Nzoia Church and School is located in in a beautiful and fertile portion of Trans-nzoia county. With the rainy season the river that runs through this part of the rift valley has swollen to capacity. And we are only at the beginning of the rainy season. With no where else to go should the water raise higher an unhealthy and potentially dangerous situation exists. There were no children playing at the rivers edge today as we paused for a picture on the bridge.
This is my third visit to this church / school and almost immediately I can see the parallel between the swollen river and the classrooms. Two years ago this rural nursery and primary school was already at what looked like capacity with about 75 students if memory serves me right. The primitive classrooms made out of mud walls and tin roofs have benches for the kids to sit and learn their lessons. A blackboard for teachers to write today’s lesson is visible but without anything but natural lighting and that through very small windows make the classrooms an adventure for reading.
Pastor Roland escorts me into each classroom as a proud father would introduce his children. Some faces are familiar but the river has swollen here too. There are now close to 150 students where only two years ago 75 occupied this same space. The children are busy writing in scribblers and reciting back to the teachers their lessons. It is school like school everywhere with eager young minds being shaped for the future. At recess the children run through an adjacent field owned by the government and play like all kids play with imaginations ruling their time and space continuum. In each class I pause and pray for the teachers for strength, courage and the energy to continue to do what God has impassioned them to do.
Our church sessions this day are with the leaders of Cell groups and Sunday school teachers as well as pastors. It was to be a lecture style meeting with me as the talking head interpreted by Pastor Isaac. But God prompts me to change that up somewhat after the first session and we form a circle where we can see one another and begin an inductive study. The questions come fast and furious as though I removed a cork from the dike. And for the next 2.5 hours we talk about those heart issues where faith meets the road. The topic centers around Acts 8:9-25 and the difference between Simon and Philip in practical terms. Underlying issues of manipulation and witchcraft begin to surface and the surface study gets deeper into the roots that are shaking faith and causing confusion.
As the rain clouds begin to threaten an overnight stay our study ends with prayer and re-dedication of these young leaders to the Lord and the task He’s given them. We also prayed God to release new land and buildings to expand the capacity of the church and school so that it could fit those who were turned away this year and the new crop of young that will be entering in the years ahead. True Intimacy Must Exist for Nzoia to exist for it takes tremendous faith to keep going under such pressing needs and to have the courage to move a river of students to expand capacity. I am humbled by Pastor Roland’s vision and tenacity and pray to for him not to grow weary in this struggle.
We make it back to pavement as rain hits the windshield and rejoice in what God has done that day.