Saturday, 15 March 2014

Multiply Zambia/Kenya 2014 Day Seventeen - Friday

First thing, I text Gregory to say, "Suggest you leave coming here 'til lunchtime."  It's a grey day, and the mud roads will be impossible.  In Nairobi I've taken to wearing both a tee-shirt and shirt.  The locals are going around wrapped in a blankets and sporting wellington boots.

A couple of hours on the computer quickly pass by.  I phone home and explain my revised arrangement for Monday to Mary.  Gregory arrives at 11.30am, and we spend another two hours sharing about future possibilities for Multiply.  He's very clear thinking, and realistic, too.  He explains that - unaware of commercial realities - some MILC invitees may expect to come back with their pockets stuffed full of preaching fees.  It seems that it would be sensible for us to download the High Commission visa application forms to see exactly what hurdles delegates face, then produce an information sheet that will help them to successfully apply.

Gregory also suggests we should draft a 'Setting up Multiply in another country' guidelines.  There's clearly been differences between his approach in Uganda, Rukundo's in Congo, and Steven's in Malawi, plus where we've got to in Tanzania and also what I know of Bangalore.  "The real thing for Multiply is the local networks," he observes, "UK conference are great, but not what we should focus on for most pastors."  He goes on to make some good suggestions about pilot/scalable income earning projects starting with just four lap-tops and one person training.  I guess this is all something I shall need to initiate between getting home and MILC in mid-May.  Later he adds that a minibus would be a versatile resource for each of the three main guys here in East Africa.  "Doing some outreach mission is close to leaders'hearts, because it grows their churches."

We head to JMB's again, and Gregory presents me with a huge pile of chips for what was just meant to be a light lunch.  We sit outside, and if we'd collected the flies we were plagued with, we'd have doubled our meat portions.  Today Joseph is busy with a legal case involving the division of 'Four Square' and disputes about property ownership.  All told it's been running 15 years, and he just wants to see an end to it.  We move on to Gregory's home, and another George drops by.  He's very keen to come to UK, and a good prospect for being Gregory's Timothy in Multiply matters.  As we discuss MILC, there's another thunderstorm.

Gregory has to be in Kimusu over Saturday and Sunday for the ordination of one of his leaders there.  He's desperately trying to get someone to share the driving, but may end up having to go solo by bus.  Kenya has banned some night-driving because of the accident rates, and they've halved as a result.  Joseph will keep an eye on me tomorrow, and then George will pick me up at 8.30am for local church.  Meanwhile Gregory's set up a four-hour leadership training workshop for me there, starting at 2.00pm on Sunday afternoon. 

Johnstone and Oscar join us in the car for the slippery drive back to the apartment.  Driving is really on the limit.  Eventually arriving, all the lights are out: there's a power cut.  The caretaker presents me with an LED lamp and I grope my way round the kitchen and bedroom.  Judith's thoughtfully packed me up some of their evening meal in an insulated container.  I've opted to eat it here so we don't leave negotiating the mud roads til they're totally impassable. 

Within and hour the power comes back on.  An hour after that, Gregory texts to say they've arrived back safely!  There's been no air circulating around the apartment, and the bedroom is stuffy.  I drift off to sleep with rain falling all night.  Crumbs, will I make it out of here?  I came wanting to experience and understand local life better, but the final 48 hours may hold more challenge than I bargained for!

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