Skip to main content

Attemp Great Things for God, Expect Great Things from God

Greetings! As I post this, I am on my way to Tel Aviv, Israel. There is the adage that success isn't how far you’ve gotten, but the distance you have traveled from where you started. It is perhaps a good measure for us at SWIM as we commemorate five years of global ministry.

Nineteen years ago as a teenager and recent high school graduate, I started off from my village in Western Kenya. I felt a need to respond to the strong call on my life to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ to the nations. It is a great joy of mine to see that God has fulfilled this desire and allowed me to do exactly that.

When I started, I did not have money, formal training, or connections. But I loved God passionately and cared about people, especially where they would spend eternity. I knew I had a gift of an evangelist and pastor. I felt a sense that the call was global. The daunting question was how to get started. After a season of fasting and prayer, I followed the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

One night I boarded a bus headed to Nairobi some two hundred and twenty miles away from my village. I was almost thrown off the bus by the conductor a few miles into the journey for lack of sufficient bus fare. Somehow God’s hand intervened and I was able to get to my destination.

For the next six years, Nairobi became my home. Here God continued to work on my heart and use me to draw others to the Kingdom in small ways. Through interactions with the international community at my work place, He began to enlarge my perspective.

I remember reading a couple books that made a profound impression on my life and would eventually come to characterize my engagement with life. One was a book by Elizabeth Elliot, Through the Gets of Splendor in which she recounted the life story of Jim Elliot. Jim was a missionary to Ecuador who along with four others, was killed while attempting to evangelize the Waodani people through efforts known as operation Auca.

Two specific statements she attributed to Jim stood out to me: “He is no fool who gives up what He can’t keep to gain what He can’t lose.” My heart resonated with the fact that only in God do we have what is worth living for and dying for. The rat race may gain us a few exciting things in this world. But they are temporal and often anti-climactic once we attain them. What we gain in Christ is eternal and perpetual, never losing its luster. I thus determined that regardless of the cost, when push came to shove I will always align my choices with what is eternal.

The other phrase was “Attempt great things for God, expect great things from God.” Without constant challenge, life has a way of turning into a rat and rot. Pretty soon one who is motivated and eager becomes average as he bumps against the rough and the tumble of life. I wanted to avoid being an average Christian. I wanted to attempt great things for God or at least to do little things in a great way that glorified God. In the same way, I had great expectation in God.

Thus, while waiting in Nairobi, I seized every opportunity, small though they were, to exalt the Name of my Great God. I joined Nairobi Pentecostal Church on Valley Road where I worshipped weekly. I expected God to guide me and to bring me where He wanted me in the grant Kingdom scheme of things. Someone has well said that faith is an act of rational choice, which determines us to act as if certain things were true, and in the confident expectation that they will prove to be true.

The second book I read was a biography of missionary William Carey. While recounting his sense of calling to global enterprise, Carey had felt a challenge from the Holy Spirit: “God is calling you to a glorious future. He is calling you to take His gospel of Salvation throughout the whole world. My friend, you need this wider vision.” As I read these words, I too felt the Holy Spirit tug me on my shoulder. I felt my blood rush through my veins. I wanted to invest my life in what really mattered in the final scheme of things.

What could be more glorious than to usher people into the presence of Jesus Christ, helping them know the joy of relationship with the King of Kings? What could be more glorious and glamorous than to usher people onto the bus of Salvation?

Of course there are many glorious things in the world. Cate Middleton might describe her experience of being engaged and soon marrying Prince William, the future heir to the English throne as a glorious experience. We might all view it as a glorious experience. But when you glimpse the King of Kings, His majesty, power, glory, splendor, authority; when you grasp His perfect love, abundant mercy, and majestic splendor that shakes the earth and causes the heavens to tremble, everything else pales and disappears.


  1. May God continue to bless you and your ministry Sammy. I've been blessed to minister beside you a bit as you've helped people onto God's "bus". Enjoy Israel-- wish I could go there, but one day I will. "Next year in Jerusalem!"

  2. Martin SimiyuJanuary 31, 2011

    Sammy I thank God for you. You have indeed been a great blesing to me and many thoundands around the globe. I look at what God is doing through your life and I get the inspiration that even for me, out of my unknown and "obscure" here in Western Kenya God can raise me and make my life count for the glory of His name. May the presence of God be your portion together with Suzanne!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

OPEN FOR SPIRITUAL BUSINESS- Could COVID-19 open a window for Spiritual Awakening?

None of us wished for it. But COVID-19 delivers to our doorstep what is, perhaps, the greatest evangelistic opportunity of our lifetime. It is an unusual opportunity in the Twin Cities, North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and around the world. A scared world is open for spiritual business. The masks are off. People are open to hear that there is hope through Jesus Christ. For the church, the times we are in may have changed, due to COVID-19. But the mission we are on has not changed . The need to share the hope Jesus provides is now more urgent than ever.  Our nation is now the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. Severe cases and deaths are mounting from coast to coast. Doctors, general medical workers and other essential service providers continue to do all they can to stave off the pandemic. 3 million Americans have lost their jobs. Children across the nation and worldwide are out of schools. Our economy and other global economies remain on shaky ground. All professional s

A Medical Doctor With a Passion for God, a Love for People, and an Enduring Faith

Our Mission in Kenya Continued well. He is humble, he is joyful, and he works hard to make a difference among a Kenyan rural town's community.  That is Dr. Nathan Matasi, a gynecologist serving in Kitale town, Western Kenya.  There are hardly any hospitals in this part of the world.  The one government operated hospital in Kitale town serves a population of over one million people from the town and the surrounding rural farm communities.  Sammy and Gary share a moment with Dr. Matasi next to a corn field in Kitale on Tuesday morning before heading out for the prayer service in Nairobi, some 400 miles away.  Here you will find patients sleeping on the floor in overcrowded hallways, pregnant mothers sharing beds, and daily lines forming at the out-patient unit.  There are hardly modern equipment available for the few qualified doctors and nurses to use for diagnostics or treatment.  Majority of the patients can hardly afford to pay for quality medical attention. Yet it is

No Room in the Inn...21st Century Version

It is the Christmas season 2009.  Like Joseph and Mary 2000 years ago, a young couple are on the virge of the birth of their first baby boy.  Although they are doing everything to prepare for the big day, it still catches them by surprise.  Instead of the regular 40 weeks, the baby is arriving six weeks early. Because they are not expecting it this early, their bags are not packed nor is the nursery fully furnished.  Safe for an early morning warning in a dream to the father to prepare to be in a delivery room and with assurance (from the Lord) that it would be o.k, the day started off as any other day. At 6:00 AM, the couple prays together for about 40 minutes in their home in Victoria.  They take showers.  At about 7:30 AM, the husband goes to work briefly from his home office while the wife prepares something for their breakfast together. Within a couple hours they will have a routine prenatal doctor's appointment.  Later in the evening the wife's sister and her two beau