“When I was in Prison, You Came To Me

It was never my goal in life to be a prison chaplain. Nobody grows up dreaming of spending their days wading through the darkness and oppression that looms over a prison filled with the outcasts of our society.

But the Lord had another plan.

Reaching the lost and hurting population of the penitentiary became my calling for twenty years. I loved every day of it and saw thousands come to faith in Christ. I grew to love “my guys.” Then God called me away to be a part of reaching the unreached and underserved of the world through With Open Eyes. Read more

Shining a Gospel Light on India

In January, With Open Eyes announced 6 new countries where we will be raising up Mobile Messengers. While the vast majority of our Mobile Messenger presence remains in Africa, we are so pleased that the Lord has opened up avenues to reach the underserved and unreached of Nepal and India.

Opportunities in India are rich and varied. While we cannot wait to come alongside brothers and sisters in Christ in these countries, we are aware of the dangers growing for Christians in these countries. Which is why we wanted to profile them for you. We want to raise awareness, give you points to pray for and to see how great the need is for the gospel of Jesus to go reach these nations. Read more

Teaching The Maasai How to Play Baseball

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We love it when the Lord provides unexpected moments in the midst of ministry. From the miraculous to the mundane, Jesus is always making way for us to build relationships when we travel to Africa. Our friend Brian Adams took his first trip with WOE, and his experience was unusual, to say the least! We hope you are encouraged by his story. – The WOE team. 

 

 

 

baseball 1My first WOE trip to Africa was truly an incredible experience!  Our team packed camping gear into one large duffel bag, as we prepared to “live” with the Maasai tribe for three days in the land called empukani which mean, “dry land,  located a rough two-hour drive from the city of Namanga, Kenya.After packing all our gear, I realized that we had almost 8 pounds to spare before we reached our size limit of 50 pounds.  Having a professional baseball background, I thought that perhaps it would be neat to try to teach the Maasai people how to play the game.  I squeezed four gloves, two bats, and eight baseballs into our gear bag and hoped that we’d have a chance to play some during our visit.

We had a half-day conference on Wednesday, teaching and encouraging the mobile messengers. Once we were finished, we made the announcement that our group would teach “America’s Game” to anyone that would like to participate.  Little did we know that every single person would attend!

baseball 3Sports is truly a universal language.  Over the next few hours, we laughed and cheered together as each person took a turn batting and running the bases.  The Maasai people picked up on the game fast and, as they did, I realized that they were hitting the ball harder and harder.  I gave up many home runs that afternoon.
 

 

Following our time with the Mobile Messengers, we took our baseball equipment over to an open field next to the village’s school.  Wow!! If the Mobile Messengers liked the game of baseball, the kids loved it!! Each child took their turn trying to hit and run the bases as well, and the enthusiasm was off the charts.

Having the opportunity to teach baseball to the Maasai people and getting to spend time with them brought our group so much joy.  I’m so glad that we had those 8 pounds to spare in the gear bag.  It far exceeded any expectation  I had.

 

2016: A Year in Review

This year has been a busy year for With Open Eyes. If you visit our Facebook page, you’ll see some of the amazing stats that we’ve shared. We hope that you will praise the Lord with us for all that He has done in the last few years. Our hearts are overflowing with gratitude.

But today, I want to share one aspect of the ministry we don’t talk about all that often. Our humanitarian efforts. These efforts to help the underserved and unreached in our world came from the heart of our co-founder, James Harrison. He would constantly tell his dad, “We need to do something to help these people.” Humanitarian work and support was his heart. Read more

A Talk with Pastor Benson: Our With Open Eyes Mobile Messenger Trainer

Last week, we had our friends from Kenya come to visit us for a few special events in Charlotte. Pastor Simon, one of our board members and our very first mobile messenger, Benson, our mobile messenger trainer and Pastor Daniel, one of our mobile messengers all came with stories about what the Lord is doing in Kenya and Africa through their work and With Open Eyes.

