Successful mission for Partners for Care Kenyan Staff
My daughter Mindy once asked me when I wouldn’t be needed in Kenya for the work being accomplished by the Kenyan Partners for Care staff. I was clear from the beginning that God called me not to do the work in Kenya but to encourage, equip, empower and engage those God placed on the ground in Kenya. To do the work. I think this update from the what if? team on mission in the Coast answers my daughter’s question. This update shows they don’t need me to reach many with the message of HIV//AIDS prevention. If you take the time to read their update from the second day of their 5 day mission you will see how competent they are to take the what if? campaign throughout Kenya and Africa.
what if? Marereni Today started with a meeting with the local pastors. The pastors’ association here arranged for a meeting with us, which started at 10.30am. I, Sammy, Pastor Omondi and Njoki attended the meeting, and a total of 16 pastors were there. The pastors first introduced themselves and the chairman of the association invited us. Everyone spoke from our team and I must admit that at first I was a bit intimidated to speak to be speaking to pastors. Pastor Omondi spoke about the whole what if? campaign and how pastors should be united in eradicating the disease from the church, and how they should be avoiding politics in church, which brings discord. Njoki spoke about pregnant women, and how we can avoid giving birth to HIV infected babies by having our women test. She gave an example of Brian and how he would not be suffering right now if his mother chose to test or even to abstain since the beginning. I spoke next, asking the pastors to test from the pulpit, and explaining how if from the start pastors were doing this, we would not be having majority of the 40 million people living with HIV worldwide being Christians. I asked them how many of them talked about HIV from the pulpit, and all the pastors said that they don’t ever talk about this to their congregation. Sammy spoke next, telling them how ignorance of the disease results to deaths. We were surprised when the pastor who was hosting us told us that he has never talked about HIV in his church. He told us that the number of people living with AIDS in this area made up close to 80% of the population. This owed to the fact that this area is where truck drivers who are travelling all stop here for the night, and sleep with the locals. We closed the meeting and they begged us to come back again, or even to stay longer and continue with the concerts. In the afternoon the concert started earlier than yesterday, and after the Temples of Worship presented a song the people begged them to sing more songs. They sang two more songs and after the local pastor introduced other pastors, I was called to speak. I spoke about the ignorance I had heard about in the area, that despite Marereni being the leading area with HIV in Malindi. I spoke for about 15 minutes and when I asked how many people were promising to test so that they may save their area from being destroyed by AIDS, very many hands went up. I didn’t believe they got my question and thought they had misinterpreted me, so I repeated the question again and even more hands went up. I referred them to the nearest VCT center and talked about the commitment cards, before the team went round distributing them .
A very large number signed them, and Justus is still tallying so that we know exactly how many of them were distributing. It’s a good thing that we distributed them while Pastor Omondi was preaching, because many of them saw me passing by and were asking me questions concerning the three commitments, which I answered. I felt really sympathetic when two women called me and asked me “now if we commit to do the last commitment, what will we be doing when our husbands don’t satisfy us?” I asked them whether they loved their children, and when they told me yes I told them to picture those children without their mothers, and at this point they quickly asked for a pencil to sign the committment cards, which they hadn’t done. I went on to talk to them, and they promised not to be promiscuous. I was really impressed by the openness of the people of this area. Pastor Omondi preached and about 40 people gave their lives to Christ. The Temples of Worship closed with Remember me and people still begged them to do “one more song”, which they did, but still they asked for more, and because of time we ended the concert. It was a very successful mission. A total of about 900 people attended the concert today, which brings the total number of people who attended the concert for the two days to 1700 people. 66 people gave their lives to Christ. Can’t wait to see what God will do through us in Watamu.
Sent via Cingular Xpress Mail with Blackberry