Michael Mwanikha’s children’s & youth ministry in Kenya
Pastor Michael Mwanikha has been a very dear and trusted friend in rural Kenya since 2004, whom I had the privilege to visit in 2006. I stayed with him and his young wife Irene, along with their little boy, Trevor, in their very modest “mud house” – with no water or electricity, but an outhouse, and chickens brought indoors at night to protect them from wild animals! At that time he had a burning passion to develop a children’s ministry but was never taken seriously by churches in his home region of Bungoma in northwestern Kenya. After receiving some of our printed resources from a visiting missionary, he contacted us in 2004 seeking encouragement and mentoring. His passion never abated, and coupled with his exuberant enthusiasm and determined persistence through the years, his ministry has grown to change the lives of many thousands of children and young people across much of East Africa!
So it is with great sadness that we share that Mike went on to be with Jesus on November 24th, 2020. He leaves his wife, Irene, and four beautiful children who are just as full of joy and enthusiasm as their dad, and have already decided to continue with his ministry. You will be amazed at their first video on Youtube, recorded soon after their dad’s passing – check it out via this link. I have no doubt that Mike’s legacy will continue to grow, through both his family and through the hundreds of children’s ministers he has influenced and trained through the years. God’s plans are not always understood, but His timing is always impeccable! Mike was able to spend much of the past year rebuilding his house and although it is not quite finished, his family can now enjoy a beautiful home that (although still modest) is larger and more modern, with indoor plumbing and a real kitchen!
You can read more of his story below and see great photos and videos of his ministry on his Facebook page.
After 2 years of prayer, God provided for Shirley to visit Mike and stay with his young family in rural Kimilili. She taught a children’s ministry seminar and ministered with Mike in various schools and special events. With so much poverty and focus on subsistence living, children there, as in most of Africa, are often overlooked and even neglected by churches as pastors struggle to get bibles and obtain a church building. But even with just a small puppet or singing some bible songs, children come running to hear about Jesus!
Mike has continued undeterred through years of hardship and lack of appreciation, but now doors are open wide for his ministry across the region. He has named the ministry, Christ Children’s and Youth Ministry, and has developed a well-trained team that now works with him. They remain busy with local church and school commitments; lead huge evangelistic events for children and youth; and organize annual week-long camps. Mike teaches training seminars with follow-up mentoring; and ministers to some of the poorest children – those who have disabilities and attend a monthly mobile clinic. He is a natural puppeteer and brings delight to children of all ages!
Much of his time is spent sharing the Gospel in schools where he has led literally thousands of children to accept Jesus, and he distributes hundreds of bibles and new testaments each year as part of follow-up discipleship. He has established and oversees many student-led bible study groups and is truly having a major impact on evangelizing the next generation. As of late 2018 he has also been able to travel to other countries to minister and share about his ministry – including Uganda, Tanganyika and even the United Kingdom!
Here are more photos of Mike’s extensive ministry: