Participant Reflections on Kenya – James Rybka
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I have many vivid memories of our mission trip to Kenya. I will always remember the faces of the children, smiling and obviously cared for in difficult times. I will always remember the beautiful scenery, especially on a safari trip when it is dotted with wild game animals (giraffes, elephants, zebras, lions, to name a few.)
But mainly, I will remember the work of the many people in the churches to improve their lives and those around them. They face very difficult problems: health problems (including AIDS and malaria), hunger, poverty, education, and the resulting issues of orphans, crime, and safety. These are problems and issues that we in the US can imagine, but have a very hard time comprehending. I was very impressed with the work of those who are trying to solve these problems. Many of the leaders of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) and especially the Women’s Guild members that we met were very intelligent and may not have all of the answers, but appreciate the gravity of the situations and were asking all of the right questions. These church leaders were people who had the initiative to take on these difficult issues. They are resourceful as they find clever solutions, determined and hard working as they climb the mountains in from of them. And obviously faith-filled as they are putting the message of Christ into action to help those who have needs. We saw many of the haves helping those that have less, and many of those who have little helping those who have even less.
We always hear about the difference between giving someone a fish so that they can eat for a day vs. helping someone learn how to fish so that they can eat for a lifetime. I believe that the people of the Kenyan churches already know how to fish and are finding ways to cast beyond the limits of their lines.