Visit to Olgumi TBC on 5th July 2015
With the Kivati family, Tedd and the whole Murungi’s family, we left shortly before 7.00am to Olgumi and we arrived at about 9.00am. Though the journey is less than 100KM from Greenfields, it took us two hours because we drove slowly and had time to view the wonderful Great Rift Valley and stopped at Mai Mahiu to buy a few items for the Kakoyia family. It is unfortunate that this had to be done on the Lord’s Day, but it is partly because the decision to go to Olgumi was done late Saturday, but also because we felt it necessary knowing that their shop is more than 10Km away. Most of the distance off the tarmac road (10km) was good except for the last 2km or so which was so bad for the church van, that was both fully loaded and low in ground clearance. This being a ungraded track, much skill was necessary to navigate the rough road.
We were well received at the Kakoyia’s home with the rich goat milk tea. At 11.00am the service began with prayer and singing. John (who is partially deaf and not so fluent in Swahili led the service). He led well, bearing in mind that the last time I visited them, he could not do much. It was interesting to see that they all move forward to sing. I was surprised that the congregation had shrunk to so few. Less than 15 adults but over 20 children were present. Sadly, the children were not taught separately. It was also shocking that all prayed together – they literally lifted their individual voices to pray. At some point there was also a time for various people to ‘great’ the church as well as give their testimonies, another charismatic tendency encroaching this dear church. Stephen himself rose up to ‘say something’ although many cannot make an head or tail of his noise. However, John and Peninnah (his wife) are able to decipher it. I was surprised that Peninnah and another woman were requested to share their testimonies before the church. But thankfully when she had some instruction from Kakoyia (whom she sat with) she whispered it to John. When I was given a chance to introduce the team, both Peter and I made sure that we spoke on behalf of our wives. In a few ways, the church has degenerated being without a qualified farmer to weed out the charismatic tares. It is so true that it takes a skilful gardener to produce a garden, but weeds will always come uninvited. O may the Lord raise up a good under-shepherd to tend this little flock.
Afterward I was invited to preach – the first from Luke 18:9-14 on the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, I sought to show that there are two types of people (those who self-justify themselves (the Pharisee) and those who are justified by God (the tax collector); and there are two types of religions (man-centred religion, Pharisaical) and God-centred religion (justification by faith alone, in Christ alone, by the grace of Christ alone). I was a surprised (albeit, nicely) when I was called up to preach a second time. This is because I had been told that there will be only one preaching session. Anyway, I took Acts 4:12 to emphasize salvation is in Christ alone. This is the true message of the gospel that offers true salvation or eternal life. I exhorted them not to fall into any other preaching.
After the services I was invited to survey the six acres of the land demarcated for the church (2acres) and the project (4acres) for the people living with disabilities. Stephen has been leading efforts towards the people with disabilities who are so marginalized in the area. Over 50 lorries of construction stones are already on the ground. They hope to begin construction next month! I was thankful to the Lord to see Stephen able to walk the whole distance for the last time I visited (earlier in the year) he could barely walk. Afterward I was invited to a closed-door meeting with Kakoyia, John, Isaiah and Daniel (all members of the church). With goat meat and soup, they pleaded with me to obtain a pastor for them – Kakoyia was in agreement (he can hear well), or if it is not possible then I relocate there to be their pastor myself! They said that it is absolutely necessary as John is the only one who has been preaching and they acknowledged that he is not gifted to be a pastor but has to fill the gap. They told me that the church has been desperately praying and our visit is one of their answers to prayer! When I asked them if they would be fine with someone who can’t speak Maa, they said that they will do everything to make him comfortable. In terms of immediate accommodation, they said that it is possible to get a place to live at the dispensary. Although they said that they may not be able to give a full support, they can give something – I did not get into specific details of finances, lest it be seen as if I was making a promise! Clearly they have thought through everything, and are in great need. Let us pray for them with our eyes open for a qualified and capable man for the task there.
We have to be help to these brothers both by prayer and practically. They only have us to take the gospel there and we shall be sinning if we deafen our ears. This church had more than 70 people attending (going by the last time I attended on a Sunday). They have planted two more churches, whose leaders also need some leadership. If a few of us could go at least once a month as suggested by the elders before, and as we plead with the Lord of the harvest to raise and send out labourers, then I suppose the immediate need will be met and stop further degeneration. This way we will keep in touch with them as we pray.
Murungi Igweta 6th June 2015