It’s been two months since I set foot in the United States America but it seems like only yesterday when I was saying goodbye to my loved ones and friends at the Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport ready to embrace the “American dream” and try and learn as much as I can in the one year that I will be here. During the first few weeks I was dazed and dazzled by the efficiency of the systems, within and without DC and it made me wonder (and still makes me wonder), what is it that the USA is doing differently than Kenya? Is it its justice system, government or is its citizenry? From the stories that I have read and heard around me, I am inclined to say no to all the questions above. I might be biased in my judgment but time will tell and as it goes by I will definitely keep you posted on what’s happening and whether my opinion has changed.
Yesterday (October 30, 2011) I woke up, in high spirits, full of thanksgiving for the far that He has brought me. I woke my friend up since we had made a pact that we are going to try a totally different church mass service other than the one that we attend (11am) every Sunday. On getting to St. Michel the Archangel Catholic Church (at 9.30 am) we were welcomed by songs of praise from young adults (who seemed to be not more than 18 years old). Their voices were so melodious, I had to whisper to my friend of a thought that struck me – I have to find out whether there is a choir in my age range. After mass, we went to the basement where most of the church activities take place. I did my inquiry but unfortunately I felt that I cannot fit in any of the two choir groups and so decided to join the volunteers of Matthew 25 whose activities include visiting the homebound, serving dinner at Shepherd’s table, preparing and serving dinner at Crossway Community, collecting Easter Baggies for distribution to the homeless and transitional shelters through out Silver Spring and the District of Columbia.
These events “took” me back home where my friends kept pestering me to re-join the choir after I left the youth group. I remember with nostalgia the singing and dancing to the African drums, piano and beautiful, well-coordinated voices full of praise and thanksgiving, the church fully packed that people have to stand behind pews in church just so they can listen in and participate in mass. The church in America is barely full and most of those in attendance are fairly aged, the numbers of youth in the church are countable, which makes me wonder whether religion is truly the opium of the masses. My resolution is to take baby steps in participating in the church activities, and who knows by the time I leave for Kenya, may be – just maybe – I will have taught the young adults choir some African Christian song from home.