World Concern Ministry Development Coordinator Mark Lamb recently returned from a trip to Kenya. Here are some reflections on his trip.
After traveling through rural Kenya for several hours on a road marked with potholes like Swiss cheese, we arrived in a village where World Concern is making an impact. One of the first people we met was a man who introduced himself to us as a former witch doctor who is now a Christian. As if this wasn’t enough to catch the attention of our group of jet lagged Americans, our new friend Joseph interrupted my associate as he was explaining the location of America using his head as a globe and said, “You mean the earth is round?”
Toto, we are not in Kansas anymore.
Although this may seem nearly unbelievable to those of us who have been blessed with an education, reality began to sink in as Joseph told us about the women in the village walking 12 hours round trip to bring back water, villagers carrying a sick person 10 miles on a sheet to the nearest clinic, and the children walking over six miles round trip to the nearest elementary school.
In such bleak circumstances, I was surprised to find hope. World Concern is currently constructing a water pan in this community to help provide a clean water source, but their hope was not in the water pan alone, or in World Concern. It was clear, as they discussed their faith in Jesus Christ, that there hope was in Him. They praised World Concern, and there was a clear love for our staff, but Joseph and the other villagers talked about the hope they have in Jesus for a better life.
Maasai women sing worship songs.
In another village we visited, I met a young pastor named Jackson who had taught himself to read so he could read and teach the Bible. He treasures his Bible, carrying it with him wrapped in two layers of protective plastic. I also witnessed spirited worship songs sung by the women in the church. I couldn’t understand the words, but I was told the song was from a verse in Exodus about God’s victory.
I was encouraged to see kitchen gardens in schoolyards producing healthy vegetables for the students who otherwise would be eating only grain and meat. I saw the hope of better health with pits for latrines being dug, and wells flowing with clean, fresh water. But I was most excited about the spiritual fruit I saw as a result of Christ’s light shining into these villages.
To learn more about church partnerships, please visit www.worldconcern.org/churches.
Contact Mark Lamb at MarkL@worldconcern.org.