NEWS MIDDLE OF OCTOBER 2011
The average age of adults present was probably about 25. That means - many girls with babies on their laps. All but a few chairs had, by 2.00pm, been cleared from the sitting room-side of the mud walled and rusty iron-roofed hut. Men on chairs at one end down the side. Women on the floor, legs out straight in front of them. About 30 plus folks (adults) I guess in all.
The bishop wore long bright robes, and set the pace of the meeting. We drove the bad spirits out of the door before clearing away the grass mat for one of a few 'dancing sessions'. Enormous drums appeared, and were beaten loudly and rhythmically accompanied by the clanging of metal rings. Bodies jumped, danced, jigged as all tried to sing loud enough to be heard above the sound of the drums and cymbals. A few ladies became ecstatic and spun wildly around before crawling amongst the crowd looking for those to whom they could prophesy.
Our other major occupation was collecting money. The amounts taken from each person for various needs was meticulously recorded. Disputes about money are notoriously liable to split churches, so every penny is publically recorded then announced with the name of the person who gave it. Eventually, after testimonies of miraculous intervention and healing, interspersed with more songs, drumming and sweating, my turn came to share the Gospel with an attentive audience.
Black clouds already gathered at 5:10pm when we finished had me half walking half running to get my bike. Just in time - I got off the mud road before the heavens opened. I stood outside a small shop for half hour sheltering from the rain before cycling the five or so remaining miles home, avoiding muddy paths. All in a day’s work . . .
Please pray for my trip, beginning 18th October, to Nairobi, then UK, then Germany. I am to return to Kenya on 12th November. Pray especially for the major gathering of mission leaders in Stuttgart arranged by the World Evangelical Alliance from 6th November that promises to be an excellent opportunity for much learning and sharing about Christian mission around the world. This Friday (14th) I am to visit an Anglican bishop about my ongoing accommodation here at St. Phillips Theological College. Saturday we have a symposium for Bible college lecturers in Western Kenya. Sunday, I am taking students from St. Phillips on another indigenous church visit.
With appreciation for your prayers,
PS Please do see: Brochure for AVM Conferences