11 September, 2013

Seminar....Kenya Style

    So we've been here all of 1 week and 5 days and it feels like much, much longer but i am feeling a stir of excitement. God is answering a cry of my heart and i'm starting to see Kenya in a new light. My heart has been feeling sad and homesick and whenever i would leave the compound i would yearn to be able to go away without seeing dire poverty, random animals wandering through streets and shacks leaning up against each other, full of anything from beef to rubber sandals. But something is slowly shifting in my heart and some of that is due to our language teacher. Not only is he teaching us Luo, but he is also teaching us culture and because of that i am seeing things through a lense that's not purely american. A friend sent me a song about Jesus being among the poor and it has given me a whole new perspective. So instead of seeing the just the grime and all that goes with it, i think of Jesus walking among the people. Would His heart be judging those on the streets? Would He only be seeing the poverty? The hopelessness? The endless work? Or would His heart be full of compassion....tender....not caring if He gets covered in red dust, or touched by many hands. Oh, but it takes a work of God in a person's heart and i am so far from that. My american, mennonite nature shrinks from dirt and grossness. I want everything in order, including my neighbors and i can assure you that's not happening in Kisumu. So keep praying for this "wazunga" family, please? If we are to serve, we need an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, every single moment of the day. Ah, but so do the americans i think. So i will pray for you also.....

   And now to the real subject and some pictures. The CBF churches held an "offices seminar" yesterday and we of course went, since we are a part of it. My favorite was the singing. The acoustics of a tin church are amazing and the people sing with their whole hearts. I just closed my eyes and fought the tears. "Jesu, Jesu"....Jesus, Jesus.....we serve the same Jesus, how beautiful and amazing is that.
   There was a crippled man there who drug his body along with a cane, his feet and hands twisted and his clothes filthy with dirt. He ate lunch laying on the ground, painfully bringing each bite to his mouth and i just wanted to go over, touch his shoulder and say......what, i don't know but at least call him brother.  I didn't. I don't know if he knows english and i don't know if that is culturally acceptable. Over here the men and women don't mix, even as families. It's considered shameful for a man to walk with his wife and one of the goals of being here is to show them how beautiful it is to love each other openly. I don't have a hard time doing that, lol but neither do i want to be offensive and it might not be a good idea to have the Kenyan brothers and sisters view the assistant pastor swatting his wife's hands away. :)
  So here are some pictures of our day. Not the best because they were taken with a phone but it will give you an idea of the culture.

Little Levi enjoying his morning chai and mandazi (unsweetened donut) before the first topic. 

So here's the kitchen at the church with the cooks hard at work. She's preparing "meat" which is beef.  Along with the beef and chicken, we had ugali (cornmeal and water cooked til thick paste), potatoes with a bit of tomatoes, cooked shredded cabbage and sukuma wiki. (like collard greens) the food was good, although bland compared to American diets. 

The friendly chai maker.....cooking over an open fire 

Yup, that chicken's for lunch. 

This little gal and Levi slept side by side for their afternoon nap. 

    Those cooks were the sweetest friendliest women. They asked me which church i'm from and when i told them i have no idea what the name is, their mouths dropped open and they just roared with laughter. I think i've finally conquered and can say the name legibly, but it seemed to put a connection between us that this american white lady didn't even know where she's from. What can i say......i'm a "Mazunga" (white person) from the states and names like "Nyagonda" take a while to stick. Oh, i just can't wait until i'm able to connect with the women and make friends beyond just smiling. My head wonders if it's possible to develop a real connection with a world of culture between us but my heart says that with Jesus, absolutely!!

  And with that, i say "Oriti." (goodbye)

1 comment:

  1. praising God for the stirrings in your heart. praising Him that He gently cares and leads the heart that lifts its face to his. praising Him that He can care for you...so far away...thanks so much for sharing(I love how 'you' come so clearly thru your writing:)Blessings exceeding abundantly above what you can ask or think....


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