Successful Outreach in Coastal Kenya
by: Stafford North | January 3, 2018
From December 12 to 17, 2017, a group of nine Christians from four different congregations in Mombasa, Kenya, travelled to the scarcely populated area along the northern coast of Kenya. The people there are poor and the typically dry weather often keeps them from having good crops. Previous mission efforts in the area had success but over time, some congregations had died out. The Sosoni Church of Christ, however, was to host this mission effort.
The nine people divided into three groups of three to enable them to go to three different sections of the area they came to serve. Working with each of the three groups were Christians from the local area who took visiting evangelists to homes to invite people to the special services being held in the evenings. In the Sosoni area there were twenty-four baptisms on Friday and twenty-seven on Saturday. In Todosa there were twenty on Friday and in Kwandesi twenty four on Thursday and four on Friday. In all, then, there were a total of eighty-nine baptisms over the three day period.
The final activity was a seminar on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. when the brethren taught the new converts on basic Bible doctrines and shared a meal together. Some converts walked as far as ten miles from Kwandesi and Todosa to come. The topics for this seminar included baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and lessons on marriage and family relationships.
An eighty-year-old woman said, “In all these years with preachers visiting me, I have never heard about baptism for salvation. Now that these preachers has come all the way from Kisii and Mombasa to teach me about baptism for salvation, what will hinder me from being baptized?” She was among those baptized on Friday at Sosonoi.
Another interesting story is about a young man named Samuel who heard the gospel, was convicted, and said he wanted to be baptized. The following day when the group was to go the river for baptisms, his older brother, a Muslim, got him to renounce his confession of Jesus and took him to play soccer while the others were being baptized including the brother’s wife. As Samuel was playing soccer, he had a painful injury to his knee so he requested that the evangelists come to pray for him about his pain. When they arrived, he told them he was sorry about having recanted his faith in Jesus and missing the baptism and asked them not only to pray for his knee to get well but to ask God to forgive him. The next time the group went to baptize, he asked his brother to loan him his motorcycle so he could ride to the location so he could be baptized. His brother said he would come with him. As Samuel’s turn came, he was immersed. The brother who had brought him and whose wife had already been baptized, heard the explanations the evangelists were giving as they baptized, and he believed what they were saying. Then he also asked to be baptized. The two brothers rode back on the motorcycle happy that they had both accepted Christ.
After this experience, one of the evangelists said, “Despite the long walks in the bushes to reach waters for baptism, the mission outreach was a huge success. God moved with our message in an amazing manner! We are still amazed by His doings but still thanking Him for manifesting Himself to convict sinners who heard our message about the risen Christ and who obeyed Him.”
The group plans additional efforts in the future.