“The biggest takeaway (from my trip to Kitale, Kenya) is that authentic love is a language,” said Ed Meadors.
Meadors has traveled to Kenya a total of four times. Every other year, Meadors goes to Africa to teach at the Africa Theological Seminary. He provides a course on the book of Revelation. The number of individuals ranges from 10 – 14 students. Teaching a class not included in the normal curriculum, Meadors dives into the interpretation and application of this insightful book.
The spiritual and historical context of Kenya provides an excellent opportunity to study Revelation. Meadors observed that South America, Asia and Africa tend to be more aware of the spiritual world than Europe and North America. Kenya has a worldview marked by a belief in the supernatural.
“I view the book of Revelation as a perfect match for their spiritual context in Africa,” Meadors said. He found that it was not difficult to persuade his students that Satan, God, angels and demons exist.
When visiting Kenya, Meadors was reminded that colonists oppressed and exploited Africans, taking individuals as slaves to the United States, England and the Caribbean. He recognized the challenges of his work in Kenya.
“God has substantiated his sufficiency for me in that context as a white, English-speaking American is a tall order,” Meadors said. “There are a lot of barriers that have to be overcome culturally for that to succeed.”
At first, this intimidated him. Yet the Holy Spirit continued to equip and enable Meadors to teach with the Africa Theological Seminary.
Meadors said the best way to approach short-term trips is to see it as a long-term commitment. He is excited about the possibility of Taylor establishing another connection in Africa.
Talks of a partnership with a Christian university in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are taking place. Meadors has high hopes for a mutual and collaborative relationship with the university in Congo.
The plan is that Taylor students will be able to establish long-term relationships in Congo. Likewise, Meadors plans to continue going to Kenya as often as he can to continue building cross-cultural partnerships.
Whether through emails, messages or phone calls, Meadors remains in communication with several contacts in Kenya. His most recent update came from a woman running an orphanage and school in Kitale. Consistency is foundational when establishing trust in sharing the Gospel.
The Book of Revelation was written by John to seven churches in seven cities. Each church suffered persecution in a different way. The body of Christ around the world can identify with the situation described by John because those experiencing persecution are often discouraged and lack hope.
“The book of Revelation is potentially very salvific,” Meadors said. “It has the potential to be a theological healing agent and it gives hope. It directs their eyes to the future in an awareness that in God’s time He’s going to vindicate them.”
Meadors has a deep love for the people of Kenya. The link between Christ-followers around the world comes from a shared expression of God’s love. Regardless of language, culture and race, Christians come together by bearing witness to the truth of the resurrection.
“People will give you grace,” Meadors said. “They’ll forgive your social blunders if they recognize in your eyes, and in your heart, and in your language and in your presence with them the authenticity of your love.”