Book Review: One Trip to Kenya

A journey to Kenya with a "master storyteller".

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One Trip to Kenya
David Edgren

David Edgren is a master storyteller, so we know we will be treated well as readers as we set out on a journey to Kenya with him and his group. In One Trip to Kenya, we will be entertained, engaged and educated, moved and motivated and—perhaps less expectedly—prompted to new insights into Bible stories, the heart of God, and our responses to suffering and injustice in our world.

The three-week journey narrated in One Trip to Kenya began on Christmas Day, 2016, visiting two key locations in the work of Education Care Projects–Kenya, an Australian-based charity run by Carole and Leon Platt. Edgren got to know the Platts and their work while a speaker at different camp-meetings around Australia, and they invited him to join them on a trip to tell stories to the children they support and, in turn, to tell the children’s stories to their Australian supporters.

One Trip to Kenya intersperses Edgren’s journal entries from the trip with specific and personal stories of Kenyan children and those who work to help give them greater life opportunities. It’s a lively and not-always-comfortable ride, with an animal safari to round it out.

A key motif introduced and repeated in Edgren’s storytelling along the way comes from the parable of “lost things” (see Luke 15). These three stories have greater meaning among the herdsmen of the Masai, among those who know that a single coin can protect against starvation, and among orphans who have not known the generous and accepting love of a parent. But, amid the countless stories of lostness that Edgren and his group encounter, these stories also show the value of finding the one lost thing.

As such, One Trip to Kenya is a poignant reminder of the preeminence of compassion and love in action and the difference we can each make in the world, even if only in the life of one other person. It’s a journey worth sharing.

One Trip to Kenya is available from Adventist bookstores in Australia and New Zealand.