Friday, May 13, 2016

First LDS Chapel in East Africa

Before I talk about the first chapel in East Africa, which is here in Nairobi, Kenya, I wanted to talk a bit more about the traffic.  In South Africa, where we went for a few day's training, when they heard we were going to Nairobi, everyone said, "Ah yes . . . the traffic!"

If you want to see the traffic we face here in downtown Nairobi, search for "traffic in Nairobi" on the internet for some good pictures.  I've tried to take pictures but nothing really shows it.  There are some good aerial views online.  But I didn't see any pictures of cars driving in the wrong lanes and other cars cutting in front to go two lanes over.  It's pretty exciting.  Good thing that no one is going really fast.  It's the only way it works.

Besides cars, sometimes there are men pulling or pushing handcarts loaded with all kinds of stuff.    What hard work for those men, especially going uphill.  I believe I put a picture of one of the handcarts in another post.  These men are not big men but they're strong.  When we first moved in, one of the men carried our two 50-lb suitcases up three flights of stairs, holding one suitcase on his head and carrying the other.  Strong!!

Yesterday, Peter (our Kenyan housing employee whom Elder Torrie supervises) took us to see the very first LDS chapel in East Africa.  It's in Nairobi near the Karen district (where we're going to be moving).  By the way, Peter can lift 200 lbs by himself!  And he is not a big man either.

Remember that you can enlarge the pictures by clicking on them.  Then close the picture by clicking the X on the right side.  (I put this information in because I can be technologically stupid at times.  When my daughter first started a blog I wondered why the pictures were so tiny and she had to tell me to click on the picture.)

This is the very first LDS chapel in all of East Africa.  Notice the bars on all of the windows and door.  Everything here needs to be secure.  Kind of sad.

This chapel was the very first one that Peter attended as a non-member.  About 11 years ago, he saw the missionaries "street boarding".  This means that the missionaries had a big board with information about the church on it and they were talking with people on the street.  He listened to their message and received a Book of Mormon -- Another Testament of Jesus Christ.  He took it home but didn't read it at first.  Then one day, he read the Title Page which gives the purpose of the Book of Mormon as "the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ."  He felt a warm good feeling wash over him and a desire to attend church.  This is the church building where he first attended church.  It took Peter more than an hour on a bus to get to the church.

The inside of the church is very plain by North American standards.  But here in this chapel, Peter felt the Spirit of God touch him as the congregation sang the hymns.  He was also touched by the simplicity of the service and the reverence of the people, including the children.

Peter is sitting in the very spot where he sat on that first Sunday.

Peter has been a member now for over 10 years and is a huge asset to the mission as he finds and negotiates housing.  He travels all over Kenya to find housing for the missionaries.  The Kenya Nairobi Mission also includes the country of Tanzania.  Another employee in Dar Es Salaam takes care of housing for Tanzania under the direction of a senior missionary there.

The entrance to the church yard with its walls, gates, and barbed wire along with a security guard whom you can see by the red sign if you look closely.  When you drive up, he asks your business and opens or does not open the big gate.

I took this picture to show the green foliage and the red soil.  Not all soil in Nairobi is red but a lot of it is.

Cows on the road!

We went shopping for kitchen cabinets for our new flat (apartment).  An elephant greets us as we enter the Nakumatt store.

Then we went back to our mission office.  The Church gives away free drinking water several days a week.  This woman has just picked up her jug of water and is carrying it home on her head.  You know how heavy water is.  Imagine carrying it on your head.  Amazing.

Another picture of her carrying the water.  We took this through the window of the car.  We always drive with our windows rolled up and the doors locked.

But finally I stopped and rolled down the window and asked this young woman if I could take her picture.  So she stopped, turned toward me and posed.  It's always nice to ask.  That's why most of my pictures are taken from the back because I don't want to take front pictures unless I ask.  What good posture this young woman has!  But we are told that these women will pay for it in their later years with major back problems.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. We are just so spoiled here. And we don't realize it. We take so much for granted. Like water. Such blessings we have that we need to appreciate more.