The rollers are now rolling

Kajthum Posted by Kajiado Meta 2012 on Wed, 20 Jun 2012 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

Our first day of work on the new church is complete and by all accounts it can be regarded as a success. There is still much to do and all of us are aware of that fact, but if we can keep up the pace and maintain the good teamwork, then we can be confident in knowing that the church will be finished in time for the dedication on the 29th June.

Maintaining the good pace could prove a challenge however, as it proved to be a long and tiring journey reaching our destination, and only time will tell if we begin to feel the effects from that. It all began on Friday with a bus journey to Dublin airport, followed by a flight to Amsterdam, which was delayed and left us in somewhat of a hurry to reach the connection to Nairobi. Fortunately we made it OK and we soon settled in for the 9 hour flight to Kenya.

After arriving early on Saturday morning and a 2 hour wait at Visa control, we finally met up with Ronnie & Maggie Briggs of CMSI, several drivers, and Canon Johnston who was more than happy to see us and greeted each of us in turn with much enthusiasm. We then set off for Kajiado town where we would be staying for 2 nights before departing for Oltiasika.

The first day was all about rest and recuperation, but we did manage a walk into Kajiado to meet and greet the local community, as well as get a feel for the place. Some of us had already been to this town before and therefore knew what to expect, but for those who hadn’t, the short walk transpired to be somewhat of an eye-opener. Those of us used to taking holidays in Europe or America would be unaccustomed to the conditions met in Kajiado, but we mustn’t let ourselves be discouraged, or to some extent, fooled by its outward appearance. The people we met that day would put the communities of many Western towns to shame by their openness and friendliness and it certainly put a smile on many of our own faces.

This friendliness and the feeling of being openly welcomed couldn’t have been better displayed than at the services held at Kajiado Cathedral the following day. The team attended an English and a Swahili service, and at both we were greeted with enthusiasm, happiness, and a little curiosity by the local congregation. The most important aspect to come out of the services, however, was the fact that on both occasions Bishop Gaddiel commissioned the team in front of the community to go out and do God’s work in his Diocese. This on its own would have been an uplifting moment, simply due to the importance the Bishop was attaching to the team, but what struck many members were the heartfelt prayers being said by the congregation on our behalf. For us, it proved that we were all in this together, whether it was the mission team, the Bishop and local clergy, or the people of the area.

That said, the real work was still to come and the next day we made the 7 hour drive to Oltiasika, which would be home for the next two weeks. On the way, we stopped at Imberikani to have the first glance at the new church and what all our fund-raising had been aimed towards. Needless to say, none of us were disappointed with what we saw. There was still much work to be done, including the sanding, cleaning, and painting of the church’s walls, making its pews, and fitting its windows, but we took heart in the fact that the shell was all but completed, and it was obvious that a bit of hard work over the next fortnight would see it completed.

And so, after a night’s rest at Oltiasika (whose setting and views could only be described as idyllic), it was time to get the ball rolling and join in with the efforts of finishing the church. Tasks were assigned or volunteered for and it didn’t take much encouragement for us to get started. By lunch time, the walls had been cleaned and sanded and by the end of the day several walls had received their first coat of paint, not to mention the fact that one of the pews had already been made, and another well on its way to being completed. The good pace was partly a result of great teamwork, but we certainly wouldn’t have got as much done if not for the help provided by the people of Imberikani. Throughout the day, people were walking through the doors and after a quick hello, almost unanimously asked if they could help. They were quickly shown to a paintbrush and it was heart-warming to see team members working alongside the local community on different parts of the church – a clear example that we are all in this together. If we continue to support each other and maintain the good pace that we set on this day, then it won’t be long before this new house of God comes to life.

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