Breathe in; can you taste it? What do you feel? How does it look? What do you hear? I taste salt and seaweed. I feel sticky and hot. I smell and hear the fresh salty breeze from the beautiful blue water on the coast. I also hear the sounds of the city invade the tranquil seaside. And I see the trash. This isn’t exactly a tidy tourist beach. When you are on the Kenyan coast it is a full experience of all the senses. Breathe in, can you taste it now?
We get in the car, windows down, and hear the sound of the nearby mosque calling for prayer. It is almost a chorus as you hear a multitude of mosques simultaneously from many directions. We start our drive down the coast. Today, we are going to see some villages that are part of a coastal missionary network and cooperative. The dream for this network, founded by Kenyan missionary and AIM ministry partner Peter Macharia, was to place one missionary about every 70km along the 700km coastline. Not only has that dream been realized, it has expanded tenfold – there are now over 100 missionaries serving in the coastal network.
Shortly into our drive we have a flat tire, so we pull over and sip on some Coke baridi (cold Cokes) in the shade while we wait for it to be repaired. Thankfully it was an easy fix and we are back on our way. Along the way towns are pointed out to us such as Kwale and Vega, where network ministry is happening. We make it as far as the Tanzanian border and swing north again, headed to a village called Shimoni, once a slave holding port. Just outside of Shimoni we stop for lunch and spiced tea. We meet with a missionary couple, part of the network, and observe one of their discipleship meetings with some locals. They use their farm as a business and a place to do ministry, a bi-vocational model that Peter has encouraged and fostered up and down the coast.