A team of 10 had a wonderful mission experience in Kenya during August 2009. The group, led by Clive & Ann McIntyre, included 5 from the UK, 4 from Romania and 1 from America. The first area visited was Eldoret. After a few days acclimatising and some mission preparation sessions, we started working with Peter Odhiambo. Peter moved from Mombasa last year to plant a church in Eldoret, under the banner of Barnabas East Africa. He faced some difficult challenges. Eldoret suffered immensely from the election riots the previous year and the community is still recovering even now. Then, within 6 months of moving there, Peter’s young wife, Rita, died. We appreciated the opportunity to work with Peter and other local Pastors who got together to organise a programme for us which included home visits, open-air meetings, church services and revival meetings. Talking to people that we met in the streets or in their homes proved to be very effective, as they were open to hearing about Jesus and how He could bring hope, healing and change. As a team, we felt we were productive in encouraging the local churches and heard afterwards that numbers attending Sunday meetings had increased. It was great that Sean & Joyce McIntyre were able to travel up from Mombasa to work with us in Eldoret. They returned to Mombasa to prepare for our time there later on while we travelled on to Uranga.
As in previous years, we were welcomed in Uranga by Baba Richard & Mama Mary who provided accommodation for us all in their home. We enjoyed simple living and basic facilities, but a real sense of closeness to God and fellow team members. From our base in Uranga, we were able to outreach the local vicinity as well as commute to Ugunja, where William Omollo is continuing with his ministry. Our time both in Uranga & Ugunja was well spent, with home visits, either planned or spontaneous, church meetings and various programmes for children, teaching for men and ladies plus a visit to a local hospital. We were well received at the hospital, where we prayed for those on the wards as well as a great number of people waiting to see a Doctor in the outpatients queue. On returning the next day, we were excited to find that so many people prayed for had been discharged. Beds had become available for new patients who we then prayed for. Whilst prayers for healings and salvations were rewarded, we also heard some sad stories from individuals that were emotionally difficult. We could not, of course, have stayed in Uranga without spending some time at Mama Bettie & Papa Jerry Duha School. After being shown around the school, we brought songs, a drama and teaching to the children and then had lunch with teachers and members of the school committee. Funding received through local Government grants and from the Parents’ committee has enabled the school to make a number of further improvements, which follow progress made as a result of funds previously provided through Barnabas supporters. After a week in Uranga, we moved on to Mombasa, spending one night in Kisumu on the way due to our early flight departure.
Our days in Mombasa were filled with further home visits, church services, open-air evangelistic outreach and revival meetings. We walked around two areas; stopping to talk with those we met to share the good news of Jesus. One was the area of Magongo, around the church site and the other was the area of Bokoli, where the church-owned plot of land is. Many invited us into their homes for prayers of healing & salvation. Sean talked about the vision for the plot of land which includes a school and the church community centre. It was encouraging to see work on the bore-hole had begun and we were pleased that funds had become available to commence work on a permanent structure for the church. This has to be God’s timing as the church was given notice to either vacate their current premises or pay an unreasonably higher rent with effect from 31st August. As we spoke to people living around the plot of land, it was clear that the new church would be welcomed and is much needed.
There are so many highlights from this mission. A man in Eldoret, previously a Pastor, had fallen away from the Lord but made a recommitment after spending about an hour talking through issues with members of the team. This resulted in a promise that part of the land he owned could be used by Peter to build a church, as this had been his original vision. Also in Eldoret, a man totally blind from birth was able to make out the light at the windows and identify objects in the room after prayer. In Mombasa, a man came forward for prayer; he had been suffering from pain in his leg for a couple of years and the bones could be felt clicking as hands were laid on him and he received healing. A woman visited in her home was found lying on her bed. She had been bed-ridden for a year after a fall; she was unable to eat and was extremely weak. She shared that bad Spirits had a hold on her and she was under a curse. After much prayer for deliverance and healing, she felt strength come into her body and was able to stand and walk, triumphantly praising the Lord. Another highlight, although completely unrelated to healings and salvations, was the opportunity to visit Mama Sarah, the grandmother of President Obama. Stopping at her home on our way from Uranga to Kisumu, we were able to ask her questions, take pictures and we even prayed for her.
Many other blessings were witnessed such as safe travelling and the amazing way in which we managed to avoid heavy rain showers and achieve the Lord’s work. Team members were encouraged to report back each day how many they led to the Lord in prayer and an overall total of 153 salvations were recorded. On hearing this at the debriefing session, we rejoiced in the fact that we had been able to serve an awesome God in such a powerful way, as fishers of men, as we read together John 21:11 “Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn”.