I wanted to share a couple quick stories from yesterday with you... just a couple of highlights.
After our 4 to 4 1/2 hour church services, our team was whipped. Working against jetlag and a general sense of culture shock (the slums are a difficult place to begin a trip to Africa), we were told we were to spend a little time working with the children of the four churches. None of us had the comprehension of what that truly meant.
We traveled back from the AIC Polytechnic to AIC Zion. These are basically different sites of the church in the slum (think multi-site as a necessity) no further than a half mile apart. AIC Zion is a church which was burned down three years ago in the post-election violence and the walls are halfway finished with corrugated steel, and a brick substance. It is open air and one of the most beautiful houses of worship I've ever experienced.
Our team walked through the gate and saw probably 100 children lined up receiving a lunch of rice and stew. Two teachers dipped the food and the children waited patiently in line. Without a hesitation, Danielle, one of our students, jumped in and began serving. She was quickly accepted by the teachers as they fell in love with her servant heart.
The rest of us, overwhelmed at the mass of children, walked on into the church (feeling somewhat like celebrities at a red carpet premiere as we received handshakes and broken English "How-are-you's?" from the children). If we were overwhelmed at this point, we were shocked at the next.
Front to back, in the large metal church building, there was a sea of children. Probably over 300 kids lined the wooden benches, quiet and eyes fixed on us.
We were led to the stage area as honored guests and the children treated us to recited memory verses, songs, and dances. We sat with the teachers from the school and church--no more than 10--and watched the faces of joy at the sheer presence of our team.
After the classes were finished presenting to us we had the chance to share. We did a couple of humorous skits, and I threw Emily Trier into a "stretching moment" to share her testimony with these children. Literally, about 2 minutes before she was to share I told her she would be sharing.
God used her in a mighty way. Her words were tailored to the children and the translator connected it in a Swahili language.
I have an immense amount of pride watching this team of students and adults be poured out and transformed in the light of a Christ-loving people in the slums of Africa. We will continue to share the stories.