Today we embarked upon the monumental task of learning about Kenya politics and economy. Kenya has been a sovereign nation since 1963 and it has been a journey, thus the title of this posting. Kenya government embraced the free market society. Along the way, the people of Kenya have learned the benefits and detriments of a free market society. Nevertheless, people from Kenya continue to be resilient in their efforts to formulate a government and an economy that is inclusive of all and one which protects the least among them. Have they arrived at this point yet? No they have not and if I am to be honest, and I am, I can admit that we, as USA North Americans, have not yet realized this reality either; within our own free market society.
Despite the challenges, the people of Kenya push forward. Today, I met Pamela. Pamela is a social worker for a children’s orphanage home. Pamela and her team are passionate about the care they provide for their children. This orphanage is a private orphanage operated through a church ministry. The orphanage generates income through the clinic, school, and retreat house located on its premises. It may be refreshing to know that the orphanage also receives some funding from benefactors in the USA. This is not the only connection the orphanage has to the USA as we also met Mr. Obama today. He is a three year old young man that resides at the home. Imagine if you will, four strangers walking on the premises, engaged in conversation. Obama, standing on the side of the trail at the margins, starts to walk towards four adults with an extended hand to greet us with a handshake. Before I learned his name, I said this young man will be a president one day. Imagine my surprise when I learned his name.
I believe it takes moxy, guts, and a risk to extend one’s hand to greet strangers who are not their to see you. Yet, this young three year old Obama did it effortlessly. This is the same moxy and determination Pamela and her team exude everyday when they embark upon the task to meet and care for the needs of 72 children each and everyday. I believe Obama, Pamela and the team at the orphanage embody this refusal to give up and a determination to see a better way. They appear to be representative of the people of Kenya I have met this week. I am certain that the people of Kenya, who are loving, warm, kind, and hospitable, as well as intelligent, passionate, and resilient will continue to move forward until they arrive at their desired end.
Tonight is the conclusion of our trip in Kenya. Early tomorrow, we will gather our things and head for the airport to embark upon our 20 hour trip and some 10,000 miles back to the United States of America. It is my prayer and my hope that we as a family of seminarians use this experience as a rite of passage (transformation) for ourselves and for the ministries God has called us to serve. May we be forever changed to live out the community of God in our personal lives our ministries and the world; realizing that what we do as people, churches, and nations locally, has an effect on the people of the world, globally.
May God bless us with safe travels to return to the arms of our loved ones and may we hit the ground running to serve all of humanity and all of creation.
Kwaheri (good-bye)…until we meet again.