This past week my wife and I visited Kenya for a mission’s trip with the Christian missionary organization, International Commissions. The purpose of the trip was to visit with small churches in rural villages near the town Sultan Hamud and evangelize to locals with the assistance of their respective churches. During the course of this mission, my wife and I met some amazing people, witnessed to the lost and experienced the power of Christ as we had never seen before.
Upon arriving in Kenya, my wife and I were assigned to assist the local church of Kawawakata. After visiting with our church, we established a plan of action and set out with our national pastor from Mombasa and our local interpreter, Anton, to make visits. Although it was an arduous task, my wife and I worked to witness to all the villagers in the rural and mountainous region near Nunguni and disciple members of Kawawakata church. Our interactions with the local church members were enlightening to the way Kenyan culture operates and also many of the misconceptions present amongst Kenyan Christians.
Some of the misconceptions present among church members were disheartening, to say the least. Most of the villagers did not know what true salvation was, as described by Romans 10:9-13. Most people thought that simply attending church, tithing, doing occasional “good deeds” or even baptism alone were ways to be saved. With testimonies and witnessing materials in hand, my wife and I determined to change the false notions of salvation and spread the message of Christ and His salvation to as many people as possible.
I believe that many of the misconceptions were caused by the complete absence of bibles in the community. Fortunately, we were equipped with a few bibles in both English and Swahili to disseminate to schools and churches. The locals were more than grateful for the bibles and were eager to read them. This was particularly true of the young-adults (teenagers) who were overjoyed to have bibles to read and share.
Over the week of our mission, we were able to clarify the concept of salvation and personally lead 253 people to Christ, while the unofficial total commitments to Christ reported by all members of our group was nearly 5,890. We hiked many miles to visit schools, homes and other churches to speak with people and pray for them. I also had the opportunity to preach to and worship with our church daily. During this mission, the presence of the Holy Spirit was so great at times that full grown men were moved to tears.
I will never forget the words spoken to us by our church as we parted ways. As we were saying goodbye, our interpreter made a statement on the behalf of the church. He said, “Before you came to our church, we were like a baby, we couldn’t stand on our own two legs. We lacked strength and nourishment. But, now that you have come to us and fellow-shipped with us, we are strong and we can continue to carry the word of Christ to all who need him.”
My wife and I intend to continue to do mission work with IC. If you would like to donate to our efforts, please follow this link.
Also, many of the children in the surrounding villages had not seen white people before. This video shows their initial reaction to seeing white people, my wife and I, for the first time ever. While children in other areas went into hysterics after seeing us, due in part to old ghost stories, most children found it a very novel experience:
Joseph Andrew Miller is the oldest son of Joe Miller. He went on his first mission trip with his dad to the Philippines in 2005 and has been hooked ever since. Joseph Andrew is currently studying at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks with his wife Katrina. They are both in their last year of studies.