Kenya’s First ‘Ingathering’
For those who have never heard of the ‘Ingathering’, let me offer a brief description. The ‘Ingathering’ is a celebration of a Christian disciple’s corporate Life in Christ. It reminds us that we are not just isolated individuals or churches scattered across the globe, but rather, we are a chosen generation, a distinctive people and a holy nation, living in the midst of this present world. (1 Peter 2:9). It is a celebration of our Unity.
Hence, over two decades ago we determined there would be nothing in this celebration but what would honor the ruler of that Holy Nation. So once a year, all who believe, come together for a holy festival and spiritual fellowship.
Beginning over twenty five years ago in Orlando, Florida, this unique festival is now celebrated by our friends in California, Tennessee and now in Nakuru Kenya.
We believe that one day, this same festive gathering might even be celebrated all over the world. (Zechariah.14:16-21)
But even if we are wrong about that particular interpretation, the ‘Ingathering’ has become the highlight of our year and we hope it will continue to be so, for all of our children in the the years to come.
Normally this event takes place the first weekend in October and corresponds to the Jewish Feast of Booths. But due to the Kenyan culture, the first week in December is the only time children and adults have enough free time to participate here in Kenya. This pictorial post is about our first Ingathering celebration. So, as they say here in Kenya … sit back, relax and enjoy!
After months of preparation and saving up for feast and frolic, the first day of the Ingathering finally arrived bringing friends back together.
Friday morning people came from our churches in Nakuru, Kamwaura, Engasua, and Ndunyu Njeru.
The morning was busy with brothers sitting around finalizing the plans for the next two days.
Then the time came for brothers to pray over the one who would give his all for our feast and thank him for his ultimate sacrifice. Then they prepared him for the feast. Nothing, and I mean nothing … of his sacrifice was wasted. Have you ever tasted goat brain soup?
Our wonderful ladies began to ready the delicious food for the evening’s festivities.
By mid afternoon all sorts of preparations were underway. There were skit rehearsals going on inside the school….
And young ladies primping their hair on the outside.
Some of the primping was a little painful.
As the flags went up on the volley ball and bad mitten courts…
Then the games began.
Everywhere you looked there were the cutest little cutie pies ever!
A midst the busyness, there was still plenty of time for grandma and grandpa to tell the wonderful stories of old.
All that day, everyone was jumping up and down with excitement.
Even Kuja, our watchdog, was leaping for joy.
As we gathered together later that afternoon, each church family introduced themselves with a dance and a song. There was a wonderful sense of unity in the air. The kind of unity described in Psalm 133.
After the introduction of the church families, there was a beautiful song preformed by many of the children from all four churc
Then we got down to some seriously competitive Volley ball games.
In the evening there were presentations of shirts to honor the teenagers who now are called the ‘Pathfinders’. There are 15 Pathfinders
And to the young adults who are now called ‘StoneHouse Guardians’. There are about 20 Guardians.
Both of these groups of young people have distinguished themselves as true followers of Christ who
desire to make a difference in their generation
.Finally we had a wonderful dinner and fellowshipped late into the night around the campfires.It was awesome.
We all wondered if this day was this good… what will tomorrow bring? Stay tuned for Part II of the ‘Ingathering in Kenya’.
The StoneHouse Family