Kenya (MNN) — The drought in the Horn of Africa struck several countries hard, leaving millions dead, displaced, or starving in its wake.
Considering the severity of famine in many countries, the blow to Kenya wasn't quite so fatal. But in Isiolo, a northern region of Kenya near the Somali border, the people suffered–and continue to suffer.
"Isiolo, where the majority of our ministry is, is very dry," says Sonji Pass with The Mission Society. "It's unusual for it to rain. Typically, they're always in a drought situation."
This summer's severe lack of rain just heightened an already-existing problem, which has caused extreme despair in the region.
"The lack of water, of course, causes health issues with the children and the women," notes Pass. "The lack of water makes it pretty much impossible for them to grow their own food naturally, so there's a lot of starvation."
The region is also ridden with HIV/AIDS cases. Medical dilemmas plague many. People are becoming desperate for hope.
These extreme circumstances are making the present a better time than ever to share the Gospel, says Pass. "I think they are so absolutely ready. I think it's prime time for this particular area."
The Mission Society is already stepping in. Pass says they have drilled a borehole on a church property in the area to help provide clean water. This water source not only provides safe drinking water, but it provides Gospel opportunities.
On Sundays, the borehole is not open to people until after church, motivating many to stick around for church services until they can collect their water. During other times of the week, people can gather water freely, but church elders are often nearby to strike up conversation and build relationships.
As Pass heads back to Kenya in February, she says she and her counterpart, Sonia Crawley, will focus a great deal on village infrastructure. They'll embark on more clean water initiatives and other socio-economic projects. They will also organize medical clinics, in which people learn about the Gospel via a pictorial evangecube. Numerous souls have been saved while waiting for medical treatment and looking at an evangecube in the past.
The small missions team asks for prayer as they work to build relationships, help improve quality of life on earth, and share the hope of eternal life with some of Kenya's most desperate. Pass asks for prayer that the team has favor with the nationals and gains a strong support and prayer base in the West.