At the end of October I returned from a 12 day visit to encourage the ministry in Pokot North. It has been difficult to write this as there is too much! I hope to put more details on the website sometime. Cliff Barton, a Deacon from Belvidere Road Baptist in Liverpool, England, and Johan Mortensen from Denmark, accompanied me. Once again it was a very full time as we were able to visit 10 of the 12 places where there is a church and this involved some quite lengthy walks through the beautiful Kenyan bush. We continue to be thankful to God for devotion of the 5 trained leaders and their continuing unity. This has been one area of ministry where the work has progressed without any great problem since we officially got involved in 2000.
Every day there were many opportunities to minister the word of God, amongst the churches and the schools, both publicly and privately.
MINISTRY IN THE CHURCHES
I did all the preaching in the churches (22 times). It is all done through translation, something I have become very accustomed to. I take very basic themes, Imitating Christ, Prayer, Spiritual Warfare, Salvation by Grace. Because of the prevalent false teaching about the Holy Spirit I was asked to preach to help counter the errors – Being Filled with the Spirit, Work of the Spirit (Rm. 8:1-14), Fruit of the Spirit. There were some special evangelistic times – Prodigal Son, Call of Levi, Jn. 3:16. The last Sunday I was bold enough to seek to preach through the Sermon on the Mount in 3 messages, one chapter each time. The Lord was so gracious in helping me, giving me good health throughout, and receiving much appreciation from the hearers.
Although this is a remote area of Kenya the competition among churches is great. For example, we were the first to go to Wasat a few years ago. Now 4 other groups have come, and not content to put their building nearby, they also speak openly against Trinity. We are often a target of attack that we ‘do not have the Spirit’ because of our reverent worship style, something rare in Kenya today. I trust it is because of the solid teaching we give that none of the 30+ Wasat members have so far defected, yet they are all young Christians.
Kasepa ‘circle’ after preaching
Kasei church new building
Kapkewa joint Sunday service
Preaching at Kwirir
Joshua Sitet, Samuel Ng’etich & Isaiah Juma
Wazee (older men) at Wasat
Mzee at Chepkinagh Traditional Ladies at Kwirir
Apur church building and nursery school
Preaching at Kwirir
Andrew Chemolok’s house at Chepkinagh
There are 12 churches but only 3 trained church leaders and 2 others who have particular responsibilities in the Schools. Lord willing, we hope there will be 2 more who can be trained here in the Nairobi PTC beginning 2015. The brethren there also have the plan to start a training based on the Kamketo church. This can cater for those who do not have enough English facility to be in the Nairobi course. The church at Kasepa does not have a leader at all, as all the men eligible are polygamists. A new church has started at Kwirir near Wasat. We heard from the men at Kwirir that they have seen the change the gospel has brought to people in Wasat, and they would like to be brought such a good message. So the gospel is slowly penetrating and changing lives. There are yet more places that are calling our brethren to go with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
A church building project is underway at Kasei. The foundation has been laid and the walls are beginning to rise. A larger and more permanent building is needed, seating up to 300 because this is where we sponsor a Primary School and Secondary School. All the boarders attend the service. The Pokot brethren have pledged to provide about one-quarter of the cost and are praying that well-wishers will help them with the rest.
MINISTRY IN THE SCHOOLS
There are thousands of children registered in the Schools started by Trinity Baptist Church and we have a wonderful opportunity of ministering to them. The Kenya Government is unable to provide enough teachers so it is left to us to make up the shortfall. As a result we support over 30 teachers and in addition other staff.
New school buildings at Kasepa
Chepkinagh Primary School
Kasei Primary School
Kasei Boys’ Secondary School
Cliff & Johan spoke to the children in the 6 Primary Schools we were able to visit. 4 of these Schools have reached class 8, the final year of Primary education, when a very important exam is taken. All over the country a special time of prayer is arranged for these exam candidates and parents are expected to be present. It is of course a prostitution of true Biblical prayer. I asked the students what they wanted me to pray for – success was the obvious reply! I told them that I cannot do that as success also depends on how they have worked over the years, and what native ability God has given them. When you ask them what they want to grow up to be, for most it is a doctor, a lawyer, and engineer, because they know these are the professions with the money. I sought to warn them against the love of money.
The Government, through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is slowly putting up some permanent classrooms, but this is way behind the needs. The school at Kapterema has the full 8 classes but only 2 permanent classrooms, and another 3 of mud and iron sheets. Above everything else what is needed are the teachers, even if they have to teach under a tree. This is why we seek to make sure each class has a teacher.
We were encouraged in our visit to the Secondary School in Kasei although the boys were on half-term break. We were met and shown round by the Principal who is a very co-operative man who seems so interested in the school. There are more than 100 boys, and with the addition of the final class intake in 2014 it is reckoned there will be around 200, as the school is becoming popular. A dormitory is now complete, and a science laboratory nearing completion. But the best thing was to go into the ICT room and see 10 computers and all the equipment needed to use them! And this is a place that has no access to electricity, and the network is only a few years old. Isaiah Juma has a special responsibility to minister to these students. We suggested that we organize a special weekend of ministry for the students next year, and the Principal was encouraging for that.