Friday, December 21, 2007

The Hard-Easy thing called Skating.

Growth and development in human beings has several stages. The first is of course conception, all the way to the last which is old age. When a kid is born, it is always received with joy and celebration. But the kid always demands a lot of attention as he/she grows up.

Toddlers are known for crawling around the house and trying out everything and turning things upside down in the house. But there is always celebration as well when they begin walking (not sure it is the right English word.). My mum told me that I began walking when I was one year old. This is how it was when Our friend Tom took us skating.

These memories flooded my mind when I went skating today for the first time. Walking on the hard ice was impossible for me just the way it was before I was one. I felt stupid that I couldn’t just walk on the ice. I mean, it is just walking!!!! All the same, I came to understand that I have to go back to the basics just the way it was when I was one. I fell down many times in my futile attempts.

Three Skating Teachers.

I had almost given up when I began talking to some three Norwegian girls. I think they were about 7 or 8 years old. I can’t speak much Norwegian, but they all the same gave me some skating lessons. They explained to me what I should do, and it actually worked to the excitement of both of us. They were school kids, and it was very disappointing when they had to go. They said numerous bye byes, and I just wished they could teach me more. They were adamant of leaving until their teacher had to take them away because they were going somewhere else.

Well, am not sure I will meet any of them again. They deserve all the credit for making me gain confidence to do some skating. They are my three little skating instructors and I will forever remember them.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Destination on Fogn Island.

Living on an island in any particular place is always a challenge. The main reason is always inadequate infrastructure like roads among other things. There is always the fear that people will be cut off from the main land or the neighbouring islands if that is the case.

Fogn is such an island. However, it is not an island deprived of infrastructure as stated. It has good roads, though some of them are quite narrow. It takes about 30 minutes by boat from Stavanger. It is an island with about 300 or more people. When we visited a friend’s family last weekend I observed how life is so different on this island from the mainland in Stavanger. Well, at least there are several boats going to the island and several ferries in a day, thus the island is not cut off from the main land.

On this island, life is quite different from the main land. The people have most of what the main land have such as internet and other facilities. But the main difference is the lifestyle. It was quite surprising to know that people are very dependent on each as opposed to the general perception that Europeans are individualistic. The people can borrow vehicles from each other. They also help each other in running small errands. For instance, if a neighbour is going to the main land Stavanger and you need something that is not available on the island, it is a common scenario to send your neighbour to get it for you.

And this is the place I shall be for four days during Christmas. It is the perfect place for one to be for Christmas, and I really look forward to that. The family we shall be with is just great. The mother of the home really likes singing and she sings so well. I really look forward to singing Christmas songs during this year’s celebrations.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Prayer Meeting.

The practise of Christianity in Norway is diverse just as it is in any other country. This is because of the differences between the Christians in Norway. This is also observed in the student group that we work with.

We had a prayer meeting last week where about 15 students attended. It was good to see that all of us that were there expressed ourselves before God in many different ways.

Candles making the cross during the meeting.

Singing during the meeting.

Time to thank God.

We had plenty of time to thank God for the many good things this year. God has been gracious to all of us through out the year, and we were filled with gratefulness as we looked back at the past and saw God’s faithfulness. This gave us confidence to face the future that is uncertain, but we can certainly make it by faith.

The students are now away on for the Christmas break. I look forward to January. I believe that God has great things for us during Christmas and New Year.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christmas is here with us.

It is Christmas time, despite it being so early in December. Norway is a Christian state and therefore Christmas is a deep cultural practise. There are a lot of things that come with this religious and at the same time cultural activity.


People began shopping for Christmas as early as November. Actually, some shops had Christmas stuff long before November. Shopping is of different kinds. From the food that will be eaten to good dress that will be worn during Christmas. Many people also shop for Christmas gifts. It is as if everybody must get at least a gift from either a friend or a family member.

Advent and the Christmas Calendar.

Advent begins on the first day of December. This is a period of waiting for the birth of Jesus.
On these 24 days, there is a Christmas calendar that helps the people get ready for Christmas. For kids, there is a calendar that has surprise gifts everyday. They can also have an activity calendar where they get to do something, especially when they are not at school. For the grown ups, there is a calendar to help you plan all through the advent period, including shopping and sending and gifts.

The unfolding Surprises.

What remains is to see the unfolding activities in this month in the Norwegian culture. I know there are many things that are to happen during this time, and I look forward to learn from them. My greatest desire is that this will be a time to deeply reflect on the love of Jesus Christ, and that he will take the centre stage in all these celebrations.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


We went to Denmark a week ago for a conference. The conference brought together the five Nordic countries. They include; Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Iceland. The students who attended were from the IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students) movements in the respective countries. The conference began on Friday and ended on Sunday.

