So, my last post was about our final days in Uganda, but written in the air after we left Kenya. This post is being written in India, but will cover some or all of our time in Kenya. Just depends on how much writing I can get done in the time I have.
We love Kenya. We were in Kenya for Christmas last year. It’s an amazing place. The weather is heavenly. Here’s our new saying: Niger is a call; Kenya is a temptation.
A big draw is family. Sarah & Scott (Sarah is Neal’s sister) live there with our 2 nieces, Grace and Claire. Luke was there at Christmas, but like Tobi, he started University this Fall so is in the US.
We love when we can combine our ministry trips with family visits and we also try to see local sites since we’re already there. I’m all about multi-tasking!
So this time, we had a full week of ministry, but we’re able to stay at Scott and Sarah’s house and come and go as needed. They also let us have first dibs on their regular taxi/Uber man, Nicolas.
We arrived Friday night so we got to watch Claire play in a basketball tournament on Saturday. Grace was in swimming competition but we didn’t end up getting to see her swim. That was a free day.
We also all went out to have burgers. Shocker – but I got no pictures of our food!
Sunday was a pretty full day – 2 services at a PEFA Gikomba Church. The fam joined us for first service, then Neal and I stayed on for the 2nd service. The first service was English, the 2nd, Swahili. No – Neal does not speak Swahili… =). We’re used to using interpreters.
This is a happening church and they were starting their VBS the next day. They asked if I would speak to their VBS/children’s workers after lunch. Of course I said yes. Always ready to teach about children’s ministry!
We were then taken back to Scott and Sarah’s house by our trusty and faithful Uber/taxi man, Nicolas.
Monday was a free day and though the girls had to go to school, both Scott & Sarah took off work to hang with us. Pretty sweet, right? They took us to Nairobi Game Park. Pretty incredible, really. A real game park right on the outskirts of Nairobi. So while looking at the giraffe, you can see the city skyline.
The train also runs right through the game park. As do the ostriches.
A few more pics from our ‘game drive’. It’s pretty cool. Scott was quite serious about arriving when the park opened, which meant departing from the house at 5:30 – am. We were ready and left on time. It’s only a 30 minute drive, but we arrived a few minutes late (after opening). The cause our our tardiness may or may not have been due to a wrong turn – for which blame will not be laid…..
After our 4 hour drive, we had a nice lunch together in a forest restaurant. Didn’t get any pics of that either, other than Sarah and I when were leaving. I’m really slipping up on the food pics!
Saturday afternoon we had a pretty cool experience. Trae, our son, called Scott and Sarah a few months back to let him know that one of his close friend’s Dad was the new American Ambassador to Kenya and they should reach out. Sarah ended up at a bday party that His Excellency and wife were at so she introduced herself as Trae Childs’ aunt. They exchanged numbers. Since we were coming, Sarah reached out again to see if we could meet. They were incredibly gracious and accepted her invitation to come to their home. We know they’re normal people, but we were still a bit nervous. Do we have a meal? Snacks? Coffee? Tea? Coke? Do we sit inside or outside? What do we call them? What do we talk about?
Ambassador Kyle and Victoria McCarter were wonderfully down to earth and friendly. Even though they come with a couple vehicles of protection, it just seemed normal. We later found out that the protection had driven to the house the night before to make sure all was safe.
They are solid believers and aren’t afraid to show it. It was downright awesome to have been able to spend a couple of hours hanging out together. Inside, with tea and coffee, veggies, samoussas, chips, bean hummus, talked about Jesus and politics and family – in case you were wondering. They ate very little – as I’m sure they ‘have’ to eat wherever we go. Before they left we got to pray together. Did I say awesome?
If you think of it, pray for them…
Tuesday through Friday were a blur. But a good blur. We were back at PEFA Gikomba Church each day. PEFA is a denomination that has it’s roots in Elim Fellowship – Lima, New York. Elim is where Neal’s parent’s went to Bible School before heading to Nigeria in 1977. The thing that was really cool about this particular church is that Oral Roberts dedicated it back in 1967, Archbishop Benson Idahosa has preached there, as well as TL Osborn. There’s a lot of history and many connections to people that impacted our lives. So it was quite an honor to be asked to spend a week ministering in many areas of the church.
