Sunday, May 12: We had a long and grueling, but uneventful trip to Malindi, Kenya for the first leg of our training trip. The people there are so warm and welcoming that it is a pleasure working with them. Most are quite poor with many lacking electricity or running water. They live quite austere lives but seem quite content. The education level is generally low, so they struggled some with the workshop, one of our most difficult ones. But they made gradual progress as we worked through many passages. Through it all they remained happy and engaged. They definitely have a vision to pass the training on, having set up 5 different locations. The leader, a bishop, has grown so much since we lasted trained here 6 years ago. He is humble, engaged and enthusiastic about what he is learning. He was not engaged previously so it is a real joy to see him as he is now.
Edie had an interesting time with the ladies. Her translator was difficult, not really knowing how to translate. Edie had to ask her to pass on what she said for almost every sentence. She also had a tendency to fall asleep, which hinders translation a bit. At other times she decided to teach, but through it all Edie patiently proceeded, and the women made great progress. We gave them all bibles since many had none or had ones that were falling apart. We actually bought them at a Muslim shop since it was cheapest. Go figure…
We will return one more time in October to graduate the class. It will be bittersweet to finish there.
We travelled on to Sri Lanka last Friday. We were a bit concerned about the situation here since the Easter bombings, but things seem very calm and normal, other than there are no European tourists around. I am so encouraged by this group and their grasp of what we are trying to teach them. I preached this morning in our coordinator’s church. Afterward his wife said she had seen his preaching change and now she knew why. She said he preaches just like you do. What she meant is that he works his way through a passage of scripture, teaching and explaining it verse by verse.
We start the book of Habakkuk today and I am looking forward to seeing how well they do.