After six months of being in Kenya, we finally went out of Nakuru for our first church visit (in early January)! One of the part-time lecturers at Berea College is a pastor in the main Anglican church in Marigat, which is in a district called Baringo. It is to the north-west of where we live and is at a lower elevation, so it is much hotter and drier than Nakuru.
It was really nice to be able to visit a church again. We've been so busy during the school term that it is too tiring to also have Sunday be a long work day. But over the Christmas holiday, between terms, we were able to do it.
Here we are with Rev. John, his wife Jane, and their son Parmenas (named after one of the Seven in Acts 6:
Here is the front of the church. The service was in Swahili and we were able to follow along in the prayer books. Our Swahili is not that good, but we know enough that we understood what was going on! Anthony preached in English, though, and the members of the congregation understood him. I think that a lot of times, people know English very well, but are nervous to try speaking it. I can definitely feel for them, because they know English WAY better than I know Swahili and even when I can understand someone speaking in Swahili, I don't feel very confident in my ability to respond.
We had the interesting experience of meeting Donald Trump at this church... Okay, not the US president, but this child who was baptized that Sunday:
(Anthony wants you to know that his hair isn't weird in this photo below - there are just flowers on the wall behind him!) Rev. John's son Parmenas is a very active kid and enjoyed hanging out in front of Anthony while he preached. Anthony preached about justification, the same topic as he preached about in Soroti in December. The church appreciated it very much and Rev. John commented that it is a very clear and important message for people to know and understand.
After church, as people go out, they shake hands with the pastor, then join the greeting line. As more people come out, they keep shaking hands and going to the end of the line. By the time everyone has come outside, the whole congregation has greeted everyone else and then they stand in this big circle and share the grace ("May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all now and forevermore"). It was a really nice way to end the service because all of the members of the church got to see and greet each other and show their unity as the body of Christ.
What better way to end a training than tasting cake?
We talked about how you can tell whether a cake is done or not by sticking a toothpick in the middle and seeing if there is batter or crumbs left on it.
It was a new experience for me to teach without a translator, since all of the people there were able to speak and understand English. It's something that encourages me to keep studying hard on Swahili, because when you can communicate with people, you can get to know them better and actually form more than a superficial relationship with each other. Below is me with a friend of John and Jane who was visiting them this weekend, and Jane.
And the two reverends: