First United Methodist Church

Service Times

9am Contemporary | 11am Traditional

The Word of the Day – Celebration!

Kenya Mission Team A, Day 7

Today is the day!!!  It is Graduation Day!  

We met at the church around 8am to check youth in, distribute caps & gowns and take photos.  The second mission team from Florida arrived during this prep time. A small pep band warmed up in the courtyard as youth trickled in and lined up for a celebratory parade through town from the church to an outdoor, tented graduation ceremony site about 10 blocks away.  So much joy and anticipation. 

It was about a 4-hour ceremony, filled with inspiring speakers from the community, Inua alum, current graduates and our very own Kenya Katie (Katie Cornelius.). There was singing, praying and picture-taking.  The youth were called up one-by-one within their vocation to receive their certificate. Families/guardians cheered and hugged and even shed tears of pride.  

After the ceremony, Cycle 2 alum Lily, catered the reception celebration.  Other youth set up displays of their work and wares to sell, such as jewelry and art.  Groups gathered with friends for photos and celebrations.  We encouraged the youth to trade their caps and gowns in exchange for an Inua string-backpack.  (We reuse the caps/gowns.). We left around 3pm (it had started at 10!) and many were still celebrating! 

Tomorrow (Saturday) will be a day of R&R, exploration, shopping and farewells with our Inua partners in Naivasha.  It will be hard to say goodbye to the staff: Florence, Eunice, Patrick, Ephantus and Paul. They are family.   

On Sunday, we will begin our journey home.  We are all a tad concerned about Hurricane Dorian and our families in Florida prepping without us.  We expect our flight from Nairobi to Dubai will be fine, but the storm will dictate the timing of our return to Orlando.  

Update: The unpredictable nature of the storm has messed with air travel plans.  We are currently booked to land on Saturday extending our 10-days away to 15 days. It is hard but we are together and making the most of options in Dubai.  We are so thankful for Laura Toshie, our trip leader.  Her selflessness, humor, and kind spirit have kept us together and ready to weather the twists and turns of our daily situation with a dose of grace.