The day began with our attending a service at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Kwa Kaluli, a village a few miles distant from Kiu. I say a service because it was officiated by a catechist and not a priest and included all of the mass liturgy, minus the consecration and communion. We learned that a priest comes to this church only once a month to say mass.
Regardless, we witnessed a vibrant celebration driven by a choir with the sound of angels and a rhythm section (drums and other assorted percussion instruments) that made the church's stone walls vibrate. The choir's joyful noise also included dancing in the sanctuary, and Robyn, Tim, and Dori jumped up to join them. The highlight was a children's tambourine chorus whose dance moves would put any pop singer to shame. The service lasted a whopping 3 hours and 10 minutes.
After lunch, we stayed at the church to participate in a wide-ranging discussion with church and community leaders. It was held outdoors under a huge thorn tree and in a spectacular setting of sheep-filled pastures rimmed by mountains in the distance. Topics included the need for another secondary school, the lack of water (the nearest source is a few kilometers away and the task of transporting the vital liquid can take as long as 3 hours), how new church members are recruited (home visits and sports), and the typical length of our services. We all thought it funny that they had one Sunday church service that lasted 3 hours and we had 4 Sunday masses that lasted 1 hour each. It was also interesting to note that they used sports to attract the youth while we have lost youth members to Sunday sports.
Once we returned to the hotel, we held our daily debriefing- this time in the open air in a roof top space on the 8th floor. As we shared our thoughts on a day filled with prayer, the sun began to set and we heard the call to prayer coming from a nearby mosque. This proved without a doubt that God is everywhere, from Timonium, U.S.A. to Kwa Kaluli and Machakos, Kenya.
How interesting to learn how other churches and cultures operate. We pray that the rest of the trip proves to be just as enlightening and joyful. Thanks for following along and thank you for all the great comments! Keep showing our team the love by leaving them a message below.