Visiting the Pyramids

This morning we went to see the Egyptian pyramids, which are more than impressive. In all, there are 80 pyramids in Egypt. The three largest make up the Giza Pyramid Complex in Cairo. Some are so old, that they would have been built before Abraham lived, and he probably would have seen them. The Great Pyramid is the tomb of King Khufu, and it was built 4,560 years ago. It is 455 feet high and the length of each side of the base measures 756 feet.

Sherif and Marian, Mark and Rosie, Mary and I were privileged to visit the three most famous of these impressively engineered structures. So many ancient people had to focus all their time and energy on survival, but the Egyptians had the Nile River nearby, so they had ready sources of food and water. Thus, they had time and energy to devote to inventions and expanding their knowledge. Until today, however, no one can fully explain how they built these amazing structures.

Safe Arrival in Cairo, Egypt

We arrived safely in Cairo, Egypt today where we were greeted by Mark and Rosie (on the right of Mary) and later by Sherif and Marian (on the left)—all dear friends to us. Both of the men are graduates from PRTS whom God is blessing and using for His glory. After a few hours of catch-up sleep from the red-eye flight from Kenya, the six of us went down the Nile in a boat—one of the most historic and longest rivers in the world. It is the first time in our lives that we were on it. When on the Nile, one cannot but think of how this river was once turned into blood, or about Moses being drawn from this river as a baby! The banks of the Nile in Cairo contain a surprising number of significant buildings packed full with history—side-by-side with a McDonald’s. In America, something that is 100 years old is considered old; in Europe, 300-500 years is considered old; in Egypt, old means 1000 years or more!

Heading to Egypt

We thoroughly enjoyed our time with these lovely folks: L to R, Shawn Paulk (Schel’s son), myself and Mary, Margaret and Isaac Kuria (hosting pastor and his wife), Schel Paulk (from Georgia, loves Kenya, involved in the conference for many years), Conrad Mbewe (from Zambia, spoke 6 powerful messages on 1 Cor. 1:17-25 – Preaching Faithfully the Word of God).

Right after this, we were driven 3.5 hours back to Nairobi, slept a few hours, then took a 4:20 a.m. flight to Cairo, Egypt. Please pray for God’s blessing to follow the conference and for strength for the coming itinerary in Egypt.

Busy Day of Ministry in Nakuru, Kenya

Today was a very encouraging, busy day of ministry here in Nakuru, Kenya. Once again, Conrad Mbewe and I both gave two messages each to a Church Leaders conference and did a Q&A together. His messages were on 1 Corinthians 1:19-21 and mine were on “Bunyan Preaching to the Heart” and “The Importance of Heartfelt Prayer for Leaders” if they want to reach the hearts of their people.

Between my two addresses, Pastor Isaac drove Mary and me to Kabaruk University (a Christian university of 8000 attending students) where I delivered a special chapel message on “Endurance in Times of Sorrow and Affliction” (Heb. 12:1-3) to 3000 university students and professors (2000 in the university’s auditorium—see picture; and another 1000 under tents outside of the auditorium) who were grieving the loss of Daniel Moi who passed away yesterday at the age of 95. Mr. Moi served as Kenya’s second president for 24 years, and was the founder and chancellor of Kabaruk University. He was one of the best known, longest-serving leaders on the African continent. The mourning among the people was nearly tangible, making it a solemn and wonderful opportunity to proclaim God’s Word on this very special occasion; the nation is mourning and flags are at half-mast everywhere. At the last moment, just before speaking, I felt strongly compelled to change my text to include the first two verses of Hebrews 12 as well as verse 3, and felt wonderfully helped in delivering this message without notes.

I can truly confess that God was in the midst of us, and many felt helped by His Word. He is so good. I feel humbled and honored that kind Providence arranged this unforgettable speaking occasion for me when so many felt very needy. This was surely the highlight of our trip to Africa so far. Pray with us that God will continue to use this message for much good.

