Words & a pic – Thursday, October 20, 2016

20161016_103536Amy and I enjoy attending the University Church of the Nazarene on the campus of Africa Nazarene University. One of the church’s strong points is the dynamic music. Little-by-little, our Swahili is coming along as we learn choruses. But one other thing I like is the mentoring that happens under the direction of Shaun Bati, the worship leader.

In this week’s photo, Mike (right) mentors Eden (left) on the keyboards. When they play together, good things happen, and every week Eden is improving. The same thing happens with the singers, drummers, and guitarists. It’s an example of the power of modeling in the church as those who are more advanced cheerfully lend a hand to novices.

How about you? Who are those in your church whom you’re helping go to the next level, whether in music, teaching, or other areas? The church is built and stays strong through these kinds of relationships.

 

 

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Lessons from Kitengela

One of the fundscn0837 things about having volunteers come to Africa Nazarene University for a short stay is that we visit our local tourist places with them. Last weekend, we went to Anselm (Kitengela) Glass. This glass factory reminded me of Corning Glass where I took many school field trips as a child.

We can’t help ourselves from finding life illustrations when we are out and about. We say, “There’s a sermon illustration.” This outing was no different.dscn0841

After watching a demonstration of  how to make a glass bowl, we stepped down into the discount sales room. The pieces in this room were all marked with prices, but they were negotiable. Why? The pitcher may lean a bit to the side. The bowl might have a chip. As the saleswoman said, “They are imperfect, but still usable.” Greg noted that this is the room where we would all be placed – “imperfedscn0818ct, but still usable.”

Greg writes of another lesson in a recent blog.

Please, pray for the graduation ceremony at the end of this month and all the busyness that comes with such a large and important event.

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Just who is the Great Commission for?

Rev Evans Katanga kneels as we pray for him.

Rev Evans Katanga kneels as we pray for him. Njeri could not attend.

Is the Great Commission – or the “Supreme Order,” as the French say – for all followers of Christ everywhere? Ask Reverend Evans and Njeri Katanga.

Evans grew up in the Church of the Nazarene in Harare, Zimbabwe. Some years ago, he sensed that God was calling him to cross-cultural ministry. His journey took him to Kenya, where he enrolled at Africa Nazarene University outside Nairobi. In 2011, he married Njeri, and the Lord has given them a daughter, Panache. Now Njeri senses as well that she is called of God to be a missionary. In January 2017, Global Mission is deploying the Katanga family to Accra, Ghana, where they will work alongside our Nazarenes with a focus on theological education. Meanwhile, they are beginning deputation services in Kenya, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.

Yesterday at chapel, Evans – who has been serving as Dean of Students for our ANU Town Campus – shared about their journey and asked us to pray for and support them. At the end, Professor Reed invited us to gather around and pray – see photo. What a wonderful time of affirming God’s call on the life of this family! Will you join me in praying for them as they follow God’s leading to a place far away from their Zimbabwean and Kenyan roots? Where God leads, He will sustain.

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Top Ten Signs you are learning Swahili at Africa Nazarene University

10 – You greet campus security and others as you pass by them saying “Habari” and they reply “Nzuri sana” with a smile.

9- The ladies at the campus library cheer when you reply “Nzuri sana” to their greeting to you.

8- Any small attempt at communication elicits the response, “You are doing so well!”

7-You pick up isolated words from conversations as you pass by groups of people… kesho (tomorrow), leo (today), sawasawa (okay), pole sana (so sorry), and so on.

6- You approach another adult saying: “Want to hear me count to ten? Moja, mbili, tatu, nne, tano, sita, saba, nane, tisa, kumi!” (video – so you know how to say them, too.)

5- You listen to the songs in chapel to learn new words becasue often the English translation is written below. (Sometimdscn0785es, this is frustrating. “Oseiye” is “Thank you” in Yoruba, not Swahili.)

4- You borrow a well used Swahili grammar book from the library. Language learning is work.

3- You are gently corrected by the guy manning the desk in the hallway. (I said “Siku njema” (Have a good day). Since it was a Friday evening, he said I should say, “Wikendi njema” (Have a good weekend).

2- You understand a bit more each time you listen to the song Baba Yetu (Our Father)

dscn08011- You go beyond just greeting someone and get to eat your reward – a warm ndazi from the Karibu Cafe. (At 20⊄, this could become a favorite way to start my day, and uh, practice some Swahili, of course.)

 

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Bonus pictures – The baboons were in the back yard this morning. This one thinks the light pole is as good as the crook of a tree and the other is completely at ease walking on the barbed wire fence.dscn0797

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Words & a pic – September 22, 2016

dscn6086It’s not home until you have your books. When our shipment arrived last week, about 60% of the boxes were books, both general reading and my theology library. Sure, we have plenty of e-books, but are old-school enough to want the traditional kind, too.

Here’s a shot of some of our collection. Amy and I like Shell Silverstein, and3-volume set has travelled with us to Haiti plus four African nations – Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, South Africa, and Kenya. Many of you know Silverstein’s celebrated The Giving Tree, a wonderful tale about selflessness that every child should hear.

On my way to choir the other night, I gave a lift to four ANU students heading into town. Among them, Wereh is a first-year student at ANU’s law school. When I asked what he liked to do, he said: “I love to read!” He already told me that he’s set the goal of graduating with honors. If he loves to read, I’d estimate he’s already half-way there.

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Holiness Week – September ’16

Holiness Week at Africa Nazarene University hosts Rev. Friday Ganda as the special speaker. For this special emphasis, chapel is held daily. Yesterday, Rev. Ganda shared about his recent car accident in a sparsely populated area of Tanzania. He asked the students, “Do you think you’ll have time?” He challenged his listeners to be like Jacob and allow no distractions when seeking God.

dscn0728This morning, he spoke of Abraham. We all need to be willing to sacrifice. Knowing God, he said, will cost you something. With life examples he demonstrated that obeying God is more important than anything else. He asked, “What is God asking you to do?” He continued, “Let us be bold for God.”

Please pray for the ANU Main Campus this week as Prof. Rod Reed prayed this morning, “Let something happen here that has never happened here before!”

Next week, the downtown campus will celebrate Holiness Week, so continue to pray for Rev. Ganda as he will be sharing there as well.

A bonus: Have I mentioned how fun it is to take pictures on this gorgeous campus?

This is a view from the office where I work …

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I also love using the macro lens! Click on the picture to see it better.

 

 

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Words & a pic – September 7, 2016

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Daryl, Brenda, and Greg after chapel

One fun thing about being Nazarene is getting to reconnect with good people we met earlier on the journey. It’s our first trimester at ANU and we’ve been happy to cross paths again with Dr Daryl Johnson and Dr Brenda Johnson. Daryl was our pastor at Nampa College Church when we were the missionaries-in-residence at NNU for the 2003-2004 academic year. Now they’re both at ANU during their sabbatical. Brenda (who teaches at NNU) is here as a visiting instructor in the Business Department and Daryl is helping our community work better together by teaching us about Strengths Finder, and also teaching New Testament. Yesterday, Amy snapped this photo of us at the end of the first chapel service of the trimester.

If you teach at the college/university level and would enjoy something different for your sabbatical, explore the possibility of a trimester at ANU.

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