Finally – we had an authentic African meal – and it was excellent!
Our hosts were the Osiro family who are church planters in Kenya. Rebecca and her daughters prepared chicken pieces in a light tomato sauce (looked like salsa, but wasn’t), a beef stew, an African red bean dish, white rice, chapatis, sukuma (spinach) and African ugali. It was a lovely and tasty feast. The spinach was cooked with onions and some seasonings and is typically eaten with ugali. Ugali is a type of cornmeal porridge that is cooked until quite thick, and eaten with your hands to scoop up sukuma and other foods. By itself it is bland, but very nice with the sukuma. Chapatis are an Indian flatbread that Kenyans eat quite often with their meals, and are used like a spoon to scoop up food to eat. Kenyans also use spoons!
We are not fond of spicy dishes, and this was a treat to eat Kenyan food that was not spicy. Apparently, some Kenyan recipes use a lot of hot red peppers.
They have a garden plot nearby and are growing vegetables to sell at the market and for their own use. They had recently harvested both red and yellow onions to sell. They have solar panels to operate the pump for the well. Some of their children and grandchildren live with them.
Rebecca and Joash worked with Somali refugees in Nairobi for a number of years and felt called by God to move to the “outskirts” – actually about a 2 hour drive from Nairobi. Rebecca is the first woman pastor to be ordained in the Mennonite Church in Kenya, and Joash is a bishop in the Kenyan Mennonite Church. Rebecca is also the Vice President of the Mennonite World Conference which meets every 5 years. They shared with us their vision for ministry in this new location.
People who live nearby have been coming to their home for worship services. It was getting quite crowded. This past Sunday they held their first worship service in a church “building”, after 2 years of meeting in their home. It is a simple pole building with plastic sheeting for walls, but has room for the over 30 people now coming.
Eventually, they would like to see a small health clinic in this area. Their are no medical facilities nearby. And hopefully use the church building for other ministries of food and clothing distribution.
A large investment company purchased a big piece of land and is selling off lots. We saw one housing development of new houses that appeared to be a “gated community”, but there are still many plots that are being sold individually. Some houses were being built, only a few were completed with people living in them. And there were large areas of scrub grass and bushes without any sign of development.
Please be in prayer for this new church plant. Many of the people now attending are members of other churches, but those are too far away to attend regularly. Some are not yet believers.
Please pray for the expanding ministry for health care, food, and clothing to families in the area.