News from October
The end of October marked my fourth month in Kenya. When I think about it, it’s hard to believe that I’m finished a third of my time here. Here’s a look at what happened over the last month.
As you know, our initial target was to deploy our first version of the hospital software to our pilot site on October 9th. We knew this was an aggressive target to begin with, and it turned out that we couldn’t get all of the equipment we needed (i.e., server machine and operating system) until later on this month. The good news is that we've had a bit of extra time to iron out our version 1.0 release and we're confident that things will go smoothly when we install the system, hopefully next week. Stay tuned to the blog for an update on the deployment at Marira.
On October 20 I met up with my friend Bethuel and hopped a matatu down to Nairobi's Nyayo Stadium to take in the festivities of Mashujaa (Heroes) Day. I would likely need a separate post to properly describe the rigorous security measures in place around the stadium and upon entering, the many sequences of the military parade, and the striking difference in audience reaction between what the president said in English and what he said in Swahili. All stories told, it was a fun look at Kenyan culture, and I enjoyed the time spent with my friend from church.
Skype with Rosemount
The next day, Sunday the 21st, I had the privilege of joining the congregation at Rosemount Bible Church via Skype during their Family Bible Hour to give a brief summary of my time so far in Nairobi. My brother David did the honours of interviewing me, and I hope that I was clear and concise in my answers!
The Saturday of the 27th my German friends and I set out to hike the Ngong (Maasai for “knuckle”) Hills which are just outside Ngong Town, not far from Nairobi. We were very fortunate to meet up with a large group of teachers in training at the trail entrance who agreed to let us join them and thus save us from having to hire an armed escort. The hike was beautiful and the whole day went as smoothly as we could have hoped for.
Fires in Kibera
Last week there was a fire in Kibera, very near the church that I attend, that destroyed 2000 structures and will leave hundreds of people homeless. Thankfully, the fire, though it came nearly up to the rear wall, did not cause damage to the church building, though apparently the nearby crisis seemed like a good opportunity for someone to steal some of the metal sheets from our roof and wall.
God is faithful, and He is continuing to teach me how to be more like Him. I am challenged to simply trust Him for my “daily bread” and for help in temptation, and after that to get on with praying for his kingdom to come and His will to be done, being His agent wherever I find myself.
Thank God for health and safety. I try not to take it for granted that I’ve been generally healthy and shielded from the dangers that I am aware of and probably some to which I am oblivious. Walking in Kibera and downtown, travelling on the road between Nairobi and the hospital sites, and even crossing the streets in Nairobi traffic—please pray that God will continue to watch over me.
Pray for the programming project. We’re happy with our progress, but slightly behind schedule. Pray that we will be able to deploy the software soon and that things will go smoothly as people at the clinic begin to use it. Pray for wisdom and guidance as Wes and I cooperate with CHAK and other resources here to decide the most effective next steps to take after version 1.0.
Pray for the church in Kibera. I believe that we have the resources to repair the church building, but it would also be great if there were ways that we could reach out to the community around us that has been devastated by this fire. Pray for the children that we see on Sunday mornings that may have been affected by the fire. Also, pray for the high school students at the church, many of whom are currently writing exams, and some of whom are making decisions about what and where to study after high school.
Pray that I will be effective in my various ministries, choosing the important things to focus on, and not doing more than I can do happily and responsibly. Pray that I will take time to listen to what God is saying to me.