Sunday, June 18
Yesterday was Sunday, and all good people go to church…right? Well, count us in on being good yesterday, because boy, did we ever go to church…for four hours!! :0
Yes, you read correctly…the church service lasted for four hours. This is a typical church service for Kenya. It was a special day at the church – not just because WE were attending, but it was Sunday School Sunday. The kids performed skits and songs for the congregation throughout the morning/afternoon, and did a marvelous job.
Before the service really got started, the kids were sitting quietly…until I pulled out my camera to take photos. Within 60 seconds, the kids went crazy, trying to get their picture taken and laughing when they saw the photo on my camera. It got a bit out of control, sort of like when you throw a bread crust to one seagull and then suddenly, there is a swarm of birds flying around you! When it got too out of hand, a church mom took control and got them all back into their seats. I sheepishly put my camera away and behaved myself as well!
There were two sermons – one of which was delivered by our own travel companion, Morgan Smith! Morgan is the Youth Pastor at Bay Presbyterian Church. He delivered a wonderful sermon and had a translator standing next to him to translate his sermon to the congregation. Morgan’s sermon was based on scripture from Philippians, about the reconciliation of the broken relationship between God and the world.
There was LOUD singing and dancing and high energy rejoicing throughout the service. It was something that I have never experienced before, and will not likely see anything like that in America!
The REALLY fun part, though, came after lunch, when our group provided a Vacation Bible School for the children. After sitting and behaving for so long, they were so excited to play that they could barely eat their lunches. We had indoor activities: making paper chains and coloring; and outdoor activities: Over and Under balloon races, a game of Impala, Impala, Lion (African version of Duck, Duck, Goose), and parachute games. The kids had a blast – the church and yard 0were full of squeals of laughter. As our closing activity, we blew up a large Globe ball (it took 4 people to pump the darn thing up the night before!) We had the kids find Kenya on the ball and then we pointed to Ohio and Virginia to show them how far apart we live. Then, we held up the ball and sang, “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands.” We sang two verses before they all joined in singing in Swahili and finishing in English. It was fantastic! We closed in prayer and as the kids left the church, we showered them with bubbles.
It was a great memory for us, and hopefully for the kids as well. Several of the kids ran alongside of our bus as we drove out of the neighborhood, waving and yelling their good-byes.
From there, we drove for about an hour to visit the place where Care For AIDS was born, and had dinner with the three founders of the organization. They shared their INCREDIBLE story with us about how the organization came to be. I will share that story with you in another blog – is it such a good story that it deserves it’s own space.
We arrived back at the house quite late, and we were all thoroughly exhausted, as noted in my last blog! I went to bed thinking about all of the activity of the day, and as I fell asleep, I could still see the smiles of those beautiful children!
Today’s Gift to me from God:
He surrounded me with beautiful, happy and loving children. It was pure joy for my soul!
One fun memory: I was standing in the church doorway, trying to stay cool during the second sermon, and I had my arms around a little boy. He played with my hands and fingers, then turned my wrist over and ran his finger up my arm. He looked up at me, smiled and said, “Mzungu!” Mzungu means “white people.” It was so sweet!