Kenya (MNN) – Their population might have the highest percentage of Evangelicals in the world, but Kenya has many unreached people groups and regular persecution.
Changing Our Outlook
For World Mission and on-the-ground missionaries, the focus is on these unreached nations of Kenya.
“I think every follower of Jesus needs to have a knowledge of at least one unreached people group in their vocabulary, in their mind, that they’re praying for. Whether it’s the Orma, the Waata, the Wardei, the Pokomo, there’s thousands of nations in the world that are yet to have their first gospel witness,” says World Mission Executive Director Greg Kelley.
Currently, most awareness is focused on Kenya as a whole rather than the very different nations that make up the country, Kelley says. These groups can be difficult and dangerous to reach, but they need to be the real focus of the Kenyan Church
Changing Our Mindset
Reaching these groups requires a different mindset and high levels of resilience. Recently, a local Christian named Abdullah walked 50 kilometers to attend a World Mission training session, only to have the place of worship torn down by a mob from his home town.
“What was interesting is that one of the topics in the training was, ‘what is the Church?’ And it’s not about protecting a building, but rather equipping the real Church to engage itself in activities that lead to multiplying disciples,” Kelley says.
The incident was a paradigm shift for Abdullah, who now intends to go into these unreached
Muslim communities to plant house churches.
“It’s going to take those kind of attitudes to reach the nations of the earth that are yet to hear about Jesus,” Kelley says.
These unreached and primarily Muslim minority people groups are in some of the most persecuted areas in the world for Christians. That pressure is primarily due to the influence of Somalia and Al Shabaab.
World Mission has national partners on the ground in northern Kenya and northeast Kenya that engage these minority Muslim people groups. These are some of the most persecuted areas in the world because of the influence of Somalia and Al-Shabaab. Hearing of partner homes being burned, beatings, and break-ins are regular occurrences in these regions.
However, believers still go to reach these communities, often using solar-powered audio Bibles provided through World Mission. Learn more about World Mission here. These audio Bibles are translated into dozens of different languages.
“If you’re going to engage these minority people, groups, you have to do it in their mother tongue,” Kelley says.
How to Pray
Kelley asks believers to go beyond country and develop a deeper understanding of these communities.
“We’re aware of Kenya. But we have no clue about the nations inside of Kenya. So every follower of Jesus, I would challenge them to embrace as, as an individual, as a family, as a church, one of the nations that are considered unreached, that the Joshua project would identify and pray for them.”
For a list of Kenyan people groups click here.
Please pray for World Mission’s local partners as they risk their lives and safety to deliver the message of these audio Bibles to communities throughout Kenya. Pray for their success, strength, and safety.
Header photo courtesy of World Mission.