Report from Michael in Kenya
Recently our African partner Michael Mwanikha sent us this detailed and interesting report of his work with children and youth over the past few months in Western Kenya. We keep him in our prayers as he continues this valuable work.
Christ’s Children’s Ministry Newsletter: April-June 2016 from Michael Mwanikha in Kimili, Kenya.
Jambo sana to all my dear supporters! I appreciate you so much. As you can see I am now writing a new style of newsletter that I hope will be more helpful to you. Please respond and let me know your thoughts. I hope to do this at least every quarter, summarising some of the fruit that has come from the calling of children’s ministry that God has set before in Kenya and East Africa.
I have been running Bible studies in 5 schools – Bituyu, Shikaina, Wetamula, Kimilili B and Moi Girls. Many of these schools, particularly Moi Girls (next door to my home), have taken a lot of my ministry focus for years. Always there are challenges, but we are really starting to see the word of God take root in these schools. Wetamula is a good example. When I came in they had no one to teach them and were in a way neglected. This amongst other things led to some serious challenges with sexual behaviours. HIV is a big problem there, and it breaks my heart to see young people struggling with a disease they should never be exposed to at a young age. After the study, I like to get the class to write questions for me on small paper that I will read out and try to answer. One girl wrote that she had HIV from prostitution and had family problems. I couldn’t read it out as it was too sensitive. I managed to identify her and try to help her, sharing God’s unconditional love for her and linking her to free care at a local Hospital. This is a sad but common story. Yet it encourages me that after all this time the children are willing to open up to me about sensitive issues, knowing that I will not condemn them.
Bad sexual behaviours are often caused by neglected parenthood and abuse. In Moi Girls I came across a new challenge where I felt out of my depth. Some girls had joined a local rural cult that exalts the practice of lesbianism. They had been practicing at school and causing much confusion among pupils. It threatened to draw others astray and confuse girls from a very young age. By God’s grace I was informed and had the chance to speak to them of God’s plan in sexuality, his judgement and forgiveness. By God’s grace they really responded. We are still talking through some issues and trying to get them out of this cult. Please pray for them and me in this.
Whilst I continue to minister to kids, God has really put it on my heart to build up other ministers to share my burden. I have held workshops with 24 ministers, explaining to them the gospel and techniques for children’s ministry (including my puppets haha!). They’ve asked for more workshops! I pray they will continue to grow and eventually train others, as I have them.
On the theme of building up other ministers, I had the opportunity to consult for a children’s ministry in Nairobi in June. It is a bit different from my normal routine, but I am starting to see that God is opening doors for this kind of ministry – helping others help children. It is better than doing it all alone. And it is so needed. Children’s ministry is sadly rejected as not as important as adult ministry; yet children will be the adults of the future and if we don’t help them now then we will regret it later! I have also had the chance to do Sunday School at Chrisco Church, teenage counselling and ministry to the disabled (more on that next quarter).
As I have mentioned, our children and youth are growing up with wrong beliefs on sex, and it can be so damaging. Please pray particularly for our case in Moi Girls, and the HIV infected children in our community. Some have been infected through unskilled labour from a positive mother. Others have been exposed or forced into sex at an early age.
I need more local ministers to be passionate about children’s ministry, and to help me. Many times it feels like I am on my own, which I don’t believe is how God intends us to fulfil the great commission.
Resources is always a challenge here. Please pray for finances so that I can maintain and even increase my school visits. Please pray for more materials that I can use for children minister’s training
Friends, thank you very much for your continual support both financially and through prayer – we can do little without your sincere support.
May God bless you and I look forward to hearing from you.