Today we started the day by traveling from our accommodations at the Grace House to the Bondeni school to pick up a few supplies. It was certainly eye-opening to see Nairobi Kenya (and particularly Bondeni) in the daylight. After picking up chalk supplies at the Bondeni school, we went to the Bondeni church to join them for their worship.
Worship at the Bondeni church was a wonderful experience. I was standing in a row of chairs next to a church member. I listened as these people (who won’t earn in a year what many of us make in a week) gave thanks for “all that God has given them.” Then we observed the generosity of this people to give out of their heart despite their great physical needs. I watched them pray earnestly for their political leaders, even though there was no indication that they were receiving any support from their public officials. I heard the Swahili songs of joy sung from these people’s heart. Dare I ever utter a complaining word again regarding my physical and financial needs?
After their worship time, Kristi performed her empty tomb chalk drawing. The people were very attentive and the Bondeni church responded favorably. It was evident that the people were observing and considering the picture as Kristi drew. Children started to come to the door from playing outside to witness the presentation. (Afterward, Mary Kamau (one of mission of hope’s leaders and founders) was very excited about the chalk drawing and believed that this presentation was the first of its kind in Kenya.) The whole TPCC mission team enjoyed being impacted by the drawing as it communicated beyond the English/Swahili barriers.
As the service ended, we had another highlight. After forming a receiving line, Frances was recognized by one of the church attenders from the September 2009 visit. He had invited Mission of Hope to his home last year and Frances had ministered to him in his home. One year later, without any prompting from our team, he recognized Frances and greeted her by name after the service concluded. It is wonderful to see this lasting impact resounding from prior visits.
After the church service, we returned to the Grace House to have lunch with Mary and Wallace Kamau, and the rest of the Mission of Hope team. During our orientation this afternoon, we enjoyed hearing more about how Mission of Hope was formed, how it operates, and the impact of TPCC’s sponsorship on the Bondeni community. Numerous anecdotes make clear that Missions of Hope is truly transforming people’s lives in this valley of darkness into mountains of faith in God. Mary and Wallace are some of the sweetest people of faith and it was a joy to get to know them better.
Just prior to dinner, we met as a group to discuss how we will serve the remainder of this week. It is clear that each member of this team is here for a specific purpose and enjoys fulfilling that purpose. Moreover, it is fascinating to watch our team grow closer as we serve outside Traders Point’s physical walls. I look forward to updating you again after our work tomorrow.