Kajthum Posted by Kajiado Meta 2012 on Sun, 29 Jul 2012 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

It’s taken over a year in the planning, preparation, building, and decorating, but at long last the new St Paul’s at Imberikani is complete. On Friday 29th June 2012, the new church witnessed and enjoyed a very special dedication ceremony by Bishop Gaddiel, before being officially opened by our very own Canon James Carson.

In the days immediately prior to the opening, several team members were beginning to feel the strain of ensuring the church was ready in time. Indeed, some of us (especially the younger members) had never before experienced the privilege of getting down on our hands and knees and “putting some muscle” into scrubbing off paint that had evaded the numerous blankets to reach the stone floor of the church. Still others were busy on the outside adding the finishing touches of paint to the building’s borders and to make it as tidy and eye-catching as possible to any passer-by. Nevertheless, we all felt that the harder we worked, the greater the reward, and if the clean and freshly painted church wasn’t enough, then the dedication ceremony certainly made up for it.

There was a great sense of happiness and excitement on the morning of the dedication, which was further heightened by watching groups of people arrive at the church, some of them packed onto the back of trucks singing hymns at the top of their voices. In fact, more than one team member felt a little overwhelmed by the number of people that turned up and if there had been any concerns about the impact the new church may have, then they were soon alleviated. The ceremony started with the Bishop leading the congregation on a walk around the building amongst much praise and singing, before entering the church for the service itself. Upon entering, the congregation was presented with 20 newly made pews, freshly painted walls, and a pulpit and lectern dedicated on behalf of Rosmary’s family in memory of her late father.

The service itself was over 4 hours in length, something unheard of back home, but everyone inside and outside the church (it was quite literally over-flowing with people to the extent that people were standing on rocks so that they could look through windows) enjoyed every minute of it. In fact, Canon Jim was given the honour of giving the first sermon from the new pulpit, which is one I’m sure he’s not likely to soon forget. The real stars of the show however, were the people of Imberikani whose happiness, praise, and joy of being there, were clearly evident to us all and made the efforts of the past 2 weeks feel more worthwhile.

Following the ceremony, we were treated to a meal and were given the opportunity to meet and greet the local community, some of which we knew from our joint efforts finishing the church, whilst others we were meeting for the first time. Whether we knew them or not, two things were always in evidence – the warmth with which they greeted us and the gratefulness for the efforts we had made in funding and completing the church.

There was also a good deal of sadness, however, as the time came to leave and return to Oltiasika, and from there back to Kajiado. But it would be a mistake to think of this as the end of our personal journeys, physical and spiritual, or indeed the culmination of our partnership with the people of Imberikani. The building of the church at Imberikani is only a part, albeit a significant one, in the over all relationship that has been developed between St Paul’s and the diocese of Kajiado over the past few years. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the partnership will continue and that we will return to Kajiado, or indeed that other members of the congregation (by listening to the current team relate our experiences) are themselves encouraged to take the plunge themselves. That of course depends on the grace of God, but whatever may be in store for us, one thing is certain – 15 people have just had one of the most incredible experiences of their lives and won’t soon forget the people of Kajiado diocese or indeed the One who sent them there.


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