“Positioned for Miracles – The Nairobi Riot Story”

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

“Each man stood at his position around the camp and watched as

all the Midianites rushed around in a panic, shouting as they ran to escape.”

Judges 7:21

When each of Gideon’s soldiers stood at his position, they watched GOD perform unbelievable miracles, right before their eyes! Over the years I have learned that the POSITION from which to see miracles is from simple faith and obedience. Even when you cannot see the slightest hint of a miracle…keep believing GOD’s Truth and keep doing what HE says.


As Pastors in Nairobi, Kenya, Ron and I had stood in position, together with our Kenyan brothers and sisters for seven years, believing GOD for big miracles. On December 1st, 2000, we watched those miracles explode! Their origin was totally unexpected, but the miraculous stories that followed have never ended…


The day before, a mosque had accidently caught fire in a Nairobi slum, but Christians were blamed. So, that Friday, armed with Molotov cocktails and truckloads of rocks, thousands of young Muslim men hit the streets seeking revenge. They burned a Catholic church to the ground, and then crossed the freeway toward ours. As the mob pushed onto our compound, Ron ran outside to make sure all our staff was safely in the building, but rounding the corner, he was attacked by a rioter with a 4 x 4 club. Lying on the pavement, Ron looked up to see the club poised to strike his head once again. All Ron could say was, “Oh Jesus…” and the guy immediately stopped, turned around, and fled...taking the mob with him…Absolute miracle! I wonder what that young man saw!


Meanwhile, GOD had already prepared another miracle…Our daughter, Amy, had been driving to the church when she was stopped by the same mob. They quickly surrounded her car, banging on it and yelling at her. Suddenly, a man dressed in a white robe stepped into the crowd and with authority began pushing the rioters away. He then helped Amy turn her car around and escape. This man appeared from nowhere and disappeared the same way…I wonder who THAT angel was!


God's amazing "hotline" miracle was on the way...Amy drove straight to our house and called me. When I answered, Amy could hear the rocks crashing through windows, and knew our lives were in danger. She immediately called our Mission leader in Nairobi, who called our Mission leaders in the states. Within minutes the entire building of employees at the Assemblies of God World Headquarters was praying for us, right in the middle of the attack!


Back at the church…When the first wave of rioters ran away, we had just enough time to get Ron off the pavement and into the church building where we hid under a stairway as the next wave poured onto the compound. This mob firebombed the church offices and set our vehicles on fire. Then they surrounded the church building, beating on the doors and trying to burn them down so they could enter…all the while shouting in Swahili, “Kill them…kill them!” Yet, those rioters NEVER set foot inside either building. In fact, they finally gave up and left! We later discovered that one of those church doors was not even locked…God’s absolute miracle of protection! I have always wondered how many angels those young men encountered that afternoon!


There were miracles everywhere

…With fire bombs exploding all around, four of our staff had jammed themselves into a water heater closet while others curled up under desks. Even though windows were shattered, and office equipment destroyed, everyone walked away without a single scratch!

…Our Hindu neighbors brought water for the 20 of us spared that afternoon, and one of them kindly drove Ron and I to the hospital.

…Kenya’s top surgeon operated on his pastor’s face, and with GOD’s healing miracle, Ron was able to rejoice with the church family on Sunday!


Miracle of the CrossThe Cross on top of the church remained unscathed by Friday’s storm of rocks! Like another cross on another Friday that withstood an even greater storm, our church's cross became a cross of grace. The riot actually gave opportunity to offer a miracle of grace that was heard around the nation: Before Ron was taken to the hospital on Friday, a Kenya News Team came to question him about what he planned to do to those rebels. On national television Ron proclaimed gracethat he would like to sit down with those young men and drink tea together, offering them the same forgiveness that JESUS had given all of us!


Miracles continued Saturday and Sunday

…Saturday, scores of people came to clean up the property, because that weekend had already been scheduled as the final fundraiser to pay off our new building! With tears of gratefulness, we worked together as a FAMILY, in preparation for MORE miracles!


…Sunday, an unprecedented number packed the auditorium as well as overflow tents. We sang and rejoiced for nearly three hours as people danced down the aisles, bringing their offerings to the God of miracles! That day the offering was three times more than any other offering in our history. Not only was that money enough to pay off the debt of our building and pay for the riot repairs, but enough to help rebuild the Catholic church! Besides that, a Muslim glass company supplied all the labor to replace every broken window…at no cost!


Miracles with our Muslim and Hindu friendsWhen Amy and I brought Ron home from the hospital, he was met at the gate by our Muslim landlord who hugged him with tears saying they had tried to stop their young men from rioting. Ron was later invited to be guest of honor at the local Mosque and afterward sat with Muslim leaders from all of Kenya who also apologized for the riot. However, they said that when the young protesters heard Ron's testimony of forgiveness on the night of December 1st, they stopped rioting and went home! For the next several hours, God gave Ron the most unique opportunity to dialogue with those Muslim leaders about real Life and Truth!


Months later, on two different occasions, Ron was invited to speak to hundreds of Hindus about relationship with God. Throughout Nairobi, GOD gave us favor with Asian people, and over the years we welcomed at least a hundred of them into our church family, many of whom were former Hindu, Muslim, or Sikh.


Miracles forever…the year following the riot, the church doubled in number, and we experienced God’s miracle power of UNITY like never before. TOGETHER in faith and obedience, this family of believers has stood in position year after year. And from that one church thousands and thousands of dollars flow to missions, marketplace leaders are continually trained, and fifteen other churches have been birthed in Kenya and around the world! Today, as all those churches continue to stand in position, God’s miracles will continue forever!


So, keep on standing in YOUR position of faith and obedience

You never know when GOD will surprise you with miracles…forever miracles!


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