When we finally reached Kiu, we were again given "rock star" treatment, as waves of uniform-clad, primary school students rushed our van. The first order of the day was a farewell ceremony that included warm testimonials, as well as singing and dancing by the leadership team, parents, and students. We were told more than once that we were no longer visitors here but friends, brothers, and sisters. We were also asked to take the villagers' love and prayers back to the parishioners of Nativity.
In return, we thanked everyone for their affection and generosity. Tim delivered a brief message with a David and Goliath theme to inspire the villagers to trust in God and believe in themselves to solve their water scarcity problem. We also thought that the mission team should reciprocate with some song and dancing of our own. Dori convinced four of the Kiu women to perform with us as we rendered, "We Are Singing for the Living God." We interpreted the hearty laughter this evoked as high approval, but could be wrong about that.
Meanwhile, Jeff, Tim, Robyn, and Frank played with the kids outside, again using the variety of balls, Frisbees, and jump ropes they brought with them. Jeff and Frank also played "Ring Around the Rosey" with the kids and all became dizzy with delight.
By the end of our stay in Kiu, the language-challenged team had finally mastered saying, "Hello" in Swahili. Throughout the week, "jambo" was uttered as jumbo, jimbo, and even gumbo by our crack group of linguists, much to the confusion of our Kiu friends. However, we trust that what we lack in foreign language skills is surely compensated for by the love and caring we showed for all.
Our missionaries had an amazing journey in Kenya and it sounds like they made some new, lifelong friends. We will keep you updated as we hear travel updates on their trip back home. Thank you for your comments to our travelers! Keep the prayers coming!