Wednesday February 4, 2015
Dave Johnson, Stan Skinner and I took off Wednesday afternoon from SeaTac for Amsterdam and a connecting flight to Nairobi. We all got there a bit early and had to wait an extra hour because our plane was late in arriving. We used the time well. (Scroll down to get the whole trip)
Although we were an hour late arriving in Amsterdam, our boarding gate for the flight to Kenya was right next door as we came out of the plane.
We landed in Nairobi Thursday evening and made it through customs fairly quickly. Stan and Dave even managed to smile for us after nearly 20 hours of travel. Stan is waving his visa form here. Apparently proud that he made it through the medical screening set up prior to entering the visa line.
Friday February 6
Friday was a very event packed day. All of us were jet lagging and even though we got to bed the night before rather late, we were all up before five. We exchanged our dollars for schillings, got supplies at Nakumat, waited in line at Safaricom forever and then went to the Masai Market.
Of course we started the day with Java House.
Stan and Dave having a great time haggling.
After spending some time and not much money at the market, we drove into Nairobi to meet one of Stan's contacts for sign making and materials. Stan was pretty excited to find suppliers for the sign business he is setting up in Matete for Pastor Moses.
Then we drove across the city out to the ACTS bookstore on one of the most congested roads in Nairobi. However the bookstore was worth the wait.
Friday evening we met John and his wife Margaret and their new little girl, Eliana, at Brackenhurst for dinner.
Saturday February 7
We took off this morning for Matete after Stan and Dave packed the rig.
Along the way we stopped at the equator to take some pics.
In Eldoret we stopped to rest for a bit at Pastor Shadracks home. Stan appreciated the stop.
Damaris, Shadrack's wife, has almost completely recovered from a bout with pneumonia and a recent miscarriage. Some of you were instrumental in her recovery through your prayers and financial support. When Shadrack called me to tell me how sick Damaris was two weeks ago, he said that he wanted to take her to the doctor but they required payment in advance and he didn't have it. Through the generosity of many, we were able to send him the necessary funds to take her to the hospital. When he examined Damaris, the doctor said that if he had waited another hour, Damaris would have died. Praise God for His perfect timing!
We finally reached Matete around 7 pm and reunited Stan with his friend Pastor Moses.
ps. It is really hard to get Stan to smile for the camera. I have to offer him treats.
Sunday February 8
We had a wonderful time with the church in Matete this morning after a much needed rest and a great breakfast at our hotel, the Downhill Springs.
After the service, we ate lunch at Pastor Moses' home, and Stan played Santa Claus as he handed out gifts that he and Mary had packed for Moses' family.
Monday February 9
We spent the first part of Monday setting up the sign shop so that Stan could train the workers.
We had suggested the previous day that it might be possible for us to install power at Moses' residence which is only about 70 meters from the church and that we would calculate the cost to see if that was possible. However when we got there Monday morning, Moses already had someone digging the cable trench. Apparently we were committed to the project. I'm just glad we had Dave along - he is a man of many talents. He took a look at the situation, calculated what we needed, and he and I and Frank headed off for Bungoma to buy the necessary materials while the ditch was being dug.
While we were in Bungoma, we met Dr. Charles for lunch and he showed us where he is setting up his new clinic. He was awakened one morning a few weeks ago by someone who told him they were demolishing the building in which his old clinic was located. His landlord had not seen fit to notify any of the tenants of the proposed demolition and he rushed to get his things out of the building they were demolishing.
I stayed in Bungoma as the conference in Amagoro was beginning that evening, and I will be staying there all week. By the end of the day, Stan and his team had produced their first printed t-shirt.
As always, there are interesting scenes on the road - like these guys hitching a free ride on a gas tanker.
Meanwhile, I was in Amagoro setting up for the first evening session of the pastor's conference. Watched intently by a very interested group.
After setting up the church, we went for dinner by candlelight.
And then returned for the evening session. We have power and light in the church thanks to a generator.
Tuesday February 10
Tuesday morning Stan and Dave were back to work in Matete.
Of course every job has its fans.
Dave split his time between laying wire and helping Stan with his project.
And I was in Amagoro starting the first morning of the conference. Right now there are about 40 out of the 55 expected attendees. Since most of the pastors either walk or catch public transportation - matatus - arrival times tend to be variable.
Together for the Gospel provided these books for the pastors.
Every day we held a question and answer time after all the sessions were finished. Pastor Reuben Luvanga does most of the interpretation for us and he does an excellent job. At least that is what all the students are telling me since I don't speak Kiswahili.
Wednesday February 11
This morning I called to see how the Matete team was doing and found out that everything was going great, except that it seems the heat press was somehow damaged in the flight to Kenya. Apparently one of the heating elements was broken and Dave spent the day trying to fix it. We are praying that he can get it working because we already have orders to fill.
Since Stan and Dave had to go into Bungoma for parts, they decided to drive a little further and drop in on the conference at Amagoro and surprise me. Stan looks thrilled with the idea.
Back in Matete, Pastor Moses started burning the bricks they had previously made for the construction of the new shop for the sign business.
