Staycation 2017

What, you ask, do missionaries do on a staycation?

Look at the pictures and you’ll know our answer…

We have fun with hobbies. We joined Nature Kenya last fall, but this drizzily morning was our first chance to go birding. Fleur, the leader, has been participating in or leading the Wednesday Bird Walks since 1971! She is super fun, feisty, and knowledgeable. Most of the group were Kenyans who care about the environment. Some have been doing the bird walk weekly for years.

I am also doing some embroidery, a.k.a. thread painting. As you can see I am simply using floss to cover an already printed placemat.

Greg is having fun on NazNet which is now hosted on Facebook  as “NazNet General Discussion”, “NazNet Pastors”, and “NazNet Theology”. If you’re Nazarene, come sit at the table and join the conversation.

We read (this is just a sampling), eat chocolate, and watch DVDs.

We visit local tourist sites. The littlest giraffe (picture – top) at the Giraffe Center was only 5 days old! When one of the workers saw that we had completed the wooden puzzle, he gave us a high five. Apparently, it isn’t completed very often. The real reason we went was to hike  the forest trail. We seemed to have strayed and ended up hiking for more than an hour. We started on Ndege Trail and after following some narrow paths and pushing little tree branches out of the way we ended on Jocks Trail. It was relaxing.

We also try new recipes and bake. Generally, we hang out together. We have plans to do other local things in the days to come. Hopefully. we will be able to check off everything on our to-do list. (Yes, we even make a to-do list for staycations.)

Please, keep praying for peace in Kenya. BBC News from today.

Home Assignment 2018

We are gearing up for Home Assignment 2018.

If you notice that we will be on your district, contact your deputation coordinator to see if we can come to your church. We are also available for meetings with individuals or small groups for meals and fun get-togethers.

If you would like to schedule us for an open week, particularly if you are in the northeast, contact Amy at gregamyc@gmail.com with the suggested dates.

Here is our schedule so far:

  • April 16 – Fly to the US
  • April 21- 29 am – Indianapolis (IN) District tour
  • April 29 pm – Montana Avenue Church of the Nazarene (Cincinnati, OH)
  • May 4-18 – Maine District tour
  • May 19-30 – New England District tour
  • June 3-24 – open
  • June 25-July 1 am – Mid-Atlantic District Family Camp
  • July 2- July 8 – Upstate New York Family Camp
  • July 9-15 – vacation (Maryland)
  • July 16-31 – open
  • August 1 – fly back to Nairobi, Kenya

Note – one of the “open” weeks will be vacation, but we are waiting to see how the schedule fills.

Please pray that the schedule will fill in and that we will have a vehicle to use at little to no cost while we are in the US.

Please pray for the elections in Kenya on August 8 to be peaceful and transparent.

And now a few pictures from August at ANU…

 

Level up!

DSCN6959When Amy and I served at the Regional Office, the slogan for Nazarene educators across Africa was simple: “Everyone up one level.” Now that we’re at Africa Nazarene University, it’s Amy’s turn to “level up.”

She recently received her acceptance letter from Trevecca Nazarene University — see photo. She has been accepted into the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in leadership and professional practice. It’s a 27 month online program, and when complete, will qualify her to make an even greater contribution here at Africa Nazarene University, where we’re assigned as educational missionaries.

Amy begins on September 13. Already she has her study set up at the house, and is looking forward to the challenge.

In other news…

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Last week, we enjoyed a fun day at the Nairobi museum with visiting lecturer, Dr Matt Price. School children often wear colorful uniforms, like these children queuing to enter. We especially enjoyed the taxidermy collection which boasts an amazing variety of bird species found in Kenya. All-in-all, the museum is one of our favorite places in this bustling metropolis of 4 million people.

 

 

 

Learning together

One of my top five strengths is Learner. I love to learn.

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Today, ANU hosted a morning workshop about Qualitative Research. The workshop ingaugarated a series that is being facilitated in part through ANU’s Insititute of Research, Development, and Policy along with another local university.

Prof. Linda Ethangatta (for a short video about her, click here) opened the workshop with an invitation to share tea, mandazis, somosas, and sausage. After everyone had shared the food and good conversation, the session began.

