Our family has been blessed by the natural and cultural richness we’ve been able to enjoy during our time in Kenya. But lest readers of this blog think that’s all we’ve done, let me update you on my work and ministry at Bridgeworld College.
I’m on campus most Mondays, every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and some Fridays. This semester I’ve been teaching three courses: a survey of church history (a 75 minute-long class on Tuesday mornings), a course in systematic theology (a 2 1/2 hour-long class on Wednesday afternoons), and a course in New Testament studies (a 2 1/2 hour-long class on Thursday mornings). Each hour of class time requires approximately 2-3 hours of preparation. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed preparing for and teaching all of these courses. The interaction with students in class and the discussions we’ve had have been very stimulating. And recent test results have encouraged me that the students have even learned a few things along the way!
The week of October 24-28, I’ll be teaching a one-week intensive course on “Preaching Christ from the Old Testament.” Providentially, the day before I travelled to Grand Rapids in early June for CRWM orientation, I received an email from Sidney Greidanus, a retired Calvin Seminary professor and friend, inviting me to help myself to books in his library as he downsizes in preparation for a move. When I visited Sid he gave me the last 20 copies of the lecture notes for students from his course “Preaching Christ from the Old Testament,” which will be a great resource for this course and the students who attend.
In addition to my teaching responsibilities, I was asked to preach three times during chapel services at Bridgeworld College, which I did in August. The college public relationship department has also arranged for me to preach at a few local Christian high schools’ prayer services for their senior students. And, to assist the college’s public relations and recruitment work, I’ve written a couple of articles for a Kenyan ministry newspaper.
One of the schools at which I preached was Elyon High School, where the energetic Daniel Otieno, a part-time lecturer at Bridgeworld College in the social work department, is the principal. At Elyon I met Bishop William Eyika, the school’s director, who came to Kenya in the 1980s as a Ugandan refugee. He told me that he walked to Kenya with a Bible in one hand and a guitar in the other. His wife also had a Bible in one hand; her other hand was leading their five children. That’s all they came to Kenya with – two Bibles, one guitar, five children, and the clothes on their back. When William learned that I am CRC, he was especially eager to meet me because of the positive impact of World Renew (then CRWRC) in his life at that time. He spoke very appreciatively of Ida Kaastra-Mutoigo, the current director of World Renew-Canada, who was serving in East Africa at that time. Today William oversees multiple churches and directs a growing Christian high school.
This past Sunday I preached at a Sunday worship service for the first time since the last Sunday in June at Faith Church in Pella. Rev. Muchiri, chaplain and PR officer at Bridgeworld College, invited me to preach at Isinya KAG (Kenya Assemblies of God), where he is a pastor. Evan and Graeme came along with me and Patrick, a staff member from Bridgeworld who accompanied us. Isinya, about 58 kilometers south of Nairobi, is in rural Kenya. After the worship service, we joined Muchiri, John, an associate pastor at the church, and their bishop for lunch at a nearby restaurant, where the boys tried tilapia served as a whole fish. Afterwards we gave the bishop a ride home on our way back to Nairobi. When we dropped him off, he gave us a tour of his five-acre mixed vegetable, fruit, herb, dairy, and pig farm.
Click any picture below to open slide show from our trip to Isinya.
On Thursday, I will be preaching at another prayer service for seniors at a Christian high school in Nairobi, and on Sunday, our family will again visit the wa Kitavis. I have been asked to preach at the English and Kiswahili (with a translator) services at Deliverance Church, where Dr. wa Kitavi is an associate pastor.
Click here to read a great article on the need for theological education in Kenya. Thank you so much for your support and prayers. Please continue to pray for Bridgeworld College and similar institutions in Kenya and across Africa.