Sunday, February 16, 2014

Humility and Leadership

 Posted by Kendell

Mercy, this training stuff is tough.  This week Joni and I ran 27 miles, hang on, that’s a marathon now if only they would allow me to run the London marathon over 7 days.  This morning’s run was crazy, it was 15 miles, that’s right Kendell covered 15 miles.   The run was incredibly tough, at the end of the run the temperature was 40 degrees Celsius or 104 degrees Fahrenheit (can you say sweat).  But I tell you all this to let you know that we continue to work towards our goal of running the London Marathon on April 13th, less than two months away (okay that is scary). 
The reason I am running the marathon is to raise money to support the projects that Samaritan’s Purse is undertaking here in Liberia.  So over the next few posts I want to highlight some of our projects.  But before I do that let me tell you that it is a privilege to work for Samaritan’s Purse (SP) an organization that is concerned not only for the person physical state but more importantly the person spiritual state.  This is why I have served in Liberia for the past 9 years. 
Let me tell you about our literacy project.  About 70% of the adults in rural Liberia cannot read or write at a first grade level and so some years back SP began a literacy project to change this statistic. This project is one of the coolest projects we do.  Seeing elderly women and men write their name for the first time with pride and restored dignity is inspirational.

The first thirty minutes of each class for both men and women is used to teach the Bible to the participants.  The major story this quarter is about the Love of God as it is being taught from the Four Essential Components of Salvation.  The message of the Love of God, demonstrated by sending His only Son to die for sinners, is the center of discussion for the participants.  One lady said, “if God loves me so much and can forgive me, I should also be willing to forgive others who wrong me.”  One older male participant confessed that he will change his hateful attitude toward his children because he has to express the love that God has for him to his own children.  Another participant (a Muslim lady) said that she has never heard that someone loved her so much to the point of dying in her place.
Hinnah Mgobeh is a 59 years old male participant of the Literacy class at Ngalahun 1&2.  Mr. Mgobeh, a Muslim from as far as he can remember, said that he thinks SP has something special.  According to him, he has never ever allowed anyone to tell him a word about Christianity but he is very surprised to see himself taking part in the Bible presentation during the classes.  He concluded by saying that he is not only a part of the Bible teaching time because he should but he is beginning to want to know more about the Bible.
Please pray for our Literacy project and donate to my effort to run the marathon ensure projects such as the literacy project continue.

Leadership thought………
Today before the 15 mile run I felt great (I looked great too by the way) but I must say the run seriously humbled me, I died at the end and I actually had to walk for 4 minutes in order to finish the run.  So I thought I should talk about humility and leadership.  Jesus taught that leadership requires humility and then He got down and washed his disciples feet and the birth of “servant leadership” happened.  As a leader you must be willing to humble yourself.  The quicker that a leader realizes that it is not about the leader the quicker the leader will begin to lead.  The reality is that as Christian leaders we understand that if it was not for the grace of God in our lives and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit we would not be able to do anything.  Recently I was teaching on Unity with my staff and it came to my mind and then confirmed in the Bible that unless humility is practiced unity is not possible.  I remember once I was enjoying a stretch of success as a leader and I was receiving compliments from some very important people and I really was struggling as to how I should handle these compliments.  So I phoned the wisest man I know, my dad, his counsel was so wise and was a lesson in humility I will never forget.  My dad said “accept the complement and as soon as you can deflect the praise to your staff and then to God, give the glory to whom it belongs, God”.  Great advice.  Leaders are humble.
“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.”
Abraham Lincoln

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