PCEA Mabati Church Construction - October 2017 Update
East Africa Mission Catalyst Stu Ross writes this summer from Kenya:
Building Churches in Distant Places
Mission work is not easy…that's what Daniel and I always relay to each other when we send men off to distant places to do difficult tasks in the mission field.
We had such a challenging task. We loaded materials to build two churches in Boruhalo and Karare way up in northern Kenya not far from Ethiopia. The area also borders on the dangerous northeast province of Kenya where Somali bandits roam. The two churches are close to a town called Marsabit, a ten-hour drive from our base in Kikuyu.
We worked all day loading the twenty-foot truck. First, we loaded all the mabati for the two churches in the middle of the truck, then the steel for each church, one on the left and one on the right. Then we added the cement and all the doors and windows which were already fabricated in our shop. We added wheelbarrows, gutters, facia, a welding generator (since there is no power there), and even five kilos of corn flour which the workers would cook while on-site. This will be the sixth and seventh churches that we have built in this remote area.
We sent four masons, three welding fabricators, and a foreman to build both churches. Everything needed to complete the job was sent with them on the truck for this journey. They will spend 2½ weeks constructing both churches.
Lack of water is a very big problem in this area. We have left getting the water and ensuring the safety of our men to the local evangelist and the congregation. They will greet our team as they arrive.
Both of these congregations had very small mabati structures. Only about half of each church’s 100 members fit into their churches on Sunday. We are partnering with them to build structures more than double their current sizes. This will allow each to attract many more members in this largely Muslim area. Boruhalo Church has just partnered with Compassion International and is feeding 200 children weekly.
Church Dedications after Completion
Dedication of Karare Church
Karare Church was dedicated first. This church started under a tree in 2013. In 2014, they moved to a small mabati shelter with a dirt floor that could only accommodate half their members. During this time, they had about thirty members.
On the day of dedication there were about 400 people in attendance including two hundred children. The service was very colorful with one choir after another. I was very impressed with the enthusiasm of the congregation and the singing.
Their old church will be used as a school, since there is no school close by. When you see all these beautiful children, the burden falls on us to do something about this situation. I will try and start building a primary school with them next year. Now with a new, large church, they will have the capacity to help and partner with us.
On to our next dedication, Boruhalo Church, a one-hour drive away.
Dedication of PCEA Boruhalo Church
This area is inhabited by the Borana tribe, a different language and culture. They are very much influenced by the Somalis in language and their dress. There were several Muslim converts at the dedication, which was very interesting to me. I am sure that they came to the church because the church operates a primary school on the church compound which their children attend. This church also has a partnership with Compassion International. It is hoped that by expanding their church they will have the capacity to do more work in their community and bring more Muslims to Jesus.
The congregation moved from a very small mabati structure with a dirt floor to their new, large church. Tumutumu Presbytery and the church played a key role in this partnership. The presbytery helped financially and logistically. This partnership worked so well we are already planning to build another church in the area. There was only one church in Marsabit and now there are three congregations!
Even though the work is not easy, we are bringing God's message and word to these people. We are bringing hope in very difficult circumstances. We are adding capacity to these congregations so that they can go out and minister to their communities.
Stu Ross, Kenya
Read more about PCEA Mabati Church Construction in Kenya by clicking HERE.
The Outreach Foundation is seeking $8,000-10,000 for a new church building and $80,000 for school classrooms and equipment.