I really don’t know where to start to try to relate the last few days. We are in Nairobi now. On Tuesday, we had to drive 2.5 hours off-road in a Land Cruiser, through dry riverbeds to get to our destination. The destination was not Meto as we thought, but rather Empukani, which means a dry place. That’s how things in Africa often go….you just have to be flexible and roll with it.
Eight of us, along with our most excellent driver, Thomas, and luggage and camping gear and food and water and stuff and things……..all packed in and on top of a Land Cruiser. And speaking of things, I’ve eaten plenty of boxed chicken lunches in my time, but never had one like this! These guys rode at my feet for the 3 hour trip from Namanga to Empukani. Think – no refrigeratrion!
We went there with a team from With Open Eyes to meet with and encourage a group of their Mobile Messengers. Tom Burger, the operations director for With Open Eyes, and Pastor Benson, the Biblical training director for With Open Eyes from Nairobi, along with Brian Adams and Doug Arvin from Charlotte were the guys we went with. Pastor Simon’s wife Agnes also went with us to help feed the team and the Messengers.
We were greeted on the road by Pastor Timothy. He pastors the church at Empukani along with his wife Agnes. Yes, that makes 2 Agnes’. About 30 Mobile Messengers met with us on Wednesday. Once we got to the church, the rolling terrain leveled out onto a beautiful plateau. When it wasn’t cloudy, you could see Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance. The elevation was around 5100 feet. Just breath-taking. The Namanga Hills are clearly visible in the picture below. Kilimanjaro is off to the right (not visible) and much further away. Pastor Simon and Agnes #1’s house is on the other side of these hillls in Namanga.
The church has started a health clinic with a full time doctor and a school with about 100 kids. Brian used to play baseball at Clemson, and he brought along a bunch of equipment and taught the Mobile Messengers and the kids how to play baseball! Agnes #1 hit a home run off the old Clemson Ace! And we just had to introduce the kids to Clemson Tiger pride! That’s Brian in between Robert and me.
Well, I hate to cut this short, but we’ve got an early morning tomorrow and I’m not even sure about how this internet is going to act about posting this, so I think I will stop here.
But before I do, let me share with you something that Tom shared with the pastors. He told them that the people they are preaching the Gospel to are already the Lord’s children – they just don’t know it yet. They were made by God and placed where they are by Him. The pastors just need to introduce them to Him. When is the last time you really felt like a child of God? Do you need to examine your relationship to your Baba (Swahili for Father)? Do you know that you are a child of God?
Words also cannot express how incredible the night sky is out in the bush. This was the full moon on Tuesday night. Too many stars to count. Sorry the picture doesn’t do it justice! Good night, Moon!