Kenya – October 1978

From my Missionary Journal – Kenya, 1978

October 25 –   “The one word I have forgotten because I get immersed in the politics and problems here is JOY.   Joy is what Chirst has given us and this is what we can always live, teach, model and offer to this world.  It is such a simple thing and so omnipotent.  But strange how easily it is forgotten.  Bad news seems to pre-occupy us in a way that joyful news does not.  It seems easier to remember hurts and offenses we have experienced than gifts and mercy we have received.  The bad seems to over shadow the good.  People often can quickly enumerate all the wrongs people have done against them but really have to think for awhile to recall any good that has happened to them.  Strange that this one thing – joy – easily gets lost from sight and yet it is essential to our lives as Christians.”

October 27  –  “I walked to Muguga through the muddy roads to talk with the Finnish Sisters (Orthodox missionary nuns from Finland).  We talked a lot, and they tried to cheer me up with some Finnish humor and wisdom:  ‘Do not be alarmed by bad times, remember the situation has always been bad and getting worse.'”

October 28 –  “I walked to Nderi this evening to teach at the church.  Was struck by the incongruous coming together of different worlds.  I had to walk across the Sigona Golf Course where the greatest threat to this missionary to Africa was being  hit by a slicing golf ball on his way to an African village.   There is no electricity or running water in any of these villages, but the Europeans and Indians have a country club here.  I then saw a real crossing of cultures – one Kenyan Mama carrying a huge bundle of firewood on her back lack a pack mule walking to her village.  And she happened to be walking in the same direction as one white woman who was pulling her golf cart on the course.  Quite the contrast or progress?  Regret not having my camera with me.”

In the center of the above photo is a monkey – one of the few I saw in Kenya.  I lived in Central Kenya which is savanna not jungle and is one of the many diverse ecosystems in Africa.  Africa also has huge deserts besides its jungles and savannas.   The monkey was photographed in Western Kenya where the tree canopy is denser and the topography much more hilly.  The monkeys could be pesky as they would try to steal food from the humans.