I’m in Nairobi these days. While I am here I get to preach at New City-Nairobi, which is really a plant of New City St. Louis. Pastor Joe Muutuki worshipped with them under Pastor Barry Henning while Pastor Joe was at Covenant Seminary. I am fascinated how the New City idea has become international. A lot of this of course is due to the missionary focus of Barry Henning.
Cross cultural ministry, reconciliation, and ministry to the poor have many common elements around the world. Nairobi is a large world class city and so many typical urban problems are here, as well as ones that are a bit Nairobi unique. The congregation here struggles with living out what reconciliation means, and how to be cross cultural. NC-Nairobi is really a vision of Joe Muutuki’s to reach from African to Asian in this multi-ethnic city.
America has its racial history and pain, and so does Kenya. Peopled by many different tribes, some of whom have a historical antagonism or ambivalence to each other. Invaded and exploited by slave taking Arabs, colonized by the British, seeded with Asians by those same British to build their railroad, evangelized by Muslims, and Christian Europeans, Americans, and Koreans, and now economically invaded by the Chinese. I suppose I have left someone out.
Over the years the Asian community (not monolithic except in ethnicity) became the traders and store keepers and the middle class. Sometimes they became “hyper-British” in culture. During colonial days the British were racist to them too, but they were considered one step over the Africans. Of course the Africans wanted their freedom from the British, and this they got in the sixties when Kenya became an independent nation.
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