More on Mukuru and the Church of the Redeemer
Trip Start Jul 04, 2010
23Trip End Jul 23, 2010
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Where I stayed
Harrison and Esther Kabage's home
Picking up, after the Friday morning visit to the Mukuru slum and PCEA Redeemer Church. We stopped on the way back to the Bahati Martyrs Church to see the Center where the "Rehabilitation boys" (from the street, are housed, when they are not away at school. These are mainly secondary school boys, supported by Mary Stuart Alderman (sorry about entering the last blog before finishing her name). Mary Stuart, and the 1st Presbyterian Church, Hilton Head, SC. support this effort as well as the food for the children in Mukuru Redeemer Church. A group from there came last fall to Kenya because Jane was denied a visa to visit the states.
Btw: Today, Monday, we plan to visit the US Embassy, and hope to have a conversation about the increasing denial of visas to our Kenyan partners we have invited to come to New Jersey
Meanwhile, back at the ranch (old Sky King radio program – way before the time of most of you – remember, I'm really old!) Some of the boys were home from Boarding School, so we got a few pictures with their house mother. The mattresses have been for the most part torn apart to use for toilet tissue, in the absence of the real article! And the beds are all equipped with mosquito nets. We haven’t needed them so far, nor the spraying of our clothing, or even much DEET use! And we are faithfully and religiously taking our evening malaria tablets, and will oversee that all the time!
On to Bahati Martyrs church, where we were served a noon meal (often provided for us!), again of the what became usual fare: rice, a beef stew with potatoes and vegetables, and a great hot mixed cabbage dish. We were split for the weekend. Ann and Sabrina went off to a home with their host family. Pat was picked up by Pastor Bobby and taken down again to Machakas, where she stayed until Mid-day on Monday. I was hosted by the leader/elder of the Mukuru Redeemer Church, Harrison (and his wife Esther) Kabage. From the bedroom window I could see the tin roofs of the great Kibera slum. If you want to see this slum featured in part in a really good movie, check out the English story, The Constant Gardener, which has a good story/plot and lots of excitement – British Embassy, intrigue, international conspiracies, and mystery.
Anyway, I had to wait around Bahati Martyrs for Harrison to get some work done on his car (which is probably some past its last legs! We could barely make it up the hill on our way from their house to church on Sunday morning!) So I used the time to help check out Jane Gitubia’s “new” laptop (from Nancy Steiner’s brother’s firm!) We hooked it up, and she opened up a couple of plans for orphanages on the computer, spell-checked and re-saved the documents
I thought we would then be heading home, but NOT! Our friend Julius had brought me a clergy collar from the PCEA shop, and I had to change into my “Preacher suit” for a Friday evening service at the Mukuru Church, 6:30 p.m. start, with baptism, confirmation and communion. Pastor Mundia held the service and I helped, with communion and baptismal prayers – service a mixture of English and Kiswahili.
Finally home -- watching a bit of the campaigns for and against the draft of the new Kenyan constitution. Many of the church people are concerned about two items in the draft: one concerning abortion – wanting limits to permit abortion only in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the health of the mother; and the other dealing with a provision which would permit Muslim cases (divorce, etc.) to be determined by Islamic courts and judges rather than coming into the regular judicial system and process. The fear expressed by the Christian community is that this would constitute a slide in the direction of Sharia law, and create an unequal status for the Muslims over against the rest of the religious community. Some of us received a copy of the letter of protest from the Kenyan Council of Churches. This is what it was about!
Short night for me! Didn’t hear about the others until we got back together: Sabrina and Ann and I were back together Sunday afternoon late; Pat not back from Machakas until Monday afternoon – more about the weekend adventures of the others in the next entry
Saturday a.m. I was back with Harrison to the Mukuru church for the Church School session with the children – fed the word, scripture verse to commit to memory -- intense repetition and drilling: Proverbs 16:3 (in English), then the Stop Hunger food from Hilton Head – huge heaping plates, prepared by women of the congregation, with more and more children coming as word spread that there was food, followed by treats!
After this we, Jane and Harrison and I, were off to the huge Nairobi National Park, the Animal Orphanage. Lunch at the park’s Ranger Restaurant, where inside replays of the World Cup games from the week were on the Tele. Then a LOOOONG walk in the park, on an elevated walkway looking down on natural habitat for tigers, leopards, rhinos, warthogs, ostriches, a cheetah, crocodiles (or are they alligators? I forget!). Some of the animals were into their caves, or hiding. But it was a good walk – large natural habitat setting, (entry fee for Americans, if they don’t have Kenyan Shillings and someone to purchase their ticket!, $20.00. For Kenyans 300 Ksh -- $20.00 is 1600 Ksh!! Needless to say this Scotsman gave Jane the money to purchase the tickets for us all, at considerable saving over the Dollar price!)
David Kibe, whose wife Grace had been with us in the Newton Presbytery and died last year of Leukemia, met with us and we heard about the new orphanage which David and the family have started in memory and honor of their Grace. It is perhaps three months from launch, though David is still looking for partners to share in the support!
When we got back to Harrison’s house, I still had some work to do to get the sermon ready for Sunday a.m., since I was preaching not in the English service, but the second, Kiswahili service, and need to get things ready to give a translator to have, to facilitate the translation! Harrison and his wife were watching the World Cup game between Deutschland und Uruguay, but I checked out at half-time with the score tied 1-1! Enough already!
So, I’m about up to Sunday and catching up on the weekends of Ann and Sabrina and Pat – but that’s another story!