Monday, November 3, 2014

Firsts - Looking at things for the first time...

This week I am back in the US with two colleagues from Kenya, Pastor Charles Keya from the Deliverance Church in Kakamega and Richard Lukuyu from the Friends (Quakers) Church in Kitale.  This has been a time of many firsts for them, and it has been fun for me to see those firsts through their eyes.
Leaving Nairobi.
  • For both of them, it is their first time in the US.  
  • For one of them, it was his first time on a plane.
  • It was their first sighting of fall, with leaves changing colors.
  • It was their first Halloween and they tried to understand the meaning of it.
  • It was their first time change which also seemed strange, as they observed that it was still dark at 8 am and the days seemed shorter than their days in Kenya.
  • They had their first sighting of snow. They had hoped for enough to make a snowman, but the rest of us were thankful that wish did not come true.
  • For one, it was his first tasting of cheese (he didn't like it) and butter (which he liked).
  • For both it was their first taste of asparagus, couscous, salmon, key lime pie, and many other foods.  (However, without ugali and chapati, most meals felt lacking without these Kenyan staples.)
  • It was their first time seeing a pastor preach in a t-shirt (Madison Square Church).
  • It was a first to see church announcements start and finish in two minutes (in Pastor Charle's church, announcements alone can take an hour; then an hour for preaching and an hour for praise and worship).
They have been able to share about the work of Church-based Business as Mission a few times and the response from those hearing has been very positive and encouraging.  There were questions about why this is not in seminaries in the US and that it needs to be accreditated for seminaries throughout the world.  We thank God for the positive response and the interest in seeing this work grow in churches.

They will be visiting a number of businesses yet this week, then flying to Texas for a conference for church leaders.  We will fly back to Kenya on Sunday.  Thanks to all of you who helped to make this trip possible!
Richard, Charles, and I on the bridge in Grand Rapids.
Richard presenting at the Partners Worldwide conference on the Church-based Business as Mission and the impact of this ministry on his church.
Time with old friends and new friends at the Partners Worldwide conference.  Former intern, Jeff Bloem, was able to spend time with Richard and Charles, much to their enjoyment.
Mary Katerberg graciously opened her home to Charles and Richard during their stay in Grand Rapids.  Thanks, Mary!