The next morning we got up early to make the 1.5 hour drive from Kisii to Etago where we were to attend worship service and see the new class rooms that have been added to the aids orphan school. When we arrived we found the church building full of children waiting to begin. Pastor Mike Gurath led the brief Bible study for the children about Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. Once the service began the Lord was praise with the voices of 172 children singing to the Lord. I had the privilege of preaching and was glad to have the opportunity to proclaim the Word one more time since I would be leaving in just a few days. I preached the 10th chapter of John where Jesus comforts and encourages us with the Good News that He is our Good Shepherd who knows us and willingly laid down His life for us.
On Monday we traveled to the Moi’s Bridge area where Pastor Mike Gurath will be living and working for the next 6 to 12 months. Pastor Gurath has been called by Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Phoenix, AZ to serve as a missionary to the newly formed Emmaus Milimani Lutheran Church. This congregation was established after a woman from Moi’s Bridge, Kenya attended services and joined Holy Cross. She is an older woman who wants to start a confessional church and school in her home area. She has donated a large piece of land and quite a bit of her own money to build a church and school. They currently have 110 students enrolled in their school. Most of the children are from families that are too poor to pay the tuition at the other schools in the area.
We were privileged to participate in the installation of Pastor Mike Gurath as missionary to Emmaus Milimani Lutheran Church and School. Pastor Gurath will also spend one week a month teaching in the temporary seminaries in Kenya, alternating monthly visits to Etago and Nairobi.
You can find Pastor Gurath’s blog at: http://emmausmilimanimission.tumblr.com/
Before and after the service I enjoyed my time with the children. There were two children in particular who will stay in my memory for a good long time. I would have loved to pack these two up and brought them home with me. The first was a little boy who for some reason wanted to be my friend. We were just standing around waiting for things to get started when this little guy (probably 3 years old) just walked up next to me and grabbed my hand. I looked down at him and he just grinned. A little while later I noticed a little girl (probably around 4 or 5) looking at me and when I made eye contact with her she smiled and looked away. I picked up a round dried up pit from some type of fruit that was lying on the ground and attempted to communicate to her that I wanted to play catch. She caught on rather quickly and the fun began. I got down on one knee and we started to toss the “ball” back and forth and she would squeal and giggle with delight with each toss. Within just a minute or so all the other kids had gathered around and my little friend from before wiggled his way through the crowd of children so he could be next to me. After I caught the “ball” I handed it to him and helped him toss it to the little girl. He just grinned with delight. I really miss my family and as these two little children warmed my heart today it made me thankful that I will be home with them in St. Louis.
I leave in an hour for my flight from Nairobi to Brussels to Washington, DC to St. Louis. It will take around 23 hours. I can hardly wait to get home.