Yesterday was a wonderful day. We had slept well and felt no ill-effects of all the travel time. Saltieli took us “window shopping” (his words, which is ironic as there were no windows) and we relaxed over pizza at a local place where many Americans eat. I can tell that it has been a long time since I’ve relaxed well. It felt good to be able to truly unwind.
As I write this, I am aware that it is Sunday morning in Lincoln – and therefore it is Pastor Eric’s first day. Welcome, Eric! I am so excited about the direction of our team. God is so good. It does feel strange to be away from the pulse of Sheridan. But this is probably a good and necessary thing.
Today was great. We got up after another good night’s sleep and departed for Karansi with Saltieli and our driver, Ali. It was a cool morning, made even cooler by the elevation at Karansi. We arrived at the main church and then were led to a remote location. This is a new locale that we have never been to before. It is a nice building. It is simple, but very well kept.
Much to our surprise, the ELCT Northern Diocese had sent the group from Minnesota/Pennsylvania there. So it was weird to have another group of nine there. Pastor Chad has been a longtime visitor to TZ. His former congregation in Penn. had built the orphanage that the NE Synod trip goes to. Now he is in the Twin Cities and he is building relationships with his new congregation and the Northern Diocese.
Worship was wonderful. I was asked to preach – a daunting task to try to bridge the gap we know exists. As part of my message I asked that we have Holy Communion and I gave a gift of a home Communion Kit to Pastor Joshua. It all seemed well-received. Once again, we were given full Maasai garb and a meal afterwards. It is truly humbling to experience this again. It never gets old! I found myself choking back the tears…
During the post-worship auction and social time, Emilie was able to talk with a young man who teaches English within the Karansi community. He was able to articulate to her how much days like this mean for their community. So much of what they hear about Americans is negative, so for them to hear such positive words that uplift them as spiritual partners means the world to them. He said that days like this are never forgotten in his community.
After worship we traveled to the main Karansi church and we were updated on the progress of the school. They are very confident that it will be complete by the time February rolls around. We have the dedication day set and they are excited in anticipation.
We were tired when we got back to Uhuru. We both napped and are preparing to go to supper with Saltieli and his wife, Helena. That will be a treat. We are fully packed for the climb, so we’re feeling prepared in that way. Tonight we begin our altitude medicine.
Obviously, we will be out of touch for the next six days. As always, keep us in your prayers as we climb. I hope it goes well!
Grace and peace to each of you! Know that you are missed!