Monday, May 27, 2013

2nd Commissioning and an Animal Orphanage

ATS Dean of Theology, Alfred Rutto, giving certificates.
House of Hope Marketplace Ministers
Yesterday we were able to have our second commissioning service, at the House of Hope Church in Kitale.  The pastor is Dorcas Kibathi, the only female pastor that I have had in my classes yet.  I have attached a brief video of their worship time - Pastor Kibathi is in the front, dancing, in the blue.  She has a pretty amazing life story and it is a blessing to watch her love her church.  This is a small church, located in a very poor section of Kitale, with mostly micro-business persons and hawkers (people who walk the streets selling their wares).  We commissioned eighteen persons and gave sixteen certificates from the business training.  This was the more challenging group of the three for me, as the literacy rate was very low, as was the ability to speak English.  I was unsure that there had been much impact until I heard the testimonies as well as heard the pastor tell of the difference it was making and the questions that she has been fielding, showing that there was a thought process going on behind the scenes.  One woman said that she had just been playing with the business up until now - not recognizing God as the owner and having a purpose for the business.  She has now recognized Him as owner, and is taking her role as manager much more seriously, setting up boundaries to protect the business.  Last week, a couple of young men who hawk brought a couple of their friends to Church, and they gave their lives to Christ that day.  Marketplace Ministers walking the streets of Kitale.  Praise God!

A little of the joyful celebration at the House of Hope service.

L to R:  Joy, Ray, Pastor Ashivaga, Abigail
On Saturday, I had an opportunity to go to a nearby Animal Orphanage with Pastor Ashivaga from the Friends Church, along with three of his children (Abigail, Joy, and Ray).  It was a very nice environment with lots of scenes set up from the Bible and statues everywhere.  The goal of the orphanage is to take in animals with genetic defects and give them a safe refuge.  Typically, animals born with some sort of genetic defect were seen as curses and this Kenyan man wanted to change that mindset and set up this orphanage.  There were two schools visiting when we were there (on a Saturday) so it seems to get good traffic.  But it was not an easy place to visit.  Seeing these animals with these significant defects struggling to live and survive was difficult.  It made me wonder about the humanity of it, while all the while appreciating the intention of the place. I will share a few pictures from that place.  It's not a place I will probably visit again too quickly.  But the kids had a great time and enjoyed the playground.