Update from Africa Nazarene University

June 27, 2008 at 8:52 am Leave a comment

Habari asibuhi! Mhali gani? (Good morning! How are you?)

“O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Psalm 63). (Sometimes it seems like this is a description of Kenya between rainy seasons.)

Hello once again from just south of Nairobi and east of Ongata Rongi, Kenya. Actually, we are in the middle of nowhere, but that is rapidly changing as neighbors move in and the cities move out our way.

A DAY IN THE LIFE…
Have you ever wondered what we do around here on a typical day? For me, a week it looks like this: I wake up between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m. and by 5:15 the guard dogs are off duty so I can go out for my morning prayer walk. By 6:30 I am cleaned up and out the door to my first devotional time of the day. I meet with several students (anywhere from 5-25) in Jernigan Chapel to have a time of sharing and prayer as we begin our day in a service we call Morning Glory. Then I get breakfast and collect my things together between 7 and 8 and am at staff devotions in the administration building from 8:00-8:30. On Mondays I have to leave at 9 to get to get to our town campus in Nairobi for chapel at our town campus. While I am in town there are supplies to pick up and errands to run, but usually I am back on the main campus by a little after noon. This week I made a little detour because I have found this gas station/convenient store that sells the best footlong hotdogs I have had in a long time. I think this is going to become a serious weekly ritual.

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons are usually days for office work, student counseling, and committee meetings. On Tuesday and Thursdays I have pre-chapel preparations and chapel from 9:30-11:30. My first class begins at 11:50 and goes until 1:30. The next class begins at 3:30 and goes until 5:10. In the late afternoons I try to jog and two days a week I coach softball. On Wedneday evenings there is our midweek Bible study and on Thursdays our Christian Union meetings goes from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Usually I get home near the time the sun is going down and Mary Jane and I go through our evening ritual of dinner, a card game, and watching a video of some kind. Then we get a book, go to bed, and read until we pass out. Usually it takes me about 10 minutes. Saturdays are days for shopping, occasional sight-seeing, and rest. Sundays usually find me leading one of the two services on campus or away speaking at a church or high school. This routine really doesn’t vary a lot. It may not be the exciting life you might imagine in Africa, but it does keep me busy enough to stay out of trouble.

SOFTBALL
I mentioned last week that I have been asked to try introduce softball to our student body – first as an intramural sport and perhaps later on an intercollegiate level. It’s pretty interesting to watch. Not one person who has come out to play has even seen a game, held a bat, or had a ballglove on their hand before. No one initially had any concept of terminology like “balls,” “strikes,” “outs,” or “runs.” Running around bases is a totally foreign concept. In fact, when someone hit a grand slam the runners just kept running around the bases. They didn’t know they were supposed to stop after one time around because in the game of cricket they don’t. We started by teaching kickball and then are progressing from there. As the university has not been built in a day, neither will this team come together in a short time. However, along the way we hope we can bring some fun into their lives through this new sport.

MORE GUESTS
Yesterday we had 23 guests from the Hermitage Church of the Nazarene in the Nashville, Tennessee area for lunch and to take a tour of the campus. As usual, they were impressed with what God is doing here and it was a joy for us to be able to tell the ANU story once again. Our next visitors to the East Africa Field and ANU will be from Indianapolis Westside Church of the Nazarene and it will be nice to have some “Hoosiers” to connect with for a little bit.

AFRICA ABLAZE
We are making plans for a major youth conference to be held here in August. It’s a lot of work to get ready for it and it’s kind of an experiment for the university to be involved in such a venture. We’ll let you know how it turns out.

CONSTRUCTION UPDATE
The work that is being done on the back of our house is starting to come together. It’s amazing to see what these men can do with concrete and mortar. The floor of the bedroom and the bathroom is all tiled and the patio area was poured today. We don’t have a timetable for completion yet, but with each passing day we are nearing the big event. This is a project that has been underway since December, but time is not a relative factor in the developing world.

REAL-TIME CONNECTION
If you ever have an interest in talking with us live during a church service or missionary meeting, check with us as how it can be done. There are some options that are free through the Internet and then, of course, there is the phone route at a varied rate. If you think that some “live moments from the field” would be of benefit, drop us a line and we will see how we can set it up.

SCHOLARSHIP DRIVE
We are looking for 12 churches with 12 people willing to give $12 per month for 12 months will provide an amount equal to 4 students each getting one year paid in full, or one student getting a full education. Are you interested in having us come to your church and tell you about it in December or early January? Just let us know.

Well, that’s about it for now. Please keep those notes coming our way. We love to hear from the “home folks.” We can never get too many prayer partners and friends. Till next week, be blessed and be a blessing…

Kwa herini (Goodbye)!

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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