Greg King

Five Stones

Gallons of Waste

I’ve officially been back from Africa for one week and I am continually struck by the stark difference between the world I live in and the world I just left. In the book of James the author gives a challenge to those who are rich. I have to be honest that I never associated myself as the one being addressed in this passage. Let me be honest my 401K is nothing to brag about and in the States I would never be considered one of the rich. However God shook up my world to show me that in the world’s eyes and in His eyes I am rich.

I thought about this the other night, as I once again left the water running while I was brushing my teeth. The fact that having clean water is not an issue for our family is one of the key evidences that I am rich.  The most important physical need in the lives of most people in Africa is clean water. Here are some things that you may not know about the issues of water in Africa:

Water-related diseases is the single largest killer of infants in developing countries.

1.8 million children die each year from diarrhea, which is 4,900 per day

The average American uses 150 gallons of water each day to cook, clean and drink. The average African person struggles to find 5 gallons of water each day.

Only 61% of Kenya’s population has access to an improved drinking water source

On average, women in rural Africa spend 26% of their time each day collecting water, often walking more than five miles each way to the nearest water source, which prevents many of them from working or attending school and puts them at greater risk for sexual harassment and assault

When you would talk to people you realized that the thought of getting water was always on their mind. Notice that I said water and not clean water. The water that most people labored to retrieve reminded me of what the tea looks like from Chick-Fil-A. How could you possibly be motivated to think or do anything else without water? The distance and risk that ladies go to secure dirty water is baffling. In one village the doctors told the mothers with HIV that it would be safer for them to breast feed their babies than to risk giving their babies water. Just let that thought sink in for a moment. A doctor tells you that you have a choice to let your baby die of AIDS or die due to diseases from unclean water and yet the water flows in our house almost without a thought. Below I have included a few pictures of the path that the ladies traveled 3-4 times each day to collect drty water. I struggled making the trek down this path as tears kept coming to the surface with the thought of my wife having to carry 30-40 lb jug of water up and down this path.

So God’s Spirit is heavy upon me and I am praying that He would use my income and leverage my gifts make a difference. All I know is that I cannot be the same person anymore. Below is a set of pictures of the path the ladies had to travel to get water. The second picture is me halfway down the path looking back up.

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October 7, 2008 Posted by | Africa, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Out of Africa

How does one describe things that they have seen when words lack the proper impact to adequately paint the proper picture? That is what I am struggling with as I try to put into words all that I saw and experienced in Africa. Over the next several weeks I will do my best to process with you what I experienced and how my life can never be the same. I hope to share with you the ups and downs as well as the moments that shook me to the core of my soul.

I also wanted to say a huge thank-you for everyone who prayed and helped my family as my little girl was in the hospital for part of the time that I was away. A special thank-you for those core friends that went the extra mile to make my family their family. I love you and am so glad that our families are doing life together. So once the jet lag begins to lift and my head clears I will start putting into inadequate words my expereinces in Africa.

September 30, 2008 Posted by | Africa | Leave a comment

The Ultimate Lion Chase

As I’ve been chasing the lion in my Christian life I never dreamed that God would have me Chase the Lion to Africa. For the past year God has been working on my heart about what my response should be to the crisis taking place in Africa. While our family currently supports a child in Africa (Ghana) through Compassion and actively supports the Mocha Club I felt the Lord wanted me to actually go to Africa. I truly believe that each church will be responsible for what they did or did not do in Africa. Through this past year I feel that God wants to use my gifts to rally our church and others around a community in the Kenya area. I will be leaving Thursday with Ralph (great friend and co-worker) for ten days to visit villages in the Kenya area. We will be traveling with a group from the organization The 410 Bridge. It will be a whirl wind trip. I pray that God would show us a community that He would have our church establish a partnership with. I cannot believe the amount of people who have already expressed a strong interest to go from my church. I am thankful that our mission committee has been behind this scouting trip from Day #1.

During our trip, Ralph and I will be visiting 7 different communities in the Kenya area. As you can tell it is going to be quite a ride. We just learned that several of these communities will be having Compassion International Support. How exciting to think that one of our Carmel members can sponsor a child through Compassion International and then visit them with the possibility of our partnership. Here are the villages that we will be visiting:
➢    Joska ( 1 hour drive  southeast of Nairobi)
➢    Ngaamba (3 hour drive south of Nairobi)
➢    Karogoto ( 2 hours North of Nairobi)
➢    Kwambekenya (3 hours drive north of Nairobi)
➢    Segera Mission (4 hours North of Nairobi)
➢    Karima ( 2.5 hours North of Nairobi)
➢    Havilla Children’s Home ( 1 hour drive Northwest of Nairobi)

I’ll make sure to post some stories and pictures once I get back in Country. Keep us and our families in your prayers.

September 16, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Teachers Cowboy Up

So what are your thoughts about teachers packing heat? Check out this article about what the Governor has approved in Texas. Now I lived in the heart of Texas for two years and knew that at any given time at our church that at least 50 percent of the men were carrying a concealed weapon. So while I recognize that carrying a sidearm in Texas is also a cultural thing, I still think this is a little over the top for me. Don’t get me wrong I love to shoot and I believe that citizens should have the right to bear arms but I’m not sure it should be at a school. So let me get this straight a teacher isn’t allowed to spank a child but were okay if they carry a Glock 19 on their hip? The culture in which our students have to live is so different from the one in which we were raised.

