Monday, August 17th 2009
Yesterday (Sunday) we woke up and went to two gatherings. First we had breakfast, which consisted of bread with butter and honey and tea to drink. Kenyan tea tastes very good because they add a spice called Masala and milk. Abel and Milcah sent there 3 year old Preston ahead to church with one of the teens. They took the city matatu (old school VW sized vans) down to the Women’s Homecare Center where we would meet them a short time later. Mariella and I went with Abel and Milcah and their twin girls (Faith and Hope) to church in a taxi. It is clear that it is challenging to go anywhere with three young children on the public transportation system. Abel and Milcah do not own a car as most people living in Kibera do not. The buses are so crowded that a stroller might not fit and the buses start driving off just as you step on the bus. Abel and Milcah manage the best they can.
The first gathering we went to was a youth church service held at the Women’s Homecare Center just outside Kibera. The service was lead by Abel and Milcah. We met underneath a small white tent in the corner of the one acre lot. The kids lead worship through singing and then a teen read John chapter 7 and questions were asked about what was read. Most of the small kids and teens walked a couple miles on their own to get to the service. After the youth service two adults lead the small group discussions with the teens in one group and small children in another. Mariella, Abel, Preston and I left during the small group discussion time and road on a matatu to a large church service at Nairobi Pentecostal Church (Valley Road). On the way home from church we noticed that the Ghetto Light Youth Hall is used as a church on Sunday mornings. Many other groups also rent the hall out.
I had an interesting experience yesterday. Abel invited me to go watch a Primer Football League Match (Soccer). The watched the Manchester United vs. Birmingham game. We walked about a mile out of the slum and down the main road that leads in and out of Kibera. We reached a building made of wood and tin siding. There was stadium like seating made out of wood facing two medium sized televisions. The place was packed out with Kenyans watching the football match. I found myself in a room packed with 500 or so Kenyan men watching the game. It was interesting feeling to walk in a building and be the loan light skinned person. I definitely stood out. The atmosphere reminded me of a group of people watching and American football game at a bar. Although there were only men and nobody was drinking alcohol. I wish I could have taken some pictures of the setting, but it would have been an inappropriate thing to do. One of the kids who was at church in the morning was standing outside of the tin building listening to the game. Abel was nice enough to pay for Brian to enter the building and watch the game with us. Brian said that Manchester United is his favorite team.