Friday, August 18, 2006

Reunions and Renewal

Tonight I feel:
- joyful
- content
- happy
- excited

This afternoon I got to see my host brother and sister (Slade – pronounced sled - and Vickie). They are living in Kisumu along with another brother, but I knew we wouldn’t get a chance to see them today. So, we walked out of a shop and there they happened to be! I was so excited to see them. They ended up spending the rest of the afternoon with us.

Today as we were leaving Kisumu, I was feeling very afraid of being in an accident in a matatu and being killed. As we went along, I knew that there was nothing I could do, so I just prayed and asked God to take away my fears. I realized that if it was my time to go, that was okay. I sat in the matatu and prayed for a lot of different people and as I did, I was totally refreshed and renewed. I enjoyed seeing everything we passed.

We were very blessed traveling home today. We were delayed a long time in Kisumu and were waiting for a vehicle at 5:30 to go home. When one came, the conductor was turning away most people who weren’t going all the way to Kakamega (we were only going halfway), but for some reason, he let us on (maybe my skin, maybe not). When we got off, we waited for the next vehicle and when it came, it was the one belonging to a friend of ours who is a pastor at the church I want to go to while I’m here. He got on partway to go home and they ended up taking us all the way home (it was very dark). My host dad (Aggrey) had already arranged with a bodaboda (bicycle taxi) driver to wait for us take us home, so we called him and told him to go ahead and we paid him the normal fare once he got home. It was very nice to see Pastor Kepher and I look forward to being at church with him and his wife. If I can’t be at home at my church in Detroit, at least I can be at this church here.

When we got home, the other brother who lives in Kisumu (Mukuna) was there. He has come home for a few days because I’m here. We stood outside and watched the stars and talked and reminded each other of things that happened when I was here before and funny things we used to say. We talked about what he’s doing now and the challenges he’s faced, as well as God’s goodness. I felt so happy and content to be here as we were talking, and I felt really good about the decision to come back - to show my commitment to the community and to have an extended opportunity to renew relationships instead of just a quick visit. So many people remember me (actually more than I remember myself) and they all seem excited that I’ve come back again. I think there will be some good opportunities for research, and while I’m at it, good opportunities for relationships. God is good.

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