Today Michael has invited us to his home church (Kager Vision Center) and then to his home (for lunch) and he has contracted a matatu for our travel. The matatus are modified minivans used as taxis that seat 10 with room for 14 passengers (yes, you read that right). That’s including 2 or 3 sharing the front seats and others practically sitting on laps or hanging out the door. I would guess they get some rugged treatment — especially judging from this one. 3 of the team ride with Michael in his borrowed car and the rest of us pile into the matatu and enjoy exhaust that pours out the back and is sucked inside along with the dust through the hole in the floorboards and the back windows (even after we close them). Miraculously, we all survive.
We briefly stop at the village blacksmith and are given the tour of his mud forge with hand-crank bellows. Then on to Kager.
The Kager service is shorter than I remember (only 2 1/2 hours) with lots of amplified singing, short preach-imonies from a variety of pastors and visits (including me, but not including Chris and Ana who were prepped to preach), and, of course, with their wonderful dancing troop of 8-year-old girls. There are some other wazungu (whiteys) in attendance and we hear from Mama Lynn of Jubilee Village Project (Indianapolis) jubileevillage.org.
After the service, we meet Michael’s mother (68) and grandmother (100 and still spry and in her own hut), and enjoy a wonderful lunch at his house (chicken, both fried and in sauce, rice, chappatis that win the hearts of the team). Then we gather outside for a visit from Mama Lynn and her team of teachers. Jubilee has adopted Kager for a multi-faceted, multi-year development. It’s a sort of “extreme makeover, African-style.” Their motto: “Changing the world one village at a time” There are leaders (“partners”) heading up projects related to food,water, health, energy, housing, economic development, etc. and Mama Lynn heads up Education. They have built a secondary school and this team is teaching the teachers. This sounds like a large-scale project that could be extremely rewarding for Michael’s village.
In our chairs under the shade tree in the middle of Michael’s family compound we share our stories and our learnings. After a time, they must leave and then, soon we depart as well. And again, somehow we survive the ride back in that matatu.