Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mbita, Kenya

My trip to Western Kenya has been going extremely well. We have meet so far with seven different congregations and have had many studies.
The church building at Uradi

At Uradi. We had a very good meeting here. Before we started they insisted that we have some "breakfast" (tea with bead). We then gathered together and studied the word of God. The subject was " the foundation of the church.

After our study

The next day we went to two congregations near each other. First we went to Ulwan, where we met with the brethren (and they gave us breakfast). We then went to Kabura church where we had an out door meeting.

At the Uranga church building

On some days we have meet with several congregations. On other days we have spent the whole day in one place studying. Yesterday we meet with the brethren near Kisii and after we had studied all day two women made it known that they needed to be baptized. The whole congregations walked down the hill from the church building and they were baptized there.
The church at Kisii. The man in the front (in the light green shirt) is Mark Masese who had been studying with Paul Nichols over the internet. He was baptised in August and went home to convert the brethren he was worship with. This was the first time we we able to be with them. We studied for 1 and a half days had had a wonderful time with the.

One of the two sisters who were baptised

This is Mark Masese's wife being baptised.

This is a very young church and everyone was filled with great joy as they watched these two sisters added to the church.

Today we traveled to Lake Victoria and I am writing this sitting on the lake shore. We had a very good study this afternoon and tomorrow we are planning on two with different congregations.
With my co-workers, George and Vincent on Lake Victoria

The congregation on Msinga Island

These are the brethren that meet at Mbita, on the shores of Lake Victoria. They meet in a rented building that is used as a school through the week

Inside the building at Mbita

Kenya - From the Camunya Hotel

I am writing this from the Camunya hotel in Ugunja, Kenya. I traveled here over the last couple of days to assist brother George Odhiambo in his work here in Western Kenya. We plan to meet with and study with numerous people over the next 2 weeks or so.

Kenya and Tanzania are both part of the East African Union (a grouping of 5 nations that is modeled on the European Union). However the unity has not yet come, so the border crossing as I moved north into Kenya was still bothersome and slow.They are moving to improve things, but like other places in Africa, this process can cause absolute confusion. They have knocked down the border post on the Tanzanian side and without any signage it was very difficult to find the temporary building. I also had to get a temporary import permit for the truck, which was not difficult, but slow.

I made it through ok though and made it into the capital city of Nairobi just before peak traffic. The pre-jam was bad enough and I know how bad it can get. I stayed overnight in the Mennonite Guest House. One of many such guest houses that are over here to accommodate missionaries. I met a pentecostal group from Pensilvania who were over for a conference. There was also a large Canadian group staying too.

I left early in the morning and made it our of the city without any problems. I didn't have to go through the city center again, so the traffic wasn't too bad. The rainy season is in Kenya so I had rain most of the way. While it was a long trip and there were a lot of bad road, road works and "deviations" to overcome. With all that I still made it to Ugunja before dark.

The hotel I normally stay in is fully booked so Bro. George booked me into this hotel. Not quite as nice, but comfortable enough for me. I am sitting in the dinning "tent" writing this awaiting the arrival of George so we can plan this visit more.

Teaching, teachers and babies

I have just returned from Morogoro where I delivered 2 babies! But more about that latter.

Just outside of the town of Morogoro there is a teacher's college. I was taken there in August and was introduced to a group of Christians who are studying there. I was really taken by these young people, they gather together and they are trying to do the right thing by God. They have not had a lot of teaching and they long for more.

Since that first meeting (I was only able to study with them one time) I have been trying to get back to see them. That opportunity offered itself just recently so Allen Mkita and I drove down there.
Allen and I with Mt. Kilimanjaro in the background

It is a long, full days drive to get there and we got into town in the evening. We were planning on seeing the students the next day, but knew we had to contact the administration before hand. I had phone them up before I left Arusha, but they were not very clear with their instruction.

We went anyway and after we had arrived, signed in two books at road blocks, we were finally able to study with the young christians there. It was so encouraging teaching and looking out at those eager and interested faces. When we had finished the study we had questions.It was clear they were not used to asking the teacher many questions, but after a while they got warmed up, they had some great questions. We arranged to meet again the next day at 4.00 p.m.
After our study

When Allen and I got there we could see none of the Christians. There were plenty of other students about - there were exams starting on Monday, but the people we were looking for were nowhere to be seen. After about 1/2 an hour they started to arrive and we began our study.

That is when I delivered my first baby. While I say delivered, I guess I need to explain myself. Just after we had started a young woman came to the classroom saying someone needed to go the the hospital and there was no way to get there but by my car. It turned out that a woman was having a baby! Of course I said I would take her and left Allen to continue with the lesson.

So... I delivered mother (and her baby) to the hospital. I was told the next day she had a little girl and the young people were joking that they were going to call her Keith!
The little hospital (clinic) where I delivered mother (and baby) to.
The next day was Sunday and Allen and I stayed there had worshipped with the brethren. It was clear that they had not been taught about true worship, but they were keen to learn, so Allen and I took the whole service, explaining carefully each step.

Worship was early - at 8.00 a.m., so we were finished by 10.00, so Allen and I hit the road to make it back to Arusha that night.
After worship services

That was how I came to deliver my second baby - we were driving down the road and a policeman waved me down and asked me to take a woman to hospital to deliver her baby. Of course I said yes, I was happy too. I ended up wondering if the white Toyota looked like an ambulance. We got her to the next town and I think it was going to be OK, though it was a close thing.

All in all we had a great trip. Please pray for those young Christians at the teacher's college

A very new and VERY nice food stop over on the way back