As many of you are aware, I recently returned from a trip to Kenya along with Rev. Barbara Samuel who is one of the co-pastors of CSL Kenya. I am on the CSL Kenya Board and am the liaison between the CSL Kenya Board and its Kenyan arm, the Conscious Living Foundation. It was truly a blessing to be able to travel with Rev. Barb and to participate in this wonderful opportunity.
Rev. Barb asked me many, many times to travel with her, but I couldn’t see this out-picturing. I seemed to be stuck with a firm belief that it would be quite an expensive undertaking, and I already had my sights set on attending the 2024 Conference. I talked about the possibility of this trip quite often, but noticed that I was talking about it as if it were an impossibility and not a possibility.
But, Rev. Barb had planted a seed, and this seed was sprouting. As a practitioner does when confronted with a decision, I put this to prayer. “Am I not a practitioner?” I asked myself; and then “do I want to go? YES!” I knew at that moment that somehow this was going to happen; I felt the shift in my consciousness. And, funnily enough, the next day I received the final amount due from an inheritance! It wasn’t enough to cover the whole cost, but it was enough for me to tell Rev. Barb: “I am in.”
I am blessed to work with our wonderful leadership team that made it possible for Rev. Barb, myself, and Rev. Jeanette to all be away at the same time (this has never happened before).
I have missed you all while I have been away, but made a point of sharing my day-to-day experiences through my photographs posted on Facebook and Instagram. Here are a few photos (click to enlarge and view as slide show).
As many of you have asked for me to share my experiences, I am sharing a few highlights here.
I challenged my fear of heights when crossing the “swinging bridge” between the Maasai Lodge (had to walk through lion territory to get there) and the Kitengela Hot Glass Studio where you can watch glass blowing and see their creations. I prayed for calm and peace and made it both ways without hitch.
We checked out attractions for the 2024 CSL Kenya Conference to add new options as well as including favourites from the last conference (Karen Blixen Museum and Ocean Sole are a couple of the new experiences). Our community is global and with Canadians, Americans and visitors from other countries, this will show how global Centers for Spiritual Living truly is.
We had a Leadership Board Retreat where we really got to know each other and be open and vulnerable using the Science of Mind principles in all leadership matters.
We got to know our office staff, Nancy, and Rev. Connie’s right-hand man, Lameck, really well as we journeyed to Kisii and Kisumu with them, visiting our CSL Kenya community and experiencing their hospitality and traditional dishes. We also had a small viral video which Barb recorded of us all singing in the car to Martin Kerr’s song “You’re Amazing” as we drove to Kisii.
When Rev. Barb and I visited the Briton School, the students and staff all decided to give us names in Kisii as well as a beautiful Kenyan dress each. Rev. Barb was named “Kwamboka” – she who travels over many rivers. I was given the name “Nyanchama” – she who travels over the skies, and we were blessed with the children’s singing and dancing. We were very moved to spend our day at the school and wished we had more time to spend there. Our Ministerial students will be teaching there on a regular basis using the Science of Mind in their classes.
We taught Ministerial class in-person, had fun, sang, the students presented talks and we all spent some time going really deep in conversation.
And… we got stuck in the mud on the Maasai Mara, had to get another vehicle to help us out. We were circled by vultures as we waited on the Mara and had our lunch but they decided none of us was hurt and therefore not food!
There is so much more to share about this magnificent country with its beauty, friendly and welcoming people. This is just a brief review of our “Sister Centre, CSL Kenya” from our travels. How deep mine and Rev. Barb’s love for this community is. We are One People, Canadians, Americans, Kenyans and globally.
Rev. Melody Bailey
Copyright © 2023 Centre for Spiritual Living Kelowna. All rights reserved.