Sunday, April 8, 2012

Last week of main outreach: Mombasa

Our last week of outreach, we traveled to the coast! On our way there, our bus broke down (in the middle of the night, of course) so it ended up taking about 30 hours to get to our destination. A little South of Mombasa, we were right on the shores of the Indian Ocean! It was super humid, and there were coconuts and tourists everywhere! :D

Muhammad's birthday celebration in Mombasa
The community along the Coast is strongly Islamic. We were even staying in a Muslim neighborhood. We had to be very aware of how we were dressing so as not to offend the people we were trying to reach out too. We did beach outreach and lots of door-to-door ministry, which proved to be difficult. We werent particularly prepped on the Qur'an. There are also many "social rules" that we had to keep in mind, such as:
- When entering a Muslim home, always step 1st with your right foot.
- When carying your Bible, make sure it is in your right hand and never hold it below your waist.
- Never set your Bible on the floor.
- Never write in your Bible. (This was hard because most of us had made lots of notes in our Bibles because we've been studying them for quite some time. Very few people on our team even had an unmarked Bible.)
and many more. Each "rule" has roots in Islamic culture and while it wasn't demanded that we follow them, we wanted to be as culture sensitive as possible to the people we were talking to.

One of the couples that we got to talk to were so sweet! As we were passing by their house, I just had to stop and talk to her. She was washing dishes in a basin out front. Her braids were piled high on her head and her nose ring sparkled in the sunlight when she looked around. There was something about her. You could see, she wanted more from life. She wanted it at it's fullest. She was full of spunk. Her eyes snapped with personality. She was a passionate person. We struck up an instant friendship. It turned out that she was a non-practicing Muslim and her husband was a back-slidden Christian. We talked with them for quite some time and they were so excited to give their lives to God. I've never seen someone so enthusiastic about their new found faith; it was inspiring. I wish we could have hung out more with her that week. She is truly an amazing lady, and I'm so happy to be able to call her my sister in Christ!

Beach evangelism/skits
This last week was just what we needed. Our ministry was challenging but SO fantastic, and in our free time we were able to re-coup on the beach.
Our free day ended up falling on Valentine's Day, and I can honestly say it was the BEST Valentine's Day I've ever (and probably ever will) have. I mean, come on, Jesus took me on a trip to the Indian Ocean! Warm breeze, glorious sunshine, white sand, clear water, swimming, tanning, collecting shells, checked out tide pools, window shopped, people watched.... I couldn't ask for a better day than to spend it with the lover of my soul in such a beautiful place. <3

Funny moments:
- Making swim suits out of our old clothes because we didn't pack any and had no money to buy any.
- While swimming in the ocean, one of the girls got stung by something on her foot. We had been talking earlier about how the only way to treat a jelly fish sting is to pee on it... I'm sure you can guess what happened. ;D
- The Kenyan sales people all up and down the beach recognizing us after a few days and telling the other sales people, "They're not tourists, they're students! They don't have money, stop bothering them!"
- There were tons of tourists everywhere and they were all Italian. Had a few ladies try to chat with me.... in Italian. Lol. We had no clue what the other was saying.
- The house flooding in the middle of the night because someone didn't shut off a pipe. I was sleeping on the floor. Waking up to my leader standing over me with a flashlight, laughing hysterically, "Sam! You're swimming!" I still can't believe I didn't wake up sooner, laying in 2 inches of water!
My team! <3

Wow! So this post concludes my outreaches in Kenya! It was an amazing experience, and I can't thank you all enough for all your support!

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