Team: Scott & Josh Carr, John & Jenny Akpeki, Ray Morris, Kieth Sparks and Stuart Parkins.
In March 2015 a team from the UK flew to Western Kenya and undertook:
Three day pastors conference at LHM Bible school in Kisumu,
Women’s and youth conferences running in parallel.
Saturday community celebration attended by approx. 300 including arch bishops, bishops and government representatives.
Visits with day conferences at Siaya, Kakamega and Kisii.
This trip was characterised by Revelation 3:8 (given at 48 hours of prayer in November at Toddington Baptist) – God was setting before us an Opened Door.
We were met at Kisumu airport for the first time by Arch Bishop Washington Ngede. He had enough influence to usher us into the VIP lounge at the new airport – a place usually saved for visiting ambassadors and government employees and MPs.
In fact as we signed the visitors’ book and sat in the same chairs that the President and Prime minister had previous used, we were introduced to the MP for Kisumu East – the Hon. Shakeel Shabbir Ahmed, who explained that he followed all three major religions! After talking with him a little and explaining our visit he allowed us to speak a blessing over him as a representative of the people in that area. This kind of encounter was to be repeated again and again as we seemed to be fully under the favour of the Father and were placed to release that favour to Kenya through its people and officials. On Friday we were welcomed into both county and district offices and met those in charge of the whole area, it’s administration and it’s security. It was interesting that in at least two of those offices the person we were introduced to were spirit filled Christians. When we offered to speak blessing and offer prayer they were more than happy to join in!
Kisumu, like the rest of Kenya was in the midst of a very serious drought – with no rain falling since November. Yet in the very first office we visited and spoke to a lovely Christian – Susan, we started to bless her and then prophesied that God would end the drought that day, and that this would be a sign to her of the start of a year of favour to Kisumu and Kenya and that she would see dramatic changes. In fact rain was forecast for Sunday night – but actually started falling in Kisumu on the Friday evening as the team closed the day with prayer.
Dr Washington and his wife Phoebe were very instrumental in opening doors for us. On the final day he came to ask if we would stay for an extra day as he had been invited by the government to bless the opening of new law courts in Kisumu. Apparently over the last 3-4 years since Mr Ralia Odinga had become prime minister, on an anti corruption ticket, he had begun devolution of power and resources from Nairobi to the 42 states (Kisumu included) around the country. The result was that more money was made available for roads (we saw many being built and improved) and new law courts. All we week we had been teaching from Ephesians and telling the pastors to speak blessing ad declare Kenya to be a country free from corruption, now Washington came to tell us about the courts.
We even presented a New King James Bible to him so that he in turn could present it to the Chief justice of Kenya the following day and that the new law courts would have a symbol to swear in testimony in future. Another open door.
The actual conferences were much more well attended than we had previously seen. In Kisumu there was approximately 200 in the main conference and on the Saturday we would estimate there to have been more than 300.
They were especially delighted with attendee certificates and the presentation of module certificates that were given to over 50 students.
Some plans had to be changed as one of our primary jobs was to unload and distribute the container of aid that had previously been sent from Feed His People out of Leighton Buzzard. Unfortunately the ship was delayed further up the coast before it reached Mombasa over a week late. Yet somehow even this “disaster” worked together for good, as Kieth and Stuart were able to spend more time working with the trustees of Osare Home and doing some basic work with them to improve the standards of care at the home.
It also allowed us to select in advance representatives of each community that would help in this coming week to divide up and distribute fairly the resources we have sent – without us being there to either hinder or to take any credit. When the food comes it will hopefully be distributed fairly as a gift directly from Jesus to feed His people.
On the second week, our focus as a team was further afield and we did a lot of travelling on the new roads. On Monday we visited Siaya and Bodi (breaking into two teams – again and again we thanked the Lord for the diversity and gifting in the team this year that allowed multiplication of ministry). On Tuesday we visited Kakamega and A lovely couple – Ignatius and Eunice who not only led the church and opened the conference for us but also welcomed us into their home, despite still grieving the loss of their son the previous week.
Wednesday we travelled the furthest to Kisii which initially proved to be a challenge because there was a sense of disunity in the town as some did not want to work with others. However we met an amazing bishop there called Liston who tried to bring everyone together and we had real liberty in preaching and teaching a very packed church. Josh and John also were taken further a field and in a gathering of a couple of rural churches preached and then ministered with over 15 folks being healed and giving testimony. In fact over the two weeks we would conservatively estimate around 40 folks were healed and a few became Christians for the first time, largely from hearing a gospel of the kingdom and the offer of grace.
Quotes from some of the team:
“The trip for me was filled with anticipation, I knew God was going to do something new, from the reading of the book “The Grace Outpouring” it changed my expectations in to more of faith. l had some questions that were answered. From the landing and being received by bishop Washington to the meeting of the various officials I could see God was preparing us for something special, what will be done will I believe happen well after we have all gone, God is preparing Kisumu. I believe the bishops will change their attitudes and churches will work together more and show non-believers the way to work in unity. Ephesians was a great book to study and blessing all we came into contact with was powerful.”
“I discovered: That doors were open for us in Kenya in a different way from other trips.
I observed: that women are treated in a different manner from their male Christian counterparts but were encouraged with the message that was taught at the women’s conferences and encouraged one another in their faith. They had an admirable fervor for the word of God.
I enjoyed: Speaking to women who were suffering from HIV or Aids and seeing them released from the emotional stigma and free to walk with Christ without feeling the bondage of judgment from other Christians.”
“I discovered in Kisii, that even though we are Christians, pride can get in the way of our ministry and weaken the witness.
I observed, that the people were hungry to hear the word of God and were responsive to it.
I enjoyed the team’s togetherness and team’s spirit. I enjoyed going to different towns, villages and hamlet’s to teach the word of God.”
“This trip for me was a massive learning curve and an incredible demonstration of God’s love for Kenya. We managed more teaching to consecutive groups than ever before and I personally had the privilege of teaching a group of youth and youth leaders who were hungry for the word of God. Time and time again I saw God break through with healings and answers to prayer. On one occasion 15 people were healed in a session with just over 40 adults. God constantly reminded me that we are working under His great plan and gave me the strength to continue and bring about His kingdom in Kenya. I’m excited about what is to come for the Living Hope Bible Schools in Kenya as I have never seen a group of people who are so hungry for the word of God.”
“God did what He promised, to run a trip His way, with His agenda to bless, that He would open the door for us and release the blessing He desired. In 9/10 trips to Kenya this trip was total unique – Lord I want more of this for all of us working with Living Hope Ministries – Show us your favor so that we might be blessing to every country we enter.”