What a great way to celebrate my 22nd birthday, having arrived safely in Kenya and having lost half the team and my luggage in Germany! I’ve been named ‘Pastor Ben’ by the locals and am loving sharing the gospel with those we meet.
So we’re finally here, after 30 hours of travelling we were in Nairobi and after 1 more flight and a long drive we were in Awasi where we’d be living for the next two weeks for the first part of our international outreach in Kenya.
Apart from experiencing a little jet lag and getting used to the temperatures, we were ready to get stuck into the work. Most of the last few days were spent with the children in the Orphanage we are living next to, and doing door to door evangelism.
The door to door work we were doing here was much different than back at home though.
Awasi is a fairly rural part of Kenya about an hour away from one of the bigger cities – Kisumu – and so is covered about 90% with fields, specifically sugar cane and tea. Getting to chew my first sugar cane was definitely an experience, and the tea is great!
The door to door evangelism was very different than back at home because people don’t tend to have doors, but mud shacks and metal roofs, and as it’s during the rainy season, the mile in between each house was a very muddy walk!
On Sunday we were able to experience our first Kenyan Sunday Church Service and had been asked as a group to lead the children’s, youth and adult Bible studies beforehand and preach in the Main Service of about 200 adults and children.
I was chosen to share the sermon today and after only 3 days I had been given the name ‘Pastor Ben’ having been the preacher and service leader for the day. After the main service we sat down with 50 youths for tea and fellowship with them where we had the chance to perform the ‘Everything’ skit and share testimonies.
Going from the very built up Los Angeles to the rural Awasi has been a big culture change, now being surrounded by incredible greenery wherever I look, being in such a hot African country with heavy rainstorms most days and eating beans and rice 60 different ways!
I’m so blessed to have a very brief opportunity now to connect to the internet and hear from people and share some of my experiences with you now. We have had so many funny and powerful stories, like my birthday present being my rucksack arriving that day from Germany, getting actually stuck in the mud, bumping into pastors in the supermarket, and commissioning a family of 7 children all with Malaria who lived in a mud shack the size of my sofa to go out and bring the Kingdom of God with them to the ends of the earth!
Dispite the weather and strong conditions, I’ve really loved my time here so far, from the little parts of British culture found here like the UK adapters and radio, to how close our group has grown in unity and connection with eachother, to those we’ve been able to meet and share whether word with and love them however we can.
I’m writing this on my phone now as I listen to screechingly loud rain pour on the roof, no electricity because of the blackouts, and people trying to stop their belongings from floating away as the road turns into a river! There’s still so much I could say, but for now I’d just like to thank you for reading and for your support in getting us here.
All the best! Ben