Hello Church! I had the privilege to be in Kenya for a couple of weeks in July as I continued to discover new ways for our church to be mobilized for the sake of the Gospel. Over the past two years, we have partnered with Carlos Coleman Ministries, the lead pastor at New Birth Outreach here in Columbus. Pastor Carlos has worked in Kenya over the past seven years. Two years ago, we supported an irrigation initiative. They installed an irrigation system on farms that previously could not plant during the dry season. In return, the farmers gave 50% of their profits so the girls could attend boarding school and train for a career. This year we were approached with an opportunity to help build a church outside of Nairobi. I was asked to join him on this trip to discover ways our churches can partner for future mission projects. Thank you, church, for your support and prayers as I traveled. Our time in Kenya this year was filled with visiting boarding schools, orphanages, and churches and teaching at a pastor’s conference. It is always good to be home, but it was a great joy to partner with Carlos and witness all the Lord is doing in Kenya. I pray we send a team next year, specifically a medical missions team. I wanted to report about our work while I was away and the opportunity we will have next year to continue the work in Kenya.
The mission of Carlos Coleman Ministries is to connect individuals to the heart of God, teach the unaltered word of God, and provide an encounter with the Holy Spirit in all forms of media. They seek to bring technology to under-served countries and to empower communities with nutrition and economic sustainability. They have partnered with AIC all-girls school to serve rescued girls from complex home lives and provide a way for them to go to school. They sponsor some of the girls so they will have all their school supplies and everything else they need to succeed. In years past, this ministry has worked with boarding schools and orphanages and planted farms to provide a harvest that will support these girls to continue their education and break the cycle. A big part of their work is also training pastors in the area so they can continue the good work long after we leave. There is an ever-growing need to train and resource leaders in Kenya.
One of Carlos’s primary connections in Kenya is the partnership with the AIC all-girls school. Currently, they sponsor seven girls that are considered rescue girls. These girls stay on campus all year round due to the uncertainty of returning when school resumes. They are rescued from physical and emotionally abusive situations. We had a blast with them. We asked them what they were learning and how they were progressing in their studies. We spent time with them, brought them to church, and played games with the students. It costs about $7,000 per year to cover all the school expenses, room and board, and supplies they will need throughout the year. The AIC all-girl school has about 700 students enrolled. Not every student there is considered a rescued student; some currently do not have sponsors, but the school provides their basic needs until they receive a sponsor.
Another partnership Carlos has developed is with an orphanage. These children have been abandoned due to various reasons: health concerns, deformities, ability to take care of, and others. We had an opportunity to meet each child there and teach them about the love of Jesus and that their heavenly Father has not forgotten or abandoned them. These are two areas I see Calvary being able to contribute the most. Many children at the AIC school and the orphanage do not have access to health care or checkups (unless a missions team comes). A medical clinic at the schools and orphanages would be an excellent opportunity for us to serve these children by providing basic health screens and checkups to ensure they grow up healthy and strong.
On another day, we traveled to Kisumu, in the northwestern part of the country, to check in with some past pastors and church leaders Carlos has connected with. While there, we had the privilege of leading a water well dedication service. Carlos provided the funds for the well, and it was a joy to see that project complete. This community did not have nearby access to clean water. Instead of walking multiple miles to get clean water, they can now receive that water at the church. I was reminded about how much I take for granted. It was a joy to see members of the church pump water and fill up their containers to bring back to their homes. Also, in Kisumu, we participated in a pastor’s conference. We were able to encourage and challenge pastors in the community and teach them to be better leaders/teachers in their churches. There were about 50 pastors that came from the region to attend the conference. In addition to the pastors, there were women and youth who came to the conference and had an opportunity to teach lessons and have a good question and answer time. It was a fruitful experience, and it was received well. One of the lessons was about the qualifications of being a pastor. One of those qualifications is not to be a lover of money. After the lesson, one of the pastors in the room stood up and confessed that he was a lover of money and he was being convicted over it. He also addressed the group, saying he knew 80% was a lover of money as well. It was a sincere moment of people responding to the Lord and confessing.
Lord willing, we will take a team to Kenya next year, 2023. There will be a couple of different ways to participate in this trip. The first would be to teach various lessons at a pastor’s conference as we invest in the pastors in the community. The second would be a mobile medical clinic. The children in the boarding schools and orphanages have little to no access to medical care (unless a missions team comes in). It would be an excellent opportunity to serve these children by providing physical examinations and health checks due to their lack of access. Calvary is blessed to have multiple medical professionals in our church. This will be an excellent expression of God’s love to use our gifts and talents. Please begin to pray as the Lord leads and consider joining me next year in Kenya!