Friday, 23 January 2009

On a Mission

I have been on a mission to find a Church home where I can belong. I told a work colleague and he recommended the Kampala Pentecostal Church, which is located in downtown K’la. I went there twice and liked the service. I especially liked the second time; for some reason the preacher/sermon really spoke to me that day. But the place is humongous, and I felt like I could easily ‘get lost’, as in I worship there, but may not really get to know anyone, hata kama they have cells (sorta like a church within a church) where they meet occasionally. It seemed like a place where most young professionals in K’la attend church regularly, but the fact that I have always had a serious aversion to mega-churches didn’t help. They have at least 3 services a day, and the place is always packed, at least the services that I attended were. It's also kinda Westernized (the people are mostly Ugandan and the interior design Afrocentric, I've to say) and I felt like it may beat the point of being home?

So I went home for Christmas. At home I am Presbyterian. My mum gave a Presbyterian-‘branded’ diary which listed all the P.C.E.A. churches, and there happened to be a Uganda mission area in K’la, complete with the pastors Safaricom and MTN phone contacts. I gave him a call last Saturday, and he told me where to find them-one of the halls at Nakasero Primary School. Sunday fikad, and nikaenda Church. Very small group, which I liked, but everyone seemed to be from Central Kenya. The service was in English but kila time there was a testimony to be ‘removed’, it went something like, “am so-and-so Kariuki, Wanjiru ..”etc (names changed). That, I didn’t penda. Juu if I choose to be a member there, it’s like I’ve moved with my village church to K’la, and there’s no newness/adventure there. Even while I was away, I refused to join a ‘Kenyan’ Church. But the members at the P.C.E.A Uganda mission seem quite nice, welcoming and advising, too. The most interesting thing happened at the end of the service. There was this ‘Kamau’ jamaa who’d said in his testimony that he is graduating from Makerere University on Thursday. So one jamaa (an elder, I presume) asked him what he was planning to do in celebation, and ‘Kamau’ said that he was making a trip to Nyeri to celebrate with his grandmother. Hi, you’ve never seen a graduation arrangement taken over like that. The ‘elder’ said no, there is need to celebrate properly, and we are going to do it at the Golden Fish restaurant, and offered 3 kukus. Then proceeded to volunteer what others were going to bring (the pastor “wewe unaweza afford half a crate of sodas!”), and even appointed people for the graduation party committee. Others volunteered to buy several things like a goat, chapati, sodas, and within no time, plan ikaiva. Can’t tell how it went coz I was tied up at jobo. Such fun things, the spirit of community, make me want to go to such a Church. I guess I’ve to figure out some other way of connecting with the Kenyan community ‘abroad’.
Next, I am checking out the Presbyterian Church of Uganda as I saw an allusion to something like it in the papers(will have to ask s/one why they are not part of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa?), or the Anglican Church. If anything, I was confirmed at the Anglican Church (back when it was known as the Church of the Province of Kenya) next to our school as we were attending school in the neighbouring district where apparently the English missionaries had outdone their Church of Scotland counterparts. Sio shida if the Anglican Church’s services here are in Luganda . I think I’m learning quite fast-it’s v. similar to Swa, anyway- and that will indeed help. We’ll see.