My Kenyan Experience
by Marty Winslow
Where to start? At the beginning, I suppose. People crowding into ticket and security lines, long hours on the planes, the final arrival prefaced the “experience”. A strange land, yet there were friends, who became family, to meet us at the airport. After a brief night’s sleep, we hit the ground running.
We headed off to church at AIC Katisaa and the life changing experience began. It’s all about “Faith, Family and Friends”. Those words hang over an entryway to my home as well as in a small carving on my coffee table at home. Those words take on new meaning after a visit to Kenya.
The first time we met the church members in Machakos we were greeted with a handshake. From then on our greetings began with a “welcoming hug”! Strangers, no more! We worshipped, sang and shared side by side. Each day and each meal began with thanks to God, our Provider. God’s presence was illuminated on the faces of young and old alike. Music, song and dance set the tone for the sharing of God’s word!
Children’s faces always bring joy to the heart of a die hard teacher, like me. Children walking long distances to school, motivated by the desire for learning, were spiritually uplifting to me. Every school group we met had music, the “rhythm of love” to share. Schools vary little traditionally, yet each one is unique. Children come to work, play and interact with others, all of which inspires learning. It was obvious that it wasn’t the material things that taught them to become responsible adults, but the various educators who shared with students their love of learning. It’s contagious!
The teacher in me was drawn to the children of all ages! Their eagerness to learn drew me closer and closer, like a magnet. As time passed, the children were always there when I would lose my way, usually to Naomi and Samson’s home for a respite and meal.
Looking back on my Kenyan experience, I realize we all were touched by the sincere acceptance of our friendship and service. We experienced a most successful 4 day medical and vision clinic, the building of a shelter and the purchase of materials for the continued progress of the new church building. Most of all we established lasting friendships and relationships with the AIC Katisaa church family! AMEN