Paul Mumo Kisau: Unknown

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While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper. Acts 13:2-5

“Throughout Acts, Luke stresses that the Holy Spirit controls mission work from start to finish. Since the Holy Spirit had initiated mission work, the Holy Spirit was also the one to formally send out Barnabas and Saul as missionaries. They needed the power of the Holy Spirit as they went out into the unknown as witnesses of the Lord. Their first stop was at Cyprus, the Mediterranean island from which Barnabas came.”

Paul Mumo Kisau (Kenya) in “Acts” in Africa Bible Commentary, Tokunboh Adeyemo, General Editor (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006) 1349.

Our hotel is primitive but thankfully it is away from the turmoil in downtown Dakar. Enjoy the view today. I saw it the first time yesterday because our schedule has been nonstop since arriving here. It was a peaceful fasting and prayer day.

The first missionary journey of Paul and Barnabas had four stops: Paphos (on Cyprus), Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. The Spirit led the work which started in the place Barnabas called home. The full journey which is recorded in Acts 13-14.

Why recount it? I start my travel home today from West Africa having experienced a strikingly similar adventure. Samson Adoungbe and I have witnessed God’s power, faced great danger and difficulty, and report unimaginable victory.

But, like the first journey that Paul and Barnabas took to the unknown, pretty much nothing has gone as we expected. Yet. God has worked in ways beyond what we could have ever imagined similar to the journey of Paul and Barnabas. Let me share five similarities.

Firstly, the Spirit led Samson (like Barnabas) to say we must visit these four countries: Benin, Togo, Côte d’Ivoire, and Senegal. Paul and Barnabas also made four stops starting with the island Barnabas called home. We started our journey in Benin where Samson lives.

Secondly, the Spirit led them to work with John as a local helper. In each country, Samson and I worked with a GTP Country Coordinator, who opened doors on the front end and will maintain momentum on the back end.

Thirdly, on this journey, when Paul and Barnabas were in Pisidian Antioch in the synagogue, we see Paul invited to speak as a visitor. This was the invitation rolled out to us. We spoke on “Stewardship and Standards” in each country.

Fourthly, their focus aimed not at controlling results but at doing faithful activities. At GTP we map aims for a trip and then focus on pursuing those with faithful diligent work. We leave the results up to God.

Fifthly, and lastly, the result of their ministry was the strengthening of the churches. That’s what this trip has been all about for us at GTP. Planting seeds to someday see accredited churches in Francophone Africa.

I believe generosity sometimes is following the Spirit to the great unknown, to hard places, not to produce results but to plant seeds and to communicate truth with love and trust God to make it fruitful.

If you want to read our trip reports, reply here and I will send them to you.