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.
Benson, our Mobile Messenger trainer shares thoughtfully about the damage the prosperity gospel is doing in some communities. He also talks about how he came to know Jesus not only as his savior but as his Friend.
Thank you for your time today, Benson. It’s great to meet you! Can you tell me a little a bit about what you do for With Open Eyes:
I help with the Biblical foundation training, getting people firmly rooted in the Word as they go do outreach. We work to help transform communities, families, and churches.
We are so grateful for your work! If you’re willing to share, how did you come to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior?
I was born in Christian family. I’m child 11 out of 13. I grew up knowing everything about Christianity, served in youth group. At age of 15, I struggled. I felt like I didn’t know the Lord. I had responded to the call of who wants to know Jesus in Sunday School a zillion times.
At the age of 15 an evangelist came from Congo. He was playing trumpets, evangelizing to the community. I really heard the Gospel for the first time. Even though my dad was a well-renown evangelist and also a pastor in congregations. But this evangelist came and he was preaching out of John 10:10 – He was talking about the abundant life. I realized I was not living the abundant life. And on that day, May 15, I opened my heart to Christ and He became Companion, my Friend, my Master and my King. I have no regrets. I really love Him. Not that I don’t go on the roller coaster of the up and down of Christian life. He has been very faithful.
What an amazing testimony of God’s faithfulness and the love of Jesus. As you’ve walked with Him, what is one verse or section of Scripture that you really meditate on?
In 1 John 1:7-9, he talks about the confession and forgiveness of sins. He tells us that if we will confess our sins to Him, He will forgive us. And many of us struggle with so many sins, but that verse tells me that if we will come to Him and confess to God our sins, He will forgive us. We must humble ourselves and come to Him in repentance. We have to understand that we live in a fallen body, a fallen world. We always do things that are below the standards of God’s Word and His life. But His forgiveness really encourages me.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:7-9
Do you have any stories of impact you could share about the work you do for With Open Eyes?
In Africa, in Kenya, there are many pastors who preach along the lines of the prosperity gospel. And there are many people who will copy them, preach like them, talk like them. And maybe these pastors are not preaching the true gospel of Jesus. I had a pastor who came to us in training. He had established or planted about 36 churches but he was going through our training for 16 months.
At the end, the pastor, who was a bishop over these churches was giving a testimony and he had tears in his eyes. He said, “I want to thank God for this training and teaching. It has transformed and changed me. I now understand the Scriptures. I now know the One I serve and believe in. And I will begin with my own congregation and ask for forgiveness because I misled them and preached and taught things that were not Biblical. I’ll go to my other congregations and do the same thing and preach them the truth so that they can be transformed and founded on the Word which is Jesus Christ.”
Lastly, how can we pray for you and for your congregations?
One prayer request I really have is for God to give me wisdom as I continue to serve the mobile messengers in training centers that are spread across several countries. That the Lord would humble me and also strengthen me and give me that spiritual staying focus on what I’m doing. Understand, the foundation we’re building not only touches the individual in the class but his family and his congregation.
The second prayer request is… as I said earlier, the church here has been under a very severe attack of the prosperity gospel. When they see pastors who don’t have 2 or 3 cars or for those who do not live in a good neighborhood, they’ll say who is your God? Your god is not powerful. You are not a powerful man of God. I request that congregations see Jesus. Not pastors they want to follow. But that they’d follow Christ, serve Him and be transformed.