Thursday, July 20, 2017


It's hard to capture an experience like Turkana adequately in pictures, let alone words. Impressions are so many and so varied--one can only list them and hope they form some kind of kaleidoscope.

  •  The soak and stink of sweat after a 6-mile walk past huts and goat corrals lining the sandy "streets" of Lodwar
  • The beaming smiles of school children mobbing us as we walk, and as they practice their only English: "How arrrrr you? How arrrrr you?"
  • The smell of African spices from the kitchen in the evening, and the wiry texture of a chicken that has probably run the length and breadth of Turkana looking for food and water
  • The rapid-fire translation and gesticulations of our interpreter as we teach and talk, rhythmic phrase by rhythmic phrase
  • The utter barrenness of the terrain in which the Turkana somehow eke out an existence against all odds
  • The theological discussions with mzungu (white) pastors and Turkana pastors and missionaries about polygamy (one villager yesterday had 9 wives--one in each of the various regions he grazes his goats so they can assist him, and "comfort" him)
  • The cacophony of sound as 100 Turkana pastors pray passionately to their Lord--out loud
  • The large scorpion found in a shallow "pool" being used for baptisms in the village where the team overnighted
  • The sound of the water truck arriving early in the morning after the tank has run dry--so we can shower, and flush
  • The hope, and joy, on sun-wrinkled foreheads as Turkana men place their faith in the One who gave His life for them
  • The sudden darkness in a Q&A forum with pastors as the power-grid temporarily fails, and the gleam of cell phones
  • The awareness--when one of them tells me that another tribe has killed some of his family members and friends, and tried to torch his house--that these guys REALLY live their faith in a manner that shames me
  • The French accent of our team mate from Birundi in the morning, "Eet eez zee best coffeeeeeeeee!"
  • The intense twinkle of the southern cross in the desert
  • The dawning of realization that Habakkuk really is a message they understand and live so much better than I: "Though there is no fruit on the vine, or sheep in the pen, or cattle in the stalls, yet will I rejoice in God my Savior"