“Follow me, and I will make you Fishers of people” Matthew 4:19
My husband has always been a good fisherman. As long as I have known Keith, he has loved to fish. He is actually quite a good fisherman. My idea of fishing is to sit on the boat and watch Keith fish. I am not actually involved in the fishing. The fish, while they are fun to catch, wriggle and cause chaos for me. It hurts me a little to hook their mouth and send them back. (Of course, I am happy to eat them. The dirty work is just not for me.) I will say both Keith and I miss the evenings out on Old Hickory together. It usually looked something like this: me laying on the front of the “John boat,” (a little aluminum boat) taking in the view and relaxing as Keith fished. There is something soothing about the rhythmic casting and reeling. Keith recently went fishing again. It had been a long time since he had the opportunity. However, he went fishing “Kenya style,” the old- fashioned way with a net.
The children’s home that we help oversee, Miracle Power, has a tilapia pond on site. Some of the fish had reached maturity and were in need of harvesting. Without the usual tools like a fishing pole and lure, Keith resorted to using nets. After descending down the bank, he cast the net into the water. With the net, he was able to catch 17 fish! These 17 fish were worth about $45.00 USD. He caught 17 as the children’s home consumes this number of fish per week. Going forward, the children’s home will begin saving $180.00 USD by fishing in the pond each week. The initial investment about 8 moths ago was about $10.00 USD. This bought the baby fish and provided a little extra food not naturally found in the pond. Now, there is a plethora of fish in the pond and any harvesting completed in the future will be a without cost to the home. Additionally, Miracle Power will be able to sell the remaining mature fish and utilize the monies for home expenses. A small investment made into the fishpond is now having an exponential effect on cost savings. Moreover, by using the fish from the pond the children’s home is continuing to make strides on becoming a self-sustainable campus.
The neatest thing about the fishpond is not necessarily the monetary savings. While this is very exciting for us, there is a much bigger investment happening. Keith not only harvested the first fish from the pond that morning, but also began the process to teach the other young farm hands to repeat the process. Similar to the small investment we made to place the fish in the pond, Keith makes a small investment in the lives of the young men, widows, and orphans each time he visits Miracle Power. This investment is also reaping exponential benefits. It is truly incredible to see Keith invest in the young men who help with the farm and in turn to see the maturity and respect shown Keith.
Like the fishermen that Jesus called from the shore, He called us to be a part of the work He is doing in Kenya. All Jesus asked in the first part of the verse was to “Follow Me.” He has taken care of the rest. He is daily making us into “Fishers of people.” When we came to Kenya almost two years ago, we had no idea what the future would hold for us. We certainly did not think that one day we would be responsible for a children’s home or its sustainability. Throughout these past two years, one thing has been constant. Keith truly has been a “Fisher of People.” He has encouraged men through his faithfulness to attend Men’s Bible Study at 7:00 am every Tuesday morning. He has poured into countless pastors and their families imparting truth and wisdom. He leads teams throughout the year, ensuring each team member has a place. He has taught Kenyan youth what it means to be a Christ Follower and a Godly leader. He fishes in a pond and comes up with a rash each time because it is for the betterment of orphans and widows. He works tirelessly (in the hot equatorial sun) to ensure that things are cared for in every project he touches. He engages people of other religions through friendship and conversation. His heart and drive for the people of Kenya inspires me daily. He has demonstrated what it means to be a disciple, a man of integrity, and a man of God. He lives out what it means to lay down your life and follow Jesus. I am so thankful that I am able to serve under his leadership, and together we can Follow Jesus and be made into Fishers of people.