Kenya (MNN) — To say that Kenya has gone through a volatile election season is putting it lightly. Opposition leader Raila Odinga still claims that recently-elected President Uhuru Kenyatta stole the election. On January 29th, Odinga held a mock inauguration for himself as the “people’s president”.
The Kenyan government responded to Odinga’s mock swearing-in ceremony with arrests and media shutdowns. Odinga’s advisor, Miguna Miguna, was also deported by the government. Court orders demanded the Kenyan government reinstate media outlets and hand over Miguna to appear before a judge and be released on bail, but the government ignored the court orders.
International figures were not impressed. On Sunday, eleven Western envoys urged Odinga to recognize Uhuru as the nation’s legitimately elected president and for the government to submit to court orders. But with both sides of Kenyan politics staunchly holding their ground, international exhortations have fallen on deaf ears so far.
To further complicate matters, tribal allegiance often dictates political party loyalty in Kenya. The current national context of political disunity has the potential to further agitate tribal rivalries and power struggles.
However, it’s in this context that Global Disciples says Kenyan Christians are setting a different example.
We shared yesterday how Global Disciples’ Annual Equipping Event (AEE) recently gathered and encouraged Christian directors in India. The ministry equips these directors to train indigenous church planters in leadership development, discipleship missions, and small business development.
Global Disciples also recently held an AEE for their directors in Kenya, and they were moved by the unity they witnessed in the Body of Christ.
Tim* with Global Disciples was at the AEE in Kenya and says, “One of the exciting things for me was there were a couple tribes at this gathering. Trainers come from different tribes and backgrounds. Some came from the Pokot tribe and some came from a Turkana tribe, and historically, those tribes have not gotten along very well. In later years, they’re doing much better. But it was so encouraging to see the two tribes gather together, hold arms, actually, they locked arms shoulder-to-shoulder and spent time praying for one another.
“Even one of the Turkana brothers is mentoring one of the Pokot brothers. So we see things like that and it’s really encouraging to bring change to communities, to see Jesus changing people’s lives, and we’re excited to be a part of that.”
Directors at the three-day AEE spent time praying and fasting together. One night, they broke into nine groups and every group took an hour to pray throughout the whole night.
“During this time, we pay attention to what God is saying to us and cry out to the Lord that he would send workers into the harvest and that there would be people who would come to know Jesus. During that night of prayer, people are writing down prayer requests and so we walk around and pray for the prayer requests, pray for healing, pray for many different things, and it’s in those times that you really develop relationship,” shares Tim.
“One of the brothers that came to the AEE gave his testimony that he sees the unity we bring when we come together from different denominations and backgrounds. He was convicted by that and he said that he’s going to go back and make changes in his own denomination.”
Small Business Development Advances
Besides encouragement, the AEEs with Global Disciples are opportunities for the local directors to touch base with the ministry and share what is working with their training, who they have trained, and how they are seeing God move.
Tim explains, “This year was extra special for us because we’ve turned a little bit of a different corner in small business development. As we’ve seen small business development grow, we have more trainers on the field. So this year was pretty exciting for us to meet with them and hear some of their stories.
“One of the testimonies that I hear often is that the small business development is a great evangelistic tool for them to go into a community with an identity, to go into a community with a purpose and then in a quiet way, they’re able to reach out into their community with the Gospel.”
One story Global Disciples heard was from a director in western Kenya who trained 15 church planters in small business development.
“All of them went to the mission field and he reported back that they started six fellowships. He sent them to a mountainous region and the people they trained then went and started businesses. As they began their business, they also were reaching out to these people in this area. We were really excited to hear they had started six fellowships!”
Tim shares, “One of the things that was interesting about this testimony was one of the persons they trained in small business development had already engaged himself in a small business. He, in turn, shared this small business with some of the other participants and they joined in the same small business and went out and began planting churches and working in this small business.”
Unity in the Global Body of Christ
Just as our Kenyan brothers and sisters in Christ strive for unity, we can all strive for unity as the global Body of Christ through mutual encouragement and support. Tim says there are several ways you can come alongside believers in Kenya!
“If people want to be involved, we need people to help sponsor our gatherings, to help work with the trainings we have, and most of all, to pray. We really believe that praying pushes back the darkness as we gather together. Our enemy is always trying to cause division and we are trying to bring unity to people.”
You can sign up to join Global Disciples’ prayer team here! Please pray for the directors with Global Disciples in Kenya to persist in their faithful training of church planters. Pray for the Lord to send workers into the harvest of the least-reached throughout Kenya.
*Last name withheld for security purposes.