeting is when I
first started to feel sick... I left this meeting to go to the bathroom and it was all down hill from there...

I'll post more soon and
promise to leave all of the graphic sick stories out of it.

Take some time after reading this to
pray for the pastors and church in Kenya.

JIM baker

P.S - leave COMMENTS!

Monday, March 15, 2010

03.15.10 - who sucks at blogging? I DO!

Old Ellicott City, MD - 2007
30 sec exposure 10mm 20d

I think I might get this blown up and put it on one of my bare walls... I miss just going out and shooting for fun. I think there is a fun shoot in the works coming up this week.

Anyway I put this picture up because I feel like it depicts my past week well.

Tim Lease and Jon Lawson and me (taking the pic) at McMobile in the middle of the night

Tim Lease drove in from Maryland through the night saturday the 6th for Jon Lawson's wedding. We took Jon for the usual pre wedding tradition of a mani pedi... check out the video here.

KT worships - photo by Rick Rohlin

Okay so last week...a group of Warren PA youth pastors went up to the Warren County Christian School for spiritual emphasis week. We got served breakfast every morning, led worship and spoke to the high school group.

Our theme for the week was 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

When it was my day to preach I preached on vs 26a
"Therefore I do not run..."

I even backed it up with another scripture

1 John 2:6
"Whoever claims to be in him must WALK as Jesus did"

Haha... then I taught them about the importance of CONTEXT. And I wrapped up the teaching talking about the aim of living a Christian life is based in obedience, which is based in trust, which is based in the character of God. Because God is LOVE and loves us, anything He asks us to do or not to do is in our best interest. Living obediently to God takes us on adventures.

photo of Mark Krebs' fruit medley waffle we get in Tennessee sd870

Monday night our youth ministry Higher Calling meets. I shared my testimony from high school with them. And challenged them with something that I've been realizing. The gifts of spirit are free because they are gifts. But the fruits of the spirit require cultivation. You can walk in anointing and power without character and it will lead you to failure.

Saturday night we took a group of the youth to go see To Save a Life. It was a really well done movie. Lets all admit it sometimes Christian media can be CHEESY! But it dealt with real life issues that teens face in high school. It didn't spark any great conversation when we tried to debrief but I think kids are still thinking about it.

Pray for our youth that we'd be able to have open and honest conversations.

I'll post another Africa blog this week. Seth and Jamie Rainwater are headed out to Kenya on Saturday!

These blog posts would be SHORTER if I wrote them more often...

JIM baker

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

03.02.2010 - more about AFRICA!!

Anne our team leader giving Bishop John a laptop that many people from Praise Fellowship helped buy him! He just kept saying "praise God, praise God" over and over again.

Before every meal someone would pour HOT water for us so we could wash our hands. There was only one source of running water on the grounds.

A shot of one of our meals. Rice, mango, french fries and chicken. African chicken is TOUGH.

We were given a tour of the grounds. This is one of the student dorm rooms. The dorm rooms held 10-12 kids.

Oh the joy of digital photography. Dave shows some of the kids a picture he just took of them.

The only source of clean running water. A well that is overused every day.

A student sits alone in a classroom to study. Bishop John's school has some of the highest test scores in the nation.

We went to the NAKUMATT which is similar to a Costco or a Sam's Club. It was about an hour drive to get here but everything was much cheaper in price compared to the local markets.

Brian piles up loaves of bread for a special treat of peanut butter sandwiches for the students. (Pictures coming soon!)

Each student got a bar of soap, a roll of toilet paper, and a bar of laundry soap. We spent around $1,000 USD on food and supplies. I asked Bishop John how long what we bought would last. He looked at me and said it would last about 3-4 days. Food is not cheaper in Africa. And when you feed 300+ people a day it gets expensive FAST.

JIM baker

Monday, March 1, 2010

03.01.2010 - where did February go?

Where in the world did February go?!

Anyway, I'm feeling better, my stomach is pretty normal, I'm still pretty tired though all the time. Malaria test came back negative, which means either I never had it OR the meds killed it.

We had a retreat this weekend. The time4revolution group got together which is a group of 4 youth ministries in the Warren PA area.

Our theme for the weekend was something along the lines of "Chilling Out." We met up at Camp Mission Meadows and by the end of the weekend I had over a foot of snow on my car.

Aaron led worship all weekend and did a great job.

J brought a real solid message of not giving up on God because He doesn't meet our expectations.

Rick came up and preached an awesome message that I wished I would have heard in high school. Outlining that from age 15-25 this is the decade of decision. And that you have to decide on 4 "M" words.

who is your MASTER
you can have many masters, but only Jesus is going to love you

what are you going to do with your MONEY
live below your means
stay out of debt

what are you going to MAJOR in
do research see if there are jobs in the field you want to go into

and who is going to be your MATE/MARRIAGE
choose well

I spoke during the evening session and just had the kids intention themselves on Jesus during the worship time. And then we just sat in silence and I encouraged them to listen to Jesus. I brought a simple message of God's unconditional grace for them and said that they would never be able to chill out until they knew who they were and who's they were. We ended the evening praying for kids which was awesome.

PJ spoke the next morning. His premise. Not everyone who poops on you is your enemy and not everyone that cleans you off is your friend.
(Come on.. it's youth ministry)

He taught from Proverbs 27:6-7
6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
but an enemy multiplies kisses.
He who is full loathes honey,
but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.

He encouraged the kids to pick friends that wouldn't just comfort them and agree with them, but friends that would get in their faces and speak hard truth to them. And also ended with verse 7, saying that when we aren't getting our fill of God that we run to stupid things. He also encouraged the kids to MAKE COMMITMENTS and said that if we don't commit to things we don't grow.

Another Africa blog this week I promise.

JIM baker