We have now been in Nairobi, Kenya for a whole week. Our first couple of days were spent trying to adjust our body clocks to Kenyan time while being looked after at Mayfield Guest House. There were five of us in the guest house initially and so we were able to spend some time getting to know the other three visitors. On our final night, there were some new arrivals one of whom was a young guy we had met in Australia! On the weekend we decided to go out for a walk and when we stopped in at a shopping area we had a surprise encounter with Louise who had been at our Africa based orientation. We had a wonderful catch-up over a cup of coffee and felt God had given us our own special welcome to Nairobi!
Monday morning we went to the Eastern Region Office to meet the staff who work there. The office oversees all the workers in Tanzania and Kenya and so it was nice to put faces to names. We joined them in their morning worship and prayer time which was a real blessing. We were then taken to our accommodation, not at AIU as had originally been planned but at a location closer to the office and within easy walking distance of shops. We are in a compound with a mix of AIM and SIM workers with many young families. We are house sitting for a family who are on home assignment and it is a lovely location we are in. While it is ‘someone else’s home’ we have put a couple of our items out to make it feel a little like ‘ours’.
Wednesday, we met with Linda who looks after language learning for new comers and the Kenyan lady who is to be our language coach. Since then we have had two lessons with Susan. Each lesson has been about three hours duration but Susan has made it engaging and fun. She is a lady with a good sense of humour as well as being particular about us not using any English and not translating anything for us. We have been surprised at what we have managed to learn in two lessons, we are just hoping that we can continue to make good progress with the language. We can already sing a worship song in Swahili and say a very short prayer! Praise God.
This week has also seen us find our way around the local area. We are learning the variations that are particularly Kenyan in flavour and have enjoyed exploring and discovering. I feel that God is stretching us once more and asking us if we are prepared to accept and welcome the ‘different’. He is a God of immense creativity and in accepting his people in their diversity of being and doing we are in fact accepting Him.