Sitting at a coffee shop three hours west of Nairobi, Kenya would have been unheard of a few years ago. Yes, the coffee café craze has even reached western Kenya. I am in the city of Kisumu, teaching at amazing and growing DOVE International church’s found in Kadawa village and in the village of Musima on the topic of marriage. Our pastoral hosts have with keen foresight arranged the meetings and the couples have responded. It’s hot, it’s humid, but they take in new thoughts like a dry sponge absorbs water. They look at their spouse in amazement, eyes wide open and hearts challenged by God’s word. I ask them to interact together doing some couple exercises and at first it is very difficult, even a tinge of embarrassment comes over them. I keep pushing, asking for responses given out loud, and trying to discover if they are connecting with their speaker, his North American style English words coming through a translator.
Wherever I speak here, part of my introduction is the same, …”the husband of one wife.” There are multiple spouse families here and I ask my host to be the one to address those issues. It’s the third session in the first day and I see some tears and husbands who are noticeably uncomfortable with knowing how to help their wife. On the second day, I ask them the purpose of marriage and to follow that up with writing a marriage mission statement for the two of them. Later, I would ask them to share their statement. They become more comfortable; laughter is more at ease as they talk among themselves and respond much more freely to my many incessant questions. By the end of the two days they are easily encouraged to discuss, open up with each other and attempt to accomplish what this strange mzungu (white man) is requiring of them. And then, my ultimate reward at the close, watching them pray for one another and embracing in a very warm hug. It makes me smile.