So we finally have internet access after another 2 weeks of incredible mission. From preaching in open air crusade conferences, to painting walls in the Children’s ward in one of Kisumu’s hospital, it has been amazing.
After a fairly crazy first week of settling into the country and getting used to lack of electricity and clean running water, we were ready to press on with what God had in store for us whilst we’re here.
The second week of being in Awasi was fairly similar to the first whereby we were doing door to door evangelism in different villages and then in the afternoons we were hosting an evangelistic open air event for the villagers to come to and hear what we had to share.
You will have already heard briefly about what our door to door evangelism experiences were like, but having finished two weeks of this, we had some great testimonies and stories to tell of how God was there revealing new things to people in every house we visited.
The translators who walked around with us taking us to the different houses were really passionate and a joy to be around, they were also usually rather blunt when asking us to share the word at every house we went to.
All of the families we met at the houses were so glad to have us take the time in their house and spend time with them sharing from the Bible. Every house we were invited to we were asked to share a passage from the Bible on the spot and we became very good at listening to what the Holy Spirit was prompting us with and being bold in saying what we feel told by God.
One of the houses I came into with two others in the group was a very plain mud shack with little space for furniture or anything and was owned by a woman who had become widowed. We quickly found out that even though she knew a little about Jesus, she was not following him or looking to him through the painful situations she was going through. I got to share the gospel message with her and she prayed that today she might this relationship with Jesus.
In the same villages, in the afternoons we would run a ‘Crusade’ where we all gathered together under a large conference tent to evangelise to the locals.
Though each day it would start off very quiet, after about 30 minutes of us making music and singing together, the tent would always fill up with about 100 people.
Having prepared something beforehand, each of us took it in turns for each day to share a short evangelistic message before we would continue to sing some more songs and invite them for prayer.
One day, one of the girls in our team who happened to be an orphan herself shared her testimony at the crusade talking about how we are all broken, but God accepts us despite our brokenness being adopted into his family.
After she had finished we called those who were listening forward for prayer and so many of them came forward to join his family too.
With both of these ministries, we were partnering with the locals, those who knew these people and had walked through the good and bad times with them. As lives were being transformed by the Holy Spirit, we were able to ensure that they followed up in the future and was able to pour into their lives and make sure they get connected with one of the nearby churches.
Sadly, after two weeks it was time for us to move on from Awasi and continue our work in the city of Kisumu, about an hours drive away. It was hard saying goodbye to everyone, especially the leaders and translators that we had invested so much in. But as we were leaving, each of them encouraged us saying how much of a help and an impact we had been to all the residents of Awasi, and that this would leave a legacy of what has happened going on into the future.
A week today we arrived in Kisumu, the place we’d be staying for the next two weeks. It was so different here, not only were there a few brick houses, but they had roads and shops and cafes!
Monday is our day off and Bob de Groot, our YWAM contact here who had been living in Kenya for 6 years on mission, took us out to lunch in one of the only American style cafes in the city called Java house, where it seems like all the white people would hang out.
It was a delight to get to have a real hamburger as a treat for a change other than the rice and beans we’d been having until then. We have now also all started getting a taste for Chipati, a Kenyan style bread/tortilla that goes really well with rice and beans!
After our day off we were straight into the two ministries we would be involved in whilst being here.
The first of the two ministries that we have been doing each morning, isn’t directly sharing the gospel to people, but blessing others by painting the walls and rooms of the Paediatric Oncology Ward in one of the Hospitals in Kisumu.
Having just finished painting the background colours on the hallways and walls, we will now be starting to turn it into an underwater theme in the hope that it will brighten the lives of the children to come in and out of it, and stay for longer periods of time.
As well as painting, we have had the chance to get to know some of the children who have currently been living there as patients and playing with them and talking with them. It was hard to hear the pain they were experiencing on Thursday as this we were told was ‘Chemo day’.
It was also encouraging to walk around part of the other wards and see the inpact that previous teams had had on the hospital when painting different areas of the hospital. So many people including the CEO of the hospital and the other doctors were so thankful for us as a team coming and everything YWAM have done for the hospital and it has opened up so many doors of opportunities for sharing his kingdom in a place like this.
In the afternoons, we have been partnering with a group of Ukrainian Missionaries who started a church in Dunga, a town just outside Kisumu, on Lake Victoria which has had so much brokenness and so many problems in the past that it was in desperate need of revival. New Life church was started there and it has grown so quickly in the last 6 years, with several hundred people in the congregation and a youth of 200!
This past week we were helping out with the youth camp they were running this week where we helped them lead games, activities, songs and teachings as well as spending time just chatting with the youth and getting to know them better.
Again, this was a different kind of ministry, but they were all so open to talking, and it was a real delight to be able to support this youth camp.
On Friday night we had been asked to prepare something short for the evening youth Bible study. One of the guys in our team who wasn’t confident with speaking to crowds started to give his testimony, and as he shared it, we all saw the Holy Spirit moving around the room. After that we gave opportunity for people to come forward for prayer to invite Jesus into their lives and any of them came forward to recommit their lives to him!
This Sunday they wanted a slightly more experienced preacher to speak. Though I wouldn’t call myself experienced by any stretch, I was asked to be the one to share to the 300 odd congregation of Dunga and it was amazing!
I will try and keep you updated as often as possible, but I think this may well be my last update before we leave for the Philippines this Saturday. We’re all so excited about going there, but we’re also so involved in what is going on here that it is coming fast and we still haven’t fully prepared ourselves for our next location as we are still half way through this location.
It was our day off today and as a treat, our leaders took us out on a boat in Lake Victoria to see the hippos, it was amazing!
That’s all for now, all the best.