Although about 70% of Kenyans identify as Christian, the majority are influenced by the Word of Faith movement, New Apostolic Reformation, false signs and wonders, and the so-called prosperity gospel. A large percentage of Kenyans are biblically illiterate, and very few pastors have received any training. David our AFM president had discovered over the years of visiting many of these Kenyan “preachers” homes and spending some time with them, that all the theological training they had was what they picked up from traveling evangelists (both good and bad ones) and much of what they taught and studied was simply from tracts and brochures that they had collected over the years. Rather than having any true Bible training of any sort they were teaching based on certain pastors pamphlets! There is also great need for solid biblical resources to edify the Church in Kenya, and to help teach them sound exegesis from the Bible and not from traveling preachers who may also be misled or just plain charlatans.
What do Sundays Look Like?
Mercy Baptist Church is currently meeting under a tent at the front of the Mercy Ministries campus. Sunday School begins at 10 am. Congregants pray, sing one or two hymns, and Jeff teaches through Keach’s Catechism. Service begins at 11 am. We work very hard to plan a service that edifies the saints and brings glory to God. Everything we do in the service centers around the Word of God. We pray, sing hymns and psalms in English and Swahili, read Scripture, either Jeff or pastor Leonard preaches, and we close by partaking in the Lord’s Supper and the singing the “Doxology.”
Also we feed the children of our local community after service and this draws many youth to our worship services who otherwise would not attend church and thus we are blessed to have many of them attend the service with us as they get to hear the World of God taught and what it means to live a life for Christ. Pray with us to reach many more, young and old alike with the authentic Gospel message and come to know the Living Water that only Jesus can give.
Church Plants & Partnerships: We have planted a church in the nearby village of Tulumba. We also partner with 3 other congregations: one in Tulumba village, another in the village of Talitia, and a third in the village of Bukembe. Mercy Baptist Church is a part within a network of 5 congregations all working together for the advancement of the gospel in rural Bungoma county.
Sub-ministries: Mercy Ministries Discipleship Classes. Sharon Bible School is a ministry founded by AFM board member Jim Clark but we have renamed it after putting it under Jeff in our Kenya ministries. Through Mercy Ministries Discipleship Classes, we provide study materials to local churches, teaching them basic Bible study methods as well as provide a small stipend to the class teachers and simple beans and rice food to help the students eat who may have to spend half a day or more walking and missing meal to attend otherwise. Due to the poverty level so the people we are seeking to help learn how to let the Holy Spirit be their teacher through sound Bible study, we at AFM must necessarily provide for the financial costs to allow this to happen at this level. Hundred of people are learning sound Bible study methods through this vital ministry that otherwise would be stuck to just hearing what some local preacher taught and hope that was truly from God’s Word. Our students currently go through 41 weeks of studying the books of John and Acts, and our Jim Clark is now working on getting all his Bible study questions and notes translated into Swahili for the entire book of Romans that many will soon be working their way through! We desperately need more sponsors to help us begin many more of our Discipleship classes around the country and into Uganda where many poor folks strongly desire to know God better and the study of his Word. The classes cost us about $100 a month to maintain and run and typically have 20 to 30 students attend for the weekly classes. Would you pray about helping us support another class or part of one? Dozens of pastors are asking us to bring it to their congregations.
We also partner with Pastor Elly Achok of nearby Mumias. Elly and his team of lecturers run the Wisdom Training Center, which meets at the Mercy Ministries campus every Saturday. They are teaching our local pastors courses in theology so that they can earn a certificate or diploma.
Furthermore, we are currently sending 4 pastors whom Jeff found trustworthy and serious about being strong in discipleship from the churches we partner with to Kenya seminary called KReST (Kisumu Reformed School of Theology) where they are studying for a bachelor’s degree in theology.