Dear ITEM Friends,
On Sunday, Jerry and I will be involved in church services and then I will be conducting another apologetics seminar. Today, Saturday, Patrick, the young man who has arranged all of this, drove us almost three hours out of Nairobi to see where he grew up and to meet his family, extended family, and neighbors. There are many pictures in the album of the trip and the visit. It was a historic visit!
FRIDAY LOOSE ENDS
I am not sure I passed along all of the cultural questions and comments that were presented to us yesterday, so I want to make sure I share them.
I think I mentioned the comment and question about God not being African because in all of the pictures He is white. This was not from an attendee but an attendee was passing on what some believe. In my PowerPoint file I have a picture from the internet of Adam and Eve. They are white. I told them that I wrestled with that and asked my Nigerian “go to” guy (Nathan Chiroma) and he told me it was OK to use a white Adam and Eve. 😊
There are similar beliefs about the color of Jesus. I mentioned that as well, but I don’t think I mentioned that there is one group in Africa offering a black Jesus who is different than the white Jesus.
A second issue is teaching style. Patrick said they were really enjoying the systematic instruction because they are all used to pastors picking a theme they want to preach on, finding a verse they can take out of context to use to drive home THEIR point in story form. They were enjoying teaching that was systematic and built on a theme, one point at a time.
The final issue was in regard to God telling Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. I talked a lot about the purpose of the physiology of a male and female was for them to become one flesh and through the sex act have babies. The topic of barrenness came up.
I this culture it is not unusual for a man with a barren wife to seek other wives who will bare him a child. And it is not unusual for a man whose wife is giving birth to girls only to seek another wife who will give him a son.
As I mentioned, Patrick proudly took us to the village where he grew up. As we got near, Patrick tried to take a short cut up and down and around a bumpy one lane road only to be stopped by a number of cars parked on either side of the one lane road making passage impossible. There was a religious ceremony going on and people were occupied. We had no choice but to turn around and take another route. It was a tarmacked road and took us only a few minutes to get to his mom’s house.
While there, we saw chickens, a cow, goats, beans, coffee, macadamia nuts, corn, avocados, and two water wells. There were 3 or four generations represented and neighbors came from around to meet the mzungus (Swahili for ‘white man.’) Then Patrick asked the member of the oldest generation if a white man had ever been to this village. The answer NO. So, Jerry and I were the first…. ever. We took a lot of pictures of the terrain and the people that I will put in the album.
They fed us a big lunch, or they tried to. I put medium portions on my plate and the woman serving us said “take more.” I told her I didn’t eat big meals and she tried again to persuade me to take more but I graciously declined.
Then Patrick took us on a tour of the farm pointing out all of the crops being grown plus the chickens, goats, and cow. We talked about his chores growing up and he told us about fetching water daily form the nearby river, gathering firewood, and taking goats and cows out to graze. In all of my years of coming to Africa, this is probably the most rural place I’ve stopped and visited. 15 years ago (plus or minus), Nathan took me to visit his uncle in Nigeria. I was the first white man to have set foot in his uncle’s home. Another historic visit.
A FEATHERED GIFT
When we were preparing to leave, they circled up and sang a praise song in Swahili. I captured a few seconds on video and will try to upload it into the album. Then Jerry and I each prayed for them. Then Patrick’s mother walked to the chicken coop and grabbed the feet of a chicken. The chicken wasn’t thrilled with the capture. She brought it to us and presented it to me. I followed her example and grabbed its feet and held it. Patrick told us that she was presenting this as a gift and that it would be our lunch tomorrow, Sunday. We had our picture taken holding the chicken. See the picture in the album.
I am the consummate city slicker. These adventures are very counter cultural for me. But at the same time, it is such an honor and blessing to be experiencing what Jerry and I experienced today.
Tomorrow will be full. Jerry will preach at a first service that starts at 10. I am to preach at the second service that starts at 11 (hopefully). Then there will be lunch and at 2pm we are supposed to start the apologetics seminar. That is supposed to take us to 5. Then we head back to the guest house in Nairobi and prepare for an 8:15AM departure back to the airport where we’ll fly to Madagascar.
CLICK HERE for the picture album.
Pray again for clarity and understanding as Jerry and I preach Sunday and I share the two apologetics talks I did Friday.
By His grace,