Update from Africa Nazarene University

July 4, 2008 at 6:57 am Leave a comment

Habari asibuhi! Sikikuu ya furaha! (Good morning! Happy holiday!)

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you” (Psalm 84:11-12).

INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION
Though we are far from home and the nation around us pays little attention to our US holiday, we are planning to celebrate the 4th of July – American style! We are hosting the missionaries from the area and a couple of neighbors to our place to put burgers and hot dogs on the grill, eat apple pie and ice cream, and spend the day playing games. The only differences will be in the fact that there will be no fireworks, public or personal, and we will be celebrating on Saturday. This is a work day here in Kenya and at ANU it is no exception.

WINDING DOWN
We now have four weeks of classes left before we start the two-week final exam period. In the first chapel of the trimester I reminded the students that they had 168 hours a week and 83 days until exam time and challenged them to make the best of the opportunities. They still have 168 hours a week, but are now down to 30 days to get ready. We are hoping they will.

I am blessed with some good students. In my Church History class everyone has at least a B and in Homiletics everyone is pulling at least a B-. These classes are not large, but that gives me a opportunity to work more directly with them – and it doesn’t take very long to grade papers. Next trimester I could have as many as 150 in the New Testament class that I will be teaching. I’d better enjoy the small class while I can.

SICKNESS ON CAMPUS
The bug is going around. Everywhere I turn people are coughing, sneezing, and just generally feeling bad. It has hit the faculty, administrators, students, and grounds workers. I had my share a couple of weeks ago and lost my voice for about a week. Tuesday night Mary Jane came to bed with chills, fever, aches, headache, and an unset stomach. By today she is doing much better and thankful to be on this end of it. I guess these things just have to run their course. I am told that the sicknesses become acute because of the constant dust. We haven’t had rain in months and don’ expect any more until October or November so everything is so dry. Living with the dust that results from the dry conditions is just a way of life. We are far enough off the road that we have it better than most. Those that live along Maasai Lodge Road must choke all the time.

FELLOW LABORERS
In Kenya everyone seems to have a uniform. The job is known by the kind of clothes one wears. For example, our guards were a uniform that is black with red trim. The gardeners wear green and housekeeping workers wear tan. Let me say just a word about the gardeners. We have some of the most talented men with green thumbs that I have ever seen. Headed by Jehoshaphat and Samuel, our team has transformed a barren plain into a Garden of Eden. Where once there was just dirt and dried grass now there are gorgeous red, yellow, and white flowers of all shapes and sizes. We have huge cactus plants, tree-sized poinsettias, and roses everywhere. Many of the varieties are unknown to me (I have never been big into flowers), but they sure add color and beauty to the campus. We have our own nursery here so seeds are collected and potted for future use as the campus continues to expand.

PRAYER REQUEST
One great need that we have here at ANU is for a college church. We are probably the only Nazarene University in the world that doesn’t have a support church near the grounds to help us in our mission. Please pray with us that God will open a way, provide the correct leadership, and help us to access facilities to bring this new congregation to pass. Since we are out in the country most people have to catch public transport (matatus) to attend services in Ongata Rongi or Nairobi. Even though we have worship services on the campus each Sunday, there is no way to conserve the fruit of our labors and make plans for further discipleship and outreach without an organized church. Wouldn’t it be great to get it off the ground in time for our denomination’s 100th anniversary (Oct. 5). We will work to see what can be done here and we count on your prayers where you are to see this endeavor come to pass.

THANKS
As I look out my office window I see the clocktower and court of honor. On the spokes that go out from the tower their are plaques with the names of every person who has been here to the campus to help out with a building project since the university began – and some even before the school opened. We don’t say thank you enough for the many who have sacrificed time, money, and labors to bring our school to the point it is today. This is just to let you know that we are very grateful and appreciate so much those who keep us here in your hearts, minds, and prayers. ANU is a very special place and it is special because so many from so many areas have given so much to make it so.

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
No offering will be taken, but we are looking for 12 churches with 12 people willing to give $12 per month for 12 months to provide an amount equal to 4 students each getting one year paid in full, or one student getting a full university 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, it’s time to go. We truly wish you a happy and safe Independence Day weekend! Till next week, be blessed and be a blessing…

Wape salamu zangu jamaa zako! (Give my regards to your family!)

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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