Tuesday, December 1, 2009

my blogging has slowed down over the last month or so, and i think i figured out why. i got past the "this is new and interesting" phase for my everyday activities, and we have been so busy, that when i do have a break i dont necessarily want to jump back into thinking about all the stuff there is to do. ill try to get a few observations posted in the last couple weeks here though.


the second trip was way better than the first. amazing what not being sick can do for you. we got to see them introduce the Proclaimer. it is an audio box with the entire bible contained in it in pokot language. this is the first time many of them have heard the bible in their mother tongue. that was a cool meeting.

it was also amazing at the church we went to on sunday how welcoming the people were, and how thankful to God they were for every little thing they had. hour and fifteen minute walk to the church by the way, in the blazing sun...too hot

and i discovered the maquaja tree. it has little pods which contain edible fruit. the fruit tastes exactly like warheads. seriously, its natures warhead. this tree was so amazing mainly because it had the best places to sit and read of any tree iv ever been in. i could basically lounge with feet extended on a branch, and be leaning back on another branch. it was very comfortable.


took two overnight buses in order to allow a couple days in mombasa. the first touristy thing we have done. it was insanely hot there, and the ocean felt like a hot tub so we didnt spend much time in the water. it was incredibly nice to be able to slow down for a couple days and get some reading done again. moryn, a friend of a friend of an acquaintance, set us up with a hostel to stay at and took us around both nights. she is incredibly nice, and was a lot of fun. she made the trip so much easier and better than it would have been if we had been completely on our own. it was also nice to hang out with a christian who didnt mind having a drink. alcohol for most kenyan christians is seen as about the worst thing ever. had a corona with lime...so good

for the next two days we will be at bonifaces so probably no internet. but i cant wait to spend two days out there reading, writing, and enjoying the serenity. also the boys are back from school now so we will get to meet them.

Monday, November 23, 2009


so about a year and a half ago i decided to quit baseball for two main reasons. i wanted to put as much time as possible into my relationships at school during my last year, and i wanted to come to africa.

nothing that has happened in the time since that decision has done anything but confirm that it was the best possible decision i could have made. the list of things i have done which i would not have done otherwise is too long to even think that i know all the contents of said list.

but one thing i made sure of at the time of my retirement was that i left the door to baseball cracked open. if upon my return from africa i still had any desire to play again, then i could conceivably do that.

now i am less than a month from returning which means i had better decide what i will do. while i wont say 100% right now, its at least north of 80%.

so after a week or so to recover from jet lag, assimilate back into american culture, and eat a very unhealthy amount of food; ill start trying to transform my body back into something that can throw a baseball ha. im the smallest iv been since freshman year of high school right now so iv got a lot of work to do...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Q: how many mzungus have spent the night in kibera...

...that you know?

A: 2 (or possibly just 1 if you dont know sarah)

i kinda feel like i should have something really amazing to say about how different, or scary, or weird it was...but i dont.

i have spent enough days in kibera, and i have left kibera after dark a couple times so that just being there wasnt a big deal

we spent most of the time at nicks place. we were constantly given tea, mandazi, and lots of food for dinner and breakfast. we painted a bed frame at his workshop last night. i still have some of that paint on my hands 2 days later.

it was a bit sobering while walking out of kibera at 8am to see so many kids just squating along the edge of a little hill going to the bathroom.

oh yea, and i get/have to preach on sunday. managed to make it 22 years without ever preaching to even a youth group. now i get a pentecostal african church

Friday, November 6, 2009

global leadership summit

the last two days sarah and i have attended the global leadership summit at nairobi pentacostal church with grace, nick, and sylvia. the gls is put on by willow creek church in chicago and has satellite showings in over 200 cities and 54 countries around the world.

the speakers were very good, but since there were about 10 that is just way too much info to try to mention at all. but just very good overall. it was very good for us to see how christianity can be done well in america again. we have been over here for long enough that it is hard to remember exactly what the american perspective is.

Monday, November 2, 2009


it took quite a while for sarah or me to have an attempted pickpocket, but weve had a couple in the last two weeks.

the pickpockets get onto the matatu with a poster board wrapped in a plastic bag normally. it gives them something big to lay over your bag or pocket as they go in for the steal.

on the first ride this happened sarah noticed her bag was unzipped and scared the guy off, while i felt something im pretty sure was fingers trying to get into my pocket. it was a crowded matatu (the only kind really) so i couldnt tell where it came from. but nothing taken

then a few days ago some guys made another attempt, it was at least two or three working together. they created a distraction, something about everybody putting on seatbelts, but sarah was wise to them from the start so she pulled my bag out of their reach. however, just before the matatu stopped, i noticed a guy in front of me handing back a cell phone held between his poster board to the guy next to me, who tried to grab it between his poster board. they dropped the cell phone and the owner noticed his phone was gone. then everybody was getting off, and i looked on the floor and grabbed the phone, and gave it back to the owner. we need to learn how to call out the thieves in swahili.

