Read the students' reflections on their experiences.
During two weeks of studying compassionate ministry, evangelism, service, education and construction, the 42 youth participants in Mission Immersion 2012 prayerfully sought God concerning many topics and areas of missions while staying in Nairobi, Kenya.
Then it was time to have fun.
Saturday morning, July 21, our next to last day in Africa, we learned a lesson about community and fellowship. Nazarene Youth International (NYI) members from around Nairobi gathered on the campus of Africa Nazarene University (ANU) to spend time with us.
The day kicked off with a talent show open to any youth participants. Teens from Kenya and the United States performed and displayed their talents to the group as the rest cheered them on. Many individuals sang, a few danced, and some put together creative skits. All acts were evaluated by three designated judges.
After a couple hours of fun, worship and plenty of laughter, the judges named two honorable mentions along with first, second and third place acts. The talent show winner was Anastasia Condon, a Mission Immersion student from Kansas City, Missouri, U.S., who will be attending MidAmerica Nazarene University this fall to major in music performance. Her rendition of “How Great is Our God” bridged the represented cultures as she sang the song in English, Swahili and Spanish.
The show came to an end as Rob North, Mission Immersion coordinator, presented each winner with fun prizes. Among these awards were Alvaro (a drink new to the Mission Immersion participants that quickly became a hit), toilet paper (we never knew that we took that for granted!), and EvangeBall soccer balls. Renae Secrest, a student from Mount Vernon, Ohio, U.S., said, “I loved how we could all laugh together and also share our talents.”
Talent show was followed by a time of shared devotions. A recent graduate of ANU, Lucy Kimani spoke to us from the Word and shared her story of finding Christ as a young girl. Her life path has not been easy, especially regarding her education, but God has been faithful to her. Her testimony demonstrated that even when we struggle, God walks with us.
Sharing lunch together was a great opportunity to make connections with new people and to fellowship.
The District NYI Fest concluded with a soccer match. Teens from Kenya and the Mission Immersion team alike battled it out on the soccer field.
“My favorite part [of the day] was probably just interacting with them through something they all loved – soccer!” said Amanda Davis, a Mission Immersion participant from Topeka, Kansas, U.S.
Meanwhile, some of the girls got to know some of the local district ladies better as they braided hair and talked on the sidelines.
However, the soccer time was not only fun and games. We learned that it can become a fantastic way of reaching others for the Lord. Japheth Opondo taught our group how to use the Evangeballs as witnessing tools. Praise the Lord that He works in a variety of ways!
“I got a stronger sense of community,” said Sara Armfield, a student from Topeka, Kansas, U.S. Not only did youth come together – youth from multiple nations came together in the name of ONE Lord.