Kenya, our beloved country, has changed so much. All our previous visits could not have prepared us for what we experienced. The church was welcoming and received us well. We took our time to get reacquainted with the people and the country as a whole. They invited us to join in and help out. After the first few meetings, we established that there was lots of jobs to be done and very few people to do it. To start, we initiated a leadership training course with Gordon, an American missionary whose been in Africa for over 40 years. His first lesson was integrity, which is something somewhat lacking in Kenya and especially in the church.
An enthusiastic young lady came forward when the training was going on and took over the flailing Sunday school. We got in behind her and helped as promised and soon had three classes going and had streamlined feeding the littlelis and taking care of them during the service. We extended the kids ministry by organising for the ones not in school to start attending school: simple things like lack of uniform, books, sickness, etc would be keeping them out of school and was completely overlooked.
Josh our volunteer American Missionary doctor started coming along to see kids like Wambui, who got burned, and soon we set up a clinic running fortnightly so more children and adults in the community could come and be treated. All this time the Sunday school numbers were growing.
The youth also expressed interest in starting something for themselves which Terrence got behind helping organising their meetings and taking bible study. They started coming and attending and we did not realise that we had such a big number of youth belonging to the church. We did youth outings, outreach, music etc.
Well, sad to say, after six weeks, and the leadership training done, we weren't able to take another step. The leaders couldn't decide what was important e.g. Children's ministry, youth, young mums, mums etc or themselves and what they wanted. The pastor wanted a salary and seminars, the other leaders wanted to be paid to be there in any capacity and to buy land a build a bigger facility. We believed in investing and helping the people first before committing the church to large expenses when most of the families couldn't pay rent, send their kids to school or put food on the table.
Well, rather than have endless meetings and debates with people clearly in it for themselves, we chose to continue our work independently. With the blessing of Penina, we continued our work in the community with the families in need.
There is a strong missionary fellowship in Eldoret and that provided much needed prayer, social support and camaraderie for our family.
In hindsight, two years there would have been ok, but the third year was pushing it. The noise, lawlessness, greed, lack of integrity, massive population and general third worldliness started to get to us. In Kenya "white skin = money"?!! And the constant police visits became tiring, even though at first scary. Everybody wanted money and we're going about it in very scary ways. The police go for the highest bidder and can terrorise you so you pay them more.
Anyway the final straw for us was our business, which was supporting us, was dwindling by the day and finally came crashing as the servers died and the only option left was getting home alive!!
So here we are. With all sorts of stories to tell. Better write them down as reminders for all times!!!!! Phew!