so...never try to put on a seatbelt just cause everybody else starts doing it, and look out large flat objects as the only thing somebody is carrying. just in case your ever on a matatu...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

a time of taking in

"In a way all of us at Oxford knew, knew as an undercurrent in our minds, that it wouldn't last for ever. Lew and Mary Ann expressed it one night by saying: 'This, you know, is a time of taking in-taking in friendship, conversation, gaiety, wisdom, knowledge, beauty, holiness-and later, well, there'll be a time of giving out.' Later, when we were scattered about the world. Now we must store up the strength, the riches, all that Oxford had given us, to sustain us after. She stood there, Oxford, like a mother to us all with her hands heaped with riches. We could take what we would. We, Davy and I, would, for one thing, take all who came to the Studio. Whoever came, whatever the hour, was always welcome."
-Sheldon Vanauken, A Severe Mercy

i read this today and was stopped dead in my tracts. i think i read it aloud to sarah before i had even finished the whole quote above.

for our whole group of friends "community" is such a buzzword. and rightfully so, its a big deal that is so fulfilling for everyone who takes part. this quote articulates more than anything i have ever seen the hope i have for me, and everyone else when i return to waco. if everybody understands and strives to meet this idealization which this passage describes, i cant imagine anything but good occuring. realizing that the setting for this quote is in oxford with a lot of graduate students who were between 25-30 for the most part gives me so much hope for the next few years as well as so much to look forward to.

just replace any oxford with baylor, and these are my feelings written down, i just didnt quite realize it this precisely till i read it.

the Studio is van and davy's home which was always bursting with life, friendships and conversation. reading this, my first thought jumped to my home last year- 5th and daughtrey. i love the sentiments expressed here for a way of life as symbolized and summed up by the perspective of home.

"This, you know, is a time of taking in-taking in friendship, conversation, gaiety, wisdom, knowledge, beauty, holiness-and later, well, there'll be a time of giving out."

Monday, October 26, 2009

american believe in God. kenyans trust God.

the most succinct way to sum up the difference between christians in america and christians in kenya is that americans believe in God while kenyans trust God.

aside from anything that i thought i might be able to help kenyans with when preparing for my trip here, i was hoping that in some way this trip would help me sort out some ideas i had about christianity, and what it means to be a christian. to say i had a fairly cyncical view on most things related to christianity is pretty accurate. also, the feeling of people acting a certain way because they think thats what christians do rather than because they are sincere gave me uncomfortable associations with even the most necessary and best things in christianity, prayer and reading the bible. i cant pinpoint where some of my feeling came from, but i have some idea as to parts.

the root of it comes to how i feel/felt fake or false doing much of the things which are expected acts of christianity. and there is nothing that i hate more than putting on a front of any kind, so i avoided the things that game me those feelings. and i also hate cliches which im using right now. cause sometimes there isnt any other way to say what you mean and be understood. what was odd about this spiritual "dry spell" was that i was doing many of the things that as far as i know a christian is supposed to do, and loving every bit of it. those things came from my involvement with after school programs, and planning my trip to kenya. it seemed odd to me that i was spiritually stagnant, yet never more sure of the decisions which i had made that allowed my involvement in these programs and my trip to kenya. also, the swiftness which the doors had opened for these respective activities was amazing.

so among other things, i hoped prior to the trip that i could gain some perspective of all that prayer and reading the bible stuff.

by getting immersed in the culture and getting to know the people here better it really becomes obvious how different christianity is in kenya and america. this difference, and how kenyan trust looks or might look in america are topics that sarah and i have spent a lot of time discussing. sarah was about 2 years ahead of me on all topics related to kenya and spirituality. as i have come to realizations about some things and mentioned them to sarah, her response has been along the lines of, "well yea, thats what iv been trying to figure out for two years!" its been good to be able to talk to sarah about things which she has thought about and struggled with for some time, while i am just arriving at the questions.

what we keep coming back to in all these conversations is what does this kenyan level of trust look like in america, especially as college age students. but that question really applies to any point in life. in america there isnt the issue (for me or anybody reading this blog probably) of where the next meal will come from. another issue, is how do we convey the difference we experienced over here to anybody who hasnt had the same experience? despite all my friends who have taken trips here, nothing really got to me just from hearing their stories in remotely the same way that spending 2 months here has. while that makes some sense, it is a story that american churches need to hear. and more importantly understand. but again, how? dont have an answer yet.

i have examples that i can remember from growing up of many times when our family didnt necessarily have the money to pay for things, but it would be provided from somewhere unexpected. so i have seen similar types of trust in God exhibited by my parents. but again, this still comes from a position of not having much money. and that is not the position that a majority of american christians are in. so how does it look especially when somebody does have enough money to live a comfortable life? trusting God becomes harder and harder the less reliant a person has to be on God in their basic needs of life. so not a lot of answers so far. but im very thankful to have learned enough thus far to be asking these questions.

im sure there will be more musings along these lines in the future