I sat down with them and asked them to share a little bit of background on how they are connected with WOE and how they came to know Jesus. They also share a few stories about work they’re doing and how we can specifically pray for them and their work. Read more

Meet Pastor Daniel: A With Open Eyes Mobile Messenger

wednesday-october-26Last week, we had our friends from Kenya come to visit us for a few special events in Charlotte. Pastor Simon, one of our board members and our very first mobile messenger, Benson, our mobile messenger trainer and Pastor Daniel, one of our mobile messengers all came with stories about what the Lord is doing in Kenya and Africa through their work and With Open Eyes.

I sat down with them and asked them to share a little bit of background on how they are connected with WOE and how they came to know Jesus. They also share a few stories about work they’re doing and how we can specifically pray for them and their work.

Below, Pastor Daniel shares why 1 John 3:1 is a source of encouragement to him. He also shares about the church he’s planted in the midst of very difficult spiritual circumstances.

It’s great to meet you, Pastor Daniel! Can you tell me how you’re connected to With Open Eyes:
I serve With Open Eyes as a mobile messenger to reach those who are not reached and serve those who are not served and I’ve been doing it for five years now.

That is amazing! If you’re willing to share, how did you come to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

In the year of 2000, I got very sick. And that’s when I met Pastor Simon. When I was sick, my family had no way to get me to the hospital, so they put me in a wheelbarrow to get me there. And Simon took me out of the wheel barrow, put me in his own vehicle and took me to the hospital. A few weeks later I got well, and started going to his church.

From that time I gave my life to Jesus because Simon mentored me. He taught me many things about the kingdom of God. But more than that, I came from a big family. In my family, my father has three wives and my mother is the last wife, and I am the last child. But I was the first person to get saved.

And from the year 2000 to now, all of my family – my brothers and sisters are now born again Christians.

It is incredible to hear how the Lord has brought your whole family to Him! As you’ve walked with Him, what is one verse or section of Scripture that you really mediate on?img_4304
Every time, when I read 1 John 3:1, I see the great love with which that God loves me. And it says because of His love, we can be the children of God. It gives me the assurance that I am a child of God. A son of God.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 1 John 3:1

Do you have any stories you could share about the work you do for With Open Eyes?
I have planted my second church in the Maasai land. And it’s known in the whole land as a place of witchcraft in the area. For so many years, no church in that area has been established. But I thank God, because He led me to that place to start a church.

With the help of God and the motorbike, I started preaching house to house, sharing the Gospel of Jesus. And I thank God because the church has started, and the members are coming. Plus the sons and the women of the witch man, because he has many women, have started to come to the church.

Also, I have members who are coming very, very far. They travel 5 kilometers to the church. It encourages me as a mobile messenger that people will come to hear the Word. There are many wild animals along their way, but I praise God, because He is doing something very particular in that place.

Lastly, how can we pray for you and your congregations?
I would ask to pray for God’s favor as I share the gospel to those who are not reached. And also for God’s protection upon me and my ministry and for my family as well. For the Lord to cover me, as I’m sharing the gospel. Protection from wild animals too, because where I minister is close to the national park.

For my community, pray for God to open their eyes – their inner eyes and ears. And for the Holy Spirit to do His work in my community. I know there are many things against the Word that they do – like marrying many wives and alcoholism. So pray that they would be able to hear the Gospel.

Catching Up with Pastor Simon: Our First Mobile Messenger

1nbr8440Last week, we had our friends from Kenya come to visit us for a few special events in Charlotte. Pastor Simon, one of our board members and our very first mobile messenger, Benson, our mobile messenger trainer and Pastor Daniel, one of our mobile messengers all came with stories about what the Lord is doing in Kenya and Africa through their work and With Open Eyes.

I sat down with them and asked them to share a little bit of background on how they work with WOE and how they came to know Jesus. They also share a few stories about work they’re doing and how we can specifically pray for them and their work.

Read on to learn how Pastor Simon came to the Lord, why he thinks humility is essential to service and how you can pray for him and his family.

Pastor Simon, you’ve been with WOE from the very beginning, working with our co-founder James as the first mobile messenger. And we’re so grateful for all the work you’ve done for WOE. But we’d love to hear how you came to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior and become a pastor?

