A look at Africa

October 29, 2008

Tom just returned from a phenomenal experience of taking a mission trip to Africa with our church and several other churches that belong to Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. I am going to attempt to share their experiences and show you some of Africa. I may not do it justice since I am relaying this secondhand, but maybe you can ask any questions and Tom can jump in here to answer them for you. I will have to break this up into several posts, so please stay tuned.

Here are the six people who went from our church. They headed out of town and met up with the rest of the group in another state. There they caught a flight and headed to the Netherlands where they then flew on to Kenya. It was a very long flight and took them about 24 hours to get there.

Here is a map of Africa. You can see where Kenya is located over on the East Coast about 1/2 way down. I know I had to go get a map out to see where exactly they were going.

This is the map of Kenya. They flew into the capital of Nairobi. It is a packed city with the largest slums in the world. You can see the one road that goes down toward the coast to Mombasa. That was the direction their journey took them throughout the ten days they were there.

Here are some interesting facts about Kenya that Tom found to be true.

When they arrived, they had lost 8 hours and it was evening there. They were taken by the Missionary that they met up with, Sam Harrell, to an old Catholic mission/motel place to stay. The accomodations were very modest. Tom has some funny stories about their first night and I will let him share them if he wants to.

The next day they headed to a place called Amani ya Juun (not sure of the spelling) that is a place for refugee women to go. It is translated “Peace from above”. These women come from all over sometimes walking for weeks to get to this place. Many women have been mutilated, abused, lost their families and have nowhere to go. They find out about this place and come here to find work and a place to stay. They are taught to sew and they have turned this into a place of business that will then care for these women. These women really do find peace here. This picture is where they make quilts.

Here the women are dying fabric.

While they were there a disturbance arose outside and they found that a monkey had come in. It hopped down off the roof and came and sat at Tom’s feet. He got this picture of it. He said they are sort of like the chipmunks in Colorado. They are a nuisance and are not to be fed. They also know the difference between men and women and don’t seem to have any respect for women. Tom could scare them away but they annoyed and chased the girls. He said they are bold and will come up and take a sandwich right out of your hand.

The women also have a sort of restaurant where you can order off of menus and eat outside. So they had lunch here and Tom said the food was phenomenal. In Africa they have Coke in glass bottles everywhere. It is made from sugar and not the high fructose corn syrup like here. Tom said it really brought memories of being a kid and drinking Coke from bottles for him. He said it was more thirst quenching than our coke. They also drank bottled water while there along with other different types of drinks. They didn’t have any problems with anyone getting sick while there.

They also visited an orphanage this day. These babies are ones that are found in dumpsters, left at hospitals or abandoned at other places. These babies are given up by mother’s who know they cannot care for their children and most of them have HIV. However, they are discovering that after caring for them and as time goes by, they no longer have HIV. This is something they are studying. These children are also being adopted out by many people around the world. You have to be in Nairobi for three months in order to adopt a baby.

Here is a picture outside where the kids play. Many of the people working with the kids are volunteers.

More to come…..



4 responses to A look at Africa

  1. Question? Their life expectancy is only 48 years of age? 😕

  2. Yeah, I saw that too. Not sure about that one. Maybe Tom can answer that one….

  3. I haven’t made my follow up letter yet (waiting to sort through all the pics) but it was pretty over the top for me. Just getting outside myself and seeing the other half-3/4 of the world makes me see how different Americans are from the alot of the world. They really feel like we are very rich and to them, we are. The people are very well dressed and very smart. They have no work. Absolutley no jobs. The communities and families seem very tight and education is the only way out so they are very education conscious. Something we can learn.

    I had some interesting conversations with some of the locals. They asked me if there were a lot of thieves in America. The one who asked was a shop owner and had heard we had a lot of thieves. Another asked if there were lots of devil worshippers. Devil worshippers? I told him that if anything, alot of people don’t believe in God or the devil at all. He was dumbfounded by that. He looked around him in the hotel lobby and said how can people not believe in God, look at the sky, the trees, the animals. I agree buddy.

    I’ll write more in future posts but I have to get a thank you letter to the people who supported me and the pile of pictures is a bit overwhelming.

  4. WOW!!!! What an experience. I’ll be back for more on this trip.