As we wrapped up our final work day, I realized that it was easily my favorite day of the trip. It was very full, but we were graced with the presence of Bishop Wolfe who arrived in Kenya a couple days ago.
Unfortunately, my camera ran out of battery supply pretty early in the day, so I’m missing pictures from later in the day.
We started out at Munengi Primary School in Longonot Township. We were, again, teaching the students to use the eReaders and making them aware of the presence of the library at All Saints.’ However, we had a completely different experience at Munengi than we did at Ngeya the past several days. Munengi is a bit of a country school, so it was much smaller than Ngeya. They have only one class per grade and the class sizes are more reasonable. There are only about 200 students in the entire school.
We found the students to be much better behaved and more receptive to the eReader teaching. We were also able to work in much larger groups giving a lot more time for individualized attention.
After teaching, we realized that the teachers at Munengi had canceled the normal classes for the day, so we were left to entertain the students for the balance of the day! I have to say that my wife, Michael, Tyler Kerr and the Bishop were the rock stars of the late morning and early afternoon! They were like benevolent and hilarious Pied Pipers! Michael taught the students a bunch of rhyming games and Tyler Kerr taught them games like “Red Light, Green Light” and “Simon Says.” I was most surprised by the Bishop who was able to engage the elementary students in both song, games and conversation!
Right before lunch, we worked with the Environmental Club to plant trees on the grounds of the school. I realized something as we planted trees… I’ve been an “environmentalist” my whole life, but I have never planted a tree outside of an Eagle Scout project! The grounds of Munengi are like many schools, a big open quad of mostly dust and some grass. Part of our preparations for coming to Kenya involved committing to purchasing 40 small seedlings for the students to plant. We were able to purchase these seedlings for 800 shillings (less than $10!) Because we bought so many, the company through in an extra 10 plants! If even 25% of the trees end up taking root and growing, it will transform the face of Munengi school!
In the afternoon, we took the bishop out to Agatha’s House so that he could see it and so that we could perform a house blessing. When we rolled up to Agatha’s House, we were astounded to see the work that had been completed in the five days since we last saw it! The walls of the kitchen were completed, the perimeter wall was almost done and the walls inside the house were painted beautifully!
Neither the Bishop nor I remembered our Books of Occasional Service, so we had to improvise a house blessing. As we traveled from room to room, we asked the assemblage about blessings they would ask up on each room. We took our cue from the room colors in several rooms and prayed for healing and growth in the green room, comfort after loss of innocence in the pink room, and for the young men who’s fathers had failed in showing them what manhood should be. It was a wonderful improvisational service and the assembled congregation “blessed it good!”
It was a very full day, but Bishop Wolfe supported us in energy and prayer. He brought a life to our group that we were starting to lose after so many days together.
The biggest “God Moment” of the day for me was watching how excited the children of Munengi were about planting trees! Each of the students who handled a seedling treated it with such care, you would think it was a baby chick. There was definitely a lot of competition and rustling to plant the trees, but each was planted with care and love. Each student will be responsible for caring for each small seedling as they grow into saplings and then into maturity. Soon, the trees will provide shade and oxygen to the students and faculty of the school.
For these students, I hope that they will see the growing trees as examples of God’s love. Cooling them on hot days, filling their lungs with oxygen, providing them places to play and to grow alongside their trees!
Our Kenya trip is drawing to an end. We leave in the morning for a safari in Nakuru and I might post another blog entry. Thank you for following us and for supporting us in prayer. As we finish our trip and journey back to Kansas, know that we have felt your love and support!