Update from Africa Nazarene University

July 18, 2008 at 5:30 am 1 comment


Habari Yako? (How are you doing?)
“After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands” (Revelation 7:9).  I can picture the reality of this scripture more easily the more I travel.
Greetings to all our family and friends around the globe! I hope this has been a good week for you. Well, it’s Friday again so that means it’s time for me to make contact with you and let you know what has been happening on this side of the world. The weeks seem to go by like a blur, although there really isn’t a lot of change in our daily schedules as time passes. We have classes to teach and office appointments and paper work to do like many other universities, but I guess what sets us apart is where we do it.
Tonight is the Kesha that our Christian Union group has been planning for several weeks. A kesha is basically an all-night spiritual based party. There is lots of music, lots of preaching, lots of prayer, lots of fellowship, and lots of emotion mixed in with some food breaks in the course of the night. It will begin at 8:00 p.m. and last until 6:00 a.m. I will hang with them for a while, but before the dogs come out at midnight I plan to head for home. Once the dogs come out no one leaves until 5:15 a.m., when they are put back in the pen. I have a number of events planned for Saturday and there is just no way I can stay up like the young folks do anymore after a full day of work on Friday. There’s lots of enthusiasm heading into this event however, as it seems to be a spiritual staple of Kenyan young people. This will be the first time we have held such an event in our new Helstrom Student Center. It should provide a much larger venue for the crowd.
At 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, Mary Jane and I will be at the airport to meet and transport Jonathan and Jessica Duranceau to their new temporary home at ANU. This young couple from Nashville, Tennessee will be with us for the next five months as they volunteer their time here to help us with some much needed projects. Both are graduates of Trevecca Nazarene University, Jonathan with an MBA and Jessica with a Master’s in counseling. Jonathan will be working with our new athletic director to organize a full intramural sports program for our students and Jessica will be developing a Resident Assistant program for our dorms. Currently there are neither of these programs in place so it is a big change for the school and for our students. We look forward to working with them and sharing Africa with them. Volunteer Mission Corp work like this is an opportunity of a lifetime for them and a great blessing for us. They join Don and Ailene Baker, who also are Mission Corp volunteers. The Bakers will have been here for a total of three months by the time they leave in August.
We now have just four class sessions left before our final exams. Two of those will be teaching sessions for me and two will be review tests to help my students get ready for the big event. There is really no way to explain the pressure than most of these students feel about their exams. They know that 60% of their grade will be determined by this one event and if they don’t do well the whole semester will have been wasted. They also know that they can’t take their exams unless all their school fees have been paid so that puts extra pressure on them. Each day as I meet with students at 6:30 a.m. for our “Morning Glory” prayer and devotional time, I hear continued prayer requests for God to provide a way for them to pay their fees and to help them with their exams. The tension will build even more as these last two weeks of classes come to a close.
This has been a busy week of construction at our house. The new rooms continue to develop, but this week we have had several workers making modifications inside our current house. Over the past few weeks, the kitchen window has been moved, the dining room wall opened up for a door, and this week we have seen the rehanging of cabinets in the kitchen, new counter tops, and the moving of the washer and dryer to a new location. I would imagine that by next week the guys will be bringing back their hammers and knocking out the stone wall that separates the old part of the house to the new. These walls, even the interior ones are made of eight inches of solid rock.  It’s pretty amazing to see them take them up and down the way we would change drywall.  There are still no panes in any of the windows or fixtures in the new bathroom, but we are told that they will be the last things installed. It’s not quite the way I would do it, but then I’ve never built anything in Africa. It’s an interesting process to watch develop – and kind of a puzzle to try to imagine what will happen next. There doesn’t seem to be a set plan, although I am sure there is one. It just kind of develops as it goes. I guess we will see what it will be at the end of the journey.
There have been some folks who have written to me over the last couple of weeks that I have tried repeatedly to respond to, but sometimes this Internet set-up here just doesn’t cooperate. I will keep trying, but please be patient. Because of very tight security here some e-mail addresses get blocked to the point that even when I just hit “reply” to your e-mail it doesn’t go through. I’m not computer-savy enough to explain it. I just know it doesn’t always work. My own office computer crashed just yesterday so I am thankful for this laptop that we brought from home. It’s always good to have a backup plan for things we do here. The continual power outages and surges make life interesting to say the least.
Plans are starting to come together as churches are extending invitations for us to come and join them at the end of the year for our scholarship tour. It looks like we will be leaving here on December 5th and having our first service on December 7th. We currently plan to be in the states until January 5th and we are sure that the one month will pass quickly. As we work out logistics as to where we will be and when, I will post it in this newsletter and on our weblog page. Hopefully, we will get an opportunity to meet some of our readers and supporters even if we are not at your home church. Please do come by and say hello to us if we are in your area.
We still have open dates to seek out 12 people in 12 churches that will pledge $12 for 12 months to provide funds to students who have no other way to get an education but through outside help. If your church would be willing to host us we would love to come your way. Just drop us a line and let us know and we will do our best to work it out.
Well, that’s about it for another week. Drop us a line and let us know what is happening where you are. If there are questions we can answer about our work here that I have not covered, please feel free to ask and I will do my best to get back to you as soon as possible – when the Internet service here cooperates.
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

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. mark meli  |  August 7, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    hey this is nice . just bumped onto your blog page. anyway thanks for everything you`ve taught us this trimester plus the tips you gave us in class. cheers


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