What we saw at the mall

Nairobi, Kenya is a world-class city, with over 4 million people and growing every day. One of the signs of growth is shopping malls popping up like mushrooms, especially on the outskirts of the city.

We split our shopping between 2 supermarkets, one a branch of a large French chain (Carrefour) and the other managed by Kenyans of Indian descent (Chandaria). You can find most anything you need between the two stores. Sometimes, an American product “pops” up on the shelf to surprise you.

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Yesterday, we noticed workers putting up Christmas decorations at the nearby mall we frequent. It’s a reminder that 2018 is speeding by!

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Prayer requests & praises

  • Ask God to give us stamina as we going into the exam period. Our classes are large, and there will be many exams to mark.
  • Amy received her research permit from the Kenyan government! This will allow her to do the research necessary to write her Ed.D. dissertation. Thank you for your prayers that helped smooth things along.

Behind the scenes

Africa Nazarene University celebrated graduation last week. Many dignitaries came from across the globe and from within Kenya to help with the joyous occasion. Now, we are back to a more routine schedule.

This week, I (Amy) chose to focus on the ones who make ANU run but will never have their names in the telephone directory. These staff members, like George pictured below, do all the behind-the-scenes work including setting up classrooms with the proper number of chairs for each session, cleaning offices, and watering plants. Another — some might say vital — thing that they do is deliver tea to the offices early in the morning. (Pictured – above: the white sugar, below: mugs and spoons, George, tea urn being delivered to the workshop, and thermoses of tea for my hallway.)

Today, thank a behind-the-scenes person in your life.

Prayer requests:

  • The trimester is about two-thirds over, so please pray for the students (and faculty) to finish well.
  • I (Amy) am at a critical juncture for my doctoral studies – waiting for the permission to do research in Kenya – please pray that the approval is granted this week.
  • Greg will be co-leading a workshop on strategic planning for the local church. Please pray that people register to attend and that the workshop goes smoothly.

Bonus:

If you would like to know how to make tea the Kenyan way, click here.

A few more pix:

ANU Graduation- October 26, 2018

Graduation is always great pageantry at Africa Nazarene University. This year, we had over 800 students who received master’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, diplomas, or certificates in our five Schools. It was the first year with our new Vice-Chancellor, Dr Stanley Bhebhe, presiding.

In the School of Religion and Christian Ministry (SRCM), five students graduated from the Master of Arts in Religion (MAR), three from the Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry (BACM), and two from the Bachelor of Theology (BTh), for a total of 10 graduates.

We thank the Lord for His work in the lives of our graduates! Pray that God will use them to do great things in the Kingdom.

Here are several photos that I hope you’ll enjoy.


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Here are 9 of the 10 graduates from the School of Religion and Christian Ministry.
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Gabriella Kisoi was one of the marshals.
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The Administrative Police Band entertained us.
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L to R: Dr Patrick Kamau, Dr Russ Frazier, Ms Christine Mwende (MAR graduate), and Greg

Celebrating 10 Years

We have attended University Church of the Nazarene for many years. Last Sunday, the church celebrated its tenth anniversary even as the Church of the Nazarene celebrated its 110th. Yes, this vibrant church meeting at Jerrigan Chapel on the ANU campus was one of those started in celebration of the Church of the Nazarene’s centennial.

The church was blessed by those who gave greetings from the district and field offices, from the – past and present, and within the church body.  Prof. Leah Marangu reflected on the beginning of the church and the support for it that came from the university.  Pastor Gift, who has been the pastor since the church’s inception, gave a short history of the church. He noted that we are the only “University Church of the Nazarene” in the denomination although there are several “College” churches. Church members living and serving abroad sent video messages. The children of the church made a presentation. Dr. Randy James gave a short homily reminding the church members to keep God first (Mungu kwanza).

Every major celebration at University Church has a cake and a tree planting. Mrs Busi Bhebhe and other dignitaries planted trees in the yard near the pathway between the church and the Grace Roles library building.

The theme for October is Thanksgiving and surely we give thanks.DSCN8756

 

Not just for Advent

childLast Saturday, I had fun singing in “The Messiah.” A combined choir of 260 (including the Nairobi Music Society choir, where I sing 2nd tenor) performed Handel’s masterpiece at the Bomas Center of Kenya. It was a benefit concert for the Nairobi Hospice.

Some think it odd that we sang “The Messiah” in early October. However, it’s not just about the incarnation. There are many solos and choruses in it that speak of other episodes in Christ’s life, including his crucifixion.

Here are a few photos from the event.

 

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From left: Dave, Greg, Maury, Bart, Philip, and Joe. The choir sang happy birthday to Maury…his 90th! Bart is a Jesuit and Maury is a Domincan monk. We have rich theological conversations together during break times.

 

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Greg congratulates conductor Duncan Wambugu post-concert.

 

 

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The Nairobi Orchestra warms up before the morning rehearsal.

 

 

 

 

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Prayer requests

  • Greg will be preaching in chapel at the Town Campus next Wednesday.
  • Ask God to guide the Senate as we deliberate on important curriculum issues in our meeting next week.

 

 

 

It’s an honour!

Today, we celebrated students who made the Dean’s List and the Honour Roll at Africa Nazarene University. (Photo above: Religion student Joy Wambui Kariuki shaking hands with VC Dr. Stanley Bhebhe.)

Dr. Bhebhe spoke to the assembly. He said, “There is no greater thing that you can do with your life than to serve your God and other people.” After more encouraging words, he concluded, “Let’s commit to a life of excellence.”

Honour’s Chapel only gets to be more fun as Greg and I recognize our students and former students being honoured. (I’m using British English for this post and my spell/grammar checker is not pleased.)

Please pray for us and our students (especially those that have both of us) as the trimester continues.

Preaching in chapel

Greg preachingI (Greg) knew that we had a lot of students this trimester, but I wasn’t prepared for the sea of faces when I stepped behind the pulpit in chapel today. There were easily more than 1,000 students crammed into the gymnasium of the Helstrom building. As usual, our worship band set a sweet tone for the service, leading us in praise to God.

My sermon text was Colossians 3:12-17, challenging students to leave behind the old, tired song of life without Christ and to embrace the new song Jesus wants to give us, a better song characterized by God’s peace, forgiveness, and a thankful heart.  You can read the full text of the sermon by clicking here.

Prayer requests

  • Keep praying for Amy, as she plows ahead in her online Ed.D. program through Trevecca Nazarene University. She’s doing very well.
  • In the School Religion and Christian Ministry, the PhD/DMin students begin their new session of classes on Monday, October 1, via our online (E-Naz) platform. Ask the Lord to be with us as we interact online, then later in February, face-to-face. There are several who are still gathering school fees, and we pray the Lord’s provision for them so they can begin on-time.