Monday, February 7, 2011

My day with Pastor Daniel

Sunday Shane and I separated again so that we could each visit and preach at different churches. Each of the pastors here want us to be their guest so we are trying our best to visit as many as we can. I went with Pastor Daniel to the Samaria First Baptist church somewhere south of Awasi (google map it). The church is in a drought stricken area. The photo to the right shows the local water supply. It is a river, but as you can see it is running very low and slow. This photo was taken during the hottest part of the day and there are still many people there. Earlier in the day (when I couldn't get to my camera) it was packed with people and livestock.

To get to the church I had to ride a matatu (a taxi van) and then transfer to a boda boda (a motorcycle taxi). Here you see Pastor Daniel on the boda boda ahead of me riding back from the church. The area looks like a desert, but I was told it is a green grassland when the rains come. I took this picture while I was riding on the back of a boda boda so excuse any do have to hang on, too. Daniel said it is an hour walk from his house to the church which he usually walks every Sunday. The matatu and boda boda were luxuries for his guest. I think it is about 7 or 8 kilometers, and his time estimate, as with most Kenyans, is based on "African time."

The church is held in a typical mud-walled building. Since the Samaria Church is new, there are no doors or windows, there is a dirt floor and the remaining "mud work" must be delayed until the rainy season starts (usually by the end of February). The congregation is small but lively and God-fearing...I won't even attempt to explain it, you must see it to know. The attendance was small Sunday even with the news of a visitor, because many have to travel 6 kilometers or more each day to get water...and if the walk isn't tough enough the return trip includes carrying your water. Making the journey to church is also a long walk for many of the fellowship.

This is Benta, the church secretary and Pastor Daniel inside their church. They are both very dedicated to their calling and their church members. You should hear this little woman preach. I had lunch at Benta's home which was a simple meal of stewed chicken and ugali, but it was meant to be special to honor their guest, and I was. On the way back to the church, where we caught the boda bodas for the return home, we stopped at a blind widow's home to look in on her.

If I had half the love and commitment to God that these folks...

...I teared up today at Pastor Joesph's church when I talked about leaving here. And if you know me, that's a big deal.


  1. Great stories Rick. Thank you both for sharing them. Doug W.

  2. Today (my today!) Monday 7 Feb 11 - 10:52 am and you're probably tucked in and snoozing - I've had the opportunity to spend over an hour, going over all your pix & posts. I think of you 2 and all your new friends each day, of course praying for you, missing you. Rick, sounds like you've really 'bonded.' I can relate. Thank you for telling us.

    I appreciated your IT blog. Have done my best to check all pixs/postings. However, below this comment box is 'Comment as: and then I have to pick something,' so Google it is. Only after I do this am I allowed to 'Post Comment'. C'est la vie. Will also try an email. Maybe that will work.

    I have a special stogie (spelling?)(segar) 4 you, Ricky. Your intern is cute, even if he does lick the modem. In the eternal spiritual economy there must be a benefit. Prayers, love and best wishes. -France
    p.s. Spaulding, who loves to fish and hates to eat fish - so usually throws them back - came home last nite (Sun) with 2 - 2 ft long steelheads. He promises to bbq them tonite, for me ... talk about service! Seems like Our Lord picked a lot of fishermen ...

  3. R u 2 on strike? Here it is, Feb 9 2pm-ish and no newsy notes? We really do appreciate your pixs & narratives and understand that the work is first. You're coming down the home stretch, so will ramp up the prayer detail.

    We feel close to your Pastors & friends so be sure to tell them they are really part of us now. Maybe some could show me a thing or two about chicken creativity????

    Meanwhile - would you elaborate more about the mud structures. e.g. - How do they stay p during the rainy season? Is the mud mixed with something indigenous, rendering it solid when soaked? Are these questions to dumb to be answered?

    Everyone there is so hardworking. I don't want their walls to melt. Prayers & love & healing for what ails you (If you're still poorly, Mr. Barnes) - France