Hope you had a wonderful and restful summer break. August is usually a period of holidays, garden parties, barbeques and foreign holidays: the month when we all hope for good weather and are often disappointed. Whatever your weather, I hope you had a good break and you are now ready for harvest and the inevitable cool weather undoubtedly round the corner. I am excited about what God has in store for us further ahead. Talking of foreign holidays, my family and I went to Kenya to visit relations. Technically though, you can’t call that a holiday. As I write we have just come back and I feel like I need another holiday to recover from that Kenyan trip. And as if being tired is not bad enough, Brussels Airline lost my suitcase with all me Sunday bests…as I write they have not located it…I remain hopeful.
The trip though was good and enjoyable with loads and loads of blessings. On Sunday the 24th of August we worshipped at Kimathi Presbyterian church where I was the guest speaker and the title of the sermon was making friends with God and deepening that relationship. It was a very lively service with praise and worship being led by the youth and Sunday school children. We presented them with a cheque of Kenya shillings 250,000, for the building of two Sunday school classrooms. [In honouring the wishes of most people from the pastorate I have not indicated what each person donated]. The entire congregation and indeed the children of Kimathi send their heartfelt gratitude’s and warm regards to all of you who donated these funds. They have assured me that the funds will be used specifically for this purpose and they will keep us updated with the building progress. It was a very unique experience to witness over 300 hundred university students attending church on a Sunday morning. I will put all the photos in a power point and show them in church presently.
Just like the UK, August is also a time of weddings in Kenya and on Saturday 30th, I presided over a wedding of a nephew. Weddings offer families an opportunity to come together and enjoy each other’s company as they celebrate together. It’s worth remembering though, that some people are not fortunate enough to be surrounded by family members. And as I reflect on life in our three congregations, I am conscious that there is a large and growing number of people who live alone and don’t see their relatives as often as they would like to. Granted, today we all lead busy lives and often families are scattered over the country residing in areas where they can be gainfully employed. I know some people whom I have been pastorally visiting who find evenings difficult and some for whom weekends are the loneliest time. I recognise and acknowledge the crucial and important role the pastoral care teams play in plugging this gap among the lonely in our community whenever they can. I pray that they may be strengthened for this selfless work. During our Lords time here on earth, he encouraged us to invite those who were not in a position to return a favour when we have parties and meals together. He deliberately went out of his way to seek and eat with all manner of people, including many who the society had marginalised and treated as outcasts. We could do well to pick a leaf from Christ by inviting people who might be lonely in our communities to our parties and social gathering. Such an invitation may just be the highlight of a lonely person’s life and who knows, it might be a turning point in their lives. Blessings on you all as you contemplate the invitations and the autumn season ahead! Shalom.