One village’s new church is emblematic of the Spirit’s provision and movement throughout Kenya’s community of believers.
The early church in Acts serves as an inspiration to most modern churches who long to see the same degree of the Spirit’s movement and believers’ unity.
“Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.
“There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need” (Acts 4:32-35, ESV).
For growing communities in Africa who work with World Challenge’s partners, this biblical vision of church is increasingly become a reality.
Building Up the Church
For many people and ministries, 2020 was not an easy year; but for World Challenge’s partners in Kenya’s Rift Valley, this year of suffering was also one of the most fruitful years.
The team in Kenya works with hundreds of people spread across multiple villages throughout the valley, and stories about the awesome works of God are all around them, but they occasionally hear a testimony that stands out.
In Koisagat village, in the Kericho county in Kenya, a group of believers who regularly gather to pray. One of these members is a grandmother who always attends. “One day, when we had usual prayers,” a team member described, “she cried saying, ‘Thank you, Jesus, for saving my children and the community and that now we have hope to see Jesus one day in heaven!’
“Then she announced in public how God had laid on her heart to give part of her land to build a church. The community gathered and brought materials like iron sheets, woods and nails.” Before long, a church building stood proudly on the property, a testament to how God was moving through the hearts of his people.
“This is a great testimony right before our eyes, seeing God moving in this big way,” a team member said. “Now many people can worship in a church that was planted through...those who gave their materials to build the church without depending on others.”
This type of ownership of their faith and commitment to biblical principles of generosity and love for one another is truly good reason to praise Jesus.
The Work of God’s People
COVID-19 is still presenting challenges as people begin to resume their normal lives, go back to church, return to school, open up businesses again and so on.
Figuring out the logistics of making these returns possible has been a constant challenge as the team helps disinfect and clean public schools and meeting places, all the while traveling from community to community to support groups of believers who have been isolated by these times.
The team raised awareness about issues with food security, the importance of masks and sanitation measures in the field and over the radio. They hosted vision seminars in villages, planted two churches and saw this new church building be financed and constructed by the community. “Our ministry secret,” one team member shared, “is being models ourselves and doing things so that people will desire to see and learn from us. We want to win souls through our good work and living testimonies.”
Their prayers and efforts have not gone unanswered either. In the past year, despite all the obstacles and trials, they have witnessed God move, redeem and provide in incredible ways. The work of Christ goes on, and they are pursuing it with everything they have.
“And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31).