Guest blogger Ryan Valentino is one of the members of the Sunbelt team who is with us in Kenya this week and has given us a look at how the weekend went from his perspective:
Today was an exciting, busy, and long day.
We left our hotel following breakfast and started the hour-long journey from Mwiega to Shalom for the new church dedication. Upon arrival, we first had a prayer in the old building and then moved to the new one for the service.
It was a great celebration that included everything from unveiling a plaquette of dedication, ribbon cutting key presentation, and a prayer walk for every room by the church leaders, pastors from the area, and our team.
The service itself was full of songs of praise and dancing! There were greetings and thank yous from church leaders and those who have partnered with the people of Shalom along the journey as they have been growing physically and spiritually since God planted them there. Each age-level choir presented special songs. The children’s groups also recited Bible verses.
Bonnie delivered the Bible message with Charles Mbuga translating.
There was a slide show visually showing the building as it went up, showing everything from the groundbreaking until yesterday’s cleaning!
There was a time of thanksgiving offerings...a goat and chicken were given but cash was accepted too!
Pastor Robert Mutathia closed by thanking the congregation of over 500 worshippers and especially praising God for the vision of this house of worship and His faithfulness to bring it about. The service was followed by dinner on the grounds.
At dinner the team shared the impact of the day on them. Several spoke of the feeling of being glad that the service was carried out by the people of Shalom and not lots of dignitaries.
The people who worked hard on the construction and sacrificed to be able to have a church building like this. They had put forth the initial cost for the drawings. Many, many of them spent countless hours helping gather the supplies and providing labor. Some of our team members said they could feel a great spirit of unity.
Everyone agreed it was a wonderful day of worship and praising a Mighty and faithful God.
We are now turning in for a night of rest. House construction and digging water lines start bright and early!