“My name is Katherine. Have you been washed in the precious blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ?”
Since I arrived in Nairobi a week and a half ago, I’ve had at least three introductions similar to this one, which I’ve never experienced before. One was on the street, one was at my office, and one was a Kiva borrower. What I’ve witnessed of the faith of the Kenyan people in God has been awe-inspiring.
Each morning at my partner office, KADET, we have optional worship from 8 to 8:30 that is led by one of the staff. On Fridays the worship activity is singing. This past Friday as we were singing together I thought, “Wow, it is so refreshing to hear everyone singing so loudly and enthusiastically!” At which point the Kiva Coordinator, who was leading worship, chastised everyone by saying, “Is that the best we can do?!? We are all mumbling! I think you are forgetting to whom we are singing! We are singing to our Lord! Sing like you are singing to our Lord!”
This past Sunday, I attended church with one of my new friends and his cousin, Kevin and Edwin. We were in church for about 3 hours and then fellowshipped outside with others for about an hour. Three hours for a service is pretty standard, from what I understand, regardless of denomination. (Kevin and his family are Quakers, for the curious.
Back home, based on other experiences, if anyone introduced themselves to me like the three ladies did last week, would have tensed up and braced myself for some shaming and self-righteous piety, but it just wasn’t like that here. They just seem to have found such strength and solace in Jesus that they just want to ensure that you’ve experienced the same. Yet another example of the amazing Kenyan hospitality.