Graduation Today at Kikyusa was a great success. This is the highlight of the trip for me. Linda and I participated in the graduation of 40 Nexus students (40 and a 1/2 -- one student is 9 months pregnant). Linda got to place the mortar boards on the graduates heads and got to wear one of the special graduation hats. She wore it in a "Rebecca of Sunnybrook farms" style and it fit her hust fine.
This was the largest graduation class ever from Nexus. We had several special guests. The chair of the local gospel preachers council (a council of 560 churches) and a song artist friend of Davis'. The preacher was excellent and spoke encouraging words about believing in themselves and to be people of prayer. The singer was fun and playful and had a great story of being from a small village in the East (near Mbale), building his own guitar and dreaming of being an international recording artist. He is a pastor and, from what I heard and saw well on his way.
I spoke of new beginnings not based on wishful thinking but based on the experience of having talent and mastering the Nexus training and seeing it through to completion. Davis speech was moving. The class witness was given by the young woman Julie Valeski has been sponsoring. She was terrific and talked of the first time she had encountered Nexus training as a possibility.
Davis requires each student to open a savings account and to put away so much per week during the training. He does this to encourage them to become savers and to participate in the economic life of the villages and regions in which they live. This "savings" culture could change, profoundly change, the life of the villages. This class of 40 saved 4.7 million shillings (90K each?) which is pretty good for a rural pastor. The bank manager was there to make a report and to encourage the students.
I attended a Graduation in Kiteme, with pastor Robert. Kiteme means to cut or the cutting. It was an interesting gathering there were two other graduates present. He is a fine young pastor and is building a good congregation at Kiteme. His father was there and is grandmother and his young wife. It was fun. Davis likes to send me off on these farther outposts to preach and to extend our reach deeper into the villages. They gave me a rooster and a stalk of Matoke as a thank you for coming gift. The founding pastor of this church was present, she was a graduate of the last Kikyusa Nexus group.
The party included statements from his former Pastor much singing and a brief sermon from me. I was sitting minding my own business when the MC asked me to get up and share the word of God. So I gave a brief message from Acts 16 about how Paul and his entourage were making plans and intentions to do ministry but at the same time were listening to the movement of the Holy Spirit. Then I celebrated our graduates and sat down.
The team has been having a great time. Barb and Kathy are Ronald's school today, Clair had the youth rally today and it was bigger and better than ever. Linda got to go to the big graduation party in Kikyusa.
the MC at the part last night looked familiar. Maybe it was the Nigerian costume or that he looked a little like Martin Lawrence (could have been his brother) or that he was marvelously energetic.
At Kiteme, after dinner, several people came to me for prayer. I laid hands on a small baby, a 7th grader and an older women. This is a culture that believes in prayer.
I am preaching near Kikyusa in a place called Nakakono tomorrow.