Prof. Wakiuru Wamwara, sponsored by the Carnegie Africa Diaspora Fellowship DSCN6571Program, taught. She held the audience’s attention through a variety of teaching strategies. She drew the locals in with stories of her own research including the hassles and triumphs. Being Kenyan, although a long time resident of the United States, she used local examples that resonated with all present. Prof. Wamwara is on the faculty of Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.

This week we also took Dr Matt Price from Mount Vernon Nazarene Universitdscn6330.jpgy on a day of tourism. First stop? The AA office so Greg and I could fill out paper work for our Kenyan licenses. Turns out that it is not all too difficult. Even so, wasn’t that exciting. It got better from there with a visit to the Nairobi National Museum – note the picture of the gourds above, a tour of the CBD campus of ANU, and a walk downtown. We finished off with a delicious meal at Urban Burger.

Please pray for ANU students this week and next as they study for finals and finish projects and papers. Also pray for the Kenyan general elections in early August.

Thanks and have a wonderful week!

Is there a doctor in the house?

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L to R: Rev Kennedy Kirui, Dr Greg Crofford, Rev George Mwita, Pastor Shaun Bati (guest speaker), Rev Aweis Ali, and Dr Matt Price

It has been a special treat to have several (academic) doctors come to teach in the DMin and PhD seminars being held this month at ANU.

Last week, we welcomed Dr Daniel Mwailu, a Methodist D.S. in the U.K., who assisted with “Spritual Practice for Ministry.” He team-taught the course with our ANU Chaplain, Dr Cindy North. The students were very pleased with the practical nature of the material.

This week, Dr Matt Price of Mount Vernon Nazarene University served as co-lecturer with me for the course, “Holiness Theology and the Minister.” Matt brings knowledge of sub-Saharan Africa from his time as a missionary in Benin. Students have also appreciated his depth of knowledge and easy going teaching manner.

Dr Daryll Stanton has assisted with a research course and brings a lot of expertise as our students are crafting their thesis proposals.

Thank you, one and all. We’re glad there are doctors in the house!

Jim preached and kids played

DSCN6182It was great to have Jim Copple preach in the University chapel on the main campus today. Through stories of people he has met and worked alongside, he stressed the importance of moving from WHY to getting it DONE – moving from asking (often unanswerable) questions about a situation to making a commitment to change or improve it. His passion for the betterment of life for all was clearly in evidence.

Thanks, Jim!

On Saturday, ANU hosted the finals of the Kenyan Jr. NBA. DSCN6033For the last three months, games and events have been held at various locations around Nairobi.

The event was boisterous. Helstrom was crammed with  1,500 very excited kids and a large group of invited guests. Greg and others greeted the US Ambassador to Kenya, Robert F. Godec, on behalf of the university.

The Slum Dunk Mathare Nets won the day! (More information and pictures are available on the ANU Facebook page – July 1 posts.)

I don’t know if Jim or the kids had butterflies, but one gorgeous afternoon I had trouble deciding where to point the camera! These are only a few…

A heart for God

EsperantThe School of Religion and Christian Ministry (SRCM) is an incubator for aspiring pastors.

Meet Esperant Fumunguya. He’s a first year student at Africa Nazarene University. The son of a Pentecostal pastor in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Esperant is also the chaplain and a guard on the ANU championship men’s basketball team. He has a heart to see his teammates follow Jesus. When not busy with basketball or his studies, he’s found time to start a fledgling church just a mile from campus, where he meets his little flock for worship on Sunday nights.

It’s exciting to see how God is using religion majors like Esperant who love God to bring fellow students to Christ. Will you pray that the Lord will continue to use him to inspire others in their faith?

At Nairobi National Park

Don Thorsen, a colleague from Asuza Pacific University, came through town early this week. He took Amy and me out for my birthday dinner, then the next day Don and I visited Nairobi National Park. This pretty kitty was 30 yards off the road, bathing in the late morning sun.

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It’s amazing living in a place like Nairobi, the only city in the world with an urban game park. Here’s a colorful (kingfisher?) that I spotted at the hippo ponds.

 

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If anyone is more sure of the bird’s name, please leave a comment. He didn’t show up definitively in our Birds of East Africa guide. And no, those aren’t snow flakes, just reflected light from the background pond.