The Story of a Community Changing Discipleship Program:
It began with a simple Bible study in the home of a man hungry to hear something from God but fearing to go to church. We started on a Thursday morning, around ten am 'Kenya time' with a simple question and answer session. We had eight people. But those eight responded by giving their hearts to God that Thursday, and then they told eight more, and those eight told more. Before we knew it, we were outgrowing the small two-room home and moving into a classroom at a school across the street. That room is now full, and many are still content to stand outside to hear what is being taught.
We always begin with a simple 'sword drill,' a search for some essential scriptures, with small prizes they can take home. We sing a song containing the books of the Bible. We pray. We study some critical Bible topics, such as the Holy Spirit, Prayer, Sanctification, How to Read and Study the Bible, and then discuss. The discussion portion often becomes very lively as many have questions about this Jesus we are introducing them to, and we don't always have the answers, but when we don't know the answer, we try to find it together in the Word of God.
During the early stages, we quickly learned that there was a desperate need for Bibles, so we found a resource locally who pulls shipments from Nairobi, 6+ hours away for us to be able to have Bibles for distribution. This distribution has extended beyond the walls of our Bible study. We have given them to shop keepers, to politicians, to street families, and even to Pastor's families who have never had their own. Once word got out, people at the local Coca Cola distributor were also asking us for Bibles, which we gladly provided. Giving the word of God is giving LIFE to the hopeless!
Through that simple Bible study, we have been allowed to work one on one with individuals and counsel them through issues where they have desperately needed spiritual guidance. They have come to learn that through prayer and trust in God, all things are possible!
Also, through our Bible study, many Pastors have seen the great need for evangelism, training, and personal education to grow their churches. (the church in our community where we hold Bible study has tripled in number from those coming from our Bible study group). Because of this, we have started monthly classes in leadership and discipleship. We are teaching not only Pastors but also other leaders from their churches by dividing them into small group 'teams' and discussing real church issues and challenges and how to come to the best solutions for their people and communities.
Through this, these leaders have been able to sit down with other leaders from other churches and realize we are all working together. We all have similar issues. We are all fighting the same enemy. And we are all serving the same GOD!!
This program of discipleship has changed individuals' lives, but we are also beginning to see what God is doing on a much grander scale! King'ong'o is one of the poorest slums in Eldoret, and there is an exceptionally high rate of alcohol abuse. They don't buy it from town, that would be too expensive; they brew it themselves, which also makes it very potent and dangerous. Recently the county commissioner had orders from higher-ups in government to send a demolition crew into King'ong'o and raze every home, building, or shack where the local brew was sold, manufactured, or consumed. More than half of King'ong'o would have been destroyed. Before performing their work, they decided to come to pay a visit to our site, and the Muslim representative, who is also the Deputy Commissioner was our visitor that day. After seeing the water project for the community, our happy children, and so many that are changing from the Bible study, he told us personally that he was going to tell his boss and those working with him to wait. He said that he wanted to give us time to work with this community and see if the Gospel will change things.
The Gospel is working!