The question we have gotten asked the most in the past 7 weeks is, “What is different about your life in Nairobi from your life in Ohio?” It is not only asked by Americans but also by Kenyans. We have found it overwhelming to answer with any accuracy. Therefore, this is the first of three letters devoted to attempting to address this pressing and intriguing question.
Part One: Daily Tasks Verses Environment
Interestingly, the every day tasks that we do here in Nairobi look similar to the everyday tasks we do in Ohio. Terry goes to the hanger, I grocery shop, I pray, I attempt to cook, I visit friends, Terry and I go to church.
Yet, the environment in which we do these tasks is completely different. Terry goes to the hanger to work along side people who speak two different languages interchangeably and will move between the two languages mid-sentence. I grocery shop at four different places: the store (Nakumatt, similar to a down sized Walmart), the meat market, the vegetable stall outside the gate and the duka down the street. I pray for people I never would have known before with challenges I never could have fathomed before coming here. We have inherited house help who mentor me in the kitchen in regards to cooking everything from bread to chapati from scratch. I visit friends who love and care for a people group I am just meeting. Terry and I go to church where we are clearly the minority.
However, it cannot be denied that when doing these tasks in this different environment we do sense God’s presence. For Nairobi, just like Ohio, was created by a loving God, for His glory and in which His will is carried out.
“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.”
So, you see, it is different yet the same.
More about this in the next letter,