The theme of the conference was Evangelism as a lifestyle. I attended a track on Glad you asked. It was a good blessing to learn that Andy, the guy who was facilitating the seminar, had been in Kenya in the summer of 1999 working with the IFES movement in Kenya. The track was meant to help us use the tool glad you asked as a way of reaching out to our friends who are not Christians. It was further to help us apologetically share the love of Christ.

The emphasis in the seminar I attended was relational evangelism. This basically is where one purposefully decides to reach out to the people in one’s environment. Some of the mind searching questions we discussed included;

Does God matter?

Does God exist?

How can God allow pain and suffering?

Relational evangelism is a spiritual journey. One walks with his/her friend or neighbour who is not a Christian from a state of unbelief in God to a state of believe in God through Jesus Christ. This is not by any means a one day event. It is a long term event. Further, relational evangelism is backed by commitment to prayer and the desire to obey our Lord’s command; ‘… go and make disciples of all nations…’

In the course of the journey, one may not be able to answer all the questions asked by the seeker. It is however fulfilling to know that as you walk together, the seeker will get to learn more from you and your interaction and relationship with God. Even though not all the people reached in this way have become Christians, it is encouraging to know that some of them have become Christians. As co-workers with Christ, this shall always keep us sharing the love of God; ‘…for Christ’s love compels us…’ (2nd Corinthians 5:14).

Small group discussions during the conference.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


We had a joint meeting between all Christian students in the University last week. There are more that three student groups in the University. The groups are Laget, New Generation and the Christian Union among others. The groups meet every Tuesday between 1200 and 1400hrs.

On this day, there were more than 120 Christian students gathered. This was indeed a great occasion because this has not happened before; at least for the time we have been around. Of course there are more students who are Christians that didn’t turn up. Organisation for the meeting was motivated by the fact that Christian students will be encouraged to be stronger in their faith. Furthermore, the gathering will be an indication that after all they are many, even though they may look fewer in their respective groups.

A group of students gathered for the fellowship.

The preaching was done by the university chaplain, Mr. Steffan. He talked mainly about Jesus being the prince of peace. This implies that since he is the prince of peace, then we should be instruments of peace wherever we go as Christians. He used some video clips to show how lack of peace has resulted in a lot of suffering worldwide. Furthermore, he said that even though we should be agents of peace, we should begin this by having peace that surpasses human understanding, which only God gives through Jesus Christ.

This sharing was enriching and challenging at the same time. From some brief discussions with students, I came to realise that they were yearning to be involved in world peace. My prayer is that as they try to do this, they will have peace from God that surpasses human understanding.

Friday, November 9, 2007


Staff Meeting; Sandefjord.

We attended a staff meeting for the IFES movement here on the 2nd of November. All the LAGET staff came to thank God for the far that has brought the student movement. A lot of time was spent in prayer for the ministry and for each. It was so refreshing just to pray together with each other.

All the students (Staff) on exchange were in one group. This was a moment of reflection with each other since we had been away from each other for more than a month. We are a total of eight on exchange.

The reunion; Thiago, Sany, Ivana, Faith, Marija, Me and Pamela.
We took this photo after prayers by the ocean.
Get Focussed Conference.

While at Sandefjord, we attended a conference at Tornsberg, a neighbouring city. This was a conference that encourages young people to get focussed more so with what they do with their lives. It was amazing to see hundreds of young people gathered worshipping God. Surely there are great worshippers in Norway. The worship was so awesome such that I really wanted to be left behind, especially when we had to go back before the end of the meeting because we had to drive to the place we were spending.

Praise and worshp at the conference.
The weekend was helpful in many ways. I will however mention two of them;

I understood more about student work in Norway. Interacting with the Staff enabled me to know the dynamics of student ministry and how best I can be involved to be effective.

An understanding of Christian youth in Norway. I had not seen as many young people gathered to worship as I saw over the weekend. Most young people here don’t go to church, but attend Christian meetings in the course of the church. I don’t know why they don’t go to church, but at least I know that they get their spiritual nourishment from the many Christian meetings they attend.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


It has beet a bit confusing at times since I came to Norway. But not as confusing as Sunday. Tom, a friend of ours was supposed to get us at 1315 so that we go to attend a Sunday service. Yes; a Sunday service. The church we were going to normally has services at 1400 hrs.

I woke up in the morning and checked my watch. I switched on the computer to listen to some music. When I looked at the clock, I realised that there was a difference of one hour with my watch. I suspected that something was wrong.