Church Leader’s Conference in Nakuru, Kenya

Today our good friend, Dr. Conrad Mbewe from Zambia, and I spoke two messages each and did a Q&A together, for a Church Leader’s Conference of about 225 attendees in Nakuru, Kenya, Africa. Conrad spoke on 1 Cor. 1:18 and I spoke on the preaching of Calvin and the Puritans. I have to give five more messages tomorrow and Thursday; please pray for divine unction and the benediction of the Spirit.

More Adventures on Safari

Just when we thought we had seen everything special except a lion, we came upon several vehicles stopped by some heavy brush. It was a lioness and her young one!! They seemed to be awaking from a nap, and we saw them for a few seconds as they disappeared into the undergrowth. Conrad took this great photo. The rest of the trip was exciting: witnessing a baboon fight, straddling a small python driving down the road, and having another flat tire!

A Tense Moment on Safari

(Written by Mary) On the safari yesterday, we were tooling along in an open valley. It was getting warmer. George seemed to be having trouble getting the Land Rover to go more than 5 mph. Then it slowed to a stop. It was running but wouldn’t go forward. There were some water buffalo and impala about 40 yards to the right, so George said, “It’s clear and open, I’ll check it out.” He got out, walked five feet, turned around, and got right back into the driver’s seat. “There’s a black rhino coming out of the woods. They are rare, and they are dangerous.” It was tense (or exciting, depending on your perspective) for about ten minutes as the rhino meandered towards us, checking us out, looking away, coming within 50 yards of us, and finally lumbering away. George and Schel got out and started working on the fuel line, blowing and sucking through the fuel pump, and listening for bubbles in the tank. The water buffalo were curious and came a bit closer. I was ready to holler if they charged. Finally, the guys dislodged some debris in the tank that was blocking the fuel from flowing, started it up, pushed the accelerator, and it roared to life. We were on our way again!!

Registration is Now Open for the Inaugural Puritan Conference

Registration for the inaugural Puritan Conference is now open!

June 3–5
Grace Community Church
Los Angeles, California

Sign up today at puritanconference.org; the first 100 people to register will receive a special discounted rate of $199.
 
Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to join me, John MacArthur, Ligon Duncan, Sinclair Ferguson, Steven Lawson, and many of our fellow scholars as we explore the rich legacy of our Puritan heritage.

—Joel Beeke

Stampede!

On our safari trip today in Nakuru, Kenya, we came upon a group of zebras on the road, so we stopped and our driver George turned the engine off. We sighted a family of giraffes off to the right. Suddenly the zebras spooked and ran off behind us. Then the giraffes took off running—almost floating it seemed. We heard a low rumbling. Suddenly, dozens of impala came racing by. And then a number of monkeys, and they didn’t seem to know which way to run. The rumble grew louder, as about a hundred water buffalo came thundering by. Most were off to our right but a bunch crossed the road in front of us. A few paused to gaze at us. George said, “I don’t like this. This stampede can be bad.” Nonetheless, it was truly exhilarating!

Within five minutes, all the excitement subsided. As we sighed and moved on, we looked for what might have caused the stampede, but found nothing. We were truly amazed to see these hundreds of powerful creatures that God has created running at full speed right past us! You don’t want to miss this short video! Watch and then praise our amazing Creator!

On Safari in Kenya

Since the Leaders’ Conference does not start until tomorrow here in Nakuru, Kenya, we (Conrad Mbewe, the Paulks, the pastor’s wife Margaret, and our 1990 Toyota Land Rover driver George, and the Queen and I) went on a safari today—and did it ever prove to be exhilarating!

Lake Nakuru National Park is a shallow alkaline lake in the Great Rift Valley. It is known for being home to thousands of flamingos, which we saw from a distance. We saw many other animals and scores of stunningly beautiful birds as well. The most common were warthogs, zebras, impalas, water buffalos, and giraffes. We were able to get close to nearly all of them. One of the highlights was a white rhino that came dangerously close to the car right in front of us. But the most exciting part I will save for the next post a few hours from now!