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The Browns – Tom, Ali, Crescena, Bez, & Ber
February 28, 2012 1:10 pm
Published in: Kenya



Ali & Crescena at ABO

ABO, a.k.a, Africa Based Orientation; 3 weeks of orientation to what it means to live in Africa.  We had a variety of speakers who facilitated sessions on topics such as African culture and worldview, Islam, transformational development, HIV/AIDS, cross-cultural communication/conflict resolution, and security/contingency planning in Africa.It opened our eyes to all of the nuances of the African way of life and more specifically, how we as western Christians interface with the culture here. Without assigning blame or pointing fingers, orientation raised issues and questions of which some were answered and others were left unanswered.  Questions such as, “Why are some of the most resource rich countries in the world (also in Africa) some of the most impoverished?” and “If 34% of Kenya is considered “Evangelical Christian” (which makes more than all of western Europe) why is Kenya listed in the top 10 most corrupt countries in the world?”  It challenged how we have been trained to approach evangelism on an individual basis by asking, “how do you reach an African whose basic worldview says not ‘I think therefore I am,’ but ‘I am because we are’?” It has given us much to think about and process as we return to Nairobi and begin to settle into our new home.

Tom & Crescena enjoying the variety show

We laughed at the humor of the presenters, especially as we realized that we will probably experience the awkward situation/event about which they were talking.  One of the favorite quotes was “And when you are faced with an unpleasant looking dish that you cannot refuse, you pray the missionary prayer; ‘Lord, thank you

In addition to the deep issues and questions, we also enjoyed the lightheartedness of building friendships with the rest of our orientation group.  Dorm style living, while having its challenges, meant that we got to know the others in our group well and built friendships over evening games, a fun, variety show night, and other activities.

All in all, the ABO experience has been a stretching, building, and enlightening time that I know has helped to prepare us in ways that I can’t yet even begin to fathom.  Thank you for praying for us during this time; continue to pray for us as we settle into life in Nairobi and start our specific AIM Air orientation next week.

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