UK Registered Charity No. 1108996
Jesus Loves You - Really!
We began with a plan for a Children's Home, a safe place for orphaned children to grow up healthy and strong and to know God. We imagined sharing a version of 'kid's church' and Sunday school with the children in our care who were mostly aged between 5 and 7 years. But one young man, 16yr old Nick, was sent from Kisumu to spend time with us in Kosele ... away from the unhelpful temptations of city life. Nick played football with the sons of our neighbours and soon they wanted to join us for 'church.' Then they asked to meet with us mid-week for prayer and this quickly turned into our first Kenyan Alpha group....
Other neighbours came to join us, notably the poorest of the poor. Some came hoping to find chances of employment or to receive assistance with the very basic needs they struggled so hard to meet, needs like food, bedding, school or medical fees. At the end of the service we shared 'juice and biscuits' and we tried to prioritise the small income that we had, to meet what we perceived as the most urgent needs of the most vulnerable. Some people accused us of creating 'rice Christians' and in a community of mainly Saturday worshippers it took a long time to be recognised as a 'legitimate' and true church. However, for many years, whenever Terry preached he basically preached the same message ... to love God you must love your neighbour as yourself. We haven't always done that perfectly but we've continued to believe that it's the reason we are here.
Over the years different people from outside and some from within the church have tried their best to discourage and to dismiss our church, even chasing away a pastor that they said came from the wrong tribe! However, just as God's word says 'the gates of Hades will not prevail against it (His church.)' In 2012 the church became officially affiliated with Elim Gospel Kenya and, thanks to the dedication and commitment of Elim missionaries Ian and Hilda McMillan and our Kenyan pastors Kennedy and Dorine, the church members are growing in faith and in confidence that the God we worship really is enough for all of their needs.
Jesus was a great teacher. He was sharp, inspirational and made his message easy to understand to anyone who wanted to listen. His last words were that his followers should go out into the world and make disciples. It's a command we take very seriously. Our pastors Dorine and Kennedy are a great team, combining strong teaching, preaching and pastoral skills to care for their flock and encourage them to be whole hearted followers of Jesus. They are served by a faithful team of Sunday School teachers who nurture our children and youth group. When the church is wholehearted in worshipping and serving God it shines as an example and encouragement to the community. We are looking forward to seeing further growth as new Jesus followers join us in the year ahead.
Life is very tough for women in our community. They are often the mainstays of their families and work incredibly hard to make ends meet. Pastor Dorine and Hilda have started a young mothers group as an outreach to young mums in the church. Their weekly meetings give the young mothers a good opportunity to share time together as a friendship group as well as giving Dorine and Hilda a chance to minister to them through prayer and Bible teaching. The ladies also have a very practical time at these meetings making jewellery which they sell to our visitors and 'export' to Scotland when Ian and Hilda make home visits. The money they raise provides much needed financial support for the members of the group and other young mothers in the community.
Judi, Terry, Ian and Hilda are Elim Missionaries. Elim Missions provides support and encouragement to missionaries around the world. Hope and Kindness is an independent charity which is approved by the Elim Church movement in England. As Terry, Judi, Ian and Hilda are long time members of Elim churches in England and Scotland, establishing a formal link with the Elim Missions department has been very helpful to Hope and Kindness and will, we hope, encourage other Elim church members to join with us in our work. Hope and Kindness welcomes visits from people with a heart for mission work - whether they are testing the waters for the first time or are experienced on the mission field. There can never be too many workers for God's harvest.
How You Could Help Us to Help the Church
Over the years our church has been blessed by visits from many good Bible teachers, encouragers, youth workers, young people, pastors and committed church members from the UK. From it's humble origins as a Sunday School the church has weathered the storms of opposition from within the local community, hardship and the challenges of ministering in a community beset by poverty, local spiritual customs and traditions and illiteracy. Despite these challenges the church, now part of the Elim Gospel Church Kenya, is 'faring on well.' If you have a heart for helping churches to nurture disciples and minister to the local community please consider making a donation to the church. It will be put to good use. Even better come out to the mission field and join us.