Africa Missions Trip

Fourteen men following God to the far side of the globe.

Day 11 — Nakuru Game Park

We were up and on the road this morning by 5:30am.  The ride to Lake Nakuru Game Park took us about 3 hours.  We spent the next five hours touring around the Park checking out the wildlife. We saw some spectacular scenery and some wonderful animals. We were disappointed that we saw no large cats, but we saw plenty of other animals up close and personal.  Our ride home took much longer than expected, it took us about 3 hours to get back to Nairobi, and another 3 hours fighting Nairobi traffic to get to our lodge. ARRGH!!

Upon returning we packed up our bags and prepared for our morning departure.  There are 14 men here who are very ready to return home, 12 of which are very ready to see their wives and children.

Day 11 — Nairobi

Today started out much the same as the last two have. We had breakfast in our lodge, then were on our way to the Bible School by 7:30.  We finished up the last of the forms and jumped right into mixing concrete.  We loaded the mixer with 12 buckets of stone, 8 of sand, 2 cement, and 2 of water. Then the mix would be dumped on the ground and the guys would start shoveling it into buckets and lifting it though the windows, from there it was carried to the guys on the scaffolding and lift up to the first level, then the guys on the scaffold would lift it to the next level, and then dump it into the form.  This was grueling work, but we worked hard and by 1pm we had completed the job.

We ate a lunch prepared at the college, then cleaned up and returned to the lodge.

Pastor Chris, Tim, Josiah, and Elijah had left Tuesday morning to travel up to Mt. Kenya where Pastor Chris spoke at a Pastor’s conference.  They returned by late afternoon today.

At 5:30 we drove back over to the school and the Harman’s (veteran missionaries of over 30 years who run the school) home where we had been invited  to have dinner and a birthday party for Shane (Happy Birthday!).  We had pizza, cake and ice cream, and a wonderful time getting to know the missionaries and sharing some of our experiences with them.

They transported us back to our lodge. Tomorrow we leave the lodge at 5:30AM to go on our Safari.

Day 9 & 10 — Nairobi

We have spent the last two days working at the Manna Bible School.  Not much to tell. We have worked hard and accomplished much. We are building the ring beam, which is the top most part of the wall before the roof goes on. The walls are hand cut stone laid with mortar. The ring beam will be a concrete beam that connects all the walls together and provides a great deal of strength. To build this beam we have divided into two teams. One to assemble the “cage” which is a retangular construction made up of rebar wired-tied to steel rings. We have built these cages in 120′ lengths and then cut and fit them as needed. The rings are hand made by cutting steel rod into 3′ lengths and then using a “jig” to bend them to the proper shape. You will see a set of nails on a board, this is the jig.

The other team has been constructing forms to set the cage in and hold the concrete in place when we pour it. This has been accomplished by nailing 1×6 boards together, and then nailing them in place at the top of the wall.

Tomorrow we begin pouring the concrete. This will be the most physically strenuous part of the job. We are looking forward to completing the project.

Day 8 — Nairobi

What a great day!!  We split up into four teams this morning and headed to different churches to minister.  Pastor Chris and Elijah went to a church of 3000 in downtown Nairobi. Ian went to a friend from college’s church also in downtown Nairobi.  Pastor Derek, Gary, Josiah, Ben Block, Bob, and Tim went to a church on the edge of a slum, while Matt, Mike, Shane and Ben Thompson went to a church in the slum.  The leader of each group preached at their respective churches, and Mike and Tim taught adult Sunday School classed, Bob taught a children’s class, and Josiah & Ben Block taught a teen class.  We saw 3 people get saved, several renew the commitment to the Lord, and prayed for many many more.

Following our return the to lodge we loaded up and went to a market where we were able to do some additional shopping. This was quite the experience, as all the prices were negotiable. Some of us were quite successful with out haggling and some not so much, but we all had a good time and got what we wanted.

With our shopping complete we returned to the lodge, had a debriefing session and then dinner.  Tomorrow will be our first day working for Manna Bible school. Pray that we don’t get too burnt.

