It is almost time for me to go on my sabbatical. We had two very special services, this morning. I felt a bit weepy as I was saying goodbye to everyone. It was really good to see so many people at the Christingle service. Lovely, too, that so many came into the hall afterwards to socialise. And now I am about to leave all of this behind me to go on my big adventure....
I have been getting text messages from people in Chepkero parish in Eldoret. This is the parish I will be going to.
I fly to Nairobi on Tuesday and will then go to Limuru to spend a few days at St Paul's university there. I will meet up with Dr Esther Mombo, who has organised the Kenya part of my Sabbatical and I will meet Rev. Edna for the first time. She is the Vicar of Chepkero parish. She and I will fly to Eldoret on Friday. Apparently, the parish have drawn up a programme for my time in Chepkero, but I have yet to see this. I will have to go with the flow for the next eight weeks, it seems, not necessarily something I am particularly good at. I am incredibly touched by the messages of welcome that I have already received and by the fact that Rev. Edna is willing to put up a complete stranger for 8 weeks! What incredible hospitality.
Most of my bags are packed. I'm off tonight to spend some time with little Adam (and his parents) and then I'll fly to Nairobi on Tuesday, arriving there at 6.30am on Wednesday (Nairobi is 3 hours ahead of the UK -- do spare a thought for me if you happen to be awake at 3.30am on Wednesday morning).
Fr Raymond and Sue will cover all of the services while I am away. Please, take good care of them. I will be away at the busiest time of the year for clergy and lay ministers: Lent & Holy Week. This means that there will be lots of services for them to do.
I do hope that you will welcome Fr Raymond and perhaps invite him for a meal, if you are able to.
I will see you when I get back in May!