Wow… what a week!
I have been wanting to write all week about everything Dan and I have been experiencing but practically there is no way I can share everything. And many more stories will come over the next few weeks so I will have to pick my favorites!
First off, I know you all want to know some major differences here compared to the states. Well let me tell you I have them!
1. Nairobi is a city. A BIG city. Its the size of Philadelphia with about 3.5 million people in it. Its very diverse with skyscrapers down town, slums scattered through out and housing developments around the outside and within. Not exactly what I was expecting.
2. I grew up in Washington D.C. and traffic here is far worse. There are no road sign, people drive on the left side, people are constantly walking out in front of cars and around them, everyone has the right of way and traffic light are scarce. When there is a traffic light it is optional….
3. Africa is NOT hot. It is july. It is winter. I wish I had brought a jacket. We are at about 6,000 ft above sea level here so when winter comes it gets pretty cool. And by cool I mean upper 40’s low 50’s in the mornings. No tan happening here.
4. Avocados are 50 cents
5. There is security everywhere. I walked through a metal detector to go into the grocery store.
6. Kenyan coffee is by far superior to anything coffee like in the states.
Where all these things are fun and interesting to talk about, it is not my purpose in this post. My purpose in writing is the title. Gods family around the world.
Dan and I have been so blessed by the other members of our team. Even though they are not from around the world, we met for the first time on the other side of the world and are all from different places in the states. I felt an immediate bond with our team members and we have enjoyed such sweet fellowship of the past week. I am sad that most of them will be leaving in 2 weeks while Dan and I still will have 5 weeks to go. However I am blessed to be enjoying the time that we have had and will have.
Today Dan and I had the privilege to attend Africa Inland Church in Runda. Runda is a slum just outside of the city. I was heartbroken to see large mansions and estates surrounding this little slum community. I couldn’t settle in my mind how people with such wealth could live above such need with out the need improving. We entered the slum with all the little tin roof houses and dirt roads. Laundry was strung between the little homes and stray cats were darting in and out of the alley ways. Dan and I and 3 of our team members were met by the pastor of the church who was so excited to see us. After he greeted us we were immediately surrounded by several children all shouting “muzungu” (which means white person) and running up to hold our hands. We went inside the church building which had no door to the front and had metal walls and a roof. The whole building was probably the size of Dan and my studio apartment. The bathroom was a hole in the ground outside in the back of the church (that I did have to use).
I say all these things to make what I am about to say come across as strongly as possible. Those men, women and children in that church were my brothers and sisters in Christ. Their love shown through so brightly that I completely forgot about my cultural comforts and selfishness. I was blessed by the worship service that lasted for over 2 hours (no including the sermon). I teared up several times as the choir danced and sang in swahili as I thought about how I was getting a taste of heaven in that tiny little church.
Dan was asked to preach to the congregation and he did a fantastic job. He talked about the great commission and the whole church told him how blessed they were by him bringing Gods word to them. Little did they know that Dan and I were just as blessed if not more by there love, hospitality and openness to us. After the service every one shook our hand and invited us to come back. They taught us how to dance to their worship songs and then took us home and fed us lunch! There was a bond between us that could only be explained by the Holy Spirit. We are one in Christ and it was such a beautiful thing to see and be a part of on the other side of the world.
There will be so much more to share and talk about over the next several weeks but for now I want to leave you with this word picture of our Saviors loving family around the world.
I know that everyone wants pictures! However I have been trying to upload some but it has been very difficult due to internet capability. We will try to get pictures up soon. For the time being face book has been the best avenue for pictures so that is where we have been putting them up.
Some prayer requests:
-I am still adjusting to life here in Africa. We are only with our team for another week and a half and then Dan and I are on our own for 5 weeks. Please pray that I will not be fearful and that I will be somewhat comfortable by the time our team leaves.
-Dan and I have not had alot of time to ourselves since we have arrived. This is not necessarily bad but I am definitely not used to it. Pray that we will continue to stay close and cherish our time together even though it is different then what we are used to.
-Pray that God will continue to teach us and show us where we best can serve him.
-Pray that we wont forget our purpose in being here is to share Jesus in what ever way we can.