You gave, you prayed and impacted the people of Kenya in more ways than we can imagine.
The trip was a powerful time of teaching, training, equipping, ministry, and practical service, all rolled into two weeks.
Although we traveled together, Alan and I had different focus's while we were there. Therefore, you will have a report from each of us rather than a combined report.
Also, we cannot thank the Tocco's enough for the time we were able to spend with them and the opportunity to be part of the powerful ministry they are doing in Kenya.
On to the reports!
During our two week trip to Kenya, I had the privilege of serving both Word Ablaze Bible Institute and Ekenywa. With World Ablaze, I assisted in constructing the steel frame for a new guest house for future teachers to continue God’s work in training pastors and leaders from numerous African countries.
During the second week of our trip, I assisted Ekenywa with water sustainability projects at two different schools, Naka School, and Uhola Primary School. In Nakuru County, Naka School is one of the poorest schools with limited access to water for their 350 students. Ekenywa’s project at Naka School is to capture rainwater from the roofs of the school buildings and pipe them into a water storage system for use in sanitation and drinking water. This project involved trenching for water pipe, installing 10,000- liter water tanks and installing the plumbing from the roof downspout pipes to the water tanks and wash station.
Ekenywa’s second project was ongoing at Uhola Primary School, located in Siaya County, western Kenya. This was a borehole project to provide clean drinking water to Uhola Primary School as well as 1,000 local community members. The borehole was drilled and the water tower installed before my trip to the school. During our two days at Uhola Primary School, we removed the manual water pump and installed an automatic water pump that can provide 6,000 liters of water per hour. In addition, we installed the plumbing, filter unit, control panel, and electrical wiring to connect the pump to the water tower. This will provide a continuous source of clean drinking water with 20,000 liters of available water storage capacity.
Throughout both water projects for Naka and Uhola School’s, the Lord directed my attention to the faces of the students. So often we take for granted something as simple as clean water. If I, or most any American, were to drink the water that these students have had to drink on a regular basis it would make myself and us very sick due to contamination issues. But the Lord’s work through Ekenywa means that hundreds of kids and thousands of community members now have access to clean drinking water. It has been a tremendous blessing to be able to serve the Lord these past two weeks through my service to Word Ablaze Bible Institute and Ekenywa. (Matthew 25:35-40)
Two weeks in Kenya teaching the Word of God to pastors and leaders! That made my heart sing. Paul and Donna Tocco, who founded the school, have done an fantastic job of building a rock-solid curriculum and also raising up a team of dedicated worship leaders, interpreters, and pastors at the site of Word Ablaze. The mornings are filled with class time. After lunch, everyone gathers for Chapel. The worship was life-giving and full of passion for God. There is tremendous freedom to sing, prophecy, dance, shout, cry – be with God. One service also consisted of a time of foot washing. We (leaders) washed all the student’s feet, and then they began to wash each other’s feet. The Kenyan church is not accustomed to this type of service. It was extremely powerful to watch God touch many of the students deeply.
And after chapel, you'll always find a lively volley-ball game in full swing.
One thing I want to mention is that these pastors and leaders have varying ability to read and write. Many may not own a Bible before coming to school. Many of the teaching that they have received are traditions passed down through culture rather than based on the Word of God. As they attend Word Ablaze they come face to face with Holy Spirit and the truth of the Word for God.
I had the honor of teaching both level two and level three students. The students were from all over Africa, not just Kenya. I was tasked with teaching about “The Name of Jesus," “The Works of Jesus,” and “Healing Through Deliverance”. The students engaged very well, so we had a great combination of serious teaching, great questions and of course laughter.
Another incredible blessing for me was meeting a pastor who has been following RHM on Facebook for over a year. He made the journey (about 6 hours) to meet me and to pick up a couple of Bibles that I took for he and his wife. He was able to join the school for Chapel and sit in on a class. My prayer is that him and his wife will decide to attend Word Ablaze down the road. I do firmly believe that this was a divine connection on many levels. We shall see what the future holds.
On Sunday, I was invited to preach at a rural church about 20 minutes from where the Tocco’s live. The church is in a poor farming community. The challenge with the service is that we didn’t take an interpreter with us as they said they had several people who could speak English and would interpret. Well, it was “musical interpreters” until one was found that was genuinely fluent in English. Then, we were able to get the message rolling! Following the service, we were able to minister to people and watch God move in their midst.
One thing I want to mention about this precious group of believers is that they are very, very poor. However, they all tithed, and they build a very lovely church building brick by brick – because they all worked together, and God made what was impossible possible.
And, they still practice sowing into what God is doing. They sent us home with a huge bag of potatoes to help feed the students at the school. I believe that God looks at them just as Jesus looked at the widow who gave all she had (Luke 21:1-4)
We were able to bless both Word Ablaze Bible Institute and also Ekenywa with financial gifts. We know that a portion of this money was a direct answer to prayer for one of the women at the Bible Institute. Her sponsor had fallen through, but they encouraged her to come anyway and to trust God to cover the cost for her to be there. Her story is just one of the ways that God used your gifts to bless someone and to show His provision.
On the weekends we were out and about having some fun. We spent 12 hours doing a Safari and searching for animals. We were also able to go to a baby elephant orphanage and a giraffe center. And of course, no trip is complete without some local shopping.
Thank you so much for partnering with RHM/Touched by Jesus in making this trip possible and for having an impact on the people of Africa for the Kingdom of Heaven!