15 December 2015

Celebrating Kenya's Jamhuri Day; another fun picnic at Uhuru Park plus some history for you

Jamhuri Day is a national holiday in Kenya, celebrated on December 12th. It marks the date Kenya gained full independence from the British colonialists in 1963. Jamhuri is the Swahili word for republic.

Statue of Dedan Kimathi, downtown Nairobi

Jamhuri Day is often associated with Dedan Kimathi, the executed field marshal of the famous Mau Mau, a revolutionary guerrilla force. They fought valiantly against the British colonial government in Kenya in the 1950s. At the age of 37, he was convicted and executed by the British colonial government. Kimathi and his fellow Mau Mau rebels are recognized as heroes in the struggle for Kenyan independence.

"We reject colonization in Kenya. The journey to freedom is full of sacrifices, tears, hunger, clothes full of lice, blood, and death. 
I do not lead terrorists. I lead Africans who want their 
self-government and land. God did not intend that one nation 
be ruled by another forever. I consider myself a great 
African patriot fighting, not for the liberation of Kenya alone, 
but for East Africa and the rest of the continent. 
I would rather die on my legs than live on my knees.
~Dedan Kimathi (1920-1957)

Robai and Esther enjoy a boat ride for the first time in their lives!

Joy joins me for a selfie, while we paddle the boat

The guys - Cliff and Jeremy

The other guys - Derrick and Jim

Esther and Robai also braved a camel ride for their first time. Joy, on the other hand, is quite accomplished at it.

The guys, on the other hand, all chose to ride a horse. Here's Jim ready to head out.

The kids also enjoyed throwing a Frisbee; some were quite adept at it and others not so much. And, like every picnic I've hosted at Uhuru Park through the years, we shared our lunch with several hungry street boys. Needless to say, they were very grateful. A couple of them even joined in with the Frisbee fun... a few moments of joy in the midst of their extremely difficult lives.

What's a picnic without ice cream and getting your face painted?

Jeremiah and Carol's daughter, Jaiden, is almost 7-months old.
Unfortunately Jasmine wasn't feeling well, so she's not in any of the photos.

“Work is a blessing. God has so arranged the world that work is necessary, 
and He gives us hands and strength to do it. The enjoyment of leisure would be nothing 
if we had only leisure. It is the joy of work well done that enables us to enjoy rest, 
just as it is the experiences of hunger and thirst that make food and drink such pleasures.” 
~ Elisabeth Elliot, Discipline: The Glad Surrender

Uhuru Park, just on the edge of downtown Nairobi, is quite beautiful and large.
On holidays like Jamhuri Day, thousands of people descend on it to enjoy a relaxing day.

This picnic marks 14 years for me serving the Lord in Kenya. I can't think of a better way to recognize the anniversary than to hang out with some of my friends - the very ones to whom God has connected me.

I hope you also allow time in your life for smiles, leisure, relaxing, laughter, friends, and enjoying God's great-out-of-doors. Make a point to take a break, now and then, in the midst of your work-a-day routine!

Go ride a camel!

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