8/10/2007 11:36:00 pm

Monday Madness

Posted by Unknown |

Monday began with breakfast in the hotel restaurant. Although we spent most of the breakfast trying to figure out how not to eat it without offending people. There’s something about warm milk that’s meant to be cold, and cold egg and sausage that’s meant to be hot that shouts “Eat me and I’ll bust my out with explosive force at one end or the other punk.” I think we managed to eat enough to be unwise but not enough to avoid offending our waiter Mr President, so a job badly done on all fronts.

Albert eventually found us having a morning snooze was we waited for him to turn up at some late hour of the morning. No one was complaining though, everyone loves African time when it gets you a snooze.

I think it was around that time that we visited the internet and the bank. I withdrew KSH35,000. I’ve never held a bigger wad of cash in my life. It was awesome!

After the internet I was standing outside on the street with a Pastor we had just met (we meet a lot of Pastors) and a ute pulled up with three people in the cab and six people in the back all wearing civilian clothes and carrying AK-47s. I suddenly remembered the article I read a few weeks ago about the group of men who drive into the Kitale market in may and just started randomly shooting people. Seeing as I was close to what I am guessing is the Kitale market I did get a little nervous, and ready to jump over the concrete wall behind me. But seeing as no-one around me started screaming, I decided to play it cool. You wouldn't want the embarrassment of diving over walls and screaming everytime a ute full of heavily armed men rocked up. People would think you were a pansy. Still the men all looked prety friendly so I figured they weren't going to kill anyone today. At least not anyone in the Kitale market. They drove off after picking up a friend and we all survived.

Eventually we squashed six people into the cab of Isaiah’s ute and put one or two Africans in the back and headed off to Bungorma (I think) which is somewhere in Kenya, about 20kms from the Ugandan border.

We were checked into our guest house, where we were given a room with two beds that were much comfier than floor tiles and the back of taxis, two mosquito nets with holes and rips so big it only keeps out those mozzies that are the size of small dogs, and a shower that was so close to the toilet you could do all your ablutions at the same time. They’re into multitasking these Kenyans.

Then it was off to the Youth Conference that was due to start at 10am. I think we arrived at 3pm. And while we were late even by African standards there were still some youth there (think 5-year-olds, they have a very broad definition of “youth” here) singing songs. One does wonder if they had been singing for the past 5 hours straight. If they were ever to introduce Singing Marathons at the Olympics I reckon Kenya would be a sure bet for a medal.

We didn’t end up doing the youth conference, we just told people to come to the Crusade.

The Crusade was held out the front of the church. We were at a small farming community called Tipte (I think again) about 8kms from town, closer still to Uganda. The church itself was just a mud building with a tin roof and dirt floor. I quite liked it. It reminded me of Beach Mission, only permanent. The church had a splendid patch of grass out the front that was excellent for playing running around games on.

When it was vaguely time to start the crusade a sound system had been set up running off a small generator (the community had not electricity) that was loud enough to half deafen the 60 people who had turned up and thoroughly drench the surrounding corn fields with a healthy dose of African worship and the Word of God. Let’s hope they grow better as a result. Singing started and the Crusade was underway. I was about to become an International Preacher in a community hidden in a corn field, that had a total population smaller than my church, a combined income of less than my annual salary, and a bunch of people who only half spoke my language. I couldn’t think of a better place to start. Let’s hope I’ll always get, and take gigs like that.

I preached the sermon about the Lost Son that I have on ChristianSpeakers.com.au. Preaching in another culture and being translated into another language is a tough gig. You have no idea what’s funny, what’s connecting, what images people will get, which one’s won’t translate. But I figured I should just go for it and see what happens. I found I was a lot more charismatic than I am at home. I think because I figure, even if they can’t understand what I’m saying I want them to hear that I care about it.

During the sermon people kept waving at me. It was a little odd. It was like people just kept wanting to say “Hi”. Later I realised they do this when they like what you’re doing. That’s nice.

When I was finished, Albert led the alter call which was pretty much like my sermon again, Albert style. But 30 people responded I was told, that’s pretty good. I don’t care if they came because of me or Albert, as long as they came.

For dinner we were taken down some narrow dirt roads for about ten minutes to the backwaters of backwaters to the Pastors house. He had a grass roofed hut and a tin roofed hut. We got the tin roofed one. We ate dinner by the light of a paraphin lamp. I'm not too sure what we ate because I couldn't see it. I think it might have been another scarwny chicken. Poor thing.

The night meeting was a revival back at the Beach Mission church. Think Soul Survivor meeting with more African singing, just a casio keyboard and lots more shouting. I preached on 1 Samuel 4. People stared at me blankly, except the Pastor's wife. She kept saying "Amen".

We ended the night praying for lots of people. Many times when I asked people what they wanted prayer for they said "My education". It was sad and beautiful at the same time.

We returned to Hotel Shower'n'Poo and slept well. Except for the rodent sized mozzie who big me on the back, probably injecting maleria in me like that guy who sits in theaters and stabs people with AIDS. Or is that just an urban legend?