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