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
A 29-year-old man recently ran into the midst of a local ministry’s evangelistic event and began confessing that he had killed six young women. Ministry leaders prayed for him as he cried out, while some in the growing crowd moved closer to try to lynch him. Police arrested him, and in the course of his prosecution he put his faith in Christ. He was one of 1,500 people saved over the six months of the ministry’s evangelistic outreaches, resulting in the planting of 22 churches. Workers throughout the country need donations of $25 or $50 for the means to proclaim Christ and disciple those who believe. Pray new Christians will find role models for a lifetime of faith.
A series of murders of children and young women prompted a three-day prayer event in a town in western Kenya. Church members and community leaders were praying for safety when a young man burst in and confessed to raping and killing six young women. The local missionaries and other leaders prayed for deliverance and salvation as the man’s anguished cries drew more people to the meeting tent – including some bent on lynching him and burning his body.
The pastor of a native ministry’s church in Kenya was returning home from a visit with troubled villagers in the dark of night when four young men stopped him. He was known as the one people went to when they had any problem, but the four robbers who stopped him saw him only as a lone target in the dark. “Four young men ambushed him and wanted to rob him, but after one recognized him, he stopped the other three,” the director said.
A year ago this month, a 72-year-old villager in Kenya known as Shaaban woke up unable to speak.
A sorcerer with a reputation for causing the ruin and even deaths of many people through black magic, Shaaban was certain he was the victim of a retaliatory spell.
His wife sought advice from their neighbor, who advised her to seek prayer from a native ministry’s church pastor.