Update from Africa Nazarene University

June 13, 2008 at 6:23 am Leave a comment

Jamaa zako hawajambo? (How is the family?)

“I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High” (Psalm 9:1-2).

On a regular basis I get requests to add new names to this newsletter list. I want to welcome each one who is reading for the first time and trust that you enjoy this new style of “missionary book” and continue to spread the word. This ANU update now goes to more than 300 homes and many send copies to their friends and family. Please feel free to contact me with any new e-mail addresses of people who would like to be included in this weekly offering. If any have suggestions as to how to improve this effort, or any particular questions that you think we could answer about life in Kenya, please let me know.

We had planned to make our first trip to the national park last Saturday, but realized that we had too much to do on finishing up our final exams – which had to be turned in Monday – to take time off. So Mary Jane worked at home and I worked in the office for most of the day to get things finalized. We went into town to meet Russ and Donna Lovett (other missionaries) for dinner, and to say goodbye to Verna Stanton (another missionary) who had just lost her father and was going home to the US for the funeral. We eventually made our way back through the darkened roads to the campus. Along the way we hit a big traffic jam. A matatu (14 seat public passenger van) had hit someone head-on and traffic was backed up for a long way. People don’t move their cars off the road here when they have a wreck. They have to remain exactly where the crash occured until the police get there so they can determine who was at fault. Traffic can back up for miles because the roads are narrow anyway and matatus and buses cram three or four abreast, cutting through ditches, and facing oncoming traffic head-on just to get around the accident. It really makes for a mess. Anyway, we finally got through it and were able to get to campus in time to host the Saturday night movie. That’s something I’ve started each week to give the kids some entertainment. There’s really not a lot to do around here once the sun goes down.

On Sunday I got up at 5:00 a.m. and made my way to the gate where the bus was supposed to leave at 6:00 to go to a distant high school for weekend services. The bus didn’t arrive until 6:40 and didn’t leave until 7:10, but I had to drive anyway because we found we had 28 riders on a 25 passenger bus – plus music and sound equipment. I was happy to drive rather than being crammed into such tight quarters.

It was a long day but we had two services in Marang’a High School where about 44 boys (out of the 800 students) gave their hearts to the Lord. I preached in the morning service and a student preached the afternoon service and then we made our journey home. We hit more heavy traffic in Nairobi, but were thankful to pull into campus around 7:30 p.m. A long, but successful day.

We are hitting our stride now as we move into the middle of the trimester. In the first chapel I reminded the students that they had 83 days before final exams begin. Now they have 51. Some are taking the classes very seriously and like all universities there are some who haven’t learned to focus yet. One thing I have learned is that students are students the world over. Just about every level of commitment (or lack thereof) that can be imagined is present on most campuses. ANU is no different. It’s a place where teenagers learn to be adults and some catch on quicker than others.

Just like back home, cars here need upgrades occasionally. I sent my car out Wednesday to have two mechanics from the field office put new shocks, brakes, and tires on it. Hopefully, we will get the car back sometime tomorrow. These roads are a killer on vehicles. Sometimes they are so full of dust that everyone around is choked and when it rains everything turns to mud. I’ve seen some pretty good potholes in the US from time to time, but I don’t think I’ll ever complain about American roads or traffic again. The people here are some of the most precious in the world, but highway infrastructure is a concept that hasn’t quite caught on yet.

We are expecting Work and Witness teams on campus in the coming weeks from Westminister, CO; Indianapolis, IN; and Nashville, TN. Though none of them have projects directly on campus, some will be speaking and sharing music in chapel, and others are just sharing a meal and tour with us. In any case, it’s always good to have folks from abroad on campus and we look forward to making some new friends.

Plans are in place for our return to the USA in December and early January to speak in churches and raise awareness for ANU scholarships. If you would be interested in having us come where you are, just drop us a line and we will be happy to work something out. We believe you will be blessed and many others will be helped by what such a service can bring about.

We hope you have a wonderful Father’s Day weekend!

Kuwa na siku njema (Have a good day)!

Randy and Mary Jane James
Africa Nazarene University
Nairobi, Kenya


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Update from Africa Nazarene University Update from Africa Nazarene University

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