Our team flew in this morning at 4:30 AM (after flying Friday evening via Chicago to Saturday morning in London, did a quick bus tour in London during a long layover, and another overnight flight to Nairobi). We were pleased to be greeted by TPCC missionary Mark Firestone at the airport. Mark directed us to a local coffee shop just steps outside the airport while we waited on the team bus where 12 of us grabbed cups of coffee for the ride to the hotel. The positive aspect of landing at 4:30 in the morning is no traffic to the hotel.
We were able to get breakfast, some of us a short power nap, and showers and a change of clothes before we headed to church. The worship service was filled with fervent praise even though the keyboard was not working. Pastor Kevin, an apprentice pastor for Outreach Hope Church, preached a great sermon on “forgetting the past” from Philippians 3. Our team thoroughly enjoyed the experience and we were greeted warmly by Pastor Stephen and the congregation after the sermon was complete. Speaking of warmly – most of the team succumbed to some quick shut eye during the sermon due to the jet lag and warm temperatures in the church, but we worked as a team to stay alert.
Upon returning to the hotel, we had a quick lunch and naps. Some of us briefly went next-door to the local market where one of our team members Jennifer wanted to visit a man she met last year at the same market. Andrew was selling his products and Jennifer inquired about the past year. (As studious blog readers might recall, last year when Jennifer visited the market, Andrew began a walk following Christ.). Jennifer and Seth had a long conversation with Andrew, learning about his struggle with alcohol and depression. He said that he did not desire to drink, and that he regrets things in his past. We thought this was incredibly poignant given Pastor Kevin’s sermon of the morning. We encouraged him to come to church and hope to see Andrew next week. We also encouraged him to participate in Celebrate Recovery which the outreach hope church is starting.
When we got back to the hotel we surprised our missionary Mark Firestone with gifts from the team. Mark loves macaroni and cheese and we brought him 99 boxes of Kraft macaroni and cheese. He was ecstatic. Team members Kelly and Paul have known Mark since childhood and were excited to bless him.
We had a quick visit with Mary Kamau and she greeted our team. After dinner, our team debriefed and discussed the many interactions with people we had met during the day. Our team also encouraged one another with ways we had seen team members serving the people Kenya. We look forward to telling you more stories of service in the days to come.
PS – (Monday morning) on the bus ride to Missions of Hope this morning we found Mark Firestone’s hundredth box of macaroni and cheese.