We have been so blessed the last two days! On Sunday we ministered to the Sunday School children at Kapsoya Baptist Church. They were so excited!!! We gave each child a small gift bag, we painted finger nails, we painted their faces, and we made bracelets for all the children. The team was BUSY! There were classrooms full to the brim of excited children. We had several that walked over 3 miles one way to get to Sunday School--and we worked very hard to make sure not even one single child was left out. Matt & I were so impressed with the youth team--they were AMAZING. The patience, the care, and the love they give to each of those kids was beautiful.
Monday, we spent the day at Illula Bible Baptist Church & Daima School.
The church was very different than we had experienced the day before. This area north of Eldoret is in the country and the people face incredible poverty. They also experienced terrible tribal clashes in 2008 which left many homes burned, relationships & families broken, and lots of healing needed. Pastor Koli has a small church in this area and the building is only partially built. They have no doors or windows. They still need to complete the front of the church & put in a floor. There are only 5 small benches for seating--otherwise people sit on the dirt floor.
One of our prayers before we came to Kenya was that God would show us how we could bless those who are impacting and making a difference for the Kingdom. Pastor Koli had been on our hearts before we ever arrived. Our Missionary host had shared that Pastor Koli had a very old bicycle & it was his only means of transportation. We shared his story with the Sojourners class at FBC and they graciously donated $200 for a new bicycle for Pastor Koli.
Shortly after we arrived we learned Pastor Koli's story. It was tremendously impactful on our team.
Paul Koli was raised a Muslim. He was actively participating in the Muslim faith and as a career Paul worked as a mason & a brick layer. He was hired to do work on the Kapsoya Baptist Church. During his time here he was impacted by the testimonies of the Christian men who were working there. He began to ask questions, learn more about the Christian faith, and even attended a service or two at Kapsoya Baptist Church. After a time, Paul Koli began to attend church at Kapsoya alongside the Christian men who had impacted him. He eventually surrendered his life to Christ and the day he was baptized he removed his Islamic hat from his head and has never worn it a day since.
Jesus tells us that we must count the cost. Paul Koli certainly experienced tremendous loss by leaving his Islamic faith. His family disowned him. He lost all his friends and his community. Every Sunday when he would attend services at Kapsoya his Mother would come down to the gate and wail & cry. Her son was now dead to their family and she would grieve loudly outside the gates for him. He could see and hear his Mother but he could not speak to her (for she would leave). The cost to follow Jesus was truly a great one.
Paul was discipled and eventually enrolled in the Bible Institute in Eldoret. He learned so much about the scriptures and he was passionate to share with others. Paul's road block was extreme poverty. At the time he & his wife were expecting twins--they birthed twin daughters. Margaret Koli was not able to produce enough milk for both of the children and at 3 months old one of their daughters passed away. The surviving baby was weak and not well--but with time she grew stronger and is now a beautiful & very motivated young lady.
Paul is still a passionate man who walks 2.2 miles (one way) every single day to his church. He is facing some health issues that cause one leg to swell to the point he is unable to even peddle his bike. Paul is a pastor, a mentor, and a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. It was truly a pleasure to meet him & spend the day together.
As a team we have prayed that God would give us opportunities to bless those who are impacting the Kingdom here in Kenya. We raised ministry money but because of so many generous believers from First Baptist we brought extra ministry money with us. We met with the Missionary yesterday evening and asked for wisdom on how we could bless Pastor Koli. After praying, discussing as a team, and getting confirmation from our Missionary we have decided to buy Pastor Koli a motorcycle. We asked the Missionary how long it would take Pastor Koli to save for a motorcycle and he said, Pastor Koli will never have the means to get that--but if you are able--it will change his ministry & his life.
God has made it possible and we are able. Tomorrow our team on behalf of FBC Boise will give this precious man a motorcycle--in Jesus name.
Does it get better than that?
We are so excited to be apart of what God is doing here. This is so incredibly amazing. To God be the glory--AMAZING things He has done.
In Christ, FBC Boise Kenya Mission Team.