Update from Africa Nazarene University

March 28, 2008 at 3:30 pm 3 comments

Habari Yako! (How are you doing?)

“Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always” (Psalm 105:1-4).

I hope things are going well for you this week after Easter. For us it has been a week of rain in the evenings and muddy roads to travel over. Fortunately, we were able to purchase a four-wheel drive vehicle this week so we have had no problems so far. Others have been mired down in the road to the school and sometimes have a long wait for buses to be dug out before proceeding. Our heartfelt thanks is given for the large gift provided by our wonderful friends at Fort Myers, Florida First Church of the Nazarene Church and to the many other people who have supported us with deputation offerings and made this purchase possible.

Easter break lasted from Good Friday through Easter Monday. It’s amazing to see how government offices, schools, banks, and many businesses were closed for the entire time in honor of the Easter holiday. There is great respect for Christianity here and its influence has been felt across the country. How wonderful it would be if everyone, everywhere shared in the same respect for this holy weekend.

We were able to spend the holiday at Amboseli Game Park on the border of Tanzania and at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. Its’ snowcapped peak was beautiful and set the stage for the rest of the beautiful scenary of God’s creation. We were able to see many herds of elephants, waterbucks, wildibeasts, zebras, warthogs, hyenas, jackels, buffalos, and gazelles. We even saw some lions and other feline creatures that weren’t fully identified. Monkeys were everywhere! It was an amazing experience! On Saturday evening we sat at the lodge listening to a young African man play his guitar and sing folks songs in Kiswahili and then watched as native Masai drummers and dancers performed their show for all the tourists. In the background just outside the four-foot walls of the compound we could see a continual parade of waterbucks, zebra, gazelles, wildebeasts, and a huge elephant in the background with its calf. We were a mixed crowd as we observed people from the Far East, India, Europe, the US, and of course, from various countries in Africa. If there is one lesson I have learned in my travels to various parts of the world it is that people are people everywhere. We all have the same needs and the same hopes. We also can have them met through a relationship with Jesus Christ if only we will avail ourselves to Him.

On Sunday morning we gathered a small group for an Easter service and we sang songs of faith and I shared the old story of the resurrection once again. It was a beautiful morning and a day of celebration. It is so neat to know that we were just one group of millions who likewise found their own way to remember the transforming power of the cross and the empty tomb. It was late afternoon before we got back to the campus, tired, but grateful for such a memorable experience.

This week students are registering for the next trimester and classes are beginning to wind down. Next Friday the classes will end and on the following Monday two weeks of final exams will begin. As I have mentioned before, since 60% of the final grade is based upon the exam results, this is a tense time for many. It’s also a busy time for lecturers (professors) who have to grade all these papers and record the results. Our load will be lighter than most this time since we returned to Africa too late to be involved in the teaching process this trimester. We have only two more chapels to go and then exams are upon us. We should have adequate preparation time for the next trimester since we have no exams to grade this time.

We had a new blessing come to our house yesterday – a television antenna. We can now get seven to eight stations, depending on the weather, and that’s quite a change from the one or two we have been getting. We even get news in English now and that will be very helpful. Also, our new addition is coming along slowly, but surely. The walls are up and before long the roof will be going on. In a couple of months we should have a new master bedroom and bathroom. It will be nice to have all of our living space on one level. We climb enough steps around here.

My health has been doing very well and I am even considering getting back to jogging again by the start of next month. My blood pressure is normal as is my Coumadin count. Mary Jane has had some rough days recently, but seems to be doing better now. We are learning to eat fresh fruits and vegetables only when we are at home and can clean them with bleach. Considering our jobs, that’s a little difficult at times though. Mary Jane is preparing for the two classes she will be teaching next trimester (Study Skills and English), working with the Alumni office, and coordinating visiting teams and individuals to the campus. I think she is going to have to hit her “no” button before long.

I am in the process of putting together a web page that you will be able to link on to at any time. This, hopefully, will include pictures, updates, and various other information about our ministry here. I will still send out a weekly reminder with a link you can click to take you directly to the page. Hopefully, this will be ready by next week and will make our ministry more accessible and interesting.

So, that’s what’s happening in our part of the world as another week comes to a close. We look forward to sharing with you again next Friday. May the Lord’s best be yours until then.

Kwa heri! (Goodbye)

Randy and Mary Jane James
Africa Nazarene University
P.O. Box 53067-00200
Nairobi, Kenya


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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dr. Frank ruckman  |  April 3, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    Randy & Mary Jane-You are in our prayers. We LOVE keeping up with your progress. This will be a good addition to your “weekly updates”.

    Frank & Sylvia

  • 2. Danny Liechty  |  April 3, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    Hi Randy & MJ So nice to hear from you folks. We leave Florida
    a week from Sunday.. We pray for you daily. Hope everyone
    in well there.. Looking forward to seeing some pictures

    Love you all
    Danny & Carol

  • 3. Bill & Shirley Reed  |  April 11, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Dear Friends, So good to hear from you once again…we keep you in our prayers daily and even some nights when we are awaken we think of & pray for you. We had the privilege of visiting Ft. Meyers 1st March 4th and truly enjoyed meeting many nice people, seeing the facilities and renewing our friendship with Pastor Joey & Linda……Still hoping we can visit you sometime.


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