They came back from Tana River County last week. I could barely recall them since we only interacted once during their pre-field training at the beginning of the year. They had only just settled in their placement on the eastern part of Kenya when COVID struck and they have been there since – they only made two trips one to report to the station and last week when they came back. Theirs was an incredible story of patience, confidence in the Lord and a willingness to serve the Lord who had called them.
Everlyn Njeri, Mercy Nduta and Esther Khatenje finished university last year and they came to iServe Africa seeking an opportunity to grow in service. Everlyn had trained as a teacher of Geography and Religious Studies and she was eager to use her skills to serve the gospel. Mercy trained in Analytical Chemistry and Esther qualified with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Statistics. These girls could have chosen to pursue careers in their fields but they chose to serve Jesus and make him known in the hard places.
Upon arrival, the girls were well received by their host, a young ministry that is reaching the local community through education. Their first visit around the big township nearby was to a University College where 147 students had been killed only four years ago by a terrorist group. At this point, they would have had a reason to pack their bags and leave but they stayed on to serve the Lord who had called them. Their task was clear – to teach children and that way build connection with the community. They took up their duties and started teaching away.
Two months in however, COVID 19 struck in Kenya and everything came to a standstill. Schools were closed and all kids sent home. What are the girls to do 300 miles from their homes? They decided to stay on. They had given their year for this area and were willing to spend and be spent in the task of their master. They also kept hoping that normalcy would soon return and they get back to teaching the children they had by now come to love. Months went by and it seemed nothing was changing.
They made the most of their time reading books, making friends in the local Islamic community, learning the local language and connecting with the few other Christians in the area. Thankfully, they had access to the internet and could therefore participate in the ministry training course which had now gone virtual.
When I saw them last week, I was greatly encouraged by their resilience. They would have been very vulnerable in that part of Kenya and yet they stayed put for all those months serving Jesus amidst very challenging circumstances. I asked them the biggest lesson they learnt from it all and they were very clear – the Lord had promised to be with his people and he was surely with us. Their confidence in the Lord was unshaken. And what would you like to do in the new year, I asked.
‘Can we take a second year in ministry?
Rev. Harrison Mungai,