May 6th Update from Phil Sheldon


Running to Beat the Rain

Hi everyone

As the title suggests we are having to battle heavy rains every day. They all seem to start about 4PM so it is a rush to get all the planned and unplanned activities and visits in before the rains come. There was so much rain that came down today that many of the roads were flooded and we had to travel the back roads into PACE slip sliding as we progressed and prayed we stayed out of the ditch as most of us are not wearing the rubber boots during the day. And amazingly we had hail today, quite heavy and it accumulated and stayed around in some spots – ice on the equator.

This morning we were off first thing to visit the first day of class for this semester in the PACE High School. We were all very impressed with the school uniforms – white shirts, red stripped ties, red sweaters, black pants or green skirts and green blazers. Quite striking. And the amount of classes they are required to take and the amount of work is amazing. There are of course many needs – more storage desks and chairs, text books, note books, and a lab. That is probably the most pressing issue now and hopefully with the October Ride for Refuge we can raise the funds to cover this need.

Then we were off to see the AIC Children’s Home with Pastor Geoffrey. It has been partially converted into a High School and 47 students attend. The children sang to us and we gave some devotions and even got up the nerve to sing our Swahili song again. Then a quick tea break and off to meet Pastor Macharia and travel to GOSHEN – the seniors ministry he holds on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. We picked up some sugar for the ugali (porridge) and some loaves of bread for a treat.

They are meeting in their new building and it was great to see them singing as we pulled up. Many faces I recognized from my last visit – sisters Grace and Peace. We spent time introducing ourselves, singing our song again (a big hit) and then a few of us spoke. Then we had the priviledge of serving them the bread and the ugali – not bad but I think it is an aquired taste. Much of the remaining visit taken up with visiting in small groups. There were about 65 seniors in attendance today. Pastor Macharia is praying for proper plastic garden chairs for them to sit on as currently they sit on hard wooden benches for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Also a cement floor for the building (which also doubles as a church – Happy Church – on Sundays). It was a real pleasure for all of us to visit, even when Pastor Macharia said the average age was about 65 (I’m almost there) but I think it was a bit higher than that. But it was fun and I really enjoyed getting to know them.

I guess that is what makes PACE such an amazing place to visit. Yesterday we had a real enjoyable time visiting the 2-1/2 to 5 year olds at Victory and today we are visiting seniors. And both places were fun, enjoyable and touched our hearts. And then all the other places we visit fall in between those age extremes. We are very lucky to have this chance.

Well I’m off to bed now. Everyone else sounds like they are sound asleep already and it’s not even 10PM yet. Tomorrow our team starts with the Pastors and wives retreats. The program appears to change by the hour but we are prepared and I’m looking forward to discussing the issues that they face – in their person walk with God, their walk with their families and their walk with their ministries. It should be interesting to get their perspective on these three areas that affect all our lives and that we all struggle with.

Stay tuned.

Phil

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