At 1345 when he was supposed to get us, my phone rang. I didn’t expect him to call at that time. What we expected was the doorbell. All the same, he said that he will be getting us in one hour. I immediately thought the service had been moved by one hour. No! The service was still at 1400hrs! Time had just been shifted by one hour.

What was the most confusing was the way time had shifted by one hour. I have studied physics and I know the time regions and the accompanying dynamics in time determination. I just couldn’t understand how one hour can just be lost like that!! I tried to get a scientific explanation to no avail. I was trapped. I just couldn’t buy the one hour shift business. It was scientifically impossible!!!

I had to send a text message to a friend in Kenya to confirm what time it was. This was after checking the internet and confirming the tImes.

All the same, the explanation was so simple. On every last Sunday of October, the time is set back by one hour. This is to deal with the coming winter-more light. The same is done towards the beginning of summer-they add one hour. I have never been this confused!!!

It was a human explanation and not a sceintific explanation after all.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I celebrated my 25th birthday yesterday. It was a good moment of knowing the far that God has brought me. It was a nice time to celebrate my birthday away from home. It was so different. I celebrated the birthday in the office with Sammy, Gunn Elin, Sigurd and other staff members.

At the house, I celebrated with my housemates; Einar, Finn, Sverre and Ingunn. Tone and her husband Leif joined us as well.
It was a solemn party, bearing in mind that am now a quarter a century old.
The birthday cake.

The birthday boy cutting the cake

I received a number of gifts from my friends. Tone and her husband bought me two movies. Thye are very good!! My housemates bought me two tickets for the Cinema, which is called Kino here. Last but not least, the Laget students bought me a fishing line. I hope to go fishing one of these days. We just live by the ocean

Me, the proud owner of a fishing line.

My prayer is that God will continue to be gracious to me and he will enable me to live to fulfill His purposes in my life.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Knowing Stavanger.

We had a long day tour of Stavanger. We were taken around by a friend of ours called Tom. He is a great guy. He works as a cabin crew with SAS. We were able to visit different places within and without Stavanger. The tour is shown below in pictures.

The beginning;

The trip begun with a drive,

Then the first stop; in a myriad of boats. Norway has alot of waters. This has necessitated Norwegians owining so many boats. There are boats almost all over the coastline and many household own boats. Norwegians also do alot of fishing. Some bigger boats are used for fishing, either for fun or for commercial purposes.

Then came a number of stops. These stops were for for taking photos. We were shown to many different historical sites. Most of these sites have been a

defining moment for the history of Stavanger and Norway at large. Norway is not to have been home to the iron man. As you can see below. This man lived in a cave. This cave has been given a nickname of the Norwegian apartment.

In the Cave.
With the iron man.

This iron man lived in the 'apartment' above. The 'house' actually had two floors.

Unification of Norway.

Norway's history goes back to hundreds of years back.

Unification took place in 872 A.D. This

whan Norway came togetner under one king. This came after a great fight, in which one king won, and therefore became the king of the whole of Norway. The three swords have been put at the sight where the battle was won.

World War II and Hitler's teeth.

Norway was among the European countries that were affected by world war II. German soldiers occupied it for the better part of the war. In an effort to counter an attack by the prospective enemies, the Hitler men put up stones next to the sea, so that they could be able to stop attackers coming in from the Sea. These stones, covering a number of kilometres along the coast in Stavanger, have come to be called Hitler's teeth.

I was standing on one of them in the photo below.

The End.

The day ended well, with lots of excitement.

Am a 'strong' man. As you can see below, only a strong man can lift such a big rock!!!
Joseph the Strong Man.

Many Norwegians including students like going out on trips and camps especially during weekends. Knowing these visited places has enhanced my understanding of Stavanger and Norway at large. I hope that having known this will enable me to interect with students all the more.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


I have been in Stavanger for almost two weeks now. It has been fun knowing Stavanger and getting used to the way things are here. We have been able to meet many people especially students from the University. Among them them is Knut, who took us to Preikestolen. This is a flat rock tha is 604 metres above the sea level.

Preikestolen sketch.

Knut is a student at the University in Stavanger. He is studying petroleum technology.

The day was brifht as we walked up. It is October and it is off course fall. Most of the trees with normal leaves are shedding them in preparation for winter which is coming very soon. The sceneries were so beautiful as we went up. It took us more than two hours to walk up to the prekeistolen.

A photo showing the beautiful scenery that is a result of fall. The leaves which are green, turn to different colours before dropping to the ground.