The pictures I am posting are from the last few days.

Ben & Gary

Ben & Gary just arrived at our lodge in Nairobi!  They are safe, but a bit travel weary and ready to get a shower.

Day 7 — Nairobi

We have arrived at our new accommodations in Nairobi.  Our flight was uneventful, and our host (Terry Nutter) met us at the airport with a bus to transport us to our lodge.  The ride took a little over an hour.  We are now waiting to have lunch, and then are going to spend a little time shopping and seeing the village we are staying in.

Looking forward to Ben & Gary finally joining us this evening!

Yesterday we went shopping in the morning.  Our hosts transported us to a village where they hand create all manner of wood and stone gifts. We got a short tour of the craftsmen working on various stages of creation, and Elijah even got to try his hand at it.  From there we took a driving tour of Mombasa, and rounded out the tour by visiting a local pizza establishment. (Insert angelic rejoicing sound hear.)  We spent the remainder of the afternoon relaxing at our hotel.

In the evening we traveled back to our host church to participate in a prayer meeting.

Upon return to our hotel we were treated to a private dinner in a garden overlooking the ocean. This was the hotel’s way of honoring us and thanking us for staying with them.  It was a great meal, and a beautiful setting.

Today we will be departing within the hour to head to the airport and will be flying to Nairobi.  The flight is about 45 minutes.

At this time I do not know what if any internet will be available at our next accomodations.  So I will do my best to continue posting, but if there are none or they are infrequent don’t be alarmed.

Mombasa — Day 5

It is truly hard to believe we have been here for five days. We truly miss our families and homes, but the time has flown by!

Thursday was our final day working for the church on their bench refinishing project, and while we were not able to complete the project we did accomplish a great bit. We also helped create a momentum among the people in the church that should carry them through the completion of the project. In fact, by the time we quit for lunch, they had enough people that they had put most of us out of job!

Five of the guys went to a children’s home and painted for them.

Lunch today was a much welcomed change in pace, Pastor Joshua took us to a Chinese restaurant that was absolutely amazing!!

I discovered something today that I hadn’t realized before. The church where we have been spending most of our time is on an Island. The island is the main body of Mombasa and is called Mombasa Island. Our hotel is on the mainland in Mombasa East, and this evening we journeyed off the island to Mombasa West.

We had only a short break break at the hotel to get ourselves cleaned up before we were off again.  This evening we visited a small school in a slum. The children were soo excited to see us!  As soon as they saw us they came running up, greeting us and holding our hands. Unfortunately we only were able to spend 20 minutes with them, but we had a great time. They sang some songs for us and we played with them. When we left they children followed us back to the van and waved good-bye till our van was out of sight.

From there it was only a short drive to the church, which meets in a classroom of a public school.  The people greeted us warmly and ushered us in giving us seats of honor in the front of the church. The people glowed with joy.  Ian shared his testimony, and then I preached. Pastor Chris closed things out. We prayed for the Pastor and his wife, as well as the church as a whole.

We traveled from there to the children’s home where the guys had painted earlier. There are 36 children in the home.  They sang and danced for us, and even got Pastor Chris to dance with them !:-)  Pastor Chris shared a short devotional with them, then we spent some time just talking and getting to know them.

We then drove/walked up the hill to their sister (brother??) home where a group of teenage guys live. Many come from abusive backgrounds. They were also very welcoming of us. Derek shared a challenge with them, then we laid hands on and prayed for them. We only had 20 minutes to spend with them, but many of us were able to able to meet and connect with someone there.

We arrived back to our hotel just before 9:30, just in time to get dinner. Following which most of us crashed. Tomorrow is our day off.  Looking forward to catching up on some sleep and buying gifts for our loved ones.

Happy Birthday Buckman!

Happy 12th  Birthday.

Sorry I am missing your day.

I miss everyone!

Love, Dad

From Bob Norris to his son Tyler.