It’s one thing to become a Christian; it’s another thing to get saved. My mom used to take me to church all the time. Even when I was growing up, I went to Sunday School; I had to read all the books and memorize so many things and recite them before the congregation. And I was really good at that. After primary school, I went to Nairobi to study with my brother. I realized I only knew Jesus in my mind and not in my heart.

I was going to church with my brother who was a born again Christian and the message was very, very clear. I realized I needed to be washed in the blood of Jesus. I kept asking my brother, “What is the difference between you and me?” And he explained so many things to me. One day I heard the message very clear that without the blood of Jesus, kneeling down and without accepting Jesus Christ, without knowing Him, really knowing Him not only in my mind but in my heart, there is no way I can go to heaven.  And at that moment I made the best decision ever and gave, surrendered my life to the Lord, and that’s when the calling of the Lord to become a pastor happened.

What an amazing revelation of how much we need Jesus and the power of His blood to make us clean and born again. As you’ve walked with Him, what is one verse or section of Scripture that you mediate on?

For me, it is 2 Chronicles 7:14 which talks about if God’s people who are called by His name will humble themselves…and always I think about that. I reflect on the humbleness of Jesus Christ and the way He lived. I think that’s where we need to start. His humility in washing the disciples’ feet. He did everything in a very humble way. He left the glory in heaven and was born in a manger to the earth to serve and save people like me and you.

And I think wow. I always think – Simon, you have to humble yourself so that you can serve others. You know, we call ourselves Christians, which attaches us to Jesus Christ. So we should be doing things the way He did.

Do you have any stories you could share about the work you do for With Open Eyes?

In the history of the communities, if you choose to become a pastor, people will look at you as the poorest person in the whole world. But now, they see as our pastors get a motorbike, they start to see things in a different perspective.1nbr8460

They see that pastors can go from house to house, they see the good things that God does for you – it changes their hearts. It brings a new testimony, and they feel like they have to listen to the pastor. They look at the messenger himself when he comes with a motorbike or the Bible that they give the community for free. And people are amazed and become very accepting of hearing the Gospel because most people come and sell things. But the motorbikes are a huge thing that God has used. It has changed the perspective of many, many people. Even the Chiefs, who is the head of the village. The Chiefs are starting to ask questions because they’re seeing their people taking to the pastor. They see the pastor as different. And when we say God can provide, they see the motorbike as proof of that, and it gives us a chance to share God’s word.

Lastly, how can we pray for you and your congregations?

Sometimes my schedule can be very tight and very busy. So I’m praying God can show me how to balance my schedule and time with my family. I believe it’s God first, then family, then the ministry. I need balance so that I don’t have so much time away from my family, from my wife. So just to pray for me to balance that time together.

For number two, I get many calls from many mobile messengers. Especially when they are walking through tough things, hard things they call me. And the burden is very heavy sometimes. Even if I’m happy on the outside, I have a very heavy load on the inside. Because it can wear me out, to carry the burden to pray for my brothers and sisters.

A Trip to Uganda: Wendy’s Story

Earlier this week you read about our coworker and friend Savanna who is on her first trip with With Open Eyes. Today, we’re so happy to have our friend and faithful ministry partner, Wendy. She shares about what she’s looking forward to this week and how she became connected with WOE. Read more

A Trip to Uganda: Savanna’s Story

This week, we have several team members traveling to Uganda to aid in work happening in refugee camps. We are grateful for their hard work and covering them with prayer as they come alongside pastors and churches who are preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ under difficult circumstances.

Our team is also taking the time to offer humanitarian aid to Uganda. We’re helping those who need medical attention in the refugee camps, as well as ministering to women and coordinating outreach to children and teens. We are expectant that our team will come back with stories of impact to the glory of Jesus!

But this trip is special for two women who are traveling with us this week. Savanna and Wendy are first-timers in traveling with WOE. Because they’ll offer fresh and unique perspective on this trip, we sat down with both of them before they left and asked them a few questions about how they were feeling and what they were looking forward to on this trip.

Savanna’s story is below, and we’ll share Wendy’s later this week! We’ll also be catching up with both women after they get back to hear about all that God did on their travels! Read more

Mobile Messenger Training Update

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of God will stand forever. ~ Isaiah 40:8

For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  ~ Hebrews 4:12

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