Thursday, March 5, 2009

Going to Church in the "slums"

On my second Sunday in Kenya, I was privileged to go to the church pastored by Rev. Dennis Meeker. His church is in the "slums" of Nairobi. That in itself makes this a challenging place to be, but to make matters worse, during the post-election violence last year, his church compound was broken into and much damage done. The health clinic behind the church was completely looted and burned, and there was also much vandalism and fire-damage to the church. Most of the westerners left the country during those days, but Pastor Meeker stayed for his people. They have repaired some of the damage, but there is still much to be done.

Pastor Peasant with Pastor Meeker in a burned out room of the health clinic.

The chancel of Kibera Lutheran Church, with charred cross and wall.

I did not have any responsibilities this Sunday (as I did the previous Sunday) - I got to attend the Divine Service and receive the preaching of God's Word. This week, Pastor Froh preached and assisted with the service. What made the day extra special for him was that he was able to baptize eleven children! I'm sure it was a day he will not soon forget.

The church was very crowded - especially with children! They had several choirs sing during the service and we were privileged to receive the Lord's Supper with our Kenyan brothers and sisters in Christ. And although the liturgy was in Swahili, it was still the liturgy - so we could follow along and knew the parts of the service. What a blessing our common liturgical heritage is!

The view from the church looking out over the "slums."

With some of the children of Kibera.

Tomorrow: Time to go home.

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