Visiting Chepkurbet Church

Though we've already told a little (or rather giraffe-huge) story about our trip to Nairobi, there was a small excursion the week prior that we wanted to share.

Some new friends of ours here, veteran missionaries Jeff and Christine, invited us to ride with them out to a nearby (but not on the hospital grounds) church for a Sunday morning service. We jumped at the chance, and thus we found ourselves worshiping in an all-Kipsigis language service, and the church of Chepkurbet.

Part of the story of the church is that for years, they have been a very small congregation (probably about 40 people total our morning), and they slowly saved up money to buy a plot of land for their church. They found someone willing to sell them the property meter by meter. So when they had enough for a meter, they would pay the guy, and he would move the boundary fence another meter. When they had a strip about 10 meters wide (and this in the middle of a very rural area), they built the first church, seen on the left above. This became the church as they slowly bought meter after meter, eventually with enough land to build the structure on the right, which you can see by the interior picture below is a much roomier space, with much room to grow (especially with high crowd density that is the norm here).

The inside is dirt floors, with rows of rough-hewn planks, with two backed benches, one of which was immediately offered to us. The service starts at 10ish, and we showed up about 10:15, and people trickled in over the next hour, and then we got started.

What followed was a long series of scripture readings, greetings (we were invited up to say a few words, and our untranslated English was greeted with unanimous smiles, if not comprehension), testimonies, a sermon by one of the village ladies (there is no trained pastor), and a bunch of songs. The music was interesting, but my discussion of it would really be too lengthy. Forgive me.
Maggie was, expectedly, the center of much excitement, especially in this child-dominated congregation. She endured the long service quite well, but started to get whiny towards the end. Rachel thought she would take her outside to feed her, and Maggie's exit was apparently a stimulus for the mass exodus of the children of the church. They followed her immediately, and more children were already outside. Thus, when the service ended 10-15 minutes later, I came out into the sunlight to be greeted by the scene below (though only a fraction of the kids are in the picture). No fear, Maggie never minds being the center of attention. All in all, a lovely excursion into yet another manifestation of the body of Christ.


Anonymous said...

Who else could charm such a group other than adorable Maggie??