ABO stands for Africa Based Orientation. You will read in this blog post about our day-to-day life, what we do and what I personally learned.
By grace alone
I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ. [...] In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. [Ephesians 3:7-8,12, NIV]
Paul, one of the greatest persecutors of Christianity in the 1st century, becomes one of the most influential and passionate followers of Jesus Christ. He founded a lot of churches, led many people to Jesus, and was perhaps the greatest evangelist of his time. But what does he write?
"I am less of the least". "The gift of God's grace". Nothing of what we do, achieve or accomplish, we can really take credit for. It is God Himself who allows us to breathe, who gives us talents and abilities, and who graciously looks past the mistakes of our past. It is a gift from God that he shows himself to us and that we may follow him. Thanks to Christ, we have free access to this living relationship with our God, our Creator. Hallelujah!
A day at ABO
6:30am. I get up, get ready, read the Bible and then head off to breakfast. The food buffet is really amazing, we are very lovingly taken care of!
8:30am. Worship and devotion. We take an hour to praise God in song (I get to be part of the worship team), listen to devotions by Pastor Allen on the topic of blessings (unbelievably good!) and meet in small prayer groups to pray for AIM, but also for us. I really enjoy coming before God together with my brothers and sisters!
9:30am Classes. In two blocks (9:30 to 12:30 and 2:00 to 5:00) we get to learn a lot about cultures, African worldviews and history and religions. Absolutely amazing teaching and resources. It enriches me a lot, but it also challenges me very much. It’s great to see the long tradition of the churches in Africa. Many go way back to the bible. It’s also interesting to see that farming is a huge field where work has be done. Farming and Discipleship seems like a really interesting and exciting field. But it’s also sad to see the hopelessness of a lot of Africans. Many traditions are still being practiced to this day, even though the people go to school and college. I’m not saying that traditions are a bad thing, quite the opposite, but circumcision, cuttings and the lack of women’s rights are still very present... That breaks my heart and I would love to see the gospel break through in these areas.
5:00pm. After class we enjoy our free time, have time to read and play volleyball or table tennis. I am so incredibly grateful for the many great people I get to meet here. Often in the evenings we sit and talk over a board game. In any case, good and deep friendships have developed that I really want to keep. Saying goodbye in a few days will definitely not be easy.
Saturday. The weekends are more or less free. Last weekend we were able to go on a safari (Swahili for journey) through the national park in Nairobi. Unbelievable!!! We saw all kinds of animals, just amazing. Otherwise we have time to run some erands, go to a cafe, watch a movie or play pickle ball (a mix of tennis and table tennis).
Sunday. On Sundays we are divided into different churches and get to enjoy the African worship services. The worship consists of a lot of dancing and is mostly in Swahili, really fun. Other than that, I got to know a really good church.
We still have 3 days of training ahead of us and in one week we will leave for South Sudan. I am really looking forward to it, especially to learn the language and to get in contact with the people. I feel very comfortable in Kenya and I am really excited to see how different South Sudan will be.
But at the same time this means that I have to say goodbye to unbelievably great people ... it's just crazy how deep a friendship can be after 3 weeks when you are connected in Christ. But luckily there is the internet ... :)
I don't know if this was the last blogpost for the next weeks and months. For the first few months we will have a "technology fast", meaning little access to home in order to settle in well. I'll see how I can stay in contact with you guys. (So don't worry if there's no newsletter in 2 weeks, I'll most likely be fine:) )
Thank you for your support, your prayers and sweet messages!!! God bless you all.