August 25, 2008 Posted by | Life, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Loving Father

Today was one of those days as a Speaker in which you just have to completely trust God to speak through you. The audio feed in our venue service failed and I was told that I had to deliver the message. Talk about getting your heart pumping. Fortunately I had about 10 minutes to look at my Pastor’s notes and then take the notes from a sermon I heard Reggie Joiner deliver on the prodigal. The one thing that separates churches from one another is what we called the Loving Father Approach.

The Loving Father mentality is preoccupied with who is missing. The older brother mentality is preoccupied with himself.

Loving Father’s throw parties. Older brothers throw fits.

Loving father’s operate from a context of forgiveness. Older brothers operate from a context of shame.

Loving Father’s confront older brother thinking. Older brother’s criticize Loving Father thinking.

Loving Father’s leave the lights on, no matter how long it takes. Older brothers shut the door and shut the lights off.

I cannot begin to describe how heavy God’s Spirit was in the room today. It was obvious to all that God had a message that He wanted us to hear. Thank-you Father for showing yourself strong in my life today.

The image posted is the picture that hangs in my office to remind me to have a Loving Father’s Mentality and Lifestyle. May we be known for our Love for Him and for others.

if God spoke to you today in a meaningful way, I would love for you to leave a comment about your experience.

August 24, 2008 Posted by | Preaching, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Flood

As I am preparing to preach this Sunday on the Holy Spirit, I can’t help but think about how most people are in desperate need of a downpour of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Hosea 6:3 Says “He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” We are a people that have become dry to the things of God and the intimacy He offers us on a daily basis. This dryness is never intended but through our normal average daily grind we become so comfortable that we do not feel a need to stay close to our Father. In fact if we are not careful we can become so accustomed to our lives that we can look back and see no significant spiritual growth in our lives. In fact for some the depth of their spiritual growth has been stagnant for years. My prayer is that as I preach tomorrow that God would soak us with His presence. Father, I am calling for a flood.

July 26, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Leaving the Real World

Three houses, two pits, and two foundations later we have returned from Harmons, Jamaica. Coming back home from Jamaica is not as easy as it may sound. The transition happens so quick that it is difficult for one to process. To go from complete poverty to gross abundance within a three hour span is overwhelming. As I try to get a handle on all that I have learned the thought that continues to rise to top is that the world I live in, in South Charlotte is not the real world. I am so thankful for the people of Harmons and what they have taught me and our group about how to love God by serving the poor. I truely believe that I received more than I could have ever of given. Time to start the difficult transition back and figure out how to make sure that I do not buy into the myth that where I live is the real world.

July 22, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Meals On Wheels

Again, as Josh promised us, today was better than the previous day.  We are all becoming so attached to Harmons.  Today we had the same work sites and everyone worked very hard.  The work became a little more difficult as a turrential downpour of rain came and blew the roof off a few of the houses we were working on.  All in all, the rain was MUCH needed here and ironically we brought rain with us last year as well.  Harmons has not had more than a spurt of 15 min of rain, for more than a month until today.  It’s amazing to be so thankful for something, that we often take forgranted when we have a focet with running water whenever we want. Tonight was also a special night as our students had the opportunity to eat dinner in a Jamaican’s home (Meals on Wheels.) I can’t wait for you to talk with your student about their impressions about being in a Jamaican’s home. Our students love this community and love being in community with the people of Harmons. Tomorrow we will finish off the three houses and present them to their new owners.

 

July 19, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

We Owe the Poor

Today, the students worked a half day in Harmons with one of the following projects: in a marl haul, digging a septic tank pit, throwing cement on a side of house, teaching in the school or helping ladies shop in the store. The other half of the day our students went to the Maypin Infirmary. Imagine the worst nursing home in the States and then multiple the conditions by at least a 100. If Jesus were literally walking in Jamaica I truly believe we would have seen Him today. Our students were taken outside of their comfort zone. You cannot truly put into words what your teenager witnessed today. Here is just one picture to try and catch so many healing moments. Our day was captured in the following qoute: “Our life of poverty is as necessary as the work itself. Only in heaven will we see how much we owe to the poor for helping us love God better because of them.” – Mother Theresa

We have one more full day of work tomorrow and then our students will go to a Jamaican home to have dinner tomorrow night.

 

July 18, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Day Three – oh yeah!

Today was great!  Josh has promised that each day would be better than the previous and he was right.  We all had great expereinces today, house sites, building foundations, hauling marl, and working in a school.  One of the many blessings this year is watching the relationships develop between our students and the Jamaicans. The best part was watchig our students from last year walk right in and pick up cinversations from last summer. To say that this is the hardest work your student has ever done would be a gross understatement. I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of your kids. We are having a hard time with the internet connection so posting apicture tonight didn’t work. We will try tom. night. Please pray for us as we work a half day and then go to the infirmary.

July 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment