Wed, August 5th 2009
Sat Aug 1st.
We went to a 10:30 wedding with Judy Mbugua and our friend Lori Fox. We went to I think it was the University of Nairobi Presbyterian Church. Then to Nairobi High School for the reception. There were about 500 people at the wedding and reception. It was a high class wedding that lasted until 5:30pm. Mariella danced with the other women as they welcomed the bride and groom to the reception. Mariella also had fun standing behind the tents and throwing chunks of chicken and bone in the air while huge hawks swooped down from the air to catch the food in mid-air.
Sun 2nd. We met up with our friends from Ecclesia Church (Hollywood) at the Homecare Center Guest House (where we will stay for the next couple weeks) then went to the Ngong Pentecostal Church of Nairobi for a Sunday service. We returned to the Guest House after church ate lunch and began to prepare for the 75 or so children who are attending the week-long vacation bible school camp.
Mon 3rd. Jon Cruz from the Global Action Missions organization invited Mariella and I to go visit two Masai tribes. Mariella decided to stay because she had a role in the skit for the first day of the kids camp hosted at the Homecare Center Guest House. I decided to go. We drove for about 1.5 hours and met with a groups consisting of mostly Masai women. The setting was very rural. It was a quintessential African landscape. We saw baboons, Giraffes and 5 foot high termite mounds on the way out to the tribe. They women sung songs and shared about their love for Jesus and discussed how he changed their lives and community. Land where there was once nothing now stood a small brick building used for church. They had water when they once had to walk miles to get. The tribe had a building with a foundation and walls/roof of tin for teaching purposes. Some women from Ecclesia are working with the women to sell their jewelry. A micro-business venture called “Raven and Lilly”. The business is helping the women make jewelry to sell in the U.S. The hope is to create an avenue for the tribe to make a living. I saw Grace and Jarusha whom Mariella bonded with a few years ago and learned some Masai songs. Grace invited Mariella to come live with her to learn the language and for Mariella to teach her English. I bought some jewelry which helps them buy food. Grace gave me a beaded gift to give to Mariella. They live in extreme poverty as nomadic herders, but are filled with joy despite such hardships. Some of the ladies have learned English and can now read God’s word in the English language. We visited the Mud hut that Jarusha and her family live in. It was a tiny hut made of sticks and sealed with mud. We had to duck down while entering and standing in the pitch black house. I will remember the visual image of Jarusha’s granddaughter playing with Lori and letting 3 flies land in her mouth and in the two corners of each of her eyes and not even brush them away. I will also remember the gratitude to Jesus that one of the Masai women reflected as she shared what Jesus had done in her heart and through the Pan African Christian Woman’s Association. There was a young Masai girl who will not go through a female circumcision because she knows that God loves her just as she is. The practice is slowly fading out so women will not have to go through the pain of (F.G.M.-Female Genital Mutilation).
The kids camp has gone well. We have about 75 children attending. As that is all that will fit on the bus. They are bused from the Kibera Slum to the out skirts of Nairobi where the guest house is. It is a large Guest House with about 7 Acres of land. The kids have been learning about the Lords Prayer, Matthew 6:9-13. The children have been reminded that they have a Father who loves them despite the reality their fathers being dead or absent. They have learned that it is God who provides their daily bread (bread for the soul). I hypothesize that the children understand the depth of this truth much more than those of us that live in the daily comforts that America provides. They learned that God has forgiven our trespasses as he also asks us to forgive those who do wrong to us. Today the kids learned about temptation and asking God for strength to turn away from temptations that may bring temporary happiness, but lead to emptiness and destruction. They understand that it is through Christ death and resurrection that we receive forgiveness of sin and are given a life of life and joy even though death surrounds them.
What a radical concept! That we must die to ourselves in order to let Christ live in us. Die to ourselves to let Christ live in us. Such FREEDOM!
Tomorrow is the last day with the kiddos. We will start with passing out their name tag lanyards then play games. After this we will worship Jesus through song then have tea time. After tea there will be more playing of games and a skit about the Lord’s Prayer. We will have lunch, which is made by the women who have taken many orphans under their care. We will close by praying individually with each of the children before saying a difficult goodbye. The children have shown up each day to a rural peaceful setting to receive food and loving attention. They go back to the chaotic slum of Kibera with full stomachs and good memories of Muzungu’s (white people) loving them as if Emmanuel (God with us) was with them.
After the kids leave on Friday we will go to Kibera to visit some of the ministries helping people. Saturday we will also go to Kibera to help at some feeding programs. On Monday we will start working with teenagers from Ghetto Light, a teen program in Kibera. Please pray for our team member, Will who contracted Malaria and is feel very sick. Please also pray that Mariella will not get bit by mosquitoes as she is a bug magnet.