We arrived in Kenya last night to begin a week-long mission experience. Five of us from Bonsack Baptist met up with five others from South Main Baptist in Houston, Texas. We will spend the week working with a ministry called Sodzo International, which works with boys and young men who are living on the streets. They provide housing, education, and job training to these young men, while also working with families in neighboring villages to address some of the systemic issues that led to these young men leaving home in the first place. We will spend some time with the young men and some with the families. Exactly what will be doing with them remains to be seen, but that is part of any international experience. You simply have to remain flexible and be willing to adapt to what the circumstance require at the moment.
The mere act of getting here was a long journey. We had a three hour drive from Roanoke to D.C., then a 12-hour flight to Doha in Qatar, then a 6-hour flight to Nairobi. We arrived at our hotel after midnight, and now are preparing to leave for a 6-hour van ride to the northeast to the town of Maua, which is where Sodzo is based. The clock tells me it is Sunday morning, but my body has no idea what time zone it is in!
Tiring though it may be, the journey itself is part of the experience. Flying from America, over Europe, into the Middle East, and then on to Africa, you end up crossing paths with people from all over the world. As we spent some time wandering around the airport in Doha yesterday during our layover, I could not help but marvel at the rich diversity of cultures and languages I was experiencing. It occurred to me God created all of this. Though it is clear not everyone acknowledges Him, the incredible tapestry of humanity is a reflection of His glory, His beauty, and His infinite creativity.
This morning something happened that put all that in a new perspective for me. As I made my way across the small courtyard in our hotel to breakfast, I could hear a band at a nearby church playing a medley of familiar hymns. I am half a world away, on the other side of the ocean and the equator, yet I could hear my brothers and sisters in Christ signing “In The Sweet Bye and Bye.” It was a beautiful reminder that where ever we go, God is already there.Through His church, He has made His presence known on every continent. Though we may speak different languages, eat different foods, and live by different cultural rhythms, it is all a reflection of Him. He is already here in Kenya doing incredible things. It is my privilege over this next week to experience that first-hand. I will keep you posted.