April 3, 2008 at 12:45 pm 11 comments

Jambo! Watu nyumbani hawajambo? (Hello! How are the people at home?)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your path straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Welcome to our new weblog page. In days to come I hope to be adding more links that will connect you to pictures, field and regional web pages, and perhaps even videos from ANU. Right now our Internet is so slow that pictures just can’t be loaded on, but hopefully that will change in the near future – or perhaps I can add them at a local Internet cafe. We will keep you posted.

The picture that is at the top of the page is of the road that we travel whenever we come or go from the school. Our buses and school transport drive this road many times a day. It is basically rock and dirt and changes drastically with the weather. It is approximately three kilometers long (about 1.8 miles) and is like driving in a dry creek bed most of the time. It has been promised to us that it would be paved long ago, but time is pretty much irrelevant on construction projects in Kenya.

Last Saturday was a quiet day for us. We took a trip to the Nacumatt and did a little shopping and stopped at an “On the Run” convenient store/gas station/restaurant for lunch. When we returned home I went for a walk throughout the area countryside. I must be quite a spectacle to the local children. They usually wave as I walk by and try out their English by shouting “How are you!” I just wave and say “Mzuri sana,” meaning, “I’m fine, thank you.” Every once in a while I meet up with another walker and greet them with “Habari Yako” (How are you doing?) and they respond “Mzuri” (I’m fine) and continue on. However, sometimes when I greet a local they want to talk and break into a full Kiswahili diatribe and I find myself wishing I had been studying the local language more. The walk took me a couple of hours and I even found a footbridge over the river so now I can cut some mileage off when I am away from campus.

Sunday found us having our morning worship service here on campus. Dr. Mark Pitts, our assistant vice-chancellor, taught our Sunday School class and I preached in the morning service. Mary Jane led singing from the keyboard while my assistant, Constantino Magaya and I helped out with vocals and guitars. We introduced the students to some American-style music and I’m sure it seemed as foreign to them as theirs does to us.

We have finished our last chapel service for the trimester. There are no chapels held during the two weeks of final exams because large rooms like the chapels are tranformed into classrooms for testing. Each day testing will be from 9 until noon and then from 2 until 5. It’s serious business. The whole semester of study depends on how they do on these tests. You can fail the entire semester, but if you do well enough on the exam you can pass the class. However, if you fail the exam the class must be taken over. There are no exceptions.

The landscaping around our home has really changed the looks of the place. There is a ten foot corigated metal wall around our yard now (I call it the iron curtain) and inside the wall the place has been turned into a garden showplace. Flowers and plants of all kinds line our driveway, which is made of handlaid bricks and grass is placed throughout the yard – one blade at a time. The work is quite a sight to behold and it looks beautiful. Our gardener, Samuel, is certainly an artist.

We are both fairly healthy these days and we are grateful for that. Though we are not as busy as usual right now, we are gearing up for the next semester. Very quickly it will be upon us and we want to get a running start this time. Graduation is also not far down the road (May 30) and we have a lot to do to get ready for that.

Well, I hope you like the look of the new weblog. There is a place for your responses and we would love to hear from you. Feel free to pass the site along to your friends and come back and visit as often as you like. I will send out a reminder link like I did today each week, but you never know when we will be adding things that are new to the site. Thanks for your prayers and support.

Lazima niende sasa. Kwa herini! (I must go now. Goodbye!)

Randy and Mary Jane James
Africa Nazarene University
Nairobi, Kenya


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Update from Africa Nazarene University Update From Africa Nazarene University

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Alexia  |  April 3, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Dr. Randy, we LOVE the new blog and have linked to it our your page on our church website.


    We are praying for you both and hope the Lord keeps you close to Him and safe as you minister so far from home!


  • 2. Rona  |  April 3, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    Looks good. Glad to hear you are both well. I can’t link to Toni, though – not sure what’s going on with hers. Rick’s works fine.
    Miss you both and we continue to hold down the fort here. Mom’s doing pretty well – I think she gets quite a few calls from the family – Darrell, Leonard, Jean’s girls, her friends at both churches.
    She is a survivor and leans heavily on her father in heaven, that’s for sure!

    Anyway, have a great weekend ahead – we look forward to your updates, always.


  • 3. Melissa  |  April 3, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    This is very nice. I am going to see about getting this posted on our church website. I hope all is well.
    talk to ya soon
    Melissa Manders
    First Church of the Nazarene
    Tifton ga

  • 4. Dorothy Tollen  |  April 3, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    We enjoy your weekly letters! This new web site is nice. We hope you will be able to send pictures soon. We keep you all in our prayers

  • 5. Betty Sutton  |  April 3, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    I really like the new weblog. Still look forward to your news each week. Can’t wait to see some pictures!! Blessing to you both. Betty

  • 6. Mary  |  April 3, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    WOW! Thank you! Communication is great. Oh – that road. I remember the road – we counted the number of times we had left to travel it – like the big count down. You would have some major calculations before you could come up with a start number. But, instead, count your blessings as God is good!

  • 7. Jackie  |  April 4, 2008 at 1:06 am

    Wow! This looks great! I’m so glad you are both in good health now. Let’s try to keep it that way!
    We are taking the boys to Chicago this weekend. It should be a really good weekend – – -if Jay’s cold will let up and let him enjoy it.
    We’ve had a brief break in the weather. The last couple of days have been pretty decent. The forecast looks like more rain coming in. Looks like we are in the rainy season in Indiana!
    Have a great week, and I’ll look forward to hearing from you again next week!


  • 8. Sandy  |  April 4, 2008 at 3:04 am

    Thanks for sending me the link to your weblog. I enjoyed reading it, and catching up on your news. We are glad you are healthy and able to continue with your ministries at ANU. We continue to remember both of you in our prayers. ANU has a special place in our hearts!

  • 9. rebeccalee  |  April 10, 2008 at 9:45 am


    big news! yay. upload during break when students are NOT around. 🙂 the blog’s looking great by the way.

    Flickr members can now upload video to the popular photo-sharing site.

    Users can upload up to 90 seconds of footage, with a maximum size of 150 MB, from any recording device. They can organize and share videos the same way they handle photos, using tags, geotags, sets, and privacy settings. Videos can be uploaded to photo streams, alongside photos, and embedded on third-party Web sites.

  • 10. Ron & Ruth Ann  |  April 11, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Your blog is great — we always enjoy hearing from you and are pleased and thankful things have leveled out for you healthwise — just watched your slideshow — it’s really nice to have these glimpses into your world when thinking about and praying for you.

  • 11. Dave and Betty Whitteberry  |  April 12, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Randy and Mary Jane,

    Great to hear from you each week. We went to Southdale in
    Anderson and enjoyed the service very much. One of my students
    was leading the music–Chris Gravenson from First Church.
    Steve and Diane, Mike and Allison , are here for the weekend. First
    we have seen them since Christmas. They are a good help when
    they come. Healthwise we are doing better although Betty is
    still in severe pain.

    I must close and help her get up. Lord bless you both!!!

    Dave W.


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