Thursday, 26 March 2009

Several Activities (L): I - UHLC Activities

On the 1st of February 2009 we had our first Service of our second term (two more years) as pastor at Uhuru Highway Lutheran Cathedral – English International Service.
It was so nice to meet all the people and to be welcomed with so much love! Lidia and I said to all: THANK YOU! GOD BLESS YOU ALL!
Based on John 3:16, the sermon stressed the goal for the second term: To share God’s love in Christ with both in words and in deeds!
– Rev. Claude and Rhoda, helped by Catherine, organized us and some friends a lunch at their house after the service to welcome us back.

– It was good not only to see all the friendly people, but also some local marks: the Maasai cows crossing the roads, among the cars,…

… and the furniture factories and stores on the side of the roads, where we bought all the furniture for our house when we came to Nairobi two years ago.

On the 7th of February the Elders and Pastors had their regular meeting. After the meeting we visited Elder Thomas Mokua and his family; they offered a good lunch to all of us. – Thomas had lost his mother some weeks before; she was over 100 years old and we took him a comfort from the Word of God. – Pastoral Staff attended also the burial of Simon Kariba Njatha, Magiri’s brother in Ngong Hills; and visited Joseph+ Evelyn+ Monica Mbui in Ongata Rongai on 17th February.

On the 8th/02, after the service, we went with Rev. Claude Houge to the dedication of a plot where Catherine will begin to build her house in Ngong Town. Catherine is the secretary of the LCMS Mission Office in Karen, Nairobi, and a good friend of ours. Her relatives and friends were also there.

The Board of Heart to Heart Orphans Children Center – OOHCC - had several meetings in February and March, discussing the plans, the budget, the sponsors, the projects and so fort. God is blessing the HHOCC efforts in helping the needy people. Thank you, sponsors from Kenya, Hungary, USA, Germany and Brazil!

Nzumari Africa Choir sang at our Service on 15th February. Just girls, proclaiming the Gospel through music in churches and events.

The Sunday School Teachers had their first training for this year on February 21st. The number of children coming to the different classes at UHLC, Kawangware, Kibera and Kiambu is increasing. The teachers need more resources: activities, pictures and more helpers. - They have training once a month.

Dr. Dean Nadasdy, LCMS Vice President, preached at the Cathedral on March 1st.
He and his wife Susan came to the dedication of the Luther Plaza (see the next postage), representing the LCMS. Thank you, Dr. Dean. – (Pr. Carlos was in Mozambique that Sunday.)

– On the same Sunday was the farewell of our organist Stephen Padre, who went back to the USA. Thank you, Stephen, for serving the Lord with your skills while in Nairobi.

– March 15th – The Angaza Choir, from the Swahili Service, sang at the English Service. They are planning to come once a month to sing at the English Service. Thank you!

March 22nd: Dr. Jack Preus, President of the Concordia University, Irvine, California, visited our congregation with his daughter Rebecca. On Friday March 20th he was at the Matongo Lutheran Theological College where he gave an honorary doctorate D.D. – Doctor Divinitatis – to Bishop Obare.(See end of the next postage).

Dr. Preus preached on Philippians 2: 5-11: Jesus Christ is the Lord! – Thank you, Dr. Preus.

Some of the Sunday School children had some memory verse to share that same Sunday.

– Norwegian teachers from the Norwegian School at the Scripture Mission compound sang to the glory of God: Anne-Hjørdis Grøvan (Alto), Silje Hodne (Soprano) and Øyvind Stavnes (Piano)

Prof. Dr. Joseph Ochola Omollo, President of the Matongo Lutheran Theological College, and his wife Ruth also attended the service. They were with Dr. Preus.

