My old friend Steve Rutenbar, the missionary from Californian church Saddleback (pastor Rick Warren) engendered his passionate desire in my heart. Over the years his American heart was divided equally between Ukraine and Africa. Since 1990 he’s been to Ukraine over 50 times and since 1972 over 50 times in Africa.
One day Jesus Christ commanded His disciples to go to the edges of the world and He promised to be with them. I am not going to argue where the edges are but one of possible variant – Equator! Many time hearing from missionaries how Christ acts at the black continent I always wanted to go there and to eyewitness it. Well, that’s happened!
Defeated demobilization records and miraculous sky miles. Intrusive service and lessons of Swahili language. Barb on the perimeter and our response to mosquitoes.
The invitation of Steve to go with him to Kenya was a great priviledge for me. And here we go. Huge suitcases and weary but not given up backpacks overfilled with gifts. XXXL size box with music equipment goes as a separate luggage. We’re on the board of a tremendous Boeing. Come on!!!…
The tiredness calculated within the previous week evidently surpassed not the tiredness of Steve. For this reason, we unanimously acknowledged the truth of Bible phrase “He gives some sleep to His beloved one!” we switched off even before the getting off. As for me my summed retreat was probably my record after minimum 2 decades after serving in the army. 4 + 10 + 7 – approximately by this scheme with the exception of brief breaks for some food I was sleeping fast during my flights between LA – Minneapolis – Amsterdam – Nairobi. I am fully convinced that I didn’t have such a “switch off” for the past 18 – year-old pastor’s practice. And Thank God and Steve for it!!!!
One of the biggest advantages of our trip with Steve was Steve himself. His regular flights and as a result plenty of sky miles let us have a special service in all the airports. We had a plenty of privileges in elite clubs of air companies including free breakfast, special VIP waiting halls and even shower! As well as I could understand I was there by the principle of a comic Ostap Bender “Here’s a boy with me!” and I could use the same benefits in this trip as my skilled companion.
The airport in Nairobi looks not bad but to my mind much closer to Boryspil that to an European one. We go through the customs control quite fast and we all our stuff we get out where Steve’s friends were meeting us….
Local loaders perform the miracles of craft. We didn’t even notice how our luggage got to their hands and into their car. It all happens as though contrary to our desire but tactfully and skillfully that Steve even had to give them some tips.
Brother Alen that was meeting us is a Presbyterian like many others in Nairobi. Under his leadership I am starting learning first words in Swahili. “Jumbo!” – mean “Hi! You can also say “Habbari!” but Ukrainian corruptive associations decline me in favor of “Jumbo!” One should reply “Mzuri!” – it means something like “I greet you too!”
As soon as we start in a small minivan “Toyota” I have got confused at once due to the left hand drive. As all former colonies of England Keny demands adaptation in the driving sense. I decisively have no idea who must give way so I relax and trust the Lord and the guide and try to look through the night window. (11 p.m.) The only thing I could see is the barbed wire that protected all decent areas and separate clusters of houses.
On my way I find out that the population of Kenya is about 42 mln people and grows fast in the difference from east Slavic demographic degradation. Average family has 3-4 kids. The population of the capital is about 10% of national. So it can relate to Kiev somehow.
When asked if they have winter here Alen answered double folded scheme “Dry season” and “Rain season”. But there’s no hint it looks like raining. Almost at midnight it’s 72 F.
We’re staying in Methodist hotel which like all others around is surrounded by barbed wire and fence high enough. Besides, judging by first impressions, the room is very seriously guarded. Gate with crosses on lattices is opened by a military officer dressed in uniform and we quickly arrange rooms booked in advance.
Surprisingly, I am very sleepy. Never before inspected and tested by me miracle “mosquito net” over our beds come to the conclusion that it is not necessary, and again tied it in a knot over his head. By putting everything off on charging “beat” with thanksgiving to God for the safety of the road and for the execution of another dream. I am in Kenya Asante – sana! Jesus … You’re here on the equator!
Surprisingly, I am very sleepy. I inspected and tested heretofore unseen miracle “mosquito net” over our beds and came to the conclusion that it is not necessary, and again tied it in a knot over my head. By putting everything on charging I instantly fall asleep with thanksgiving to God for the safety of the road and for the execution of another dream. I am in Kenya Asante – sana! Jesus … You’re here on the equator!
To be continued as soon as I have got some sleep!!!
Pastor- Pilgrim – Gennadiy Mokhnenko.