What Country Did You Belong To?

I went to Nairobi, Kenya in 2001 for a soccer mission trip.  We were there for just over two weeks coaching soccer.  It was an awesome experience talking with the people there and really learning about the culture.  (Side rant: it's rather annoying when people speak about Africa as if it's a small nation somewhere on the globe.  Really?  It's a huge continent!!  With hundreds, if not thousands, of different cultures and histories.   Ok, rant over.)  We had chapel every morning before soccer started.  It was a nice way to start the day.

The first Sunday we were there we all attended the church that was sponsoring the morning chapels.  As I was sitting in the church, my eyes started wandering.  I really enjoy looking at the architecture of churches. There is so much said in how they are structured.  I think it's a lost appreciation, or art, in our modern "don't make it look like a church someone might get offended" mentality.  As I started examining the art work, I came across a rather large painting that made me laugh to myself.

I'm sitting in the middle of a church full of Kenyans, they're all black.  The only white people in the church were the four of us.  On the side wall at the front was a painting of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.   And it just so happened that Jesus was a blonde, blue eyed boy.  Wow!  I had no idea.  Frankly, I was pretty sure he was from the Middle East.  This painting would have been great for a game of, "which country was Kenya a territory of in history?"  If you said England, you are a winner!!!

And while the English apparently forgot to take home their completely inaccurate painting of the Holy Family, they also left their love for tea.  The Kenyans have both amazing coffee and tea.  Instead of using water, the folks at this church used hot milk (probably for sanitary/safety reasons, but it made the tea even better).

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