Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Morning in Kenya + An African Son

Friday morning in Eldoret, Kenya. The hotel's breakfast buffet is on the outside porch. I'm eating breakfast next to the outdoor pool. A bowl of porridge with honey, a fruit drink called "passion juice," fresh mango and fresh pineapple. Both are grown here in the Eldoret area, which is "the bread basket of Kenya."

We take the 5 1/2 hour drive back to Nairobi today. Then tomorrow, 10:30 PM, to Amsterdam, and then home to Detroit.

Here are bullet points from yesterday and more, not necessarily in any order.
  • I talked with a pastor named David, who leads a church in Eldoret. I can tell he is a great leader. He's talking with me about wher he could get a Master's seminary degree in the U.S. I've read a lot about African religions, both prior to coming and while here. We talked about African scholar John Mbiti's idea of African ancestor appeasement and caregiving and ancesters as "the living dead." I asked David about "diviners." Yes, Africa is full of diviners, people who can tell you your future and even more. Some of them have flags on top of their houses to advertise their powers of divination. African is, it could be said, entirely religious. African primal religion believes in a Supreme Being, with many sub-deities who serve the Supreme Being. The Supreme Being is a distant being; the sub-deities are intermediaries. And, even the ancestors, the "living dead," serve their living families as intermediaries between them and God. Mbiti's work is well-known here and very relevant.
  • Duncan is a young pastor from the Maasai tribe. I'm wearing the Maasai bracelet he gave me. Yesterday Duncan wanted to take pictures with me and of me. I have his address. I'll be sending him materials from my teachings. I feel very close to him.
  • Titus was my translator all week. My English messages were translated into Kiswahili. Titus is a 37-year-old pastor whose small church is in Kenya near the Ugandan border. We talked quite a bit. He is very intelligent. I’m sending him my teaching notes, plus I’ll be sending him a book to study. He is, like nearly all the pastors here, very poor. He has one bicycle. Last night he wanted to talk some more. He is an exceedingly gracious and humble man. He took my hands and said to me, “Now you have a son in Africa.”

    My laptop battery is fading. I’ll write some more, hopefully, when I get to Nairobi later, + download a billion photos since the internet is faster in the big city.