Friday, July 9, 2010

Guys, We are on a Safari!!

   From July 7th until July 12th our team will be spending our time in the city of Nakuru. The 4th largest city in Kenya, Nakuru is one of the major municipal centers of the Rift Valley. On Wednesday morning we left our home-base in Kabete, privelaged to be joined by Captain Tracy Hughes, our newly-appointed Territorial Missions Officer from back home in the Eastern Territory. Captain Tracy arrived during the late evening of the 4th and will be staying in Kenya until sometime on the 10th. With our enthusiastic leader in the fold, we embarked on the nearly two hours journey northwest past beautiful scenery and exotic African wildlife. Our team was greatly amazed when we spotted a herd of zebras grazing right next to the road, about 15 feet away from our transport van. This exciting experience was our first encounter with zebras since being in the country, and we were grateful for how our driver Martin kindly gave in to our pleas and slowed the van in order to allow for optimal photographing performance. As we continued on towards Nakuru we stopped at a scenic viewpoint overlooking the Great Rift Valley. The Valley provided incredible views of the mountains, vegetation, and even huts of the Maasi people far below. After pausing for photos we were immediately drawn into the gift shop, an experience that required us Americans to flex our negotiation power. The shop featured several interesting items fashioned by the Maasi people. Specific items included, wood and stone animal carvings, african drums, prints, jewelry, etc. From the moment we entered the room, we were each bombarded by individual workers who tried their best to convice us that we needed to spend huge amounts of money on just about anything and everything. The man that I dealt with presented me with a stone lion with an initial price of 6500 shillings (over 80 dollars), yet being individuals of wise repute, our team was able to gradually chip away at the prices and eventually agree upon a more "student friendly" transaction. The highlight of this encounter was when a man tried his best to convince me that 1500 shillings was only about 5 U.S. dollars when in reality it is closer to 20!

Upon reaching Nakuru we were greeted at DHQ by a host of officers and local soldiers. They presented each of our team members with necklaces as a sign of welcome. After enjoying lunch we were formally introduced and ushered into the chapel to facilitate a Bible Study. I was humbled to have the opportunity to present the study on Holiness, a topic that is fundamental to the early foundation of the Salvation Army. The study included great dialogue and discussion and I know that I myself was deeply challenged by the topic.

Day 2 included home visitation and evangelism in the village of Elburgon, about 45 minutes from downtown Nakuru. It was at this corps that our team was divided into 2 seperate brigades, one that would be praying within households and another that would be visiting 2 nearby corps, including one (Molo) that had been recently destroyed due to violent post-election rioting. Walking through the village of Elburgon, we learned from the local Envoy about the extreme problems created by alcoholism. Many individuals within the village make their own local brew of alcohol that is illegal due to high toxicity that often results in blindness or even death to unsuspecting consumers. After the visitations we took part in an Open Air Crusade in the market district of the village. Captain Kimeu spoke about how we as humans are given the free will to make decisions and that we are not expected to just go about life with complacency. He challenged those in attendence to make a concerted decision for Christ and overcome all of the obstacles that stood in the way of authentic freedom.

Day 3 began with a Holiness Meeting at the N'Gondu Corps. We were privelaged to take part in worship on a Friday morning with a crowd of about 50 energetic Salvationists. They shared Swahili songs and Gospel Dances with us while Rachel delivered her testimony, Sam preached, and our entire team took part in a ChoreoDrama. We have been greatly encouraged by the fact that the team as a whole has really stepped up to the plate and has shouldered the load of responsibilities. It is great to see how far we have come since our first official holiness in Thika just a few weeks ago. Everyone has adopted a greater sense of boldness and confidence, realizing that God truly does equip the called.

After lunch we were privelaged to yet again experience a Kenyan Open Air Crusade. Marching to the sound of the Army drum and brass instruments is an experience that makes me proud to be a Salvationist. William Booth sure knew what he was doing when he brought the church to the people.

I know that God will continue to bless the remaining days here in the Nakuru district, however I just wanted to provide brief insight into how this week has blessed our team. Continue to keep our team in your prayers as we look press on in our remaining 2 and a half weeks. Also remember to keep Captain Tracy Hughes in your prayers as she adjusts to her new change of appointment at Territorial Headquarters. She has blessed our team during her brief stint here and we know that she will continue to be a vital source of encouragement for us all!

Kwa-Heri ya kuonana
(Goodbye until we meet again!)


1 comment:

  1. May God continue to bless each one of you and your ministry. I am missing you guys; hurry "home".