‘As a mom of “littles”, I poured my life into my children,’ Amanda shares from her home next to the airstrip in Sesia. She walks the airstrip every evening. ‘I wanted them to know the steadfast love of Christ early in their lives, and hopefully skip the “looking for love in all the wrong places” season that I went through, coming from a dysfunctional home.’
‘Our four sons are grown now and beginning families of their own. We have three grandchildren, with a fourth on the way. I love our children and grandchildren fiercely. So, why would my husband and I move over 9,000 miles away, to a remote part of Kenya, and miss out on family gatherings and on so much of our grandkids’ lives? Simply put, JESUS. He has forgiven me, restored my honor, and overcome my fears through His death in my place and through His resurrection from the dead. He has changed me, from the inside out, filled my every longing, and given me His resurrection power to serve Him beyond my comfort zone. How could I NOT go, when He asked us to go to a place where the Name of Christ had not been named?! Is it easy? No. I miss my babies terribly. But, no matter what the cost, Jesus is WORTH IT.
‘When we first brought the Word of God to the Samburu people in this remote part of north central Kenya, we found that the people in Sesia were hungry to hear what God had to say to them. They believe in the one Creator God, but feel that He is far away and angry. Often they spend their lives trying to appease His anger through sacrifices and other rituals. They have many pieces of the puzzle, but they lack the most important, central piece of the spiritual puzzle—JESUS CHRIST, the one mediator between God and man, and the One who died for them so that they can have a relationship with God the Father! So, we moved to Sesia in 2017, to bring the Gospel and the Word of God. The Samburu people were very receptive, and many surrendered their lives to Christ, especially the women. The emerging church was exciting to behold.
‘In Samburu culture, the women have less value than the family’s livestock. They are basically the work horses and breeders of the family, and very seldom feel loved. We were burdened to counter that with the stories of women in the Bible who were met very personally by God the Father and Jesus Christ, who loves and values women.’
Raised with Christ
‘We began a Community Health Evangelism (CHE) discipleship group, led by Victoria, our intern and a Registered Nurse, in 2018. She would teach a lesson on topics such as nutrition, sanitation, pregnancy, etc., and then Eunice, our Samburu women’s leader at that time, would share a connected story from the Bible.
‘After Victoria returned to the U.S., the group became a biblical discipleship group, and I began teaching on topics from Scripture such as repentance, salvation, prayer, biblical womanhood, idolatry and false teachers, parenting, fruit of the spirit, etc. We also studied women of the Bible, and what we could learn from them and apply to our own lives.
‘It was such a joy to see the women light up as they realized that they are indeed loved and valued supremely in Christ, and that He will walk with them every day of their lives if they will follow Him with their whole hearts! Their love for El Roi, the God who truly sees them, began to blossom. Love contributes to a teachable spirit that is willing to change.’
‘As the ladies began applying what they were learning to their daily lives, they began to be transformed. One mama said, “I always talked bad about others and gossiped. I never got along with anyone. Then Yeso (Jesus) changed my heart and helped me to love! Now I don’t talk bad about other people, and I am showing love instead!”
‘Another mama said, “I was always fighting with my husband and with the other wife. There was never peace in our place! No one was happy. Then Yeso changed me, and helped me to shut my mouth and learn to love. Even if my husband tries to pick a fight, I do not get angry. Now there is peace in my home!” Their neighbors began seeing they were different and commenting on it! Now that’s the proof of a life changed by Christ.
‘Our discipleship group began studying the Lomon Supati (The “Good News” of the Gospel), which is 3-fold: 1) Jesus’ death on the cross in our place made forgiveness available for our sin, restoring our innocence. 2) Jesus’ death and resurrection took away our shame and restored us to a place of honor in God’s forever family. 3) Jesus’ death and resurrection gained victory over death and the grave and the powers of darkness, giving us His power, which replaced our fears. These truths empowered the women so much! They were full of praise, and ready to tell others!’
Sharing the Lomon Supati
‘They learned how to share the Lomon Supati well. They also learned how to share their own personal testimony: 1) What their life was like before Christ, 2) How they came to know Christ, and 3) How their life is different since they gave their life to Christ. The ladies said, “We see that this is a good way to start a spiritual conversation with someone! We can share our story and they will not feel intimidated, and they will not argue because it is our personal story! Then, if they want to know more, we can talk more about the Gospel!”
‘With this new feeling of empowerment, the ladies began going out in pairs each week, sharing their testimonies and the Lomon Supati. Many that they shared with gave their lives to Jesus. The ladies didn’t need me anymore for that—they felt confident that they were equipped to share on their own! That’s our goal as missionaries—to work ourselves out of a job. It is so exciting and rewarding to see the ladies becoming mature believers, their hearts and lives changed by Jesus and the Word of God!’
A ministry of multiplication
‘We have recently begun a training seminar for those who want to begin their own discipleship groups. Disciples making disciples, just like we read about in the New Testament. In just a few months, five new discipleship groups will begin in several areas of Sesia. Our job will simply be to support and encourage them. All so that more people will know the steadfast love of Christ and how to walk with Him daily. All glory to the Lord!
What is MAF’s part in this? We live a two-days’ drive away from the capitol city, where we get our supplies. The first day’s drive is completely off-road, across five dry riverbeds. Extreme driving, which is very hard on our “mature” bodies. Flying preserves our bodies, giving us longevity on the field. Secondly, flying enables us to get our supplies home quicker, reducing our time away from our ministry to the Samburu people.
We are so grateful for MAF!
Story by Jenny Davies, Photos by Amanda Simmons