Several Activities (L): II - ELCK Activities

– February 27th 2009: A very important date for the ELCK – The dedication of the LUTHER PLAZA.
– The LUTHER PLAZA is an office complex next to the UHLC and to the Uhuru Park in Nairobi. The ELCK offices – National Headquarters - are now there and the UHLC has her new offices and facilities there too. – The other offices will be rented out to pay the loan and to help the ELCK to carry on her responsibilities as church in the country.

A special loan granted by the Lutheran Church Extension Fund – LCEF made the building of the LUTHER PLAZA possible. (Picture from the back).

The building plans had begun shortly before we came to Kenya…

…and when we arrived in Nairobi/October 2006 there was a big hole beside the Cathedral.

We could follow step by step the several phases of the building.

December 2007: This was the stage of the building from the back, during a Sunday School Rally.

May 2008 – The building was almost finished outside…

– and could be well seen from the roundabout next to the Cathedral.

“The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya has attained a major milestone by putting up the new building” said the General secretary Rev. John Halakhe.

– Bishop Rev. Dr. Walter Obare Omwanza is the head of the ELCK and the main idealizator of that building.

More than 1000 people attended the event and were hosted in tents.

Several choirs performed during the ceremony: Kisumu Luth. Cathedral Choir, The Conquerors, Itierio Lutheran Church Choir, Kumpa Lutheran (Massai) Choir, Nairobi Lutheran Mass Choir.

Heart to Heart Orphans Children Center and several other entities had special boots at the Plaza to show and to offer their products.

– Many pastors and Bishops came to the Dedication Service…

… and took part of the ceremony.

“Nakuru Bethseda Children Acrobatic Group” came too.

The flags from the Mission Partners countries were put side by side to the Kenyan flag: United States of America, Sweden, Norway and Finland.

Rev. Thomas Asiago – South West Diocese Bishop; Rev. Richard Amayo – Lake Diocese Bishop; The Most Rev. Dr. Walter Obare – Central Diocese Bishop and ELCK Presiding Bishop; Rev. Dr. Dean Nadasdy – LCMS Vice-President: Rev. Dr. Ishmael Noko – LWF General Secretary.

– The band.

The tent reserve to H.E. Hon. Mwai Kibaki, President of the Republic of Kenya and to other honorable guests.

The ELCK representatives and other authorities waiting for the President Kibaki.

The band playing the National Anthem, as follow:

O God of all creation / Bless this our land and nation,
Justice be our shield and defender, / May we dwell in unity,
Peace and liberty/ Plenty be found within our borders.

Let one and all arise/ With hearts both strong and true
Service be our earnest endeavour/ and our homeland of Kenya,
Heritage of splendour/ Firm may we stand to defend.

Let all with one accord/ In common bond united,
Build this our nation together/ and the glory of Kenya,
The fruit of our labor/ Fill every heart with thanksgiving.

– His Excellency the President, Hon. Mwai Kibaki greeting the other authorities.

Vice-Pres. and Minister for Home Affairs, Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka, E.G.H., M.P., greeting ELCK General secretary Rev. John Halakeh. In the back: Rev. Dr. Ishmael Noko, LWF General Secretary.

– Pres. Kibaki, Bishp Obare, Vice-Pres. Kalonzo. In the back (right): Dr. Dean Nadasdy and ELCK Bishops.

Pres. Kibaki unveiling the commemorative plaque.

The plaque.

His Excellency the President, Hon. Mwai Kibaki, C.G.H., M.P. going after the lunch served at the UHLC Hall.

The President’s escort.


On March 20th, 2009, at the Matongo Lutheran Theological College, The Presiding Bishop Rev. Dr. Walter Obare received his second honorary doctorate – D.D. – DOCTOR DIVINITATIS. Dr. Jack Preus, from the Concordia University, Irvine, California, USA, brought this honor to Bishop Obare.

The Choirs opened the processional for the ceremony.

Bishop Obare knelled to receive the honor.

This is a recognition of his outstanding Biblical theological position confessed among the churches and in the world. To GOD be the glory! (Pictures by Rhoda Houge – Thank you).