When I was first asked to join the Diocesan community development team to Kenya last summer, I thought, “Wow, what a wonderful thing to do. I’ve always wanted to go to Africa.” When I got there and started ministering to the people in the small village of Maai Mahiu, my original idea of a great trip turned into a powerfully renewing experience in Jesus Christ, powered by the Holy Spirit, through the lives of the wonderful people of Kenya.
Fathers (from left) Bob Terrill, of Topeka, Antony Ngugi, of Maai Mahiu, and Andrew O’Conner, of Wichita, made house calls a number of homes and families in the Rift Valley, including the Family of Mary Warimu, 70, whose home they stand outside in this photo.
Sure, we did many things. We provided new latrines and school desks for a public school. We provided youth leadership training and gave 40 soccer balls to the kids. We provided training in human rights for woman and we taught nutrition to women with HIV/AIDS. We provided funding for a drip irrigation system for the church and we supported their nascent microfinance program. We evaluated an orphanage, inspected a camp for internally displaced persons, taught bible classes and conducted healing services. We developed a linkage with the Anglican Diocese of Nakuru. This ministry of the Diocese made a powerful impact in such a short time, and of this, we thank Almighty God.
Joe Bob and Nyakio Lake, fellow parishioners at St. Thomas, joined me in the community development team. The rest of the team came from throughout the Diocese of Kansas and one from North Carolina.
However, the best part of the whole trip was building relationships with the people. Fr. Antony Ngugi, pastor of All Saints Anglican Church, demonstrated the dedication and commitment beyond anything I have ever seen. Without a salary for six months, Fr. Antony walked miles in the rift valley sun to visit his people, pray with them, love them, and care for them. You see, he does not have a car and has to walk everywhere. He and his wife Eunice have a new baby boy, but they lost a child two years ago because they had no immediate medical help available.
- The people are poor beyond imagination. Subsisting on a meager diet of maize and beans, living in 30 square meter homes with dirt floors, two small rooms and a wood burning fire, they are a joyful and grateful people. They give thanks to God for the very small things they have and their hearts are full of joy.
This is what moved me to tears. Coming from a Western culture, I could not imagine a people that had nothing, yet gave thanks for that nothing and the little that they did have. These are a hopeful, expectant, triumphant people, living out their lives with the hope that God will help them in their time of need.
K2K is a fantastic ministry that literally moves the gospel of Jesus Christ that enables economic justice and medical mercy to the people of Kenya. Please give, won’t you?
The Rev. Robert A. Terrill