Today's post comes from team member Mary Jo. While yesterday was scheduled to be a ministry day, things happened that changed the schedule. Read about what it ended up being here.
We woke up at about 8 o'clock this morning after mostly a sleepless night here. It's very hot and humid here. We enjoyed a quiet morning and a great breakfast. After that, Patty and I walked up the road and met a few of the local people; one of the women was weaving a mat.
Pastor Julius's niece passed away last week at the age of 23 of unknown cause. We attended the funeral, and I can say I have never seen so many people at a funeral before (around 800 people attended). The service was held at the family home was of the young woman who passed. The women were very colorfully dressed in their customary clothing, but nearly all were barefoot as were most of the children.
We were honored guests, though they did not know us but through Pastor Julius. Everyone greeted us and welcomed us. Rich was asked to say a prayer during the services, which was an honor for him.
The homes here are so very different than ours. Most are made of mud, one or two room huts with no doors or windows. There are not many homes that have water or electricity even in this area around Mombasa. Most people get their water from water stations in 5 gallon containers either carried by hand, hand carts, or motorcycle from a fairly long distance.
On the way to the funeral, we passed a large dump site, which in itself would not be unusual, but this dump site is burned 24 hours a day and a great many families live in the midst. Children can be seen playing there, and people walking trails through it. I can only imagine the health risks this poses for these people. But on the whole, these are welcoming people who smile easily and are eager to meet us.
I have also been asked to preach tomorrow, which is something I have never done. Party will be assisting me. I pray the Lord will be the voice behind every word I speak and will use this vessel to his glory.