I visited 23rd. September to 1st. October 2014 having delayed a couple of months because of my operation.
(1) Peter Kivati accompanied me. He and his wife are fairly new members of TBC Nairobi. Before he came to see the Reformed Faith as the Biblical Faith he was active in ministry with Life Ministries (Campus Crusade). Seeing the way we preach and evangelize has revolutionized his thinking. He is due to start the PTC in January and has long desired to work amongst an unreached people like the Rendille. It was such a wonderful opportunity for him and we pray the Lord will lead him and the church as we consider the future.
(2) We spent a few days in Korr, the main centre for the Rendille people. We have a church here with about 15 members and we are in the process of putting up a permanent building. Most of the members rely on Nairobi financially, either because of the work they are doing in the church or school, or they are widow or destitute. Sarah recently moved to Nairobi with her children because it is where she can find work to support the family. The 3 leaders are trying hard, regularly visiting in Korr and in the all the goobs (villages) that surround it. We have encouraged them to walk the 20+ kms. to Farakoren and Dubsahaay Chaule, goobs where we are the only ones ever to have preached. But they are untrained, and 2 of them have no formal education. So the church is weak, but still we believe the Lord is able to use them so long as they are true to the Scriptures and so preach the truth as it is in Jesus. We had been hoping that Khobocha would start training for the ministry in the PTC next year, but he has decided to train as a teacher so that he can help his family to come out of their poverty. So we continue to wait prayerfully for the Lord to raise up a man able to lead the work in the Korr region. Stephen Silamo has recently rejoined TBC Nairobi and he and his wife would like to return home to minister in Korr. He is presently studying and has the opportunity of an hour each week on the public radio channel in which he is going through the Gospel of Mark in the Rendille language.
(3) Lekuchula is one of the first places I visited back in 1998, about 25 kms. south of Korr at the foot of Bayo mountain, and I have visited regularly. This was frankly an awful visit with a very nasty public dispute about the 3 teachers we employ in the Nursery and small Primary School. We had also been told that nothing takes place Sunday to Sunday although we had recognized a leader there. One lady who has been such a great support seems to have been covering this up. There is a lot of drinking of vodka-like spirits as seen in the discarded sachets and small plastic bottles lying around. When we challenged one of the leaders of the goob about this he simply lied through his teeth that there is no such thing. This scourge is happening in many parts of Kenya, and of course we know the fruit of it. How desperately the gospel of saving grace is needed. We need to get the School registered with the Government (now County not National) in order to have a continuing influence in the place until the Lord raises up a preacher here.
(4) Ndikir is the goob where Brother Raphael Bulkash and his family live amongst the section of the Rendille called Ariaal whose first language is Kisamburu and not Kirendille. He has seen very little tangible fruit although the word of God has been spread far and wide. A charity called Kind Fund, working with us, has a private school here and with permanent classrooms now being put up we believe this will give stability to the community. We are looking to see how we can put up a permanent house for our faithful brother and his family. Raphael’s younger brother Samuel has been helping in Ndikir for a couple of years since finishing High School and he was also set to start the PTC in Nairobi in January but has decided to train as a teacher. Raphael comes down to Nairobi every other month to record radio programmes in Kisamburu to be aired over TWR.
(5) In my evaluation of this most recent visit we were encouraged by the faithfulness of the few brethren. But the work is hard and demands faith that the word of the gospel will bring forth fruit in the Lord’s own time. The Rendille are very resistant to change being very satisfied with their own traditional religion, believing they are good people before God. There are challenges from the few other churches that are working in the general area. I have read one report of more than 90 baptized by an American visitor, yet when I asked the pastor on the ground he said he has only one man and possibly a few women who are saved. We are having to ask questions. Are we putting our efforts where we should or are they too widely spread? Should we give up some things we are doing? Are we preaching exactly the right message, with the right emphasis? For example, should we be even more forthright in showing the emptiness, even idolatry, of the traditional practices? Most others seem to ignore them and just want people to profess faith in Christ.
I am sorry that there are no photos with this report on Rendille. I am not able to format them at the present time, but I have put an album on my Facebook for those who are my friends.