We made our first trip into the slum of Methare, in Bondeni, a village in Nairobi. We were privileged to worship in the community that TPCC has “adopted.” We were a little hesitant at first since we were arriving very early in the service, when only 6 people were listening to a young man, we learned later, was delivering his very first sermon. Our hesitation dissipated quickly as we were greeted so warmly and observed the lesson being delivered in a language that we did not understand because it was spoken in Swahili. We marveled as the crowd began to grow and this young man’s passion for the Lord was evident. He rarely stopped smiling and, even in Swahili, the “Praise the Lord” and “Amens” came through loud and clear. By the time the lead pastor spoke the crowd had swelled to about 100 people.
The singing and dancing was wonderful as these people who have so little in the things we Americans value so much, yet they express such joy. Their material poverty is dwarfed by their obvious spiritual abundance. After a 3 hour service, we were greeted personally by everyone in attendance, then as we left we noticed groups forming in circles to continue Bible study.
After service, Pastor Steven and Wallace kindly took us on a tour of the Bondeni community, including the school which has been in operation for a few years. We also got to walk through the construction project for the school’s expansion, which TPCC had the privilege of helping to fund with another church.
This visit required a rather long walk from the expansion project to the existing school which is about a 15 minute walk away. The terrain is rough and filthy, but the children happily play and shout to visitors the few words of English they know: “How are you?” At first we did not recognize what they were saying, but then it became clear they were connecting with us. We believe it may have sounded like music to God’s ears. It was also enlightening to witness how the people interacted with Wallace and Steven. They are well respected and their love for the people in the slum is clear.
We later observed another aspect of Kenyan culture as we stopped by an open air market in the city. The people running these small businesses were friendly.
As we reflect, our day was very gratifying as we observed that God is the God of the entire world. His love transcends language, geography, culture, and wealth, and it is the Lord Jesus Christ who unites us. The new pastor we heard today spoke on the topic of faith, and the fact that life is abundant only when all we do is guided by faith. (Hebrews 11:1)
Your Kenya Team