Kenya (MNN) – Over the last several hundred years, Christianity has taken root, spread, and flourished in Kenya. It is now the nation’s predominant religion. But there are still millions of Kenyans that are unreached, especially in the northern and eastern areas.
There are many national churches in southern and western Kenya. However, in cities like Nairobi, there are no large Christian influences engaging people groups in the north and east.
“The northern part is much more desert conditions, and then the eastern part is where al-Shabaab and a heavy Muslim Islamic influence is entrenched, largely due to the influence of Somalia,” World Mission’s Greg Kelley says.
These challenging areas are where World Mission is working in Kenya engaging several people groups, working on humanitarian aid projects, and distributing solar-powered audio Bibles in native languages.
The people groups World Mission works with range from 60,000 to four million people.
Somali’s Influence in Kenya
The largest people group with a population of approximately four million is the Somali people.
“What makes the Somali so interesting is that they’re less than one-half of one percent Christian. They’re incredibly difficult to engage in. Even though they’re inside of Kenya — which is a very mission-friendly country — it’s as if you’re inside of the country of Somalia. The persecution is just as fierce inside of Kenya as it would be inside of Somalia,” Kelley says.
Yet, despite the violence and danger outsiders may face, the Somali people inside Kenya are an imperative target to share the Gospel with because they have so much influence over neighboring people groups, including the Wata, the Moonyuyaya, and the Borana people.
Kelley says when other people groups hear about the Somali coming to Christ, they are encouraged to let their guards down as well and hear the Gospel.
“It’s really amazing…the testimony of Somalis coming to know Jesus and churches being established among the Somalis, [and] the ripple effect it has on the other majority-Muslim people groups in Kenya.”
World Mission’s Projects
World Mission’s national partners often start engaging people groups through their humanitarian projects.
Northern parts of Kenya have experienced extremely harsh drought conditions for decades. In response, World Mission has implemented hundreds of water projects so they can support these communities, befriend them, and share Jesus’s love.
“As the Body of Christ, when we have these social projects or when we do compassion projects, we can’t do it in the absence of informing them who Jesus is.”
Kelley says even giving a cup of cold water or drilling a well can help soften hearts and be a gateway to sharing the message of Jesus.
Disciples Making Disciples
World Mission is partnering with In Touch Ministries to distribute discipleship resources among the Somali and other people groups.
“Everything World Mission does is about making discipleship-makers, and The Messenger — which is the solar-powered audio Bible with Dr. Stanley’s life principles — in many instances, becomes a discipleship-maker. As they gather around…they’ll listen for hours at a time among these unreached people groups,” Kelley says.
As Somali people become disciples, they’ll be empowered and have the tools to make other disciples.
Support World Mission’s work in Kenya by donating so they can give solar-powered audio Bibles to unreached people in their native languages.
Also, pray for World Mission’s national partners as they go into areas with high persecution to share the Gospel. Pray for safety, for the Lord’s leading, and that hearts will be softened to His Word.
Header photo courtesy of World Mission.