Church - Kenyan Style

I thought I would just write a quick message to all of you while I had internet access for a few minutes. We are at the Friends International Center taking care of some odds and ends and showing those who have not seen the center around. (I saw it on Monday.) This morning's church service was really interesting to us in many ways. We all loved the singing and the dancing. I personally could have gone for more dancing. Bainito says there will be dancing at the conference. (grin) Since we couldn't understand most of the words, we sang along as best we could and I tried to listen for the love of God with my heart. They had us all come up and introduce ourselves, bringing greetings from our home meetings. Then they blessed us and prayed over all those who would be attending the conference. I haven't been to a church that does this since the church I grew up in so I loved that they did that for us. I feel truly sent. There was also a bit of discussion about women and men in ministry which helped me know what to say when I speak on it in a couple of days. During the service, they talked about the draft constitution instead of a sermon so we learned a lot about the politics of Kenya because the speaker gave his opinion on things as he went through it. Eden says it is good to educate people about these things through the churches so they have a better understanding of what is going on but I would have preferred them to do that after church. I would have liked to hear an African sermon. One of my favorite parts was after the talk when they sang the last song. Earlier, I couldn't tell at times whether they were singing in English or Swahili but this was definitely Swahili. Instead of trying to sing the same words, I made up my own words as a prayer to God to their tune and I loved it. It was very meaningful for me. It was really good because I felt like I really got to connect with God, something as you know, I have been growing in here.

After church, we were invited upstairs for tea which also meant bread and butter sandwiches and hard boiled eggs, a much needed lunch. Tea here means hot water and milk steeped with tea and sugar. It is quite tasty. It was good to meet the pastor and other staff and the clerk signed our traveling minutes. For the non-Quakers reading this, a traveling minute is a letter of introduction from your home church introducing you to other Quakers you meet while traveling vouching for your ministry.

The afternoon was nice as we hung out at the retreat center, did laundry and sang Julie Andrews songs. It was the first afternoon we've had any free time and it was much needed. After we leave the center, we are going to dinner. We are hungry and tired so dinner is more than welcome. Church was about three hours long. :) We are ready to go now, have a good day! Thank you for your comments, it's good to hear from you. Kwaheri (goodbye)

365-09 #347

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Walking the Sea: Church - Kenyan Style

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Church - Kenyan Style

I thought I would just write a quick message to all of you while I had internet access for a few minutes. We are at the Friends International Center taking care of some odds and ends and showing those who have not seen the center around. (I saw it on Monday.) This morning's church service was really interesting to us in many ways. We all loved the singing and the dancing. I personally could have gone for more dancing. Bainito says there will be dancing at the conference. (grin) Since we couldn't understand most of the words, we sang along as best we could and I tried to listen for the love of God with my heart. They had us all come up and introduce ourselves, bringing greetings from our home meetings. Then they blessed us and prayed over all those who would be attending the conference. I haven't been to a church that does this since the church I grew up in so I loved that they did that for us. I feel truly sent. There was also a bit of discussion about women and men in ministry which helped me know what to say when I speak on it in a couple of days. During the service, they talked about the draft constitution instead of a sermon so we learned a lot about the politics of Kenya because the speaker gave his opinion on things as he went through it. Eden says it is good to educate people about these things through the churches so they have a better understanding of what is going on but I would have preferred them to do that after church. I would have liked to hear an African sermon. One of my favorite parts was after the talk when they sang the last song. Earlier, I couldn't tell at times whether they were singing in English or Swahili but this was definitely Swahili. Instead of trying to sing the same words, I made up my own words as a prayer to God to their tune and I loved it. It was very meaningful for me. It was really good because I felt like I really got to connect with God, something as you know, I have been growing in here.

After church, we were invited upstairs for tea which also meant bread and butter sandwiches and hard boiled eggs, a much needed lunch. Tea here means hot water and milk steeped with tea and sugar. It is quite tasty. It was good to meet the pastor and other staff and the clerk signed our traveling minutes. For the non-Quakers reading this, a traveling minute is a letter of introduction from your home church introducing you to other Quakers you meet while traveling vouching for your ministry.

The afternoon was nice as we hung out at the retreat center, did laundry and sang Julie Andrews songs. It was the first afternoon we've had any free time and it was much needed. After we leave the center, we are going to dinner. We are hungry and tired so dinner is more than welcome. Church was about three hours long. :) We are ready to go now, have a good day! Thank you for your comments, it's good to hear from you. Kwaheri (goodbye)

365-09 #347

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2 Comments:

At December 6, 2009 at 1:16 PM , Anonymous Emily's Mom said...

It is so great to be able to read your blog and get a little bit of a sense of what you are going through. You are in our hearts and prayers as you move through this amazing adventure! Love from Emily's Mom

 
At December 6, 2009 at 3:45 PM , Anonymous Deanna said...

Love you Sarah. I admire you so much! Thinking of you and praying for your speaking engagements coming up.

 

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