Hi, it’s Daniel here with my news update for the month of September. In the next few minutes I’ll bring you up to speed on the OpenHMIS hospital software project, let you in on some of the comings and goings on the Rose Avenue compound, and tell you more about what I’m doing with my weekends, with a special feature on the little brethren church in Kibera. Thanks for joining me!
This month has seen a lot of progress on the hospital software. Since our meeting in Kijabe last month, Wes and I have been working hard to get a cashier module up and running. We weren’t able to find existing software that was flexible enough to fit into a hospital management system, so we’ve been building our own module from scratch. We did a demonstration for stakeholders last week and hope to have version one running at the Marira clinic in the coming weeks.
Thanks for your prayers for our search for another programmer to join the CHAK team. Wes and I were pleased to be able to conduct four interviews in September with Kenyan candidates. We haven’t made any final decisions yet, though, because we see this as an important position for the future of the project, and we need a person with the experience and skills to lead development when Wes and I finish our terms.
I didn’t mention it in my last update, but near the end of August I welcomed two German guys to the townhouse where I’m living (we call it Rose 6). Do you guys want to introduce yourselves to the listeners?
Clemens: Hey, this is Clemens.
Micha: And I'm Micha.
Clemens: We are from the south of Germany—the town called Stuttgart. Stuttgart is a very famous town because the cars Mercedes were built in Stuttgart.
Micha: We work together at a school in the slum Kariobangi in Nairobi. It's on the other side of the town and we teach.
Clemens: And it's fun.
Micha: Yes, it's really fun. We will do this for one year, so we will stay in Nairobi for one year, and we will leave in July.
Daniel: Thanks guys! It's good to have you here!
At the compound we’ve said goodbye to four friends this month; Elise and Penny from the States and Vanessa and Mikah from New Zealand. Sometimes it feels like a lot of change, so I’m looking forward to having Clemens and Micha around for the long haul.
Sundays have become busy days for me. As you know, I attend a small brethren assembly in Kibera in the mornings. Also, during my church search, I met a former MAF pilot named Alan who lives on the outskirts of Nairobi with his family, and on Sunday afternoons, hosts some activities for local high school kids. I’ve been attending that for a month or more now. Usually we play some sports and then have a Bible study, which I’ve had the chance to lead once already. Alan is a lot of fun, along with his wife Ruth (who feeds me after I arrive mid-afternoon via matatu), and their three kids, Nate, Esther, and Jonathan.
Those are some of the sounds that I’m used to hearing between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m. at BAF Kibera’s little building. Bethuel, one of the high school students who attends regularly does a really good job of teaching Sunday School to the kids who come first thing in the morning.
Bethuel leading a song
As you can hear, a lot goes on in Swahili, and I still have a long way to go before I can follow along in that language, but this past month, with a lot of interpretation help from Bethuel, I took part of the children’s time and talked to them about God’s power in our lives.
Children's offering song
We’re really encouraged to see the regular attendance of the children, and it’s great to see them being fed, from bowls and from the Bible.
Hallelujah, What A Saviour
The next part of the morning is full of hymns, both in English and Swahili.
I have many things to be thankful for, but especially three things during these services. First, many of the tunes are familiar because they’re the same as hymns that I know in English. Second, Swahili phonetics are very consistent, meaning that when you write an a, it always sounds like “ah,” and third, they have song books at the church, so I can sing along quite well, though I rarely know exactly what I’m saying.
What A Friend We Have In Jesus, in Swahili
As you might be able to hear, we’re often quite a small group on Sunday mornings. I do pray that we as a church would be effective in reaching out to the surrounding community and perhaps see some growth, but at the same time the small numbers make it much easier for me to get to know the people who come regularly, so I’m really enjoying worshiping with them.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this audio version of my monthly update. I’ll have the transcript up on my blog, along with some photos, as well as an updated list of prayer requests.
Let me take this opportunity to say thanks again to all of you who have supported me, with your money, your time and your prayers. I’m very grateful to have this time to serve in Kenya with the gifts God has given me. Thanks for being a part of that gift. I praise God for the good things that have happened so far, and I’m excited to see what we can do with nine more months here.
God bless you, or as they say in Kenya, Mungu barikiwe!
Thank God for opportunities and strength to serve Him, on the programming project and in the church. My programming work has been going a lot smoother than during the first month or so, and Wes and I are happy with our progress. I've also had the chance to speak twice at two different churches in Kibera, as well as to help with the Sunday School and at the afternoon Bible study.
Thank God for good health. I had a short and minor bout with some intestinal bug this month, but got the necessary medicine and am back to normal.
Pray for the programming project. We worked toward a tight deadline of deploying at the Marira clinic on the 9th (tomorrow). However, some of the equipment that we need is still on its way to us, so we'll be pushing back the installation by a week or two. Wes and I will be very busy as we get the system installed and make sure that things go smoothly as the people at the clinic begin to use our software.
Pray for guidance and wisdom as I explore ways to serve in the churches around Nairobi. The elders at Brethren Assembly Fellowship are suggesting all kinds of ideas for encouraging and teaching churches and youth groups. I know I can't do everything, though, so I need to decide on the most effective ways to help.
Pray for Kenya, for peace and security. There has been violence in Mombasa and more recently in Nairobi against churches. We are also hoping for a peaceful election process in the spring of next year.