Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Work, music, parades, and Obama bubble gum

Hello Internet,
It has been two weeks since I have updated and many things have happened. (However, I am a horrible photographer due to the fact that I hardly ever remember to carry around my camera. So, many of the things I will talk about have no pictures, for that I am sorry).

I am currently the only person in the youth department. The TYS is on leave, so right now I am the Kenya West Youth Department. I have been learning what it means to work in an office and am starting to understand it. It is a lot different than the jobs I have had before, but I am enjoying it. Also, I can now tell you exactly what my job is, since I now know. The job I am doing is pretty much the Assistant Territorial Youth Secretary. I plan and run territorial and divisional events for youth, training sessions, work with our youth who will be doing missions in different capacities, teach leaders, teach and grade corps cadets, teach music, and many other tasks. It is a big job, but one that I am very happy with. I see the good that it will do, with God’s help.

Two Saturdays ago I went to a Salvation Army funeral for an officer (pastor). She died from a heart attack due to complications from diabetes. The funeral was held at her family's home and it was amazing to see the amount of officers and soldiers (laity) who came out to support the family and pay respects to the Major. The service was a little over three hours long, which apparently is very short compared to most West Kenyan funerals, and was filled with a surprising amount of joy. We celebrated her life and thanked God for her life.

The following weekend, I spent time working on my shamba, which means land, where I have been given space to grow vegetables and beans. The family that I share the shamba with had me plant about 200 seeds of corn. We will definitely not run out of corn.

I am also now a member of two Salvation Army brass bands, playing the baritone. I am a member of the Kakamega corps brass band and the United Band, which has members from all over the territory. The United band has about 50 members but, since they pay for their own travel and expenses, many do not make it to all of the practices. Yesterday, I had a chance to march in the opening ceremony for the Physically Disabled Sports Competition which is taking place in Kakamega. The Salvation Army band led the procession through the town to the soccer stadium where the competition was held. It was wonderful to watch young children with disabilities have a chance to compete and be encouraged. My favorite event was when young children with Down Syndrome ran the 100 meters. The referee yelled “twende” (go) and then the children ran while their coaches ran along side them smiling and clapping, telling them what a good job they were doing.

I am currently working on a lot of different seminars and teaching sessions that are coming up. This weekend I have a territorial youth seminar, the following weekend I have a Division Youth Officers (DYS) seminar and a Territorial Self-Denial meeting, followed by a week of Vacation Bible School, divisional music meetings, and a youth weekend in a city called Bungoma. I have a busy time coming up, but I know God will use me and has a plan for it all.

Yesterday, I saw a semi stacked with speakers playing incredibly loud rap music. When they reached my window I saw a giant banner of Obama’s face. Later I found out that this was a marketing campaign for Obama brand Bubble Gum.

this is my house

This is a baboon.

Please pray for:
- Learning Kiswahili
- Patience and understanding with cultural differences and misunderstandings
- Strength to fully commit to all that God has planned for me

Much love,