The past two weeks have gone by so quickly. It feels like I just wrote an update, but it seems like it is time for a new one. Life is going very well and I am feeling quite at home in Kakamega. I have been receiving a lot of emails and letters from the US which has been nice and would like to thank all of you for your thoughts and prayers.
I have been eating many of the fruits that grow around my house and my office and have been enjoying them greatly, but if i am not careful I will get sick on avacadoes. It is the rainy season and our crops are growing, so our corn will definitely be "knee high by July" which is good news. It is interesting to be a part of a community where life rides on the ammount of crops that your land produces. We pray everyday for crops and rain, something that I used to find myself taking for granted.
Two weekends ago I attended a Youth Seminar in the Bungoma Division and was one of the special guests. This was a really good time of worship, teaching, and fellowship. We arrived on Friday and were welcomed by a group of youth leaders who were there for a youth training seminar. The greeted us with flowers and then had us plant memorial trees on the property. My Captains and I had a very good time dancing and singing with the youth. After dinner, the youth worshipped with singing and dancing late into the night, and it was a beautiful sight to see.
On Saturday and Sunday we held a seminar for all of the youth of the Division and had a good open air meeting and march with these youth. They love to march down the road in their uniforms and sing loudly. Even though the seminar was for teenagers and young adults, about 40 little children came gave me the opportunity to play "What time is it Mr Lion?" (because none of them know what foxes are). At the end of this weekend we were given a turkey which decided to scream the whole ride home and relieve itself all over the white uniform of my captain.
The following weekend we had a meeting for a program called ICPSS (or PSS) which stands for Integrated Community Psycho-Social Support and is a program that works for the Social and Emotional healing of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC's). This program seeks to bring healing to children whose families have been affected by HIV/Aids, extreme poverty, or other factors. This program has been dormant for the past year, since the Kenya Salvation Army split into the East and the West, and currently has no funds. However, there are still many trained facilitators and people who are dedicated to this program so our department is doing what we can to restart it. It was great to have all of these people come together for one purpose and to see their hearts for these youth.
(Sidenote: My showerhead had huge calcium deposits on it so I was attempting to clean it yesterday. I found out online that if you take vinegar, heat it up in the microwave, and then put in the shower head, the vinegar will eat away the calcium. However, I really love salt and vinegar chips and I sniff vinegar whenever it is around. So before heating the vinegar I sniffed it and it was very pleasant and then after heating it I sniffed it and I think I burned some nose hairs or something, because I still feel the after effects in my nose 19 hours later.)
Yesterday, the band led a procession through the entire town of Kakamega in order to plant trees for "Plant Trees Day". This was a good time of ministry and meeting people from other churches and NGOs.
Also, I prepared by first chicken. It was given as a gift to the Commissioners (the head of the Salvation Army in Kenya West) and I was given the opportunity to prepare it as a Kenyan would. It was my first time killing a chicken, and it did not go very smoothly, but it didnt go horribly bad either. I then had the opportunity to partake in the "most delicious" parts of the chicken - its head, neck, and legs.
God has been very good to me and I am feeling more comfortable in Kenya each day. But living alone is starting to get to me. This is the first time that I have ever lived alone, plus I am a community minded person, so it is a little bit hard and strange for me.
Please pray for:
-My ministry here and that laziness would not overtake me
-For continued rainfall and our crops