Update from Africa Nazarene University

March 27, 2009 at 7:36 am Leave a comment


“As I looked, ‘thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white as wool. His throne was flaming with fare and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened’” (Daniel 7:9-10).

My classes are over for the trimester and the above passage has the same apocalyptic style as the book of Revelation that I have been teaching, so I thought it would be appropriate to begin this newsletter in that vein.

This is the last full week of school before exams begin next Wednesday. Teachers are trying to cram one more bit of knowledge into the students and the students are trying to endure one more assignment as they cram to get ready for the tests. This is the biggest thing of the semester (60% of their grade) and everyone is focused on it.

I was invited last Sunday to preach in Nakuru. Our houseguests had taken off for Uganda and Mary Jane was trying to rest up from some very busy days so at 5:30 a.m. I began the 2½-hour drive alone. Driving in the dark is always a challenge here. First of all, almost every car, bus, and truck you meet has their bright lights on. There is the occasional vehicle that has no lights at all, but usually one is blinded by the oncoming traffic. That wouldn’t be quite so bad, but the roads are narrow and the traffic loves to hug the middle of the road to keep from falling off the edge. Usually there is not much of a shoulder and few roads have any kind of painted lines on them so it’s often hard to tell where the payment ends and the drop off begins.

Added to these difficulties are the road hazards. Dark people in dark clothing walking, bicycles without any lights or reflectors, and animals (wild and domestic) that can come out of nowhere cause a state of constant tension. I never get sleepy driving here. Then there are the police checkpoints. Sometimes they are marked and other times there are just spike strips stretched across the road to make you stop. Combine these things with the fact that almost every truck, bus, and van fills the air with clouds of black exhaust fumes and you have a pretty good idea of driving after dark in Kenya.

At the first crack of sunrise most vehicles turn off their lights. There seems to be the feeling that they will use them up if they use them too much, so I have learned to watch carefully.

When I finally arrived in Nakuru I called the pastor to get directions to his church. He sent me to meet him at the local post office (which took me a half-hour to find) and said he would be there in twenty minutes. An hour later he finally showed up, but in the meantime as I waited at the post office with my windows up and my doors locked, I was constantly dealing with street boys and men begging me for money. I couldn’t give to one without giving to them all and I know they thought I had an endless supply of money, so they just stood by my window, tapping on it and scratching it with their fingers for what seems like an eternity and waited. I waited also. There was nothing else to do until the pastor got there. It’s heartbreaking, but there is no end to the suffering and poverty one finds here.

As I waited in the car with my windows up, the heat began to rise. People walked by, merchants begin to put out their wares, and some folks were headed for church. Soon people begin trying to sell me things, but they found I was an unwilling customer.

Finally, the pastor arrived and off to church we went. I got there at 9:30 just as a Sunday School class was beginning. At 1:00 p.m. we finally finished our services and left the building. During the time in between there was a time of praise and worship, about six local music specials, offering, and other local rituals. Eventually our school choir sang several selections and I had an opportunity to preach through an “interrupter.” All in all it was a good service with a great bunch of people. The power went off for the first half of it, but eventually a generator was brought in and we were modernized once again. Africans never let a little thing like the loss of electricity to stop a church service.

This Sunday I will preach at Kitisuru Boy’s High School, which is an hour or so north. This will be my third trip there so hopefully we will be having some students from there at ANU one of these days.

Mary Jane has been working like a beaver trying to train our choir and get all the logistics taken care of for the upcoming trip. She has been faithful to the task and firmly determined to get it done. She led the group in a concert yesterday for our final chapel of the trimester and it was great. We are going to have a great time traveling in the “singing bus” throughout the US.

Here is the final edition of our slate with the Shangilia Singers. We finally have the passports, the visas, and the flight tickets nailed down. We have nine men and ten women who will be making the journey. The group will arrive in Indianapolis, Indiana on May 28th and will fly out of Miami, Florida on July 9th. A big “thank you” to Mary Jane’s sister, Jackie, who managed to get the domestic flights for us finally.

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 15 Lenexa, Kansas Global Ministry Center Chapel
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
July 8 Redland, Florida Church of the Nazarene

All in all, it will be a little over 5000 miles total driving distance. Now I need to pass the test for the CDL. One step at a time…

Well, enough for another edition. Lord willing, I’ll be in touch next week. Be blessed and be a blessing!

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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