Sunday, March 9, 2014

RAY OF HOPE 2014: Sabbath Conversations


Even Mission Teams go to church! This year, we attended the Kwangware Methodist Church, which is not a United Methodist Church (like Glide) but is part of the Methodist Church Kenya, which was once a part of the British Methodist Church. We had visited this church the first time we came to Kenya in 2009. We made it in time for the Youth Service. When the preacher began, I was a little nervous about his stated sermon topic, but was surprised to hear his interpretation of "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand." It was about the radical turning to and living into God's realm. At one point he said, "Faith is not democratic." Hmmm, where is he going with this? "Faith is not democratic because in a democracy majority rules, which means there are always losers. In the Kingdom of God, all are equals."

A street scene in Kwangware
We were joined by former Ray of Hope teammate Josh Biddle (see yesterday's blog for more info) and had a long lunch at a Chinese restaurant. We made it back to the Methodist Guest House in time for tea (a ritual that remains post-British colonization). The three of us talked for hours. There is so much we don't understand about Kenyan culture. Having time with Josh, who has been living here since October, helped somewhat, but even he says that there is still so much to learn.

This is why we are here. There have been changes to the Ray of Hope organization around structure, funding, and staff. The impact of these changes are striking. Before we bring another group here, we are trying to learn from our Kenyan friends how we can best support them as they care for the most vulnerable ones in their community. Tomorrow, we will be out in the community visiting schools where the older children are now attending. It will be another day of listening and learning!

Please continue to keep us in your prayers, as well as the staff and children at Ray of Hope!


This morning, we were fortunate enough to attend the Methodist Church of Kawangware. And when we arrived, they were singing “Our God is an Awesome God”. I couldn’t help but think that the world is so enormous - and yet, here I was 9,072 miles away, singing a song that we sing at Glide. I am reminded again, that my community is made up of people around the globe who I care for and love. What a gift I have been given.

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