Thursday February 12
In Matete, Dave and Stan and Frank kept at it to get the heat press working and finish the wiring job.
In Amagoro we finished the 4th day of the pastors training.
I also received some pictures from a church in Turkana called Nataaba on the progress of the construction of their new building. When we were in Lodwar last August, with money from the Brad Pederson Memorial Fund we had purchased materials for them to build this structure and delivered them to the church. However, once they began building, a dispute ensued about ownership of the land and they had to relocate. They finally found a plot of ground not too far from the initial plot and began building last week.
The church was very grateful for the help and send their greetings and thanks to API USA and Summit Christian Fellowship and to all who contributed to the work.
They were very grateful as well for the bibles we sent them as most of them have never had a bible.
This is Pastor James, pastor of the church at Nataaba.
Friday February 13
Today was the last day of the pastors conference. And as with all the sessions, we spent a lot of time in question and answer mode. All the questions were very good and indicated a good grasp of the material we presented. I was very encouraged by the obvious passion to understand the word of God everyone displayed.
Unfortunately I did not get a lot of pictures of the conference but I did manage to capture Frank at his finest. Frank is our API associate who does just about everything for us. He's particularly good at waiting.
Frank probably had the hardest job of us all. He was on the road early, driving from Matete to Bungoma to pick me up and deliver me to Amagoro. And then turn around and head back to Matete to work with Stan and Dave. Then he would come to Amagoro in the late afternoon to take me to Bungoma and head back to Matete. He also was taking Dave all over to try and find parts for the heat press. Unfortunately Dave had no success in finding the part he needed. But he did manage to get the electricity hooked up to Pastor Moses' house.
The firing of the bricks was a success as they were unveiled today.
And everywhere Dave goes he finds friends and admirers. (It might have been the candy he carried in his pockets)
Saturday February 14
Today we held commencement exercises for two of our graduates - Pastor Dennis Makutu and Pastor Shadrack Mogesi Mwita who each earned their B th degrees from API School of Ministry. Many thanks to the dean of the school, Dr. Franklin Clark for his passion and drive to bring this kind of education to the pastors of Kenya.
Sunday February 15
While Stan and Dave attended the service in Matete once again, I spoke in the church in Amagoro at the request of Pastor Leonard Ekea. Currently the children's Sunday School classes are held outside while the adult Sunday School is going on in the auditorium.
The nursery is located inside.
In the evening, I joined Dave and Stan at Pastor Moses' home for a celebration dinner. Judith, Moses' wife, showed off her new Wonder Bag she received from Mary Skinner as she made us dinner. It was nice being all together after a week in separate locations for this last meal with the Matete crowd.
Monday February 16
Today was a travel day and we took off from Matete in the morning to travel down to Kilgoris. Along the way we made a few stops. The first was in the village of Majengo where two of our friends live. The first stop was at Pastor Michael Omega's home. Michael is an evangelism trainer with E3, and he facilitates our evangelism training wherever we hold our Medical Mission Camps, to train the local pastors and church members in personal evangelism.
Stan was intrigued by the pig pen.
We also met with Pastor Reuben Luvanga who has a church in Majengo; and then we traveled down to Kisii where we were joined by Pastor Shadrack's wife, Damaris, who just finished her work there. We got into Kilgoris around 7 pm and spent the night at the Seasons Hotel.
Tuesday February 17
We spent the morning and early afternoon visiting with some of the pastors in Kilgoris that have been part of our pastor's training conferences for a few years. The leader of this group, Christ Gospel Churches, is Bishop Samson Kenteyia and we took the opportunity to visit his church that is in the middle of being remodeled and enlarged.
We also visited with Pastor Jackson Mongaine, of the Kenya Assemblies of God,who was a participant in our 2013 conference in Kilgoris.
We then traveled to Pastor Benson Ntuntai's new church plant in Olangabolo. This church has received funds from the Brad Pederson Memorial Building Fund to raise a new structure.
We are hoping to raise more funds to help them finish the project and enclose the structure. Pastor Benson also asked if we could bring our floor crew and help pour a cement floor. I told him that since the church was on top of the hill and far away from water, that might be difficult. He replied that it was no problem - he would just bring the water up by donkeys.
We finally left Kilgoris that afternoon and traveled to Narok to spend the night before going to the game park at Maasai Mara.
Wedesday February 17
Today we spent touring the game park in Maasai Mara. Although it is not the migration season, there are still plenty of animals to see. Here are pictures of some of them.
We took a lunch break at the oldest lodge in the park - Keekorok Lodge.
We also took some shots while on the border of Tanzania and Kenya in the park.
Along the Mara river, we took a nature walk with an armed park ranger. I felt pretty safe until I asked him if he had ever had to fire his weapon at any aggressive predators on this walk, and he said, 'Oh yes, many times!'
Thursday February 19
We left Narok in the morning and drove back to Nairobi for the flight home that evening. On our way to the airport, we stopped to eat at the Mombasa Road Java House and met the owner of the hotel we stayed at in Matete. Her name is Daisy Kanainza and she is the youngest Senator in the Kenyan Parliament. She was very interested in our work in Kenya.