On Saturday our Kenya Group began our official itinerary by meeting with the Session of the Kihumo Church. We spent a little time introducing ourselves, but the majority of the morning was spent getting to know our Kenyan partners.
Our meeting started with tea. Pastor Kibaara explained that there is a deeper meaning to the act of having tea together. In Kenya, sharing a cup of tea is an act of community. If someone invites you to have a cup of tea with them, it doesn’t mean they’re thirsty. They want to spend time talking with you. As Pastor Kibaara put it, having tea is “community in communion.”
The concept of community is also very deep in Kenya. Your community defines you, and is very broad. Your community is not just your immediate family. It includes aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and their families. Life events involve the whole community. Weddings, birthdays, funerals and such include the whole community. Everyone helps each other when there is a need, everyone grieves when there is sorrow, and everyone rejoices together when they are blessed.
The philosophy is, “I am because we are, and we are because I am.” What a wonderful way to think about how we are all children of God, and we are all one in Christ!