An African “auld alliance”

2nd September 2013

We Scots usually think of the “auld alliance” being the one between Scotland and France to contain the expansionist plans of mediaeval England. However there is another “auld alliance” between Scotland and Malawi that is already making me feel very at home here in Blantyre.

Ruth and I arrived in Lilongwe International Airport too late to catch our noon bus to Blantyre (a four hour journey) and instead killed a few hours absorbing the new atmosphere of Malawi. Initial impressions were: less litter, less threatening, less people, less colourful clothing, more heat!
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Equatorial Kenya

26th August 2013

Monday was an early start as Ruth, Silas, Rahab and I drove “up country” to visit the ministry of Simon Mwaura in northern Kenya from his base in Nyahururu.

Downtown Nairobi was quickly left behind as we climbed north past the grim slums that ring Nairobi and on into surprisingly misty rolling green pine forests very reminiscent of a cool Scottish hillside. Imperceptibly we had climbed up to 8,000 feet as we turned a steep corner to be faced with the famous Rift Valley.

Unfortunately Kenya wanted to continue masquerading as the highlands of Scotland and the “Internationally Recommended View Point” looked more like a view of the Cuillins of Skye on a bad day!
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Retreat from the street

24th August 2013

Lydia of the bible (Acts 16) was obviously a woman of strong character and good education. A dealer in purple cloth, she became a believer and invited Paul and his fellow travellers into her home. Today Ruth and I met another Lydia of strong character and good education who, on becoming a believer did the unthinkable in Kenya and gave up her safe and secure job with a bank to create a home for some 30 of the orphan street boys she saw every day at the street corners of her town.

It was a long drive north through coffee and tea plantations to reach a height of 6,000 feet and the El Shaddai boys home on the outskirts of Limuru. El Shaddai is an ancient name of God meaning “All Powerful One” or “All Sufficient One”. And as we stepped through the solid metal gates into the small grounds of the home we quickly realised that this home survived day to day only through faith that the God of the bible truly is all sufficient for all our needs.
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