When we were beginning the trekk, I didn't know that it will take us too long to get up. All the same, it was refreshing to walk in the fresh air of the mountains. After more thatn two hours of walking, talking, resting, eating ald laughing,we finally got there; The Prekeistolen.

Prekeistolen is a famous destination for many tourists. There are many people going up there. The people are of different nationalities and they come et differnt times. For instance, as we began our climb, we met with other people who prabably had been there earlier to see sunrise. On our way back, we met many others who were probably going to see sunset.

As you would guess, we got to the top tired and hungry. We definately needed something to rejuvenate our bodies, and some quick berbecue did the trick. I haven't done berbecue before. You can however notice how a good speactator I was as Samy and Knut (pictured) prepared the fire for the berbecue.

After eating, we got an opportunity to look below the fjord . Due to my fear of heights, I could only view it on my stomach. It was so surprising to see how strong some of the people were.

You can be sure that my looking down at the fjord took alot of Courage. All the same, the good thing was that the trip ended when I was in one piece, and I was glad to have seen amazing sites of God's creation.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Preaching in a Norwegian Chuch.

I got an opportunity to preach in a Norwegian church on 23rd September. The church is situated in Mandal, south of Norway. The church is attended by mainly elderly people. The young people normally have their meetings on friday since they dont prefer being in the church. It was good to speak to such a congregation, something that I was doing for the first time. I preached in English but managed afew Norwegian woords of introduction. It was a privilege to preach with Inger Jahanne. She is the principal at Hald Internatioa Center, and she translated for me.

Me and the principal.
There are 13 coutries represented at Hald. The flags of these different countires were displayed all over the church. The Madagascar flag can be seen on the pulpit. Of course you can see the Kenyan flag cospicously as shown below. Surely, am proud to be Kenyan. Other flags could not be seen in the photo.
Well, all I say is thank you for the Opportunity to preach. It helped to understand more about Norway and The Norwegian Church.

Kenyan flag in the church.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Stavanger, our place of internship.

On 15th, I and Sammy visited Stavanger. It is the city in which we shall live for the next six months beginning 28th September. I dont much of its history, but it is a city with ancient buildings. One of the ancient buildings is a church, shown below.
Another thing is that there are many iron men. I dont know what they symbolize, but I hope to learn about them with time. Some of the iron statue are shown below.

My friends Torstein and Inki in Stavanger.

We shall be living in a well furnished apartment, 15 minutes' drive out of the city centre. It is surrounded by good green fields that are beautiful to behold. Below are ptotos of the rooms and the fields.

Joseph (myself), standing in a field outside our apartment in Stavanger.

Social gathering of students at Stavanger.

Unuversity of Stavanger where we shall be working with Sammy.
I really look forward to going to Stavanger this friday, a place we shall be living their for the next six months.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Learning Norwegian Language.

Languge and Culture.

Language is one of the major constituents of any culture. Although there are so many ways in which communication can be non verbal, no culture can be willing to forego this beautiful God Given gift.

Becoming Norwegian.

Thus learning Norwegian is part of becoming Norwegian. Learning a new language is not easy. It really needs alot of effort. I ahve been learning Norwegian since we came. Monica has been teaching us in class. However, to practise and learn more, I have a 'personal' teacher. Her name is Ingrid. She is a Lady full of Energy as you can see in the Photo below.


There are off course many other Norwegian students that have helped to practise speaking Norwegian. My regards go to all of them.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Home, and Home away from Home.


Home away from Home.
I have been in Norway for the last 4 weeks. Norway is a beautiful country on the North of Europe. This country is beatiful. It is green all over now that the summer is just ending. I have been living in the south of Norway, at a place called mandal. This is where hald international school is. It has been good being here because I have learned so much so far.
I have been so observant here, and I am really learning alot from that. I hope to really get to know Norway.
There are 67 students at hald this year. These students are drawn from different countries. It has been good interacting with people from very different cultures.


I have lived in Kenya for the last 24 years. I come from the Western part of this very beautiful country. My character has actually been formed from this country.
When I was young, my mum and the teachers of the school that I attended always insisted that because a person had two ears and one mouth, one was required to listen more and talk less. I took up this from them and it has really shaped me. Something that they also taught me was always make conlusions from extensive observations. It has been fun practising those old tricks.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Namutala in Norway.

Am finally in Norway. It is now 23 days after I got here. Life is pretty different here and i have been spending most of my time trying to get used to the culture. I have been learning alot of Norwegian. It is not an easy language to leran but i like it all the same. It is very different from English. It has 29 letters in the alphabet, in addition to the 26 in English. We have been learn Norwegian in Class here at Hald. I have also been doing alot of practice outside class.