Update from Africa Nazarene University

February 13, 2009 at 3:52 am Leave a comment

Happy Friday 13th!

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39).

I guess those verses are for all the superstitious on this day. This has been a good week here in Kenya. We have continued to have some wonderful weather, although it seems a lot windier throughout the day than normal. Sometimes it seems like it is going to blow right through my fourth-floor window and push me down the hall. I guess I should enjoy it while I can. Our carpenters are working on my new office on the ground floor of the Helstrom Student Center and Chapel building where I won’t have access to any windows at all. It will be a nice office, but I will miss the gorgeous view I now have.

CHAPEL
Like most of our Nazarene universities, chapel services are required fare for our students. Also like other schools there are some who enjoy these times together in worship and there are some who chaff under the requirement. Even among the administrators there is often a sense of obligation to be there, but not always a real enthusiasm for the services.

This has been a really good trimester as far as chapel goes though. Our holiness week services with Dr. Daniel and Carol Ketchum were outstanding and other services have also been very special. On Tuesday of this week we had such a service. Dr. Rod Reed was speaking on divine healing. He showed some video clips of real healing and “fake” healing and tried to explain the difference. As we closed the service we dismissed the majority of the students and staff, but made provision for a time of prayer for those who either needed healing themselves or wanted to represent someone else. I didn’t count the number but a sizable group came around the altar for such a time of prayer. There was no concern for getting to class on time or getting time for lunch. Prayer was the focus and we know that God heard and met needs that day.

Not all prayers for healing are answered in the affirmative, however. Last week I requested prayer for a young mother here named Tabitha Chacha. Sadly, the brain tumor took its toll and she died last Saturday morning, leaving behind her husband, a five-year-old son, and a four-month-old daughter. The funeral will be this weekend. We grieve with the family, but we know heaven is richer with one more wonderful lady there. We don’t always understand the ways of God, but we are convinced that the King of all the universe will do right.

AMAZING PEOPLE
Some stories that our students tell are beyond description. I have one student that I have talked with at length lately. He ministers in a part of the world that needs to remain secret for security sake. A few years ago he went to his place of service with a small bag, the clothes on his back, and no Christian contacts. Today he is the superintendent of three districts that total 1000 churches. He tells me that the smallest of his churches runs 100 in attendance each week. That’s at least 100,000 people for Christ in a little over five years. Teaching such a person is a humbling experience to say the least.

LOST, BUT NOW FOUND
Some may have wondered about Joe’s (one of the American students staying with us) lost bag. Sunday morning we got the call that it had been found in Dubai and on Monday we picked it up. All contents were intact and Joe is now a happy camper. It was one month and two day late, but it did finally arrive, so the story has a happy ending.

CULTURAL WEEK
This is cultural week at ANU. On Monday we dressed as professionals. On Tuesday we dressed with clashing colors and crazy outfits (I don’t think any pictures were taken of me that will make it home so I’m probably safe). On Wednesday we dressed in what we wore to high school and I got to come to the office in a sweatshirt and jeans. On Thursday there were cultural exhibits and today there is a concert and people dressing in their tribal outfits. (I think my tribal outfit is a pair of sweats, but Mary Jane is not crazy about that idea.) It’s a lot of fun for the students and faculty alike. I guess things get back to normal next week.

CHOIR TOUR
We are still making plans for our upcoming choir tour. To put it gently, this is not an easy thing to bring about. We just found out yesterday that each student has to have $131 just for the visa interview – with no guarantee that they will be accepted by the American Embassy to go. This is on top of the $40 they have already had to pay for a passport and $1200 yet to pay on a plane ticket. It most likely will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for some. That’s just reality. Our group will no doubt be smaller than we had hoped, but we are forging ahead with our plans and trusting God to “kill a few cows for them,” as Mary Jane is fond of saying.

Well, I guess that’s the news for now. It’s time to wind this up and get it in the mail. Thanks for your cards, emails, and prayers. We feel very loved and supported. I hope you have a good weekend and a wonderful Lord’s Day!

Be blessed and be a blessing!

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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