Update from Africa Nazarene University

July 11, 2008 at 6:19 am Leave a comment

Habari asibuhi! Habari gani? (Good morning! What’s the news?)

“Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come” (Psalm 71:17-18).

I hope today is as beautiful where you are as is where I am. The air is clear and crisp and the sun is shining brightly. It will be warm before the day is over, but this morning it was cool enough for me to see my breath as I walked. Such are the extremes of living at 5700 feet altitude and on the equator.

WONDERFUL WEEKEND
We had a great time with our missionary brothers and sisters last weekend as we celebrated the 4th of July on the 5th of July. We had planned to have the event at our house, but since construction is still going on there we opted to go next door to the home of Mark and Nancy Pitts. We ate (too much), talked, visited our 43 guard dogs, toured the new staff housing building (which is also under construction), and just generally kicked back and relaxed. It was a nice time. I hope your celebration was as enjoyable.

STRAIGHTING OUT THE DATES
We have received some e-mails telling us that there is some confusion as to our birthdays and wedding anniversary. Some have three different dates for Mary Jane’s birthday – and she really doesn’t want to have three birthdays in a year. So just to set the record straight, Mary Jane’s birthday is August 3, my birthday is August 15, and our wedding anniversary is July 27. It’s hard to believe that we are just a couple of weeks away from being married for thirty-four years. Mary Jane has to be a saint to have put up with me for that long. There will no doubt be many stars in her crown.

VISITORS
On Tuesday of this week we enjoyed some visitors from the USA. A Work and Witness team from Indianapolis Westside Church of the Nazarene has been working at a church in a suburb of Nairobi and they came to share chapel and lunch with us and tour the campus. It is always a pleasure to have friends from abroad stop by and we try to make them feel as welcome as possible. This group was especially nice for us because they were able to bring some needed items and gifts from our family in Indiana – for which we were very grateful.

Just a thought while I am on this topic. If you know of a Work and Witness team that is going to any foreign field, why not check with them to see if the missionaries there have any special needs that the team could take to them. Many places, like here, have postal systems that really don’t function very well and it is many times cheaper and more helpful to have a team bring small items with them when they travel abroad. I know that those on the receiving end will really appreciate it.

A TALE OF TWO CAMPUSES
I talk a lot about our main campus here at Ongata Rongai, just south of Nairobi, but we also have a campus in the heart of the capital city on Ngong Road where we have another three hundred students. I meet with the morning group for chapel once a week and then with the evening group every other week. This is, of course, in addition to the two chapels and other relgious meetings and activities on the main campus with the seven hundred – plus students we have here. As time goes on we hope to spread our influence even farther across Kenya and we are focusing that the message of holiness will travel along with our educational endeavors.

WEEKEND TRAVELS
Last weekend my team from ANU and I traveled to Kitisuru Boys High School and held a worship service with about 200 teenagers. Services here are hard to describe. Most Americans wouldn’t recognize a resemblence to the services that are common in at a lot of our churches. The services are long and they are full of energy. No one stays in on place very long. I’m not sure we would call it dancing, but the young and old sure get with the program. Most of the music is in a language that I can’t understand, but I do what I can and at least clap and smile. Sometimes I just whistle the tune, but usually the volume of the P.A. is so loud my whistling can’t be heard anyway.

This Sunday I will be leaving at 6:00 a.m. to travel with a different team to Kagumo High School. It’s about a three hour drive each way, but hopefully the way there will be free from traffic at that hour on Sunday morning. It’s a good way to see the Kenyan landscape and encounter the culture outside the “big city.”

SCHOLARSHIP UPDATE
I received a note this week from our financial manager here letting me know that over $36,000 has now come in from last year’s scholarship drive in the USA. Our heartfelt thanks to all who have made this possible. You are being a blessing far beyond what you will ever know. The plan is to wait and receive the remainder of the pledges till the end of the year and hold this money in escrow until the beginning of the school year in fall 2009. That way we can capitalize on the interest that the money is drawing and provide even more for our students over the long haul.

We are still planning to repeat our effort from last year in our upcoming 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 and ANU in detail in December or early January? Just let us know and we will be happy to work something out.

Well, I guess it’s time to go once again. Thanks so much for all your prayers, notes, and concern. It’s great to have this connection and I trust that God will give you a wonderful weekend and a blessed Lord’s Day!

Till next week, 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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