A Kenyan evangelist who is entrusted with the gospel awakes each morning with more people who need him than he knows he can see. His first moments after crawling out of his bed, which is made of a thin mattress and a single blanket that might be infected with bed bugs, are focused on how he will feed his wife and children. Likely, their diet will be the same as yesterday: finely milled maize, which is boiled like grits to make a thick doughy substance called ugali. This may be supplemented with a sweet milky tea served hot. This unwholesome meal exacerbates his chronic diabetes. He will suffer headaches, high blood sugar, and fatigue throughout the day. Yet, he soldiers on because the gospel must go forth. A hundred miles down the road, another evangelist awakes to the constant needs of his flock. He knows that many of the folks in his church have nothing to eat. Mothers’ breast milk has dried up because of lack of food. The nursing babies won’t stop crying because their stomachs are empty. With this worry on his mind, he finds some way to venture out, hoping to find some work for the day that will give him a few schillings to buy a little food for the evening when he returns. He also seeks opportunities to share the gospel with one more person. In another location, the evangelist raises concerns about how the church will meet next month’s rent, living with the threat of being evicted before Sunday’s service. How will he come up with enough to keep the landlord satisfied? Another brother wakes up wondering how he will get school fees for his children, who will be sent home tomorrow for failure to pay. Another brother wakes up with the concern for hospital fees for his mother that must be paid before she can be released. These are the realities in the mission field. These are the conditions where the gospel must be preached and churches planted. This is where there is never enough, and one must say “no” more than he says “yes.” Yet, despite all these challenges, people are being baptized, and churches are being planted. The “heart” of CMI is not found in budgets, strategies, and administrative functions. Our heart is with those who love Jesus more than their own lives. Our hearts are with the widow, the orphan, the single mother, the poor preacher, the starving child, and the lost soul. This is why CMI, our board, donors, and partners in foreign lands do what we do. Would you join your heart with ours?
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