Monday, February 20, 2012

5 MONTHS IN AFRICA: Paul Schulz Kenyan Adventure

I recently discovered that the son of one of my Facebook friends is assisting with missionary work down in Kenya. His name is Paul Schulz. A recent grad of the University of Missouri, Paul is working with Pastor James May, the head of Lutherans in Africa (LIA).

As many of you know, the Lutheran population in Africa is rapidly growing, and with it there is a growing need for Lutheran pastors, evangelists, and deaconesses. Lutherans in Africa helps fill that need by training native Africans to teach the faith. Paul has been assisting in catechizing the local youth by teaching them hymns, as well as traveling great distances to distribute aide to poor families.

I asked Paul to write a short introduction. Here's what he has to say:
Hi everybody,

My name is Paul Schulz, and I'm living/working in Africa for 5 months. Actually I've been here for about 3 weeks already, so just over 4 months to go. I am working/volunteering for an organization named Lutherans In Africa. I recently graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelors in Linguistics. Pr. James May, who heads up LIA, visited my house last June, and after not much time, I was fully convinced of the work he is doing here in Africa, and decided to come and lend my assistance however I could. There are many organizations who send bibles and other literature to this area of the world, but what struck me about LIA as being especially unique was their focus on teaching, catechism, and the saving power of baptism.

Paul with Bishop Asiago.
Paul has a blog titled 5 MONTHS IN AFRICA, in which he reports on his work and travels in Kenya. I like Paul's blog because he writes from a “regular Joe's” perspective, or in Kiswahili, a mzungu's perspective (a "white guy's" perspective), describing his surroundings and the people in their everyday lives, providing photographs as well. Here's a sample of Paul's writing:
...If you want to go somewhere on the main road and want to spend less money, you wait for a “matatu.” These are more public van taxis that resemble a VW van in design only squarer and a little smaller. These literally never stop moving. They come flying down the road with one man driving, 10-12 people inside, and one man hanging out the sliding door yelling what I assume to be is their destination. If this is the one you want, you wave, the man hanging out the door hits the roof twice, and the driver slows down just enough for you to jump in, and then you get settled, sometimes on top of another person as the driver guns it ahead. Now these vans are usually in a greater state of disrepair than the car taxis, and one ride is all you need to understand why. Potholes here are huge, and everywhere, as are speed bumps. So, in order to keep their speed and passengers adrenaline levels up, all rules of the road are ignored. Passing a semi sized water truck uphill around a curve? No problem. Too many potholes? Drive on the sidewalk/side of the road to avoid them. Car in front of you going too slow? Honk the horn a few times and drive towards oncoming traffic to get around them. Many of these vans are plastered with stickers that say “Only God Can Save,” or “Trust In The Lord,” which I can only assume are being employed in place of airbags or seatbelts.

You can find Paul's blog here. If you're interested in learning more about Lutherans in Africa, or perhaps lending them a financial hand, their website is here.

Here's a couple more photos from 5 MONTHS IN AFRICA:

A Lutheran Church near Kibweze.

A view of the Great Rift Valley at sunset.

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