Philip's Kenya Blog - Wednesday
Sorry to hear about the weather in England. Normally such weather is reserved for my summer holidays. It does sound even more special than usual. Here it’s about 27 degrees every day - pretty perfect, really. It’s been quite cloudy, but bright times too. Today I managed to fit in a swim in the centre’s pool - lovely to feel a whole day wash off you. I did four lengths, which for me is very keen and impressive. Yes, it’s tough here.
Today’s pattern very similar to yesterday’s. Lovely opening exposition of Mark 6:34 from Jonathan: What did Jesus see? People as sheep needing a shepherd. (So who is the shepherd? Jesus, of course.) What did Jesus feel? Compassion (in contrast to the disciples). What did he do? How did he express this compassion? He taught them. Only then did he go on to feed them. Isn’t that great? And a great help for one of those Wednesday mornings when I need a spare sermon (if Andy doesn’t pinch it first). Then I did some teaching on how texts only make sense in their context. We looked at how a prosperity preacher (Kenya is bedevilled by them) might mis-preach Romans 8:28 - “love Jesus and you will be rich and happy” - and then how the verses that come before and after show this to be an impossible interpretation. They love it and are very receptive. Then we did a bit more on Mark, with some small group exercises, and I preached on the second half of chapter 5. After lunch we had a presentation on health from a doctor, who was a delightful contrast to the speaker on Anglicanism yesterday. He gave me full marks for taking the best anti-malarial pills (Malarone).
Later Moses took us to the docks, which he visits regularly as chaplain of the Missions to Seamen. What a fascinating visit. Huge docks, serving all of East Africa, and beyond. An enormous mass of ships, containers (never seen so many), trucks and cranes, all running by that extraordinary African chaos (very akin to the end of Judges: ‘everyone did as he saw fit’) that seems to defy all appearances and actually manage to work. We visited a container vessel run by some Filipinos who came to the service on Sunday. Lovely captain, who gave us coffee and showed us all round the bridge and then the engine room. All a ‘first’ for me. Great experience.
On the way home another classic African experience: gridlocked roads. We took 15 minutes to drive the last 50 yards to the gate of the compound. This is when the extraordinary African chaos doesn’t defy appearances. So the swim was doubly welcome.
Praise and thanks that thus far I have been sustained and had sufficient energy for the task. I think they have too! Please pray that that continues, and that attendance continues to be good. Pray that these pastors, with so many demands on their time and lots of issues to face, will come away loving the Bible even more and longing to work hard at preaching Jesus and the gospel. Please pray, as ever, for health and protection.
The Lord is good.