We woke early on Sunday to travel about an hour to Arash where we were to worship and visit the Women’s clinic.  Unfortunately, we learned that their service was starting at 7:30 and since there the Wasso Guest House couldn’t serve breakfast before 7:00, we weren’t able to be there at the start of the worship service.  However, a typical Maasai worship service goes for 3 hours and so we were able to make it there for half of it.

image001On our journey to Arash, we were greeted by a “journey” (herd) of giraffes!  There were about 15 of them walking along a plain.  Even though we were in a hurry to get to Arash and the service that we knew we would be late for, we took a few minutes for some pictures with the giraffes in the background.  It was definitely a great way to start the morning!

We arrived at Arash with the service already started but fortunately, the sermon had not happened.  We quietly (as much as we could be quiet and unnoticed?) entered the back of the church and then the wonderful hosts stood up and provided us chairs to sit in. image003 (1) The liturgy was in Kimaasai and, of course, was difficult to understand.  However, once they found a break in the liturgy, we were introduced to the congregation and Dr. Nsimba, from the Arash clinic, came over and sat next to me (Matt) so he could translate. It was fortunate on two parts:  I got to understand the sermon and later convey it to the rest of the team and for Cheryl, who got bumped from her chair for Dr. Nsimba to sit next to me, got to sit next to the choir – which she fit in perfectly with :-).  The sermon had a few key points that I took away from it.  The first, was about walking with Christ and living your life as such – how every action you take is a reflection on what it is to be a Christian and that others will learn from this.  The second was around the need for prayer and how important that is in your daily life.  Pastor Loning’o Lucas mentioned that prayer was similar to the engine of a car and that a car without an engine was not much of a car.  If a Christian does not pray regularly, they are leaving a whole in their faith.  In addition to this, Pastor Loning’o Lucas emphasized that when you pray, you should ask for grace and be thankful before receiving a blessing of something you are praying for.  The third point was around tithing and how the Bible talks about giving back to the church whether it was with money, goods/services, or with your time.

 I was very grateful for Dr. Nsimba to translate this for me but when our group was asked about the service at dinner, it was very interesting to learn that others got something out of it was well.  A few commented on how energized the Pastor was in delivering the sermon and how it was difficult not to listen to his words even when there was no understanding of them.  The service ended with songs and a blessing very similar to our normal worship service.  We were then honored in front of the congregation with gifts from them (shukas and beaded necklaces) and then had lunch with them.  It is always such an honor to be representatives of our church at each of these visits and we look forward to sharing these memories and gifts with everyone.

image005 (1)After the service, we walked up the road to the Arash clinic and were given a tour of the clinic by Dr. Nsimba.  It was not taking patients since it was a Sunday but we did get a feel for the kind of work they are able to do in this important ministry.  They see around 50-60 patients a day and they treat everything from dysentery to malaria to child birth (thanks to the Husebys’ support!).  When asked what the biggest need was for the clinic, he said that getting a regular and sufficient supply of the medicines they need.  The government supplies enough for about a week’s worth of the patients’ needs and so a lot of patients get diagnosed but they can’t get treated.  There is also a need for blood pressure devices since the clinic only has one and with 50-60 patients a day, one isn’t nearly enough (we wished we would have learned this prior to coming!).  Once again, the needs here are greater than the resources :-(.

image007 (1)We drove back to Wasso in the early afternoon and had a free afternoon for the first time since we arrived.  It was wonderful to have some down time, play some games, organize our things, do some laundry (boy was that needed!), and even get some hairdos from one of the guest house’s staff!

 We’ve had a couple people get a little sick over the last day and so we ask for your prayers for our health and ability to overcome whatever is in our bodies (nothing is very serious, however).

We feel honored to represent Cross of Christ in everything that we are doing and are grateful for everyone’s prayers and support!

 Matt Pohle, on behalf of the 2016 Cross of Christ Mission Rural Team

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