Preaching Efforts At The Kakuma Refugee Camp (Kenya)
Situated in northern Kenya, about 997 km from Nairobi, the Kakuma Refugee Camp is home to almost 185,000 refugees from Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, D. R. Congo, Rwanda and Burundi.
The CBM made inroads into this remotely far-flung area after the arrival of Bro. John Katembo, from D. R. Congo, and his family of 10 members who are registered as asylum- seekers in the camp. They started conducting Bible classes and Sunday services in their plastic sheeting home. This attracted some neighbours who joined in with them.
In September 2011, due to Bro. Katembo's request, I made the trip to Kakuma Refugee Camp to join hands with him and we held a series of Bible studies which were attended by a considerable number of eagerly interested friends.
Second Visit To Kakuma Camp
As a follow-up to the work done on the first visit, Bro. John King'oo (from Kangundo Ecclesia) and I met at the Nairobi `Country Bus' Station ready for the 27-hour journey for a 7-day visiting mission.
As usual in Kenya buses on long distance journeys travel at night so as to reach their destinations probably early morning the following day. We set out on Wednesday 27th June, at 10pm and after a very hectic long journey, reached our destination on Friday 29th June at 1am; so we had to spend the rest of the night in the bus due to security reasons. At around 6am, Bre. Katembo and Assuman came to meet us and helped find a guest house in Kakuma town where we were accommodated throughout the visit, since no `outsiders' are allowed to spend the night in the camp.
The Highlights of the Visit
The Bible school dealt with the basic scriptural teachings such as: The Promises, The Kingdom, Satan and evil. The first session in a series of four was held that afternoon and the number of youthful attendees was so great. For four days we held a 3-hour session every afternoon followed by two days of an intensive home visit campaign to some of those who had attended at least two of the four sessions conducted and had expressed the desire to hear more on the Truth as taught and believed by the Christadelphians. Our stint came to an end on Wednesday July 4th and we left Kakuma Camp feeling spiritually built up and uplifted. However, two particular events stand out as the highlights of our mission on this trip:
On Sunday July 1st, immediately after completing the interviews, the two candidates excitedly insisted that there should be no deferral of their baptism and, at all costs, they should be baptized on that very day. It was a reminder of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8v36. The only contrast was that there was no water around as, in this arid expanse where. under the scorching sun, the temperature reaches the highs of 41o C, it's not easy to get enough water for such an exercise. In spite of that harsh reality, God did provide as we had to dig a hole on the ground and fill it up with water fetched in jerry cans from a tap at about 500 meters away.
On Monday July 2nd, about 30 interested friends in attendance rained down a myriad of questions mainly on the basic teachings; thus, we found ourselves in a position where we could not deal exhaustively with each of them in a 3-hour session; therefore the idea of meeting with some of the questioners at their respective homes the following day.
We thank the Almighty God who enabled us to do the work of spreading the Truth and made it a success as the number of interested contacts taking the Bible lessons quadrupled. We left our brethren of Kakuma with the herculean responsibility of teaching and nurturing those potential friends. So, the great interest seen there is a sure indicator that at Kakuma "the harvest is plentiful... Ask the Lord therefore to send out workers into his harvest field."
An all joyful Bro. Asende Lubwela emerging from the water of baptism
Bro. Innocent (right) welcoming, Bre. Asende (left) and Assuman (centre), the newborn brethren into fellowship
Bro. Innocent (right) with a section of friends who attended one the sessions of the Bible studies
Bro Innocent Baruani (Nairobi)