Local Missionaries in Kenya
Hard-hit by both drought and flooding, and then locust swarms, Kenya is an economic leader in Africa, and yet half of its population lives below the poverty level. Ailments associated with poverty such as malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition remain common threats, killing many children. Corruption in government is responsible for an inability to address these concerns.
Kenya has a diverse population of many ethnic groups. The largest native ethnic groups are the Kikuyu, Luhya, Kalenjin, Luo and Kamba. The northeastern border area with Somalia is inhabited by many ethnic Somalis, and Muslim extremists from Somali rebel group Al Shabaab or their sympathizers have launched many guerrilla attacks on migrant workers from the interior and other Christians.
English and Swahili are the two official languages, with many rural communities speaking their native ethnic languages. At least 69 languages are spoken in Kenya.
While 78 percent of the population identifies as Christian, many belong to nominal denominations, while others blend animistic tribal religions into their church practice. Islam, practiced by 10.9 percent of the population, is the country’s second-largest religion, with most Muslims living in either coastal areas or along the border with Somalia.
Indigenous missionaries are reaching more than 30 unreached people groups. They need assistance for training and support, Bibles, discipleship materials, and bicycles and motorbikes. Other ministry tools such as sound systems and projectors for gospel films are needed, along with simple structures for churches that meet outside.
To combat Kenya’s widespread poverty, ministries are undertaking income-generating projects to support their workers and the communities they are serving. One ministry seeks funding to supply goats so that 40 families can achieve economic stability. Another ministry plans to provide cows to 10 pastors. Local missionaries seek to provide poultry projects to 10 widows and sewing machines for 10 others who complete sewing classes. Local missionaries also seek assistance to provide a brick-making machine to youths who are helping to support their families by selling hand-made bricks. Workers are also providing food, clothing, medicine and education to the children of a community they hope to reach for Christ.
Missionaries and the people they’re serving have been devastated by natural disasters like locust swarms and drought, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. Hunger is widespread, and people must migrate or starve. Local workers are providing relief aid to the poor and helping orphans and other needy people with basic necessities and schooling.
Sources: Joshua Project, Wikipedia
How to Pray for
- Pray for churches to be unified, biblically grounded and sources of light and warmth in their communities, and that they will be kept safe from hostile animists or Islamic extremists.
- Pray that poor children will be become educated or learn trades so that they can obtain work that will lift their families out of poverty.
- Pray that local missionaries and those they are serving will survive COVID-19, drought, flooding and locust swarms and glorify God with their lives.
More stories from Kenya
In the face of illness, flooding and rampant false teaching, native Christian workers visited homes and villages to bring biblical truth to poverty-stricken people who found hope in Christ. “Through door-to-door evangelism, we meet people who are oppressed by the devil, and we encourage them to have faith in God through Jesus Christ,” the ministry leader said.
A gospel campaign over four days this year brought the message of salvation to 550 homes and individuals and 1,500 people in open-air events at a market center. “Our 400 Swahili Bibles were distributed to the new converts,” the ministry leader said. “We praise Jesus that we were able to plant a church among three sub-tribes on the slope of the Pokot tribe.”
Drought devastated the country last year, and native Christian workers helped hungry people to survive, providing thousands of liters of clean water and bags of dry corn, along with corn flour, beans and cooking oil, among other foods. This year many are again hungry as Kenya suffered its sixth straight failed rainy season, and native ministries are again meeting the needs of desperate people with the resources available.
A village chief in Kenya who had jailed Christians for years never heeded their message until he attended a funeral – officiated by a native worker he had often arrested. A member of the Teso tribe, the chief had arrested the pastor and other native Christian workers for 10 years for steering people away from tribal religious customs, the leader of the local ministry said. Addressing mourners at the funeral, the pastor spoke not only of the hope of eternity with Christ but the need of salvation from corruption, death and God’s wrath.