Update from Africa Nazarene Univesity

September 26, 2008 at 9:18 am Leave a comment

Habari gani? (How is it going?)
 
“The Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made.  The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.  He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them” (Psalm 145:17-19).
 
WEEK THREE
The third week of the trimester in now about to wrap up and things are rolling along pretty well here.  The weather is getting warmer and there is a pretty good breeze most of the time.  Sometimes the gusts blow things off my desk since I am on the top floor of the administration building.  It’s too warm to keep the windows closed, but things really start flying when my door is open – and it usually is.  If I close it then no one comes in.  If it is open I have visitors all day long.  I think it’s important for my ministry here to be as accessible as possible.
 
The house seems empty now that our son, Rick is gone.  He arrived home safely on Tuesday and now he is hopefully recovered from the jet lag.  We look forward to linking up with he and the rest of the family around Christmas while we are in the US.
 
KIBERA
We went to the Woodley Church of the Nazarene in a suburb of Nairobi called Kibera last Sunday for worship.  There is no way to accurately describe what it was like.  One million people live on a huge garbage pit, complete with open running sewers and “flying toilets.”  A “flying toilet” is when human waste is put in a plastic bad and thrown as far as it can be thrown.  Where it comes down may not be known to the thrower, but woe to the unsuspecting one who receives it.  There is no electicity, no running water, and only occasional gravel spots that serve as soccer fields amid acres and acres of the poorest of the poor.  Here is where people live, children play, and society functions with bare minimuns, but it is also where the Church of the Nazarene has a lighthouse for Christ.
 
There were twelve of us who followed one of our ANU students – whose father is the pastor there – through the winding paths to find the church.  Our driver had to stay with the van for security purposes.  We walked down a steep embankment, crossed a railroad track, over paths of trash, mud, dirt, and garbage until we found a small wood frame building with a layer of galvenized metal for a roof.  There were four small 2×2 windows to bring in light and fresh air and the interior was decorated with plastic chairs and wooden benches.  There was a white bedspread on the wall behind the pulpit and a green bedspread on each side of it.  It didn’t take long for the sun to heat the metal roof and it became very warm before the service was over.  Our son, Rick, Mary Jane, and I sang as a trio and then I preached.  At the close of the message two women and a man, two of which were holding babies, came forward and knelt on the bare concrete floor as they responded to the grace of God.  When the service was over the church presented us (the honored guests) with soft drinks and cookies while the congregation watched.  It was a very humbling experience.  We often have so much and complain while these Christians in a very difficult situation continue to smile, sing, and carrying on.  My view of pastoring and doing ministry will never be the same.
 
THE BUSY LADY
Mary Jane has been handed another task.  In addition to teaching two classes and doing scheduling and hosting for international visitors, she has now been given the task of music director for the university.  She is with the school PR groups right now and they are practicing from 9-11 at night.  She has one class tomorrow, so I know she will be dragging when she finishes up this week.  Right now she is doing pretty well staying away from the parasite problem.  We hope that trend continues.
 
LIFE ENRICHMENT
What is known as Campus Crusade for Christ in the states is Life Ministries here.  Representatives from this organization will be leading our students and staff in a number of special events over the next week.  We are continually looking for ways to help our students grow and help them become the best they can be for the Lord.  I am grateful to the help that comes from all parts of Christendom.
 
BOOK DELAY
When I picked my book from the printer there were some binding and printing problems that needed to be corrected.  That process is going on right now, so I’ll let you know when the corrections are complete.  It looks like I may just bring some home when I come for those who are interested.  It costs almost as much as the book costs just to mail it from here.  I can get a better rate in the states so I will mail out copies to those who want them when I get back.  I am keeping a list of those who have requested a copy, however, so I will be in contact with you as the time gets closer.
 
SCHOLARSHIP TOUR
Speaking of coming home, here is our slate for our time “stateside.”
 
December 4 – Leave Kenya for USA

December 7 (am) – Clearwater, Florida First Church of the Nazarene
December 7 (pm) – Clearwater, Florida Central Church of the Nazarene
December 8 – Visit with friends and supporters at Fort Myers, Florida Church of the Nazarene
December 10 – Archer, Florida Church of the Nazarene
December 14 (am) – Live Oak, Florida Church of the Nazarene
December 14 (pm) – Dublin, Georgia First Church of the Nazarene
December 15 – Wrightsville, Georgia Church of the Nazarene
December 16 – Albany, Georgia Grace Church of the Nazarene
December 17 – Gainesville, Georgia First Church of the Nazarene
December 21 – Middletown, Indiana Church of the Nazarene
December 21 – Dunkirk, Indiana Church of the Nazarene
December 28 (am) – New Albany, Indiana Christ Community Church of the Nazarene
December 28 (pm) – Mackey, Indiana Church of the Nazarene
January 4 (am) – Muncie, Indiana Southside Church of the Nazarene
January 4 (pm) – Anderson, Indiana Southdale Church of the Nazarene
January 5 – Leave for Nairobi, Kenya
 
DOUBLE COVERAGE
Because the Internet system here sometimes has its problems I have been told that sometimes this newsletter doesn’t get through.  What I will do is send it out on AOL as well as Gmail so that hopefully all who want to receive it will be able to do so.  If you get it twice, please just delete one of the copies.  Hopefully, everyone will be able to access our information this way.  Also, if you don’t receive this newletter via e-mail you can always access our weblog at the link listed below.  I’m sorry for the inconvenience.
 
Have a wonderful weekend and a blessed Lord’s 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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