Friday, 22 May 2015

2015 North Survey Part 1

May 7- May 10

            The North survey trip that we have been praying about and planning for was amazing. We had a great trip and I want to share all the details of our trip as best I can especially since this trip impacts our future as well as our present. First, I want to say thank you to our pastor, Chad Graves, our associate pastor, Ryan Copico, our campus pastor, Darren Clements, and Pastor Aaron Johnson from Life Point Church, Washington, PA, for coming and being a part of this survey trip. You guys were awesome and made this trip a total success not to mention you encouraged and energized John, Clayton, and me.

            The survey officially kicked off when Clayton, John, and I left our compound in Malindi at 4:00am on Thursday, May 7. We made the 12 hour trip to Nairobi with no problems and only hit one major traffic jam outside of Nairobi. Once we were in Nairobi we went to the Hampton House to get our rooms and unload our bags. After off loading our bags we decided to run and have some lunch and even catch a movie before our team arrived.
            We jumped in Clayton’s Land Rover, turned over the key, and….nothing happened. We continued to try and start the vehicle with no success. Thankfully the guard at Hampton house had the number of the mechanic that the Hampton House uses and within a few minutes the fundi (Mechanic) was on site. We explained to him what happened and he said “no problem,” that he would track down the problem. Well we have heard that before and with all the problems with my Land Rover of recent we have become skeptics of “fundis”. We especially were a little uneasy when we saw that he was using an old turn signal with half a hacksaw blade attached to it as a tester light. Within 20 minutes and twelve bucks the fundi had found the problem in a relay switch and the vehicle was fired up and ready to go. (Repair #1 for the trip)

            Well because of the delay we missed the chance to catch a movie but we still had something to eat then headed for the airport to pick up the team. The guys made it in with all their luggage, ready to go. We stopped off on the way back from the airport and grabbed a bite to eat then got into Hampton House. We visited a little and got our plan together for the next day and called it a night.
            We took Friday and Saturday as days to fellowship and enjoy the sites of Nairobi a little before heading North on our survey on Monday. We were up in the morning on Friday,had an awesome breakfast at Java house, and got money exchanged. After breakfast we went to see the Rift Valley and to climb Mount Longonot. None of the team had seen the Rift Valley except Clayton and me so it was a great opportunity. After we stopped off to look at the Rift Valley from the look out points we went down into the Rift Valley and on to Mount Longonot.

            Longonot is an inactive Volcano and is an awesome place to hike. You can hike 2 miles up the volcano then 4 miles all the way around the rim. Some of us did the full hike up and around the rim and the others did part of the hike and tracked some animals at the base of the mountain. It was a great trip except for the storm that blew in while Brother Chad and I were still on the rim of the Volcano and the other guys were at the base of the mountain. Brother Chad and I nearly froze to death from the icy rain not to mention the lighting around us. We made it down very slowly because of the mud. It was pretty dark by the time we made it to the vehicle and headed back to Nairobi. Along the way our headlights completely went off so we had to pull off and get them going again. (Repair #2 for the trip)

            Saturday we were up early and heading North of Nairobi for a rafting trip on the Tana River that we had scheduled, but in route the company called and canceled the trip due to high waters. We went back towards town and found a cool place called fourteen falls then went to the Blue Post Hotel for breakfast. It was a nice morning. We decided to take the day to get rested, do laundry, and repair the Land Rover’s light switch before we started to Garissa on Monday.

            Clayton, Ryan, and I ran to town to pick up the part to fix the Land Rover. We were able to get the part we needed and a few other things we were wanting to pick up for our Land Rovers.  While we were at the parts place we got the contact of a European mechanic that lives in Malindi. The parts dealer said that the man is a great mechanic and that he sends parts to him directly. This was a huge contact since we have been praying for a dependable mechanic and still have not found one near us.
            We spent a few hours trying to work on the Land Rover, specifically trying to get the steering wheel off so we could replace the dimmer/turn signal switch. What we needed was a steering wheel puller but who carries one of those in their pocket?…if you do please email your resume for an immediate opening on our team. We finally did get the steering wheel off with the help of Google and pressure applied in the right places. The switch was easy once the steering wheel was out of the way. We got it all taken care of in time to run and catch a late afternoon movie. (Repair #3 for the trip)
            We went to one of the malls near our guest house to watch a movie and while we were there I got pick pocketed. Boooo! At first I thought I had laid my wallet down at the ticket counter but after thinking through what I did I remembered someone pushing me in line to get in the movie and it clicked that they were not just being rude they “got me”.   I stuck my wallet in my front cargo pocket (big mistake) instead of my regular front pocket because I was carrying pop corn and a coke. This gave easy access and I completely missed it when I was being crowded. Well that shot my movie time I realized my wallet was missing about 10 minutes into the movie so I spent the movie time out calling Kenya and the banks to cancel all my credit cards and debit cards. I lost about $150, my debit cards, credit card, AR Drivers license, Kenyan ID, Safari cards, and my lucky tooth pick.
            By the time the movie was over I had all my stuff canceled and replacements on the way so we just chalked it up to a hard lesson learned. You always have to have your guard up in the big city. Clayton and I decided to give the guys a cultural experience and take them to the Diamond Plaza or “Little India” to have supper. The picture shows the story best. After a few laughs and the attack by the waiters was over we enjoyed a great supper and afterwards had sweet Pan for dessert.

            Sunday was a great day of ministry. We went to the Kibera slums for church services. First, we stopped at the main road and ditched our car before walking down into Kibera to meet Pastor Julius. We divided up into two groups so we could be at two different churches. Brother Chad, Ryan, Clayton and I attended services at Makina LBC. John, Daren, and Aaron attended the Silanga LBC. We all had great services and the men were exposed to Nairobi slum life, complete with a drunk dude and crazy guy following them around. Ryan taught SS and Brother Chad preached at Makina and Daren taught SS and Aaron preached at Silanga.  After the worship services we all met back together and ate lunch at Pastor Josaphat's house at the Makina LBC. We were fed well and we enjoyed the fellowship.

            After we left the Kibera Slums and walked back to our vehicle we went to First LBC Dagoreti Corner to visit with pastor Walter Matete. This was the first LBC that was established by Brother Lynn over 30 years ago. They built a beautiful building recently and tore down the original building. All that was left of the old building was the baptistry.  It was good to visit with Pastor Walter and hear about the early days of the work in Kenya.

            After our visit with Pastor Walter we went to the Carnivore restaurant for a big dinner before we headed North to do our survey work. The Carnivore is a meat eater's paradise. You eat meat until you surrender. They also serve some game meats that are really good. We had a great evening fellowshiping and just being together.

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