Missions Journal- Kenya, September 2017- Entry 2
After meeting some of the pastors who would be taking part in the class we walked down the hill to the large room at the bottom to begin the class. Brother Perry Gardner from Hepsibah Baptist Church in Seneca, South Carolina taught the class. When the class began we had 15 men and 3 women participating. The class was originally meant to be for pastors but because it was discipleship we allowed others to join. After all, it is not just the pastor's job to make disciples! Some of the pastor's wives had prepared food for us and we ate. I found a new love, “chapatis”, they are like a Kenyan tortilla! After eating, Perry began to teach. Soon after the teaching began satan began to do everything that he could to disrupt it. It began to rain very hard, the roof was tin and the room was open. The rain was so loud the men moved their chairs into a circle around Perry and could still barely hear even with him almost yelling. The rain stopped after a while, but another problem soon arose…. The more Perry taught and the more I observed I was noticing that many of the men seemed to not be comprehending the teaching. We only taught for a few hours on Tuesday, so after the session, I began to speak with a few of the men and immediately recognized the problem. Many people in Kenya speak English as a second language. In most of the places that we work in Kenya, the pastors are able to speak and understand English well. However, that was not the case here. These men knew very little English so it was almost impossible for them to understand the majority of the teaching.
Now what? Perry and I obviously do not speak Swahili and there would be nowhere nearby to get a translator. One of the leaders that helped organize the training approached us about this issue. His name is David. David shared that his understanding of English was better than most and that he desired to attempt to translate for us the next day during the training! Praise the Lord for David!
After continuing to speak with some of the pastors after the first session I learned just how much some of them struggle. Phillip was one of the pastor's names and he shared that he has six children and his wife had passed away in 2012. Phillip now is attempting to pastor, and provide for and raise six children. These men not only have physical and financial struggles to deal with but they are also having problems with other religions. There are many “evangelical churches” that are preaching the “prosperity gospel” in Kenya to get rich and draw large numbers promising wealth and many physical blessings. There are also many muslim mosques in this area. They shared with me that the mosques would throw large expensive parties with a lot of food to draw crowds and corrupt them with their lies. These were all very difficult struggles but the men were in good spirits and very excited about another day of training.