Update from Africa Nazarene University

March 13, 2009 at 11:36 am Leave a comment

Hello from East Africa!

“See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us – even eternal life” (I John 2:24-25).

Well Friday has rolled around again. Here in the Nairobi area it is warm (mid-90’s), dry, and very windy. Whatever grass is left is in short supply and the Maasai herdsmen continually look each day to find places to graze their flocks of cows, goats, and sheep. Sometimes they have to go many miles for a little nourishment for their animals. It’s no wonder they are all so thin.

We are now just three weeks away from the first final exams. For those who have been through them before the plans to prepare for the tests are already are already underway, and for those who have not experienced these joys there is a sense of fear and foreboding in the air. This is a time for teachers to be sure that the lessons are sticking and that students are reminded not to procrastinate with their papers and reviews. Some will heed the advice, but sadly, some will not. I guess it’s just human nature to try and put off until tomorrow what should be done today.

Classes seem to be going pretty well at this point. I have only six more sessions of each of my classes and it will be time to close the books. During the break after the final exams are over I will be teaching “Christian Beliefs” at one of our satellite locations in Machakos. It will be over an hour’s drive each way for two weeks and then teaching for four hours each day. Well, at least it’s a way to spend a break from the regular routine.

We have been to the American Embassy three times in the last week and day-by-day we are making progress in our trip plans. This has certainly not been a walk in the park. I have been doing my best to take care of things for when we get to America and Mary Jane is trying to cross all the “T’s” and dot all the “I’s” on this side of the big pond. We now have a solid eighteen students that have been approved to go and two more who are trying to get clearance. We have to know the exact number by Monday because at that point we will be confirming the airline tickets. We are so grateful to so many people who have been praying, giving, and encouraging us in this endeavor. We have picked up a few new meetings, so our slate for May-July now looks like this:

May 30 Northeastern Indiana District NMI Convention
May 31 (am) Anderson, Indiana Southdale Church of the Nazarene
May 31 (pm) Northeastern Indiana District Campmeeting
June 2-3 Georgia District NMI Convention
June 6 Nashville, Tennessee Educational Foundation Meeting
June 7 (am) Gallatin, Tennessee First Church of the Nazarene
June 7 (pm) Louisville, Kentucky Farmdale Church of the Nazarene
June 9 New Albany, Indiana Christ Community Church
June 10 Hartford City, Indiana Church of the Nazarene
June 11 Rockville, Indiana First Baptist Church
June 12 Chicago Central District NMI Convention
June 14 (am) Kansas City, Missouri First Church of the Nazarene
June 14 (pm) Olathe, Kansas College Church of the Nazarene
June 16 St. Louis, Missouri South County Church of the Nazarene
June 17 Nashville, Tennessee Trevecca Community Church of the Nazarene
June 21 (am) Leesburg, Florida First Church of the Nazarene
June 21 (pm) Fort Myers, Florida First Church of the Nazarene
June 23 Clearwater, Florida First Church of the Nazarene
June 24-30 Orlando, Florida General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene
July 5 (am) Pompano Beach, Florida First Church of the Nazarene
July 5 (pm) Venice, Florida First Church of the Nazarene

We have had some other requests, but until we know exactly the locations (depending on the price) of where we are going to be able to fly in and out, we can’t confirm any more meetings. This is a pretty ambitious schedule as it is and our students are going to see not only a lot of America, but also a lot of the bus. We will be spending several thousand miles together – and making memories that will last a lifetime.

I will be leaving to come back to the states two months from today. I have to arrive in time to make arrangements to get a Commercial Driver’s License so I can drive the bus on the trip. I guess the teacher will have to become a student for a while until I get those tests behind me.

During the early part of this week the students from Nairobi University had some protests that led to riots and some damage to property. One of our trips to the embassy found us on a road that was blocked by students so we had to find another way around. It’s nice to be on a Christian campus where such things just don’t happen. Not everyone here is an angel to be sure, but there are different standards and expectations where we live. Between the guards, the fences, walls, and dogs, I don’t know how we could feel any more secure.

Last Saturday, Corey, Joe, and me joined students from our campus on a walk to Ongata Rongai to raise awareness and funds for famine relief here in Kenya. There are literally millions who are suffering food shortages because of the drought and other political factors that have brought about such problems. There is so much need and so little we can do, but we do what we can. Earlier on we collected food and took it to some of the areas hardest hit and as time goes on we will be involved in other compassionate ministry projects, but right now our steps, contributions, and prayer tell the message that someone out there cares.

Tonight we are going into town to spend the night with some other missionaries, Russ and Donna Lovett. Tomorrow morning Mary Jane is going to traveling with Sarah Reed, our field children’s ministries director, to train local church workers in area of children’s ministry. Teaching people how to make Bible quiz boxes out of cereal boxes, using construction paper and scissors to make object lesson sermons, and showing how to make do with what one has are specialties that Mary Jane has become very skilled in. I married a pretty creative gal.

Well, I’d better get this off in the mail and get back to work. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and a blessed Lord’s Day! E you next Friday!

Randy and Mary Jane James
Africa Nazarene University
Nairobi, Kenya
Weblog: https://randyandmaryjane.wordpress.com


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Update from Africa Nazarene University Update from Africa Nazarene University

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