Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Testimonies from Students

By Anthony:

Recently I asked a few of my students if they could tell me how I have impacted them through my teaching over the last year. I was trying to get some information for an article I was writing. But since I got some great answers from them, I will share them with you in this post. I edited their comments a bit to make them into a more readable English, but I didn't change any of their ideas.

Student 1 – "Yes you impacted me, sincerely from my heart, mostly during the Reformation teachings. In fact, I was a person of fear but I came to have a stand. I realized that if Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Zwingli took a stand, then I can make it also. The Puritans did their part in bringing change and so I am there today to bring change also. I have learnt to eliminate fear, to tell the truth, and to be honest. I have in fact challenged people. Some people have approached me and encouraged me so much. I assure you that I have a good stand and the most wonderful thing is that I don't preach my own teachings but I preach from the Bible.    There is also a time you preached in the chapel and you made me believe I should not get into the ministry because of the titles that pastors get, but rather to serve God in his favour." 

Student 2 – "Yes, a lot in my life has changed, through the study of systematic theology. Also, I have learnt how to preach using different methods."

Student 3 – "Yes I have changed.  You taught me:  1. How to keep and maintain the salvation I gained through Jesus. 2. Time management, I personally gained in how to keep time. 3. I have been well equipped with knowledge of church history.  I know the things I should be willing to die for.  4. How to play ping pong.  5. I am learning to make my own action plans and how to follow them without struggling."

Student 4 – "You taught me how to keep time, time consciousness."

Student 5 – "You are a really good help to my ministry, especially on personality testing. I am now able to handle people with different personalities than mine."

Students 6 – "Personally my life has changed positively from an ordinary lifestyle as a student to being transparent, making work plans, and being willing to confess! Also, commitment to God and living in faith."

Student 7 – "Yes indeed, I have learned to be humble, compassionate, to observe and keep time, and lastly to yearn to know God the most."

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Hiking Mount Longonot

By Anthony:

We went on a short trip to celebrate our anniversary.  We stayed next to Lake Naivasha for one night and we walked around the lake seeing many animals, and the next day we hiked at Mount Longonot amidst other animals.  Here are pictures first from the lake:

A dung beetle hard at work, the dung was a bit smaller than a tennis ball:


Some beautiful sights but not so beautiful to see monkeys eating plastic:

In the picture below, you can see the giraffes and zebras in the bushes by the lake - we walked over there next to them:

Then we hiked up Mount Longonot, which was very unique, since this time we were in the midst of a cloud. Go to this post to see what it looked like last time a few years ago.

Again, not everything was beautiful to see:


The fog made the hike interesting, total nothingness and drop off to each side, without being able to see the bottom:



Finally, as we were finishing up the hike and about to start going back down the mountain, the clouds started to clear a bit so we got better views.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Hospital Visits

By Sara:

While practicing Swahili by reading the book of Ruth in the Bible (in Swahili), Anthony and I came upon our new favorite phrase "usiku wa manane" which means "in the middle of the night" (the time when Boaz woke up and wow! a woman was lying at his feet!).

Part of living at Berea College has, to our surprise, required taking students to the hospital "usiku wa manane".  Obviously, this is not a fun part of our work.  But we thought you might be interested to hear why we are taking students to the hospital and what it is like to be at a hospital here.

When people go to the hospital in the US, it is usually for some extreme reason because, if you get sick with a cold or the flu or have a headache, you probably have some tylanol or cold medicine or something in your cabinet at home (or you can just drive over to the store to buy it).  So you take that, drink some broth, and rest until you get better.  Here, however, most people don't keep any kinds of medicine at home (or have a personal vehicle), so if you get sick and need medicine, you need to go get it somewhere else, which is more work than it would be in the US.

Sometimes, we take students to the hospital for migraines or stomach pain or because they think they might have malaria.  According to the students, one always feels worse lying in bed at night, which is why that's when they usually decide they need to go to the hospital.

