Fox goes to Africa with evangelical team


(Editor's note: School of Communications faculty member J. Mark Fox spent 10 days on a mission trip to Africa in August. Here he shares a brief account of his travels.)

There were four of us on this amazing 10-day journey, including podiatrist Todd Cline
(he works for the U.S. Center for World Missions in Raleigh), Shannon Newlin and my 17-year-old son, Micah.

This was my third trip to Kenya, and I have developed some wonderful relationships with pastors and churches there. Our church in Elon currently supports two of them. We send books, supplies for children, sewing material and cash donations.

We arrived in Nairobi, Kenya, Aug. 9 and hit the ground running. We drove to Machakos, about 45 minutes outside Nairobi, and provided a two-day seminar for a church there. I spoke about family and marriage, Shannon spoke about God's heart for all the nations, and Todd provided a clinic. He actually provided medical care for a lot more than just foot problems, and the people were very thankful. There is no such thing as "free health care" in Kenya.

On Sunday, we visited the Kiberra Slum in Nairobi, where a million people live in conditions that are unfit for pigs. I dedicated a church there that our church supports, and spent the afternoon in the slum, meeting many of the people, seeing the ocean of needs.

Monday and Tuesday found us in different places. I led a two-day pastor's conference that was attended by nearly 100 pastors from Kenya, Uganda and the Sudan. Shannon and Micah helped with a feeding program and a school at a nearby church (600 kids are fed three meals a day and provided with rudimentary schooling; many of them are orphans), and Todd Cline provided a two-day foot clinic in another part of the city.

Wednesday through Friday we visited Masai Mara, a huge game reserve on the border of Kenya and Tanzania. We saw lions, elephants, cheetah, giraffes, hippos and many more animals. This is migration time, and there were literally millions of wildebeest and zebra making their way up from the Serengeti in Tanzania. It was an awesome experience to see that part of God's creation.

Saturday we took part in an outdoor crusade in Nairobi, and Sunday we spoke at another church before boarding a plane that afternoon.

The Kenyans are some of the most loving, generous people you will ever meet. The ones I know live in abject poverty but are so full of joy and hope because they are rich in things eternal. They are a delight to know, and I am always humbled by their simple faith and patient endurance. It is estimated that some 10 million people could die due to the drought in Africa right now.

We will sponsor a benefit concert with Nashville artist Mark Schultz Oct. 10 at Brookwood Baptist Church in the hope of providing some famine relief for the people of southern Africa. We will be sending another team to Nairobi in the next 12 to 18 months.

There is no way to tell what this type of experience has done for me and for the others who have gone. It has made me a "world Christian" who sees my life and strength and resources are to be used by God to make a difference not just in Alamance County but to the uttermost parts of the world.

There's much more to tell and lots of stories. I'd be happy to share more details with anyone interested in hearing more.




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Last Modified:  9/23/02
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