Update From Africa Nazarene University

May 30, 2008 at 1:21 pm Leave a comment

Jambo (Hello)!

“I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant; I have chosen you and not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will up hold you with my righteous right hand'” (Isaiah 41:9-10).

I was up at 5:00 this morning getting ready for the 11th graduation here at ANU. I can’t even begin to tell you how many man (and woman) hours have gone into getting things ready. The campus has been transformed into an even more beautiful garden, the men’s dorms have been equipped with new patios on the south end, the new Helstrom Chapel and Student Center has been surrounded with flowers, flag poles, red – yellow – and white banners, and supplied with 3500 chairs – which were all filled during the ceremony today, and even the roads have been filled in and smoothed. I will include some pictures on our weblog site (https://randyandmaryjane.wordpress.com) as soon as I can get the computer working again at the house. It should be sometime next week.

Our guests on campus include not only the school’s trustee and council members, but also our graduation speaker, Dr. Ron Benefiel, the president of Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City. He preached a powerful and challenging message to the assembly and we all appreciate his coming our way. Last night we got to chauffer he and Dr. Ted Esselstyn to the graduation banquet (which was a 6 1/2 hour adventure) and got to know them both a little better. It’s an honor to be able to rub shoulders with the many church leaders who come to visit us here in Kenya.

We graduated 210 into the ranks of the ANU alumni today and most of them had their families there to share this wonderful event. All the graduates are special to us and we thank God for them. We have an enrollment of 1040 this trimester and many of them also got to share in the celebration today.

While rehearsing for graduation on Wednesday night, when I turned on the auditorium lights a huge white owl began flying around the cavernous arena. It was really a beautiful bird. I’m not sure what that is a sign of, but apparently it found it’s way out because I haven’t seen it since. One never know what will be found when you turn on the lights in a dark room in Kenya.

We will conclude our day of celebration tonight at the Carnivore Restaurant. It’s a place where we will once again be treated to exotic dishes like crocodile, ostrich, goat, and camel along with ugali (a corn meal dish) and sumu-wicki (wild greens), and who knows what else. Frankly, it takes a little bit of adjusting on my part, but when in Rome…

One of the great joys to me – and a huge monkey off my back – is the completion of installing our new BOSE sound system in our new building. It was quite a challenge, but the Lord helped us to purchase the system and we completed the installation yesterday afternoon. Now, that’s cutting it pretty close. However, I feel we are now ready to host any venue, small or great, and have a first-rate sound presentation for our guests. Since receiving this assignment many months ago we have looked at a lot of options and I have been given a pretty good education in the science of sound. The system performed wonderfully today and no one is more grateful to God than I am.

I have been doing great health-wise these days, but these have been trying times for Mary Jane. For the last month she has been experiencing extreme weakness and has just been forcing herself to do her daily activities because of it. Finally, this week we got her to the hospital where they did a complete battery of tests. Thanks to the prayers of many, everything came back negative and she appears physically to be in good shape except for dealing with some high blood pressure issues. It also appears that she may have contracted some kind of virus that has set her back, but the good news is that she is finally starting to regain her strength and we have high hopes for her to return to her old cookie baking self in the coming days.

I finally got to get out to the countryside last Saturday and explore a little more. After a couple of hours I came upon a beautiful herd of nine zebras. I think these are becoming my favorite animals of Africa. They sometimes graze alongside the Maasai cows and sheep, but are easily spooked. However, I managed to get within about fifty yards of them before they decided that was close enough. This weekend looks pretty busy, but hopefully I can get out again soon. There aren’t as many wild animals nearby as there used to be because of all the people moving in, but I’m finding that if one knows where to look there are still some wonderful wildlife treasures within a couple of hours walk. I still haven’t seen any snakes or lions – and that’s okay with me. If they want to stay hidden we will all be a lot happier.

This weekend begins a string of opportunities for me to be behind the pulpit again. I have campus services here on most Sundays in June, but also a series of high schools that I have been invited to over the next couple of months. It’s a great way to see the countryside and to interact with new people. Most schools here are boarding schools so church services on the weekend are standard fare. I will keep you posted as to how things go.

Well, it’s been a big day and I only have a couple of hours before we head out to eat again, so I’m going to wrap this up. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and a blessed Lord’s Day. Till next week…

Kwa herini (Goodbye)!

Randy and Mary Jane
Africa Nazarene University
Nairobi, Kenya


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Update from Africa Nazarene University Update from Africa Nazarene University

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