When we go to the government hospital, sometimes there isn't a doctor on duty.  Once, I went with a student and we had to wait around while someone searched out a doctor.  Other times, the student decides they want to go to a private clinic (which is more expensive, but usually has a doctor on duty).  Regardless of where you go, the first thing you do is pay the consultation fee.  Then, you wait until a doctor is available.  Then, you go in to see the doctor.  If they decide you need a blood test or injection, they write a note that you need it, you go back to the cashier and pay for it, then wait until you get called to actually get the test done.  After they give some kind of diagnosis, the doctor might prescribe some drugs, which may be available to buy there at the hospital, or we might have to take a detour to a pharmacy on the way home so the student can buy them. (As a side note, you don't actually need a prescription to buy drugs at a pharmacy - you just need to know which ones you need.)  Other students always come along with us and the sick student; those healthy ones take care of paying for different things so the sick student can sit instead of having to go back and forth all over the hospital.

Hospitals are just no fun wherever you are in the world. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Random Pictures and Events

Here is a video of Sara cutting the grass. We don't always do it, usually we pay others to do it because of the time involved.


I took this video mainly for my parents who grew up in Japan.  But you all may enjoy it.  Our vehicle speaks to us in Japanese every time we turn it on.  It said Merry Christmas to us once (on Christmas) in Japanese too.


Wildlife around the house:

I brought home a chameleon during one of my jogs, so it wouldn't get killed by people (who kill them because they think they are poisonous).  But a day later, I think it ended up fighting with another chameleon in our yard.  Two chameleons suddenly fell like 20-30 feet from a tree in our yard.  They were fighting each other fiercely once they landed back on the ground.  We separated them to different areas of the yard.  My brother made me laugh really hard when he said - "You thought you were helping the new one, but you ended up threatening the local economy by doing so: #whenhelpingchameleonshurts"

Just imagine if this slug was crawling across your leg.  Nasty

We went to our friend Edward's wedding in Uganda. So here are some wedding photos and photos of us with World Renew friends.

Our friend David looked really awesome in his traditional African attire:

Some beautiful photos of our neighbors working in the tea fields here (photos taken by Tammy Stevens who visited us a while back from Michigan)

Recently, the secretary here at Berea College, Pharis, invited us to come to a youth rally at his church.  He invited me to speak on the subject of integrity.  It went really well.  I spoke with about 70 youth for an hour and a half about integrity, corruption, pornography, etc.  A youth here is someone in between about 16 years old and 35 years old.  You generally remain a youth in other people's eyes until you get married.  Most of the youth at this rally were 18 to 25.

At one point I asked how many had cheated on an exam before.  I didn't expect anyone to be honest and raise their hands.  But at least 2/3 of the people raised their hands.  I was pretty blown away by this.  I appreciated their honesty, but it makes it hard to trust when you know so many people cheat in this culture.  When I asked how many look at pornography on their phones, no one raised a hand.  That one appears to be one that is harder to be open about.  It continues to be interesting to me how different cultures hate some sins worse than others.  In the US we really really hate corruption and cheating.  Here, those things are commonplace.  Maybe one of the sins they hate most here is selfishness, people who don't care for their families and communities or who don't provide help in times of need.

It was a great event, with some really wonderful and beautiful singing, except that, like all youth everywhere, it seemed like they had the sound system turned up to 10,000 decibels!  There was also a moving time of youth proclaiming peace through song as they prepare for the upcoming election and they are all hoping there won't be violence this time.  I also really appreciated that there were several other non-Anglican church youth groups there.  We heard at least 10 different choirs.

Our friend Pharis is on the left in the picture below, one of the youth himself:

Last, I was invited to introduce Timothy Leadership Training in Kapchorwa, Uganda to a group of missionaries and teachers of church leaders from Uganda, Kenya, and the DRC, and a few other countries. They are with the Trinity Center for World Mission and were interested in the very interactive type of teaching methodology that TLT offers. I was only there for a day, and although the travel was really tiring, it was nice to be back in Uganda and to meet all of these great people.