03 October 2009

As Requested

I did not realize that I was spending so focused on news stories and was neglecting what I have been doing.  Mostly it is due to the fact that I do not think I have done anything worth mention, but the point of this was to also keep a record of what I do that is both mundane and exciting.  More of my thoughts have been outward driven and I think posts have reflected that change.  I am sure that the first half of the year on this, in comparison to the second half is filled with thoughts about my time here, healthcare, and various Kenyan news.

Yesterday, we had our first parent prayer day.  The idea cam on the suggestion of the parents and an idea by Judi.  Essentially, the hope was to provide a time where the parents could gather together and share with each other their faith in terms of their struggle as being parents of children with disabilities.  Faith is a major part of the lives of Kenyas, but disability is often thought of or taught to be a curse. 

We invited one of our parents, Pastor Jairus, to oversee the day.  He gave a teaching and then the parents were given time to pray on their own.  After, they returned to share their experiences and David used their thoughts to sum up with an encouragement.  Finally, it ended with small prayer groups where they could join together in prayer for themselves and each other.

I was there for the whole thing (3 hrs or so), but did not do much in terms of participation.  My Swahili has improved, but I am still a long way from fluency.  When it comes to preaching, the speech is quick and punctuated.  When a response is required the final syllable is either stressed with a rise to gain praise or dropped for a completion.  The alternation between two makes it harder to understand what proceeds.  However, based upon the responses it seems that the parents enjoyed it.

I have come to understand that better preaching involves the participation of the people involved.  Fr. Alfred is widely considered to be a poor preacher because he just preaches.  He does not do much to involve the people of St. Theresa's church.  Since Jairus was getting a lot of chatter and praise, I assume that he did a good job. 

Song was not neglected, my favorite part, as two or three were scattered amongst the day.

The rest of the work week has, as all have, been uneventful.  I have become more busy as time has progressed solely because of the fact that more of the kids are no longer scared of me.  I am not more able to go out and assist with the play therapy in a more meaningful way.  Some will even seek me out to play with them and a specific toy.  This transition has seemed to come suddenly, but has made my working days at the center more rewarding and enjoyable.