Travel Diary 8: Never Say No!

Dear Family and Friends,

Something I learned very early in my ministry involvement in Africa was that true friendship is never established until you visit the home of your African friend. So, you never turn down an invitation.

I was the first white man to visit the home of his uncle “way back when.” That was a special moment for his uncle. Another time, I had to back out of a preaching opportunity because I had to get back to town for a meeting. The pastor said, “At least come to my home for a few minutes, we’ll have

fellowship, and I will let you go.” (Never say NO!) So, I went. As I sat in his living room, he went out to his cow pen, took milk from the cow, brought it into the house, poured it into a couple of glasses and we shared fresh, warm, “utterly” delicious (pun intended) milk and I was on my way.

Today we received one of those invitations at the last minute as we were leaving town. Like I said, you NEVER say NO to this kind of an invitation even if it means you may get caught in a huge Nairobi traffic jam.

LEAVING CHUKA

Bishop Renison, who organized the seminar, had intended to invite us to his home Thursday to give us something but had to change plans. On Friday he wanted us to meet him along the way, which we did. But he motioned to us to follow him. . .. to his home. Nathan had timed out departure from Chuka to miss the major midday traffic in Nairobi. When we saw that he wanted us to follow him to his house, I thought “Uh oh!” But there was no question in either or our minds about turning down the invitation or rushing the visit.

GRACIOUS AND HUMBLE HOST

The bishop introduced us to his wife and presented Nathan and I with African shirts. I, in return, gave Renison an ITEM polo shirt. (See the pictures added today.)

LANDSCAPE

If you have been looking at the pictures that I’ve sent back during the week you have noticed how green it is in that part of Kenya. You have also noticed the rolling hills.

Chuka is a university town but it is in the middle of rural farmland. We corn fields, hay fields, banana fields, and rice patties. When Nathan wants to buy rice in bulk quantities, he’ll make the drive from Nairobi. We also passed through a number of townships and actually got blocked by a heard of cows (see the pictures I uploaded today).

NAIROBI!

What did we encounter as we got to Nairobi? We were on a multiple lane highway with overhead signs giving directions. I asked Nathan when we would get stuck in the traffic jam. He said, “We’re good. We passed the spot.” Can I get an AMEN? We did encounter a major slowdown at one surface street junction but at least we kept moving. ALL IS GOOD!

BIBLICA GUEST HOUSE AND GEORGE

For most of my 23 years of traveling to and through Kenya, I’ve slept at Mayfield Guest House, an African Inland Mission oasis for AIM missionaries. I figured that in those 23 years, I had to have spent in the neighborhood of 250-300 nights. Covid forced them to close down. Welcome to Biblica. Biblica Guest House has become a new stopover for them. I was introduced to Biblica by George Waswa, a former employee of Mayfield. We have stayed in touch. He is now driving taxi and is my driver when I need to get around here. I’ll put a few pictures of Biblica in the assortment of pictures today. It is a step up from Mayfield. But it will NEVER replace Mayfield! NEVER!

THE WEEK AHEAD

· Saturday, Nathan and I fly to Kisumu (see map in pics) to meet with the ITEM team.

· Sunday, after church, we drive to Bungoma. See map in pics.

· Monday, we dedicate the first IEM Resource Center and drive to Busia. See map in pics.

· Tuesday, we meet with Hillary Wafula, ITEM Coordinator just across the border in Busia, Uganda.

· Wednesday, we drive back to Kisumu and fly back to Nairobi.

· Thursday, I get a Covid test which is required to get on the plane for home and meet with local men involved in apologetics in Nairobi.

· Friday, head for home.

PLEASE PRAY for the upcoming meetings that ITEM’s mission would be advanced, that the teams from Kenya and Uganda would receive encouragement, that Nathan and I would experience safe travel, AND that our flight on Kenya Airways next Wednesday will not be cancelled.

By His grace,
Steve

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