Jessie is dying for me to write you about my first 2 classes in Pastoral Care yesterday.  As a way to get to know each other I asked them to tell me who or what was most important to them other than God.  They told me about their families and their hobbies although that is a word they don’t know.  I suppose they work too hard to consider something as luxurious as a hobby.  Each and every one loves to sing and dance and that had been quite evident in chapel that morning.  On Thursdays the service is in Kiswahili and not only do they sing with enormous joy and harmony, they dance in the aisle ~ hardly what one would see in an Episcopal Church in America.  All the men love soccer and basketball and some like to run for exercise.  The one that cracked me up was the young man who told me he liked to hunt.  “Hunt,” I said?  “With a bow and arrow or a gun?”  “With a net,” he said.  This led to a very interesting conversation.  His prey is not a dik-dik or a chicken as I was imagining but mice!!  He catches mice for food!  I made the mistake of telling this to Jessie during dinner last night which about ruined her meal.  He told me they are quite tasty.  Oh well, everyone to his own taste said the old woman who kissed the cow!

The other “mistake” that I made was asking them to tell me what being a pastor or a priest meant to them.  I told them that in America we who are being ordained are asked to stand before the bishop and the congregation and the bishop gives us a “charge.”   Years ago Bishop Frank Vest in Virginia told my friend Pam Webb that he was going to tell her the duties of a priest and then he said:  “The duty of a priest is to help people through the night” which I thought was brilliant and what we are ALL called to do.  Well, the class of young men and 2 women burst into laughter so I don’t think they got my meaning.  I then had to explain the dark night of soul.  No doubt my face was red and I had to do some fast talking.  The students really want to know more about America and Americans than pastoral care.  I continuely had to bring them back to the subject. 

We know you all would like to see photos but we don’t think we can send them from here.  I am writing this with 3 young men who are helping one of the Africans apply to university on-line and I can barely think.  We are working at the same table.  For now I shall say I’ll continue this later.  Cheers!

Advertisements