by Rena Turnham
Many people in our parish recall in 2004 when Ada Kuto came to the end of her almost one year visit to St. David's. As she was about to return to her home in Kenya, her last words were "Let's build a partnership between St. David's and my church of St. Joseph's in Ziwa, Kenya."
Our response at St. David's was an emphatic "yes!"
Shortly after, our then-rector, the Rev. Jim Cook and three other people from St. David's, traveled to visit Ada and her church and community in Ziwa, Kenya. During this visit, dreams were shared and a vibrant partnership was launched between St. David's and St. Joseph's. In fact, it was after this very first visit that people at St. David's started contributing money to provide tuition to students in Kenya and to give seeds to farmers there.
In November 2006 another group from St. David's traveled to spend time with Ada and her church in Kenya. This group included twelve representatives from St. David's. Again, three years later, Jim and Sharon Engel visited Kenya along with one of their daughters and two of their grandchildren, returning to St. David's with a very encouraging report about the students and farmers in Kenya.
Now, a team from St. David's is returning to Kenya to join hands with this wonderful group of friends and partners. The trip is scheduled for June 26 to July 7. Travelers will include our Rector Katherine Lewis and her son Jesse Bulson-Lewis; Deacon Jim Shoulak and his daughter Sarah; Minister of Children and Youth Dwight Reynolds; Rena Turnham along with her son Ben and her father Joel Koonce; Jim and Sharon Engel and their granddaughter Robyn Zeidler; and Norma Walton and her friend Sam Wymer.
The primary purpose of our ambassadors' visit is to strengthen our relationship with friends at St. Joseph's church in Kenya, by exploring ways that we can know and serve each other even better. A practical outcome that we anticipate is an expansion of and clarity for our St. David's Kenya Parnership Group, as well as increased parishioner involvement in this group as we clarify our vision for this remarkable partnership with friends around the globe.
Of course, we could not leave this wonderful country of Kenya without seeing its spectacular scenery, native villages and the world famous wild animal herds. Our tour guides will be Jim and Sharon Engel who have lived and worked in Kenya for a great length of time over many years.
Please pray for our health and safety, as well as for the discernment of the Holy Spirit as we travel. To be sure, we look forward with eager anticipation to sharing our journey with you upon our return and in our blog at:http://stdavidskenya.blogspot.com/.
I will forward a photo and the Kenya partnership logo to go with this copy to you on Sunday (we are taking a picture of the delegation at church on Sunday). Here is a link to a video as well:http://mamaadafoundation.org/Mama_Ada_Foundation/Video.html.
People from St. David's give tuition funds to students and seeds to farmers in Kenya, through The Mama Ada Foundation. For more information about The Mama Ada Foundation go to www.mamaadafoundation.org or call Julie Keller at 952.451.7736.