I (Jeremy) thought I could you give a flavor of what a day is like here on the mission field. The events of the day happened because I have adopted a philosophy that people are the currency in God’s economy. In other words, people are the most important thing. Thus, you must focus on being intentional in building relationships with those who you live around and meet.
Saturday, I awoke knowing I had a “come any time after 10 a.m.” appointment at a new friend’s house. So, I purposefully started my 30 min walk to his house at 9 a.m. I knew I would have a few stops along the way and those “spontaneous” stops did happen. It allowed me to go a different way to the road, stop at neighbour’s house to greet, sit with them for a few minutes and chat. My journey continued as I practiced my Digo greetings every chance I could. I got to the road and started to walk down the hill. I thought ohh look I have some extra time I will talk slower as I didn’t want to arrive earlier. Then another friend on a piki stopped and offered me a ride down the hill but I said it’s close and I need to walk. Shortly after that I heard my name from behind. I was perplexed as this was an area I hadn’t been to but once before. I turned around and behold a high school boy I recognized was coming my way. He spoke good English and so I stopped and we chatted. You see this boy and I had played a brief soccer game back in May when we came to the area. My American mind was conscious of the time and I knew I couldn’t talk to long or risk being late. However, my friend did say “come any time after 10.” So, as I continued to slow walk he joined me and we caught up on many things. We hit a bit of shade provided by a big tree and he said can we sit and chat. I had to fight my American culture and also remember my new philosophy. So, I said sure. For the next 45 minutes we sat, talked and traded phone numbers at the end of our time together. It was now 10:45 and my friend and I had made it to the driveway of my new friend’s house. I said goodbye and made my way up the driveway. I had no timetable on how long this visit would be and so over the next 4+ hours my new Kenya friend and I talked about everything you can think of. We had chai, (tea with a snack). As noon rolled around He asked if I would stay for lunch. So, he had mama cook something for us. I stayed until 3:30 and the visit was very good. As I left his house and started back up the road a piki piki (motorbike taxi) pulled over and I wondered why they stopped. As I got closer I recognized that is was the pastor of the AIC church in Kwale. He was on his way back to Kwale and stopped. We chatted for a while and He offered to give me a ride back up the hill. I agreed and we chatted and laughed all the way up the hill. It was now 4 pm and I was back home. I took the quiet time to check in on Claudia and catch up on the day. I then needed to go for a run, pray and clear my mind so I did. At the end of my run I stopped at the field near our house and some boys had a soccer ball so I went over and spent the next 45 minutes just playing and laughing. By this time, it was almost sunset so I needed to go home. My day had been long and filled with so many conversations. Some short, some long. Most of it random and not planned. I believe the way God likes it most of the time.
You see when people are the main focus you do what you can to make sure you connect. We are here to share and bring the gospel of Jesus Christ but in order to do that we need to gain their friendship and respect. Do you think your neighbours’ will listen to you if you don’t take time to get to know them? They won’t. Regardless the culture you find yourself in, you must make time to put people first if you want to share Christ in an effective way. This new mindset has transformed my view on life and I do believe I am a better person for it. May this encourage you to have days that are filled with people and not tasks.