NEWS END OF MAY 2017
When they told me at 2.30pm, where the meeting was to be, I almost decided not to go. It was way off the beaten track – in the middle of a marsh! The midweek meeting of my home church goes to a different person's house every week, so that over a few years everybody gets to host. It would be sad if people didn't go just because the home of the person concerned is at a hard-to-reach destination. So, I thought, I'd better go! 35 minutes cycling and walking later, there I was. We crammed into the small sitting room of the mud house. The 'overspill' sat outside. The land all around us was boggy and marshy.
The fellowship was good, and I was able to share a message, that seemed to be very appreciated. Then I got to realise again how British I still am in my thinking. Black clouds were all around us. If it decided to pour while we were there, getting from that home to the road might become a nightmare. My British me was 'itching to go' as quickly as possible after the meeting before it rained. But my Kenyan me told me, if that was going to be people’s feeling, these fellowships would never work! My colleagues know of the 'danger' of being cut-off in the swamp. Just two days earlier, parts of the swamp had become a river after a rainstorm. But they weren't stressed by that, or in a hurry. They drank their cups of tea in slow relaxed enjoyment. I forced myself to do the same. The rain came. It did rain – relatively heavily, but not too heavily! The rained ended. We left in convoy – the paths through the swamp would only allow one walker at a time. I forced myself (I had the furthest to go but I had a bicycle) not to ring my bell and rush. Instead, I enjoyed listening to my colleagues chatting as we walked. Walking behind them was my speed-governor.
Sometimes anticipating ‘dangers’ can make life too stressful. For years, I have tried dodging rain-showers. Frankly, if one tries to dodge one, one can end up hitting another that one would have avoided if one hadn't dodged the first! Probably the best thing to do is to largely ignore the rain clouds unless it actually starts raining. That's a hard lesson for me to learn.
Please pray for plans I have put in place, to make a 4-week trip in July, to include probably 12 stops, mostly visiting ex-students, churches, some of my children, and some missionaries. The plan is to spend the first week in Kenya, south from my home. Then to cross over into Tanzania, reaching Mwanza, Dodoma, Arusha, and many in-between places!