The Wind Blows
Wherever It Pleases
Shortwave signals are not the only things bouncing around the earth
going in directions and for distances that are hard to predict.
Thirty years ago, to prepare to serve as a university’s missionaries
in residence, we returned from Nigeria to the U.S. by way of Kenya.
There at Brackenhurst Conference Center, missionaries from many African
nations met for a retreat. What better way to catch up on the trials and
triumphs of fellow African missionaries before representing them in an
Before the retreat, Kenneth Bolden, who at that time was serving the
Jaluo of Kenya, took my family to see the game park just outside
Nairobi. I remember the trip well for two reasons. We saw some awesome
animals, and at some point, I neglected to buckle my seatbelt. I
seriously regretted this when Ken hit a bumpy patch with a little speed.
I was tossed up, down and sideways from the passenger seat while the
rest of my family was behind me roaring with laughter. No missionary was
harmed while producing this comedy – only one missionary’s pride.
Nine years ago when I became Africa Senior Producer for World
Christian Broadcasting, Ken was one of the first to welcome me to
broadcasting and to offer me help. He worked for a sister broadcasting
ministry, World Radio. Ken said if I ever needed programs or follow up
in the Luo language, he’d be glad to help.
Recently we received a note on our website from the pastor of a small
church in Kenya. He responded to our offer on air of a free Bible
We thank God so much for the Bible training classes program
you have on African Pathways Radio ministry. We are kindly writing
to inform you that we love and would like to receive materials from
your ministries so that we learn more from the word of God. Our
church is small but doing well in the Lord Jesus Christ. Also pray
God to bless our church with the Bibles to read and study. We are
kindly requesting for the Bibles in Luo language so that our church
family can read and understand better. Thanks and God bless!!
I contacted John Reese, President of World Bible School, to arrange
free lessons for this man and any interested members of his
congregation. Then I sent an email to Ken hoping that he could help us
find Luo Bibles, but since we hadn’t communicated for nine years, I
didn’t know where he was or what he was doing.
The Rest of the Story
Yesterday morning I received a telephone call from my cousin who
lives in Chicago. The congregation he attends is helping a Liberian
family which recently immigrated to the U.S. The family had to leave
three children behind, one of whom is suffering from a prolonged
illness. Since the Ebola crisis is over, many medical workers have left
Liberia, and there is less access to good healthcare. The child needs a
proper diagnosis and proper treatment. My cousin asked me to help the
That same morning, I received the email reply from Ken Bolden. He is
happy to help the Luo pastor. But the title of the email was the
shocker! “Ken in Liberia.” He arrived there to start a new work January
13. The man I lost touch with is now in the West African country of the
child needing help, and they are only a few miles apart!
I can’t direct our program’s shortwave signal to a church leader in a
small village in Kenya. I can’t make him go to our website and request
lessons and Bibles. I certainly had nothing to do with a Liberian
family’s migration to Chicago or the timing of Ken Bolden’s new work
back in their home country. All I know is that somehow all this is
working out for good. (Romans 8:28)
The programs of African Pathways Radio are being heard in Africa,
Asia, Europe, the United States and Canada. The signal is not limited to
our target areas. Likewise, the people involved in follow up may have an
effect in places and in ways we never imagined. Jesus described this to
Nicodemus just a few verses before the more familiar John 3:16. “The
wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound but you cannot tell
where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of
the Spirit.” (John 3:8)