You guys, we got quasi-arrested this morning.
So, we loaded the bus early to head to the village for church and things didn’t exactly go as we had planned.
The Kenyan police are a bit, well, I guess the nice word you could say is corrupt. They like to pull people over for no reason and, well, they pulled our van over to “check it” to make sure it was “safe” to be on the roads.
What they really want is a bribe. 9 times out of 10 the Kenyan police will pull someone over, they ask for a bribe, and then they let the people go. Well, that’s not how we missionaries roll. The police were saying that our tires on our van were “worn” and not safe. I got out and looked at them… they were fine. Our Kenyan leader refused to pay the bribe – so, the next thing we knew, the policewoman had commandeered our bus and took us down to the police station.
Exhibit A: (the woman in the middle seat at the front… yeah, she’s a cop).
So we headed to the police station to have them write us the formal ticket. We still kept refusing the pay the bribe. Then, the police literally did everything they could to try and get us to pay the bribe. For instance, the police suddenly “couldn’t find” the paperwork needed to write up the official ticket for us.
So what did we do? We sent our bus driver to the next police station in the next town to get paperwork from them, bring it back, and have them fill it out.
Yeah, it was a comedy of errors. Eventually they filled out the paperwork and someone from the organization will have to go to court on Tuesday and probably pay a fine. And as silly as it sounds, it was cool to see us “pay her a lesson” of sorts. We probably won’t be getting pulled over any more this week. Or here’s hoping.
This is actually a photo of the police station where we waited:
Anyway. Once we were back on schedule (well, late, but still…) we headed to the village for church.
John, Teri, Muchai, Christopher and I headed to Solid Rock church. It was so awesome to walk through the village and LITERALLY hear the singing, drums, and dancing from far away.
This sweet face greeted us at the door of the church. Oh my goodness she was so cute and was dancing throughout the whole service. She also had some pretty sweet sunglasses she kept putting on. Who knows where she got them from but they were awesome.
Church was amazing. The passion in their worship is so pure and they don’t slow down for anything. They worship till they can’t sing anymore – all with a calf-skin drum and their voices.
We got up and introduced ourselves and shared a little welcome and verse of scripture. My husband went before me and I stood there in awe as he shared a little bit about his faith, but more importantly, shared about how amazing it is that we serve and worship the same God at home in the United States as they do here in Kenya. The congregation cheered and clapped and kept yelling, “HALLELUJAH!” It was so incredible to see their response.
After church the pastor and church elders served us Chai tea and Chapati. Chapati is basically like a pita bread or flatbread that is unique to Kenya. And their Chai tea is some of the most heavenly tea I’ve ever had. It’s definitely a highlight of the trip.
After church, we had lunch and then headed to the community “shopping center” to prepare for the crusade that afternoon.
I was SO excited because we pulled up to the center and there was Anastacia, the girl I sponsor, along with her siblings! Anastacia is the one in the center cheesing. She’s the best.
After hanging out with Anastacia and her siblings for a while, I found Mary, Anastacia’s mom! I went right up to her and hugged her and said, “MARY! It’s me, Molly!” and she couldn’t believe I remembered her. I mean, how could I forget her? I told her how I had a picture of her and Anastacia in my room and that I pray for them all the time. She thanked me for my letters and pictures and was so excited to meet my husband, John. I love this woman. Like, words really can’t express how much I love her.
Then it was just a typical day of running around and playing with the kids in addition to the crusade. The crusade was a way for all the churches in the community to come together and worship in the open air along with the pastors of all the churches preaching to the community.
It’s amazing to see what God is doing in this community. One big hurdle the community has been dealing with is apathy. Both spiritual and professional apathy. Many of the men in the community are Christians, but simply choose to not go to church because they are “too busy” or for whatever reason.
So, there has been a big push from all the churches recently to work with the men to find out why they aren’t going to church and how they can help them get plugged in.
I think that’s something that we struggle with a lot back home – so many people are hungry for Christ, for Church, but they can’t find a place to feed them the way they need to be fed.
Our own team member, Dave, got up and preached. It was really amazing to see how the community responded to Dave’s story.
This here below is Lydia, a friend I made last year. Lydia is both deaf and mute, but I know a little bit of sign language, so we bonded last year. I was so excited to see her and see how she was doing!
That’s my husband with his band of kids that latched on and wouldn’t let go. Be still my heart, I love these pictures.
When you see the Kenyans worship, laugh, dance, sing, give – they just are so pure and so joyful. They appreciate the simplest things. They take nothing for granted. Everything is stripped away here and it’s something that affected me big time last year and it’s something I’ve tried to hold on to daily.
I’m sure I’ll share more thoughts on this later, and I know this post has gotten crazy long.
It’s also dinner time and I’m HUNGRY. So, I’m going to head to dinner, but expect more updates later, more photos on Instagram (when the Wi-fi in our hotel is working), and the like.
Oh, #YOLOmondays IS HAPPENING tomorrow and I’m sharing a video… get excited. Well, you don’t HAVE to get excited, but I think it’s hilarious and it makes me happy so there. 🙂
Happy Sunday, y’all.