First Full Week (in Eldoret), or “I’m back at Sirikwa, again!”

(Richard)

The journey from Nairobi to Eldoret is 6 hours by car, or 40 minutes on Jetlink airline (Fare is $75 each way).  So let me think about this……………… yeah, we’re gonna fly.  We checked into the Sirikwa hotel which is stately-looking from the outside, and kinda “Super 8” quality inside (in that stuff in your room may or may not work).

The hotel has new ownership since last year and is truly being upgraded, although slowly.  ONE THING, however, overshadows any shortcomings.  This place has the best internet service of anywhere in Kenya.  It was awesome to have communication like never before in a previous trip!

As we plotted the week with Ben, guess what happened?  The agenda changed and instead of assisting Doug with his Bible school class of mostly pastors, I end up teaching a “Parenting/Marriage” class to the all the house parents of his 3 orphan homes, plus his evangelism team (Willie, Moses, Kevin).

The parent class was held in an upstairs room of the girl’s dorm at their orphan home just outside Eldoret (20 to 25 minute drive).  The village there is Jua Kali which is the name they reference for this home.

I must admit that I was awestruck by the responsibility before me when I first looked over this class of about 30 young kingdom “Jedi” I was about to teach.  These guys & gals are daily in the frontline of all- out kingdom warfare with an enemy who wants to kill them all. 

The house parent couples are not only raising their own kids, but also manage 15 to 20 other kids every day.  They also regularly participate in open air crusade events, feeding programs in the slums, teaching classes at church, and school evangelism meetings.

So what and how do you teach a group of thirty 20-somethings all of whom have 1 to 3 kids aging in range from 2 months to 8 years old?

In a sense it was no problem as my wife Kathy & I have “been there–done that”, and can back the scripture part of teaching with plenty of first-hand examples.

The first class day was Tuesday (July 10) and I decided to get in the face of all of the husbands with Ephesians 5:25 & 28.  The wives love this teaching, and love watching their guys get busted.

On day 2, Wednesday, I went into raising kids with Ephesians 6:1.

In all my years of doing any kind of parenting class, utilizing tons of scripture & subsequent lists, I’ve managed to boil it all down into 3 things parents have to accomplish as they raise their kids.  Ÿ  The kids to need to know their parents absolutely love them as they grow up.  Ÿ The kids must learn respect for authority, and  Ÿ The kids must learn they are accountable for their actions. 

Two funny things about today;  Lydia sat in and  “audited” the teaching to be sure I remained accurate on my stories. ‚ She later reported that I excessively used Joe in my discipline examples as compared to almost no mention about Jeff or Jesse, and absolutely nothing about Brittney!

Day 3 was fun as I talked about the husband being a “player-coach”, and how a healthy Christ-centered family can be a powerful witness in God’s kingdom.  I actually referenced Ephesians 4:12 which I don’t think I’ve ever heard used in a parenting class.  There were many great questions from the group at the end of this class starting with “Have you ever seen a perfect marriage?”

I almost forgot.  Mary Bahati sat in on the lessons each day.  She told Ben that having been in our home 3 different times, she wanted to hear all about how we had managed to raise our 5 kids to be like they are. (Proverbs 29:15 in action!)

The 3-day event concluded with my taking each couple’s picture as their “diploma” for their participation, and then presenting them an 8×10 print on Sunday.  What a combo “great blessing” and “honored experience” this was for me.  From the feedback, it appears that I’ve contributed some impacting stuff to these precious guys & gals.

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