Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Youth, Open-Airs, and Bags of Chicken

Greetings from Kenya! My first full week was filled with office work. I needed to acquaint myself with the Territory, its procedures, the youth, and prepare for a divisional youth weekend which was held in the Eldoret Division. This was a youth weekend which consisted of youth leader training on Friday, youth seminars and an open air on Saturday, and an open air and worship service on Sunday.

I must admit that being in the office all week was kind of getting me down. I am not much of an “office” kind of guy and I was really questioning why I was here and why God would bring me across the world just to sit in an office. But then I was able to go out and meet the youth and I knew it was all worth it. I was encouraged that my office work was for a purpose and I gained energy from being with the youth. The youth openly welcomed me as there own and made me feel at home (the TYS always tells them that I am now a Kenyan and should be treated as one).

There has been very little leadership development or seminars in this Territory and it was amazing to see so many leaders eager and willing to grow in their knowledge of leading youth.

The open air meetings that we had were like none I have ever been a part of. We marched through the entire town of Turbo for about an hour and then held an open air meeting in the city center. The meeting was about an hour long and consisted almost entirely of singing and dancing. Everyone was dancing and having a good time (I was dancing too, but I know my white boy moves are much different then they are used to. I don't quite have the hip movements down yet.) Turbo is a town with a lot of drunkenness and prostitution and just by dancing with these people we were able to meet and encourage many. Many of the drunkards marched with us back to the corps (church) building and one, Emmanuel, gave his life to Christ and attended church the next morning.

I was in charge of co-leading the leadership training where we taught about leading good and attractive meetings, what are the qualities of a good leader, and what purity in our lives looks like as leaders. For the youth seminars, I taught one on abstinence and one on praise and worship. Our teachings were received well and we were already invited back to the division to teach more sessions to the youth and leaders. The young are hungry for more events, knowledge, and materials and we will do our best to meet the need of the youth.
I now feel more African. I am picking up some kiswahili, i am eating Kenyan foods (like ugali, sukumawiki, and kuku), and I am starting to get used to the way of life here. Praise God that, so far, the language barrier has not been a problem (I spoke without translation to the youth) and that I am feeling more comfortable and "at home", except for when I am stared at as I walk down the street and called "Muzungu", which means European.

We were given a gift of a chicken, so we put it in a plastic bag and threw it in the trunk.
Please pray for:
-A learning spirit
-Wisdom in what to invest time in
-Willingness to work
-To learn Kiswahili
-For the Vacation Bible School program we are currently planning
Much love

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

First Impressions

Greetings from Kakamega, Kenya. I am happy to say that I have arrived in Kenya safely, have been into the Territorial Headquarters (THQ) for Kenya West, and that I have met all of the territorial staff. Kenya West is a brand new territory (it began March 1, 2008), but it is in great hands. The staff are all wonderful, kind, and capable people.

Kenya is a very nice place. The people are all very hospitable, kind, and welcoming. The weather is much nicer than back in the states, about 85 during the day and 60 at night.

The place where I live is called Shimala Vandu, which means “finishing people”. There used to be a lot of car accidents there and were many fatalities. But The Salvation Army is now there, so we are going to rename it and “reclaim the land for Christ” (which was said by my friend Captain Felisters). I live on a complex with many of the THQ staff, where there is an apartment complex, four houses, and the guest house (my place).

The THQ, since the territory is new, is on the property of the old DHQ and the offices are small, few, and crammed. My office, which consists all of the Youth Department, is about half the size of an average American bedroom and there are three of us in the office. There are other offices in closets, old bathrooms, and one office that seven officers share. But within the next few months we will move into the new THQ building.

This is our current office, with the TYS and the Candidate Secretary and myself.
This is the big, new, unfinished THQ. Its going to be amazing.

Over the weekend, I attended a divisional event for the Kakamega Division at the Musingu Corps. This was a divisional event with about 1,000 people from the division coming together to celebrate Self-Denial Sunday. This was a time of celebration with much dancing, singing, and an Army procession of all the corps marching about one and a half miles. As we were driving to church, we saw Salvation Army soldiers in full white uniform all along the road waiting for a matatus, which are small buses, to take them to the meeting. It was wonderful to see all of the singing, dancing, and giving by the Kenyan Salvationists.

I am doing well and thank you for your prayers. I could use continued prayer for:
-Patience in the tasks set before me
-Faith that I am where I am supposed to be and that God will use me
-That Kiswahili will come easy for me and that I can speak and understand it
-Strength to pursue each day fully
If you wish to get in contant with me while I am in Kenya there are many ways.
1. Contact me through this blog
3. I am on lotus notes (for you army folks)
4. Facebook
5. Skype (i think you can just type in my name)
6. Mail - you can mail letters and the like to me. It will cost you a dollar or so to mail a standard letter (i think). If you want my address email and ask for it.

Thanks and much love,
Justin Rose

Monday, March 9, 2009


Hello internet,

It is with great joy that I can finally say that I will be going to Kenya. God has opened the doors and I will be leaving Chicago on March 11 to arrive in Kakamega, Kenya on March 13. It will be a long flight, but i am excited to finally be able to go and start the ministry that God has in store for me there. I am excited to meet the youth of Kenya and work with their leaders.

A lot of people have asked:
1. Will I have the interent? Yes
2. What is your address? I don't know yet, but will put it up on the blog when I do.

If you do want to contact me, which i hope you do, you can email me, message me through the blog, or through facebook.

I look forward to letting you know more about Kenya once I am there. Please pray forr:
-Safe travels
-Easy transition
-For me to be on the same page as the Officers (pastors) in Kenya
-That God would prepare me to be stretched and to grow

The Very Excited Justin Rose