Thursday, December 10, 2009
Kenya Day 7
12-9 We traveled up country to Northern Kenya today. We traveled north out of Nairobi, past Githurai and Kasarani, about 360 KM out of Nairobi. As we traveled out of Nairobi we passed through an area where the road is under construction. The plan is to widen the road to six lanes. A Chinese company is managing the construction. We were surprised to see modern road building machinery, like backhoes and road-graders, being used in the construction. A fiber optic cable was being installed along the roadway to provide internet access to Northern Kenya. On the other side of the road there was a group of men digging a ditch using picks and shovels. This is one example of the constant contradictions in Kenya. On the one hand a modern road is being built using all modern equipment and the latest in modern communications is being installed. On the other hand men are digging using tools and techniques that haven’t changed much in a hundred years. The temperature, terrain and vegetation change as we continue moving North. Along the way we met three donkeys who wanted a ride up North on the hood of Dan’s truck. Unfortunately having a donkey attempt to catch a ride when you are traveling at 100 Kph can be a little startling. Thankfully Dan has the reflexes of a cheetah and good brakes so we were able to continue without the additional passengers. We stopped half-way for fuel and water along the way. When we left Nairobi the temperature was 76 F. When we arrived at the half-way point it was 92 F. When we finally arrive in Northern Kenya the temperature was 99.5 F. Between the two of us, we have made over ten trips to Kenya and this area is unlike any other part of Kenya we have ever visited. The area is very arid. The main roads are paved but all other roads are dirt. The tribes in the part of Kenya we have been before primarily identify themselves with Christianity - it was just a matter of winning individuals. In this area, the tribes do not identify at all with Christianity, nor do they want to. The other teams which we have brought to Kenya came to work in the harvest. The teams that come to this area are working to break up the soil for planting. The trip from Nairobi is a physical reminder that some are called to till the soil, others are called to plant and still others come to harvest. When we arrive we meet with the pastor from the local Agape Church, Pastor M., Dan and Dr. Kabachia. We spend some time hearing about their vision for reaching out to the people in this area. They would like to build a school for girls as a way of reaching out to the local people. This is important because in the local culture girls and boys are kept separate which results in the girls being held out of school. By building a girls only school the local girls will have an opportunity to receive an education while maintaining the separation from the boys. After our meeting we drove around town then went to the site where the school will be built. We are definitely in the minority here. It was interesting to drive through an area where everyone stares at the wazungu (white people). We met with a local contractor who is a member of Agape Fellowship at the building site and discussed the building size, materials and potential issues with obtaining a building permit and other regulations. We also discussed the potential of building the school in three phases by forming a partnership between Bethany Church, Living Hope Church and Agape Fellowship. The contractor will develop some plans for the building and a cost estimate which we will review tomorrow. After inspecting the building site we went to the home of a local Bethany missions family, Jason and Bekah and their two daughters. Another couple from Bethany, Dave and Jul are staying with Jason and Bekah. Jason and Bekah oversee the missionary internship site here in Northern Kenya and Dave and Jul are here from Indonesia teaching the interns. The focus of the local Agape church, the local Bethany missions program and the interns is reaching out to the unreached people in this area. The entire area is a tremendous opportunity to be involved at the leading edge of what God is doing to reach out to all people of all nations.