Greetings from Kenya. I am writing from Philadelphia Place guest house in Embu, a town about an hour’s drive north of Nairobi. Composing this on Wednesday evening although I don’t know when it might get uploaded!

We landed on Tuesday morning at about 5am…it is hard to remember that was only two days ago. ‘We’ are a group of 19 Bishops, Archdeacons, incumbents and curates here visiting people and institutions with which the Diocese of Chelmsford has partnerships. We curates are the newest people joining in the link between five Kenyan dioceses and Chelmsford.

We’re mostly split into smaller groups. So far the group I am in have visited a tea factory, four churches, two projects looking after vulnerable children, the cathedral in Embu and a nearly-complete hostel for female university students. This last was the brainchild of the Mothers’ Union. Today we all travelled together to visit the ACK hospital, and St Andrew’s Theological college in Kabare.

So already in less than 72 hrs we have had a very mixed set of experiences. Here are some things I want to share so far:

The wonderfulness of worship and Holy Communion at St Andrew’s today. Joyful singing and dancing, a warm welcome, laughter and prayer. So very different from home – so wonderful to be children together of the same Heavenly Father.

The bittersweet time in the maternity ward at ACK hospital. Seeing newborn twins, but hearing of the cramped space for expectant mothers. There is no space if things go wrong. Alongside that, viewing a new building opening soon which was supported by Chelmsford diocese.

Drinking tea grown and processed right here in Kenya. All my life I have drunk tea. Never before have I drunk local tea. It’s always been imported. So it was an interesting moment to notice the tag on the teabag and a privilege to then see tea leaves created. I shall never see making a brew in the same way again. Touring the factory gave us an opportunity to see a different side of Kenyan life.

A joyful welcome by the Caregivers at a project supporting families looking after vulnerable children. This lady has a daughter named Sara!

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