The church has what they call ‘lunch hour’ every Tuesday – Friday from about 1-2. The church is located in the middle of a market so many of those attending are working nearby and come for mid-day encouragement. Neal and I shared those teaching times, alternating days.
The church also has evening services – normally on Tuesday and Friday. But they added Wednesday and Thursday this week for our visit. Pastor Alfred asked that our evening messages have a missions emphasis. Well, yes, we will be happy to do that!
VBS was going on all week as well, so we were able to visit the classes, and I was asked to speak to the youth (teens) for a couple of hours.
Because Nairobi traffic is so ridiculous, it didn’t make sense for us to leave between the 2 meetings each day. They fed us really great meals, and on a couple of the days we went out on the town – in a manner of speaking.
As I said, the church is in the middle of a market. The church was there first, the market built up around it. We thoroughly enjoyed walking around the area and visiting church members who lived and worked there. We prayed for an elderly lady who had been in bed for 3 weeks and she got out of bed to see us out. Also prayed for a new baby. And the produce was incredible. The papaya is bigger than my head!
This is one of the pastor’s homes – on the 7th floor. And yes, we walked up.
On one of the afternoons, Bishop Alfred also took us to visit Bishop Samuel in his church – PEFA South B. While there, he invited Neal to preach in his services that coming Sunday. We excitedly agreed, even though our flight to India from Nairobi was that evening.
In our ‘down time’, we had several opportunities to encourage individuals and pray. We’re so grateful for our new friends, Bishop Alfred and Mary and believe this really was a match made in heaven. Their church is impressive and the way they pastor their people even more impressive. Thankful to be asked to come back. Always better then to be asked to leave! =)
Saturday we had the day off. Sarah and I went with the girls for a pedicure. Failed to get a picture of that too….then Neal met us for lunch. Since we had the vehicle, he walked to Java House. Here he is….took this picture from Java.
We did a bit of shopping, and then we had to pack because we knew Sunday would be a full day. Also got a quick game in with the fam before bed.
Here are our digs at the Lout mansion. I spent as much time outside in that front yard as I could. As I said, the weather is heavenly.
Sunday dawned early and our trusty Nicolas was right on time to take us to PEFA South B. Again there were 2 services. The first, English and the 2nd, Swahili. You might take note that we’re some of the few dressed ‘African’.
This is another happening church in Nairobi and they just have fun. But we had to be on our way- our flight was calling. Bishop Samuel however, would have none of it though, until we had our lunch. So eat lunch we did. And it was a great final meal in Kenya. But alas, no photo. =(. I was in too much of a rush to get moving. Nicolas, our personal taximan was not only there on time, he decided to come to the 2nd service. He usually attends a catholic church. He was able to get us home before 4, so we could finish packing and shower to leave at 5:30 for our overnight flight to India. Scott was also traveling to the US around the same time, so we all hoofed it to the airport together. No – we didn’t hoof it. Nicolas brought us.
It’s so awesome to be on a ministry trip and stay with family. Every morning Sarah made me one of her protein smoothies and had it waiting for me in the fridge. Every evening when we came home, she had food ready for us – even when it was late. Love and appreciate you so much fam! Let’s do this again! =)
We had an amazing time in Kenya working together with incredible men and women of God and teaching hungry believers. Pretty sure this is only the beginning and we’re trusting God that He will grow the seeds that were planted in good soil, and a harvest will be produced. After all, that is what it’s all about!
Off to India we go – which as I said is where I’m writing this post from. It’s taken me several days to complete it, but I’m ready to click ‘publish’. We’ve already had a full week of ministry here, with a couple more to go. Not sure where I’lll write that post from….
So honored that God has called us to #reachunreachednations !