From our rich history of over one hundred years of Adventism in Kenya, we have observed that whenever Adventist education has provided quality and excellence, evangelism has flourished. In the early 1900’s, our pioneer Adventist missionary, pastor Arthur Carscallen, made his first breakthrough in evangelism only after he built the first school in Gendia, Nyanza, around Lake Victoria, Kenya. More schools were later built, and the rest is history. The region became the bedrock of Adventism in Kenya and the home of academic and intellectual giants.
In Mark 9: 2-18, we find a story about the Mount of Transfiguration. Jesus takes his inner circle—the disciples Peter, James and John—with him and leads them up a high mountain. The three disciples are at the top of the mountain while the other nine are at the foot of the mountain. This story makes me wonder where our mission field should be. Should it be at the top of the mountain or at the bottom?
At the top of this mountain is a lot of glory. For a long time, we have been comfortable surrounding
ourselves with the people in our Adventist sub-culture at the top of the mountain, separating ourselves from others outside the church. There are things that make us very comfortable at the top of our mountain.
However, there is no doubt that with Jesus, the mission field is always at the bottom of the mountain. Unfortunately, the other nine disciples at the bottom of the mountain did not stay up that night like their master in prayer and watching. They had a long night full of complaining, discouragement, politicking, gossiping, and finger pointing. They complained about the lack of money and could not understand why three of them were at the top of the mountain while the rest of them were at the bottom of it.
Soon, when it was morning, there was a large crowd at the bottom of the mountain. The disciples got into a heated argument with the scribes, the teachers of the law. In this moment of confrontation and confusion, a helpless father showed up with a dying son, possessed by demons. No one could help. Not even the nine demoralized disciples. Luckily for this father, at that very hour, Jesus was on his way down the mountain.
At the bottom of “every mountain” is a helpless father with a dying son. When he arrived, Jesus rebuked his disciples, “What are you arguing with them about?” (Mark 9:16). The life of a child was at stake! This was not the time for empty words, but action. The father was crying to Jesus in despair. This is the real mission field—a desperate father trying to save his son.
We have a choice to make. We can stay in our comfortable shelters at the top of the mountain, or we can go down to the bottom of the mountain with Jesus, and reach out to the families in need of help, healing their children by providing an Adventist Education.
Note: Article written and posted in English