Expecting to be Rejected

The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; Psalm 118:22

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. Isaiah 53:7

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. John 15:18-20

Over the past two weeks, it has stuck me that Jesus came to the world knowing He would be rejected. He knew He was the “cornerstone”. Yet He also knew the world was going to hate Him, oppress Him, afflict Him, persecute Him, and slaughter Him. Still He came. He still LOVES us.

God allowed us to slaughter Him without a word. God allows us to hate Him even today.

Jeremy and I have been warned that the Digo people aren’t the friendliest. They will be your friend one day and turn their back to you the next day. We are going expecting to be rejected. It is very hard to walk into a situation knowing this will happen. As Americans, this goes against our nature. We don’t play unless we know we will win. We don’t try unless we will succeed. We don’t ask unless we know there will be a positive response. We shy away from rejection. Being very shy myself, it brings me to tears thinking about being rejected. I don’t want to be rejected.

Yet this is where God is leading. I have been rejected in the past two years even in the past two months. WHY? Because God says “I have chosen you out of the world.” My walk with the Lord doesn’t seem to get easier over the years. It is getting more difficult. Many times I have wanted to quit and go back to my “easier” life. What compels me? The love God has for me. The desire to obey the One who loves me completely when the world hates me and rejects me.

I want to encourage you to consider starting a conversation not knowing the response, go and knock on a door not knowing if it will be slammed in your face, or try to befriend someone you consider different. TRY. Unless you try, you won’t know what God has in-store for you. Yes, you will be rejected at some doors in life but keep trying. God has placed desires, passions and even hardships in your life that He wants to use for HIS glory. Are you willing to follow and obey even if rejection comes?

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” John 2:19

Christ was crucified. Easter morning came. Death defeated. He is ALIVE today!!!

Fun Fact Friday: Kwale county poverty

Kwale county looks like a true paradise: palm-fringed tropical beaches overlooking the deep blue Indian Ocean. The area is located on the coast south of Kenya’s second largest city Mombasa and stretches all the way to the border with Tanzania. The seaside village Diani is the main beach destination in the country. However, looking beyond the beaches, the poverty in Kwale’s interior cannot be missed. Almost three quarters of its 650,000 inhabitants live below the poverty line of less than one US dollar a day. This makes Kwale one of Kenya’s poorest counties.

The Latest

We have just finished putting together a newsletter where we reflect on life and the lessons learned while living amongst the Bushman.  We also introduce the DIGO and the challenges and game plan as we move forward.  Enjoy and feel free to share it.  March 2017 Newsletter

Below is a photo from DIGOland a few days ago of our teammates putting up a screen on a soccer goal to show the Jesus film in a village.

Asked how it went our team leader responded.  “The night went well. We had about three dozen people join us. The local pastor gave his testimony at the end and right as we finished cleaning up it started to rain.”    Praise God for the added rain as Eastern Kenya is in a drought may it bring forth growth from the seeds planted both physical and spiritual.

Sharing Opportunities

As time moves closer for us departing back to Africa we have a few upcoming opportunities to share the lessons we have learned amongst the SAN and also introduce the DIGO people.  If your in the TN/NC area the next few weeks and can attend we would love to see you.

Sunday March 26th

10 a.m. Service  Walnut Grove Presbyterian Church (55 Lipps Lane Newland, NC)

6 p.m.  Service  Dixie Lee Baptist Church (Lenior City, TN near Knoxville)

Sunday April 2nd

10 a.m. Service  Northpointe Community Church  (Johnson City, TN)

Evening Service or small group-  Currently open if you would like for us to come.

Sunday April 9th 

Currently open and we will be in the Statesboro, GA area

We are also available to talk to mission or small groups during the week.

Our Schedule looking forward:

Contact us at jchazel@aimint.org if you would like to connect before we leave for 2 years.

In the Tri-Cities, TN area until April 4th.

In the Statesboro, GA area from April 9th to the 12th

In the Atlanta, GA area from April 14th to 17th.

April 17th @ 10p.m. We fly to Africa.


One of Nine Towns

As we take a turn in life, our focus remains the same. Reaching the unreached people groups of Africa. The San are just one of these groups and the Digo are another. There are 1000 unreached people groups in Africa today. What we do seems so small but we serve a BIG God.

Here is some of what we are learning about the Digo people:

The Digo are a Bantu tribe originally from farther north. They are grouped together with eight other tribes to make up the Mijikenda, or “nine towns.” The nine tribes were driven south because of war.

The Digo experienced a time of great famine during the 19th and early 20th century. There was a practice called kore or “blood money” which a person would give themselves or their children as temporary collateral for a loan of food. If the debt could not be paid back, then the person would remain a slave. The slaves were taken to Mombasa and later could become free by converting to Islam.

Three sources of income for the Digo have been trade with Muslim Arabs, farming and fishing. This has resulted in a higher standard of living and Islam becoming more widely accepted then in the other eight tribes. Most of the Digo people over forty years of age have no real understanding of the Koran. Only a few of them have studied Islam in any depth, and most of them have only a superficial knowledge of its principles and doctrines. Islam though has altered both religious and political structures. The Digo have adopted new attire and diet. The Digo women have no religious significance for wearing the black veil but wear it to show respect for their husbands. This identification with the Muslim religion is referred to as “folk Islam.” Traditional practices of animism and ancestor worship still influence the Digo people. Animism is the belief that non-human objects have spirits and ancestor worship is praying to deceased ancestors for help and guidance. They still use blood sacrifices for exorcism of evil spirits and consult with witchdoctors regularly.

Kenya is predominantly a Christian country. Yet, the Digo have never been successfully reached with the Gospel. Their religious practices are deeply rooted in spiritism and folk Islam. This makes reaching them a very difficult task. They do have the entire New Testament in Chidigo, the language of the Digo people, but they need a literacy program to put it to use. The Jesus film is also in Chidigo.

Pray that the Digo will become dissatisfied with their religious practices; that the Digo hearts to be soften to the Truth; that the Kenyan church is empowered by God to reach out to the Digo people; and that God would raise up pastors among the Digo people to lead the people in the Word of God in their own language.

Information from https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/11557/KE