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I am currently a student at Texas A&M. I love God, family, friends, and photography

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Bwana, in Swahili, means God. I felt it appropriate since today is Sunday. possible tangents, I'm typing this straight out of my head, not based on my journal entries.

Sunday! Finally, a long night of good sleep, almost 10 hours. However, I did wake up being unable to breath out of my nose, and coughing quite a bit. Mindy came to my rescue with some airborn allergy stuff. With that, and some tea, I was good to go. We hopped on the van to head to church, the same church that New Hope is building outside Kibera. We did leave one team member at the house, stomach issues, so keep her and everyone's health in your prayers, please. We arrived at church and were greeted by a crowd of children waiting for us to arrive. As usual, within seconds my hands were being held and I was being led to the church by a boy named Ian and another whose name I do not know. Upon  reaching the church building itself the sound of Swahili songs filled my ears. The classes had been broken into three different groups. The high school and older primary students (grade 7 and 8) were in Sunday school being led by Samson. Samson is in-charge of running Penda here in Niarobi. The other two classes were comprised of a choir class made of younger girls and a few boys and a class of all the little ones singing. I was quickly found by Isaac once Sunday school was over and the main service was about to begin.

Isaac was sure that I would have to stand up and introduce myself to the congregation so he tried to teach me how to do so in Swahili. After practicing a bit, I was prepared. Sadly, I never got to introduce myself in a language that I know nothing in (sarcasm). Well, one thing remained the same, even though pastor Simon preached in Swahili, I still almost fell asleep in the service. Old habits die hard, huh? At the beginning of the service Isaac tried to translate what pastors Simon was saying, but that didn't last long. Thought there was a language barrier, there sure wasn't a passion barrier. I was able to see that pastor Simon was enthusiastic about his topic, the choir, about their songs, and the man who prayed to open, his prayer. I did enjoy the service, though mainly due to the children around me. Once the service ended I was once again swarmed by the children. They wanted me to pick them up, throw them in the air, or swing them around. But doing this for the past 6 days has had a toll on my shoulders, so I wasn't too enthusiastic about doing it. My mindset changed when looking at the smiles of the kids, thought process changed from "I'm sore" to "lets do this!" However, it did get tiresome after a while and too my luck I picked up two very useful terms, hapana and seemama. Hapana means "no," and seemam means "stop," though using these doesnt mean that kids will actually stop, who could have guessed.

After church we headed back to the house to eat and then leave for Yaya. Yaya is a mall whose parking lot is turned into a market on Sundays. Honestly, what you see is all the same stuff, and a lot of people trying to sell you stuff at stupid high prices. The prices are high because negotiation is expected, and to take advantage to stupid visitors. I don't like being hassled or taken advantage of, so this place isn't my ideal shopping conditions. Funny thing is, the same words I used to get the children off of my arms are the same ones I used to get the accosting marketers off of me. I did by a few things and was able to talk the price down. I felt proud of myself. I also helps when Karen (Daniel's mother in law) calls the sellers out on their prices, quite hilarious. Before coming to Kenya I really wanted to get one thing, a hand piano (finger piano). A new friend, Ben, a long time friend of Kyle, was able to help me find one and to take the price to about half the original offer. I'm pumped that I got one, but now I have to tune it. It was an adventurous time at the market and I'm glad I went.

I guess we got home at about 7:30 or so (11:30am back in Texas) and was able to just relax, read, write, and watch Despicable Me. A good ending to a great day.

Prayers for this upcoming week: strength, health, diligence to get our work done, and in general to love on these kids well and to show the love of the Lord to them through us. Keep the prayers coming, so greatly appreciated!

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