A visit to Kenya 2015.05.10
Börje Norlén, member of New Life Stockholm
For more than two weeks in November, I got the chance to visit Kenya again. In the beginning of the 90s, my family and I had our home in that country. That’s why it is always such a special feeling to return to this beautiful country. I travelled alone, but in Kenya I was very well taken care of by my Kenyan and Swedish friends. The weeks in Kenya were fun, and now and then, even a bit adventurous. Together with my four Swedish friends: Anita, Lennart, Gunilla and Love I participated in a seminar in Maasai, close to the border of Tanzania. We taught from the Bible and Gunilla took sharp action against FGM (Female Genital Mulitation). On our way to the place where the seminar was conducted we got stuck on the muddy “roads” of this rural area and did not get out of it for about 6 or 7 hours.
Because of the heavy rains, we were forced to change our plans to visit some of the recently established churches on the Tanzanian side of the border. During my three years in Kenya in the 90s, I spent a lot of time encouraging and strengthening the small churches in the Maasa area, in the southwest parts of Kenya. Since then I have visited this tribe many times and each time it has been a joy for me to notice how the number of churches continue to increase all the time. More and more distant villages in the rural areas, on both sides of the border, have now been reached with the Gospel. At first, the people gathered under trees, but now many simple church buildings have been constructed. Help with putting up iron sheets is a great need. We participated in a seminar at a place called Loita. Here they performed open-air meetings because the small church building could not host all the people who had gathered from the villages from both sides of the border. It was a great honor to preach for these nice people in their beautiful and colorful clothes. As red is the favorite color for a Maasai, of course that was the dominating color. Their self-manufactured ”bling-bling” was clinking and swinging as the people danced to the glory of the Lord.
To reach the place of the seminar we had to leave our vehicle and wade across a river. On the other side, some of us went by motor bikes, which were waiting for us, and some of us walked a few kilometers. The local leader in the area had tears in his eyes when he welcomed me back. It really touched my heart and that feeling remained inside of me when we went on to the next step of the trip.
I spent my second week at the mission center Trosgnistan, a Swedish mission organization in Migori, not so far from Victoria Lake in the southwest of Kenya. Here, leaders from nine nations where Trosgnistan has local cooperating partners were gathered for an Align Conference. That conference is held every other year in different countries. Local leaders, together with guest speakers from Sweden and Norway, serve by teaching. The theme for the conference was “developing a mature leadership in the last time church”. It was so inspiring for me to participate in this conference. The participants visited Komotobo Mission, about 45 km from Migori, beautifully situated in Kuria land. This site was the home for my family and I for three years and, of course, it has left a special place in my heart. When we approached our destination, I felt the well-known feeling of coming home.
In short, I had two nice and busy weeks in Kenya; some adventures, happy reunions with old friends and co-workers, and I even made some new acquaintances in the younger generations. Remembering the tears the Maasai Leader William had in his eyes when we departed, I really feel a longing to once again be able to return to this place if the Lord opens the way. I still have this warm feeling inside of me, but I even know from experience that it is not always that easy to realize the plans when it comes to real life. But God is always with us as we go forth in His name!