John Swain and the team at Bethany Community Church, Harpenden in the UK have been supporting their Pastor friend Waneloba Wafula as he has been ministering in practical ways to the people who live in the Semi-Arid area of Kenya. In this blog, John shares the incredible story of how amazing generosity from both Christians and non-Christians opened the door for the gospel to break through in a truly remarkable way!
Due to failure of the rains, locust swarms devastating crops and food supplies not getting through due to the harsh Covid restrictions in Kenya, people in the Semi-Arid area were dying of starvation. The suffering there was huge, and the need was enormous.
A local Indian grocery wholesaler also heard of the plight of these people, and offered 50x10kg sacks of rice, along with other foods. Waneloba needed £350 for the hire of transport to deliver the goods. We put out an appeal for this amongst the people of Bethany Community Church, and raised £960.
So, when the grocery wholesaler offered more food, sugar, salt, and other supplies, we were able to provide the funding for the transportation not just for the initial relief, but for a second trip as well. On this second four-day trip to the Semi-Arid area, the people there asked Waneloba why he was doing this, and he explained how it was because he wanted to show them that God loved them and cared about them. They asked him to say for two extra days to tell them about Jesus, which he did, culminating in around 300 people giving their lives to Christ!
On his return, the Indian warehouse owner wanted to know how the trip had gone. In the course of the conversation, Waneloba talked about the love of God. The warehouse owner said that his family in Bombay were surrounded by people who had died of Covid, but that it had not touched his immediate family. Waneloba suggested that God was at work in their lives because of the kindness they had shown to others. The warehouse owner said he wanted to know more about Waneloba’s God, describing how their gods had not helped them. So, Waneloba told them more of the love of Jesus and the warehouse owner and his family gave their lives to Christ, along with then asking Waneloba to burn their idols and religious paraphernalia!
He has been visiting the warehouse owner regularly as they have asked him to teach them more about Jesus and living as Christians. We bought the family some Bibles and Waneloba had been with the family most days teaching them the basics from the Bible. Some of their relatives travelled for five hours to Bungoma, which is where Waneloba is based, to hear their families testimony. They invited Waneloba to join them and he led all six to the Lord. They asked him to go back with them to Nakuru, which he did, and they gathered their family together, around thirty of them, and Waneloba shared the gospel. All thirty came to the Lord, burned their Hindu idols, and were baptized. There was no body of water large enough for them to immerse them because they were in the town, and so Waneloba poured jugs of water over them, baptising them in the name of Jesus.
The Indian family have now provided a ton of rice, flour and other food stuff and we are now trying to raise the money to transport it to the Semi-Arid region, where Waneloba will be able to connect up with the people there who gave their lives to Christ on his last visit. We now need wisdom, along with Waneloba to know how to teach and disciple the many who have come to Christ. Please do pray for Waneloba, the warehouse owner, his family in Bombay, and our hundreds of new brothers and sisters in the Semi-Arid area!
Written by John Swain from Bethany Community Church, Harpenden, UK