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Nairobi News : November 4th 2013
news Train to glory keeping spirits on right track Church on rails. If you want to travel from the CBD to Embakasi while experiencing ‘spiritual nourishment’, wagons 3 and 7 are the place to be LYNET IGADWAH, NairobiNews firstname.lastname@example.org A s the Embakasi commuter train huffs and puffs on the railway, the last thing one would expect on it is a church in session. Christians from various denominations assemble in two of the wagons as the locomotive heads to its destination, either in town or Embakasi. While some commuters may be caught unawares when the sessions starts, others know what to expect. Joel Masinde, a first timer on the “spiritual wagon” says it took a few minutes for the whole thing to register in his mind. “Some fellow began singing. I thought he had gone crazy but soon others joined in,” he says. Bethlehem and Jerusalem are the names adopted for train wagons 3 and 7, where congregants are treated to songs and homilies. A preacher soon takes to the floor to give a sermon. Whenever he utters a ‘powerful’ statement, the travellers respond in one accord, depicting a scene from a typical church setting. Some of them are standing because the train is always congested but when it is time for worship, all that ceases to matter. So deeply engrossing are the praise and worship sessions that some worshipers ‘speak in tongues’ as many more are moved to tears. Unlike the ritual in a typical church, the congregants here do not give offerings. “We are not here for financial gain, rather for spiritual nourishment,” says Antony Baraza, a pastor in the Bethlehem wagon. Various capacities The only time worshippers are called upon to give is when one of them is in need. Zion Fellowship is the name worshippers in the two wagons assume during the evening ride. Church members serve in various capacities depending on their roles in their mother churches. Members here include pastors, intercessors, ushers, praise and worship team and church elders. “This fellowship started five years ago after we realised Nairobians have minimal time dedicated to serving their creator,” says Bramwel Mukhongo, a founder member. The ride from Embakasi to the Railway Station takes an hour and this is “enough time to find peace” according to Pastor Mukhongo. “We all have issues bothering us but once we partake in God’s word, we experience tranquility,” he concludes. Strengthening bonds Things in the church follow organised procedure and it soon occurs that there is a written programme to guide worshipers. A coordinator from the group draws up the programme to run the church, something he does on a weekly basis. Once in a while the group organises outdoor retreats to strengthen their bond, as well as visits to hospitals and orphanages. Organisation of the church Programme to run activities • Things in the train church are not done hapzardly. They follow an organised procedure. A first time traveller will soon realise that there is a written programme to guide the worshippers and pastors alike. A volunteer coordinator from the group draws up the programme. Sometimes he does a programme that can run for a whole week. According to Pastor Antony Baraza, once in a while, the group organises outdoor retreats to strengthen its bond. He adds that on some occasions, they visit hospitals and orphanages. morning after a commuter train stalled. The train stopped a few metres before the Donholm pick up point after engine failure. The incident forced Anger at RVR after engine stalls T LYNET IGADWAH, NairobiNews email@example.com here was confusion in Donholm on Friday arrived from town. The train pulled up at the station at 9.10am instead of 8am. “Rift Valley Railways needs to up its. I wish the management knew how they are seriously messing with our schedules,” said a distraught commuter. For the past one week, the hundreds of commuters who usually rely on the train to seek alternative means to town. It was, however, a blessing for bodaboda operators. Passengers who opted to stay aboard the train had to wait for for more than an hour before another engine Embakasi village commuter train has been experiencing delays on its arrival and departure times. Amos Nduati, the Station Master at RVR laid all the blame on the Mechanical department. “The mechanics are saying they are not given enough (Top) A prayer session in the morning. (Left) Pastor Antony Baraza. | Denish Ochieng, NairobiNews Monday, November 4, 2013 NAIROBINEWS.CO.KE 5 time to service the engines before releasing them to us,” said Nduati. The Mechanical Department repairs defective engines, fuels them and generally ensures they are up to standard. Mr Nduati assured RVR clients that all will be well soon. On Thursday, a day after the Mutindwa train crash, commuters to Kikuyu boarded their train an hour past the scheduled departure time. While the train was scheduled to depart at 6.05 pm, it left the station at 7.10 pm.
November 11th 2013