When you travel throughout a country that is new to you, sometimes you find God’s gem’s in the midst of places you do not expect. You would think as a pastor of over 21 years I would know better, yet in my humanness, I forget to have great expectations from God each and every day. It is my prayer that God will help me in my failure of great expectations to learn to embrace each and every day with His great expectations no matter how I feel emotionally or perceive mentally. During the month of September, I continue to see the beauty of God’s Holiness all around our time in Kenya.
On September 6th, we had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Dr. Buconyori Free Methodist Boy’s High School. We waited an hour at the stage for the Matatu left. Upon arrival, we walked a mile to the school. What a blessing it was for us to spend time with these young men who are learning and the staff of the school. We had the opportunity to also meet Principle Vincent’s new baby and the opportunity hold a prayer of blessing for her.
From September 14 – 17 we traveled and spent time with the Central Rift District for the Trans African Conference, Free Methodist Church – Kenya. We stayed in the home of Pastor David and his wife and three of their adopted children along with Pastor Martin (Conference Superintendent). What a blessing and wonderful hosts they were. We would walk about two miles each day to the church where the seminars where being held. There was a good turn out of men and women. We had a great discussion on biblical marriage and family as well as leadership. There were many questions regarding cultural issues from traditional tribal cultures with scripture. We were very thankful for Pastor Martin Amani who helped guide the discussion when those questions would arrive. Our position is what does the bible teaches and how does it fit in your culture. We allowed them to discuss and come up with ways the biblical teachings fit their cultural context. On the 17th I had the opportunity to preach and we have about 20 people come forward to accept or renew their relationship with Jesus.
To finish the month our daughter Katelyn come to Kenya on her return to the US for a week. We greatly enjoyed our time with Katelyn. We stayed in the guest flat of the Church of the Nazarene compound. It was great to meet other missionaries and local staff in Kenya. We spent one morning on a Safari where we saw many animals including two lionesses with their cubs feeding on a kill from the night before. This is very unusual to see, so we spent some time taking pictures and enjoying nature. We continued on seeing many other wildlife sights. One day Sherry and Katie went shopping while Thom went to the local Java House. We spent another day at the Elephant orphanage as well as good quality time enjoying each others company. We were so blessed to have Katelyn with us for a week.
At the end of our time with Katelyn, we learned that my work permit was ready, we only had to procure a bond. We were told that to get the bond we needed a file number from Kenya Revenue (like the IRS in the US). We figured this would be an easy and quick task. Yet, that was not to be, it took all day to travel to various places to try and get information and what was needed. At the end of the day, I did not get my permit for I was told that we had to submit our documentation that was requested and then wait another 7 days to be contacted which meant another trip to Nairobi. Needless to say, this was not one of my finest hours.
While during these wonderful times, there were challenges, sometimes very frustrating ones, especially when you deal with the red tape of government. Sometimes one can lose sight of the beauty of God’s holiness in the midst of these times. I must confess I did at some points of difficulty. Yet, God in His gracious mercy provides us with the ability to reflect, confess, and embrace all the wonderful beauty He provided in all the circumstances of life during the month of September.
We continue to seek to learn, grow, and enjoy the beauty of God’s Holiness in Kenya.