PHOTO By Tom Curtis
By Peter Mbugua
Peter serves with Trinity Fellowship based in Nairobi, Kenya.
THURSDAY, 6:37 AM, HOME, NAIROBI, KENYA:
Younger Son (9 Years): “Dad, may I recite my verses to you?”
Dad: “Not just now, I’m on my way to wash the car. I’ll be back shortly.” (On second thought, Dad sits down) “Well, yes. Go ahead. Let’s hear it.” (Younger Son recites from the New Testament book of James, all the 27 verses. Dad is so impressed he momentarily forgets about the car. “How did you do that?”
6:58 AM, STAFF QUARTER PARKING AREA:
Dad: “Good morning, Mwalimu. You are early.”
Teacher: “Morning, Sir. I need to prepare before the children arrive, you know!”
Dad: “Right… My son can’t wait to recite his verses to you.”
Teacher: “Good! Yesterday I was too tired after class to listen to his recitation. I’d better be going… Good day”
7.30 AM, STAFF QUARTERS:
Older Son: “Dad, where are you going today?”
Dad: “Let’s see… In the morning I’ll go to the Industrial Area to take some printing work, in the evening I’ll be teaching at the university.”
Younger Son: “Dadee, I’m off to school.”
Dad: (Hugging the boys) “Enjoy your day. Your teacher is waiting for you to recite your verses.”
10.20 PM, VISITORS’ BEDROOM, STAFF QUARTERS:
Older Son: “Dad, how did the preaching go?”
Dad: “Beautiful. I was facilitating that seminar we were editing the other day, remember?” The audience was most wonderful…”
Older Son: “But you said that seminar was meant for pastors!”
Dad: “That’s right. But you see, these students are the Christian Union leaders. In a way, they are pastors to the other students.”
Younger Son: “Dad, dad! You know I prayed for you during the day that you would preach well?”
Dad: (Near tearfully) “Oh, you did? Thank you! God answered your prayers. No wonder I had such a good time!”
Younger Son: (Getting into bed) “You know the Bible says, ‘Do not worry what you will say. It will be given to your mouth when you stand before the governors…”
Dad: (In hilarious laughter at the mention of ‘governors’) “Where did you get that?
Younger Son: “John 19. It’s true. That’s what it says… I read it!”
Dad: “You boys amaze me. Do you want to be pastors, or what?”
Mom: “Boys, you need to be asleep now. Tomorrow is still school day.”
Dad: (To Mom) “Did you pray together before I came in?”
Boys: “Yes, Mom has prayed with us.”
Dad: (Switching off the visitors’ bedroom lights where Younger Son is spending) “Okay… have a good night.”
Older Son: (As Dad switches off lights to Mom and Dad’s bedroom where Older Son is spending tonight) “Good night Dad. Good night Mom.”
Mom: (Going with Dad into the boys’ bedroom) “Good night, boys.”
The scenes described above are not fictitious. They are the reality of a few days ago, and form the canvas of our discussion here on mission emphasis. We could present the issue in the following question: How may the Church raise children into students, and later into adults, who share God’s heartbeat for world evangelization?
This question points us to two vital areas: The area of education and the area of spiritual nurture at home and in church.
I once came to a junction while doing my drive-around. I had been driving for many years, sometimes totally clueless as to where I was heading. But on this occasion, I came to a junction that forced me to consider my turns carefully. One way seemed to be a narrow road full of signposts.
For some time I was attracted to take this road because of the destination it promised. So one day I took it, and was curious to study every little thing on this unfamiliar terrain.
There were warnings about loose chipping ahead, sharp bend ahead, no overtaking, speed bumps ahead, Zebra crossing, Pedestrian crossing, and so many other warnings. There was even one that said, “Heshimu Punda”! I could not believe that anyone serious in life could say anything about respecting donkeys on the road.
As if the warnings were not enough, there were a host of instructions every few kilometres: Keep Left (I knew that!! This is not America. Who wants to keep right?) No parking. Give way. Stop. On and on they went. And for those who hate text, there were road signs to say all these things.
For those who like breaking rules, there were enough traffic policemen to pull you aside, talk to you like an under-developed adolescent, and ruin your ego for you. This was one demanding road to be on. I had a choice to go back and take the highway I had left a few hills ago.
If I went back and took the highway, there was every promise of a great speed-drive with little or no warnings at all. I could turn up the music, hit the accelerator pedal, call a gang of friends and agree to meet way up ahead and do a thrill-drive together.
There would be parties in the wild stops off-road, or we would have the option of party joints, those 24-hour entertainment bazaars where no-one asks anyone what is none of their business. You did what you wanted on the highway to hurray-land. You could always fend for yourself, or watch a friend’s back while he watched yours.