Have you ever gone on a God Hunt? A God Hunt begins when you teach yourself to look for God’s hand at work in the every day occurrences of your life. Here’s one of my personal God Hunt Sightings:
My pastor’s wife, Pam Klein, met me in Nairobi. Actually, she arrived late in the evening before I came dragging in at 6:30 the next morning!
Pam, her husband Jeff, and David and I have been meeting together regularly once a week for the last few months. But, I was unprepared for the energy this woman brought to our Global Bag Project!
Pam is a remarkable photographer. At home, in the States, we had just decided in a conference call with our Internet Marketing Group that we needed photos, photos, photos to flood the technology as part of our keyword-optimization strategy. Not only was Pam an excellent photographer, but she had a new camera and a fabulous eye.
After selling reusable kanga-cloth African bags for two years, we needed to develop new products, and Pam, with two daughters, an instinct for design, and a love of the retail approach of Anthropologie®, came sweeping into the sewing room on the campus of Africa International University with the idea of a wraparound, one-size-fits all skirt (with its own traveling bag, of course).
We had a couple hundred dollars to capitalize this idea and pay the women for their work, so we headed into the Somali market, bought yards and yards of mismatched African cloth, set them out on wooden chairs on the lawn of the guest house and took photos to show the sewers just what fabric would go with what fabric—combinations we though American consumers would like.
What had begun as a functional photo idea turned into a design photo-shoot as the two of us spent a morning being “silly crazy American ladies” (hanging bags on the wooden fence, using an ancient ladder as a prop for “animal-skin design” bags).
I wear down quickly if I have too many introduction conversations (Where are you from? Have you been to Africa before? How many children do you have? How long will you be here?) Pam, however, approached each person with delight, sincerity, and eagerness. This lifted a huge social load off me and allowed me to do what I do best—deepen relationships, identify people’s passions and competencies and find ways for them to use them, encourage idea-generation, and then act as a catalyst to give feet to other people’s concepts. I went to bed at night tired, but not depleted. Pam had carried most of the conversational load—and she was not weary from it. What a gift!
Pam’s amazing energy injected our journey with enthusiasm. I realized that Carla Boelkens, our Stateside GBP Director, and I have become worn-out from pushing this start-up micro-enterprise ball up the hill. And to have someone else join us with such a quantity of joy stimulated me and charged my own batteries.
At the end of our ten days in Kenya, the bag-makers had stitched together some prototype wraparound skirts, which we brought home to run informal surveys for the purpose of improving the product, discovering if American consumers would buy them (great enthusiasm so far), and what price point the market would bear.
Taking photos of Benta, an orphan and the youngest of the seamstresses, modeling the skirt, Pam jokingly asked for a little more attitude. “Like Tyra Banks,” Benta said, knowingly. Pam laughed, “Yes, exactly. Like Tyra Banks.”
When I prayed about this trip, I prayed that ten people would join us who have a heart for helping without hurting. The Lord answered my prayer. He gave me ten people in one woman—Pam Klein.
I spy God!
Award-winning author Karen Mains has long had an interest in spiritual formation and the obedient Christian walk. She has written about the God Hunt in her book by the same name, The God Hunt: The Delightful Chase and the Wonder of Being Found. A hardback copy can be ordered from Mainstay Ministries for $10.00 plus $4.95 shipping and handling. Contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be happy to autograph a copy for you.
Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags, Africa bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. They are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and congregations at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.