Disproportionate Provision

The Gospel Project is a Sunday school curriculum that shows how Jesus is the point of all of Scripture. This year, Bridgeway Church decided we wanted to launch this curriculum for Maisha Academy.

 

Two months before our trip to Maisha we decided to launch The Gospel Project as one of our mission projects in Kenya. This is the curriculum we use with our own children at Bridgeway. However, we quickly realized that no one on the team traveling to Kenya had worked with our children’s ministry using The Gospel Project. This meant we would need to add a team member. Ashley Owen, Bridgeway’s Signs and Wonderland Coordinator, and her husband Jesse were enthusiastic about the possibility of going. Providentially, these two had two weeks free on two months notice, and were willing to travel. The problem was money. While we found some money for one of the tickets, we were still $3,400 short. We petitioned our church to help us raise the deficit. The Owens prayed that they would receive $1,000 over their budgeted needs, and within 15 minutes we received exactly $4,400.

The first obstacle had been dealt with, but two more quickly presented themselves. The Gospel Project had licensing restrictions that precluded us from using the curriculum in Kenya, and Maisha couldn’t afford the price tag for 3 years of curriculum. Once again, God provided. Once Lifeway found out what we were doing, they gave Bridgeway and Maisha complete permission and licensing to bring The Gospel Project to Kenya. Neither Maisha nor Bridgeway paid a dime for the licensing.

Not only are the children of Maisha now receiving consistent, theologically sound, gospel-centered, Christ-exalting curriculum for the first time, but The Gospel Project itself is being used internationally for the first time. Every problem was crushed by God’s hefty provision.

While on the ground we spent three days training a group of about 10 volunteers to launch The Gospel Project. I keep telling people that the preparation, and effort we put into the trip was entirely disproportionate to what God accomplished while we were on the ground. We saw way more success than our efforts should have created. A few different stories show the true work of God’s hand.
After Ashley spent over an hour simply teaching curriculum, and going through some of the games and exercises, the volunteers, overwhelmed, decided the only appropriate response was worship. They sang “We Give God the Glory” loudly enough for our friends on other parts of the compound to hear. I’ve never been to a curriculum meeting where I wanted to praise God afterwords. God was using us disproportionally. Luke 24:31 describes when Jesus opens up all Scripture the things concerning himself, and the disciples’ hearts “burn within them.” I think that’s what the Holy Spirit was doing that day.
One of Ashley and my greater fears (which we now see as completely unfounded) was the American curriculum wouldn’t capture the imagination of the Kenyan teachers. Much to our surprise, that was not the case. On Sunday, when Steve (the first Kenyan to teach the curriculum solo) got up to teach, you could tell that he and every person we trained was brimming with excitement and anticipation. Not only did God provide the curriculum, he provided the people to see it implemented energetically.

The first time we tried to show the video that accompanies the curriculum – Maisha’s speakers blew out. There was no sound or video. However, just  before we left we were given $400 for Gospel Project “supplies” if we needed them. We were able to buy a new speaker system that generates income when it’s not being used by Maisha, so it can be rented out.

Not only did God provide the people to go, the money to get there, the curriculum to use, the people in Kenya, the energy to see it done well, and the speakers. He also provided a way for Maisha to make some extra money, and employ someone. Disproportionate indeed.
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In 2016, 82% of Maisha Project's total operating expenses were used for programs that benefit vulnerable children and communities around Kisumu, Kenya.

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