Training for Ministry Is Possible For Kenyan Man
Christian Endurance- Our location does not define who we are in Christ. Only our heart, soul, and mind define the location of our walk with Jesus Christ. Many Christians face persecution and struggles, but this is what Christian endurance is all about!
Kefa Auta Machoka, a student at CLI, faces many obstacles while training for ministry in his Kisii County community in Kenya. As he says, “Most of the Kenyan communities have heard about Christ, but there are other communities that have not yet been reached with the gospel of Jesus. They include Muslim and traditional communities. These communities live in hardship areas which are sometimes hostile to Christianity.”
Training for Ministry- Born in a Challenging Place
Born in a Christian family of twelve children, seven brothers and four sisters, Kefa’s father was a pastor but had passed when he was just eight years old. As he states, “Like other children, I attended and participated in Sunday school classes. At the age of fourteen, we had visitors to our church who came to evangelize in our village. I was involved in guiding the visitors to the right places at the right times. One day as we were going to the open-air meeting, one of the evangelists asked me, “Are you saved?” “Yes,” I replied. He asked me to tell him how I knew I was saved. After my response he explained to me that I couldn’t earn my salvation by good works. He showed me that salvation is by grace and is through faith in the Lord’s work, not mine. That day, I accepted and confessed the Lord in my heart. Now I am happy knowing I am not saved by good works, but by the grace of God, so that I can do good works.”
Christian Endurance While Training For Ministry
Since the time of Kefa’s salvation, the Lord has put into his heart a burden to reach out to people who have never heard the gospel, and to explain the true way of salvation by faith. Now he is reaching many for Christ and enduring the obstacles while training for ministry as he dreams to plant churches among those who have not heard the gospel. It is his prayer to help the people of Kenya to become mature Christians who will be able to reach others for Christ. As he writes,”Most people depend on relief food. I am working with a local faith based agency which supports us when they have received donations from local churches. My own local church has not understood our calling. When we share with them how the Lord is working and our experiences, they sympathize with us, but suggest that we go back home.”
But for Kefa and others in training for ministry in Kenya, the challenges they face include:
Loneliness. There are only a few churches and they have been planted far apart and only have a few members. The loneliness because they do not have people to fellowship with nor to help in their training in ministry.
Illiteracy and opposition. The majority of the East Pokot people are traditionalists and illiterate. They do not understand the national language -Kiswahili nor can they read any written material or speak Kiswahili. This has forced them to learn their language so that they can communicate. Christianity is a threat to their traditional practices and therefore they are against anything associated with Christianity.
Getting internet services. In relation to taking CLI classes and training for ministry, the biggest challenge is getting internet services because the network doesn’t cover everywhere. Kefa must move about 500 meters from his home to search for a network. Also, because of the lack of external power supply, sometimes laptop shutdowns happen before they have done all the work needed to. Yet, despite this and other challenges, Kefa knows he will be able to do his lessons to accomplish his training for ministry.
Training for Ministry No Matter What It Takes
Even under such opposition, Kefa continues to find a way to continue his training for ministry through CLI with the support of those close to him. As he writes, “I thank God that my wife supports me in this ministry. CLI is of great importance to me. It will equip me for ministry so that I can be more effective and it will also help my spiritual growth. In the past, I had tried to apply to a Bible College but was unable to continue due to school fees and other admission requirements.”
Let us pray for our fellow brother in Kenya with his training in ministry as he asks, “Pray for me that God will give us strength and courage as we reach the Pokot people. Pray for our protection from the gun men in the area and the evil powers which people use to manipulate their spiritual world. Pray that God may bring these people to himself. Pray that I may be able to do the lessons effectively despite the challenges and that I may gain the skills needed for ministry. Pray for my spiritual growth and my family.”